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Paul Conway, Associate Professor, 2011©
Lesson Summary: This lesson serves as a historical overview of the region and civilization known as “Mesopotamia” and its overlap of history in relationship to biblical history and the biblical record. Objectives: 1. To give students a geographic and historic overview of Mesopotamia from Sumner through the Babylonian Captivity. 2. Present students with overlap between historical record, artifact and the biblical account. 3. Provide a summary of history and civilizations in the area known as “Mesopotamia.”
I. (Slides 1-6) Geography A. #1 The Ancient Near Eastern World: 1. This is the stage for the major events of History from beginnings to the end of the New Testament. B. #2 Two major Rivers 1. “Tigris(275 Miles) 2. Euphrates(200 Miles). C. #3 Notice the green region. o Everything that has water grows, everything that doesn‟t, dies. o Irrigation is key in this region of the world.
D. #4 These rivers were fed by run off waters primarily from the Zagros Mountain Range.
E. #5 Civilization, according to archaeologists begin in this region.
o Not cave dwelling. o The first villages. o This is called the “Hunting Gathering Stage of Mankind”. o It upgrades to villages and cities as time progresses. o The civilization was called Sumer. o Book “Civilization Begins at Sumer” o Also “civilization before Greece and Rome” by Saggs.
F. #6 Irrigation City States and Civilization 1. The Dynamic of Water a) Water Source for Mesopotamia (1) Egypt had the Nile (2) Israel had rain and the Jordan (3) Mesopotamia had the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers b) Water Source Dynamics (1) Until the Industrial Revolution all cultures and civilizations were agricultural. (2) In times of drought Israel went to Egypt.
(3) Egypt was watered by the Nile supplied by melting snow in North African Mountains and rainy seasons. (a) The rise of the Nile happened in perfect timing of the harvests and when they needed water. (b) The water was irrigated and utilized providing great crops (4) Israel was more dependent on rain and the Biblical account has the Israelites often going to Egypt for food in times of famine. (5) Mesopotamia, like Egypt was fed by a river source, two of them. The Tigris and Euphrates. (a) The rivers were supplied by melting snow from the Mountains of Armenia and the spring rainfall in the drainage basins of the Zab rivers. (b) Unlike Egypt, they did not come at times compatible with many foods. (c) Barley was the main staple of the Mesopotamian diet. (d) The Rivers would rise and deposit soil from the mountains that could support life. In fact they rise to flood stage and cover mass areas. (e) Without irrigation after this deposit, the soil left behind is useless.
(f) Hammurabi even begins his law code referencing his act of irrigation (g) “The lord, who made Erech live, who established the waters of abundance for its people… the one who set grazing-places and watering-places for lagash and girsu… the one who caused there to be an abundant water supply for Cuthah”. (Saggs pg. 371) (h) NOTE: this is also the civilization that created the “hanging gardens of Babylon”. Understand the fact that it was not only a wonder of the world for its amazing beauty and architectural accomplishment, but also a magnificent act of irrigation in this barren region of the world. 2. Irrigation as Power a) Irrigation as power. (1) Since the watering of Mesopotamia was not convenient to vital crops irrigation was necessary. (2) Anyone administratively able to join people together under the banner of irrigation often found themselves as leaders. (3) This is the beginnings of city-states (4) Communities of people around an irrigation system joining together for producing food, trade and safety together. (5) Irrigation and the ability to administrate such a task equaled power in Mesopotamia.
