Shallum of Israel

Shallum of Israel (Hebrew: שַׁלּ֤וּםŠallūm, "retribution", fl. mid-8th century BC), was the fifteenth king of the ancient Kingdom of Israel, and the son of Jabesh.

King of Northern Israel
Reignone month's duration, between 752 and 745 BC

In the BibleEdit

Originally a captain in the army of King Zechariah, Shallum "conspired against Zechariah, and smote him before the people; and slew him, and reigned in his stead" (2 Kings 15:10). He reigned only "a month of days in Samaria" (2 Kings 15:13) before Menahem—another captain from Zechariah's army—rose up and put Shallum to death (2 Kings 15:14–17). Menahem then became king in Shallum's stead.

In Antiquities of the JewsEdit

Shallum is also depicted in the Greek-language history Antiquities of the Jews by Josephus, under the Hellenized names of Greek: Σελλούμ and Greek: Σελλήμ. Josephus primarily uses the inflected form of the name: "Sellëmos" (Greek: Σελλήμου). [1] The name of Jabesh, Shallum's father, is Hellenized to "Jabësos". [1]

Contradicting the Bible, Josephus depicts Shallum as a friend of his predecessor Zechariah of Israel. Josephus intentionally heightens the pathos (suffering) of Zechariah's assassination, by depicting him betrayed and killed by a friend. [1] Josephus similarly depicts Jehoash of Judah and Amaziah of Judah as victims of assassination by their respective friends. [1]

The location of the assassination is left uncear in the Biblical texts, with various Greek versions identifying it as the city of Ibleam or Keblaam (Greek: 'Ιεβλαάμ or Greek: Κεβλαάμ. Josephus simply mentions no location for the event. [1]

In Josephus' narrative, Shallum murders Zechariah, seizes power over Israel, and reigns for thirty days. In this position, the Biblical sources speak of a fulfilled prophecy, that the House of Jehu (represented by Zechariah) would only reign for four generations. Josephus omits any reference to this supposed prophecy. Josephus similarly omits Biblical information that Shallum's seat of power was the city of Samaria, and that Shallum rose to the throne during the 39th regnal year of Uzziah, monarch of the Kingdom of Judah. [1] Josephus has a tendency to abridge the narratives concerning the final few monarchs of Israel, with full-length narratives reserved only for Menahem and Hoshea. [1]

Josephus' narrative next introduces Menahem under the Hellenized name Manaëmos (Greek: Μαναῆμος. He is identified with the Greek title of strategos, translating to general officer.[2] In Josephus' narrative, Menahem is depicted as a general whose seat of power was the city of "Tharsë" (Greek: Θαρσῆ, identified with the city of Tirzah. [2]

In the narrative, Menahem hears news that Zechariah has been assassinated, and then brings his entire army to Samaria to face Shallum. Josephus thus givers both a more detailed and a more plausible account of the event than the Biblical texts, where Menahem is seemingly acting alone. [2]


William F. Albright has dated his reign to 745 BC, while Hooker says 747.[3] E.R. Thiele offers the date 752 BC.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Begg (2000), p. 285-286
  2. ^ a b c Begg (2000), p. 286-291
  3. ^ Hooker, Paul K. “Chronology of the OT.” In Sakenfeld, Katherine, gen. ed. The New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible. Nashville: Abingdon, 2006-09. 5 vols. 1.636-42. See 1.640.
  4. ^ Edwin Thiele, The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings, (1st ed.; New York: Macmillan, 1951; 2d ed.; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1965; 3rd ed.; Grand Rapids: Zondervan/Kregel, 1983). ISBN 0-8254-3825-X, 9780825438257


Shallum of Israel
Regnal titles
Preceded by
King of Israel
752 BC
Succeeded by