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Pekahiah Of Israel

Pekahiah, from the Hebrew name pronounced, pek-awkh-yaw, originated from two Hebrew words; paw-kawkh, meaning to open, as in the eyes to observe, and yaw, which is a contraction of the Sacred Name (see YHVH, Adonai, Jehovah, LORD) i.e. Pekahiah means the LORD opened his eyes, or "the LORD opened His eyes."

Pekahiah was the end of the line for his father Menahem's dynasty, the seventh in the history of The Northern Kingdom of Israel (Israel had nine dynasties, as listed below, while The Southern Kingdom of Judah had only one, that of King David).

1. Jeroboam, Nadab

2. Baasha, Elah

3. Zimri

4. Omri, Ahab, Ahaziah, Joram / Jehoram

5. Jehu, Jehoahaz, Joash, Jeroboam II, Zachariah

6. Shallum

7. Menahem, Pekahiah

8. Pekah

9. Hoshea

"Pekahiah the son of Menahem began to reign over Israel in Samaria, and reigned two years"

In order to understand what Pekahiah had to work with when he began his reign, it's important to realize what his father Menahem had done to Israel's economy and sovereignty before him. The kingdom that Pekahiah inherited had been financially bled by his father's attempts to buy off the Assyrians, rather than stopping the evil that caused the LORD to allow the Assyrians to become a threat to Israel to begin with. All that Menahem needed to do was to repent - upon which the LORD would have dealt with the Assyrian threats Himself.

Map Of The Assyrian Empire

"15:17 In the nine and thirtieth year of Azariah king of Judah began Menahem the son of Gadi to reign over Israel [see Kings of Israel and Judah], and reigned ten years in Samaria [see Baal's Samaria]. 15:18 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD: he departed not all his days from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin.

15:19 And Pul the king of Assyria [see Ancient Empires - Assyria] came against the land: and Menahem gave Pul a thousand talents of silver, that his hand might be with him to confirm the kingdom in his hand. 15:20 And Menahem exacted the money of Israel, even of all the mighty men of wealth, of each man fifty shekels of silver, to give to the king of Assyria. So the king of Assyria turned back, and stayed not there in the land.

15:21 And the rest of the acts of Menahem, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?

15:22 And Menahem slept [see The Sleep Of Death] with his fathers; and Pekahiah his son reigned in his stead." (2 Kings 15:17-22 KJV)

From that, Pekahiah began his two-year reign.

"15:23 In the fiftieth year of Azariah king of Judah Pekahiah the son of Menahem began to reign over Israel in Samaria, and reigned two years." (2 Kings 15:23 KJV)

Like his father, Pekahiah "did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD," just as the northern kingdom had been doing since the time of its first king, Jeroboam (see No Levites In The Lost Ten Tribes?; also Are Levites 'Jews'?).

"15:24 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD [see 'Before Abraham Was, I AM']: he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin." (2 Kings 15:24 KJV)

As happened to both Israel and Judah, the reign of Pekahiah ended with assassination. The king killer was Pekah, a military commander in the king's army - who them proclaimed himself king.

"15:25 But Pekah the son of Remaliah, a captain of his, conspired against him, and smote him in Samaria, in the palace of the king's house, with Argob and Arieh, and with him fifty men of the Gileadites: and he killed him, and reigned in his room.

15:26 And the rest of the acts of Pekahiah, and all that he did, behold, they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel." (2 Kings 15:25-26 KJV)

The northern kingdom of Israel had been in a downward slide for many years. The relatively brief reign of Pekahiah was only part of it. Despite Israel's attempts to pay off Assyrian aggression, the people and territory of Israel continued to be lost (see the Fact Finder question below).

"15:27 In the two and fiftieth year of Azariah king of Judah Pekah the son of Remaliah began to reign over Israel in Samaria, and reigned twenty years.

15:28 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD: he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin.

15:29 In the days of Pekah king of Israel came Tiglathpileser king of Assyria, and took Ijon, and Abelbethmaachah, and Janoah, and Kedesh, and Hazor, and Gilead, and Galilee, all the land of Naphtali, and carried them captive to Assyria." (2 Kings 15:27-29 KJV)

Fact Finder: How was the gradual exile of the people of the northern kingdom of Israel completed by the Assyrians?
See The Galilee Captivity


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