II. Slides 7-22 Sumer A. #7 The ANE World by the time of the Patriarchs. The days of Abraham.
B. #8 Summary of Ancient Empires through the New Testament Summarize them briefly.
C. #9 Sumerian Empire Date
D. #10 Sumer & The King and Mesopotamia E. #11 The king as divine steward a. The Sumerians and the succeeding civilizations saw kingship as a divine institution. i. In the Epic of Etana we read. 1. At that time no tiara (crown) had been worn… Scepter, headband, tiara and staff were deposited in heaven before Anu (a god)… There use to be no (royal) direction of her (the goddess’s) people; Kingship (then) came down from heaven.” ii. Unlike Egypt, who saw their pharaoh as the incarnation of a god, Mesopotamian culture saw their kings as a steward of the gods empowered to carry out their bidding. iii. The welfare of the nation depended on the welfare of the king. The balance of the gods and the universe were balanced on the office of the kings giving him central and great importance. F. #12 Steward to build temples
b. In the epic of creation regarding Marduk and Tiamat we see after a great victory in won, temple building was the next step. i. “Now Oh Lord, who has established our deliverance, what can we bestow upon you as a favor? Let us make a shrine” (Epic of Creation in Babylonian Creation Account) ii. This is also seen in the Baal Cycle of Semitic region when Baal becomes high God and El has a temple built for him via Asheroth‟s request. iii. Kings would have visions for temple building in A.N.E. c. Biblical Parallel compared with David in 2 Samuel 7:2. i. “Said unto Nathan the Prophet, see now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells in a tent. 2 Sam. 7:2 ii. This was spoken after David won the victory over his enemies and was established on the throne of Jerusalem. G. #13 Steward to Restore Temples d. They were inspired by the gods to restore dilapidated temples. e. There were extensive rituals involved in the process. f. Quote from Mesopotamian Lit. in Saggs Book pg. 365 i. “When the walls of the temple fell into ruins… pull down and rebuild that temple… in the favorable month… shall make lamentations… set up three cult stands… make music… shall raise his hands… do obeisance… shall recite a penitential psalm…(Saggs pg. 365). ii. Other such inscriptions speak of ritual purifications with water, nights of prayer etc… g. Biblical accounts of this process. i. It was a religious ritual in the context of his religious position.
ii. This is exactly what the Medo-Persian Rulers did with Ezra and Nehemiah. Full account in Ezra 1:2-8 iii. Ezra 1:2
"This is what Cyrus king of Persia says: "'The LORD,
the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah iv. This is also seen in the rededication of the temple during Josiah‟s day when the Law of the Lord was found. 1 Kings 22:1-23:21. The Law of God is found, the people purge themselves and the land of idolatry, the temple is restored and sacrifices are made to God.
H. #14. The king as steward of Justice a. The earliest form of political organization in Mesopotamia was as Dr. Saggs puts it „primitive democracy‟ b. Although the king was king, ultimate power rested with a general assembly of all adult freemen. However, the king was always seen as law giver and implementer and steward of divine justice. c. “One of the most marked features of ancient Mesopotamian civilization was its respect for the rule of law. i. 95% of all Sumerian Lit. is law in nature and Akkadian not far behind that. Some apodictic, others casuistic, still more contracts in nature but massive amounts of legal literature. d. Akkadian and Sumerian word for “Justice” lit. means “the straight thing” similar to the Jewish concept of the “straight and narrow way” e. “”When Marduk commissioned me to set right the people of the land and to cause them to have government, I set truth and justice throughout the land and made the people prosperous.” (Saggs pg. 372)
f. Jewish Law was primarily for personal holiness to God and fellow man with ritual or economic law as secondary. g. Mesopotamian law focused highly on economics and trade and very little on ritual life. Myth engaged that more but even so not at the level Judaism does.
I. #15 The king as shepherd of the people 1. The Title of the king as Shepherd was a common title in Mesopotamia 2. “All the people rely on you, O Shepherd,, in connection with the propitious (utterance of ) your mouth” (Saggs pg. 371). 3. “I the shepherd, have build the house” (Saggs pg. 368). 4. Not that In Egypt the Pharaoh as god bankrupt the nation of the Old kingdom and after a great depression (1st Intermediate Period) the Pharaohs of the Middle Kingdom were known as “Shepherds” because it resonated better with the people. 5. This title conveys a sense of care and compassion with the peoples best interest in mind. 6. This is a biblical title seen over and over again however, both leaders and God are seen as the shepherd 7. 2 Samuel 5:2; 2 Samuel 7:7; 1 Chron. 17:6; Psalm 23; Isaiah 40:11; Ezekiel 34:16; Mt 2:6; Jn 10:14; Heb. 13:20; 1 Peter 5:4; Rev. 7:17. 8. The point here is that Both God and his leaders are seen as “shepherds”. They both care for the flock unlike a hired hand who will not look out for the interest of the flock
