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Encyclopedia > Menahem

Menahem (Hebrew מְנַחֵם "comforting", Standard Hebrew Mənaḥem, Tiberian Hebrew Mənaḥēm) was king of Israel and the son of Gadi. Albright has dated his reign to 745 - 738 BC, while Thiele offers the dates 752 - 742 BC.

He came from Tirzah to Samaria to slay Shallum by his own hand, and succeeded him as king (2 King 15:14). He brutally suppressed a revolt at Tiphsah (so the name in the Masoretic text; modern commentators and translators prefer the reading Tappuah, following the Lucian recension of the Septuagint), and ripped unborn children from the wombs of their mothers (15:16). During his reign Tiglath-Pileser III, king of Assyria, invaded Israel with a powerful force, but was induced to leave by a gift from Menahem of 1,000 talents of silver, raised from a levy of 50 shekels on each "person of means" (15:19-21). Tiglath-Pileser records this tribute in one of his inscriptions.

After a reign of about ten years he died, leaving the throne to his son Pekahiah. The author of the Book of Kings describes his rule as one of cruelty and oppression.

Preceded by:
King of Israel Succeeded by:

  Results from FactBites:
MENAHEM in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE (Bible History Online) (568 words)
Menahem was probably the officer in charge of the royal troops in Tirzah, one of the king's residences, at the time of the murder of Zechariah by Shallum.
As Menahem is said to have attacked this enclosed city from Tirzah, lying to its North, it is probable that he took it on the way to Samaria, before proceeding to do battle with Shallum.
Menahem resolved on a policy of diplomacy, and, rather than risk a war with the conqueror of the East, agreed to the payment of a heavy tribute of 1,000 talents of silver.
  More results at FactBites »



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