The taking of Samaria (2 Kings 18:9-18:12)

“In the fourth year of King Hezekiah, which was the seventh year of King Hoshea son of Elah of Israel, King Shalmaneser of Assyria came up against Samaria. He besieged it and at the end of three years he took it. In the sixth year of King Hezekiah, which was the ninth year of King Hoshea of Israel, Samaria was taken. The king of Assyria carried the Israelites away to Assyria. He settled them in Halah, on the Habor, the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes. This was done because they did not obey the voice of Yahweh their God but transgressed his covenant, all that Moses the servant of Yahweh commanded. They neither listened nor obeyed.”

Once again, we have the siege of Samaria, the taking of Samaria, the deportation of the Israelites to Babylon as in preceding chapter. Now it is under King Hezekiah instead of the time of his father King Ahaz. However, it is the same King Shalmaneser of Assyria and King Hoshea of Israel who are the winners and losers in this battle. As in the preceding chapter they go to the various places near Babylon and in the cities of Medes. The reason that the Israelites were punished was due to the fact that they did not follow Yahweh nor Moses, since they were disobedient. However, the people of Judah were not obedient either.

The reign of King Hoshea in Israel (732-724 BCE) (2 Kings 17:1-17:4)

“In the twelfth year of King Ahaz of Judah, King Hoshea son of Elah began to reign in Samaria over Israel. He reigned nine years. He did what was evil in the sight of Yahweh, yet not like the kings of Israel who were before him. King Shalmaneser of Assyria came up against him. King Hoshea became his vassal and paid him tribute. But the king of Assyria found treachery in King Hoshea because he had sent messengers to King So of Egypt. He offered no tribute to the king of Assyria, as he had done year by year. Therefore the king of Assyria confined him up, and imprisoned him.”

King Hoshea had become a vassal of the king of Assyria. Remember he led the revolution against King Pekah, because he was losing the war with Assyria. King Hoshea concluded a peace treaty with the then King Tiglath-pileser III, just like the king of Judah had done. He cooperated with him and ruled for 9 years. Nevertheless he was not pleasing to Yahweh, but not as bad as the former kings. He decided to get help from the Egyptian King So. He stopped paying then King Shalmaneser V (727-722 BCE) of Assyria who had followed King Tiglath-pileser III (747-727 BCE). Thus the King Shalmaneser V of Assyria had King Hoshea put in prison.