When we look at the history in our history books, and the history given to us by the Bible there is no conflict!
For this blog I thought I would turn to one of my favorite subjects, History. I know that’s not everyone’s favorite subject, but I will try to connect it to the Bible and enhance our understanding of the history recorded in the Old Testament. In 745 BC, Tilglath Pileser III became king of Assyria. (Pul was his common name.) You will notice he is referred to by his common name in II Kings 15: 19, and his formal name in II Kings 15: 29, so we can understand we’re talking about the same person. When you read II Kings 15: 19, we see that Israel was forced to pay tribute to Assyria. Aram (Syria) with its capital city of Damascus was also paying tribute, so the two countries quickly formed an anti-Assyrian alliance. To strengthen the alliance, they turned to Judah. At the time, Ahaz was king of Judah, and he refused to help Israel and Aram. Now the two nation alliance prepares an attack against Judah in the hopes they could replace Ahaz with a king that would support their anti-Assyrian alliance.
Ahaz sent messengers to say to Tilglath Pileser king of Assyria, ‘I am your servant and vassal. Come up and save me out of the hands of the king of Aram and of the king of Israel, who are attacking me.’” (II Kings 16: 7) The Lord speaking through the prophet Isaiah warns Ahaz against contacting Assyria in this way. The Lord said to Isaiah, “Say to him (Ahaz), ‘be careful, keep calm and don’t be afraid. Do not lose heart because of these two smoldering stubs of firewood’…” (Isaiah 7: 4) Tilglath Pileser responded to the request of Ahaz and in 734 BC he will reduce Israel to an area immediately around the city of Samaria. (see II Kings 15: 29) As for Ahaz, he became subject to the Assyrians. (see II Kings 16: 10).
In 722 BC, Sargon II became the new king of Assyria. He will finish off Samaria. He wrote, “…Samaria I captured. I carried off 27,290 of its inhabitants and levied fifty chariots from among them for my standing army…the city I rebuilt, making it better than before, and I settled in it people from other countries which I had conquered…” The Bible tells us, “The King of Assyria brought people from Babylon, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath and Sepharvaim and settled them in the towns of Samaria to replace the Israelites. They took over Samaria and lived in its towns.” (II Kings 17 24) I do enjoy history, and I love to read the Bible. When we look at the history in our history books, and the history given to us by the Bible there is no conflict!
About The Author
Originally from Erie, Pennsylvania, Dan is a graduate of Otterbein College (now University). He graduated with a degree in education. From time to time Dan still substitute teaches. His interest in history led him to investigate the historical accuracy of the Bible. This, in turn, led to a full investigation of Apologetics.