And the people that were encamped heard say, Zimri has conspired, and has also slain the king: why all Israel made Omri, the captain of the host, king over Israel that day in the camp.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Made Omri . . . king.—This exaltation of Omri, as a matter of course, shows how entirely the kingdom of Israel had become the prize of the sword. By a curious coincidence (see 1Kings 15:27) the dynasty of Baasha had been founded in the camp before the same city of Gibbethon. Zimri’s conspiracy appears to have been hastily planned, with no provision of adequate means of support; for Tirzah is taken at once.
wherefore all Israel made Omri, the captain of the host, king over Israel that day in the camp; that is, all Israel that were in the army proclaimed Omri, their general, king; just as the Roman army declared Vespasian, their general, emperor of Rome, and as several of the emperors were chosen.And the people that were encamped heard say, Zimri hath conspired, and hath also slain the king: wherefore all Israel made Omri, the captain of the host, king over Israel that day in the camp.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)16. heard say] The distance was not great between Tirzah and Gibbethon, and it was to the army that such news would quickly be brought.
hath also slain] R.V. smitten. The change is made for consistency.
wherefore all Israel] The voice of the army being regarded as the voice of the nation. So ‘all Israel’ is used in the next verse.
Omri, the captain of the host] Omri was manifestly in chief command at Gibbethon, and though Zimri was also a military officer, yet he had not, it would seem, the popularity of Omri.Verse 16. - And the people that were encamped heard say, Zimri hath conspired, and hath also slain the king: wherefore all Israel [obviously, all the army. Cf. 1 Kings 12:1, 16, 18] made Omri, the captain of the host, king over Israel that day in the camp. It was hardly likely they would submit to the usurpation of Zimri. Not only had he occupied a subordinate position, but his murder of all Elah's friends must have made him a host of enemies in the camp. It was the natural thing for them, therefore, to turn to Omri. He had the advantage of being in possession. The captain of the host stood next to the king (2 Kings 4:13; 2 Samuel 5:8; 2 Samuel 19:13; 2 Samuel 20:23), and twice stepped into his place (2 Kings 9:5). This history has many parallels in that of the Roman empire.] 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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