Ancient Assyrian records from the time of Shalmaneser III verify events and kings mentioned in the Bible during the time of the prophets Elijah and Elisha.
The first Assyrian record mentions how Hazael, the king of Syria, seized the throne from Hadadezer. The ancient text reads: "I was victorious over Hadadezer of Damascus along with his allies which numbered twelve kings. His warriors, numbering 20,900, laid slain upon the ground, while his remaining army was forced to withdraw to the Orontes river. There they retreated in order to spare their lives. Afterwards Hadadezer died and Hazael, the son of a worthless man, seized the throne. He formed a large army and waged war against me. I engaged him in battle and claimed the victory. He retreated in order to save his life."
This record verifies the Biblical account of Hazael seizing the throne from Hadadezer as mentioned in 2 Kings 8:7-15: "Then Elisha went to Damascus, and Ben-Hadad (Hadadezer) king of Syria was sick; and it was told him, saying, "The man of God has come here." And the king said to Hazael, "Take a present in your hand, and go to meet the man of God, and inquire of the LORD by him, saying, 'Shall I recover from this disease?' "So Hazael went to meet him and took a present with him, of every good thing of Damascus, forty camel-loads; and he came and stood before him, and said, "Your son Ben-Hadad king of Syria has sent me to you, saying, 'Shall I recover from this disease?' "
And Elisha said to him, "Go, say to him, 'You shall certainly recover.' However the LORD has shown me that he will really die." Then he set his countenance in a stare until he was ashamed; and the man of God wept. And Hazael said, "Why is my lord weeping?" He answered, "Because I know the evil that you will do to the children of Israel: Their strongholds you will set on fire, and their young men you will kill with the sword; and you will dash their children, and rip open their women with child." So Hazael said, "But what is your servant; a dog, that he should do this gross thing?" And Elisha answered, "The LORD has shown me that you will become king over Syria." Then he departed from Elisha, and came to his master, who said to him, "What did Elisha say to you?" And he answered, "He told me you would surely recover." But it happened on the next day that he took a thick cloth and dipped it in water, and spread it over his face so that he died; and Hazael reigned in his place."
Another inscription from Shalmaneser found on the Black Obelisk mentions the king of Israel, Jehu, who ruled during the time of Hazael. The Obelisk also shows a depiction of Jehu bowing down before the Assyrian king offering his tribute. The inscription reads: "I received tribute from Jehu, from the house of Omri; I received from him silver,
gold, a golden bowl, a golden vase . . . and a staff for a king."
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