Here’s confirmation of the same info about Ahab’s defeat at the hands of the Assyrian Shalmaneser III.  Since there was no Syria at the time and the Assyrian capital was further to the east at Nineveh, I think it’s something of an anachronism to refer to Ahab’s military foes as ‘Syrians’.

Who Was the Historical Ahab?

Ahab was a real person who reigned over the northern kingdom of Israel from 871-852 B.C.E. The Assyrian king Shalmaneser III indicates that he defeated Ahab and eleven other kings in the Battle of Qarqar. Ahab’s father Omri appears referenced in the Moabite Mesha Stele. In terms of the Bible, the stories about the reign of Ahab are part of a collection of traditions concerning the prophet Elijah. These traditions circulated in prophetic groups that opposed the royal house of Omri. Little else is known about Ahab beyond what appears in the Hebrew Bible. This presents historians with a significant challenge.

In the books of Kings, the Bible portrays the story of the kingdom of Israel through the eyes of Judean writers. For centuries, the kingdom of Judah looked upon the more powerful, wealthier kingdom of Israel with fear and jealousy. These writers therefore depict Israel and her kings as evil. They serve as a warning against angering the Judean god, Yahweh. As a result, scholars who wish to achieve a less biased understanding of Israelite kings such as Ahab must adopt a historical-critical approach to the text that combines careful linguistic and literary analysis with archeological evidence.

Steve Abbott


Sent from my iPad

On Aug 27, 2019, at 7:44 PM, David Parks <> wrote:
So which wiki is right?
On Tue, Aug 27, 2019, 6:35 PM Steve Abbott <> wrote:

Here’s a quickie.  Note the bold text especially…

Later Kings & Foreign Conquerors

The Kingdom of Israel prospered under the reigns of the kings Omri (c.876-869 or 884-872 BCE) and Ahab (c.876-853 BCE) and, later, Jehu’s dynasty (842-746 BCE) according to archaeological evidence and the biblical narrative, but seems often characterized by instability resulting from the rivalry between Israel and Judah. Even so, under Ahab’s reign, Israel was a major military power as evidenced by the Stele Inscription of Shalmaneser III of Assyria(859-824 BCE) who states that Ahab was able to field a massive army against him consisting of over 2,000 chariots and 10,000 infantry (although modern scholarship has contested these numbers).

By the time of the reign of King Hezekiah of Judah (c.715-686 BCE), however, Judah had become the more powerful of the two kingdoms. In 722 BCE the kingdom of Israel fell to the Assyrians under Sargon II (722-705 BCE) and, as per Assyrian policy, the population was relocated to other regions (resulting in the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel). Miller and Hayes note:

Israel ceased to exist as an independent kingdom quite early in the period of Assyrian domination. Its capital at Samaria was captured in 722 BCE, and Israelite territory was incorporated subsequently into the Assyrian provincial system. Judah maintained its national identity throughout this period but was almost completely dominated by Assyria. (314)

Steve Abbott


Sent from my iPad

On Aug 27, 2019, at 7:11 PM, David Parks <> wrote:
I use wiki’s a lot. So when I found this one, I wondered if I should type Aram instead of Syria.
But I thought the Assyrians were a whole nother bunch way way north of Aram or Syria.
On Tue, Aug 27, 2019 at 5:58 PM David Parks <> wrote:

I need to fix that.

Show me more? Brief?
On Tue, Aug 27, 2019, 5:22 PM Steve Abbott <> wrote:
Just scanning thru the synopsis I ran on to something I want to make sure you’re OK with.  You referred three times to Ahab and his conflict with the “Syrians”.  That’s not really who they were and, given the times, calling them that drags up connotations for today’s readers you need to be sure you want to.  Ahab’s enemies were the Assyrians, and they haven’t been around for a good long spell now.  To my ear it kind of sounds like saying Napoleon was defeated by the Welsh or the Scots.  Maybe it’s something that would only bother the historically literate.  What do you think?


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