M. #16 Tower of Babel a. Zigurat of Ur-Nammu b. Believed to be the construct of the Tower of Babel.
N. #17 Tower of Babel in Extra-Biblical Literature of the Ancient Near East. a. Read Genesis 11:1-9 b. In you Text “Readings from the Ancient Near East pg. 71.\
O. #18 Sumerian as the ancient universal language. a. Pass around replica from Univ. of Pen. “Sumerian Text”
P. #19 Sumerian Text a. Notice the picture and dot combinations. b. Similar to the pictorial concept of Hieroglyphics, yet worlds apart.
Q. #20 Cuneiform a. Pass around replica‟s from Univ. of Penn. b. Lit. “Wedge Shaped” c. A later “Universal Writing for Mesopotamia” d. Although the language barrier existed among tribes, it was “re-unified” with the universal trade and commerce language of “Cuneiform”
R. #21 Cuneiform in boxes S. #22 Religion of Sumner a. Could waste a life time on the deities of the ANE. b. Marduk and Timat are key ones. c. Story of Abraham and Mesopotamian Idolatry. i. Joshua 24:24 says Abrahams father and Brothers were Idol worshipers. ii. Jewish Lit. says they were also “Idol Makers” for a profession.
iii. Story from Midrash (Jewish Commentary of the OT) about Abraham keeping the Idol shop for his father. 1. The Midrash answers all these questions. There it is explained that when Abraham was still a young child, he realized that idol worship was nothing but foolishness. To make his point, one day, when Abraham was asked to watch the store, he took a hammer and smashed all the idols - except for the largest. His father came home aghast. "What happened?!" he shouted. "It was amazing, Dad," replied Abraham. "The idols all got into a fight and the biggest idol won!" His father said, “But son, that‟s ridiculous, there only idols of stone and wood”. And Abraham replied “Ah ha, Ah ha”.
Slides #23- 27 A. #23 AGADE (AKKAD) Empire and Date Nation of the Akkadian Language, Semitic (From the Hebrew family)
B. #24 Image of Sargon the Great First official Empire builder of Mesopotamia
C. #25 Region of where Akkad was. Controlled the entire region.
D. #26 Image of Sargon the Great
E. #27 Readings from the Ancient Near East.
Pg. 75 "Readings from the Ancient Near East” Small Group Activity. Who does this sound like? What is similar? What is different?
A. #28 Old Babylonian Empire with dates Not the Babylon of Daniel, this is much earlier. That Babylon would come for another 1,300 years
B. #29 Law Codes Ur-Nammu, Text. Pg. 104. Less than 40 laws preserved.
C. #30 Creation Epics Marduk and Timat a) Cuts her in two. b) “Tiamat” lit. waters. c) Cf. Genesis “God separates the water from the water. d) Also called the creature Rahab (Isa. 51:9)
