- Omri (q.v.), the founder of one of the greatest dynasties of Israel, was contemporary with the revival of Tyre under Ithobaal, and the relationship between the states is seen in the marriage of Omri's son Ahab to Jezebel, the priest-king's daughter.
Moreover, Judah (now under Jehoshaphat) enjoyed intimate relations with Israel during Omri's dynasty, and the traditions of intermarriage, and of co-operation in commerce and war, imply what was practically a united Palestine.
Although little is preserved of Omri's history, the fact that the northern kingdom long continued to be called by the Assyrians after his name is a significant indication of his great reputation.
If Elijah is the prophet of the fall of Omri's dynasty, Elisha is no less the prophet of Jehu and his successors; and it is extremely probable that his lifework was confined to the dynasty which he inaugurated.'
Several of the situations can be more vividly realized from the narratives of Syrian wars ascribed to the time of Omri's dynasty, even if these did not originally refer to the later period.
Opposition to social abuses and enmity towards religious innovations are regarded as the factors which led to the overthrow of Omri's dynasty by Jehu, and when Israel seemed to be at the height of its glory under Jeroboam II.
Southern Asia Minor, Phoenicia, Ammon, the Syrian Desert and Israel (under Omri's son " Ahab the Israelite ") sent their troops to support Damascus which, in spite of the repeated efforts of tendency to identify them - was perhaps known in Palestine, as it certainly was in Egypt and among the Hittites.
The anti-Assyrian alliance was, as often in west Asia, a temporary one, and the inveterate rivalries of the small states are illustrated, in a striking manner, in the downfall of Omri's dynasty and the rise of that of Jehu (842-c. 745); in the bitter onslaughts of Damascus upon Israel, leading nearly to its annihilation; in an unsuccessful attack upon the king of Hamath by Damascus, Cilicia and small states in north Syria; in an Israelite expedition against Judah and Jerusalem (2 Kings xiv.
The compiler of the biblical narratives takes little interest in Omri's work (1 Kings xvi.
The inscription of Mesha throws welcome light upon his conquest of Moab; the position of Israel during the reign of Omri's son Ahab bears testimony to the success of the father; and the fact that the land continued to be known to the Assyrians down to the time of Sargon as "house of Omri" indicates the reputation which this little-known king enjoyed.