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Myths of Babylonia and Assyria

Page: 235

Tyre, Edom, and Ammon would also be punished.[510] Judah was completely isolated by the allies who acknowledged the suzerainty of Damascus. Soon after Ahaz came to the throne he found himself hemmed in on every side by adversaries who desired to accomplish his fall. "At that time Rezin, king of Syria, and Pekah ...came up to Jerusalem to war: and they besieged Ahaz, but could not overcome him."[511] Judah, however, was overrun; the city of Elath was captured and restored to Edom, while the Philistines were liberated from the control of Jerusalem.

Isaiah visited Ahaz and said,

Take heed, and be quiet; fear not, neither be faint-hearted for the two tails of these smoking firebrands, for the fierce anger of Rezin with Syria, and of the son of Remaliah. Because Syria, Ephraim, and the son of Remaliah, have taken evil counsel against thee, saying, Let us go up against Judah, and vex it, and let us make a breach therein for us, and set a king in the midst of it, even the son of Tabeal: Thus saith the Lord God, It shall not stand, neither shall it come to pass.[512]

The unstable Ahaz had sought assistance from the Baal, and "made his son to pass through the fire, according to the abominations of the heathen".[513] Then he resolved to purchase the sympathy of one of the great Powers. There was no hope of assistance from "the fly that is in the uttermost part of the rivers of Egypt", for the Ethiopian Pharaohs had not yet conquered the Delta region, so he turned to "the bee that is in the land of Assyria".[514] Assyria was the last resource of the king of Judah.

So Ahaz sent messengers to Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, saying, I am thy servant and thy son: come up and save me out of the hand of Syria and out of the hand of the king of Israel, which rise up against me. And Ahaz took the silver and gold that was found in the house of the Lord, and in the treasures of the king's house, and sent it for a present to the king of Assyria. And the king of Assyria hearkened unto him: for the king of Assyria went up against Damascus, and took it, and carried the people of it captive to Kir[515] and slew Rezin.[516]

Tiglath-pileser recorded that Rezin took refuge in his city like "a mouse". Israel was also dealt with.

In the days of Pekah king of Israel came Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, and took Ijon and Abel-beth-maachah, and Janoah and Kedesh, and Hazor, and Gilead, and Galilee, all the land of Naphtali, and carried them captive to Assyria. And Hoshea the son of Elah made a conspiracy against Pekah the son of Remaliah, and smote him, and slew him, and reigned in his stead.[517]

Tiglath-pileser recorded: "They overthrew Paqaha (Pekah), their king, and placed Ausi'a (Hoshea) over them". He swept through Israel "like a hurricane". The Philistines and the Arabians of the desert were also subdued. Tribute was sent to the Assyrian monarch by Phoenicia, Moab, Ammon, and Edom. It was a proud day for Ahaz when he paid a visit to Tiglath-pileser at Damascus.[518] An Assyrian governor was appointed to rule over Syria and its subject states.


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