D. #31 Flood Epics Epic of Gilgamesh
E. #32 Epic of Gilgamesh Text. Pg. 66-70
F. #33 Code of Hammurabbi 282 laws Text pg. 111. Replica @ Harvard you will see.
G. #34 Code of Hammurabbi in another format. H. #35 Law Codes at a kings “Idol” Placed around the kingdom Sign of “Omni-presence” Idol of the King cf. Adam as Gods “Idol” or “Image” in Garden.\ I. #36 King Hammurabbi’s History. King Hammurabi (1792-1750 BC) o General Comments o His name rendered Hammurabi or Hammurqi based on eastern and western Semitic versions. o Left his mark as a Statesmen (Successful war leader) and Law Giver (His Code, the code of Hammurabi) o The Babylon he ruled is covered below the reach of the archeologist. All of our information comes from massive amounts of caches of tables etc. It is a better documentation of a
period in history than the times of Christ and the N.T. according to George Roux. o Hammurabi the Statesman/ Warrior o Previous generations were building up the fortifications o Hammurabi spent the first few years of his reign consolidating his throne, building temples, canals etc. o He patiently waited for opportunity o HAMMURAPI‟S CAMPAINGS Years 1-5 Secured the throne Years 6-11 Multiple offensives South against Larsa, Urik and Isin North Eshnunna, Mari, Ashur and surrounding areas Years 11-28 Problematic Consolidation of His kingdom Year 29 Successfully conquered and ANE of Mesopotamia Could Take title of “King of the Universe” or “King of Sumer and Akkad” J. #37 Hammurabi the Lawgiver o What Hammurabi felt he did as a lawgiver I rooted out the enemy above and below; I made an end of war I promoted the welfare of our land I made the people rest in friendly habitations; I did not let them have anyone to terrorize them. The great gods called me,
So I became the beneficent shepherd whose scepter is righteous;In my bosom I carried the people of the land of Sumer and Akkad; They prospered under my protection; I have governed them in peace; I have sheltered them in my strength.
K. #38 Hammurabi Quoted concerning his “Code” or “Law” b) “To cause Justice to prevail in the country To destroy the wicked and evil That the strong may not oppress the weak” J. #39 Hammurabbi Quoted concerning his “Code” for instruction to the people. Any person feeling wronged in a legal matter should go in front of the statue of me as “king of Justice” and also have my inscribed stele read out loud to him so he can hear my precious words and my stele can explain the case to him. By understanding his legal situation, he can be comforted.” “If (such a leader) has intelligence and wishes to guide his land aright, he should heed the words which I wrote on my stele, and it shall surely show him the road and the way” V. Slides 40 KASSITES
A. #40 Kassite Empire Reigned over Babylon for over half a millennium. Left litter trace of their existence despite having the greater success over this region.
Not much interaction with biblical history Therefore no much time spent on studying them.
Slides 41-43 GENERAL ASSYIRAN HISTORY & KING PROFILES.
A. #41 Dates Assyrian Empire 1400 – 1200 BC a) Littler to no interaction with biblical history. b) Therefore, littler will be said. Neo Assyrian Empire 1200 – 612 BC a) Major Interaction with biblical history b) Much to say. The Dawn of Assyrian Dominance in the Fertile Crescent By the end of the 10th Century Assyria was at her lowest ebb. Trade Routes were in foreign hands Lack of National Resource
Despite her disadvantages, she was a tough tight compact country with the most potential in Mesopotamia She had horses, chariots and warriors trained by years of constant fighting
Her neighbors and enemies were either occupied or weekend by their own conquest or the conquest of others Babylonia was plundered by the Aramaeans Elam was in a silent phase Egypt was being invaded and ruled by Lybians The Medes and Persians were still geographically isolated
It was in 911 B.C. the Assyrian Empire awoke. She began to Annex small chieftain territories to her kingdom The detailed records they kept, show a perpetual horde of goods taken by Assyria This would snowball setting the stage for the great rules of the 8th and 7th centuries.
B. #42 POLITICAL AND CULTURAL Taxes, plunder, pillaging and deportation Assyria Took booty and Taxed defeated regions heavily Detailed records show a massive amassment of wealth This wealth would later fuel momentum for two centuries of dominance in the Fertile Crescent After ravishing a defeated nations wealth, heavy taxation was imposed Silence of Correspondence to satellite states shows Assyria gathered the wealth to its central government but did very little to spread it among the improvement of life of the nations it conquered.
