Jeroboam II

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United Monarchy of Israel

Northern Kingdom of Israel

Jeroboam II (Hebrew: ירבעם השני or יָרָבְעָם‎; Greek: Ιεροβοάμ; Latin: Jeroboam) was the son and successor of Jehoash, (alternatively spelled Joash), and the fourteenth king of the ancient Kingdom of Israel, over which he ruled for forty-one years according to 2 Kings (2 Kings 14:23). His reign was contemporary with those of Amaziah (2 Kings 14:23) and Uzziah (15:1), kings of Judah. He was victorious over the Syrians (13:4; 14:26, 27), conquered Damascus (14:28), and extended Israel to its former limits, from "the entering of Hamath to the sea of the plain" (14:25; Amos 6:14).

William F. Albright has dated his reign to 786 BC746 BC, while E. R. Thiele says he was coregent with Jehoash 793 BC to 782 BC and sole ruler 782 BC to 753 BC.[1]

In 1910, G. A. Reisner found sixty-three inscribed potsherds while excavating the royal palace at Samaria, which were later dated to the reign of Jeroboam II and mention regnal years extending from the ninth to the 17th of his reign. These ostraca, while unremarkable in themselves, contain valuable information about the script, language, religion and administrative system of the period.

Archaeological evidence confirms the biblical account of his reign as the most prosperous that Israel had yet known. By the late 8th century BC the territory of Israel was the most densely settled in the entire Levant, with a population of about 350,000.[2] This prosperity was built on trade in olive oil, wine, and possibly horses, with Egypt and especially Assyria providing the markets.[3]

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