Pul, an Assyrian king—It has been a question whether he was identical with Tiglath-pileser III (q.v.), or was his predecessor. The weight of evidence is certainly in favor of their identity. Pul was the throne-name he bore in Babylonia as king of Babylon, and Tiglath-pileser the throne-name he bore as king of Assyria.
He was the founder of what is called the second Assyrian empire. He consolidated and organized his conquests on a large scale. He subdued Northern Syria and Hamath, and the kings of Syria rendered him homage and paid him tribute. His ambition was to found in Western Asia a kingdom which should embrace the whole civilized world, having Nineveh as its center.
Menahem, king of Israel, gave him the enormous tribute of a thousand talents of silver, “that his hand might be with him” (2 Kings 15:19; 1 Chronicles 5:26). The fact that this tribute could be paid showed the wealthy condition of the little kingdom of Israel, even in this age of disorder and misgovernment.
Having reduced Syria, he turned his arms against Babylon, which he subdued. The Babylonian king was slain, and Babylon and other Chaldean cities were taken, and Pul assumed the title of “King of Sumer [i.e., Shinar] and Accad.”
He was succeeded by Shalmanezer IV.