11 Oct. 2 Kings 15:19-20,16:15-18

11 Oct.  Tiglath-Pileser of Assyria invades Israel

“Pul king of Assyria came to attack the land. Menahem gave him about 35 tonnes of silver so Pul would support him and make his hold on the kingdom stronger. Menahem taxed Israel to pay about 50 pieces of silver to each soldier of the king of Assyria.”

          (2 Kings 15:19-20)

“Tiglath-Pileser was king of Assyria. He attacked while Pekah was king of Israel, capturing the cities of Ijon, Abel Beth Maacah, Janoah, Kedesh and Hazor. He also captured Gilead and Galilee and all the land of Naphtali and carried the people away to Assyria.”

          (2 Kings 15:29)

“Rezin king of Aram and Pekah son of Remaliah, the king of Israel, came up to attack Jerusalem. They surrounded Ahaz [king of Judah] but could not defeat him. At that time Rezin king of Aram took back the city of Elath for Aram, and he forced out all the people of Judah. Then Edomites moved into Elath, and they still live there today.”

“Ahaz sent messengers to Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria, saying, ‘I am your servant and your friend. Come and save me from the king of Aram and the king of Israel, who are attacking me.’ Ahaz took the silver and gold that was in the Temple of the LORD and in the treasuries of the palace, and he sent these as a gift to the king of Assyria.”

“So the king of Assyria listened to Ahaz. He attacked Damascus and captured it and sent all its people away to Kir. And he killed Rezin.”

“Then King Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria. Ahaz saw an altar in Damascus, and he sent plans and a pattern of this altar to Uriah the priest. So Uriah the priest built an altar, following the plans King Ahaz had sent him from Damascus…”

“Ahaz moved the bronze altar that was before the LORD at the front of the Temple… Then King Ahaz took off the side panels from the bases and removed the washing bowls from the top of the bases. He also took the large bowl, which was called the Sea, off the bronze bulls that held it up, and he put it on a stone base.”

“Ahaz took away the platform for the royal throne, which had been built at the Temple of the LORD. He also took away the outer entrance for the king. He did these things because of the king of Assyria.”

          (2 Kings 16:5-18)



During a time of upheaval and political instability, King Tiglath-Pileser III of Assyria (called ‘Pul’ - the short version of his name - in 2 Kings 15:19) invaded Israel in 738BC. He was paid off by King Menahem and withdrew, but later returned (see 2 Kings 15:19-22).   

King Menahem established his son Pekaniah as co-regent in 739BC, but Pekaniah was assassinated soon afterwards by Pekah, one of his officers, who began to reign in opposition to Menahem with the support of the northern tribes (see 2 Kings 15:23-28).   

In 733BC, during the resulting civil war, Tiglath-Pileser of Assyria took advantage of the turmoil within Israel to capture the northern cities of Kadesh and Hazor, and all the towns of Gilead, Galilee and Naphtali. He deported the conquered Israelites to Assyria in 732BC (see 2 Kings 15:29-31).

Meanwhile, the southern kingdom of Judah was ruled by King Ahaz (from 731 to 716BC). Ahaz turned away from the LORD, worshipped pagan gods, and even offered his own son as a sacrifice to the god Molech. During his reign, King Rezin of Aram (Damascus) drove the men of Judah out of Elath. King Pekah of Israel and King Rezin then besieged Jerusalem, but Ahaz managed to hang on to power (see 2 Kings 16:1-6).   

In desperation, King Ahaz sent messengers to King Tiglath-Pileser of Assyria in 731BC, asking for his help and offering to be subservient to him. Tiglath-Pileser responded by capturing Damascus and killing King Rezin of Aram. The long-term threat from Aram (Syria) was replaced by a new and bigger threat from Assyria (see 2 Kings 16:7-9).   

King Ahaz then met King Tiglath-Pileser in Damascus. In deference to the gods of the Assyrian overlords, Ahaz built a large new pagan altar in the Temple at Jerusalem, and removed many of the ceremonial wash basins (see 2 Kings 16:10-20).

The photo shows Assyrian slingers in action at the siege of Lachish (on a relief in the British Museum).

You can read more about the Assyrians @  https://thebiblejourney.org/biblejourney2/32-the-divided-kingdom-amp-journey-into-exile/tiglath-pileser-of-assyria-invades-israel-/

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