Adad-Nirari III and his Western Campaigns: Tribute from Jehoash of Israel


The KingsCalendar The Secret of QumranThe following article which was published many years ago on the old website, comes from Chapter Ten of ‘The King’s Calendar: The Secret of Qumran’ titled: 849 BCE to 756 BCE Athaliah to Uzziah & Jehu to Jeroboam II. (What is the King’s Calendar?) The article has been a little edited and external links are still current!


The King’s Calendar computerized mathematical reconstruction of the Chronological History of the Divided Kingdom of Ancient Israel operates on the basis of Linear / lineal Causality which, put simply, is that one cause has one effect. Change the cause and the effect changes. Chronological references cannot be ‘forced’ to fit, and nor can they simply be ignored or ‘compressed’ as is the usual case with historians and archaeologists.

Archaeologists and historians arbitrarily alter data to suit their pet theories. We will see that this especially applies to Adad-Nirari’s Campaign, but it is not something that the kingscalendar has the luxury of doing. The King’s Calendar reconstruction of Israelite chronological history applies a scientific methodology to a mathematical construct to determine the results of Biblical Chronological References, and then compares the findings with current historical perspectives, to determine the accuracy of the Mathematical predictions. The Science of the theory can easily be verified or falsified by any person who takes the time to test it.

The Difficulties of History

We sometimes tend to think that our knowledge of history is based on irrefutable evidence, but as pointed out by Sir Alan Gardiner (1961) [James Et.Al 1991 p.222] in reference to Egyptian History, our knowledge is based in a collection of rags and tatters. That there are probably many errors and circular arguments in relation to ancient history is attested to by many, including Colin Renfrew, Professor of Archaeology, Cambridge University (James Et. Al. 1991 : foreword pages.xiii-xv)

As pointed out by Peet. T.E. (1924. p 75): “Archaeology is not an exact science, and deals more often in probabilities and possibilities than in irrefutable demonstrations.”

Unfortunately however, anti-Biblical bias is strong and some historians take a less than scientific approach to their work. For some, admitting that the scriptural record of history might be right, seems to be sufficient incentive to ensure that the Scriptural Record be summarily rejected. James (1991, p.162) are quite straightforward in their criticisms of Academic “poor methodology, hypercritical treatment of Scripture, blindness, prejudice and a sectarian like rejection of the Biblical Record.”

Whilst we might not blame academics for distrusting the biblical material, What is hypocritical is that many of these same academics will quote the very Scriptures which they consider to be fictional, to support their many and various hypotheses. With this in mind, let’s take a brief look at Adad-Nirari III.

Adad-Nirari III on the Web

Assyria Part Eight By George Godspeed

Adadnirari III. followed (812-783 B.C.), ascending the throne of his father, [Shamshi Adad IV. 825-812 B.C.], apparently in early youth, but ruling with great energy and splendor for nearly thirty years. Unfortunately, no satisfactory annals of his reign have been preserved. Royal inscriptions from the next three kings utterly fail.

Israel and the Assyrians (Quartz Hill School of Theology)

However, before Assyria’s protracted withdrawal from central and south Syria, Adadnirari III (805-782 BC) was able to strike a terrific blow at Damascus which was sufficiently crippling to enable the Israelites to throw off the shackles the Arameans and fastened upon them and to regain their former boundaries. On the inscribed stele of this Assyrian king (discovered in 1905) Adadnirari writes:

Against Aram [Syria] I marched. Mari,’ king of Aram, in Damascus his royal city, I shut up. The terrifying splendor of assur [the national god of the Asyrians]…overwhelmed him and he laid hold of my feet, he became my vassal. 2300 talents of silver, 20 talents of gold, 3000 talents of coper, 5000 talents of iron, colored woolen and linen garments, an ivory bed, an ivory couch…his property and his goods, in immeasurable quantity, in Damascus, his royal city, in his palace, I received.

