2 Kings 15:29
In the days of Pekah king of Israel came Tiglathpileser king of Assyria, and took Ijon, and Abelbethmaachah, and Janoah, and Kedesh, and Hazor, and Gilead, and Galilee, all the land of Naphtali, and carried them captive to Assyria.
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2 Kings 15:29. In the days of Pekah came Tiglath-pileser, king of Assyria, &c. — He is supposed by some to have been the son and successor of Sardanapalus, who restored the kingdom of Assyria, and possessed it after it bad been dismembered by Belesis and Arbaces: but our learned Prideaux, who begins his valuable connection of the Old and New Testaments at this period, makes him to be the same with Arbaces, who, together with Belesis, headed the conspiracy against Sardanapalus, and fixed his royal seat at Nineveh, the ancient residence of the Assyrian kings, as Belesis fixed his at Babylon, and there governed his newly-erected kingdom for nineteen years. And took Ijon, &c., and Gilead, and Galilee, and all Naphtali, and carried them captive to Assyria — Thus Pekah lost a great part of his kingdom. And by this judgment God punished him for his attempt upon Judah and Jerusalem. For it was then foretold by Isaiah, that within two or three years after he had made that attempt, before a child then born should be able to cry, My father, and my mother, the riches of Samaria should be taken away before the king of Assyria; and here we have the accomplishment of that prediction. It may be proper to observe here, that the kingdom of the ten tribes was not destroyed at one time. The first invasion of their country, and prelude to their destruction, was made by Pul, who took away an immense booty, and drained them of their wealth; probably also carrying captive some of the people that dwelt on the east of Jordan. The second was by this Tiglath-pileser, who carried away the inhabitants of the northern parts, with the Reubenites, Gadites, and half-tribe of Manasseh, 1 Chronicles 5:26. The third and last was by Shalmaneser, who took Samaria, and carried into captivity the rest of the Israelites, 2 Kings 17:1-23.15:8-31 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.Tiglath-Pileser is the first among the Assyrian monarchs of Scripture whom we can certainly identify with a king mentioned in the monuments. According to the Assyrian Dr. he reigned from 745 B.C. to 727 B.C.; and the monuments show us this energetic and powerful prince (though, probably, an usurper), building and repairing palaces, levying armies, and carrying on successful wars against Merodach-Baladan in Babylonia, Rezin at Damascus, Hiram at; Tyre, the Medes, the Armenians, the natives of Northern Mesopotamia, and the Arabs who bordered upon Egypt. His Assyrian name, Tiglat-pal-zira, is composed of the elements tiglat, "adoration," pal, "son," and zira, a word of uncertain meaning.

Ijon and Abel-beth-maachah - On the position of some of the towns mentioned in this verse see the marginal reference and Joshua 19:36. Janoah is not the Janohah of Joshua 16:6 (modern Yanun, southeast of Nablous), but a city (Hunin?) near the Sea of Merom. Gilead is, probably, to be limited here to a small district of Peraea, lying to the east of Lake Merom, and in later times known as Gaulanitis (the reading of Septuagint here). If so, we must suppose two expeditions of Tiglath-Pileser against Pekah, the first mentioned here, and the second recorded in Chronicles and Isaiah (see the marginal reference "q;" 2 Kings 16:9 note).

29. in the days of Pekah king of Israel came Tiglath-pileser—This monarch, who succeeded Pul on the throne of Assyria, is the only one of all the kings who does not give his genealogy, and is therefore supposed to have been an usurper. His annals have been discovered in the Nimroud mound, describing this expedition into Syria. The places taken are here mentioned as they occurred and were conquered in the progress of an invasion. Tiglath-pileser, or, Tilgath-pilneser, 2 Chronicles 28:20, called in heathen authors Phulasar, or Phul-assur, the son of that Pul or Phul above, 2 Kings 15:19.

Abel-beth-maachah; of which see 1 Kings 15:20. Janoah; a city of Ephraim, Joshua 16:6. Kedesh and Hazor; two cities of Naphtali, Joshua 12:22 19:36.

Gilead; all the land beyond Jordan, which was nigher to the Assyrian than the rest.

