Black Obelisk Decoded

The Black Obelisk


Damien F. Mackey


Part One: He cannot be Jehu

If king Jehu of Israel were indeed an Omride, as according to the usual interpretation of Shalmaneser III’s Black Obelisk from Nimrud (ancient Kalhu), then what can he be doing wiping out the House of Ahab, who was the very son of the mighty Omri?


According to my new series on King Shalmaneser III of Assyria, this mighty ruler, who is conventionally assigned to the mid-C9th BC, belongs more appropriately to the c. mid-C8th BC, as Shalmaneser V, who is the great Tiglath-pileser III:


Shalmaneser III an Awkward ‘Fit’ in a Revised El Amarna. Part One: Needs re-consideration


The supposedly mid-C9th BC Assyrian king, Shalmaneser III, lies at the heart of one of the revision’s most awkward conundrums, now known as “The Assuruballit Problem” [TAP].


Shalmaneser III an Awkward ‘Fit’ in a Revised El Amarna. Part Two: Un-hooking him from the mid-C9th BC


If Shalmaneser III is to be removed from the mid-C9th BC biblico-historical scene, then it will be necessary to show that the ‘pins’ ostensibly fastening him to that era are insecure.


Shalmaneser III an Awkward ‘Fit’ in a Revised El Amarna. Part Three (i): Contemporary of Ben-Hadad I and Ahab?


Shalmaneser III does not actually name his Damascene foe at Qarqar as Ben-Hadad. And the widely held view that the A-ha-ab-bu Sir-’i-la-a-a of the Kurkh Monolith inscription is king Ahab of Israel himself is in fact quite a controversial one.


Shalmaneser III an Awkward ‘Fit’ in a Revised El Amarna. Part Three (ii): Sapalulme of Khattina


Shalmaneser III claimed in his Annals (Kurkh Monolith) to have campaigned in his Year 1 against a Sapalulme the Hattinite, making it a very attractive proposition-in a revised context-that this latter was none other than the great Hittite emperor, Suppiluliumas of Hatti, a contemporary of Ben-Hadad I and Ahab.


Shalmaneser III an Awkward ‘Fit’ in a Revised El Amarna. Part Three (iii): Does the Black Obelisk Depict Jehu?


If king Jehu of Israel were indeed an Omride, as according to the usual interpretation of Shalmaneser III’s Black Obelisk from Nimrud (ancient Kalhu), then what can he be doing wiping out the House of Ahab, who was the very son of the mighty Omri?


Shalmaneser III an Awkward ‘Fit’ in a Revised El Amarna. Part Three (iv): A Brief Summary


Ben-Hadad I of Syria and Ahab of Israel have been shown to be seriously in doubt as likely opponents of the Assyrian king Shalmaneser III at the Battle of Qarqar (Karkar) in c. 853 BC (conventional dating), as recorded in the Kurkh Monolith. And king Jehu of Israel has been shown to be a rather poor fit for the Omride king mentioned in Shalmaneser III’s Black Obelisk – this Jehu (c. 841 BC, conventional dating) probably having been chosen as that Omride king for chronological reasons in relation to the presumed activity of Ben-Hadad I and Ahab some dozen or so years earlier. With these biblico-historical ‘pins’ now greatly loosened, one may consider the merits of prising Shalmaneser III way from his customary era and vastly re-considering his history.


Shalmaneser III an Awkward ‘Fit’ in a Revised El Amarna. Part Four: May belong to later Neo-Assyrian Era


Here I raise the possibility that Shalmaneser III may belong to an era about a century later than the mid-C9th BC, close to the time of the neo-Assyrian king, Tiglath-pileser III.


Shalmaneser III Awkward Fit in Revised EA. Part Five: An egomaniac in need of alter egos


There are reasons to think that Shalmaneser III may sit more comfortably in the mid-C8th BC. If so, an ideal alter ego for him, to begin with, would be the same named Shalmaneser V, a king of purportedly great deeds, but so poorly attested historically.


