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Bible Commentaries
1 Kings 16

Dummelow's Commentary on the BibleDummelow on the Bible

Verses 1-34

The Reigns of Elah, Zimri, and Omri

1. Jehu the son of Hanani] Hanani is mentioned in 2 Chronicles 16:7-10. Jehu’s denunciation of Baasha is similar to Ahijah’s denunciation of Jeroboam (1 Kings 14:7-11).

9. As he was.. drunk] Elah’s incapacity and dissoluteness doubtless tempted Zimri to aspire to the throne.

13. Vanities] i.e. idols, and so in 1 Kings 16:26.

15. Gibbethon] see 1 Kings 15:27. The siege, begun in the reign of Nadab, had apparently not succeeded, and had been resumed.

18. Palace] RV ’castle.’

19. For his sins, etc.] The phrase is a stereotyped one, and so is applied to Zimri in spite of the fact that he only reigned seven days.

23. In the thirty and first year of Asa] probably an error: 1 Kings 16:27 gives ’in the twentyseventh year of Asa.’

24. The hill Samaria]

This stood in the middle of a wide and fertile valley (cp. Isaiah 28:1), and was a place of great natural strength, as is evidenced by the protracted sieges sustained by the city that was built upon it (2 Kings 6:24; 2 Kings 17:5). Called the name.. Samaria] Heb. Shõmeron.

27. The rest.. Omri] Omri seems to have engaged in war with the Syrians, but was so unsuccessful that he had to grant them the privilege of having ’streets’ (i.e. trading quarters) in Samaria (1 Kings 20:34). Two additional facts respecting Omri’s reign are furnished by certain inscriptions, (a) On the Moabite Stone it is stated by Mesha, the king of Moab, that Omri ’afflicted’ that country. (b) On the Assyrian monuments Israel is regularly termed ’the land of Omri,’ a designation which suggests that it was in his reign that the Assyrians came first into contact with Israel. It was probably in view of Assyrian aggression that Omri cemented an alliance with the king of Zidon and Tyre (Ethbaal) by a marriage between his own son Ahab and the Zidonian princess Jezebel (1 Kings 16:31). According to Menander, Ethbaal (Gk. Itho-balos) was the great-grandfather of Dido, the founder of Carthage.

31. Served Baal] Baal was merely a title (meaning ’lord’ or ’owner’) and was applicable to a number of deities (hence the plural Baalim) who were described as the Baals of particular localities (’Baal Peor,’ ’Baal Hermon’). The introduction into Israel of the worship of the Zidonian Baal was more dangerous than that of other Baals in proportion as it was more powerfully supported; whilst Ahab’s sin was worse than Jeroboam’s, since the calves worshipped by the latter were at least symbols of the Lord.

34. Did.. build] i.e. fortified. Jericho, in the Jordan valley, a little N. of the Dead Sea, had been rebuilt since its destruction by Joshua, for it is mentioned in David’s time (2 Samuel 10:5). In Abjram] RV ’with the loss of Abiram.’ The word of the Lord] see Joshua 6:26. For the potency believed to attach to a curse see Numbers 22:6; 2 Kings 2:24. Possibly the mention of Hiel’s conduct in fortifying Jericho in spite of the malediction of Joshua is intended to illustrate the prevalent lack of faith in Jehovah’s power.

Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 16". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dcb/1-kings-16.html. 1909.
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