Tibni’s struggle for the throne of the Northern Kingdom (Israel) is barely mentioned in the Bible. In the end, he lost out to the far more powerful Omri.
Tibni’s rival, Omri, had already killed Zimri… who was the shortest reigning king in Israel’s history. Zimri managed just one week on the throne before Omri avenged the murder of Zimri’s predecessor. In that day, being King of Israel was a hazardous occupation. It makes one wonder why Tibni wanted to be king in the first place!
Not much is known about Tibni or what he did before laying claim to the throne. Tibni was the son of Ginath, a man of some position. Tibni appears to have been of Jerahmeelite origin… as was his rival, Omri. Tibni may have been a nickname, as it means “man of straw”.
But, he must have been considered well enough qualified… Following the death of Zimri, a considerable number of the people chose Tibni as king, and he contended for the throne against Omri… who also had an equal amount of supporters as Tibni.
The writer of 1Kings 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 about 4years (compare 1Kings 16:15 & 23).
But, it was not enough. They – and their forces – fought each other for several years until Omri’s forces prevailed and Tibni died. Tibni’s death is recorded in the Bible, but not explained.
Tibni’s fate remains a mystery. Whether he survived the conflict or was killed 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 claiming the throne, he probably would have ended up becoming as much a failure as Omri proved to be. Not one ruler in the entire history of the Northern Kingdom of Israel was judged to be a good king in the eyes of God.
Have you ever worked very hard to achieve something… only to discover it wasn’t worth much once you got it?
Make sure the things you work to achieve are things that matter… and worth having once you get them.
You can read Tibni’s story 1Kings 16:21,22.