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Fall of Israel and the rise of the Samaritans


Fall of Israel

The kingdom of Israel was completely overthrown by the Assyrians in 722-721 B.C.  In 732 Assyrian under Tiglath-Pileser invaded Syria with great overwhelming force.  They stormed the capital of Damascus in 732 reducing Israel to a vassal state. 

In 731, Pekah, king of Israel was assasinated by Hoshea who became the new king.  Hoshea sought the alliance of Egypt against Shalmaneser V, the new Assyrian ruler.  For this, Hoshea was arrested and imprisoned.  Samaria, capital city of Israel held out for almost three years before it finally was destroyed under the rule of Sargon II (722-705 B.C.).

Assyria had a brutal style of warfare that relied on massive armies superbly equiped with the world's first great siege machines manipulated by an efficient corps of engineers.  Psycological terror was one of Assyria's most effective weapons.  It was ruthlessly applied with corps's impaled on stakes, severed heads stacked in heaps and captives skinned alive.

Nearly all of the surviving Israeli population was removed and settled by the Assyrians east of the Tigris.  Only a part of the rural population remained behind.  This remnant was eventally submerged by settlers from Cuthah, Ava, Hamath, Sepharvaim, Babylonia, Susa, Elam and other places (II kings 17:24, Ezra 4:9-10).  A hybrid people and culture was formed which eventually came to be known as the Samaritans.




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