(Ho·sheʹa) [shortened form of Hoshaiah].
1. One of the 12 sent by Moses to spy out the Land of Promise in 1512 B.C.E.; son of Nun of the tribe of Ephraim. Moses, however, preferred to call him Jehoshua, meaning “Jehovah Is Salvation.” (Nu 13:8, 16) In Greek the Septuagint has the name reading I·e·sousʹ (Jesus). As Moses’ successor he was generally called by the shortened Hebrew form “Joshua.”—Jos 1:1.
4. Last king of the northern kingdom of Israel, which came to its end in 740 B.C.E.; son of Elah. He did what was bad in Jehovah’s sight, yet not to the same degree as his predecessors. (2Ki 17:1, 2) Hoshea had no hereditary claim to the throne, nor did he receive a special anointing from God to be king. Rather, it was by conspiracy against and murder of King Pekah that the usurper Hoshea gained the throne. Second Kings 15:30 states that Hoshea put Pekah to death and “began to reign in place of him in the twentieth year of Jotham.” Since Judean King Jotham is credited with only 16 years (2Ki 15:32, 33; 2Ch 27:1, 8), this may refer to the 20th year counting from the start of Jotham’s kingship, which would actually be the fourth year of the reign of Jotham’s successor Ahaz.—See JOTHAM No. 3.
It appears that Hoshea was not fully recognized as king over Israel until sometime later, however. Second Kings 17:1 states that, in the 12th year of Ahaz, Hoshea “became king in Samaria over Israel for nine years.” So, it may be that at this point Hoshea was able to establish full control from Samaria. Possibly Assyrian backing at this point aided him, for the records of Assyrian King Tiglath-pileser III make the claim that he put Hoshea on the throne.—See chart “Outstanding Dates During the Period of the Kings of Judah and of Israel” in CHRONOLOGY article.
Shalmaneser V, successor to Tiglath-pileser III, compelled Hoshea to pay tribute, but it was not long before Hoshea sent messengers to So the king of Egypt, appealing for assistance, and subsequently withheld tribute from the Assyrians. Upon learning of this secret conspiracy, Shalmaneser V put Hoshea in the house of detention and laid siege to Samaria. In 740 B.C.E., after a three-year siege, the city fell, its inhabitants were carried off into exile, and the split-off ten-tribe kingdom of Israel came to its end.—2Ki 17:3-6.