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MENAHEM:

King of Israel 748-738 B.C.; son of Gadi. Zachariah, the son of Jeroboam II., had at the end of six months' reign been slain by Shallum, a usurper. Menahem went from Tirzah, one of the government fortresses, to Samaria, cut down the usurper, and occupied the throne (II Kings xv. 8-14). Immediately thereafter he smote Tiphsah because it refused to yield to him, and inflicted the most barbarous punishment upon the women of the city and its borders (ib. verse 16). This Tiphsah has been identified, by a slight change of letters, with En Tappuah (Josh. xvii. 7), a city on the borders of Ephraim and Manasseh.

It was in the reign of Menahem that the great Tiglath-pileser III. appeared on Israel's horizon: "There came against the land Pul, the King of Assyria; and Menahem gave Pul a thousand talents of silver, that his hand might be with him to confirm the kingdom in his hand. And Menahem exacted the money of Israel, even of all the mighty men of wealth, of each man fifty shekels of silver, to giveto the king of Assyria. So the king of Assyria turned back, and stayed not there in the land" (ib. verses 19-20, R. V.). The identification of Pul with Tiglath-pileser III. is beyond dispute. Israel at this time had 60,000 men of wealth, and was too powerful a kingdom to yield to Assyria without a struggle.

Among the tributaries of Tiglath-pileser, as described in his own inscriptions, are found the following: Kushtashpi of the city of Kummukh; Raṣunnu of Gar-imeri (that is, Rezin of Aram-Damascus); Mi-ni-ḥi.-im-mi of the city of Sa-mi-ri-na-ai (that is, Menahem of Samaria); and Hirum of the city of Ṣur (Tyre). From this reference it is possible to assign Menahem to a date about 748-738 B.C. His complete subjection to the King of Assyria seems to have occurred about the close of his reign, so that his son and successor was obliged to carry the burden of Assyria's tribute.

Menahem was the only king in this anarchic period of the Northern Kingdom who died a natural death.

E. G. H. I. M. P.
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