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Kings of Ancient Israel

United Monarchy of Israel

Northern Kingdom of Israel

Menahem from "Promptuarii Iconum Insigniorum "
For the Khazar ruler of the same name, see Menahem (Khazar). For the medieval poet and philologist, see Menahem ben Saruq.

Menahem, (Hebrew: מְנַחֵם, Modern Menaẖem Tiberian Menạḥēm, from a Hebrew word meaning "the consoler" or "comforter"; Greek: Manaem in the Septuagint, Manaen in Aquila; Latin: Manahem) was a king of the northern Israelite Kingdom of Israel. He was the son of Gadi, and the founder of the dynasty known as the House of Gadi or House of Menahem.

Menahem's ten year reign is told in 2 Kings 15:14-22. When Shallum conspired against and murdered Zachariah in Samaria, and set himself upon the throne of the northern kingdom, Menahem refused to recognize the usurper. Menahem marched from Tirzah to Samaria, about six miles westwards, laid siege to Samaria, took it, murdered Shallum a month into his reign (2 Kings 15:13), and set himself upon the throne. (2 Kings 15:14) According to Josephus, he was a general of the army of Israel. (Ant. 9:11:1)

Menahem became king of Israel in the thirty-ninth year of the reign of Azariah, king of Judah, and reigned for ten years. (2 Kings 15:17) According to the chronology of Kautsch, [1] he ruled from 743 BC; according to Schrader, from 745 – 736 BC. William F. Albright has dated his reign from 745 – 738 BC, while E. R. Thiele offers the dates 752 – 742 BC.[2]

He brutally suppressed a revolt at Tiphsah.[3] He destroyed the city, which has not been located, put all its inhabitants to death, and treated even pregnant women in the revolting fashion of the time. (2 Kings 15:16) The Prophet Hosea describes the drunkenness and debauchery implied in the words "he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam." (2 Kings 15:18 and Hosea 7:1-15)

Menahem seems to have died a natural death, and was succeeded by his son Pekahiah.[4]

The author of the Book of Kings describes his rule as one of cruelty and oppression. The author is apparently synopsizing the "annals of the Kings of Israel", (2 Kings 15:21) and gives scant details of Menahem's reign.

Tributary of Assyria

Tiglath-Pileser III of Assyria began his reign in 745 BC three years before Menahem became king of Israel.

During Menahem's reign, the Assyrians first entered the kingdom of Israel, and had also invaded Aram Damascus to the north-east: "And Pul, king of the Assyrians, came into the land". (2 Kings 15:19) The Assyrians may have been invited into Israel by the Assyrian party. Hosea speaks of the two anti-Israelite parties, the Egyptian and Assyrian. (Hosea 7:11)

To maintain independence, Menahem was forced to pay a tribute of a thousand talents of silver (2 Kings 15:19) - which is about 37 tons (about 34 metric tons) of silver. It is now generally accepted that Pul referred to in 2 Kings 15:19 is Tiglath-Pileser III of the cuneiform inscriptions. Pul was probably his personal name and the one that first reached Israel. Tiglath-Pileser records this tribute in one of his inscriptions.

To pay the tribute, Menahem exacted fifty shekels of silver - about 1 1/4 pounds or 0.6 kg - from all the mighty men of wealth of the kingdom. (2 Kings 15:20) To collect this amount, there would have had to be at the time some 60,000 "that were mighty and rich" in the kingdom.

After receiving the tribute, Tiglath-Pileser returned to Assyria. However, from that time the kingdom of Israel was a tributary of Assyria; and when Hoshea some ten years later refused to pay any more tribute, it started a sequence of events which led to the destruction of the kingdom and the deportation of its population.


  1. ^ Hist. of O.T. Literature, 185
  2. ^ 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
  3. ^ Tiphsah is the name in the Masoretic text. Modern commentators and translators prefer the reading Tappuah, following the Lucian recension of the Septuagint
  4. ^ 2 Kings 15:22


This article incorporates text from the entry Manahem in the public-domain Catholic Encyclopedia of 1913.

Regnal titles
Preceded by
King of Israel
752 – 742 BC
Succeeded by

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

MENAHEM (Hebrew for "consoler"), a king of Israel. He was the son of Gadi (i.e. perhaps, a man of Gad), and during the disturbances at the death of Jeroboam II. seized the throne and reigned ten years (2 Kings xv. 14-18). The scene of his revolt was Tirzah, the old seat of the kings of Israel between Jeroboam I. and Omri (which period the present closely resembles), and it was only after perpetrating nameless cruelties at Tappuah l on the border of Ephraim and Mannasseh that the counter revolt of Shallum, son of Jabesh (perhaps a Gileadite), was suppressed. Towards the end of his reign TiglathPileser IV. marched against north Syria, and among his tributaries mentions Menahem 2 together with Rezin of Damascus, and kings of Tyre, Gebal, &c. (c. 738 B.C.). According to the Old Testament account the Assyrian king even advanced against Israel, and only withdrew in consideration of a tribute amounting to about f400,000. A thousand talents (i.e. about 3,000,000 shekels) was raised by assessing every wealthy person at So shekels. The act was hardly popular, and the internal troubles which he had quelled 1 Scarcely Tiphsah (2 Kings xv. 16) on the Euphrates.

2 The identification of the Israelite king with Me-ni-hi-(im)-mi of Sa-me-ri-na-ai on the Ass. inscription has been unnecessarily doubted.

broke out again at or shortly after his death. The Gileadites again conspired, and having slain his son Pekahiah set up Pekah the son of Remaliah in his place.' This meant a return to an anti-Assyrian policy. (See AHAZ.) (S. A. C.)

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Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From BibleWiki

Kings of Israel
Jeroboam I.
Jeroboam II.

Meaning: conforting

The son of Gadi, and successor of Shallum, king of Israel, whom he slew. After a reign of about ten years (B.C. 771-760) he died, leaving the throne to his son Pekahiah. His reign was one of cruelty and oppression (2Kg 15:14ff). During his reign, Pul, king of Assyria, came with a powerful force against Israel, but was induced to retire by a gift from Menahem of 1,000 talents of silver.

This entry includes text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897.

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Facts about MenahemRDF feed
Child of Gadi  +
Parent of Pekahiah  +
Rule end 760  +
Rule start 771  +
Ruler of Israel  +


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