Shalmaneser III an Awkward ‘Fit’ in a Revised El Amarna. Part Five (ii): Shifting him downwards by a whole century


In order to strengthen my previous suggestion, that a revised Shalmaneser III could find his alter ego in the same named Shalmaneser V, of the C8th BC, it would be necessary to accommodate in the later period, not only Shalmaneser III, but also his fellow dynasts.


Shalmaneser III an Awkward ‘Fit’ in a Revised El Amarna. Part Five (iii, a): Shalmaneser III / Tiglath-pileser III


Shalmaneser III, now (in this series) moved down to the C8th BC, matches Shalmaneser V in name, in historical era, and in certain of his deeds-but not in reign length, with the 35 years attributed to Shalmaneser III far outweighing the mere 5 years attributed to Shalmaneser V. However, Shalmaneser V’s years and deeds can be-as according to this series-supplemented by those of his alter ego, Tiglath-pileser III.


Shalmaneser III an Awkward ‘Fit’ in a Revised El Amarna. Part Five (iii, b): Regions of Campaigning


Geographically, the impressive campaigns of Shalmaneser III appear to run along lines strikingly similar to those of the great Neo-Assyrian conqueror, Tiglath-pileser III.


Obviously, if this proposed lowering of Shalmaneser III by a century on the time scale is correct – and I shall need to show that his fellow dynasts can also be removed to this later era – then, chronologically, he cannot possibly be King Jehu of Israel.

Taking Shalmaneser III out of the mid-C9th BC also goes a long way to solving the irksome revisionist, “The Assuruballit Problem”. See my:


Taking Shalmaneser III right out of “The Assuruballit Problem” [TAP] Part One: Loosening his ‘ties’ to the mid-C9th BC


The supposedly mid-C9th BC Assyrian king, Shalmaneser III, lies at the heart of one of the revision’s most awkward conundrums, now known as “The Assuruballit Problem” [TAP].


Taking Shalmaneser III right out of “The Assuruballit Problem” [TAP]. Part Two: Considering his ‘ties’ to the mid-C8th BC


And, taking Jehu out of Shalmaneser III’s Black Obelisk solves the problem of a supposed Omride king wiping out the Omride House of Ahab, which House Jehu indeed wiped out. Thus I wrote: “… a consideration of this peculiarity of a supposed Omride wiping out what was effectively the royal House to which he belonged had occupied several pages of my university thesis:


A Revised History of the Era of King Hezekiah of Judah

and its Background



beginning with this introductory remark and question (Volume One) on p. 97:


Now it is generally thought that the Ya-u-a, son of Omri, to whom Shalmaneser III referred in the Black Obelisk inscription, was Jehu, and that Jehu was therefore a ‘son of Omri’, in the sense at least of ‘descendant’. If so, then what was Jehu doing wiping out the entire House of Ahab – Ahab too being a son of Omri?


I then turned to the discussion by T. Schneider in which the author attempted to reconcile the conventional interpretation of Shalmaneser III’s Black Obelisk regarding king Jehu with the biblical data about the king of Israel. My section, “Origins of Jehu”, pp. 98-102:


That very question: ‘Did King Jehu Kill His Own Family?’ has been pondered by Schneider who has given this as the title to her article on this intriguing matter. Schneider here is intent upon showing that Jehu, despite his having wiped out the entire House of Ahab, was nonetheless an Omride as thought to be represented by Shalmaneser III in his Black Obelisk inscription. Schneider, in support of her thesis, has noted, quite correctly, that Jehu was a familiar figure at the royal palace of Israel:237


Jehu’s relationship with the Israelite palace and royalty also hints at a family connection. Several Biblical passages clearly indicate that Jehu is no stranger to the king or palace. For example, when Jehu is proclaimed king by his troops and rides to the palace, he is recognized from afar by the way he rides (2 Kings 9:20). When riding out to greet him, Joram [Jehoram], about to be killed, calls Jehu by name (2 Kings 9:22). Jehu comments that he once rode behind Joram’s father, Ahab, in battle (2 Kings 9:25). Even Jezebel’s greeting to Jehu—she calls him a “Zimri”—may indicate he was a palace insider (2 Kings 9:31). Clearly, Jehu was no stranger to the royal family.




