TIGLATH-PILESER (Hebrew, , and a corrupt form, , in I Chron. v. 6, 26; II Chron. xxviii. 20; Assyrian, "Tukulti-apile-šar-ra" = "my help is the son of Ešarra"):

King of Assyria from 747 to 727 B.C.; designated by modern Oriental historians as Tiglath-pileser III. He first appears under the name "Pul" (II Kings xv. 19; comp. I Chron. v. 26), the proper form of which is "Pulu," as is seen in the list of Babylonian kings. When he assumed the crown over Assyria he seems to have called himself Tukulti-pal-Ešar-ra after the great ruler of the same name in the twelfth century.

Tiglath-pileser left several important inscriptions of his reign; but these were badly broken when discovered. Upon his accession he inaugurated a new policy for the government and administration of Assyria. Former kings had maintained by military force the union of the so-called empire; the new policy established a method of organization which more closely united the central and provincial sections of the government: systems of transportation and transplantation of strong but rebellious subjects minimized dangers that had wrecked other governments. This was the method pursued by Sargon at Samaria, by Sennacherib, and by other rulers down into Persian times.

Tiglath-pileser's first campaign into the west country took place in 743-742, when he entered northern Syria. While here he received tribute from Rezin of Damascus and Hiram of Tyre. A two-year siege was necessary to reduce to complete submission the plucky little city of Arpad, in 740 (comp. Isa. x. 9; II Kings xix. 13). The very next year he seems to have clashed with the interests of Azariah (Uzziah), King of Judah, far in the north (comp. II Kings xiv. 28) and to have established Assyrian sovereignty there. Either in this or in the following year Menahem (II Kings xv. 19, 20), king of northern Israel, purchased his throne of the Assyrian ruler.

Not until 734 was Tiglath-pileser's presence again required in the west. Pekah, who had secured by strategy and tragedy the throne of northern Israel, formed a league with Rezin of Damascus to withstand any further assumption of sovereignty over Israel and Syria by the power centered on the Tigris. Together they besieged Ahaz at Jerusalem, either to force him to join the anti-Assyrian coalition or to put a man of their own choice on the throne. Ahaz in desperation appealed to Tiglath-pileser for help. The Assyrian king made a dash for Damascus and laid siege to it. In the meantime he ravaged northern Israel (comp. II Kings xv. 29) and other territory all the way to Philistia. In 732 Damascus fell (comp. Isa. viii. 4; II Kings xvi. 9). At this time apparently Ahaz, among a number of petty kings, appeared within Damascus before the throne of the great conqueror and paid the price of submission. Soon after this event, probably, Tiglath-pileser incited or encouraged Hoshea to slay Pekah, the unyielding king of northern Israel. Hoshea was rewarded by being put in authority over this Assyrian province; and Tiglath-pileser retired to the east. In 728 he became master of Babylon, and died the following year.

J. I. M. P.
Images of pages