Q&A: Eight Years or Twenty Years?

Eight Years or Twenty Years?

Question

Eight Years or Twenty - 2 Kings 15:27

Answer

2 Kings 15:27 In the fifty-second year of Azariah king of Judah, Pekah son of Remaliah became king of Israel in Samaria, and he reigned twenty years.
There are some difficulties in this passage, and the era in question makes it difficult to reconstruct the exact time frames. Pekah may have ruled in Transjordan as a co-regent with Menahem and Pekahiah. P.R. House states:
Perhaps the most likely explanation for the twenty years is that Pekah exercised kinglike authority in the land before he actually seized power. Thiele theorizes that Pekah began his twenty years in 752 as a rival of Menahem, that Gilead was the probable site of Pekahs rival rule, and that he could have come to terms with Pekahiah by accepting a prominent military post under him. Obed suggests that Pekah ruled over northern Transjordania on behalf of the king of Israel, cut his ties with Samaria and, voluntary or perforce, surrendered to Rezin northern Transjordania, in return for being placed on the throne in Samaria. In other words, from about 752 to 740 B.C., Pekah was in effect a coregent, then became king through a coup backed by Syria. Though we presently are unable to verify such possibilities, something like these scenarios probably happened. If so, circumstances not unlike those described in 1 Kgs 16:21-22 may have resulted.

Reference:

House, P.R. The New American Commentary Vol. 8: 1, 2 Kings. In Logos Library System, electronic ed. Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001

Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (Thirdmill).