Galilee, to wit, the Upper Galilee, as may be gathered from the following words, all (or, even all)

the land of Naphtali; which seem to be added by way of explication or restriction, to show what Galilee he meant, even the Upper, in which Naphtali’s lot fell. See Poole "Isaiah 9:1". In the days of Pekah king of Israel came Tiglathpileser king of Assyria,.... Into the land of Israel; he is called by a Jewish chronologer (c), Pul-Asir; so Phul-Assar by Metasthenes (d), who says he reigned twenty five years; he very probably was the son of Pul the Assyrian king, mentioned 2 Kings 15:19, and is thought to be the same that Aelianus (e) calls Tilgamos; some think he had the first part of his name from Diglath, or Diglito, by which the river Tigris is called in Pliny (f), with which Assyria was washed; and that Pil, or Pul, is Baal, Bel, Jupiter, and Azar is Mars (g); of all which his name is composed:

and took Ijon, and Abelbethmaachah; of which see 1 Kings 15:20,

and Janoah; a city in the tribe of Ephraim, Joshua 16:6.

and Kedesh, and Hazor; cities in Naphtali: Joshua 19:36.

and Gilead; a country beyond Jordan, which belonged to the Reubenites, Gadites, and half tribe of Manasseh:

and Galilee, all the land of Naphtali; that is, upper Galilee, which lay in Naphtali:

and carried them captive to Assyria; which was the first captivity of Israel in which half their tribes were carried away.

(c) David Ganz. Ut supra. (Tzemach David, par. 2. fol. 3. 2.) (d) Ut supra. (De Judicio Temp. & Annal. Pers. fol. 221. 2.) (e) De Animal. l. 12. c. 21. (f) Nat. Hist. l. 6. c. 27. (g) Hyde Hist. Relig. Pers. p. 65, 66.

In the days of Pekah king of Israel {k} came Tiglathpileser king of Assyria, and took Ijon, and Abelbethmaachah, and Janoah, and Kedesh, and Hazor, and Gilead, and Galilee, all the land of Naphtali, and carried them captive to Assyria.

(k) For God stirred up Pul and Tiglathpileser against Israel for their sins, 1Ch 5:26.

29. Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria] This is the second Assyrian king of this name; the first having flourished in the twelfth century b.c. For some of the facts connected with his history see note on verse 19 above. According to the Assyrian canon Tiglath-pileser reigned 18 years, from b.c. 745 to b.c. 727, and the conquests mentioned in this verse are supposed to have been made in b.c. 734.

Ijon] In the north of Palestine, in the tribe of Naphtali. It has been mentioned previously (1 Kings 15:20) as ravaged by Benhadad’s captains. The towns here enumerated were exposed to the first attack of any enemy from the north.

Abel-beth-maachah] R.V. maacah. This city like Ijon lay in the extreme north of Israel, and was also plundered by Benhadad’s officers. It is spoken of as ‘a city and a mother in Israel’ (2 Samuel 20:19). It is elsewhere called Abel-maim.

Janoah] This place is mentioned nowhere else, and its site has not been determined. But, from the connexion in which it here occurs, it must have been situate in the northern part of the tribe of Naphtali.

Kedesh] This town was one of the cities of refuge, and situate in the tribe of Naphtali. Hence it is called Kedesh-Naphtali (Jdg 4:6). Here Barak lived, and in later times (1Ma 11:63; 1Ma 11:73) it is mentioned as the scene of a battle between Jonathan Maccabæus and the troops of Demetrius. The name indicates that from the first it was a ‘holy’ place.

Hazor] Another fortified city of the tribe of Naphtali. It stood on the high ground overlooking Lake Merom. It was a very important place before the Israelites entered Canaan (Joshua 11:10). Jabin was the king thereof whose general Sisera was defeated by Deborah and Barak (Jdg 4:2; Jdg 4:17). It was strengthened by Solomon for the defence of his kingdom on the north (see 1 Kings 9:15, note).

Gilead] The mountainous country on the east of the Jordan, extending from Bashan on the north to Moab and Ammon on the south.

Galilee] This name, though afterwards given to a wide district, was at first only applied to a portion of the country round about Kedesh-Naphtali. In it were the twenty cities which Solomon gave to Hiram king of Tyre, for helping him in his building of the temple, and his own house (1 Kings 9:11). In the verse before us Galilee must refer only to the northern part of the district afterwards so named.

all the land of Naphtali] We can see, from this addition, where the ravages of Tiglath-pileser were made. He came into the northern portion of Israel on the west of Jordan, and on the east of the river overran a larger district, which from its mountainous character was more sparsely populated and so more easily reduced.

