1. The name given a king of Assyria at 2 Kings 15:19 and 1 Chronicles 5:26. During the reign of Menahem, king of Israel, Pul entered Palestine and received tribute from Menahem. The identity of Pul was long an open question. However, most scholars now conclude that Pul and Tiglath-pileser III of Assyria were the same, since the name Pulu (Pul) is found in the dynastic tablet known as the Babylonian King List A, whereas in the corresponding location in the “Synchronistic Chronicle” the name Tukultiapilesharra (Tiglath-pileser) is listed. (Ancient Near Eastern Texts, edited by J. Pritchard, 1974, pp. 272, 273) Perhaps “Pul” was his personal name or the name he was known by in Babylon, while Tiglath-pileser (Tilgath-pilneser) was the name he assumed when he became king of Assyria. With this understanding, 1 Chronicles 5:26 may be read to refer to the same individual in saying, “Pul the king of Assyria even . . . Tilgath-pilneser the king of Assyria.”—See TIGLATH-PILESER (III).
2. A country or people listed only in Isaiah 66:19, along with Tarshish (apparently southern Spain) and Lud (in N Africa). Evidently all three places were noted for their skilled archers. The exact location of Pul is unknown. The Greek Septuagint reads “Phud” or “Put” at Isaiah 66:19 instead of “Pul,” and Put (identified with the Libyans in Africa) and Lud are linked in other texts. (Eze 27:10; Jer 46:9; see PUT.) However, the Masoretic text’s reading of “Pul” is supported by the Dead Sea Scroll of Isaiah and the Syriac Peshitta. Some scholars have suggested that “Pul” was the island Philae in the Nile.