Assyrian Conquest of Israel
THE Bible records the conquest of Israel by Assyria. Assyrian king Pul, more commonly called by the name Tiglath-pileser, came against Israel at least twice some years before Israel was finally conquered completely by Assyria in 740 B.C.E. The Bible tells of the first of these invasions:
“Pul [Tiglath-pileser] the king of Assyria came into the land. Consequently Menahem [king of Israel] gave Pul a thousand talents of silver . . . At that the king of Assyria turned back, and he did not stay there in the land.”—2 Ki. 15:19, 20.
A few years later Pekah killed Menahem’s son who had succeeded him on the throne, and Pekah became king of Israel. The Bible goes on to tell about a second invasion by this same Assyrian king, this time in the days of King Pekah: “Tiglath-pileser the king of Assyria came in and proceeded to take Ijon and Abel-beth-maacah and Janoah and Kedesh and Hazor and Gilead and Galilee, all the land of Naphtali, and to carry them into exile in Assyria. Finally Hoshea the son of Elah formed a conspiracy against Pekah the son of Remaliah and struck him and put him to death; and he began to reign in place of him.”—2 Ki. 15:29, 30.
It is of interest that in writings of Assyrian king Tiglath-pileser, which have been uncovered in archaeological discoveries, he speaks about these very events recorded in the Bible. For example, in one document he wrote: “I received tribute from Kushtashpi of Commagene, Rezon of Damascus, Menahem of Samaria . . . ” And in another document he said: “They overthrew their king Pekah and I placed Hoshea as king over them.”