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American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [1]

King of Assyria between Tiglath-pileser and Sennacherib. He ascended the throne about B. C. 728, and reigned fourteen years. Scripture reports that he came into Palestine, subdued Samaria, and obliged Hoshea to pay him tribute; but in the third year, being weary of this exaction, Hoshea combined secretly with So, King of Egypt to remove the subjection. Shalmaneser brought an army against him, ravaged Samaria, besieged Hoshea in his capital, and notwithstanding his long resistance of three years,  2 Kings 17:1-40;  18:9-12 , he took the city and dismantled it, put Hoshea into bonds, and dismantled it, put Hoshea into bonds, and carried away most of the people beyond the Euphrates. He thus ruined the kingdom of Samaria, which had subsisted two hundred and fifty-four years, from B. C. 975 to 721. The bas- relief copied in the next page was found on a fine Assyrian obelisk of black marble, six and a half feet high, and covered on all sides with inscriptions. It was discovered in the ruins of the northwest palace at Nimroud, and is believed from various evidences to represent Shalmaneser receiving tribute from the Jews subdued by his arms. Hezekiah king of Judah successfully resisted him,  2 Kings 18:7 : but he appears to have ravaged Moab,  Isaiah 10:9,15,16,23; and is said in Josephus to have conquered Phoenicia, with the exception of insular Tyre, which he besieged in vain for five years.

Smith's Bible Dictionary [2]

Shalmane'ser. (Fire-Worshipper). Shalmaneser was the Assyrian king, who reigned, probably, between Tiglath-Pileser and Sargon, B.C. 727-722. He led the forces of Assyria into Palestine, where Hoshea, the last king of Israel, had revolted against his authority.  2 Kings 17:3. Hoshea submitted and consented to pay tribute; but he soon after concluded all alliance with the king of Egypt, and withheld his tribute, in consequence.

In B.C. 723, Shalmaneser invaded Palestine for the second time, and, as Hoshea refused to submit, laid siege to Samaria. The siege lasted to the third year, B.C. 721, when the Assyrian arms prevailed.  2 Kings 17:4-6;  2 Kings 18:9-11. It is uncertain whether Shalmaneser conducted the siege to its close, or whether he did not lose his crown to Sargon, before the city was taken.

Morrish Bible Dictionary [3]

King of Assyria, successor to Tiglath-pileser, B.C. 727. He is sometimes called Shalmaneser 3, and sometimes 4. He made Hoshea, king of Israel, tributary; but Hoshea revolted, relying on So, king of Egypt. In the ninth year of Hoshea's reign, B.C. 722, Samaria was taken and the inhabitants were carried away captive.  2 Kings 17:3;  2 Kings 18:9 . It may be noticed that Shalmaneser's name is mentioned only in these two passages, afterwards the term 'the king of Assyria' is employed; and in  2 Kings 18:10 it is said, "at the end of three years they took it." This leaves room for SARGON,the next king of Assyria, to have finished the siege, and to have carried away the captives. He succeeded to the Assyrian throne in the year B.C. 722, and on his monuments he claims to have taken Samaria in his first year.

People's Dictionary of the Bible [4]

Shalmaneser ( Shăl-Ma-N Ç'Zer ), Salman Is Gracious. A king of Assyria, b.c. 727-722. Hoshea, king of Israel, had revolted, but was conquered by Shalmaneser.  2 Kings 17:3. Hoshea revolted a second time and allied himself with So, king of Egypt, and Shalmaneser returned, ravaged Samaria, besieged Hoshea, and after three years Samaria fell. But meantime a rebellion headed by Sargon had broken out in Assyria, and Shalmaneser was deposed. It is not stated in  2 Kings 17:6 that Shalmaneser took Samaria, but that the King Of Assyria did, probably Sargon.

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [5]

SHALMANESER (Assyr. [Note: Assyrian.] Shulman-asharîdu, i.e. ‘Shulmanu [a god] is chief’). In   2 Kings 17:3;   2 Kings 18:9-11 the Shalmaneser is obviously a king of Assyria who succeeded Tiglath-pileser (wh. see) and preceded Sargon. This was Shalmaneser iv., who reigned over Assyria b.c. 727 722. He ruled Babylonia as Ululai. No monuments of his are preserved. The Eponym Canons give campaigns for his last three years. The siege of Samaria was probably begun in his reign and finished under Sargon. The name Shalmaneser appears in 2Es 13:40 as Salmanasar .

