Kings of Ancient Israel

August 15, 2008


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Jehoash (Hebrew: יהואש המלך‎), was the king of the ancient Kingdom of Israel and the son of Jehoahaz, (2 Kings 14:1; compare 12:1; 13:10). When he ascended the throne, the Kingdom of Israel was suffering from the predations of the Arameans; Hazael “was cutting Israel short.”

William F. Albright has dated his reign to 801 BCE -786 BCE, while E. R. Thiele offers the dates 798 BCE-782 BCE.

Later in his reign, he was involved in war with Amaziah, the king of Judah, whom he utterly defeated at Beth-shemesh, on the borders of Dan and Philistia, and advancing on Jerusalem, broke down a portion of the wall, and carried away the treasures of the Temple and the palace (2 Kings 13:12;14:8-14; 2 Chronicles 25:14-24). He soon after died, and was buried in Samaria (2 Kings 13:13).

He tolerated the worship of the golden calves, yet seems to have manifested a character of sincere devotion to the worship of God. He held the prophet Elisha in honor, and wept by his bedside while he was dying, addressing him in the words Elisha himself had used when Elijah was carried up into heaven: “O my father, my father, the chariot of Israel and the horsemen thereof”. In return, Elisha predicted he would defeat Hazael three times (2 Kings 13:14-20).



Jeroboam II

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Jeroboam II (Hebrew: ירבעם השני‎) was the son and successor of Jehoash, (alternatively spelled Joash), and the fourteenth king of the ancient Kingdom of Israel, over which he ruled for forty-one years according to the 2 Kings (2 Kings 14:23). His reign was contemporary with those of Amaziah (2 Kings 14:23) and Uzziah (15:1), kings of Judah. He was victorious over the Syrians (13:4; 14:26, 27), and extended Israel to its former limits, from “the entering of Hamath to the sea of the plain” (14:25; Amos 6:14).

William F. Albright has dated his reign to 786 BCE-746 BCE, while E. R. Thiele offers the dates 782 BCE-753 BCE.

In 1910, G. A. Reisner found sixty-three inscribed potsherds while excavating the royal palace at Samaria, which were later dated to the reign of Jeroboam II and mention regnal years extending from the ninth to the 17th of his reign. These ostraca, while unremarkable in themselves, contain valuable information about the script, language, religion and administrative system of the period.

Archaeological evidence confirms the biblical account of his reign as the most prosperous that Israel had yet known. By the late 8th century BCE the territory of Israel was the most densely settled in the entire Levant, with a population of about 350,000.[1] This prosperity was built on trade in olive oil, wine, and possibly horses, with Egypt and especially Assyria providing the markets.[2]

Jeroboam’s reign was also the period of the prophets Hosea, Joel, and Amos, all of whom condemned the materialism and selfishness of the Israelite elite of their day: “Woe unto those who lie upon beds of ivory…eat lambs from the flock and calves…[and] sing idle songs…” The book of Kings, written a century later than the time of Jeroboam and from the perspective of the puritanical court of Judah[disambiguation needed], condemns Jeroboam for doing “evil in the eyes of the Lord”, meaning both the oppression of the poor and his continuing support of the cult centres of Dan and Bethel, in opposition to the temple in Jerusalem.

His name occurs in the Old Testament only in 2 Kings 13:13; 14:16, 23, 27, 28, 29; 15:1, 8; 1 Chronicles 5:17; Hosea 1:1; and Amos 1:1; 7:9, 10, 11. In all other passages it is Jeroboam I, the son of Nebat that is meant.



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Zachary Mikael (spelled Zachariah in the King James Version of the Bible) was a king of the ancient Kingdom of Israel, and son of Jeroboam II. His name in Hebrew (זכריה) means “remembered by the Lord”.

William F. Albright has dated his reign to 746 BC-745 BC, while E. R. Thiele offers the dates 753 BC-752 BC.

The account of his reign is briefly told in 2 Kings (2Kings 15:8-12). Zachariah ruled Israel only for six months before Shallum usurped the throne and put him to death. This ended the dynasty of Jehu after four generations of his descendants, fulfilling the prophecy in 2Kings 10:30.



