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Reference: Pekah


PEKAH was one of the last kings of Israel. The country was unsettled, and there was great discontent on account of the heavy tribute paid to Assyria. Pekah made himself the organ of the dissatisfaction, and murdered his king Pekahiah (2Ki 15:25). He needed the help of only fifty soldiers or bravos to accomplish his purpose. Once on the throne he set on foot a movement against the Assyrians in which all the kingdoms of Syria were to unite. When the king of Judah held out against it, Pekah and Rezin invaded that country, as is set forth in the art. Ahaz. The Assyrians were prompt in meeting the coalition, and the issue can hardly have been doubtful, except to those who were blinded by patriotism. The fall of Damascus was followed by the ravaging of the districts of Israel north and east of Samaria, and the transportation of their inhabitants to remote portions of the empire. The capital would no doubt have been besieged had not the party friendly to Assyria got the upper hand and removed Pekah by the usual method of assassination (2Ki 15:30). The leader in this movement, Hoshea by name, had an understanding with the Assyrian king, and was perhaps from the first a creature of his. Abject submission on his part saved Samaria for the time being. The length of Pekah's reign is given as twenty years, which is difficult to reconcile with other data at our command. The true period cannot have been more than five years.

H. P. Smith.

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