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Bible Dictionaries

Fausset's Bible Dictionary

Tiglath Pileser

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Related to Αtargatis (Syriac), Dargeto , "great fish," tutelary god of the first Assyrian dynasty. 2 Kings 16:7; less correctly in 1 Chronicles 5:26, and 2 Chronicles 28:20, Tilgath Pilneser. G. Rawlinson identifies Tiglath Pileser with Tiglathi-nin, "be worship given to Nin" or Hercules (the same as Pal-zira, i.e. son of Zira, from whom Calah is called Bitzirah, because he had a temple at Zira or Calah). Oppert explains it, "let there be adoration to the son of the zodiac," i.e. to Nin or Hercules. The earlier Tiglath Pileser reigned about 1130 B.C. Two cylinders in the British Museum mention him. Tiglath Pileser the second (745-728 B.C) founded a new dynasty succeeded Pul and preceded Shalmaneser; six years before Tiglath Pileser's accession (751 B.C.) we find him exacting tribute from a Merodach Baladan who ruled in southern Babylonia on the shores of the Persian gulf, a district of marsh lands for many centuries a refuge for Assyrian rebels. (Transactions of the Society of Biblical Archaeology 6:16.)

Probably an usurper, for he makes no mention of his father or ancestors; and Berosus (Eusebius Chronicles Can. 1:4) and Herodotus (1:95) state that in the latter half of the eighth century B.C. there was a change of dynasty from that which ruled for 520 years to the dynasty which came in not long before Shalmaneser, probably at the time of the era of Nabonassar, 747 B.C. Sylla's friend, Alex. Polyhistor, who had access to Berosus' writings makes Beletaras (another form of Pal-tzira or Pileser) a gardener of the royal palace originally. Afterward, he gained the sovereignty in an extraordinary way and fixed it in his own family. Conquered Rezin of Damascus and Pekah of Israel at Ahaz' solid citation. (See REZIN; PEKAH.) The Assyrian inscriptions mention that Menahem of Samaria (probably about 743 B.C.) paid him tribute, Jahuhazi (Ahaz) also, and that he set Hoshea on the Israelite throne at Pekah's death.

He relates that about the fifth year of his reign (741 B.C.) he warred in southern Syria and defeated a large army under Azariah (Uzziah) king of Judah, whose army Scripture states to be 307,500 (2 Chronicles 26:6-15). Again, that from his 12th to his 14th year (734 to 732 B.C.) he warred with Pekah and Rezin confederated, and that he besieged Rezin's capital for two years, at the end of which he took and slew him and punished Pekah by depriving him of a large portion of his dominions, and carrying off vast numbers into captivity. Accurately agreeing with 2 Kings 15:29; 2 Kings 16:9-16; 1 Chronicles 5:6,26: "in the days of Pekah ... came Tiglath Pileser ... and took Ijon, Abel-beth-maachah, Janoah, Kedesh, Hazor, Gilead, Galilee, all the land of Naphtali (compare Isaiah 7; Isaiah 8; Isaiah 9:1, this stroke fell at first 'lightly,' 'afterward more grievously'), and carried them captive to Assyria. The king of Assyria hearkend unto Ahaz; went up against Damascus and took it, carried the people captive to Kir, and slew Rezin."

"Tiglath Pileser carried away the Reubenites, the Gadites, and half of Manasseh, and brought them unto Halah and Habor and Hara, and to the river Gozan." Probably it was an Assyrian altar which Ahaz copied, as a formal recognition of the gods of the sovereign nation (which required subject kings to set up in their capital "the laws of Asshur"), and a token of submission: the visit of Ahaz to Damascus (where "he saw the altar") "to meet king Tiglath Pileser" accords with Tiglath Pileser's inscription that before quitting Syria he held his court at Damascus, and there received submission and tribute from the neighbouring sovereigns, among whom he mentions Pekah and Jahu-Khaz (Ahaz) of Judah. Tiglath Pileser took Sippara (Sepharvaim) in Babylonia. He warred successfully in Media, Armenia, and upper Mesopotamia; but it was only on the western frontier that he made permanent additions to the empire, namely, Damascus, Syria, and Gilead. His mimerous slabs indicate that he probably built a palace at the S.E. corner of Calah (Nimrud). They bear traces of intentional defacement, and Esarhaddon used them as building materials in his palace at Calah. Sargon supplanted Tiglath Pileser's dynasty, which accounts for the hostility evinced in the injury done to the palace of Tiglath Pileser.

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Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew R. Entry for 'Tiglath Pileser'. Fausset's Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/fbd/t/tiglath-pileser.html. 1949.

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