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Assyrian Power Increased Under Tiglath-Pileser

Tiglath-Pileser was a powerful monarch who resided on the throne during the Middle Assyrian Period. Tiglath-Pilesar I. was one of the most revered rulers at the time of the Assyrian empire. He conquered many Empires and kingdoms during his reign.  He is found on the Biblical Timeline Poster with World History during the 12th century BC. The Assyrian empire was once located near the northern Mesopotamian Sea in the region of modern-day Iraq. This kingdom was originally started by the Akkadians who resided in the city of Asur which eventually became known as the Assyria.

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When Ashur-rush-Ishi the I. had passed away Tiglath-Pilesar I. had taken over the kingdom. Once he gained power, he began to immediately mobilize his armies for conquest. He reorganized his chariots and infantry to make them more effective in battle. After the army was reorganized, he quickly moved them quickly against the remaining Hittite groups that lived north of the kingdom. Anatolia was his next area of conquest, and many of the people that lived in the northern areas outside of Assyria were defeated by him. Some kingdoms, such as Melid, yielded to his power and paid him tribute without going to war. He eventually turned his attention to the south and defeated the Arameans in Syria and headed further south to fight against many kingdoms that lied in that region. Israel happened to be one of them. When Tiglath-Pilesar I marched his forces against Israel a king named Pekah ruled the nation. Pekah had killed a former monarch named Pekiah to take his position as ruler. Pekah ruled Israel in the south and King Ahaz ruled the northern kingdom of Juday. Pekah had allied himself with Rezin of Aram to attack Judah.

Ahaz called on Tiglath-Pilesar I to come to his aid, and he did. They both defeated Pekah and Rezin. After defeating the Israelites, he deported many of them back to Assyria. Tiglath-Pilesar eventually expanded his conquest all the way to coastal cities that lived near the Mesopotamian Sea. He never attacked the Phoenician coastal cities such as Tyre or Sidon. Instead, he took a trip within this great sea and this event is recorded in his inscriptions. Many years later when the Babylonians became a powerful threat, Tiglath-Pilesar tried to conquer them as well. Tiglath-Pilesar I. was also a city builder as well as a conqueror.

During his reign, he created many public works and established many temples that were dedicated to his gods that included their chief deities Nanna and Shamash. This Assyrian monarch also helped to developed public works and to maintain order within his territories that he ruled. Inscriptions about Tiglath make him out to be a mighty and exceptional king. He apparently had a magnetic personality and was a well-respected leader. Some ancient texts even claim that he had cultivated a spirit of fear among his people and conquered subjects. Many inscriptions about this king can be found on the walls of the palaces that he constructed during his reign. Tiglath-Pilesar ruled for about 40 years, and he died in 1076 B.C.

Biblical References to Tiglath-Pilesar

  • 2 Kings 16:7 Ahaz requests Tiglath-Pilesar’s help against the Israelites.
  • 2 Kings 16:7-9 Ahaz pays tribute to Tiglath-Pilesar I. The Israelis are deported back to Assyria after they are defeated by Tiglath.