2 Kings 15:27
In the two and fiftieth year of Azariah king of Judah Pekah the son of Remaliah began to reign over Israel in Samaria, and reigned twenty years.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(27-31) THE REIGN OF PEKAH, SON OF REMALIAH, IN SAMARIA.

(27) Reigned twenty years.—This does not agree with the duration assigned to the reign of Jotham (2Kings 15:33), and the year assigned as the beginning of Hoshea’s reign (2Kings 17:1). For, according to 2Kings 15:32, Pekah had reigned about two years when Jotham succeeded in Judah, and Jotham reigned sixteen years; and, according to 2Kings 17:1, Pekah was succeeded by Hoshea in the twelfth year of Jotham’s successor, Ahaz. These data make the duration of Pekah’s reign from twenty-eight to thirty years. We must, therefore, either assume, with Thenius, that “the numeral sign for 30 (ל) has been corrupted into 20 (כ),” or, with Ewald, that “and nine” has been accidentally omitted after “twenty.”

(29) Tiglath-pileser.—This Assyrian sovereign, who reigned from 745 to 727 B.C. , is called in his own inscriptions, Tukulti- (or Tuklat) ‘abal-Esarra, which Schrader renders, “my trust is Adar”—literally, Trust is the son of the temple of Sarra. (See Note on 1Chronicles 5:26.) “The idea we get of this king from the remains of these inscriptions corresponds throughout to what we know of him from the Bible. Everywhere he is presented as a powerful warrior-king, who subjugated the entire tract of anterior Asia, from the frontier mountains of Media in the east to the Mediterranean sea in the west, including a part of Cappadocia” (Schrader, K.A.T., p. 247).

Took Ijon, and Abel-beth-maachah . . . all the land of Naphtali.—Comp. 1Kings 15:20.

Janoah.—Not the border-town between Ephraim and Manasseh (Joshua 16:6), as the context requires a place in the northernmost part of Israel.

Kedesh.—On the western shore of the waters of Merom (Joshua 21:37).

Hazor.—See 1Kings 9:15.

Gilead.—See 2Kings 14:25; 1Chronicles 5:26. It was no long time since Jeroboam II. had recovered it for Israel. According to Schrader (K.A.T., pp. 254, seq.) the reference of the verse is to Tiglath Pileser’s expedition in B.C. 734, called in the Eponym list an expedition to the land of Pilista (Philistia). With this Schrader connects a fragment of the annals which begins with a list of towns conquered by Tiglath, and ends thus: . . . “the town of Gaal (ad) . . . (A) bil . . . of the upper part of the land of Beth-Omri (i.e., Samaria) . . . in its whole extent I annexed to the territory of Assyria; my prefects the sagans I appointed over them.” The fragment goes on to mention the flight of Hânûn, king of Gaza, to Egypt, and the carrying off of his goods and his gods by the conqueror. It is added, “The land of Beth-Omri . . . the whole body of his men, their goods, to the land of Assyria I led away, Pakaha (i.e., Pekah) their king I slew (so Schrader;? ‘they slew’), and A-u-si-ha (i.e., Hoshea) . . . over them I appointed. Ten (talents of gold, 1,000 talents of silver) 1 received from them.”

(30) Hoshea . . . slew him, and reigned in his stead.—See the inscription of Tiglath Pileser, quoted in the last Note, from which, as Schrader remarks, it is clear that Hoshea only secured his hold on the crown by recognition of the suzerainty of Assyria. The brief record of Kmgs does not mention this; but 2Kings 17:3 represents Hoshea as paying tribute to Shalmaneser IV., the successor of Tiglath.

In the twentieth year of Jotham.—This is a suspicious statement, as not agreeing with 2Kings 15:33, according to which Jotham reigned sixteen years only.

2 Kings 15:27. In the two and fiftieth year of Azariah Pekah began to reign — This is the fifth king that reigned over Israel during the reign of Azariah king of Judah. Pekah, however, reigned much longer than any of the preceding four. For though he also, like Shallum and Menahem, got the kingdom by treason and blood, he kept possession of it twenty years. So long it was before his violent dealing returned upon his own head. And he made himself more noted abroad than any of these usurpers; for even in the latter part of his time, in the reign of Ahaz, (which began in his seventeenth year,) he was a great terror to the kingdom of Judah, as we find, Isaiah 7:1. Mr. Locke justly observes, that the prophecies of Hosea, Joel, and Amos, come in here, who all prophesied about this time.

