Pekah, son of Remaliah

“In the fifty-second year of Azariah king of Judah, Pekah the son of Remaliah became king over Israel in Samaria, and reigned twenty years. And he did evil in the sight of the LORD; he did not depart from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who had made Israel sin.” (2Ki 15:27-28)

With the help of the Gileadites, Pekah murdered Pekahiah, successor of Menahem, at Samaria and seized the throne of Israel. His accession was in the 52nd year of Judah's king Uzziah (Azariah), and in Pekah's second year Jotham succeeded Uzziah (2Ki 15:27, 32). Pekah's anti-Assyrian policy led him to form an alliance with king Rezin of Syria and bring pressure on Judah's king Jotham to join them (2Ki 15:37).

In the seventeenth year of Pekah, the son of Remaliah, Ahaz the son of Jotham, king of Judah began to reign:

“Then Rezin king of Syria and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, came up to Jerusalem to make war; and they besieged Ahaz but could not overcome him.” (2Ki 16:5)

Fearful of the Syro-Israeli alliance arrayed against him, and in disregard of the warning of the prophet Isaiah to have faith and remain neutral, Ahaz sent messengers to Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria, saying:

“...I am your servant and your son. Come up and save me from the hand of the king of Syria and from the hand of the king of Israel, who rise up against me.” (2Ki 16:7)

Assyrian king Tiglath-Pileser III responded to the king of Judah's plea by raiding the cities of Israel:

“In the days of Pekah king of Israel, Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria came and took Ijon, Abel Beth Maachah, Janoah, Kedesh, Hazor, Gilead, and Galilee, all the land of Naphtali; and he carried them captive to Assyria.” (2Ki 15:29)

Damascus was attacked and Syria's king Rezin put to death. Isaiah's prophecy regarding Pekah and Rezin was fulfilled (see the Ahaz, king of Judah synopsis for full details), and these events marked the beginning of the captivity of Israel. Following the swift Assyrian invasion of Israel, Hoshea, son of Elah, conspired against Pekah and slew him. Since Tiglath-Pileser II claims in his Annals to have replaced Pekah (Paqaha) by Hoshea ('Ausi), it is clear that this act was motivated by the Assyrians.

“Then Hoshea the son of Elah led a conspiracy against Pekah the son of Remaliah, and struck and killed him; so he reigned in his place in the twentieth year of Jotham the son of Uzziah.” (2Ki 15:30)