Text #8869

Editorial comment by Laura Knight-Jadczyk

Shalmaneser V was king of Assyria from 727 to 722 BC. He first appears as governor of Zimirra in Phoenicia in the reign of his father, Tiglath-Pileser III. On the death of Tiglath-Pileser, he succeeded to the throne of Assyria on the 25th day of Tebet 727 BC. Evidence pertaining to his reign is scarce.

The name Shalmaneser is used for him in the Bible, which attributes to him the final conquest of the kingdom of Samaria (Israel) and the deportation of Israelites. After three years of siege he took the city of Samaria. The populations he deported to various lands of the empire, (together with ones deported about ten years earlier by Tiglath-Pileser III) are known as the “Ten Lost Tribes” of Israel. According to the Bible, he settled a foreign population in Samaria. Shalmaneser died in the same year, 722 BC, and it is possible that the population exchanges were done by his successor Sargon II.

Israel Finkelstein estimated that only a fifth of the population (about 40,000) were actually resettled out of the area during the two deportation periods under Tiglath-Pileser III, Shalmaneser V and Sargon II.1 Many also fled south to Jerusalem, which appears to have expanded in size fivefold during this period, requiring a new wall to be built, and a new source of water (Siloam) to be provided by King Hezekiah. Furthermore, 2 Chronicles 30:1-11 explicitly mentions northern Israelites who had been spared by the Assyrians—in particular, members of Dan, Ephraim, Manasseh, Asher and Zebulun—and how members of the latter three returned to worship at the Temple in Jerusalem at that time.

  1. Finkelstein & Silberman 2001, The Bible Unearthed

Text #8970

Editorial comment by Laura Knight-Jadczyk

Relying on the Hebrew Bible as a historical source is iffy at best, deluded at worst. Nevertheless, in the even that there is some other source that might confirm this event, it is entered in the database.

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