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Pekahiah of Israel, King

Around 738 B.C., the kingdom of Israel was already under the control of the Assyrian Empire. King Pekahiah was the second to last king who ruled Israel before the kingdom was brought completely under the control of the Assyrians. He appears on the Bible Timeline poster during the 8th century BC. God had allowed Judah to be conquered by the Assyrians because of their sins.

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The Kingdom of Israel that was started by King Saul had split into two parts. The northern kingdom was called Israel, and the southern kingdom was Judah. The first ruler of the newly divided kingdom of Israel was Jeroboam. When King Jeroboam was in power, he started a new religion called the Golden Calf Cult. This religion was designed to keep the people from reuniting Judah and Israel back into one kingdom.

The Golden Calf Cult had the people of Israel worship false gods instead of Yahweh. After the Golden, Calf Cult was created many Israeli kings used this religion as a form of policy to keep the power on their land. Pekahiah was the son of Menahem, and he was an idol worshipping ruler. He led the people in sinning against God through his idolatry. He was also one of the last rulers of the house of Gadi. God sent prophets to warn King Pekahiah and the people of Israel from their sins, but the king didn’t listen to them. So the Lord allowed one of Pekahiah’s military commanders by the name Pekah to plot his assassination.

Historians claim that Pekah became frustrated at the king’s inability to rid the land of the Assyrian’s power and that he probably thought that he could do a better job with ruling Israel than the king. So Pekahiah conspired with 50 men from Gilead, and he took over the throne. Many Israeli kings were assassinated because of their sins. Pekahiah was the 6th king of Israel to lose his life in this manner. Since Pekahiah didn’t try to turn away from his sins he probably thought that the problems the Israeli people were experiencing from the Assyrians were something that he could handle without God’s help. Instead of relying on God’s power he turned to the power of foreign gods to give him the help that he needed.

Even though the Bible doesn’t say it, the king probably tried to form alliances with other kingdoms that were under the control of the Assyrians. Apparently these types of alliances existed because Pekah formed some during his reign with other kingdoms to get rid of the Assyrian yoke. Pekahiah’s rule only lasted two years, and he ruled from the Israeli capital of Samaria. King Pekahiah’s reign had helped to set the stage for the final destruction of Israel. When King Pekahiah was in power, his rule only lasted for a short amount of time because of his many sins. There were only two kings who ruled after his reign. The last kings of Israel hadn’t learned their lesson from God about forsaking idolatry and believing in him alone.

Biblical References:

2 Kings 15: 23 – 26 Outlines the reign of Pekahiah and his assassination.

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