Tiglath-Pileser III

How was Tiglath-Pileser III, king of Assyria, connected to events described in the book of Hosea?


Tiglath-Pileser III is one of the kings of the Assyrian empire. He ruled between 745 and 727 B.C. We can read about him in 2 Kings 15:29. In the superscription of the book of Hosea 1:1, we read, “The word of the Lord that came to Hosea … in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash,” or Jeroboam II, king of Israel, who reigned between approximately 786 and 746 B.C. Towards the end of Jeroboam’s days, the kingdom was declining on the religious, social, and political level. After the death of Jeroboam, six kings succeeded the throne in the span of 30 years. Three of them reigned for two years or less, and four of them were assassinated. During the reign of the second to the last king, whose name was Pekah the son of Remaliah, King Tiglath-Pileser came from Assyria and launched the first attack against Israel. After that, another king came to power named Shalmaneser who came during the reign of King Hoshea the son of Elah, who was the last king of Israel. Shalmaneser removed Hoshea from power and carried out the Assyrian exile. We can read about this in the book of 2 Kings 17:4, 5. The succession of these kings and events is echoed in the book of Hosea. For example, in Hosea 7:7, we read,

All of them are hot as an oven, and they devour their rulers. All their kings have fallen, and none of them calls upon me (Hosea 7:7).

We read also in 8:4,

They made kings, but not through me. They set up princes, but I knew it not (Hosea 8:4).

Also, in 10:3, we read,

For now they will say: “We have no king, for we do not fear the Lord; and a king — what could he do for us?” (Hosea 10:3).

All these indications in the book of Hosea show us how the kingdom after King Jeroboam was corrupted, declining, and was moving away from the Lord. Tiglath-Pileser is the king who launched the first attack against Israel.

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