1 Chronicles 5:26
And the God of Israel stirred up the spirit of Pul king of Assyria, and the spirit of Tilgathpilneser king of Assyria, and he carried them away, even the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh, and brought them unto Halah, and Habor, and Hara, and to the river Gozan, unto this day.
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(26) Stirred up (or woke) the spirit.—So 2Chronicles 21:16, and Ezra 1:1; Ezra 1:5. For the thought, Isaiah 44:28; Isaiah 45:1-13.

Pul king of Assyria, and . . . Tilgath-pilneser king of Assyria.—No trace of Pûl as distinct from Tiglath-pileser has been found in the Assyrian monuments, which, it must be remembered, are contemporary. In 2Kings 15:19 we read that, “Pul king of Assyria came against the land,” in the reign of Menahem, who recognised the Assyrian monarch as his suzerain, and paid a tribute of 1,000 talents of silver. Now Tiglath-pileser II. actually claims to have received tribute of Menahem (Menahimmu). Pûl appears to have been the original name of Tiglath-pileser, which, upon his accession to the throne of Assyria (745 B.C.), he discarded for that of the great king who had ruled the country four centuries before his time. The name Pûl has been identified by Dr. Schrader with the Porus of Ptolemy’s Canon, Pôr being the Persian pronunciation of Pûl. The Syriac here omits “Pûl king of Assyria.” The LXX. (Vat.) has Χαλαχ, and the Arabic Bãlaq. Perhaps the chronicler meant to indicate the identity of Pûl and Tiglath: “The spirit of Pul and (= that is) the spirit of Tiglath, and he carried them away.”

And he carried them away.—Tiglath-pileser is meant. (See 2Kings 15:29 : “In the days of Pekah king of Israel, came Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, and took Ijon, and Abel-beth-maachah . . . and Gilead, and Galilee . . . and carried them captive to Assyria.”) From the Assyrian records we learn that (circ. 734–732 B.C.) Tiglath-pileser received the homage of Ahaz (Yahu-haçi, Jeho-ahaz), king of Judah, slew Rezin (Raçunni) of Damascus, and reduced Pekah (Paqahú), king of Samaria, to vassalage. This supplements the Biblical account. Gilead, in 2Kings 15:29, represents the trans-Jordanic tribes. (See 1Chronicles 5:10; 1Chronicles 5:16 above.) The transportation of entire populations was a common practice with the Assyrian kings. Assurbanipal (Sardanapalus) removed the men of Karbit from the mountains east of Assyria, and settled them in Egypt.

Brought them unto Halah, and Habor . . .—The same localities are mentioned (2Kings 17:6) as those to which Shalmaneser IV., or rather his successor Sargon, transported the other tribes of the northern kingdom (circ. 721 B.C.). There is nothing unlikely in the statement of either text. Sargon might have thought fit to strengthen the Israelite settlements in Northern Assyria by sending thither the new bodies of compulsory colonists. It is arbitrary to suppose that two different events have been confounded by the sacred annalists.

Halah.—See Note on 2Kings 17:6.

Habor.—Probably a district of North Assyria, not far from Halah, named after the river Habūr which rises near the upper Zab and falls into the Tigris.

Hara.—Kings, l.c., “cities of Media.” Hara here is perhaps an Aramaic name for the Median high lands, but more probably the reading is a relic of “the mountains of Media” [hārê Mādai); comp.the LXX. at 2Kings 17:6. The Syriac here has “cities of Media;” the LXX. omits the word.

The river Gozan.—Rather, the river of Gozan. Shalmaneser mentions the country Guzana in Mesopotamia, the Greek Gauzanitis. An Assyrian list connects it with Naçibina (Nisibis). The “river of Gozan” is the Habur.

1 Chronicles 5:26. The God of Israel — Who had been a husband to Israel, and whose jealousy burned like fire, when Israel went a whoring after other gods. Stirred up the spirit of Pul, king of Assyria, &c. — That is, so governed his counsels and affections, that he brought his forces against this people rather than others. God served his own purposes by the designs of those ambitious monarchs, employed them first to chastise those revolters, and when that did not reduce them, wholly to root them out. These tribes were first placed, and they were first displaced. They would have the best land, not considering that it lay most exposed. They who are governed more by sense than by reason or faith in their inclinations and choices, may expect to fare accordingly.

5:1-26 Genealogies. - This chapter gives some account of the two tribes and a half seated on the east side of Jordan. They were made captives by the king of Assyria, because they had forsaken the Lord. Only two things are here recorded concerning these tribes. 1. They all shared in a victory. Happy is that people who live in harmony together, who assist each other against the common enemies of their souls, trusting in the Lord, and calling upon him. 2. They shared in captivity. They would have the best land, not considering that it lay most exposed. The desire of earthly objects draws to a distance from God's ordinances, and prepares men for destruction."Habor" here seems to be a city or a district, and not a river, as in marginal reference There is some reason to believe that districts among the Assyrians were occasionally named from streams.