B. #43 List of Assyrian Kings of the “Neo-Assyrian Empire” Ashurnasirpal II (883-859) Shalmaneser III (858–824 B.C.E.). Tiglath-Pileser III (744-727) Shalmaneser V (726-722)
Sargon II (721-705) Sennacherib (704-681) Esarhaddon (680-699) Ashurbanipal (668-627)
VII. SLIDES 44-51 ASHURNASIRPAL III
A. #44 Ashurnasirpal II (883-859 BC) Conquers Northern Babylon, Lebanon, and the Philistines. a) Show on a map the region. B. #45 Statue of Ashurnasirpal II Found at Calah Pass around statue of Ashurnasirpal II. His reign was generally one of peace and stability.
C. #46 Statue up close. Statue found in his Assyrian capitol Kalhu (Calhu) today seen as modern Nimrud. Look at Ancient Mesopotamia map for Nimrud. Original statue 7 ½ feet high. Gives perspective to the size of the gates (Click back to previous pic)
D. #47 Stele of Ashurnasirpal II
E. #48 Like most ANE Leaders, He collected animals and plants from around the world and had his own game preserve. Dr. Walt Kaiser “You weren‟t a real man unless you killed a lion on the back of a chariot with him seconds away from killing you”.
F. #49 Lion dying. These images are prevalent in his inscriptions, more than most.
G. #50 Tree of Life Motif. This is a Mesopotamian concept. Myth in the hands of Cain‟s race passed down without God in the picture.
H. #51 Sacred rituals Wall relief‟s of these diving beings carrying acorns, goats and even feathers. Was part of a divine kingly cleansing ritual. They also served like gargoyles in the renaissance.
VIII. SLIDES 52-58 SHALMANESSER III A. #52 Shalmanesser III (858-824 BC) Became aggressive with expansion into the Levant (Israel) Had Kalah (Calah) as his capitol like Ahsurnasirpal II.
B. #53 Black Obolisque of Shalmanesser III Dated 841 BC 7 ½ feet high. Speaks about his victories in Syria and Israel.
C. #54 Image of Jehu, son of Omri, King of Israel kneeling
D. #55 Jehu, son of Omri Imposed tribute on wealthy men of Israel 2 kings 15:20 Text pg. 144 with the translation.
E. #56 Black Obolisque details from Biblical World in Pictures. Shalmaneser III, who raises his cup; his attendant with fly-whisk and flower; and between them, a figure labeled Jehu (Iaua), son of Omri, who kisses the ground at Shalmaneser‟s feet, The divine symbols of the god Shamash (the winged disk) and the goddess Ishtar (the star) hover above the scene, which curiously resembles those in which the king offers libations to deities.
F. #57 Hebrews bringing tribute “Hat on head and cloth are from the Palestine region. G. #58 Black Obolisk is now in the “British Museum”
SLIDES 58-64 TIGLATH-PILESER III
A. #59 Tiglath Pileser III and the Bible (744-727 BC) Gives no ancestor line which is common among kings. Took the throne in a time of internal civil unrest. Most likely not from royal lineage.
B. #60 Pul of the Bible and Tiglath-Pileser III Same person. 2 kings 15:19 a) Misunderstood as took kings (1) Pul & Tiglath-Pileser III are actually one. (2) Assyrian king lists sometime have Pul other times Tiglath (a) They are one in the same.
C. #61 Scripture and Tiglath Pileser III *View map of his campaigns in handout. captures portions of northern Israel and imposed tribute on wealthy men ( 2 ki. 15:19,29 ) exiled Transjordan tribes (2 ki. 15:29) finds Uzziah (aka Azariah) stops paying tribute (forgotten the oath he swore to me) anet.
