Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

1 Kings 16:24

He bought the hill Samaria from Shemer for two talents of silver; and he built on the hill, and named the city which he built Samaria, after the name of Shemer, the owner of the hill.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Omri;   Samaria;   Shemer;   Tirzah;   Thompson Chain Reference - Samaria;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Cities;   Kings;   Money;   Samaria, Ancient;   Silver;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Omri;   Samaria;   Shemer;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Coins;   Israel;   Kings, books of;   Palestine;   Samaria, samaritans;   Shechem;   Talent;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Omri;   Samaria;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Omri;   Samaria;   Shemer;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Archaeology and Biblical Study;   Samaria, Samaritans;   Shemer;   Tirzah;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Ephron;   Kings, Books of;   Samaria;   Shemer;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Samaria, Samaritans;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Omri ;   Shemer ;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Mount samaria;   Nimshi;   Samaria;   Shemer;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Israel kingdom of;   Jehu;   Omri;   Samaria;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Israel, Kingdom of;   Sama'ria;   She'mer;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Samaria;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Kingdom of Israel;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Ephron (1);   Hoshea;   Omri;   Samaria, City of;   Shemer;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

He bought the hill Samaria of Shemer - This should be read, "He bought the hill of Shomeron from Shomer, and called it Shomeron, (i.e., Little Shomer), after the name of Shomer, owner of the hill." At first the kings of Israel dwelt at Shechem, and then at Tirzah; but this place having suffered much in the civil broils, and the place having been burnt down by Zimri, Omri purposed to found a new city, to which he might transfer the seat of government. He fixed on a hill that belonged to a person of the name of Shomer; and bought it from him for two talents of silver, about £707 3s. 9d. Though this was a large sum in those days, yet we cannot suppose that the hill was very large which was purchased for so little; and probably no other building upon it than Shomer's house, if indeed he had one there. Shomeron, or, as it is corruptly written, Samaria, is situated in the midst of the tribe of Ephraim, not very far from the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, and about midway between Dan and Beer-sheba: thus Samaria became the capital of the ten tribes, the metropolis of the kingdom of Israel, and the residence of its kings. The kings of Israel adorned and fortified it; Ahab built a house of ivory in it, 1 Kings 22:39; the kings of Syria had magazines or storehouses in it, for the purpose of commerce; see 1 Kings 20:34. And it appears to have been a place of considerable importance and great strength.

Samaria endured several sieges; Ben-hadad king of Syria, besieged it twice, 1 Kings 20:1, etc.; and it cost Shalmaneser a siege of three years to reduce it, 2 Kings 17:6, etc. After the death of Alexander the Great, it became the property of the kings of Egypt; but Antiochus the Great took it from the Egyptians; and it continued in the possession of the kings of Syria till the Asmoneans took and razed it to the very foundation. Gabinius, pro-consul of Syria, partially rebuilt it, and called it Gabiniana. Herod the Great restored it to its ancient splendor, and placed in it a colony of six thousand men, and gave it the name of Sebaste, in honor of Augustus. It is now a place of little consequence.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 1 Kings 16:24". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/1-kings-16.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

“Samaria” represents the Greek form of the name Σαμάρεια Samareia the original is שׁמרון shômerôn (margin). The site is marked by the modern “Sebustiyeh,” an Arabic corruption of Sebaste, the name given by Herod to Samaria when he rebuilt it. Sebustiyeh is situated on a very remarkable “hill.” In the heart of the mountains of Israel occurs a deep basin-shaped depression, in the midst of which rises an oblong hill, with steep but not inaccessible sides, and a long flat top. This was the site which Omri chose for his new capital. Politically it was rather more central than Shechem, and probably than Tirzah. In a military point of view it was admirably calculated for defense. The country round it was especially productive. The hill itself possessed abundant springs of water. The result is that we find no further change. Shechem and Tirzah were each tried and abandoned; but through all the later alterations of dynasty Samaria continued uninterruptedly, to the very close of the independence, to be the capital of the northern kingdom.

Omri purchased the right of property in the hill, just as David purchased the threshing-floor (2 Samuel 24:24; compare 1 Kings 21:2). Two talents, or 6,000 shekels (Exodus 38:24 note) - about 500 British pounds (or perhaps 800 pounds) of our money - may well have been the full value of the ground. And while naming his city after Shemer, Omri may also have had in view the appropriateness of such a name to the situation of the place. Shomeron, to a Hebrew ear, would have necessarily conveyed the idea of a “watch-tower.” This name, however, appears not to have been at first accepted by the surrounding nations. The earlier Assyrian kings knew the Israelite capital, not as Samaria, but as Beth-Khumri, i. e., “the city (house) of Omri.” It is not until the time of Tiglath-pileser that they exchange this designation for that of “Sammirin.”

