Gershon Galil, «A New Look at the Inscriptions of Tiglath-pileser III», Vol. 81 (2000) 511-520
The first part of the article re-examines the inscriptions of Tiglath-pileser III, mainly Summary inscriptions 4, 9, 10 and Ann. 18, 23, 24. The author proposes a new reading to line 6 of Summ. 4 by adding a verb (abil or aks$ud) at the end of this line, and separating lines 5-6 from lines 7-8. In the author’s opinion Ann. 18 and 24 are indeed parallel versions depicting the events of 732, yet, Ann. 18 describes the conquest of Galilee, while Ann. 24 deals with the conquest of Damascus. The second part of the article examines the relations between Assyria and the West in the days of Tiglath-pileser III in light of the new proposals offered in the first part of the article.
kingdom’s treasury but collected from the Israelite nobles who probably resisted Menahem. The Assyrian sources do not relate any arrival of Tiglath-pileser III in Israel in the time of Menahem. Yet it is possible that Tiglath-pileser III’s inscriptions do not have details of the events of 742-740; consequently, the biblical testimony should not be rejected19.
Following the conquest of Arpad and the offerings made by western kings, the Assyrian army headed towards the upper Tigris and fought against Ullubu (739-738). The Assyrians returned to the west in 738-737 and defeated the coalition led by Azriyau and Tutamu, king of Unqi. Azriyau’s identity has not yet been settled in research. Several scholars believe that he was Azariah/Uzziah, king of Judah20. However, this assumption is impossible21. It is unlikely that Judah exploited Israel’s weakness following the death of Jeroboam II in order to expand its borders and turn Israel into a vassal22. Judah probably did not take control of Israel so Israel did not make an alliance with Assyria and Egypt to cast off the yoke of Judah. Uzziah king of Judah was an old man in 738 (approx. 66). He resided in ty#pwxh tyb and probably had no link with the revolt in northern Syria against Assyria. Eni-il king of Hamath is mentioned in the list of tribute of 738 (Tadmor, Inscriptions, Ann. 13*: 10'-12'; cf. ibid., Summ. 7: 8'), from which we may assume that amongst the kingdoms that acted against Assyria in 736, only Hamath remained independed. Several scholars assume that unlike Azriyau and his allies, Hamath did not revolt against Assyria23. This suggestion is problematic. It is not accidental that Hamath was not mentioned in the stele from Iran; it teaches us that Hamath apparently did not surrender to Assyria in 740. Moreover, if Hamath was loyal to Assyria in 738 and did not participate in Azriyau’s coalition, and in fact suffered from his actions, which resulted in the subjugation of its cities, why was Hamath punished by the Assyrians, who seized nineteen of its districts? Assyria should seemingly have rewarded the loyalty of Hamath’s king for suppressing the revolt and not annexing territories from his kingdom. In light of these facts, it is better to assume that Azriyau was actually the king of Hamath. His name may be an indication of an Israelite influence over Hamath in the mid-8th century B.C.24. According to this assumption, Azriyau died in battle or was deposed in a palace revolution, and Eni-il was crowned in his stead. The presumed palace revolution in Hamath and the emergence of a pro-Assyrian group may be the reason why Assyria agreed to the continuation of the partially independent existence of Hamath’s kingdom, while narrowing its territorial extent (compare with the reasons for the ascent of Hoshea, the last king of Israel).