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Jehoash

JEHOASH

JEHOASH (Heb. יוֹאָשׁ ,יְהוֹאָשׁ; "The Lord has given"), son of Jehoahaz, king of Israel (reigned 801–785 b.c.e.). Jehoash shared the throne with his father for two years or more. When the resumption of King Adad-Nirari iii of Assyria's military campaigns in Syria toward the end of the eighth century b.c.e. weakened the power of *Aram, Jehoash determined to free Israel from Aramean control. The decisive stimulus for the liberation of Israel's territories to the east of the Jordan came in 796 with Adad-Nirari's campaign against Manṣuate in the Lebanon valley (Massyas according to Strabo 16:2, 18); at that time, the king of Assyria also attacked Damascus, defeated the Aramean armies, and exacted a heavy tribute from Ben-Hadad iii, the king of Aram. The subsequent wars of Aphek (Alphikh, east of Lake Kinneret) appear to have completely broken the strength of Aram. Elisha's prophecy to Jehoash (made just before the prophet's death; ii Kings 13:14–19) that the king would defeat Aram at Aphek should be interpreted against this background. It appears that Jehoash then recognized the sovereignty of Assyria, his natural ally in the war against Aram, a conjecture substantiated by an Assyrian inscription from Telel-Rimah in which Jehoash (written Ia'asu) of Samaria is mentioned among those paying tribute to Adad-Nirari (Cogan and Tadmor, 335). The countries subdued by the above campaign are also listed in Adad-Nirari's inscription from Calah (Nimrud). They were: Tyre, Sidon, "the land of Omri" (i.e., Israel), Edom, and Philistia (A.K. Grayson, rima 3, 212–13).

The relationship between Jehoash and *Amaziah, king of Judah, is not clear. Israel and Judah may have formed an alliance with the aim of conquering Edom – similar to the alliance between Jehoshaphat and Ahab – but then, for some unknown reason, the two kings quarreled. According to a late story in ii Chronicles 25:6, before Amaziah went to war against Edom he hired 100,000 soldiers from Israel; but ii Kings 14:8–10 relates that after the conquest of Edom, Amaziah challenged Jehoash: "Then Amaziah sent messengers to Jehoash… to say, come let us meet together." In the battle between the armies of Judah and Israel near Beth-Shemesh, Amaziah was defeated and taken prisoner. Jehoash entered Jerusalem, looted the palace and Temple treasuries, and broke down the city wall for a distance of 400 cubits "from the gate of Ephraim unto the corner gate" as a symbol of its surrender (ii Kings 14:13). Shortly after his victory Jehoash died, in the 15th year of Amaziah's reign (785 b.c.e.). From the chronological data concerning the reign of his son *Jeroboam, it appears that father and son reigned jointly during Jehoash's last years.

bibliography:

E.R. Thiele, The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings (1951), 69; idem, in: vt, 4 (1954), 193–4; Pritchard, Texts, 281; H. Tadmor, in: Scripta Hierosolymitana, 8 (1961), 241–3; idem, in: Bi-Ymei Bayit Rishon (1961), 166–7; B. Mazar, ibid., 149–50; H.L. Ginsberg, in: Fourth World Congress of Jewish Studies, 1 (1967), 91–93; S. Page, in: Iraq, 30 (1968), 139–53; idem, in: vt, 19 (1969), 483–4; A. Cazelles, in: Comptes rendus des Académies des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres (1969), 106–17. add. bibliography: M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, ii Kings (1988).

[Hayim Tadmor]

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