By the enigmatic appelation Mari’ (“my lord”) the Assyrians evidently refer to Hazael toward the latter end of whose reign there was a decisive weakening of Aramean power, rather than to his son and successor, Benhadad II. In any case, there are no grounds for inserting another king named Mari’ either before or after Benhadad II. The “name” is rather to be construed as “the title which had replaced the royal name in current language” and which in this instance was employed by Adadnirari III for Hazael, since it is difficult to place Hazael’s death earlier than 801 BC.

Christian Answers Net : Iraq : Tell al-Rimah

In 1967, a stela of the Assyrian king Adad-nirari III was found at Tell al-Rimah, 40 miles west of Mosul. It records a campaign to the west in which Adad-nirari received tribute from Jehoash king of Israel.

Encyclopaedia Britannica Online (  Article unavailable unless you sign up)

Shamshi-Adad V died while Adad-nirari III (810–783) was still a minor. His Babylonian mother, Sammu-ramat, took over the regency, governing with great energy until 806. The Greeks, who called her Semiramis, credited her with legendary accomplishments, but historically little is known about her.

Semiramis related articles: Here – and – Here.

King’s Calendar Chronology

(The King’s Calendar Reconstruction for this time period – and – The problem with current reconstructions are found in Appendix 5 and 6 – both of Which are found on the Precis Page.)

Adad-Nirari III commenced to reign in 811 BC or 810 BC

(Bright, 1981, p.255 – 811 BC – & – Miller & Hayes, 1986, p.291 – 810)

According to current chronology, Adad-Nirari III commenced a series of western campaigns (toward Syria / Palestine) between 805 BC. and 803 BC. although Miller & Hayes, [1986, p.298] place this at 796 BC. The Saba’a Inscription mention of Adad-Nirari’s 5th year (806/05 BC), appears to indicate that it was in that year that he reached Damascus.

Some academics think that reference to his fifth year may only imply that he commenced his campaigns in this year, not that he reached Damascus in that year. Reason for doubt concerns the relationship that existed between Damascus, Israel and Judah. The Rimah Stela mentions Amaziah of Judah and Jehoash of Israel as paying tribute to Adad-Nirari III, but currently no one places Jehoash on the throne of Israel until several years later than Adad-Nirari’s 5th year.

Dates for the Reign of Jehoash of Israel.

King’s Calendar: 807 to 793 BC
Encyclopedia Judaica 801 to 785 BC
Bright 802 to 786 BC
Miller & Hayes 800 to 785 BC

According to the King’s Calendar reconstruction Jehoash of Israel commenced his sole rule in 807/06 BC, just prior to the commencement of Adad-Nirari’s Western Campaigns into Northern Syria. This is the very year that the biblical narrative records that the King of Syria invaded Judah, threatened Jerusalem, and wounded Joash of Judah (2 Chronicles 24:23-24).

Since Amaziah commenced reigning in the second year of Jehoash of Israel, his father Joash of Judah died in the first year of Jehoash of Israel. His death (arising as it did from a Syrian invasion – 2 Chronicles 24:23-24), reasonably demonstrates that the Syrians were still in control of Israel until 806 BC.

With regard to the timing of Adad-Nirari’s conquering of Damascus, his defeat of Ben Hadad III, and collection of tribute from Joash of Israel, Roux (1982, p.279) places it at the very beginning of the western campaigns 806/05 BC., while Bright (1981, p.256) dates it to 802 BC, and Miller & Hayes (1986, p.298) put it in 796 BC during Adad-Nirari’s last western Campaign.

Possible Biblical Redaction Error

If the event did occur in 806 BC. and Joash of Israel paid tribute to Assyria, this would tend to negate the biblical narrative of an invasion of Judah by Syria. It could however be supposed that the tribute received from Jehoash of Samaria [Rimah Stele], was instead received from Joash of Judah, and the biblical redactors incorrectly identified the Syrians instead of the Assyrians [2 Chronicles.24:23]. There is biblical precedent for this type of Error.

For those who see an objection

(From King’s Calendar Chapter Nine: 883 BC to 756 BC, The Ancient Near East.)

