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C O U R S E 
The Bible's Prehistory, Purpose, and Political Future
Dr. Jacob L. Wright, Emory University
C O U R S E   L E C T U R E 
The Omride Dynasty
Notes taken on October 4, 2014 by Edward Tanguay
Biblical authors
wrote from a southern Judahite perspective
had little to say about the northern kingdom's cultural, military and political achievements
although they give glimpses of it
in contrast to the single, Davidic dynasty of Judah, Israel witnesses a succession of dynasties
each lasted only two or three generations
the Omride dynasty
most successful dynasty
this was most vilified dynasty by the Biblical authors
they are writing from a Judahite perspective and they are hostile t the northern kingdom
founded by Omri who died in 875
the father of Ahab
succession: Omri, Ahab, Joram
these were the three men who originally placed Israel on the map, not Saul, David, and Solomon
they were the once who consolidated the northern kingdom of Israel
building program
bureaucratic organization
international diplomacy
standing, professional army
chariot divisions
Assyrian source says he "provided 2000 chariots"
developed from citizen soldiers to a state-organized military
chariots represent an organized military as opposed to a citizen army
Omride rulers exerted their military might
build new capital at Samaria
extended territory from the Ephraim hill country to Jezreel valley and into Galilee
even pushed into Moabite territory across the Jordan
constructed cities
Judah seemed to be a vassal of the Omrides
some sources say that the Judah kings simply collaborated with the Northern kings, e.g. 2 Kings 3:4-8
historically it was probably the case that the Judahite kings were obligated to join the Omride kings since they were the Omride kings' vassals
influence of Omrides over Judah
Athaliah, a woman from the Omride household reigned as queen for six years in Judah
was deposed and a Davidic king was reinstated
established cosmopolitan kingdom
many ties to various economic centers
Ahab marries Jezebel from Phoenicia
Phoenicia is an economic center known for its trade
you can find the influence of Phoenicia in Israel e.g. in the ivory carvings
the Omride dynasty ended in a bloody putsch
undertaken by Jehu
Jehu has Jezebel thrown from window where she is devoured by dogs
brought together the descendants of Omri and massacred them (2 Kings 9-10)
this massacre was said to have been authorized by a prophet of Yahweh, Elisha
reasons were that Ahab was
worshiping false gods
bringing foreign influences into Israel
Jehu kills Ahab's son, Jehoram, after he had been wounded in battle with Damascus
although in another source, the king of Damascus claims to have killed Jehoram
but Judahites needed Jehu to be the one to wipe out the house of Omri and hence the story that he killed Jehoram
there had to be "divine punishment" in order to absolve, authorize, and venerate the massacre
Jehu can them more easily establish himself as the future king
reign of Jehu
much of what the Omrides had achieved was lost during the reign of Jehu
the territories in Galilee and in the Transjordan