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Jehoahaz, King of Israel

Jehoahaz’s name means “God has held” and he is the son of Jehu. King Jehoaz ruled Israel for 17 years. He appears on the Bible Timeline Poster starting in 868 BC. During his reign the people of people of Israel were being oppressed by Hazael the King of Aram. God had allowed this captivity to take place because Jehoahaz had endorsed the Golden Calf Cult in Israel. The first ruler of the divided kingdom of Israel named Jeroboam started this cultic practice as a means to control the people of Israel. Early in his reign, Jeroboam realized that if the people were allowed to worship God at the temple in Judah they would more than likely reunite the kingdom. So he created the Golden Calf Cult to keep the people divided against God. This policy was repeatedly used by kings that followed after him. God had constantly judged these kings for this sin.

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Jehoahaz

The new kings either didn’t realize that God was judging them for allowing the Golden Calf Cult religion to flourish, or they didn’t care about how God felt about what they were doing. Many Judean rulers also allowed this cult to continue so that they could retain their power as well. So when King Hazael of Aram severely oppressed the Israelites, he was allowed to do so because of God was using him to punish his people. At one point in time, the oppression became so severe that King Jehoahaz had to turn to the Lord to find relief for the people and himself. God sent the people of Israel an unnamed deliverer who able to free the people from the clutches of the King of Aram. Once the people were free, they turned back to the sins. This is reminiscent of how the people behaved during the time of the Judges. When God sent deliverers to free the people who right back to doing the same things that brought God’s judgment down on them in the first place. Ben-Hadad of Aram was the son of Hazael, and he was allowed by God to continue to harass the Israelites because they didn’t stop sinning. King Jehoahaz had fought battles against this king, but his forces were significantly reduced in size. He fought so much and lost so many battles that toward the end of his reign he only had 50 cavalry troops, 10 chariots, and 10,000-foot soldiers. Eventually, Jehoahaz passed away, and his son Jehoash took his place as the next ruler of Israel.

Biblical References:

  • 2 Kings 13: 1, 2 Gives an overview of King Jehoahaz’s time in power. God is angry with him for not wiping out the Golden Calf Cult.
  • 2 Kings 13: 3 Because God was angry with him he kept he allowed King Hazael of Aram to oppress Israel.
  • 2 Kings 13: 4 King Jehoahaz comes to his senses and prays to God for help from Aram. God listens to his plea.
  • 2 Kings 13: 5 God sends a deliverer to free the people from the tyranny of Hazael, and the people live in their homes once again.
  • 2 Kings 13: 6 The people do not return to worshipping God and pagan idols remain the land.
  • 2 Kings 13: 7 – 9 King Jehoahaz’s army was severely decimated by war and he only had a small number of troops remain as a part of his forces. He eventually dies and is replaced by Jehoash, his son.
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1 thought on “Jehoahaz, King of Israel

  1. Consider the possibility that Shalmaneser III is the unnamed deliverer in the days of Jehoahaz.

    Shalmaneser III – Unnamed Deliverer of Samaria (Israel)

    In 853 BC Shalmaneser III king of Assyria battled the forces of Aram and others at Qarqar. See my article on the Battle of Qarqar: http://www.historyfiles.co.uk/FeaturesMiddEast/CanaanIsraelites_Qarqar01.htm in History Files.
    In about 841 BC Shalmaneser III again battled Aram (Syria) and forced king Hazael to take refuge in the walls of Damascus according to the Black Obelisk now in the British Museum. Some say it also depicts Jehu king of Samaria bringing tribute to Shalmaneser III, but there is no scriptural account of conflict between Samaria and Assyria in the days of Jehu nor his descendants. In fact, there is no scriptural account of conflict between Samaria and Assyria until Menahem is king of Samaria (770-759 BC). The conflicts in the scripture before Menahem are between Samaria and Aram (Syria) or Samaria and Judah. I think if the Black Obelisk depicts any king of Samaria at all (and it may not), it is Jehoahaz (855-841 BC) son of Jehu or Jehoash (841-823 BC) son of Jehoahaz and it would depict gifts to Shalmaneser III for battling Hazael king of Aram, the enemy of Samaria at that time.
    Another problem is that the accepted translation “Jehu of the House of Omri” is that Jehu was not of the House of Omri. Ahab’s son Joram was the last king of the House of Omri in Samaria. Jehu was responsible for the destruction of the House of Omri and then Jehu became king over Israel (Samaria).
    2 Kings 10:11 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
    11 So Jehu [a]killed all who remained of the house of Ahab in Jezreel, and all his great men and his acquaintances and his priests, until he left him without a survivor.
    It does not prove anything but consider that during the reign of the same Assyrian king (Shalmaneser III): supposedly Jehu is described as “of the House of Omri” and he was not, while Ahab is not described as “of the House of Omri” and he was “of the House of Omri”.

