Aram Captures Gilead

The century leading up to Israel’s fall to Assyria in 722 B.C. was marked by a complicated interplay of regional power struggles, palace intrigues, and territorial losses and recoveries. During Jehu’s reign over Israel the Lord began to reduce the size of Israel’s territory (2 Kings 10:32-33), primarily at the hands of Hazael king of Aram, who, like Jehu, had ascended to the kingship by assassinating his own king (2 Kings 8:7-15; 9:24-29). Sometime around 825 B.C. or soon thereafter Hazael brutally seized all of Gilead, including the former territory of Reuben, which had already been taken from Israel by Moab about 20 years earlier (2 Kings 1:1; 3:1-27; 8:12; 10:32-33; 2 Chronicles 21:8-10). Apparently Hazael also traveled unimpeded through Israel’s territory and attacked Gath. After this he turned to attack Jerusalem as well, but King Jehoash of Judah gave him all the treasures from the temple and persuaded him to withdraw (2 Kings 12:17-18). Around 790 B.C., however, King Jehoash of Israel (not the same as Jehoash of Judah) was able to recapture Gilead from Aram (2 Kings 13:25).

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