WHO WAS KING OF JUDAH WHEN SAMARIA FELL?
by miriam berg
To summarize, we have studied the problem posed by the fact that
the books of the Kings in the Hebrew scriptures tell us that the
fall of Samaria occurred in the 6th year of Hezekiah, whereas most
if not all modern books on the subject tell us that Hezekiah didn't
become king until 8 years AFTER the fall of Samaria. We have found
that the biblical chronology is completely internally consistent
based on the following few principles:
i) The Hebrew historians counted both the first and last years
of a king in his total reign, even though this caused one
of those years to be counted twice.
ii) The Hebrew historians counted the years of a co-regency in
the total reign of a king, although sometimes they forgot to.
iii) The years of the reign of a southern king were counted from
the month of Tishri in the fall, and the years of the reign
of a northern king were counted from the month of Nisan in
iv) For Judah, only descendants of David were legitimate rulers.
Therefore they counted the years of Athaliah as belonging
We have also found that this chronology is consistent with the dates
in Assyrian inscriptions for the fall of Samaria, the accession year
of Jehu and the last year of Ahab, and the estimated date of the
division of the kingdoms.
Also we have discovered that the reference in II Kings 18:13 must
be to the campaign in 714 BCE by Sargon II against Ashdod, and
subsequently against Merodach-Baladan, and that the siege of
Jerusalem by Sennacherib in II Kings was combined with the memory
of that campaign by Sargon's army. We have also seen that the only
errors which the authors of the Kings made were references to two
foreign kings, confusing events in the reign of Sennacherib with
those in the reign of Sargon II, and confusing "Pul" with Ashurdan
in the reign of Menahem. Furthermore the 15 years of additional
life granted to Hezekiah must refer to the years 713 through 699
BCE, following Sargon's expedition and including the year of the
siege of Jerusalem. Thus, we have presented an analysis which
completely vindicates the Hebrew historians and shows, as they
plainly tell us, that Hezekiah was king of Judah when Samaria fell.