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)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.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).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 12:13). חיל גּבּורי: not warriors, but men of property, as in Ruth 2 Kings Ruth 2:1; 1 Samuel 9:1. אחד לאישׁ, for the individual. Pul was the first king of Assyria who invaded the kingdom of Israel and prepared the way for the conquest of this kingdom by his successors, and for the extension of the Assyrian power as far as Egypt. According to the thorough investigation made by Marc. v. Niebuhr (Gesch. Assurs u. Babels, pp. 128ff.), Pul, whose name has not yet been discovered upon the Assyrian monuments, was the last king of Nineveh of the family of the Derketades, who still ruled over Babylon according to Berosus, and the last king but one of this dynasty.
(Note: It is true that some trace of his expedition has been found in the monuments, since an inscription has been deciphered with tolerable certainty, stating that king Minikhimmi of Samirina (Menahem of Shomron or Samaria) paid tribute to an Assyrian king. But the name of this Assyrian king is not determined with certainty, as Rawlinson, and Oppert read it Tiglat-palassar, and suppose Tiglath-pileser to be intended; whereas M. v. Niebuhr (p. 132, note 1) imagines it to be the full name of Pul, since no Assyrian king ever had a name of one syllable like Pul as his official name, and even before that Hincks had detected in the name Minikhimmi the king Menahem who had to purchase the friendship of the Assyrian ruler Pul with 1000 talents of silver. (Comp. J. Brandis, uber d. histor. Gewinn aus der Entzifferung der assyr. Inschriften, Berl. 1856, p. 50.))
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