D. #62 Scripture and Tiglath-Pileser III Damascus and Israel wage war later on king ahaz to join an anit-assyrian coalition and tiglath-pileser iii comes to his aid (ii ki. 16:7-9; isa. 7) Ahaz does this against Isaiah‟s counsel pays Tiglath-Pileser with money from temple. placed Hoshea on throne (2 ki. 15:30) erected a pagan alter in the temple compound (ii ki. 16:10-14)
E. #63 Annals and Relief’s of Tiglath Pileser III: Text, Pg. 145. His initial incursion into Syria he took 30,000 captives and settled them in the Zargot mountain range previously emptied (Ancient Iraq pg. 307) Another record discusses tribute paid to him from Syria to Negev by all the kingdoms there. It refers to an anal of records of “Calah of Nimrud” also discussed in 2Kings 15:17-22
Relief of him laying seize to an unknown town shows the typical methods of impaling, beheading etc. on the relief. Tiglath-Pileser III is shown as a giant before the city. Speaks of Uzziah stopping from paying tribute to him.
F. #64 STELE FROM DAMASCUS FOUND IN TIGLATH-PILESER III TOWN. A trophy of his defeated advisory.
X. SLIDES 65- SHALMANESER V (726-722)
A. #65 Shalmaneser V Son of Tiglath-Pileser III Name is Shalman (a god) neser (first) Shalman is first. Hoshea, puppet king of Israel placed on the throne by his father, now decides to stop paying tribute to Assyria. Turns to So, Pharaoh of Egypt for support (2 ki. 17:4) and pays a devastating price. Shalmaneser V attacks Samaria, Both Shalmaneser V and the next king Sargon II take credit for conquering Samaria. Best record seems to indicate Shalmaneser starts it, Sargon II steals the throne and he finishes the campaign and takes full credit since he overthrew Shalmaneser V family from leadership. II Ki.17:5 gives credit to Shalmaneser V.
B. #66 Releif of Shalmeneser V *View map of his campaign in packet Only a few inscriptions from him Josephus, working from older records his invasion into Syria and Philistine Territory Ant. ix. 14.2. Seizes Samaria (2 Ki17:1ff; 18:9ff) cf. Josephus Ant. ix.13.1 ix.14.1 Abbreviated version of his name “Shalman, is Shalmaneser in Hos. 10:14. This is the instrument of judgment the book of Hosea prophesies about.
Slides 67-74 A. #67 Sargon’s reign Took the throne by opportunity His name means legitimate king. a) Like the first Sargon who came from obscure or non royal blood, he was justifying his reign by his name as the “true ruler” despite steeling the throne. Perhaps a “throne” name.
B. #68 from THE palace OF SARGON ii.
C. #69 UPRISINGS AGAINST SARGON II *View maps of Sargon II campaigns in handout. Two key figures and regions where revolts took place a) When there was instability in the capitol vassals often attempted to break free. 1. Palestine, revolts inspired by the Egyptians 2. Babylon, revolts inspired by the Elamites
a. Neither nation nor possessed the strength to challenge Assyria head on, so they began a campaign to weaken her with having to send her resources to the place of revolt. b. After crushing his opposition he sets himself to building.
D. #70 RELOCATES CAPITOL AND BUILDS MASSIVE PALACE. *Relocates the Assyrian capitol to Nineveh from Nimrud and builds a massive palace *View ANE Map with Capitols Nimrud and Nineveh. Walt Kaiser notes the academic world denied Sargons existence in the early 1800‟s until they unearthed the palace and inscriptions. Be carful how critical you view lack of evidence when comparing it the biblical record. It may be embarrassing for you later. E. #71 SARGON II a. winged deities from Sargon II Palace b. Believed to guard the king from enemies and evil spirits. c. MET in NYC has a whole room from this palace just like this.
F. #72 SARGON II AND THE BIBLE a. 701 BC Sennacherib Sennacherib (704-681) Was not Sargon II first born son but chose as his legitimate heir fro some reason Upon Death of Sargon II and ascension of Senacherib to the Throne, Palestine attempts to break away from Assyrian control. Egyptian Propaganda encourages the regional rulers of Palestine to break away from Assyrian control.