Hara is probably the same as "Haran" Genesis 11:31; 2 Kings 19:12; Ezekiel 27:23, being a softening down of the rugged original "Kharan."

26. the God of Israel stirred up the spirit of Pul—the Phalluka of the Ninevite monuments (see on [359]2Ki 15:19).

and the spirit of Tilgath-pilneser—the son of the former. By them the trans-jordanic tribes, including the other half of Manasseh, settled in Galilee, were removed to Upper Media. This was the first captivity (2Ki 15:29).

Stirred up the spirit; he so governed his counsels and affections, that he should bring his forces against this people rather than others. Of Halah, Habor, &c., see 2 Kings 17:6 18:11.

And the God of Israel,.... The Targum is,"the word of the God of Israel:"

stirred up the spirit of Pul king of Assyria: in the times of Menahem king of Israel:

and the spirit of Tilgathpilneser; in the times of Pekah king of Israel, to invade the land, and make war in it:

and he carried them away: not the former, but the latter:

even the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh; these entirely together, with some other parts of the land, see 2 Kings 15:29.

and brought them unto Halah, and Habor, and Hara, and to the river Gozan; to the very same places where afterwards Salmaneser carried the ten tribes, or what remained of them, see 2 Kings 17:6.

unto this day; the times of Ezra, the writer of this book, after the tribe of Judah returned from the captivity of Babylon; but the ten tribes remained where they were carried, and have not returned even to this day.

And the God of Israel {l} stirred up the spirit of Pul king of Assyria, and the spirit of Tilgathpilneser king of Assyria, and he carried them away, even the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh, and brought them unto Halah, and Habor, and Hara, and to the river Gozan, unto this day.

(l) Thus God stirred up the wicked and used them as instruments to execute his just judgment against sinners, although they were led by malice and ambition.

26. stirred up the spirit] Cp. 2 Chronicles 21:16; 2 Chronicles 36:22.

Pul … and … Tilgath-pilneser] Both here and in 2 Kings 15:19; 2 Kings 15:29 (Pul … Tiglath-pileser) the two names are used as though two different persons were meant, but there is no doubt that Pul is the earlier and Tiglath-pileser the royal name of the same king. See note on 1 Chronicles 5:6.

unto Halah, etc.] In 2 Kings 15:29 it is said only, to Assyria; in 2 Kings 17:6 it is said that the Western tribes (“Samaria”) were carried away and placed in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan and in the cities of the Medes.

Halah] probably a district of Mesopotamia, but it has been proposed to identify it with Cilicia which was known to the Assyrians and was under their influence in the later days of their empire.

Habor] a river flowing into the Euphrates from the E., known to the Greeks as Χαβώρας or Ἀβόρρας.

and Hara] No place of this name is known; the reading may be corrupt for and in the cities of the Medes (2 Kings 17:6; 2 Kings 18:11).

the river Gozan] R.V. the river of Gozan. Gozan was a province of Mesopotamia.