15:8-31 This history shows Israel in confusion. Though Judah was not without troubles, yet that kingdom was happy, compared with the state of Israel. The imperfections of true believers are very different from the allowed wickedness of ungodly men. Such is human nature, such are our hearts, if left to themselves, deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. We have reason to be thankful for restraints, for being kept out of temptation, and should beg of God to renew a right spirit within us.A captain of his - A mere "captain," a person, therefore, of very moderate rank. The low birth of Pekah is probably glanced at in Isaiah's favorite designation of him as "Remaliah's son" Isaiah 7:4-5, Isaiah 7:9; Isaiah 8:6.

From the fact that Pekah employed Gileadites to carry out his designs, it has been conjectured that he himself belonged to the trans-Jordanic region.

In the palace of the king's house - Rather, "In the tower of the king's palace;" or possibly "in the harem of the king's palace" (1 Kings 16:18 note).

2Ki 15:27-31. Pekah's Reign. No text from Poole on this verse.

In the fifty second year of Azariah king of Judah Pekah the son of Remaliah began to reign over Israel in Samaria,.... Which was the last year of the reign of Azariah:

and reigned twenty years; which was a long reign for an usurper and murderer.

In the two and fiftieth year of Azariah king of Judah Pekah the son of Remaliah began to reign over Israel in Samaria, and reigned twenty years.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
27–31. Pekah king of Israel for twenty years. Invasion of Israel by Tiglath-pileser. Pekah is slain by Hoshea (Not in Chronicles)

27. Pekah the son of Remaliah] This king is chiefly remarkable because of the attempts which he made against the kingdom of Judah, and which gave rise to the prophecies recorded in Isaiah 7-9. On the history of these attacks on the sister kingdom, see notes on 2 Kings 16:5-9. Isaiah often speaks of Pekah as ‘the son of Remaliah’ only, without mention of his own name, so that we are led to conclude that Remaliah must have been some well-known person.

Verses 27-31. - REIGN OF PEKAH. The writer is again exceedingly brief. Pekah's reign was a remarkable one, and might have furnished much material to the historian. In conjunction with Rezin of Damascus, he made war upon Judaea, defeated Ahaz with great loss (2 Chronicles 28:6), and laid siege to Jerusalem (Isaiah 7:1). Ahaz called in the aid or' Assyria, and Tiglath-pileser made two expeditions into Palestine - the one mentioned in ver. 29, and another some years afterwards. In the latter he seems to have had the assistance of Hoshea, who, with his sanction, slew Pekah, and became king. The scanty notices of our author must be supplemented from 2 Chronicles 28; Isaiah 7:1-9; Isaiah 8:1-8; and the Assyrian inscriptions. Verse 27. - In the two and fiftieth year of Azariah King of Judah; rather, in the thirty-ninth or thirty-eighth year (see the comment on ver. 23). Pekahiah's "two years" may not have been complete. Pekah the son of Remaliah began to reign over Israel in Samaria, and reigned twenty years. The Assyrian records make this number impossible. Tiglath-pileser's entire reign lasted only eighteen years, yet it more than covered the entire reign of Pekah. When he first invaded the kingdom of Samaria, Menahem was upon the throne ('Eponym Canon,' p. 120, line 29); when he last attacked it, probably in B.C. 730 - two years before his death in B.C. 728 - he set up Hoshea, or, at any rate, sanctioned his usurpation (ibid., pp. 123, 124, lines 15-18). Pekah's entire reign must have come in the interval, which is certainly not more than one of fifteen, probably not more than one of ten years. 2 Kings 15:27Reign of Pekah. - Pekah the son of Remaliah reigned twenty years.

