The Syro-Ephraimite War
In 738 BCE, Tiglath-Pileser III of Assyria occupied Hamath in the northern part of Syria. In reaction to that event and the threat of further Assyrian incursions, both Israel and Syria rushed to pay tribute to the Great King and to establish their loyalty as vassals. Thus they experienced the first step toward becoming part of the Assyrian Empire.
Relief of Tilglath-Pileser III
For further discussion regarding the stages of incorporation go to .
Four years later, the kings of these two nations, Pekah of Israel and Rasyan (Rezin) of Damascus in Syria, sought to build a coalition of neighboring states to resist the vassalage imposed on them by Assyria.
View of Israel from Samaria, capital of Israel during the Syro-Ephraimite War
Having witnessed the power of the Assyrian military action in Philistia in 734, Ahaz, king of Judah, was well aware of the consequences of opposing the colossal empire to the north. (Hayes-Miller, 424-426) With good reason, he opted not to join the coalition. Pekah and Rasyan prepared to attack Judah. Against the advice of Isaiah, Ahaz appealed to Tiglath Pileser for help. The result was threefold.
- Ahaz became a vassal in the first stage of incorporation.
- Pekah was removed from his throne and replaced by Hoshea, and Israel's territory was reduced to the area of Ephraim.
- Syria was completely overrun after an extended siege of Damascus and became a province with no local independence in 732 BCE.
To view a map of the Assyrian Empire and the nations of Judah, Israel, and Syrian go to .
To return to the Immanuel pathway go to .