    The Deliverer
    Contrary to most modern scholars I believe that Jehoahaz ruled Israel (Samaria) about 855-841 BC (reigns explained in my Battle of Qarqar article referenced above).
    2 Kings 13:3 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
    3 So the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and He gave them continually into the hand of Hazael king of Aram, and into the hand of Ben-hadad the son of Hazael.
    Note, he is not “king” Ben-Hadad at that time, but Ben-Hadad is probably in command of some of the troops. Later when Ben-Haddad is king, Israel regains some of their territory (2 Kings 13:24-25). But in the days of king Hazael, all of Israel’s defenses were on the verge of complete destruction.

    2 Kings 13:7 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
    7 For he left to Jehoahaz of the [a]army not more than fifty horsemen and ten chariots and 10,000 footmen, for the king of Aram had destroyed them and made them like the dust at threshing.
    God was angry with Israel and was continually giving them into the hand of Hazael king of Aram (Syria). Then Jehoahaz entreated the favor of the LORD and the LORD listened to him and sent a deliverer. I believe that deliverer was sent during the reign of Jehoahaz else it would be too late, and Israel would be completely overrun.
    Some people think the deliverer was Jehoash king of Israel (841-823 BC) the son of Jehoahaz or Jeroboam II king of Israel (823-771 BC) son of Jehoash, both of which had success in battles against Aram (2 Kings Chapters 13 & 14). However, I believe Israel needed immediate help and the phrase “the LORD gave Israel a deliverer” indicates that God acted outside the normal order of events, not within the normal succession of kings.
    In the Bible, God sometimes uses foreign armies for His purposes. I believe He used the Assyrian army of Shalmaneser III (859-824 BC) to weaken and distract king Hazael (I date Hazael’s reign 887-840 BC) and his army and I believe Shalmaneser III is the unnamed deliverer of II Kings 13:5. Without this deliverer to weaken Aram, it is difficult to see how Israel could have begun a comeback and have victories over Aram.
    2 Kings 13:5 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
    5 The LORD gave Israel a [a]deliverer, so that they [b]escaped from under the hand of the Arameans; and the sons of Israel lived in their tents as formerly.

    http://oracc.museum.upenn.edu/nimrud/livesofobjects/blackobelisk/index.html

    Beginning of Conflict Between Assyria and Samaria

    Although many believe that king Ahab of Israel (Samaria) participated in the Battle of Qarqar in about 853 BC, I believe he was already dead by that date. Also, why would he fight on the side of Aram (against whom he fought three battles, dying from a wound in the last battle) against Assyria when there is no Biblical record of previous conflicts between Samaria and Assyria. Also, after the second battle with Aram and Ahab released the king of Aram, Ahab was told by a profit that his life would be a replacement for the Ben-Hadad’s life, that God had delivered into his hand (1 Kings 20:42-43).
    The Kurkh Monolith of Assyrian king Shalmaneser III contains a description of the Battle of Qarqar and contains the name “A-ha-ab-bu Sir-ila-a-a” which is generally accepted to be a reference to Ahab king of Israel. I feel this translation is in error because of the unlikely alliance between Aram (Syria) and Samaria against Assyria.
    Aram and Samaria were enemies from the days of Baasha king of Samaria (953-930 BC), 1 Kings Chapter 15, until Pekah king of Samaria (757-731 BC) and Rezin king of Aram made an alliance against Jotham king of Judah (758-742 BC) and continuing into the reign of Ahaz king of Judah (742-728 BC), 2 Kings 15:37, 2 Kings Ch. 16, Isaiah Ch. 7 & 8 and 9:11.
    Also, I believe that Ahab reigned 918-899 BC and as stated before was already dead by 853 BC. See my article http://www.historyfiles.co.uk/FeaturesMiddEast/CanaanIsraelites_Qarqar01.htm

    Method for Dating Kings of Israel and Judah
    By adding the length of reigns of the Judah kings in I & II Kings, I get 393.5 years. That is very close to the 390 years of “iniquity of the house of Israel” in Ezekiel 4:4-6. I Therefore, I believe the reigns of the kings of Judah listed in I & II Kings are accurate with 390 years being a little more accurate than the summing of the reigns. By counting back from 586 BC when many scholars write that the Jerusalem Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians, I get the beginning of the reigns of the kings of Judah, then from those reigns I get the reigns of the kings of Israel by the year their reign started in a Judah king’s reign in I & II Kings.