Verse 26. - Pul and Tilgath-pilneser. These two were chosen ministers of God's will, if not ministers of himself. We can identify the date of this punishment which befell the transgressing Israelites east of the Jordan. The visit of the former, in the reign of Menahem (2 Kings 15:15-20), may be interpreted and might have operated as a lesson and a warning. He was bought off with a thousand talents of silver. It seems to be said with significance," So the king of Assyria turned back, and stayed not there in the land." It was in the reign of Pekah, the usurping successor of Menahem's son Pekahiah, that the completer punishment fell, and Tilgath-pilneser effected the captivity spoken of here and in 2 Kings 15:27-29. The name Pul cannot, it would appear, be a pure Assyrian name, and there is reason to think it may be identified with Vul-lush (grandson of the Shalmaneser who warred with Benhadad, etc.), a name found on Assyrian monuments, and belonging to a king who reigned at Calah, B.C. 8004750 (see art. "Pul," Smith's 'Bible Dictionary'). Tilqath-pilneser (see notes on ver. 6) was probably the founder of the lower dynasty of Assyria, and first king of the new empire. His first invasion was one chiefly of Israel and Samaria (2 Kings 15:29; Isaiah 9:1). His second was of a much more significant character. Called in to aid Judah under Ahaz against Pekah of Israel and Rezin of Syria in alliance, he both conquered these latter and brought into vassalage Judah itself (2 Kings 15:37; 2 Kings 16:9, 10; 2 Chronicles 28:6-8; Isaiah 9:1). Halah; Habor Hara; Gozan. This enumeration exceeds that of 2 Kings 17:6 by the addition of Hara, important as helping with consistent witness to the antiquity of the region described. Halah (not the "Calah" of Genesis 10:11) is believed to be identifiable with Chalcitis, its verbal resemblance to which comes out a little more evidently in its Hebrew form (חֲלַח). A trace of it possibly remains in the name of a hill, Gla, on the Khabour, i.q. Habor of this passage, an important tributary of the Euphrates, and not the "Chebar" of Ezekiel. This name Khabour is found in an Assyrian inscription dating upwards of eight centuries before Christ. The mention of Habor in 2 Kings 17:6 and 2 Kings 18:11 is, in the Authorized Version, made to convey the impression of a place "by" the "river of Gozan," instead of being, what the Hebrew says, "the river of Gozan." Here, on the other hand, Gozan is, in the Authorized Version, incorrectly translated as a river itself, instead of the region of a river. It is, according to the testimony of Layard ('Nineveh and Babylon,' pp. 270-312), a remarkably fertile tract, being the Gauzanitis of Ptolemy, and substantially the Mygdonia of Polybius and Strabo. Hara; חָרָה, with little doubt, the same as חָרָן, Haran, or Charran (Genesis 11:31), the ancient adopted home of Abraham, in Padan-aram, in Mesopotamia, on the Belik, a small tributary of the Euphrates. It is the Greek Carrhae of Strabo and Polybius. These four names purport to give us, probably in brief, the information that those of the Captivity here alluded to were divided - some to settle at Halab on one river, some in Hara on another, and the rest in the district called Gauzanitis. The region called Halah and that called Gau-zanitis, however, were both watered by the Khabour, and therefore the insertion of the name Haran where it is inserted occasions some difficulty.

1 Chronicles 5:261 Chronicles 5:25 and 1 Chronicles 5:26 form the conclusion of the register of the two and a half trans-Jordanic tribes. The sons of Manasseh are not the subject to ויּמעלוּ, but the Reubenites and Manassites, as is clear from 1 Chronicles 5:26. These fell away faithlessly from the God of their fathers, and went a whoring after the gods of the people of the land, whom God had destroyed before them, i.e., the Amorites or Canaanites. "And the God of Israel stirred up the spirit of the Assyrian kings Pul and Tiglath-pilneser, and he (this latter) led them away captives to Halah and Habor," etc. את־רוּח ויּער, Lavater has rightly rendered, "in mentem illis dedit, movit eos, ut expeditionem facerent contra illos;" cf. 2 Chronicles 21:16. Pul is mentioned as being the first Assyrian king who attacked the land of Israel, cf. 2 Kings 15:19. The deportation began, however, only with Tiglath-pileser, who led the East-Jordan tribes into exile, 2 Kings 15:29. To him ויּגלם sing. refers. The suffix is defined by the following acc., וגו לרעוּבני; ל is, according to the later usage, nota acc.; cf. Ew. 277, e. So also before the name חלח, "to Halah," i.e., probably the district Καλαχήνη (in Strabo) on the east side of the Tigris near Adiabene, to the north of Nineveh, on the frontier of Armenia (cf. on 2 Kings 17:6). In the second book of Kings (1 Chronicles 15:29) the district to which the two and a half tribes were sent as exiles is not accurately determined, being only called in general Asshur (Assyria). The names in our verse are there (2 Kings 17:6) the names of the districts to which Shalmaneser sent the remainder of the ten tribes after the destruction of the kingdom of Israel. It is therefore questionable whether the author of the Chronicle took his account from an authority used by him, or if he names these districts only according to general recollection, in which the times of Shalmaneser and of Tiglath-pileser are not very accurately distinguished (Berth.). We consider the first supposition the more probable, not merely because he inverts the order of the names, but mainly because he gives the name הרא instead of "the cities of Media," as it is in Kings, and that name he could only have obtained from his authorities. חבור is not the river Chaboras in Mesopotamia, which falls into the Euphrates near Circesium, for that river is called in Ezekiel כּבר, but is a district in northern Assyria, where Jakut mentions that there is both a mountain Χαβώρας on the frontier of Assyria and Media (Ptolem. vi. 1), and a river Khabur Chasaniae, which still bears the old name Khbur, rising in the neighbourhood of the upper Zab, near Amadijeh, and falling into the Tigris below Jezirah. This Khbur is the river of Gozan (vide on 2 Kings 17:6). The word הרא appears to be the Aramaic form of the Hebrew הר, mountains, and the vernacular designation usual in the mouths of the people of the mountain land of Media, which is called also in Arabic el Jebl (the mountains). This name can therefore only have been handed down from the exiles who dwelt there.
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