New Dynasty

During the first five years of his reign, Omri was harassed by internal strife, for some of the people, being in favor of a certain man called Tibni, the son of Ginath had proclaimed him King. But after long and bitter fighting Omri prevailed, and his dynasty was firmly established.

For six years Omri dwelt in Tirzah; then, in the mountains of Ephraim, he bought a beautiful hill, on which he built the city of Samaria and made it the capital of his kingdom. Samaria remained the capital and political center of the Kingdom of Israel to its very last days.

Omri realized that the rivalry between the kingdoms of Judah and Israel hurt the strength and prestige of both kingdoms. He therefore made overtures of peace to King Asa of Judah, and eventually there was established between them a state of mutual friendship and esteem, which culminated in the marriage of Omri's daughter to Asa's son Jehoshaphat.

Omri's most difficult political problem was his relations with Syria (Aram), his powerful northern neighbor. He had to make concessions of land and cities in order to appease the Syrians. However, he chased the Philistines from the border cities which they had temporarily occupied, and defeated the people of Moab and forced them to pay tribute to Israel.

One of Omri's most important political achievements was the reestablishment of good relations with Zidon, the land of the Phoenicians, whose friendship had helped to increase the wealth and power of King David and King Solomon during their reigns. Here too, Omri affirmed the political alliance by marriage. His son Ahab married Jezebel, the daughter of the King of Zidon. However, the close association between the two countries exerted a very bad influence upon the religious and cultural life of Israel. Omri himself was not better than his predecessors. Like all the other kings since Jeroboam, he did not walk in the ways of G‑d. Under the growing influence of the Phoenicians, the degeneracy of the royal house of Omri became much worse, and it reached its height under the rule of his son Ahab and the queen Jezebel.

Omri's reign extended over a period of twelve years in all.

Although Omri's reign may be considered a period of far-reaching political consequences, during which the Kingdom of Israel was considerably stabilized, it did not raise the spiritual standards of the people. On the contrary, the idolatry and wickedness of the royal house carried the whole kingdom into spiritual degeneracy.

Omri died in the year 3021, and was buried in Samaria. His son Ahab succeeded him.