Hoshea, king of Israel, and Shalmaneser V, king of Assyria (2 Kings 17)

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Hoshea was the nineteenth and last king of the northern kingdom, ruling for nine years, from approximately 731 to 722 B.C. In his annals the Assyrian king Tiglath-Pileser III claims to have killed Pekah, king of Israel, and installed Hoshea in his place (2 Kings 15:30). The Bible and Assyrian records agree that Hoshea initially paid tribute to his Assyrian overlords (17:3-4). The annals of Tiglath-Pileser III state that he received from Israel ten talents of gold, as well as silver and other booty. Under the next Assyrian king, Shalmaneser V, Hoshea stopped paying tribute and sought help from Egypt. This proved to be his undoing, as Shalmaneser V imprisoned Hosehea and invaded Israel (17:4-5). After a three year siege, Israel’s capital, Samaria, fell and its inhabitants were taken into captivity (illustrated above), bringing an end to the nation (17:6, 18:9-11).

Shalmaneser V, son of Tiglath-Pileser III, ruled Assyria for five years, from approximately 727 to 722 B.C. Few records survive from his reign. The most important are two entries from the Babylonian Chronicles, a series of cuneiform tablets recording important events from 745 B.C. to the second century B.C. For the year 727 B.C. the Chronicle states that the twenty-seventh of the month Tebet (December – January) Shalmaneser ascended the throne in Assyria and destroyed Samaria. The next entry, for 722 B.C., records that Shalmaneser died five years later, again in the month Tebet.


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