Hoshea was the nineteenth and final king of the ancient kingdom of Israel. He was the son of Elah and he became king after he assassinated King Pekah. He reigned nine years in Samaria (733-724 BC). King Hoshea's army was attacked and defeated in battle by King Shalmaneser V of Assyria.
Assyria forced Israel to pay hefty annual taxes to Assyria. Hoshea, however, stopped paying the taxation and he asked King So of Egypt to help him break free of Assyria's power. The Assyrians responded by placing Hoshea in prison, and by besieging and conquering Samaria.
The Assyrians were brutal in their treatment of Israel. Many Israelites were killed or exiled out of the land of Israel. Many were placed in colonies in Halah, Gozan, and among the cities of the Medes. Hoshea's story is found in 2 Kings, chapters 15, 17 and 18.