Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

1 Kings 16:25

Omri did evil in the sight of the Lord , and acted more wickedly than all who were before him.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Omri;   Rulers;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Kings;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Omri;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Kings, books of;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Omri;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Archaeology and Biblical Study;   Samaria, Samaritans;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Omri ;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Nimshi;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Omri;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Kingdom of Israel;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Omri;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Did worse than all - before him - Omri was,

  1. An idolater in principle;
  • An idolater in practice;
  • He led the people to idolatry by precept and example; and, which was that in which he did worse than all before him,
  • 4. He made statutes in favor of idolatry, and obliged the people by law to commit it. See Micah 6:16, where this seems to be intended: For the statutes of Omri are kept, and all the works of the house of Ahab.

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    Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 1 Kings 16:25". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/1-kings-16.html. 1832.

    Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

    Omri outwent his idolatrous predecessors in his zeal, reducing the calf-worship to a regular formal system, which went down to posterity (compare the marginal reference).

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    Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 1 Kings 16:25". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/1-kings-16.html. 1870.

    John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

    But Omri wrought evil in the eyes of the Lord,.... Openly and publicly, as if it were in defiance of him:

    and did worse than all that were before him; taking no warning by the judgments inflicted on them, which aggravated his sins; and besides, he not only worshipped the calves, as the rest, and drew Israel by his example into the same, as they did, but he published edicts and decrees, obliging them to worship them, and forbidding them to go to Jerusalem, called "the statutes of Omri", Micah 6:16.

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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 16:25". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/1-kings-16.html. 1999.

    Geneva Study Bible

    But Omri wrought evil in the eyes of the LORD, and did k worse than all that [were] before him.

    (k) For such is the nature of idolatry, that the superstition of it daily increases, and the older it is, the more abominable it is before God and his Church.
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    Bibliographical Information
    Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 1 Kings 16:25". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/1-kings-16.html. 1599-1645.

    James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary

    THE HOUSE OF OMRI

    ‘Omri did worse than all that were before him.’

    1 Kings 16:25

    I. Omri was commander of the army that was besieging Gibbethon, when by the acclamation of the camp, he was proclaimed King of Israel. Those who know something of Roman history, will remember what tremendous power passed into the hands of the Roman legions. If the legions had a general who was a favourite, and was willing to make a bold venture for the crown, the chances were that in a few days he was Emperor. Just so, in Israel, the camp took sides with Omri. The last king, Elah, might have been an idle drunkard; but at least his murderer must not be his successor. So Omri was chosen, a man of might and valour, swift in decision, resolute in action, but lacking the one thing needful for true kingship—staunch faith in the invisible Jehovah. Now it was the twenty-seventh year of Asa, King of Judah, when Omri was chosen. And it was not till the thirty-first year that Omri reigned without a rival. That means that his first four years were years of civil war. There were fierce strifes between rival claimants for the crown. And doubtless it was in these four years of warfare, when Omri was fighting for his own hand, and for his life, that all that was bravest and kingliest in his nature shone out, to be recorded in the ‘Book of the Chronicles’ (v. 27).

    II. When peace was restored, and rivals had disappeared, Omri took one bold and sagacious step.—He removed the seat of government from Tirzah, and made the city of Samaria his capital. The first capital of Israel was Shechem. That was soon changed to Tirzah, a spot so delightful that Solomon sang to his love, ‘Thou art beautiful, O my love, as Tirzah.’ In Tirzah, Omri reigned six years, and then he changed the centre to Samaria. It may be that Tirzah, for all its loveliness, was rife with disaffection and sedition. It was not unusual for a new dynasty in the East to make everything new, by choosing a new metropolis. And Omri showed something of the statesman and the soldier in choosing Samaria to be his seat. Samaria, like Tirzah, was a pleasant town. It was so strongly placed that though the Syrians besieged it twice, on neither occasion did they capture it. In the stirring lives of Elijah and Elisha we often read of Samaria. Here was the temple of Baal which Jehu shattered. Hither came the leper Naaman from Damascus.

    III. But if Omri was vigorous, and resolute, and strong, he was not great in the sight of the Lord.—The dead hand of Jeroboam was upon him. He walked in all the ways of Jeroboam. It takes a little courage to be true; it takes a certain scorn of popularity. And it was just there that Omri came to grief—the ways of Jeroboam were broad and beaten, the ways of God were, and are always, narrow. It is one of the strange things in Roman history that even Nero was remembered fondly. His bodyguard kept him in constant affection. Fresh flowers were placed on his tomb by unknown hands. Otho and Vitellius walked in the way of Nero, they copied and they carried on his vices, just as Omri and Ahab, and many another, walked in the way of Jeroboam. And when we try to imitate what is bad, do we not end by making the bad worse? So Omri, and his son Ahab who succeeded him, kept dragging the nation farther and farther down. Jeroboam made Israel sin by his example. He led them astray by tempting and alluring. But Omri proceeded to force and to compulsion. The suggestions of Jeroboam became the ‘statutes of Omri’ (Micah 6:16). And then came Ahab, most famous of all the kings, and he, under the influence of a woman, sent the nation headlong to its doom, by changing the worship of the one true God—however corrupt and impure it had become—into that of the cruel and beastly Baal and Ashtaroth.

