Israel enjoyed stability and prosperity and was at the peak of its economic and military power under the reign of Jeroboam II, the 14th king of Israel. Jeroboam II expanded Israel’s borders to include Hamath (west central Syria), in addition to recovering all the land lost by his predecessors. This included the reconquering and subjugation of Ammon and Moab. Jeroboam was determined to have a cordial relationship with neighbouring Judah and even gave the Judeans land seized from Syria. This contrasted with his more antagonistic father, King Jehoash. He fostered excellent relationships with his trading partners, in particular the Phoenicians who, as the greatest merchants and seafarers of the period, brought luxury goods into Israel. According to the Bible, his reign was also one of moral laxity and idol worship. However, within the same text, the prophet Jonah portrays him as a saviour who freed Israel from oppression.
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