A Battle between Joahaz and Hazael?

Israel Finkelstein*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent studies of late Iron I I A ceramic assemblages from destruction layers in Israel raise the possibility that the expansion of Hazael of Damascus in the southern Levant was a gradual process.2 2 His first move was against Israelite towns in the Jezreel Valle)' and the second against Gath of the Philistines. If so, what prevented Hazael from taking over the region in one act? Based on several clues in the Bible, I suggest that despite losing hold over the Jezreel Valle}', in the days of Jehu, until the death of Shalmaneser I I I, Israel under Assyrian auspices was strong enough to stop Damascus from further expansion to the south. Hazael managed to complete his plans in the days of Shamshi-Adad V, as a result of the decline of Assyria and a battle against Joahaz which could have been fought at Aphek of the Sharon. I then speculate that this event stands behind two references to Aphek in the biblical description of ostensibly earlier days of Ancient Israel.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-61
Number of pages7
JournalBiblische Notizen
Issue number195
StatePublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes


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