    Illustrations

    (1) ‘Note two things here. The restlessness of those who forsake God. First Shechem, and then Tirzah, and then Samaria; first the golden calves, and from them to Baal and Ashtaroth—do you see how unstable the rebellious grow? Then mark the evil of making light of sin. To make light of any sin, however small, is to wound the love of Him Who died for us. Had Jesus of Nazareth made light of sin, He would never have borne it in His body on the tree.’

    (2) ‘In the great floods in Scotland in 1829, some of the rivers went back to their ancient courses. They would have been flowing in their newer channels still, but for the havoc and devastation of the floods. And God’s judgments, like a great deep, were needed—captivities and the bitterness of death—to bring Israel back from the ways of Jeroboam to the ancient ways of the everlasting God.’

    (3) ‘What a dreary record is afforded in this chapter of apostasy and revolution, of idolatry and national disaster! Perhaps the great mass of the people—the peasantry—were not greatly affected by those dynastic changes; but severe judgments of famine and drought were soon to make them also realise what an evil and bitter thing it was to desert the Fountain of living waters, and to hew out broken cisterns which could hold none.’

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    Bibliographical Information
    Nisbet, James. "Commentary on 1 Kings 16:25". Church Pulpit Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cpc/1-kings-16.html. 1876.

    John Trapp Complete Commentary

    1 Kings 16:25 But Omri wrought evil in the eyes of the LORD, and did worse than all that [were] before him.

    Ver. 25. And did worse than all.] Noluit solita peccare, as Seneca saith of some in his time: et puduit non esse impudentem, as Augustine of others in his: he sought to outsin his predecessors.

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    Trapp, John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 16:25". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/1-kings-16.html. 1865-1868.

    Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

    25.Did worse than all that were before him — Worse than Jeroboam, Nadab, Baasha, and Elah. “He went further than they had done,” says Henry, “in establishing iniquity by law, and forcing his subjects to comply with him in it; for we read, Micah 6:16, of the ‘statutes of Omri,’ the keeping of which made Israel a desolation.” “We cannot doubt,” remarks Kitto, “that these statutes of Omri were measures adopted for more completely isolating the people of Israel from the services of the house of the Lord at Jerusalem, and of perpetuating — perhaps increasing — their idolatrous practices.”

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    Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 1 Kings 16:25". "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 16:25. Omri wrought evil in the sight of the Lord — He rendered himself infamous for his wickedness. And did worse than all that were before him — Not only walking in the way of Jeroboam, in worshipping the calves, but, as is likely, introducing other idolatries, which his son Ahab established among them. Or, perhaps, he compelled the people to worship the calves, and by severe laws restrained them from going up to Jerusalem, which laws some think are intended by the statutes of Omri, Micah 6:16. Though he was brought to the throne with much difficulty, and providence had remarkably favoured him in his advancement, yet, he was more profane, or more superstitions, and a greater persecutor, than any prince that had preceded him, either of the house of Jeroboam or that of Baasha. He went further than any of them had done in establishing iniquity by a law, and forcing his subjects to comply with him in it.

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    Bibliographical Information
    Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 1 Kings 16:25". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/1-kings-16.html. 1857.

    George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

    Above. He made a law, (Calmet) to force all to conform to the established irreligion, Micheas vi. 16. (Haycock)

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    Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 1 Kings 16:25". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/1-kings-16.html. 1859.

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

    But Omri wrought evil in the eyes of the LORD, and did worse than all that were before him.

    But Omri wrought evil. The character of Omri's reign, and his death, are described in the stereo-typed form used toward all the successors of Jeroboam, in respect both to policy as well as time.

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    Bibliographical Information
    Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Kings 16:25". "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

    (25) Did worse than all that were before him.—This phrase, used of Jeroboam in 1 Kings 14:9, may indicate, in addition to the acceptance and development of the old idolatry, some anticipation of the worse idolatry of Baal, formally introduced by Ahab. The “statutes of Omri” are referred to by Micah (Micah 6:16) in parallelism with the “works of the house of Ahab,” as the symbol of hardened and hopeless apostasy.

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    Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 16:25". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/1-kings-16.html. 1905.

    Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

    But Omri wrought evil in the eyes of the LORD, and did worse than all that were before him.
    did worse
    30,31,33; 14:9; Micah 6:16
    Reciprocal: Genesis 48:17 - displeased him;  1 Kings 15:26 - he did evil;  2 Chronicles 21:6 - in the way;  2 Chronicles 21:13 - in the way

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    Bibliographical Information
    Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 1 Kings 16:25". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/1-kings-16.html.