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The Times of Melakhim Bet The World Stage During the Era of Kings
Assyrian Rule אָמְנָם, יְהוָה: הֶחֱרִיבוּ מַלְכֵי אַשּׁוּר, אֶת-הַגּוֹיִם--וְאֶת-אַרְצָם Of a truth, LORD, the kings of Assyria have laid waste the nations and their lands -- Melakhim Bet 19:17 Assurnasirpal II is shown fighting a lion on a wall relief of his palace in Nimrud, ca. 883-859 BCE
Shalmaneser III Ruled 859-824 BCE Son of Assurnasirpal II First Assyrian king to war with Israel 35-year reign marked by continual warfare with north and west (Israel-Syria) Steles, statues and cuneiform tablets record 34 military campaigns
The Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III 7 feet tall and 2 feet thick Four sides with five panels of different kings bringing tribute to Shalmaneser
The tribute of Jehu, son of Omri: I received from him silver, gold, a golden bowl, a golden vase with pointed bottom, golden tumblers, golden buckets, tin, a staff for a king [and] spears."
Examining the Jehu Panel 1. It reveals how King Jehu paid tribute to Shalmaneser III. 2. King Jehu grovels in the dust before the Assyrian king. 3. Shalmaneser is making a libation to his god. 4. Behind Shalmaneser III stand two officers, one holds a parasol (a royal umbrella) and the other a club. 5. Opposite the monarch two grooms-in-waiting have taken up their stance, one waves a fan and a censer, the other, carrying a scepter under his arm, has his hands respectfully clasped in front of him. 6. There is a bearded officer with an attendant, leading a procession of 13 Israelites laden with precious gifts for the Assyrian king. 7. All the Israelites have beards, and wear peaked caps and bandeaux. A long robe with fringes round the hem and a girdle, a long cloak with a fringed end thrown over the shoulder, and pointed shoes. 8. Shalmaneser beneath a parasol, accepts "the tribute of Iaua of the House of Humri" in 841 BC. This is King Jehu of Israel (2Ki 9-10). 9. The inscription reads: "The tribute of Jehu, son of Omri: I received from him silver, gold, a golden bowl, a golden vase with pointed bottom, golden tumblers, golden buckets, tin, a staff for a king [and] spears." 10. The symbols of the gods Assur (winged sun disc) and Ishtar (star) hover overhead.
Tigleth-Pileser III According to many scholars, Pul was Tiglath-Pileser III, who’s mentioned shortly after in Melakhim Bet as the King of Assyria Tigleth-Pileser III was a powerful ruler of the Assyrian empire. He ruled from 745-727 BCE בָּא פוּל מֶלֶךְ-אַשּׁוּר, עַל-הָאָרֶץ, וַיִּתֵּן מְנַחֵם לְפוּל, אֶלֶף כִּכַּר-כָּסֶף--לִהְיוֹת יָדָיו אִתּוֹ, לְהַחֲזִיק הַמַּמְלָכָה בְּיָדו There came against the land Pul the king of Assyria; and Menahem gave Pul a thousand talents of silver, that his hand might be with him to confirm the kingdom in his hand Reminder: Menachem ruled Israel from 748-738 BCE Melakhim Bet 15:19
Tiglath-pileser III Wall relief from Assyrian palace in Nimrud
Tiglath-pileser III had several military campaigns against Israel This relief, also from Tiglath-pileser’s palace at Nimrod, depicts the capture of Astheroth-Karnaim in Gilead Tiglath-pileser III was famous (or infamous) for relocating those he captured to different lands In that way, the displaced would be unsettled and dependent on the ruler’s kindness