    There is no mention of conflict between Samaria and Assyria in the Bible until Menahem is king of Samaria (770-759 BC).
    2 Kings 15:19 New International Version (NIV)
    19 Then Pul[a] king of Assyria invaded the land, and Menahem gave him a thousand talents[b] of silver to gain his support and strengthen his own hold on the kingdom.
    It is generally believed that Pulu, Pul in scripture, is Tiglath-Pileser III king of Assyria (744-727 BC). Although Tiglath-Pileser III was a very powerful king, seems most historians believe he was a usurper and it is believed he may have claimed some accomplishments of previous kings by destroying their records and rewriting history. But perhaps he was not a usurper after all. The Assyrian Kings List places him in line after his father:
    [104] Adad-nirari [III], son of Šamši-Adad, ruled for 28 years (810-783).
    ——————————————
    [105] Šalmaneser [IV], son of Adad-nirari, ruled for 10 years (782-773).
    ——————————————
    [106] Aššur-dan [III], son of Šalmaneser, ruled for 18 years (772-755).
    ——————————————
    [107] Aššur-nirari [V], son of Adad-nirari, ruled for 10 years (754-745).
    ——————————————
    [108] Tiglath-pileser [III], son of Aššur-nirari, ruled for 18 years (744-727).

    1 Chronicles 5:26 seems to indicate that Pul and Tiglath-Pileser were two separate kings (at least in some translations).
    1 Chronicles 5:26 King James Version (KJV)
    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.
    1 Chronicles 5:26 Young’s Literal Translation (YLT)
    26 and stir up doth the God of Israel the spirit of Pul king of Asshur, and the spirit of Tilgath-Pilneser king of Asshur, and he removeth them — even the Reubenite, and the Gadite, and the half of the tribe of Manasseh — and bringeth them in to Halah, and Habor, and Hara, and the river of Gozan unto this day.
    I feel that Pul was Assur-dan III king of Assyria 772-755 BC, not only because he fits the Biblical Timeline (Menahem king of Samaria 770-759 BC) but also why would the scripture switch from calling the same Assyrian king Pul to calling him Tilgathpilneser?

    Another indication of the timing.

    In the Biblical book of the profit Amos, the beginning of the book is about God punishing various kingdoms for various reasons but from Chapter 3 and on it is all about Samaria (Israel) and the coming judgement and punishment of Samaria which will end with a complete end of the nation and many people, but not of all the people.
    Amos 1:1 New International Version (NIV)
    1 The words of Amos, one of the shepherds of Tekoa—the vision he saw concerning Israel two years before the earthquake, when Uzziah was king of Judah and Jeroboam son of Jehoash[a] was king of Israel.
    I have Uzziah king of Judah from 809 to 758 BC and Jeroboam king of Samaria 823 to 771 BC. The date of the earthquake is unknown, possibly around 770 BC. The earthquake was apparently one to remember as it is also mentioned in the Book of Zechariah:
    Zechariah 14:5 King James Version (KJV)
    5 And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.
    Chapter 8 of Amos discusses the coming destruction of Samarian and in verse 9 of the chapter it speaks of an apparent eclipse.
    Amos 8:9 New International Version (NIV)
    9 “In that day,” declares the Sovereign LORD,
    “I will make the sun go down at noon
    and darken the earth in broad daylight.
    I believe this corresponds to the solar eclipse called Bur-Sagale in 763 BC which also probably corresponds to the time of 2 Kings 15:19 when Pul invaded Samaria and Menahem paid him a tribute of a thousand talents of silver that Menahem exacted from men of wealth in Samaria. This invasion began the conflict between Assyria and Samaria which would continue about 40 years and culminate with the complete destruction of the nation of Samaria by the Assyrians in about 722 BC.

    Shea, William H – A Note on the Dating of the Battle of Qarqar, Andrews University, 1977
    Na’aman, Nadav – Two Notes on the Monolith Inscription of Shalmaneser III from Kurkh, Tel Aviv 3, pp 89-106, 1976
    http://www.historyfiles.co.uk/FeaturesMiddEast/CanaanIsraelites_Qarqar01.htm
    http://www.livius.org/sources/content/anet/564-566-the-assyrian-king-list/

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