“The King of Assyria says.
‘Are not my commanders all kings?
Is not Calno
Is not Hamath
Is not Samaria
As my hand has reached
To the kingdoms of the idols
Were greater than those of Jerusalem.
They were greater than those of Samaria.
Shall I not do to Jerusalem
As I have done to Samaria?
Shall I not do to her idols
As I have done to the Samarian images?’”
King Tiglath-Pileser III (745-727 BCE), the king of Assyria said that he had commanders in his army that could become kings. He cited the examples of his capture of various towns or cities like Calno in 742 BCE and Carchemish, which is now on the border between Turkey and Syria, but was part of the Syrian empire that was lost in 738 BCE. There also was the capture of other western Syrian town of Hama or Hamath and Arpad that were in this same area that Tiglath-Pileser III captured in 741 BCE. Finally there was Damascus, also in Syria, that was captured in 732 BCE. King Menahem of Samaria was the king of northern Israel from 743-738 BCE, who paid tribute to the King of Assyria, as mentioned in 2 Chronicles, chapter 26, and 2 Kings, chapter 15. Now King Tiglath-Pileser III was thinking of attacking Jerusalem. What he had done to Samaria, he would the same to Judah by destroying their images, since he thought that Yahweh was just another idol god.
“Jonathan heard that the commanders of Demetrius had returned with a larger force than before, to wage war against him. So he marched away from Jerusalem. He met them in the region of Hamath, so that he gave them no opportunity to invade his own country. He sent spies to their camp. They returned and reported to him that the enemy was being drawn up in formation to fall upon the Jews by night. So when the sun set, Jonathan commanded his troops to be alert. He commanded them to keep their arms at hand so as to be ready all night for battle. He stationed outposts around the camp. When the enemy heard that Jonathan and his men were prepared for battle, they were afraid. They were terrified at heart. So they kindled fires in their camp and withdrew. But Jonathan and his troops did not know it until morning, for they saw the fires burning. Then Jonathan pursued them, but he did not overtake them. They had crossed the Eleutherus River. So Jonathan turned aside against the Arabs who are called Zabadeans. He crushed them and plundered them. Then he broke camp and went to Damascus. He marched throughout that region.”
The old commanders of the deposed King Demetrius II returned with a larger force to wage war against Jonathan. However, Jonathan wanted to fight them not in his own country so he went out to Hamath, a city in Syria. Then he sent spies, who returned to tell him that they were going to attack him at night. Jonathan had all his men ready that night. When the commanders of the deposed King Demetrius II saw that Jonathan was waiting for them, they were afraid and left. When morning came, Jonathan realized that they were gone. He tried to overtake them, but it was impossible. Instead, he decided to fight against the Zabadean Arabs. He crushed them and took their spoils. Then he headed out of the region towards Damascus.
“When King Toi of Hamath heard that King David had defeated the whole army of King Hadadezer of Zobah, King Toi sent his son Hadoram to King David, to greet him. He wanted to congratulate him because he had fought against King Hadadezer and defeated him. King Hadadezer had often been at war with King Toi. King Toi sent all sorts of articles of gold, silver, and bronze. These also King David dedicated to Yahweh, together with the silver and gold that he had carried off from all the nations, from Edom, Moab, the Ammonites, the Philistines, and Amalek.”
Once again, this biblical chronicler is following 2 Samuel, chapter 8. King Toi of northern Syria in Hamath was happy to hear that David had defeated his enemy in southern Syria, King Hadadezer. He sent his son Hadoram, although he was called Joram in the 2 Samuel story, to King David with silver, gold and bronze. All the tribute that King David got from all his victories, he dedicated to Yahweh.