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 1 Kings 16:24". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/1-kings-16.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

THE REIGN OF THAT TALENTED KING; OMRI

"And he bought the hill of Samaria of Sheruer for two talents of silver; and he built on the hill, and called the name of the city which he built, after the name of Shemer, the owner of the hill, Samaria. And Omri did that which was evil in the sight of Jehovah, and dealt wickedly above all that were before him. For he walked in all the way of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and in his sins wherewith he made Israel to sin, to provoke Jehovah, the God of Israel, to anger with their vanities. Now the rest of the acts of Omri which he did, and his might that he showed, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel? So Omri slept with his fathers, and was buried in Samaria; and Ahab his son reigned in his stead."

This is that short account of which Matheney complained in his comment, above. However, the worldly glory and success of Omri, which indeed were great, amounted to less than nothing in the eyes of God. Men should not be distressed at this, because the same thing is true of countless "great men" of our own generation. Could anyone suppose that a prophet of God evaluating the lives of Adolph Hitler or Joseph Stalin would need any more than three or four lines to do it?

The holy man of God who wrote Kings was not at all impressed with Omri's achievements, such as his building Samaria which continued as the capital of Israel until the destruction of the kingdom, his defeat of the Moabites mentioned in some pagan sources, his founding a dynasty that lasted forty years, or anything else that he did. The verdict on Omri was that he was even worse than his predecessors, and through an alliance that he apparently made with Phoenicia, "There came that marriage of his son Ahab with the pagan Jezebel,"[18] who killed every priest of God that she could find in all Israel.

AHAB CAME TO THE THRONE OF ISRAEL (1 Kings 16:29-22:40)

Nearly all of the rest of First Kings is concerned with the state of Israel during the reign of Ahab, and there is an excellent reason for the devotion of that much space to this narrative. "The reign of Ahab was one of the turning points of Jewish history. It was during that time that one of the truly `decisive battles of the world' was fought. It was the battle between the Lord and Baal."[19] The holy men who wrote the Bible, unlike the sun-dial which records only those hours which are serene, give us in these chapters an impartial register both of the glory and of the shame of Israel.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on 1 Kings 16:24". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/1-kings-16.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And he bought the hill of Samaria of Shemer, for two talents of silver,.... A talent of silver, according to BrerewoodF6De Ponder. & Pret. c. 4. , was of our money three hundred and seventy five pounds, so that this hill was purchased at seven hundred and fifty pounds:

and built on the hill, and called the name of the city which he built, after the name of Shemer, owner of the hill, Samaria; its name from him was Shomeron, which is the Hebrew name for Samaria; which, according to BuntingF7Ut supra, (Travels, &c.) p. 163. was six miles from Tirzah, and ever after the royal seat of the kings of Israel.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 16:24". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/1-kings-16.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

he bought the hill Samaria of Shemer — The palace of Tirzah being in ruins, Omri, in selecting the site of his royal residence, was naturally influenced by considerations both of pleasure and advantage. In the center of a wide amphitheater of mountains, about six miles from Shechem, rises an oblong hill with steep, yet accessible sides, and a long flat top extending east and west, and rising five hundred or six hundred feet above the valley. What Omri in all probability built as a mere palatial residence, became the capital of the kingdom instead of Shechem. It was as though Versailles had taken the place of Paris, or Windsor of London. The choice of Omri was admirable, in selecting a position which combined in a union not elsewhere found in Palestine: strength, beauty, and fertility [Stanley].

two talents of silver — about $4,250. Shemer had probably made it a condition of the sale, that the name should be retained. But as city and palace were built there by Omri, it was in accordance with Eastern custom to call it after the founder. The Assyrians did so, and on a tablet dug out of the ruins of Nineveh, an inscription was found relating to Samaria, which is called Beth-khumri - the house of Omri [Layard]. (See 2 Kings 17:5).

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Kings 16:24". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/1-kings-16.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And he bought the hill Samaria of Shemer for two talents of silver, and built on the hill, and called the name of the city which he built, after the name of Shemer, owner of the hill, Samaria.