Shalmaneser III’s Black Obelisk


Schneider’s case will rest largely upon the apparent reference to Jehu by Shalmaneser III as a ‘son of Omri’. She, having accepted that this was indeed Jehu, and that Jehu was in fact an Omride, has put together the following explanation:238


The four-sided limestone monument [Black Obelisk] is decorated with five registers of relief sculptures depicting the bringing of tribute to Shalmaneser. Each register reads around four sides, one panel to a side, portraying a particular tribute and tribute-bearers. The second register from the top shows the tribute of the Israelite king Jehu (ruled 841-814 B.C.E.).


The central figure on the first panel of this register, presumably Jehu himself, prostrates himself, forehead to the ground or possibly kissing the feet of the Assyrian monarch. Some have suggested that this figure might be Jehu’s emissary. But if it is Jehu, this panel offers the only extant picture of a king of ancient Israel from the First Temple period [sic].

The cuneiform caption above this register identifies the scenes as representing the tribute of Jehu and reads as follows:


“Tribute of Iaua [Jehu], son of Omri. Silver, gold, a golden bowl, a golden beaker, golden goblets, pitchers of gold, tin, staves for the hand of the king, [and] javelins, I [Shalmaneser] received from him.”


… The Bible does not mention Jehu paying tribute to Shalmaneser. But obviously the Bible does not record everything that occurred in a reign that began in 841 B.C.E. and ended in 814 B.C.E.

[End of quote]


Figure 3: King of Israel Bringing Tribute to Shalmaneser III239



Schneider next moves on to discuss the Omride problem in relation to Jehu:240


There is another problem, however. The inscription calls Jehu the son of Omri. This does not necessarily mean that Jehu was Omri’s literal son. It could well mean he was a descendant of Omri, that is of the House, or dynasty, of Omri. But

that does not solve the problem. According to conventional scholarly wisdom, Jehu was not even a descendant of Omri. On the contrary, Jehu staged a coup d’etat that supposedly brought an end to the 40-year rule of the Omride dynasty.

As recounted in 2 Kings 9-10, Jehu, a commander in King Joram’s [Jehoram’s] army, was instructed by Elisha to murder the king, which ended the line of Omri. In Judah, the southern kingdom, the Davidic kings ruled continuously for 400 years, whereas murder and usurpation were common occurrences in the northern kingdom of Israel. Omri, also a general, became king of the northern kingdom in 882 B.C.E. after attacking his predecessor. Omri was succeeded by his son Ahab (ruled 871-852 B.C.E.), who in turn was succeeded first by one son, Ahaziah (ruled 852-851 B.C.E.), and then by another son, Joram (ruled 851-842 B.C.E.), whom Jehu murdered. … The grisly paradox of the cuneiform inscription on the Black Obelisk is that it identifies Jehu as the son of Omri, the very house he is famous for destroying. Modern scholarship assumes, based on all the information available in the Hebrew Bible, that to destroy the House of Ahab would be to destroy the House of Omri as well. But the Hebrew text never explicitly draws that conclusion. Throughout the Ahab/Jehu cycle the house that is destroyed is called the House of Ahab, while the House of Omri is never mentioned.


