1 Kings 16:15
In the twenty and seventh year of Asa king of Judah did Zimri reign seven days in Tirzah. And the people were encamped against Gibbethon, which belonged to the Philistines.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
1 Kings 16:15-17. The people were encamped against Gibbethon — Which had been besieged many years before, but, it seems, was then relieved or afterward recovered by the Philistines, while the Israelites were in a distracted condition through civil broils and contentions. It was, however, now again invested. The people heard say, Zimri has conspired, &c. — Notice was soon brought to the camp that Zimri had slain their king, and set up himself in Tirzah, the royal city; whereupon they chose Omri king in the camp, that they might, without delay, avenge the death of Elah upon Zimri. Thus proud aspiring men ruin one another, and involve others in ruin. Omri went up from Gibbethon — The siege of which was instantly quitted. And all Israel with him — All the army that were at the siege.16:15-28 When men forsake God, they will be left to plague one another. Proud aspiring men ruin one another. Omri struggled with Tibni some years. Though we do not always understand the rules by which God governs nations and individuals in his providence, we may learn useful lessons from the history before us. When tyrants succeed each other, and massacres, conspiracies, and civil wars, we may be sure the Lord has a controversy with the people for their sins; they are loudly called to repent and reform. Omri made himself infamous by his wickedness. Many wicked men have been men of might and renown; have built cities, and their names are found in history; but they have no name in the book of life.Their vanities - The "calves." The Hebrews call an idol by terms signifying "emptiness," "vapor," or "nothingness." (Compare marginal references.) 15-18. did Zimri reign seven days—The news of his conspiracy soon spread, and the army having proclaimed their general, Omri, king, that officer immediately raised the siege at Gibbethon and marched directly against the capital in which the usurper had established himself. Zimri soon saw that he was not in circumstances to hold out against all the forces of the kingdom; so, shutting himself up in the palace, he set it on fire, and, like Sardanapalus, chose to perish himself and reduce all to ruin, rather than that the palace and royal treasures should fall into the hands of his successful rival. The seven days' reign may refer either to the brief duration of his royal authority, or the period in which he enjoyed unmolested tranquillity in the palace. Which had been besieged before, 1 Kings 15:27, but, it seems, was then relieved, or afterwards recovered by the Philistines, taking the advantage of the disorders and contentions which were among their enemies. In the twenty and seventh year of Asa king of Judah did Zimri reign seven days in Tirzah, &c. Until the army under Omri came and took the palace, and destroyed him:

and the people were encamped against Gibbethon, which belongeth to the Philistines; it was besieged in Nadab's time, but upon his death, by Baasha, the siege was raised; or however, if then taken, it was recovered by the Philistines, and now besieged again by the Israelites, see 1 Kings 15:27.

In the twenty and seventh year of Asa king of Judah did Zimri reign seven days in Tirzah. And the people were encamped {g} against Gibbethon, which belonged to the Philistines.

(g) The siege had continued from the time of Nadab Jeroboam's son.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
15–20. Zimri king of Israel. Omri proclaimed king by the army (Not in Chronicles)

15. In the twenty and seventh year of Asa king of Judah] The chronological note is omitted by the LXX.

And [R.V. Now] the people were encamped against Gibbethon] The LXX. explains ‘the people’ by ἡ παρεμβολὴ = the camp. It was, of course, only the army and camp-followers who were away in the land of the Philistines. Apparently the attempt to wrest Gibbethon from the Philistines had continued from the time of Nadab. But the vicissitudes of the northern kingdom had been many, and such as to hinder the prosecution of any campaign.Verse 15. - In the twenty and seventh year of Asa king of Judah did Zimri reign [The same word elsewhere translated in A.V. began to reign. It is really an aorist = succeeded to the throne] seven days in Tirzah. And the people were encamped [Heb. encamping] against Gibbethon, which belonged to the Phistines. [It has at first sight a suspicious look that two kings of Israel, within an interval of about twenty-five years, should have been slain by conspirators during a siege of this place. But when the narrative is examined, its probability and consistency become at once apparent. Stanley assumes that the siege lasted over the whole of this period, but it is more likely that when Baasha found himself king, he discovered that he had domestic matters enough upon his hands, without a foreign war, and so he raised the siege. It is very probable that he feared opposition such as Zimri and Omri subsequently experienced. And his wars with Asa and with Syria may well have prevented his renewing the undertaking. On the accession of Elah, however, with the usual ambition and impetuosity of youth, it was decided to recommence the siege and to win this city back for Israel. But the fate of Nadab, and the consequent ill omen attaching to the place would not be forgotten, and this, as well as his voluptuous habits, may have deterred the faineant Elah from besieging it in person, while the conspiracy which marked the former siege may at the same time have suggested to Zimri and others the thought of conspiring against Elah.] Zimri, the commander of the half of his war-chariots, conspired against him, and not only slew him, when he was intoxicated (שׁכּור שׁתה) at a drinking bout in the house of Arza, the prefect of his palace, but after ascending the throne exterminated the whole family of Baasha to the very last man. The prefect of the palace was no doubt a party to the conspiracy, and had probably arranged the drinking bout in his house for the purpose of carrying it out. "He did not leave him בּקיר משׁתּין (see at 1 Kings 14:10), either his avengers (גּאליו, blood-relations, who might have avenged his death) or his friends." These words simply serve to explain בּקיר משׁתּין, and show that this phrase is to be understood as relating to males only.
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