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Kings of Ancient Israel

United Monarchy of Israel

Northern Kingdom of Israel

Hoshea from "Promptuarii Iconum Insigniorum "

See also Hosea, who has the same name in Biblical Hebrew.

Hoshea (Hebrew: הושע, Modern  Tiberian , "salvation"; Latin: Osee) was the last king of the Israelite Kingdom of Israel and son of Elah. William F. Albright dated reign to 732 – 721 BC, while E. R. Thiele offered the dates 732 – 723 BC.[1]

Assyrian records basically confirm the Biblical account of how he became king. According to 2 Kings, Hoshea conspired against and slew his predecessor, Pekah (2 Kings 15:30). Shalmaneser V then campaigned against Hoshea, and forced him to submit and render tribute (2 Kings 17:3). An undated inscription of Tiglath-Pileser III boasts of making Hoshea king after his predecessor had been overthrown:

Israel (lit. : "Omri-land" Bit-Humria)…overthrew their king Pekah (Pa-qa-ha) and I placed Hoshea (A-ú -si') as king over them. I received from them 10 talents of gold, 1,000(?) talents of silver as their [tri]bute and brought them to Assyria.[2]

The amount of tribute exacted from Hoshea is not stated in Scripture, but Menahem, about ten years previously (743 or 742 BC)[3] was required to pay 1,000 talents of silver to Tiglath-Pileser in order to "strengthen his hold on the kingdom" (2 Kings 15:19), apparently against Menahem's rival Pekah. The Assyrian Eponym Canon shows that Shalmaneser campaigned "against" (somewhere, name missing) in the years 727, 726, and 725 BC, and it is presumed that the missing name was Samaria.[4] The Babylonian Chronicle states that Shalmaneser ravaged the city of Sha-ma-ra-in (Samaria).[5] Additional evidence that it was Shalmaneser, not Sargon II who initially captured Samaria, despite the latter's claim, late in his reign, that he was its conqueror, was presented by Tadmor, who showed that Sargon had no campaigns in the west in his first two years of reign (722 and 721 BC).[6]

Hoshea eventually withheld the tribute he promised Shalmaneser, expecting the support of "So, the king of Egypt". There is some mystery as to the identity of this king of Egypt: some scholars have argued that So refers to the Egyptian city Sais, and thereby refers to king Tefnakht of the 24th Dynasty; however the principal city of Egypt at this time was Tanis, which suggests that there was an unnecessary correction of the text and Kenneth Kitchen is correct in identifying "So" with Osorkon IV of the 22nd Dynasty.

The account in 2 Kings 17:4 states that Shalmaneser arrested Hoshea, then laid siege to Samaria; some scholars explain that Shalmaneser must have summoned Hoshea to his court to explain the missing tribute, which resulted in the imprisonment of the king of Israel, and the Assyrian army sent into his land. Regardless of the sequence of events, the Assyrians captured Samaria after a siege of three years. However, Shalmaneser died shortly after the city fell, and the Assyrian army was rec


  1. ^ Edwin Thiele, The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings, (1st ed.; New York: Macmillan, 1951; 2d ed.; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1965; 3rd ed.; Grand Rapids: Zondervan/Kregel, 1983). ISBN 082543825X, 9780825438257, 134, 217.
  2. ^ James B. Pritchard, ed., Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament (3rd ed.; Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press, 1969) 284.
  3. ^ T. C. Mitchell, "Israel and Judah until the Revolt of Jehu (931–841 BC)" in Cambridge Ancient History 3, Part 1, ed. John Boardman et al. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991) 326.
  4. ^ Thiele, Mysterious Numbers 165.
  5. ^ Ibid.
  6. ^ Hayim Tadmor, "The Campaigns of Sargon II of Assur: A Chronological-Historical Study," Journal of Cuneiform Studies 12 (1958) 39, cited in Thiele, Mysterious Numbers 165, n. 4.

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

HOSHEA (Heb. for "deliverance"), the last king of Israel, in the Bible. The attempt of his predecessor Pekah to take Jerusalem with the help of his ally Rasun (Rezin) of Damascus was frustrated by the intervention of Tiglath-Pileser IV. (see Ahaz), who attacked Gilead, Galilee and the north frontier, and carried off some of its population (cp. i Chron. v. 26). Pekah's resistance to Assyria led to a conspiracy in which he lost his life, and Hoshea the son of Elah became king (2 Kings xv. 27-30). The Assyrian king held him as his vassal (and indeed claims to have set him on the throne), and exacted from him a yearly tribute. Meanwhile, Damascus was besieged (733-73 2 B.C.), Rasun was slain and the inhabitants deported (2 Kings xvi. 9; LXX. omits "to Kir," but see Amos i. 5). The impending fate of Damascus is illustrated by Isaiah (vii. 16, viii. 4, xvii. 1-11), who also gives a vivid description of the impression left by the Assyrian army (v. 26-30). After the death of Tiglath-Pileser, Israel regained confidence (Isa. ix. 8 - x. 4) and took steps to recover its independence. Its policy vacillated - "like a silly dove" (Hos. vii. 1 i), and at length negotiations were opened with Mizraim. The annual payment of tribute ceased and Shalmaneser IV. (who began to reign in 727 B.C.) at once laid siege to Samaria, which fell at the end of three years (722-721 B.C.). The achievement is claimed by his successor Sargon. Hoshea was killed, the land was again partly depopulated and a governor appointed (2 Kings xviii. 9-12; cp. xvii.. 1 sqq.). For other allusions to this period see Hosea, Isaiah.

2 Kings xvii. 3 and 5 imply two attacks by Shalmaneser: in the first of which Hoshea was imprisoned and perhaps blinded (Cheyne, emending, "shut him up" in v. 4), although in v. 6 he is still reigning; see on this Winckler, Keilinschr. u. Alte Test.' p. 268; Burney, Kings, p. 328 seq.; Skinner, Kings, p. 372 seq. The chronological notes, moreover, are extremely confused; contrast xv. 30 with xvii. 1. The usual identification of So (or Seve), king of Mizraim, with Shabaka of Egypt is difficult, partly on chronological grounds (which Petrie, History of Egypt, pp. 277, 281 sqq. does not remove), and partly because the Ethiopian dominion in Egypt appears to be still weak and divided. The Assyrian records name a certain Sibi. as officer, and also Piru (Pharaoh!) as king of Musri, and it is, doubtful whether Hoshea's ally was a petty prince of Egypt or of a N. Arabian district (see MIzRAIM). If the latter, Hoshea's policy becomes more intelligible; see Whitehouse, Isaiah, p. 17 seq.; JEWS: History; PHILISTINES. On the depopulation of Samaria and the introduction of colonists, see Winckler's objections, Alttest. Untersuch. pp. 95 -107, with Burney's criticisms, Kings, p. 334 seq. (S. A. C.)

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Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From BibleWiki

Meaning: salvation.

  1. The original name of the son of Nun, afterwards called Joshua (Num 13:8, 16; Deut 32:44).
  2. 1Chr 27:20. The ruler of Ephraim in David's time.
  3. Hoshea, King of Israel
This entry includes text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897.

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