Schneider then asks: “Why does the Bible make this peculiar distinction between the House of Ahab and the House of Omri?” And her explanation of the ‘son of Omri’ conundrum is as follows:241


I propose that the Black Obelisk inscription is correct, that Jehu was indeed a “son” of Omri—that is, a descendant of Omri—but through a different line from that of Ahab, and that the House of Omri therefore did not come to an end when Jehu wiped out the House of Ahab. Traditional explanations for the supposed mistake on the Black Obelisk—the identification of Jehu as a son of Omri—point

out that the Assyrians may have misunderstood Israelite politics or that modern interpretations of the cuneiform text may be in error. …. How much credibility should we give them? Was it a mistake to identify Jehu as a son of Omri? … why

is Jehu referred to as “son of Omri”? A traditional explanation is that the Assyrians referred to a kingdom by using the name of the first ruler from that kingdom with whom they had contact. Since Assurnasirpal II campaigned in the west (though not far enough to the southwest to reach Israel) [sic], it is possible that he came into contact with Omri, who ruled Israel at that time.


According to the traditional view, the Assyrians for that reason referred to Israel as the “house of Omri” until it was destroyed in 721 B.C.E. —despite the fact that Jehu represented the beginning of a new, if short-lived, dynasty.


Thiele will thus comment, in relation to the Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III, that:242 “It is interesting to note that this Assyrian record applied to the nation of Jehu the name

of the king [i.e. Omri] whose dynasty he had destroyed”.


Schneider, herself unconvinced by the standard interpretation, continues:243


If that is so, however, we would not expect the first Assyrian reference to an Israelite ruler, on the Kurkh Monolith, to mention Ahab as ruling the land of sir-‘i-la-a, probably Israel, though possibly Jezreel. No reference to King Omri in the Assyrian inscriptions has been discovered. Thus the standard explanation for the reference to Jehu as “son of Omri”—that Omri was the Assyrian term for Israel— is unsupported by the evidence.


…. Schneider now turns to the matter of Jehu’s biblical lineage:244


…. A clue: In the Hebrew Bible, Jehu is called “Jehu son of Jehoshaphat son of Nimshi” (2 Kings 9:2, 14). Jehu is the only king of Israel to have his grandfather’s

name listed in his patronymic. Why? Traditional explanations would suffice were

it not for the Assyrian references. These explanations usually suggest that Jehu’s father was not as well known in the community as his grandfather, or that Nimshi

is a clan name whose meaning has been lost over the centuries.

Another explanation is that Jehu’s grandfather’s name is included to show that Jehu’s father was not King Jehoshaphat of Judah, Jehu’s contemporary.


Whether Schneider is right in her assertion that “Jehu is the only king of Israel to have his grandfather’s name listed in his patronymic” has probably yet to be fully determined in the light of a revised history of Israel. Moreover, that her explanation above has its problems is indicated by the three points that she will now outline:


Although the foregoing explanations are consistent with Biblical accounts, they

face some significant problems: (1) There is no other Biblical reference to a person named Nimshi, so that he was probably not all that well known; (2) the name “Nimshi” appears as a personal name on a Samarian ostracon, making it unlikely that the name referred to a clan; (3) not only are grandfathers’ names never listed in the patronymics of Israelite kings, but other Israelite kings who usurped the throne, such as Zimri and Omri, have no patronymics at all …!

On the other hand, if Jehu claimed descent from Omri, the inclusion of his grandfather’s name may have been necessary to establish the genealogical link.

…. I propose that Jehu was indeed a descendant of Omri.

…. Without contradicting information provided by the Hebrew Bible, this suggestion would answer many questions. Assuming that Omri had sons from more than one wife would explain the Assyrian reference to Jehu as belonging to the House of Omri. It would also account for Jehu’s unusual patronymic, why he was a commander so familiar to the royal family, and why the purge of the House

of Ahab, extending to Judah, was so severe.

This new way of thinking about Jehu solves problems on both the cuneiform and Biblical sides without having to make excuses for any of the texts involved.


[End of quotes]


The purpose of the first parts of this series has been to consider whether it is plausible to remove those biblico-historical ‘pins’ seemingly fixing Shalmaneser III to the mid-C9th BC. This is not an aprioristically determined methodology in order just to ‘get rid of’ Shalmaneser III, who has loomed as so troublesome for a revised [EA] Egypto-Mesopotamian history. It is based on inherent problems pertaining to those conventional identifications of biblical characters in the Assyrian king’s historical documents as discussed.

