October 22, 2014, Wednesday, 294

Tiglath-Pileser III and the Syro-Ephraimite War: Kalah Palace Summary Inscription, 729 BCE

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<setnav>Bible and Beyond</setnav> Tiglath-Pileser III lists the kings who paid him tribute, including [Jeho]ahaz king of Judah

"In all the countries which... [I received] the tribute of... Jehoahaz (Ia-u-ha-zi) of Judah
(Ia-u-da-a-a)... (consisting of) gold, silver, tin, iron, antimony, linen garments with multicolored
trimmings..." (Summary Inscription No. 7)

Date: 729 BCE

Current Location: British Museum, London

Language and Script: Assyrian?; cuneiform

Biblical Verses: 2 Kings 16; Isaiah 7

Ahaz sent messengers to King Tiglath-pileser of Assyria to say, “I am your servant and your son; come and deliver me from the hands of the king of Aram and from the hands of the king of Israel, who are attacking me. (2 Kings 16:7)

Kalah Palace Summary

General Information:

Of all the Summary Inscriptions of Tiglath-Pileser III, number 7 contains the most detailed version of events and is the best preserved, to boot. That being said, only about half the clay tablet survives. The two large fragments of the tablet have about eighty-six lines of text written on them.


Relevance to Ancient Israel: The Syro-Ephraimite War ended when Tiglath-Pileser defeated and dethroned Pekah of Israel and Rezin of Damascus. One section of Summary Inscription 7 records the names of the kings in the West who had paid tribute to Tiglath-Pileser, including Ahaz of Judah (written out in full as Jehoahaz, with the theophoric prefix attached). There is no indication when this tribute was given, leaving us slightly in the dark regarding the loyalties of Ahaz: Did Ahaz form his alliance with Assyria before the Syro-Ephraimite War, in which case Tiglath-Pileser was coming to the aid of a loyal vassal, or did Ahaz form the alliance only in response to the threat he faced from Peqah and Rezin?


Circumstances of Discovery and Acquisition: The clay tablet containing Summary Inscription 7, now housed at the British Museum, is registered as K 3751, which is used for items excavated at Kuyunjik, the site of ancient Nineveh. This seems to be an error, as the tablet was almost certainly was discovered at Nimrud by Layard or Rassam. The circumstances surrounding its acquisition remain unclear.


See also:

The Syro-Ephraimite War (map)