(Note: As this is apparently at variance not only with 2 Kings 15:30, according to which Pekah was slain in the twentieth year of Jotham, i.e., in the fourth year of Ahaz, abut also with 2 Kings 17:1, according to which Hosea the murderer of Pekah became king in the twelfth year of Ahaz and reigned nine years, Ewald has added ותשׁע after עשׂרים without any hesitation, and lengthened Pekah's reign to twenty-nine years, whereas Thenius proposes to alter twenty into thirty. But we do not thereby obtain an actual agreement either with 2 Kings 15:30 or with 2 Kings 17:1, so that in both these passages Thenius is obliged to make further alterations in the text. For instance, if Pekah had reigned for thirty years from the fifty-second or closing year of Uzziah's reign, Hosea would have ascended the throne in the fourteenth year of Ahaz, supposing that he really became king immediately after the murder of Pekah, and not in the twelfth, as is stated in 2 Kings 17:1. It is only with a reign of twenty-eight years and a few months (one year of Uzziah, sixteen of Jotham, and eleven of Ahaz), which might be called twenty-nine years, that the commencement of Hosea's reign could fall in the twelfth year of Ahaz. But the discrepancy with 2 Kings 15:30, that Hosea conspired against Pekah and slew him in the twentieth year of Jotham, is not removed thereby. For further remarks see at 2 Kings 15:30 and 2 Kings 17:1.)

During his reign the Assyrian king Tiglath-pileser came, and after conquering the fortified cities round Lake Merom took possession of Gilead and Galilee, namely the whole land of Naphtali, and led the inhabitants captive to Assyria. Tiglath-pileser (פּלאסר תּגלת or פּלסר תּגלת, 2 Kings 16:7; פּלנאסר or פּלנסר תּלגת פּלנסר, 1 Chronicles 5:26, and 2 Chronicles 28:20; Θεγλαθφαλασάρ or Θαλγαθφελλασάρ, lxx; written Tiglat-palatsira or Tiglat-palatsar on the Assyrian monuments, and interpreted by Gesenius and others "ruler of the Tigris," although the reading of the name upon the monuments is still uncertain, and the explanation given a very uncertain one, since Tiglat or Tilgat is hardly identical with Diglath equals Tigris, but is probably a name of the goddess Derketo, Atergatis), was, according to M. v. Niebuhr (pp. 156, 157), the last king of the Derketade dynasty, who, when the Medes and Babylonians threw off the Assyrian supremacy after the death of Pul, attempted to restore and extend the ancient dominion.

(Note: M. Duncker (Gesch. des Alterthums, i. pp. 658, 659) also assumes that the dynasty changed with the overthrow of the Derketades, but he places it considerably earlier, about the year 900 or 950 b.c., because on the one hand Niebuhr's reasons for his view cannot be sustained, and on the other hand there are distinct indications that the change in the reigning family must have taken place about this time: viz., 1. in the ruins of the southern city of Nineveh, at Kalah, where we find the remains of the palace of two rulers, who sat upon the throne of Assyria between the years 900 and 830, whereas the castles of Ninos and his descendants must undoubtedly have stood in the northern city, in Nineveh; 2. in the circumstance that from the time mentioned the Assyrian kingdom advanced with fresh warlike strength and in a fresh direction, which would agree with the change in the dynasty. - Which of these two assumptions is the correct one, cannot yet be decided in the present state of the researches on this subject.)

His expedition against Israel falls, according to 2 Kings 15:29 and 2 Kings 16:9, in the closing years of Pekah, when Ahaz had come to the throne in Judah. The enumeration of his conquests in the kingdom of Israel commences with the most important cities, probably the leading fortifications. Then follow the districts of which he took possession, and the inhabitants of which he led into captivity. The cities mentioned are Ijon, probably the present Ayun on the north-eastern edge of the Merj Ayun; Abel-beth-maacah, the present Abil el Kamh, on the north-west of Lake Huleh (see at 1 Kings 15:20); Janoach, which must not be confounded with the Janocha mentioned in Joshua 16:6-7, on the border of Ephraim and Manasseh, but is to be sought for in Galilee or the tribe-territory of Naphtali, and has not yet been discovered; Kedesh, on the mountains to the west of Lake Huleh, which has been preserved as an insignificant village under the ancient name (see at Joshua 12:22); Hazor, in the same region, but not yet traced with certainty (see at Joshua 11:1). Gilead is the whole of the land to the east of the Jordan, the territory of the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and half-Manasseh (1 Chronicles 5:26), which had only been wrested from the Syrians again a short time before by Jeroboam II, and restored to Israel (2 Kings 14:25). הגּלילה (the feminine form of הגּליל, see Ewald, 173, h.) is more precisely defined by the apposition "all the land of Naphtali" (see at 1 Kings 9:11). - In the place of אשּׁוּרה, "to the land of Assyria," the different regions to which the captives were transported are given in 1 Chronicles 5:26. For further remarks on this point see at 2 Kings 17:6.

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