Joash KIng of Samaria
      During the chaos which ensued in Baghdad during America’s war with Iraq, the national museum was ransacked by vandals and many valuable artifacts were stolen. One of the items that was stolen was an artifact from the Assyrian king Adad-Nirari III listing his victories over the surrounding countries. The artifact known as the Tell el Rimah Stela has an important Biblical significance because it mentions Joash, the king of Samaria. The artifact states the following:
      “Adad-nirari . . . king of Assyria . . . I gathered my chariots and army and gave them orders to march to the land of Hatti. In just one year, I subdued the entire county of the Amurru as well as Hatti. I imposed upon them tax and tribute forever. I  received the tribute of  2,000 talents of silver, 1,000 talents of copper, 2,000 talents of iron, and 3,000 garments with multicolored trim from Mari of the land of Damascus. I also received the tribute of Joash, the Samarian, as well as the rulers of Tyre and of  Sidon.”
Tell El Rimah Stele mentioning Joash
Tell el Rimah Stela
Mentions Joash  
king of Samaria
      Another separate Assyrian artifact, from the same Assyrian king, known as the Calah Orthostat Slab, also gives a similar account. It says:
      “I subdued from the bank of the Euphrates, the whole the land of Hatti, Amurru, Tyre, Sidon, the land of Omri (Israel),  Edom, the land of Philistia,  as far as the great sea in the west. I imposed taxes and  tribute upon them.
      I also marched to the land of Damascus. I confined Mari, the king of Damascus in the city of Damascus, his royal city.”  Anet 281
      These artifacts also make reference to Mari of Damascus which is most likely a reference to the Syrian king Hazael. On the inscription mentioning Joash, Mari may possibly refer to Hazael’s son Ben-Hadad, the Syrian ruler whom, in the Biblical account, Joash defeated in battle three times
      Another artifact found in northern Syria, and dated to the reign of Joash, also mentions Ben Hadad. The find known as the Zakir Stela states:
      “I am Zakir, king of Hamath . . . . Benhadad, the son of Hazael, king of Aram, united a group of ten kings against me”  Anet 655
       The Biblical account of Joash begins in 2King 13:14 where he has an encounter with the prophet Elisha:  
      “Elisha had become sick with the illness of which he would die. Then Joash the king of Israel came down to him, and wept over his face, and said, "O my father, my father, the chariots of Israel and their horsemen!"
       And Elisha said to him, "Take a bow and some arrows." So he took himself a bow and some arrows.  Then he said to the king of Israel, "Put your hand on the bow."
       So he put his hand on it, and Elisha put his hands on the king's hands.
      And he said, "Open the east window"; and he opened it. Then Elisha said, "Shoot"; and he shot.
Joash shooting arrows
      And he said, "The arrow of the Lord's deliverance and the arrow of deliverance from Syria; for you must strike the Syrians at Aphek till you have destroyed them."
       Then he said, "Take the arrows"; so he took them. And he said to the king of Israel, "Strike the ground"; so he struck three times, and stopped. And the man of God was angry with him, and said, "You should have struck five or six times; then you would have struck Syria till you had destroyed it! But now you will strike Syria only three times.
      . . . And Hazael king of Syria oppressed Israel all the days of Jehoahaz. But the LORD was gracious to them, had compassion on them, and regarded them, because of His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and would not yet destroy them or cast them from His presence. Now Hazael king of Syria died. Then Ben-Hadad his son reigned in his place.
      And Jehoash the son of Jehoahaz recaptured from the hand of Ben-Hadad, the son of Hazael, the cities which he had taken out of the hand of Jehoahaz his father by war. Three times Joash defeated him and recaptured the cities of Israel. 2 Kings 13:14-25
       "You should know in your heart that as a man chastens his son, so the LORD your God chastens you. Deuteronomy 8:5
      For whom the LORD loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives." Hebrews 12:6
       “The LORD is gracious and full of compassion, Slow to anger and great in mercy. The LORD is good to all, And His tender mercies are over all His works.”  Psalms 145:8-9
      “For He remembered that they were but flesh, A breath that passes away and does not come again. How often they provoked Him in the wilderness, And grieved Him in the desert!
       Yes, again and again they tempted God, And limited the Holy One of Israel. They did not remember His power: The day when He redeemed them from the enemy.”  Psalms 78:39-42:
Remember, Jesus Christ redeemed you from the penalty of sin and from our enemy Satan.
      This article is a chapter from our 3 volume book series "Bible Believer's Archaeology" which can be downloaded for your ebook reader or mobile device by visiting our resource download page by Clicking Here.
Photo Links to Artifacts Mentioned in this Article
Tell el Rimah Stela
mentions Joash
Iraq Museum IM 70543
Calah Orthostat Slab mentions Omri land (Israel)
ANET 281
Saba'a Stele Adadnirari III attack on Damascus
ANET 282
Zakir Stela mentions BenHadad son of Hazael
ANET 655
The Holy Bible, Author: The Lord God
Scripture from the New King James Version unless noted.
Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament Princeton University Press 1969 Edited by James Pritchard.
ISBN 0-691-03503-2
Anet 281-Calah Orthostat Slab mentions Omri land (Israel)
Anet 282 -Saba'a Stela mentions Adadnirari III attack on Damascus and tribute paid.
Anet 655 - Zakir of Hamath Stela text mentioning Benhadad, the son of Hazael, king of Aram.
Internet Sources: -  
Calah Orthostat Slab (2.114G) also known as the Nimrud slab Adadnirari III march against Omri land (Israel) and Damascus and tribute paid. -  
Sabaa Stela (2.114E) Mentions Adadnirari III attack on Damascus and tribute paid. -
Tell Al Rimah Stela (2.114F) Adad-Nirari III’s artifact mentioning Joash.
photo of Zakir Stela which mentions Ben-Hadad and Hazael.
Artwork: “Joash shooting an arrow” Illustrated in “American Portraits” (1946)  Author: Fisher, Dorothy Canfield, Illustrator: Kaufman, Enit   Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Photo: “Tell Al Rimah Stela mentioning Joash” published on the website        - listed as Public Domain, with notice This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work prepared by an officer or employee of the United States Government as part of that person’s official duties under the terms of Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 105 of the US Code. US Department of State posted as stolen from the Iraq National Museum
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Evidences found in Bible Archeology