F. Syro-Ephraimite War
This was a war between Judah and a coalition comprised of Damascus (Syria) and Israel (Ephraim; 2Kgs 16; also 2Chr 27-28). Syria and Israel attacked Judah. The apparent purpose of the war was to dispose young Ahaz, king of Judah, and to pressure Judah into joining Rezin of Damascus and Pekah of Israel in opposition against the expanding Assyrian empire. Assyria, however, came to Ahaz’s assistance and relieved the pressure by attacking Syria (Damascus was captured ca. 732 b.c.). A decade later the Assyrian army attacked Israel, destroying Samaria in 722/721 b.c. Judah then became a vassal state of the Assyrian empire. The Biblical text discusses this in the following passages: 2 Kgs 15:37; 2 Kgs 16:5–9; Isa 7:1–9; 2 Chr 28:1–27.
The historical setting of this war is as follows. Assyria was having difficulty with Urartu (735), so Rezin (before 738) of Damascus started a new anti-Assyrian coalition. Pekah of Israel (735-32) assasinated king Pekahiah of Israel and joined the coalition. King Jotham of Judah refused to participate, so Israel and Damascus attacked Judah (~735). Jotham died and was replaced by Ahaz (742–27). Pekah and Rezin tried to get rid of Ahaz who was probably not popular in Judah (Isa 7:13 “exhausting the patience of man … and God”). Instead, they wanted to install a non-Davidic king, the son of Tabil, who would join their anti-Assyrian coalition. They attacked Judah and besieged Jerusalem (Micah 1:9-12). But they don't take Jerusalem. Ahaz sent tribute to Tiglath Pileser III, claiming vassal status and asking to be rescued. Tiglath Pileser attacks Damascus and later destroys Samaria in 722 BCE.