August 13, 2008


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Shallum of Israel (Hebrew: שלום בן יבש‎) was the king of the ancient Kingdom of Israel, and the son of Jabesh. He “conspired against Zachariah, and smote him before the people, and slew him, and reigned in his stead” (2 Kings 15:10). He reigned only “a month of days in Samaria” (15:13) before Menahem rose up, put him to death (2 Kings 15:14, 15, 17), and became king in his stead.

William F. Albright has dated his reign to 745 BCE, while E. R. Thiele offers the date 752 BCE.

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Manahem, (Hebrew: מְנַחֵם, Standard Menaẖem Tiberian Menạḥēm) from a Hebrew word meaning “the consoler” or “comforter;” was a king over Israel and the son of Gadi, according to the chronology of Kautsch (Hist. of O.T. Literature, 185), from 743 B.C.; according to Schrader, from 745-736 B.C. William F. Albright has dated his reign to 745 BCE-738 BCE, while E. R. Thiele offers the dates 752 BCE-742 BCE.

He came from Tirzah to Samaria to slay Shallum by his own hand, and succeeded him as king (2 Kings 15:14). He brutally suppressed a revolt at Tiphsah (so the name in the Masoretic text; modern commentators and translators prefer the reading Tappuah, following the Lucian recension of the Septuagint), and ripped unborn children from the wombs of their mothers (15:16). During his reign Tiglath-Pileser III, king of Assyria, invaded Israel with a powerful force, but was induced to leave by a gift from Menahem of 1,000 talents of silver, raised from a levy of 50 shekels on each “person of means” (15:19-21). Tiglath-Pileser records this tribute in one of his inscriptions.

[edit] Biography
The short reign of Manahem is told in IV Books of Kings, xv, 13-22. He was “the son of Gadi”, maybe a scion of the tribe of Gad. Josephus (Antiq. Jud., ix, xi, 1) tells us he was a general of the army of Israel. The sacred writer of IV Kings is apparently synopsizing the “Book of the Words (Hebrew, ‘Deeds’) of the Days of the Kings of Israel”, and gives scant details of the ten years that Manahem reigned. When Sellum conspired against and murdered Zacharias in Samaria, and set himself upon the throne of the northern kingdom, Manahem refused to recognize the usurper; he marched from Thersa to Samaria, about six miles westwards, laid siege to Samaria, took it, murdered Sellum, and set himself upon the throne. He next destroyed Thapsa, which has not been located, put all its inhabitants to death, and treated even pregnant women in the revolting fashion of the time. The Prophet Hosea (vii, 1-xiii, 15) describes the drunkenness and debauchery implied in the words “he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam.”

The reign of this military adventurer is important from the fact that therein the Assyrians first entered the land of Israel. “And Phul, king of the Assyrians, came into the land, and Manahem gave Phul a thousand talents of silver” (2 Kings 15:19). It is now generally admitted that Phul is Tiglath-Pileser III of the cuneiform inscriptions. Phul was probably his personal name and the one that first reached Israel. His reign (745-728 B.C.) had begun at most two years before Manahem’s. The Assyrians may have been invited into Israel by the Assyrian party. Osee (A.V. Hosea) speaks of the two anti-Israelitic parties, the Egyptian and Assyrian (vii, 11).

The result of the expedition of Tiglath-Pileser was an exorbitant tribute imposed upon Rezin of Damascus and Manahem of Samaria (Mi-ni-hi-im-mi Sa-mi-ri-na-ai). This tribute, 1000 talents of silver (about $1,700,000 circa 1900) was exacted by Manahem from all the mighty men of wealth. Each paid fifty shekels of silver — about twenty-eight dollars. There were, at the time, then, some 60,000 “that were mighty and rich” in Israel. In view of this tribute, Tiglath-Pileser returned to Assyria.

Manahem seems to have died a natural death, after reigning for about ten years. He left the throne to his son Pekahiah. The author of the Book of Kings describes his rule as one of cruelty and oppression.

[edit] Source
“Manahem”. Catholic Encyclopedia. (1913). New York: Robert Appleton Company.
This article incorporates text from the entry Manahem in the public-domain Catholic Encyclopedia of 1913.