To remove Shalmaneser III from his mid-C9th BC location would immediately solve the problems with which Schneider and others have had to contend, regarding a presumed descendant of Omri’s wiping out his father’s house; problems relating to Jehu’s grandfather; and an apparent Assyrian ignorance of the genealogical situation. Jehu, the son of Jehoshaphat, son of Nimshi – who claims to have followed Ahab into battle, and Ahab was Omri’s direct son – was simply from a different line.

Jehu himself was not an Omride.



Part Two: Was he even a King of Israel?



Having disqualified Jehu, the mid-C9th BC king of Israel, as the tribute-bringing “Iaui”,

I must now begin to consider other potential candidates within the context of my revised location of Shalmaneser III down to the mid-C8th BC, as an alter ego of Tiglath-pileser III.







My various recent series on a revised Shalmaneser III have been, like McDonald’s, strong on takeaways. I have taken away Shalmaneser III from the mid-C9th BC and re-located him to the mid-C8th BC, thereby largely taking away, I believe, “The Assuruballit Problem”.

And I have taken away Jehu of Israel from the Black Obelisk inscription of Shalmaneser III.


Now, could there yet be in store some further takeaways from the conventionally structured biblico-history?


Potential New Candidates For ‘Iaui’


Kings of Israel


For biblico-historical chronology I have generally tended to favour the heavily biblically-based (and Martin Anstey inspired) The Wonders of Bible Chronology, by P. Mauro. I had liked the fact that Mauro had, for instance, been able to accommodate, by his insertion of various interregna, the 20 year reign of Pekah (2 Kings 15:27): “Pekah son of Remaliah began to rule over Israel in the fifty-second year of King Uzziah’s reign in Judah. He reigned in Samaria twenty years”. Edwin Thiele-based chronologies, on the other hand, which endeavour to make the biblical data conform to a supposedly super accurate conventional Neo-Assyrian history (a bad mistake), end up having drastically to shrink the reign of Pekah. Thus The Jerome Biblical Commentary (1968, 75:62), for instance, reduces Pekah to 737-732 BC, about 5 years.

However, Mauro’s own effort to make sense of this period may be exposed by the Assyrian evidence itself according to which Tiglath-pileser III makes mention of Menahem king of Israel, whose reign terminated (678 BC), according to Mauro, nearly 40 years before the Fall of Samaria (Mauro’s 640 BC). The Jerome Biblical Commentary, on the other hand, gives for this same period a span of only some 17 years (738-721 BC), far more compatible with the conventional length of reign attributed to Tiglath-pileser III (c. 745-727 BC).

Let us firstly read the Neo-Assyrian inscription referencing king Menahem of Israel (


Located within the Israel Museum is an artifact known as the Iran Stele named after the place where it was discovered. The artifact records the military campaigns of the Assyrian ruler Tiglath-Pileser during his first nine years as king.

The text on this artifact also mentions that King Menahem of Israel, who reigned in Samaria, sent him a gift of silver, and that because of this gift he allowed Menahem to continue to rule.


The text states: “I received tribute from . . . Rezon of Damascus, Menahem of Samaria, Hiram of Tyre, . . . gold, silver, . . .” ANET 283


“In my former campaigns I considered all the cities  . . .that I carried away as booty and . . . the place of Samaria only did I leave their king” ANET 283


This matches the Biblical account in 2 Kings 15:19-20:


“Pul (Tiglath -Pileser) king of Assyria came against the land; and Menahem gave Pul a thousand talents of silver, that his hand might be with him to strengthen the kingdom under his control. And Menahem exacted the money from Israel, from all the very wealthy, from each man fifty shekels of silver, to give to the king of Assyria. So the king of Assyria turned back, and did not stay there in the land.”


