Fausset's Bible Dictionary


(See HOSHEA.) Son Of Remaliah. "Captain" and "aide de camp" (shalish) of Pekahiah, king of Israel, whom he murdered, as also his aides de camp Argob and Ariyeh. Became king by the help of 50 Gileadites of the king's bodyguard; perhaps Pekah was a Gileadite himself; energy for good or evil characterized the hardy highlanders of Gilead, as Jephthah and Elijah. To strengthen his kingdom which had suffered much by civil wars and foreign exactions (2Ki_15:19-20; 2Ki_15:25-31), and to gain spoil, he joined alliance with Rezin of Damascus against Jotham of Judah (2Ki_15:37-38). Jotham's pious and vigorous reign (2 Chronicles 27) deferred the blow; but when the weak and worthless Ahaz succeeded Pekah attacked Jerusalem (2 Kings 16; 2 Chronicles 27). (See AHAZ; OBED; IMMANUEL.) He slew 120,000 Jews in one day at the first campaign.

But his plot with Rezin to set aside the line of David, and raise "the son of Tabeal" (probably a Syrian favored by a party in Jerusalem: Isa_8:6; Isa_8:9; Isa_8:12) to the throne of Judah, was ultimately frustrated according to God's purpose and word (Isa_7:1-16), for "Immanuel" must succeed as Son and Heir of David, which Pekah's plot was incompatible with. The project of the two allies was probably to unite the three kingdoms, Syria, Israel, and Judah, against Assyria. Egypt favored the plan (Isa_8:18; 2Ki_17:4). Ahaz' leaning to Assyria made them determine to depose him for a nominee of their own. But Ahaz at their second inroad applied to Tiglath Pileser, who slew Rezin and carried away the people of Gilead (including the whole territory of Reuben, Gad, and half Manasseh 1Ch_5:26), Galilee, and Naphtali (2Ki_15:29). In Pekah's weakened state Hoshea (his "friend": Josephus, Ant. 9:13, section 1) conspired against and slew him, and after an interregnum of eight years reigned. Thus was fulfilled Isa_7:16. Pekah reigned from 757 to 737 B.C. In the Assyrian inscription Menahem is mentioned as the king of Israel whom Tiglath Pileser subdued; possibly a mistake of the engraver, confusing Pekah with the king whom Pal reduced to be tributary. (See MENAHEM.)


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