Two talents — Two talents is something more than seven hundred pounds.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 16:24". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/1-kings-16.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

1 Kings 16:24 And he bought the hill Samaria of Shemer for two talents of silver, and built on the hill, and called the name of the city which he built, after the name of Shemer, owner of the hill, Samaria.

Ver. 24. And built on the hill.] A city, with a palace royal: for Tirzah was burnt by Zimri. [1 Kings 16:18]

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 16:24". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/1-kings-16.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

1 Kings 16:24. He bought the hill Samaria of Shemer It is surprising, that when Omri bought this place of Shemer, whereon he intended to build a city, he did not call it by his own name; unless we may suppose, that when Shemer sold it, he let him have the greater bargain of it upon condition that it should be continued in its first owner's name. However this be, it is certain, that as Samaria was situated in the midst of the tribe of Ephraim, on a fruitful and pleasant hill, it soon became the regal and capital city of the kingdom of Israel; nor did its kings omit any thing to make it as strong, as fine, and as rich as possible. What fate it underwent by Ben-hadad king of Syria, by Salmanasar, &c. we shall see in a great measure in the course of this history. It is conjectured by Bochart, who traced the ruins of it, to have been once larger than Jerusalem; but now it comprises nothing but a few cottages and convents inhabited by some Greek monks. See Wells's Geogr. vol. 3:

REFLECTIONS.—We have here,

1. The fall of Zimri. Though seven days terminated his reign, yet in them he shewed his disposition to Jeroboam's sins. Unable to defend himself against the forces under Omri, he rather chose to perish in the flames of his palace, than fall with it into the hands of his envied rival. Note; (1.) The frequent end of ambitious projectors is, to perish in the flames that they have kindled. (2.) Envy and revenge, even in death, forsake not the wicked.

2. The civil war which ensued between Omri and Tibni. The people were divided between these competitors for the crown, and the struggle lasted four years, when Tibni seems to have fallen in battle, and Omri reigned without a rival. Note; Of all inflictions on a nation, none are more terrible than civil wars.

3. Omri, far from taking warning by his predecessor's sufferings, did worse than all who went before him; and, not satisfied with encouraging idolatry, compelled the people to it by penal statutes, Micah 6:16. At last, after a reign of twelve years, he died, and was buried; and left his crown to a son more abandoned to wickedness than his father. Thus, when a people forsake God, they go from worse to worse, till destruction comes upon them to the uttermost.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on 1 Kings 16:24". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/1-kings-16.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Built on the hill, to wit, the city; and especially, a royal palace, because that at Tirzah was burnt, 1 Kings 16:18.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 1 Kings 16:24". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/1-kings-16.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

24.Samaria — “As Constantine’s sagacity is fixed by his choice of Constantinople, so is that of Omri by his choice of Samaria. It was the only great city of Palestine created by the sovereigns. All the others had been already consecrated by patriarchal tradition or previous possession. But Samaria was the choice of Omri alone, and in Assyrian inscriptions it bears the name of Beth-Khumri — the house, or palace, of Omri. Six miles from Shechem, in the same well-watered valley, here opening into a wide basin, rises an oblong hill, with steep yet accessible sides, and a long level top. This was the mountain of Samaria, or, as it is called in the original, Shomeron, so named after its owner Shemer, who there lived in state, and who sold it to the king for the great sum of two talents of silver. [About $3,320.] It combined in a union not elsewhere found in Palestine, strength, beauty, and fertility. It commanded a full view of the sea and the plain of Sharon on the one hand, and of the vale of Shechem on the other. The town sloped down from the summit of the bill; a broad wall with a terraced top ran round it. 2 Kings 6:26; 2 Kings 6:30. Outside the gate lived a colony of unhappy lepers, (2 Kings 7:3,) such as are still to be seen under the walls of Jerusalem. In front of the gates was a wide, open space, or threshingfloor, where the kings of Samaria sat on great occasions. 1 Kings 22:10. The inferior houses were built of white brick, with rafters of sycamore; the grander, of hewn stone and cedar. Isaiah 9:9-10. It stood amidst a circle of hills, commanding a view of its streets and slopes, itself the crown and glory of the whole scene. Isaiah 28:1. Its soft, rounded, oblong platform was, as it were, a vast luxurious couch, in which its nobles rested securely, propped and cushioned up on both sides, as in the cherished corner of a rich divan.” — Stanley. It continued to be the capital city of the northern kingdom, and sustained many sieges, until Shalmaneser carried away Israel into Assyrian captivity. 2 Kings 17:6.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 1 Kings 16:24". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/1-kings-16.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