C. H. W. Johns.

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [6]

(Heb. id. שִׁלְמִנְאֶסֶר , signif. uncertain [according to Von Bohlen , Fire- Worshipper, with which Gesenius agrees]; on the monuments Salmanuzzur, or Salman-Aser ; Sept. Σαλαμανασσάρ , but in Tobit Ε᾿Νεμέσαρος by some error; Josephus, Σαλμανασσάρης ; Vulg. Salmanasar ) was the Assyrian king who reigned immediately before Sargon, and probably immediately after Tiglath-pileser. He was the fourth Assyrian monarch of the same name (Rawlinson, Ancient Monarchies, 2, 135 sq.). Very little is known of him, since Sargon, his successor, who was of a different family, and most likely a rebel against his authority, seems to have destroyed his monuments. He was contemporary with So of Egypt ( 2 Kings 17:4). He can scarcely have ascended the throne earlier than B.C. 730, and may possibly not have done so till a few years later. (See Tiglath-Pileser).

It must have been soon after, his accession that he led the forces of Assyria into Palestine, where Hoshea, the last king of Israel, had revolted against his authority ( 2 Kings 17:3) No sooner had he come than Hoshea submitted, acknowledged himself a "servant" of the great king, and consented to pay him a fixed tribute annually. Shalmaneser upon this returned home; but soon afterwards he "found conspiracy in Hoshea," who had concluded an alliance with the king of Egypt, and withheld his tribute in consequence. In B.C. 723 Shalmaneser invaded Palestine for the second time, and, as Hoshea refused to submit, laid siege to Samaria. The siege lasted to the third year (B.C. 720), when the Assyrian arms prevailed; Samaria fell; Hoshea was taken captive and shut up in prison, and the bulk of the Samaritans were transported from their own country to Upper Mesopotamia ( 2 Kings 17:4-6;  2 Kings 18:9-11). It is uncertain whether Shalmaneser conducted the siege to its close, or whether he did not lose his crown to Sargon before the city was taken. Sargon claims the capture as his own exploit in his first year; and Scripture, it will be found, avoids saying that Shalmaneser took the place.

In  2 Kings 17:6, the expression is simply "the king of Assyria took it." In  2 Kings 18:9-10, we find, still more remarkably, "Shalmaneser, king of Assyria, came up against Samaria and besieged it; and at the end of three years they took it." Perhaps Shalmaneser died before Samaria, or perhaps, hearing of Sargon's revolt, he left his troops, or a part of them, to continue the siege, and returned to Assyria, where he was defeated and deposed (or murdered) by his enemy. According to Josephus, who professes to follow the Phoenician history of Menander of Ephesus, Shalmaneser engaged in an important war with Phoenicia in defense of Cyprus (Ant. 9, 14, 2). It is possible that he may have done so, though we have no other evidence of the fact; but it is perhaps more probable that: Josephus or Menander made some confusion between him and Sargon, who certainly warred with Phoenicia and set up a memorial in Cyprus. Ewald (Isr. Gesch. 3, 315) supposes these events to have preceded even Hoshea's alliance with Egypt, but this is improbable (Knobel, Jesa. p. 139 sq.). According to Layard (Nineveh and Babylon, p. 48), he was perhaps the same with Sargon, but this is doubtful. It may yet turn out, however, that he was only a deputy or viceroy, and in that case the discrepancies in this part of the history will receive a ready solution. (See Sargon).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [7]

shal - ma - nē´zẽr ( שׁלמנאסר , shalman'eṣer  ; Septuagint Σαμεννάσαρ , Samennásar , Σαλμανάσαρ , Salmanásar ): The name of several Assyrian kings. See Assyria; Assyrian Captivity . It is Shalmaneser 4 who is mentioned in the Biblical history ( 2 Kings 17:3;  2 Kings 18:9 ). He succeeded Tiglathpileser on the throne in 727 BC, but whether he was a son of his predecessor, or a usurper, is not apparent. His reign was short, and, as no annals of it have come to light, we have only the accounts contained in 2 Kings for his history. In the passages referred to above, we learn that Hoshea, king of Israel, who had become his vassal, refused to continue the payment of tribute, relying upon help from So, king of Egypt. No help, however, came from Egypt, and Hoshea had to face the chastising forces of his suzerain with his own unaided resources, the result being that he was taken prisoner outside Samaria and most likely carried away to Nineveh. The Biblical narrative goes on to say that the king of Assyria came up throughout all the land, and went up to Samaria and besieged it 3 years. There is reason to believe that, as the siege of Samaria was proceeding, Shalmaneser retired to Nineveh and died, for, when the city was taken in 722 BC, it is Sargon who claims, in his copious annals, to have captured it and carried its inhabitants into captivity. It is just possible that Shalman ( Hosea 10:14 ) is a contraction for Shalmaneser, but the identity of Shalman and of Beth-arbel named in the same passage is not sufficiently made out.


Schrader, Cot , I, 258 ff; McCurdy, Hpm , I, 387 ff.

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [8]

Shalmane´ser, King of Assyria [ASSYRIA].