Hebrew Prophets I
Azusa Pacific University
Dr. Gerald Wilson
October 22, 2002
"Historical Background to 8th Century Prophets"

I.   8th Century Israel
A.   End of the dynasty of Jewho
1.   Started with the death of Solomon and went through a series of kings
2.   Took the rulership of the northern kingship by force in the mid-9th century (850 BC)
3.   This led to a century of peace and prosperity
4.   Jewho -> Jeraboam II (753 BC)
B.   Mid 8th Century the situation worsened in the northern kingdom
1.   Series of brief reigns with a series of assassination
2.   22 years was left before the end of the Northern Kingdom (753 - 722)
3.   Menahem (752-742)
a.   Paid tribute to Assaryian King
b.   This made him become a vassal (subordinate) to the King of Assyria - it was a way of being conquered with out the bloodshed
c.   Heavy taxation - this angered the public
4.   Pekahiah (742-740)
5.   Pekah (740 - 732)
a.   Attempted to reverse Assyrian expansion into Israel
b.   Invited a coalition of small states that hoped to resist the power of Asyria - this conference was called the Syro-Ephramitic Coaliation
i.   Israel
ii.   Damascus
iii.   Judah was forced into this coalition
6.   Hoshea (732-722)
a.   Seeing the crowning of Shalmanezer (see below) in Assyria - Hoshea attempted to get support for Assyrian control
b.   Crushed Samaria (capital of the Northern Kingdom of Israel) in 722 BC
c.   Carried the people off into exile
II.   Expansion of Syria
A.   Because Assyria and Babylon had been fighting over the area of Mesopotamia, Israel had little influence from outside powers and were able to establish their own kingdom - This ends when Tiglath-Pilezer who forced Menahem to pay a tribute and become a Vassal
B.   Tiglath-Pilezer III ruled from 745-727 (read above)
C.   Shalmanezer V (727- ff)
III.   In about a century Israel went from major peace to living in exile - it was THIS that the 8th century prophets are dealing with
A.   Religious determination that took place during Jewho's dynasty - peace and prosperity to not necessarily lead to religious improvement
1.   Continuation of fertility worship, and the worship of gods and goddesses
2.   State religion was more and more ritualistic character in which the actions were expected to preserve the status quo - what worship they did of Yhwh was pretty empty
B.   Reliance on military might and political maneuvering as result from the pressure of Assyria
C.   Social injustice that developed during the time of peace and control
1.   The establishment of social classes during the time of peace
2.   Things that became demanded from the heavy taxes of tribute during control by Assyria