Menahem, King of Israel

Menahem, son of Gadi, became the 16th King of Israel after he assassinated King Shallum. He reigned 10 years in Samaria. He's listed as an evil king and worshiped idols, as did king Jeroboam I. After he assassinated Shallum, he destroyed the city of Tappuah and the surrounding communities, killing everyone there. He did this because the people there had refused to accept him as king. King Tiglath-Pileser III of Assyria invaded Israel, but Menahem paid him off by raising 1,000 talents of silver by taxing wealthy Israelites.

The payment allowed Menahem to retain the throne, but the event marked the beginning of Israel's submission to foreign powers. When Menahem died, his son, Pekahiah, became king. Archaeological records involving Menahem include an Assyrian inscription recording the tribute payment. It includes the phrase, "Menahem of Samaria". There is also a quartz Hebrew seal in the Israel Museum inscribed with the words, "Belonging to Menahem". The name Menahem means "comforter." The story of Menahem is found in 2 Kings15:14-22.

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