King Omri, a type of Man of Lawlessness?
Micah 6:16 “For you observe the statutes of Omʹri and all the work of the house of Aʹhab, And you walk in accord with their advice. That is why I will make you an object of horror And her inhabitants something to be whistled at; And you will bear the scorn of the peoples.”
Who was Omri?
1. A king of the Northern 10 Tribe who had no Israelite heritage
2. Father to Abab
3. The Israelites were condemned for following his statutes
Insight book states:
“Sixth king of the northern ten-tribe kingdom of Israel. Nothing of Omri’s ancestry is recorded, not even the name of his father or tribe. Omri founded the third dynasty of Israel (those of Jeroboam and Baasha preceded), his son Ahab and grandsons Ahaziah and Jehoram succeeding him, all four totaling some 46 years (c. 951-905 B.C.E.) on the throne. Omri’s granddaughter Athaliah ruled six years on the throne of Judah. (2Ki 8:26; 11:1-3; 2Ch 22:2)
“Omri came to the throne, not by inheritance, but by the sword. He had been chief of Israel’s army under King Elah (and perhaps under his predecessor Baasha) when Zimri, chief of half the chariots, overthrew Elah, took the kingship for himself, and wiped out the house and friends of Baasha. As soon as this was reported to the Israelite army, at the time camped against the Philistines at Gibbethon, “all Israel,” doubtless the tribal heads “in the camp,” made Omri their king.
“Mightiness” is attributed to King Omri. (1Ki 16:27) According to lines 4 through 8 of the Moabite Stone, Omri brought Moab into subjection, which domination Ahab continued. (2Ki 3:4) Midway in his reign, Omri wisely moved his capital away from Tirzah, which he had found so easy to capture. He purchased the mountain owned by Shemer, well suited for fortifying, and there he built a new city, Samaria, which was able to withstand long sieges. (1Ki 16:23, 24) Cuneiform inscriptions likewise call him its founder, and it was also his burial place. (1Ki 16:28) In the course of his reign, Omri met with various setbacks, such as having to surrender some cities to the king of Syria (1Ki 20:34) and having to pay tribute to Assyria, he being the first Israelite king to do so.
“Religiously, Omri continued the downward trend of the northern kingdom; he continued Jeroboam’s idolatry; in fact, he “kept doing what was bad in the eyes of Jehovah and came to do worse than all who were prior to him.” (1Ki 16:25, 26) Some 200 years later, through Micah, Jehovah condemned Israel for following “the statutes of Omri.”—Mic 6:16.”
What are “The Statutes of Omri”?
Interestingly, the Bible is silent on this; however, it does offer us up a clue in 1 Kings 16:25-26:
“And Omʹri kept doing what was bad in the eyes of Jehovah and came to do worse than all who were prior to him. And he went walking in all the way of Jer·o·boʹam the son of Neʹbat and in his sin with which he caused Israel to sin by offending Jehovah the God of Israel with their vain idols.”
Insight book states of Jeroboam’s “statues”:
“Seeing his subjects streaming up to the temple in Jerusalem to worship, Jeroboam envisioned that in time they might switch their allegiance to Rehoboam and then they would kill him. So he decided to put a stop to this by establishing a religion centered around two golden calves, which he set up, one at Bethel in the south, the other at Dan in the north. He also set up his own non-Aaronic priesthood, composed of those among the people in general who were willing to procure the office by offering one bull and seven rams. These then served “for the high places and for the goat-shaped demons and for the calves that he had made.” Jeroboam also invented special ‘holy days’ and personally led the people in sacrificing to his newly created gods.
“His introducing calf worship constituted “the sins of Jeroboam,” sins of which other Israelite kings became guilty by perpetuating this apostate worship.—1Ki 14:16; 15:30, 34; 16:2, 19, 26, 31; 22:52; 2Ki 3:3; 10:29, 31; 13:2, 6, 11; 14:24; 15:9, 18, 24, 28; 17:21-23.”