Historians speculate that the House of Gadi that ruled Israel in the 7th century B.C. might have been established through the Israelite tribe of Gad. King Menahem was the first ruler from the House of Gadi to control Israel. He appears on the Biblical Timeline Poster during the 7th century. Menahem took the throne after he assassinated King Shallum after one month in office. Menahem’s name means “counselor” or “comforter” but the life of this ruler revealed that his name didn’t reflect his character.
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A rebellion had occurred in the land of Tappuah (Tiphasah) at some point in time during his reign. 1 Kings 4: 24 states the land of Tappuah was previously conquered by King Solomon in the past. So it has been under the control of Israel for some time. After finding out about the rebellion King Menahem sent his forces to bring the city back under control. The people were not trying to cooperate with the king so Menahem destroyed their city. He not only wiped out Tappuah, he also annihilated the surrounding countryside of Tizrah. He killed an entire population of people and the Bible says that he was so cruel that he even slaughtered pregnant women by cutting them open.
Menahem ruled Israel for 10 years and during his reign he led the people in idol worship. The Bible states that he performed the same sins as Jeroboam who started the Gold Calf Cult in Israel. Jeroboam was the first ruler of Israel after the kingdom divided. He created a false religion so that he could keep the people of Israel and Judah divided. This false religion was used as a form of policy by many Israeli kings and God didn’t approve of it at all.
During the reign of King Menahem an Assyrian king named Tiglath-pileser invaded Israel. He was a mighty conqueror and he would have probably easily defeated King Menahem forces in battle. King Menahem decided to save the kingdom of Israel by exploiting the rich people under his rule. He taxed them excessively so that he could pay tribute to King Tiglath-pileser. The money was going to be used to strengthen his position in Israel and to make an alliance with the Assyrian king. Tiglath-pileser was pleased with the tribute and Israel had to become a tributary of Assyria.
King Menahem’s actions forced Israel to pay a yearly tribute to Assyria for many years afterward. This happened for some time until the reign of King Hoshea. When King Hoshea refused to pay tribute to Assyria it caused the might Assyrian army to attack Israel and to carry off most of the people into captivity. God had allowed all of this to happen so he could punish Israel for its sins. Menahem ruled the land for 10 years before he died and when he did he was succeeded by his son Pekahiah who was also considered a cruel king.
- 2 Kings 15: 14 Menahem assassinates King Shallum and takes over the throne of Israel
- 2 Kings 15: 16 King Menahem destroys a rebellion in Tappuah.
- 2 Kings 15: 17, 18 King Menahem rules Israel for 10 years and he doesn’t turn from his sins.
- 2 Kings 15: 19, 20 King Tiglath-pileser from Assyria rules attacks Israel and King Menahem taxes the rich people in his kingdom and pays a large sum of money to stop the invasion. Israel becomes a tributary of Assyria.