It may be here that (Anstey) Mauro, so eager to avoid falling into the trap of ‘yoking the Bible to an uneven team’ of faulty conventional history, unwittingly arrives at a problem created by that very history of a minimised Tiglath-pileser III. To get around the problem it is presumed that Tiglath-pileser III, whilst indeed a contemporary of Menahem, must have encountered the latter whilst serving as a general for a former Assyrian king.

My revised chronology, on the other hand, doubles (approximately) the reign of Tiglath-pileser III, now as Shalmaneser III (35 years), and now as Tiglath-pileser I (38 years).

Under this new scheme of things, the potential kings of Israel who could qualify for Shalmaneser III’s Omride ‘Iaui’ (or Iaua): “… the tribute of Iaui of the House of Humri”, would be:


Jeroboam II; Zechariah; Shallum; Menahem; Pekahiah; Pekah; Hoshea

(according to the chronology of The Jerome Biblical Commentary);




Pekhaiah; Pekah; Hoshea

(according to the chronology of P. Mauro).



It needs to be noted that Iaui himself may not be the actual person depicted as prostrating himself before Shalmaneser III. It may have been one of the Omride king’s servants.

At face value, Menahem looms as a likely candidate for Iaui, given that – as we read above – he is attested in the records of Tiglath-pileser III as having given tribute to the Assyrian king. Whether the massive amount of silver that Menahem is biblically recorded as having handed over would correspond well with that given by Iaui: “I received from [Iaui] silver, gold, a golden bowl, a golden vase with pointed bottom, golden tumblers, golden buckets, tin, a staff for a king [and] spears”, cannot be determined, I think, on present evidence.

There is nothing immediately compelling about the Hebrew name Menahem (מְנַחֵם), “comforter”, to associate it with Iaui.

But the problem with any of these potential candidates for Iaui from the kingdom of Israel is that, with the House of Omri wiped out by Jehu, how could any of them qualify as Omride?

And that leads me to an entirely new consideration of who may have been Iaui mar Humri of the Black Obelisk inscription.




Part Three: A new identification of ‘Iaui’





Which mid-to-late C8th BC monarch may identify as Shalmaneser III’s Iaui mar Humri, given that the kings of Israel at this time do not appear to qualify as “Omride”?




Potential New Candidates For ‘Iaui’



Kings of Judah


Whilst, at first glance, the kingdom of Judah (Jerusalem) may seem a most unlikely place to consider for a king who could be described as “Omride”, as according to the Black Obelisk inscription of Shalmaneser III, it needs to be recalled that, from Ahaziah onwards, the kings of Judah were Omride through Queen Athaliah (



  ATS Bible Dictionary




A granddaughter of Omri, 2 Chronicles 22:2, and daughter of Ahab and Jezebel, 2 Kings 11:1. Strangely enough, she was chosen as the wife of Jehoram, son of the pious Jehoshaphat king of Judah. Her pernicious influence drew into idolatry and crime both her husband and her son Ahaziah, 2 Chronicles 21:6 22:3. After their premature death, she usurped the throne, and sought to secure herself in it by the murder of all the seed royal. Only Joash her grandson, then an infant, was saved by his aunt Jehosheba. Six years afterwards he was brought from his place of refuge, and crowned by the bold and faithful high priest Jehoiada, who at the same time caused the blood-stained Athaliah to be put to death, 2 Kings 11:1-21 2 Chronicles 23:1-21.

[End of quote]


So any one of the kings of Judah whose reign might fall within the chronological range of our composite Neo-Assyrian king, Tiglath-pileser III (= Shalmaneser III), can apparently be a ‘potential new candidate for Iaui’.

These Judaean kings would include:


  1. Uzziah (Azariah) and
  2. Ahaz


two of the various biblical kings (along with Menahem, Pekah – Rezin of Syria – Hoshea) named by Tiglath-pileser III.


