Reply To: Who was Tiglath-Pileser in the bible

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Never make a deal with the devil. Inevitably the price you pay is far greater than any benefit you receive, just as it was for King Ahaz of Judah when he appealed to King Tiglath-Pileser of Assyria for help against his enemy.

Tiglath-Pileser was the king of Assyria. The mighty Assyrian Empire was on the rise during the reign of Tiglath-Pileser, but up to the time of Ahaz, they had not made any real forays into Israel. That all changed once Tiglath-Pileser got a taste of what lay in store in the area—thanks to Ahaz.

At some point in Ahaz’s reign, the kings of Aram and Israel teamed up to attack Judah, and Ahaz—in a moment of desperation—appealed to Tiglath-Pileser for help. Ahaz voluntarily made Judah a subservient kingdom to Assyria and paid Tiglath-Pileser a large amount of silver and gold to attack Aram and Israel. Tiglath-Pileser agreed and attacked both Aram and Israel, as Ahaz had requested (2 Kings 16:1–9).

Unfortunately, however, Ahaz’s actions piqued Assyria’s interest in the region. Assyria would later capture all of Israel and attack Judah, as well. Isaiah prophesied about Tiglath-Pileser’s attack on Aram and Israel in Isaiah 7–9. He assured Ahaz that a child would be born, and “before the boy knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right, the land of the two kings you dread will be laid waste” (Isaiah 7:16).