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Tiglath Pileser III

Since the time that the kingdom of Israel and Judah had split into two separate parts, both kingdoms fought against each other for power. This situation created a long lasting rivalry that span hundreds of years. It was around 740 B.C., and King Pekah of Israel, and King Ahaz of Judah were going to war with each other. King Pekah of Israel decided to join forces with the King of the Arameans against King Ahaz and Judah. King Ahaz then appealed to Tiglath-Plilezer by paying him with the treasure from the Temple so that he would aid him against this alliance.

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Tiglath_Pileser_III, Egyptian_Pharoah
Tiglath Pileser III

The Assyrian king complied, but he took advantage of the situation. He appears multiple times on the Bible Timeline for each event. God was angry with Ahaz, so he allowed King Tiglath-Pilezer to march into Judah and to harass him while he was there. He took tribute from the Judean king, but he didn’t unify with them against Israel.

The Israelites defeated many of Judah’s troops because Ahaz was a wicked man who promoted idolatry. Tiglath-PIlezer was given power by God to go out and subdue many different kingdoms who refused to worship him. The foreign people who lived all over the Middle East were aware of the God of the Hebrews, but many of them didn’t adhere to his Commandments. So he not only used this Assyrian king to punish Israel he also used him to punish foreigners.

Tiglath-Pilezer and many Assyrian kings had a policy of defeating kingdoms and then shipping the people off to other parts of the Assyrian empire. As a matter of fact, he transported foreigners into Israel once he took this kingdom over. Before Tiglath-Pilezer harassed Judah or forced King Pekah of Israel to pay him tribute, he made a former Israeli king named Menahem to pay him tribute. He had established a pattern of harassing Israel and Judah, and this was only because God allowed him to so.

He even encouraged Hoshea to assassinate Pekah and gave him the right to rule Israel. Tiglath-Pilezer played various Israeli and Judean kings against each other and themselves. Tiglath-Pilezer conquered other territories including Syria, Tyre, Arpad and Damascus. He forced these foreigners to pay the Assyrians tribute. King Tiglath-Pilezer also created many sweeping reforms within his empire. His policy was not only to deport foreigners to different parts of the kingdom he also divided up many of the lands that he conquered into smaller provinces. He elected rulers in each area, and this was done so that they would fight against each other if anyone would decide to revolt.

He also expanded his army with foreign soldiers. Tiglath-Pilezer continued his policies as long as he was in power, and future Assyrian kings also followed the same pattern of rule. They continued to harass the people of Judah and Israel, and they controlled many other territories as well. God might have given the Assyrians great power to carry out their agenda, but he eventually would punish them for their sins. Tiglath-Pilezer’s rule came to an end when he died in 727 B.C. His name means “my trust is in the son of Esharra”.

Biblical References:

  •  2 Kings 15: 29 Tiglath-Pilezer conquers many territories
  • 2 Kings 16: 7 – 9 Tiglath-Pilezer decides to harass Judah and Israel after King Ahaz requests his help.
  • 2 Chronicles 28 Tiglath-Pilezer destroys Judean towns and takes Israelites captive.
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