Fausset's Bible Dictionary


Nineteenth and last king of Israel. Succeeded Pekah, whom he conspired against and slew, (fulfilling Isa_7:16), 737 B.C., "in the 20th year of Jotham," i.e, 20th after Jotham became sole king (2Ki_15:30; 2Ki_15:33). An interreign elapsed of eight years before Hoshea mounted the throne, 729 B.C., the 12th year of Ahaz (2Ki_17:1-3; 2Ki_18:9). "He did evil in the sight of Jehovah, but not as the kings of Israel before him." Tiglath Pileser had carried off the golden calf from Dan, and Shahnaneser from Bethel, in his first invasion (2Ki_15:29; Hos_10:14). So he had not the same temptation to calf worship as his predecessors. Hezekiah's piety probably in the last years of his reign influenced him.

Shalmaneser cruelly stormed Betharbel, and made Hoshea tributary. But Hoshea secretly, made alliance with So or Sabacho, king of Egypt (of an Ethiopian dynasty, the 25th of Manetho, Shebek I in the hieroglyphics, 725 B.C.), and ceased to bring tribute. "Shalmaneser" therefore invaded Israel and shut up Hoshea in Samaria, and after a siege of upward of two years (not "three "full years, for it began in Hoshea's seventh and ended in his ninth year of reign) "the king of Assyria," Sargon, Shalmaneser's successor, who usurped the throne (according to the Assyrian monuments), took him and "bound him in prison" (2Ki_17:4-6), the sixth year of Hezekiah's reign, 722 B.C. Hoshea's imprisonment was not before the capture of Samaria, but the sacred writer first records the eventual fate of Hoshea himself, then details the invasion as it affected Samaria and Israel.

His speedy removal is graphically depicted (Hos_10:7); "as for Samaria her king is cut off as the foam upon the water." Sargon in the Assyrian inscriptions thus writes: "Samaria I looked at, I captured; 27,280 men (or families) who dwelt in it I carried away; I appointed a governor over them, and continued the tribute of the former people": like Julius Caesar's memorable "I came, I saw, I conquered." So exactly Isa_28:4 describes the eager absorption of Samaria by Shalmaneser and Sargon "as the hasty fruit (the early fig, bikuwrah, "a great delicacy") before the summer, which when he that looketh upon it seeth, while it is yet in hishand, he eateth it up." Sargon in the inscriptions describes his transporting prisoners from Babylon to "the land of the Hittites" (Samaria), exactly as 2Ki_17:24.


Taken from: Fausset's Bible Dictionary by Andrew Robert Fausset (1821-1910)