King Pekah used to be a military commander in the army of King Pekahiah of Israel. He overthrew King Pekiah around 757 BC which is where he appears on the Biblical Timeline poster. King Pekahiah of Israel was an idolatrous king who worshipped false gods. The Assyrians had come to dominate the land during the reign of King Pekahiah. Many people in Israel didn’t want to be controlled by the Assyrians, especially members of Israeli’s military forces.
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Pekah eventually decided he had enough of Pekahiah’s rule and inability to break free from the power of the Assyrians. So he secretly conspired with 50 men from the land of Gilead, which was neighboring territory to assassinate the king. Pekah had used the foreigners to carry out this plot so that he could do it in secrecy. Pekah eventually assassinated Pekahiah in Samaria and set himself up as king.
Once Pekah became king he continued in the pagan practices of the former rulers of Israel.
Israel and Judah had always been enemies every since the kingdom of Israel had split apart hundreds of years before the rule of Pekah. Kings from Israel and Judah went to war with each other because they were enemies during the era of the kings. Ahaz was the king of Judah during the reign of Pekah and these two kings fought against each other. King Pekah allied with King Rezin of Aram to defeat the people of Judah. King Ahaz appealed to Tiglath-Pileser III of Assyria to stop Pekah. The Assyrian king decided to help Judah and used this situation as an excuse to overthrow Israel.
Pekah believed he could overcome Assyrian power through worshipping false gods and going to war against the Assyrians in his own strength. His reign lasted for twenty long years, and he didn’t have success in ridding the land of the Assyrians. During the latter part of his reign, the Assyrians attacked various cities in Israel, and King Pekah could not stop them because God was strengthening the Assyrian king to carry out these deeds. After the Assyrians had defeated the Israelites, they took many people captive and marched them back to their homeland.
King Pekah had a military commander named Hoshea, who became fed up with the rule. So he decided to remove the king from the throne. This is ironic because Pekah gained his power over Israel in the same way, and now the same thing was happening to him. King Pekah thought he could do a much better job of ruling the nation of Israel than the kings before him, but this was not the truth. Hoshea eventually killed the king and took his place on the throne. Pekah’s name means “the Lord has opened his eyes” and he managed to rule Israel for twenty years in 740 B.C. His father was named Remaliah, and he was in power for sixteen years before he died.
- 2 Kings 15: 27 – 31 Tells the story of Pekah’s reign and his demise.
- 2 Chronicles 28: 6 God allows King Pekah to destroy 120,000 of Judah’s soldiers because of their sins.
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