carried them captive to Assyria] This event is placed from the evidence of the Assyrian inscriptions in b.c. 734. To carry away great numbers of the population of a conquered district and settle them elsewhere was frequent with the Assyrian monarchs.Verse 29. - In the days of Pekah Feng of Israel came Tiglath-pileser King of Assyria. Tiglath-pileser's records are not in the shape of annals, and are, moreover, in a very mutilated condition. He does not date events, like most Assyrian kings, by his regal years. His first expedition into Syria is thought, however, to have been in his third year, B.C. 743, but there is no evidence that, on this occasion, he proceeded further south than Damascus, where he took tribute from Rezin. Some years after this - B.C. 738, according to Mr. G. Smith - he penetrated to Palestine, where his chief enemy was Azariah King of Judah, who had united under his sway most of the tribes as far as Hamath. After chastising Azariah, he extended his dominion over most of the neighboring states and kingdoms; and it was at this time that (as related in ver. 19) he took tribute from Menahem. Subsequently (about B.C. 734) he made an expedition for the purpose of conquest, which receives very scant notice, in one inscription only. This is probably the expedition of the present passage. And took Ijon, and Abel-beth-maachah. These were places in the extreme north of the Israelite territory, in the vicinity of the Lake Merem, such as would naturally be among the first to fall before an Assyrian invader (on their exact position, see the comment on 1 Kings 15:20). And Janoah. Janoah is now generally regarded as identical with the modern Hunin, a village close by "an ancient fortress of great strength" (Robinson, 'Later Researches,' p. 371), in the hill country northwest of Merom. It is in a direct line between Abel-beth-maa-chah (Abil) and Kedesh (Cades), as we should expect from the present passage. And Kedesh, and Hazor. Kedesh is beyond all doubt the "Kedes" or "Cades," of today - an important site in the same mountain district, rather more than six miles south of Hunin, and four from the "waters of Merom" (see Robinson, 'Later Researches,' pp. 366, 367). Hazer was in the near neighborhood of Kedesh, towards the south probably. The exact position is disputed. Robinson's arguments in favor of El-Khu reibch are weighty; but the engineers employed by the Palestine Exploration Fund regard Khurbat-Harrah, between Kedesh and the Lake Merom, as a still more probable situation. And Gilead. "Gilead," in this connection, can scarcely be "the whole of the land to the east of the Jordan" (Keil, Bahr) - the territory of Gad, Reuben, and Manasseh, not of Naphtali. It is more likely to be a small district near Merom, perhaps the eastern coast of the lake (Gesenius), which was afterwards a part of Gaulouitis. The LXX., instead of Γαλαὰδ, have Γαλαάν. And Galilee; Hebrew הַגָּלִילָה (see the comment on 1 Kings 9:11, p. 190). The inscription of Tiglath-pileser, which appears to allude to this expedition, mentions "Galhi," and "Abel" (probably Abel-beth-maachah) as conquered at this time, and "added to Assyria." The places were, it says, on the border of the land of Beth-Omri (Samaria) (see the 'Eponym Canon,' p. 123, lines 6, 7). And carried them captive to Assyria. Deportation of captives was largely practiced by Tiglath-pileser, as appears from the 'Eponym Canon,' pp. 118-120, and 122. Reign of Pekahiah. - Pekahiah the son of Menahem began to reign "in the fiftieth year of Uzziah." As Menahem had begun to reign in the thirty-ninth year of Uzziah and reigned ten years, he must have died in the forty-ninth year of Uzziah; and therefore, if his son did not become king till the fiftieth year, some months must have elapsed between the death of Menahem and Pekahiah's ascent of the throne, probably cause, in the existing disorganization of the kingdom, the possession of the throne by the latter was opposed. Pekahiah reigned in the spirit of his predecessors, but only for two years, as his aide-de-camp (שׁלישׁ, see at 2 Samuel 23:8) Pekah conspired against him and slew him in the citadel (ארמון, see at 1 Kings 16:8) of the king's palace, with Argob and Aryeh. Argob and Aryeh were not fellow-conspirators of Pekah, who helped to slay the king, but principes Pekachijae, as Seb. Schmidt expresses it, probably aides-de-camp of Pekahiah, who were slain by the conspirators when defending their king. We must take the words in this sense on account of what follows: וגו חמשּׁים ועמּו, "and with him (Pekah) were fifty men of the Gileadites" (i.e., they helped him). The Gileadites probably belonged to the king's body-guard, and were under the command of the aides-de-camp of Pekah.
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