Melakhim Bet, 16: 1-4 1 In the seventeenth year of Pekah the son of RemaliahAhaz the son of Jotham king of Judah began to reign. 2 Twenty years old was Ahaz when he began to reign; and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem; and he did not that which was right in the eyes of the LORD his God, like David his father. 3 But he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, yea, and made his son to pass through the fire, according to the abominations of the heathen, whom the LORD cast out from before the children of Israel. 4 And he sacrificed and offered in the high places, and on the hills, and under every leafy tree. בִּשְׁנַת שְׁבַע-עֶשְׂרֵה שָׁנָה, לְפֶקַח בֶּן-רְמַלְיָהוּ, מָלַךְ אָחָז בֶּן-יוֹתָם, מֶלֶךְ יְהוּדָה. בֶּן-עֶשְׂרִים שָׁנָה, אָחָז בְּמָלְכוֹ, וְשֵׁשׁ-עֶשְׂרֵה שָׁנָה , מָלַךְ בִּירוּשָׁלִָם; וְלֹא-עָשָׂה הַיָּשָׁר, בְּעֵינֵי יְהוָה אֱלֹהָיו--כְּדָוִד אָבִיו וַיֵּלֶךְ, בְּדֶרֶךְ מַלְכֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל; וְגַם אֶת-בְּנוֹ, הֶעֱבִיר בָּאֵשׁ, כְּתֹעֲבוֹת הַגּוֹיִם, אֲשֶׁר הוֹרִישׁ יְהוָה אֹתָם מִפְּנֵי בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל. וַיְזַבֵּחַ וַיְקַטֵּר בַּבָּמוֹת, וְעַל-הַגְּבָעוֹת, וְתַחַת, כָּל-עֵץ רַעֲנָן
Ahaz asks the Assyrian king for help
Ahaz was no friend to God כִּי-חָלַק אָחָז אֶת-בֵּית יְהוָה, וְאֶת-בֵּית הַמֶּלֶךְ וְהַשָּׂרִים; וַיִּתֵּן לְמֶלֶךְ אַשּׁוּר, וְלֹא לְעֶזְרָה לו For Ahaz stripped the house of the LORD, and the house of the king and the princes, and gave thereof unto the king of Assyria; but it helped him not. DivreiHayamim 2 28:21 Melakhim Bet 16
The End of the Kingdom of Israel Shalmaneser V, who ruled Assyria from 726-721 BCE, was responsible for the rest of the deportation of the Israelite kingdom, although the next Assyrian king, Sargon II, also credits himself with deporting the people of Samaria and bringing new inhabitants into the land וַיְהִי בַּשָּׁנָה הָרְבִיעִית, לַמֶּלֶךְ חִזְקִיָּהוּ--הִיא הַשָּׁנָה הַשְּׁבִיעִית, לְהוֹשֵׁעַ בֶּן-אֵלָה מֶלֶךְ יִשְׂרָאֵל; עָלָה שַׁלְמַנְאֶסֶר מֶלֶךְ-אַשּׁוּר, עַל- שֹׁמְרוֹן--וַיָּצַר עָלֶיהָ And it came to pass in the fourth year of king Hezekiah, which was the seventh year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, that Shalmaneser king of Assyria came up against Samaria, and besieged it. Melakhim Bet 18:9
Sargon II בִּשְׁנַת בֹּא תַרְתָּן, אַשְׁדּוֹדָה, בִּשְׁלֹחַ אֹתוֹ, סַרְגוֹן מֶלֶךְ אַשּׁוּר; וַיִּלָּחֶם בְּאַשְׁדּוֹד, וַיִּלְכְּדָהּ. In the year that Tartan came into Ashdod, when Sargon the king of Assyria sent him, and he fought against Ashdod and took it . . . Isaiah 20:1 An inscription by Sargon II says, “In my first year I captured Samaria. I took captive 27, 290 people. People of other lands who never paid tribute, I settled in Samaria.”
Reconstruction of Sargon’s Citadel Sargon II’s temple and palace complex in Khorsabad
Gate from Sargon II’s Citadel
Wall Relief of Sargon II Sargon II’s Battle Carriage, Wall relief from Khorsabad