1 Kings 16:24. He bought the hill Samaria of Shemer — Where he built the noted city of that name, which ever after was the royal city of the kings of Israel, the palace of Tirzah being burned. This city, in process of time, became so considerable, that it gave name to the middle part of Canaan, which lay between Galilee on the north, and Judea on the south, and to the inhabitants of that country, who were called Samaritans. For two talents of silver — Something more than seven hundred pounds sterling. “Perhaps,” says Henry, “Shemer let him have the ground cheaper, on condition that it should be called after his name: for it was called Samaria, or Shemeren, as it is in the Hebrew, from Shemer, the former owner of the land.” Thus the kings of Israel often changed the seat of their government, which was Shechem first then Tirzah, now Samaria. But the kings of Judah were constant to Jerusalem, the city of God.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 1 Kings 16:24". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/1-kings-16.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Silver: 684l. 7s. 6d. sterling. (Arbuthnot) --- The place was sold so cheap, on condition that it should be called after the original owner. (Salien) --- Somer dwelt there; and several houses had been already erected, (chap. xiii. 32.) and even streets, by the king of Syria, for the convenience of his merchants, chap. xx. 34. (Haydock) --- Thersa had lately been so much ruined by civil wars, that Amri thought proper to choose a new seat of government. Samaria was greatly adorned by succeeding kings, chap. xxii. 39. It stood in a delightful and commanding situation, and gave its name to the adjacent territory, and to the whole kingdom of Israel. Benadad besieged it twice; and Salmanasar took it. The kings of Egypt laid claim to it, after the death of Alexander: but Antiochus, of Syria, took it from them. Hyrcanus levelled it with the ground. Herod the Great rebuilt the city, and called it Sebaste, in honour of Augustus.

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 1 Kings 16:24". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/1-kings-16.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

owner = lord.

Samaria. This is the origin of the city.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 1 Kings 16:24". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/1-kings-16.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And he bought the hill Samaria of Shemer for two talents of silver, and built on the hill, and called the name of the city which he built, after the name of Shemer, owner of the hill, Samaria.

He bought the hill Samaria of Shemer, [ haahaar (Hebrew #2022) Shom

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Kings 16:24". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/1-kings-16.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(24) Built on the hill.—Omri only followed the usual practice of a new dynasty in the East, of which Jeroboam had set an example at Shechem, and probably Baasha at Tirzah. Possibly the seeds of disaffection may have still lurked in Tirzah, the place of Zimri’s conspiracy, and (as has been conjectured) of Tibni’s rival power. But the site of Samaria must have been chosen by a soldier’s eye. Its Hebrew name (Shomerôn) means a “watch-tower,” and may well have had a double derivation, from its natural position, as well as from its owner’s name. Its position was one of great beauty, and, in the warfare of those days, of singular strength, as is shown by the long sieges which it withstood (1 Kings 20:1; 2 Kings 6:24; 2 Kings 17:5; 2 Kings 18:9-10). It lay north-west of Shechem, on an isolated hill with precipitous sides, rising in the middle of a basin of the hills of Ephraim, not far from the edge of the maritime plain, and commanding a view of the sea. Its history vindicated the sagacity of its founder. Even after its destruction and depopulation by the Assyrians, it seems to have revived, for Alexander took it on his invasion of Palestine, and placed a Greek colony there. Again destroyed by John Hyrcanus, it was rebuilt by Herod, and called Sebaste, in honour of Augustus. In the Assyrian inscriptions it is known as Beth-Khumri (“the house of Omri”).

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 16:24". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/1-kings-16.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And he bought the hill Samaria of Shemer for two talents of silver, and built on the hill, and called the name of the city which he built, after the name of Shemer, owner of the hill, Samaria.
the name of the city
13:32; 18:2; 20:1; 22:37; 2 Kings 17:1,6,24; John 4:4,5; Acts 8:5-8
Samaria
Heb. Shomeron. Samaria was situated on a agreeable and fertile hill in the tribe of Ephraim, twelve miles from Dothaim and four from Atharoth, according to Eusebius, and one day's journey from Jerusalem, according to Josephus.
Reciprocal: 1 Kings 12:25 - built;  1 Kings 16:29 - Samaria;  2 Chronicles 25:13 - Samaria;  Isaiah 7:9 - the head;  Jeremiah 41:5 - Samaria;  Amos 4:1 - the mountain;  Amos 6:1 - and trust;  Amos 8:14 - sin

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 1 Kings 16:24". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/1-kings-16.html.