The Samaritans
The SamaritansIndex to the Samaritans

The Assyrians

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assyrian.gifAssyria was a kingdom between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers that dominated the ancient world from the ninth century to the seventh century B.C. Its capital was Nineveh. In stature the Assyrians were of average modern European height, and were powerfully built. Their complexion was dark, the nose prominent, the hair, eyebrows, and beard thick and bushy. They rarely intermarried with neighboring peoples.

The early inhabitants of Assyria were ancient tribesmen (Gen. 10:22) who probably migrated from Babylonia. They grew powerful enough around 1300 B.C. to conquer Babylonia. For the next 700 years they were the leading power in the ancient world, with their leading rival nation, Babylon, constantly challenging them for this position.

It was the Assyrians who destroyed the northern kingdom of Israel under Shalmaneser IV who besieged Samaria and then died during the siege leaving Sargon II to finish the task and drag Israel into captivity. After defeating the northern kingdom of Israel in 722 B.C., the Assyrians carried away thousands of Israelites and resettled them in other parts of the Assyrian Empire. This was a blow from which the nation of Israel never recovered. The ten tribes that were taken to Assyria became the ten lost tribes, for they have never again emerged in world history.

Assyrian policy was to deport conquered peoples to other lands within the empire, to destroy their sense of nationalism, and break any pride or hope of rebellion and replace them with strangers from far away. Assyrians were great warriors. Most nations at that time period were looters, building their state by robbing other nations. Assyria was the most ferocious of them all. Their very name became a byword for cruelty and atrocity. They skinned their prisoners alive, and cut off various body parts to inspire terror in their enemies. There is records of Assyrian officials pulling out tongues and displaying mounds of human skulls all to bring about stark horror and wealthy tribute from surrounding nations. Nowhere are the pages of history more bloody than in the records of their wars.

Assyria was a world empire for about 300 years under several warrior kings some of which wielded Assyria into the best fighting machine of the ancient world. Finally the brutal empire fell in 607 B.C. giving way to the Babylonians.

The religion of the Assyrians, much like that of the Babylonians, emphasized worship of nature. They believed every object of nature was possessed by a spirit. The chief god was Asshur. All other primary gods whom they worshiped were related to the objects of nature. These included Anu, god of the heavens; Bel, god of the region inhabited by man, beasts, and birds; Ea, god of the waters; Sin, the moon-god; Shamash, the sun-god; and Ramman, god of the storms. These gods were followed by five gods of the planets. In addition to these primary gods, lesser gods also were worshiped. In some cases, various cities had their own patron gods. The pagan worship of the Assyrians was condemned by several prophets of the Old Testament (Is 10:5; Ezek 16:28; Hos 8.9)

Here is a list of most of the later kings of Assyria (885-607 B.C.):

Assur-nasipal II (885-860 B.C.)

 

Shalmaneser II (860-825 B.C.)

 

Shansi-adad (825-808 B.C.)

 

Adad-nirari (808-783 B.C.)

 

Shalmaneser III (783-771 B.C.)

 

Assur-dayan (771-753 B.C.)

 

Assur-lush (753-747 B.C.)

 

Tiglath-pileser III (Pul) (747-727 B.C.)

 

Shalmaneser IV (727-722 B.C.)

 

Sargon II (722-705 B.C.)

 

Sennacherib (705-681 B.C.)

 

Esar-haddon (681-668 B.C.)

 

Assur-banipal (668-626 B.C.)

 

Assur-etil-ilani (626-607 B.C.)

Assyrian annals mention contacts with some nine Hebrew kings: Omri, Ahab, Jehu, Menahem, Pekah, Uzziah, Ahaz, Hezekiah, and Manasseh.

Because of the cruelty and paganism of the Assyrians, the Hebrew people harbored deep-seated hostility against this nation. This attitude is revealed clearly in the Book of Jonah. When God instructed Jonah to preach to Nineveh, the capital of Assyria, Jonah refused and went in the opposite direction. After he finally went to Nineveh, the prophet was disappointed with God because He spared the city. 150 years later The prophet Nahum spoke against Assyria indicating that they were ripe for the slaughter.

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The Samaritans

 The Samaritans

"If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, 'Give Me a drink,' you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water." (John 4:10)

 

The Samaritans in the Bible

bib9.jpg In the New Testament the Samaritans were considered inhabitants of the district of Samaria. (see Map). They descended from the exchange of population effected by the Assyrians after their conquest of the Northern Kingdom in 722 B.C. Pursuing their policy of transferring conquered peoples, the Assyrians deported many of the original inhabitants of the Northern Kingdom and replaced them with a mixture of people from the east: from Babylon, Avva, Hamath, Sepharvaim and Cuth (deriving from the latter, the Samaritans are often referred to in rabbinic literature as Cuthim).

 

Introduction
Overview
Who Were They?
Brief History
The Northern Kingdom
The Assyrians
Samaria
The Captivity
Re-Populating
A Mixed Race
Their Religion
The Samaritan Pentateuch
Jews and Samaritans
Intertestamental Period
New Testament Samaritans
Jesus and the Samaritans
Scriptures
Historical Quotes
Dictionaries
Encyclopedias
Modern Samaritans
Conclusion

 


The Samaritans

Bible History Online

The Story of the Bible


Bible History Online (http://www.bible-history.com)

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