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Pekahiah (“the Lord opened his eyes”) was king of Israel and the son of Menahem. William F. Albright has dated his reign to 738 BCE-737 BCE, while E. R. Thiele offers the dates 742 BCE-740 BCE.
He was murdered in the royal palace at Samaria by Pekah, one of the captains of his army (2 Kings 15:23-26), after reign of two years.


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Pekah (“open-eyed”), was king of Israel, the son of Remaliah, and a captain in the army of Pekahiah, king of Israel. William F. Albright has dated his reign to 737 BCE-732 BCE, while E. R. Thiele offers the dates 740 BCE-732 BCE. Although Pekah is said to reign for twenty years in the Book of Kings, such a lengthy reign cannot be supported from the evidence of the Assyrian chronicles, which show Menahem to have been King in 740 BC and Hoshea to have been King from 732 BC.
With the aid of a band of Gileadites, he slew Pekahiah and assumed the throne (2 Kings 15:25). According to the book of Kings, seventeen years after this he entered into an alliance with Rezin, king of the Arameans, and took part with him in a siege of Jerusalem (2 Kings 15:37; 16:5). But Tiglath-Pileser III, who was in alliance with Ahaz, king of Judah, came up against Pekah, and carried away as captives many of the inhabitants of his kingdom (2 Kings 15:29; Tiglath-Pileser also records this act in one of his inscriptions). Soon after this Pekah was put to death by Hoshea, the son of Elah, who usurped the throne (2 Kings 15:30; 16:1-9; compare Isaiah 7:16; 8:4; 9:12), although Tiglath-Pileser claims in an inscription to have replaced Pekah with Hoshea himself. He is supposed by some to have been the “shepherd” mentioned in Zechariah 11:16. This article incorporates text from the public domain Easton’s Bible Dictionary, originally published in 1897.




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Hoshea (“salvation”) was the last king of Israel and son of Elah. William F. Albright has dated his reign to 732 BC-721 BC, while E. R. Thiele offers the dates 732 BC-722 BC.
There are two versions of how he became king. According to the author of 2 Kings, Hoshea conspired against and slew his predecessor, Pekah (2 Kings 15:30); Shalmaneser V then campaigned against Hoshea, and forced him to submit and render tribute (17:3). However, an undated inscription of Tiglath-Pileser III boasts of making Hoshea (“A-ú-si-‘ “) king after his predecessor had been overthrown, and extracted 10 talents of gold and 10,000 talents of silver in tribute. It may be that both Tiglath-Pileser and Shalmaneser invaded Israel and both extracted tribute; Assyrian records show that Shalmaneser campaigned in Phoenicia in the years 727 BC and 725 BC.
Hoshea eventually withheld the tribute he promised Shalmaneser, expecting the support of “So, the king of Egypt”. There is some mystery as to the identity of this king of Egypt: some scholars have argued that So refers to the Egyptian city Sais, and thereby refers to king Tefnakht of the 24th Dynasty; however the principal city of Egypt at this time was Tanis, which suggests that there was an unnecessary correction of the text and Kenneth Kitchen is correct in identifying “So” with Osorkon IV of the 22nd Dynasty.
The account in 2 Kings 17:4 states that Shalmaneser arrested Hoshea, then laid siege to Samaria; some scholars explain that Shalmaneser must have summoned Hoshea to his court to explain the missing tribute, which resulted in the imprisonment of the king of Israel, and the Assyrian army sent into his land. Regardless of the sequence of events, the Assyrians captured Samaria after a siege of three years. However, Shalmaneser died shortly after the city fell, and the Assyrian army was recalled to secure the succession of Sargon II. The land of Israel, which had resisted the Assyrians for years without a king, again revolted. Sargon returned with the Assyrian army in 720 BC, and pacified the province, deporting the citizens of Israel beyond the Euphrates (some 27,290 according to the inscription of Sargon II), and settling people from Babylon, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath and Sepharvaim in their place (2 Kings 17:6, 24). The author of the Books of Kings states this destruction occurred “because the children of Israel sinned against the Lord” (2 Kings 17:7-24), not because of a political miscalculation on Hoshea’s part.
What happened to Hoshea following the end of the kingdom of Israel, and when or where he died, is unknown.


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