Hezekiah was king of Judah at this time and one who broke away Account in the Bible. 2 ki 18:13-19:34, Isaiah 36:1-37:38, 2 Chron 32:1-22 The envoy sent to read this letter is a common practice in Assyrian Governing. The local governor court official would go. In extreme cases a qurbutu i.e. an official from the very court of the King of Assyria, was sent. Possibly what took place here reading this letter to the people. Sennecherib marched to chasten the rebels (with the tactics reserved for those who revolted. Seen in Nahum and ancient near eastern records, impaling, skinning, exposure, torture etc.
The City of Jerusalem is laid seize by Sennacherib. This is the account of the Angel of the Lord Smiting 185,000 men.
II. Extra Biblical Literature attesting to this event III. IV. Josephus, Ant. X.i.4-5 Herodotus II, 141
V. II Kings 29:35 The Annals of Sennacherib Says the Sidonians and Syrian inhabitants fled from the “Terror inspiring glamour of my lordship” As he began his punishment of the Palestinian region for attempting its uprising upon the death of Sargon II and his ascension to the throne. His camping continues south along the “way of the sea” to the Philistine region conquering Ashkelon Dagon, Joppa and more. Rulers are deported back to Assyria and he replaces them with ones he favors. Padi, king of the Philistines city Ekron was captured and handed to Hezekiah in Jerusalem who in turn handed him over to Sennacherib. Concerning Judah. He claims to have laid seize to 46 of his strong cities and surrounding villages.
“Himself (Hezekiah) I made a prisoner in Jerusalem, like a bird in a cage.” It discusses how he increased his tribute obligations to Assyria He says, “The terror-inspiring splendor of my lordship had overwhelmed” him (Hezekiah) No mention of the 185,000-man loss is recorded in his annals.
Reliefs of Sennacherib: From the invasion of 701 and the seize at Lachish, it depicts Assyrians approaching the walls of the city shooting arrows behind their shields. Three nude men are impaled on stakes outside the city in view of the people of the city for terror tactics. Woman and children are fleeing the city with whatever goods they have A relief of Sennacheribs royal tent in a safe distance from the city seize shows his active presence in such military campaigns. Esarhaddon 680-699 The chosen successor of the throne by his father Sennacherib Brothers were jealous and sought to kill him He attacks his brother’s armies in battle who desert them. He is embraced by the people and takes the throne
Esarhaddon and Babylon
A decree was given that Babylon was to lie in ruins 70 years (like the captivity of Israel in Babylon that would occur years later) Esarhaddon comes in to rebuild Babylon and gain the favor of the people It was said Marduk saw the writing decreed for 70 years but turned the inscription upside down making it only 11 when rebuilding began with Esarhaddon (in cuneiform 70 when turned upside down is 11). Like his predecessors, he crushes rebellion in Syria, Tyre Unlike his predecessors, he conquers Egypt (At least the delta) Asherbanipal Son of Esarhaddon Attributed as the King who imported the Samaritans into Samaria according to Ezra 4 Gives Babylon independence Egypt breaks its vassal relation with Assyria but he cannot tend to them Elam up rises and takes his focus away from Egypt and on them looses Egypt as a vassal
The Inevitable end of Assyria
Nahum 1:15 15 Look, there on the mountains, the feet of one who brings good news, who proclaims peace! Celebrate your festivals, O Judah, and fulfill your vows. No more will the wicked invade you; they will be completely destroyed. Nahum 3:15 15 There the fire will devour you; the sword will cut you down and, like grasshoppers, consume you. Multiply like grasshoppers, multiply like locusts! Nahum 3:19 19 Nothing can heal your wound; your injury is fatal. Everyone who hears the news about you claps his hands at your fall, for who has not felt your endless cruelty?
During the night were overrun by a horde of field mice that gnawed quivers and bows and the handles of shields, with the result that many were killed fleeing unarmed the next day. And to this day a stone statue of the Egyptian King stands in Hephaestus temple, with a mouse in his hand, and an inscription to this effect: “Look at me, and believe.” Note in this account Herodotus attributes the death to mice. The black plague was attributed to mice in the Middle Ages when in fact it was the flees on mice and rats that killed over 1/3 of the known world.
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