Reply To: Who was Tibni in the Bible

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Tibni’s struggle for the throne of the northern kingdom is barely mentioned in the Bible. In the end, he lost out to the far more powerful Omri.


Tibni’s rival had already dispatched Zimri, the shortest reigning monarch in Israel’s history. Zimri managed just one week on the throne before Omri avenged the murder of Zimri’s predecessor. (“King of Israel” was one of the most hazardous occupations in the country at this time. It’s a wonder that Tibni aspired to it in the first place!) Nothing is known about Tibni or what he did before laying claim to the throne.


However, he was considered well enough qualified that roughly half the nation supported his bid for power. It was not enough, though. The writer of 1 Kings does not bother to document one detail concerning the struggle between Tibni and Omri. It is only by the process of deduction that it can be determined that the struggle went on for roughly four years (compare 1 Kings 16:15 and 23). Even Tibni’s fate remains a mystery.



Whether he survived the conflict or was slain by Omri is unknown—though death in battle seems the more likely outcome. It seems the biblical writer regarded Tibni as too inconsequential to bother with him any further.


Even if Tibni had succeeded in his quest for the throne, he probably would have wound up becoming as much of a failure as king as Omri proved to be. Not one ruler in the entire history of the northern kingdom was judged to be a good king in the eyes of God.