Uzziah (Azariah)


Not all are in agreement, however, that the Azriyahu of Yaudi referred to by Tiglath-pileser III is meant to refer to king Uzziah (or Azariah) of the kingdom of Judah. Whilst some accept that this most probably was the case: “”Azriyahu of Yaudi” who was most likely Azariah of Judah” (, other estimations range from “too shadowy to admit”:


* We purposely omit reference to the Assyrian inscription, which records an attempted alliance between Hamath and nineteen cities of the district, and Azriyahu – Azariah or Uzziah (Schrader, V. 5, pp. 217- 227). It is quite possible that in their revolt from Assyria these cities may have sought an alliance with Uzziah, into which, however, that monarch did not enter. But the reference to Uzziah in the boastful record by Tiglath-pileser of this Syrian coalition is too shadowy to admit, in our view, any certain inference (comp. Nowack, Assyr. Bab. Inschr. p. 27, Note 8). Are we to regard the introduction of the name of Azriyahu as meaning literally that monarch, or only in a general sense as referring to him in his successors – just as Omri is introduced in the inscriptions? Again, are we to regard the reference as indicating a strictly historical event? This seems scarcely possible. Or is it a general reference to, or inference from, a later policy – or does it express a suspicion, or is it only a boast? On the Assyrian chronology, in its bearing on that of Scripture, we purposely forbear entering for reasons previously indicated. An attempt at conciliation of the two chronologies (by Oppert), see at the close of Hommel, Abriss d. Bab. Ass. u. Isr. Gesch. Comp. also H. Brandes, Abh. zur Gesch. d. Orients im Alterth [,]


to a complete rejection of it (



* Azriyahu of Yaudi was identified with Azariah of Judah by G. Smith, and this identification was for a long time accepted without question by most Assyriologists.  After a violent controversy it has finally been shown that the Yaudi of Tiglath-pileser III.’a inscriptions ought to be identified with the Yadi or Yaudi of the Zinjirli inscriptions, and consequently that Azriyahu was not king of Judah, but a king of Northern Syria.  This view appears to me to harmonise so well with what remains of the texts, and with our knowledge of the events, that I have had no hesitation in adopting it.

[End of quotes]


Whatever the case, there may be a more promising candidate for Iaui amongst these kings of Judah – especially considering that, even if king Uzziah’s reign had actually fallen within the parameters of the reign of my composite Tiglath-pileser III, it could only have been very late in the reign of Uzziah, who was in fact suffering from leprosy, and whose kingdom was effectively then being guided by his son, Jotham.




King Ahaz of Judah is, I believe, a very good fit for Shalmaneser III’s Iaui mar Humri.

He fits chronologically, given my identification of Shalmaneser III with Tiglath-pileser III, a known contemporary of Ahaz (2 Kings 16:7): “Ahaz sent messengers to say to Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria, ‘I am your servant and vassal. Come up and save me out of the hand of the king of Aram and of the king of Israel, who are attacking me’.”

And he, like ‘Iaui’, paid tribute to the Assyrian king (v. 8): “And Ahaz took the silver and gold found in the temple of the Lord and in the treasuries of the royal palace and sent it as a gift to the king of Assyria”, whom he later visited (v. 10): “Then King Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria”.

He was an Omride through Queen Athaliah, as explained above.

Moreover, his name, as rendered in an inscription of Tiglath-pileser III’s, Iauhazi, accords perfectly with Iaui (Iau-haz-i) (


…. “Iauhazi [Jehoahaz, i.e., Ahaz of Judah.” Tribute is mentioned as consisting of “gold, silver, lead, iron, tin, brightly colored woollen garments, linen, the purple garments of their lands … all kinds of costly things, the products of the sea and the dry land … the royal treasure, horses, mules, broken to the yoke. . . .” [Luckenbill, Ancient Records of Assyria and Babylonia, Vol. I, sec. 801.]

[End of quote]


Similarly, Shalmaneser III had recorded: “I received from [Iaui] silver, gold, a golden bowl, a golden vase with pointed bottom, golden tumblers, golden buckets, tin, a staff for a king [and] spears”.

I now consider there to be an historical correspondence between these records.


13th July 2016



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