While the ‘King’s Calendar’ commences Jehoash of Israel’s reign in 807 BC and Bright commences it in 802 BC, and irrespective of whether Ben-Hadad’s defeat occurred in 802 or 796 BC, it is clear that it was Jehoash and not his father Jehoahaz who recovered lost territory from Ben-Hadad after his defeat. The only indication that the ‘King’s Calendar’ can give as to when Ben-Hadad was defeated by Jehoash of Israel, is to be found in connection with the Battle of Beth-Shemesh between Jehoash and Amaziah, which occurred prior to 793 BC.

If it was in 796 BC. that Ben-Hadad was defeated and Jehoash of Israel paid tribute to Adad-Nirari, then Jehoash had but three years in which to regain military strength; recover the lost Israelite territory; and successfully defeat Amaziah, who by all accounts, ought to have been the stronger of the two. It therefore seems more probable that Ben-Hadad’s defeat took place in 802 BC.

From King’s Calendar Chapter 10 : Section 10. Battle of Beth-Shemesh

According to 2 Chronicles 25:17, the battle of Beth-Shemesh was instigated by Amaziah of Judah against Jehoash of Israel. Jehoash of Israel, defeated Amaziah, took him captive, broke down 400 cubits of Jerusalem’s wall, and plundered the Temple and the treasury.

Scripture does not give us a date for this battle, but it seems likely that between Jehoash’s first regnal year in 807/806 BC (when the king of Syria [or perhaps Assyria] entered Jerusalem ), and Ben Hadad’s defeat by Adad-Nirari (802 BC. or 796 BC), that he was not in any real position to wage war. This leaves a maximum total of between five (5) and eight (8) years during which the war could have occurred (801 – 793 BC)

Jehoash’s reply to Amaziah was designed to provoke a war (Judaica 1972, Vol 2. p.798 ).

The Reigns of Jehoash of Israel & Amaziah of Judah
From King’s Calendar Appendix 5

Adad-Nirari's Campaigns
On the left of this chart is Judah showing the reigns of Joash then Amaziah. On the right, Jehoahaz of Israel followed by Jehoash. To understand all the sequences of years (in pink and blue) you need to see the details at Appendix 5. This chart shows that Jehoash of Israel co-reigned with his father Jehoahaz. Other details include Hazael’s attacks and the Syrian offensive. It includes biblical references as well as one from Joshephus Antiquities of the Jews.

Article Summary

The King’s Calendar has actually no interest at all in Adad-Nirari III or his inscriptions. The only interest it has is to apply a scientific (mathematical) methodology to the synchronous chronological information provided in the Bible for the Kings of Israel and Judah, and to see how the results fit what we have accepted as the History of the Ancient Near East.

The King’s Calendar demonstrates that following the synchronisms provided in the books of Kings and Chronicles does put Jehoash of Israel on the throne by 806 BC, thereby making possible the primary text reading of the Saba’a Inscription that in Adad-Nirari’s 5th year (806/05 BC), he reached Damascus.

This is not to say that it could not have been later toward 802 BC, but as this date is only preferred because historians are unable to put Jehoash and Amaziah on their thrones by 806 BC, primary text reading suggests that 802 BC is incorrect.

What is the King’s Calendar?
Rules of Evidence Part 1.
Rules of Evidence Part 2
Rules of Evidence Part 3

The KingsCalendar The Secret of QumranR.P. BenDedek
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Author of
The King’s Calendar : The Secret of Qumran
“Finding Myself in China: A Politically Incorrect Story”

(In order of first mention)

Gardiner. A. (1961) Egypt of the Pharaoh’s. Oxford University Press. The Ancient Military Road between Egypt and Palestine. Journal of Egyptian Archaeology. No. 6
James P. Thorpe.I.J., Kokkinos.N., Morkot.R., Frankish.J. (1991) Centuries of Darkness. Rutgers Uni Press. New Jersey.
Peet. T.E. (1924) Egypt and the Old Testament. University Press of Liverpool
Bright. J. (1981) A History of Israel. 3rd Ed. Philadelphia. Westminster Press.
Miller,J.M., Hayes,J.M. (1986) A History of Ancient Israel and Judah. USA. Westminster Press.
Roux.G. (1982) Ancient Iraq. Suffolk. Penguin Books

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