|Country||Kingdom of Israel (northern)
Kingdom of Judah (southern)
|Final sovereign||Jehoram (Israel)
The term Omrides or the House of Omri refers to Omri and his descendants (particularly Ahab), who were according to the Bible, as well as a number of other archaeological remains, kings of ancient Israel.
The Mesha Stele bears an inscription of about 840 BCE by Mesha, ruler of Moab, in which Mesha boasts of his victories over "Omri king of Israel" and his son, who had been "oppressing" Moab. It is also notable as the most extensive inscription ever recovered that refers to ancient Israel (the "House of Omri").
Though the Bible claims that Jehu destroyed the House of Omri in about 841 BCE, killing the surviving members in a coup, a number of scholars[who?] believe that Jehu was himself an Omride. This position is due to a number of textual curiosities in the similarity between the Omri family tree and that of Jehu. Another fact that scholars of this persuasion believe supports their position is that the Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser, an archaeological remain dating from times contemporary with Jehu, names Jehu as a "son of Omri." 
Other scholars regard the reference to "son of Omri" in the Black Obelisk in the expression "Jehu son of Omri" as a reference to the "House of Omri", which is believed to have been the Assyrian name for the Kingdom of Israel. Assyrian kings frequently referred to Omri's successors as belonging to the "House of Omri" (Bit Hu-um-ri-a).
However, according to Israel Finklestein's, The Bible Unearthed the Omrides were the people actually responsible for the great empire, magnificent palaces, wealth, and peace in Israel and Judah that the bible claims were due to the kings David and Solomon. According to him, the reason for this discrepancy is the religious bias of the biblical authors—the Omrides were polytheist and supported elements of the pan-semitic (i.e. Canaanite) religion.
Finkelstein maintains that the writer of the Book of Kings may have omitted possible widespread public construction both Omri and his son Ahab commissioned during their reigns. Finkelstein and his student Norma Franklin have identified monumental construction at Samaria, Jezreel, Megiddo and Hazor similar in design and build. Most archaeologists in Israel, including Amnon Ben-Tor, Amihai Mazar, and Lawrence Stager, reject this theory, claiming that it is contradicted by scientific understandings of strata formulation and the general development of the region.
- 1 Kings 21:1
- 2 Kings 8:26
- Daniel D. Luckenbill, Ancient Records of Assyria and Babylonia, vol. I, Chicago 1926, §§ 590, 672.
- Jewish Encyclopedia , "Omri"
- James B. Pritchard, ed., Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament, 3rd ed., Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1969, 283. ISBN 0-691-03503-2
- Israel Finkelstein, The Bible Unearthed : Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts, New York: The Free Press, 2001. ISBN 0-684-86912-8.