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This beautifully preserved six-sided hexagonal prism of baked clay, commonly known as the Taylor Prism, was discovered among the ruins of Nineveh, the ancient capital of the Assyrian Empire.
It contains the victories of
Sennacherib himself, the Assyrian king who had besieged Jerusalem in
701 BC during the reign of king Hezekiah, it never mentions any
defeats. On the prism Sennacherib boasts that he shut up "Hezekiah
the Judahite" within Jerusalem his own royal city "like a caged
bird." This prism is among the three accounts discovered so far
which have been left by the Assyrian king Sennacherib of his
campaign against Israel and Judah. British Museum. The Taylor Prism
discovery remains one of the most important discoveries in Biblical
"Therefore thus says the LORD concerning the king of Assyria: 'He shall not come into this city, Nor shoot an arrow there, Nor come before it with shield, Nor build a siege mound against it. By the way that he came, By the same shall he return; And he shall not come into this city,' Says the LORD. 'For I will defend this city, to save it For My own sake and for My servant David's sake.'" Then the angel of the LORD went out, and killed in the camp of the Assyrians one hundred and eighty-five thousand; and when people arose early in the morning, there were the corpses--all dead. So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and went away, returned home, and remained at Nineveh." Isaiah 37:33-38
Material - Baked Clay
Biblical Reference: 2 Kings 18:13-19:37; Isaiah 36:1-37:38
British Museum Excerpt
The Taylor Prism
For the Oriental Institute Prism of Sennacherib refer to the Bible History Online article.
Assur-nasipal II (885-860 B.C.) A cruel warrior king, he made Assyria into the most fierce fighting machine of ancient world.
Shalmaneser II (860-825 B.C.) he was the first Assyrian king to come into conflict with Israel. King Ahab fought against him, and king Jehu paid him tribute.
Shansi-adad (825-808 B.C.) Assyria in decline
Adad-nirari (808-783 B.C.) Assyria in decline
Shalmaneser III (783-771 B.C.) Assyria in decline
Assur-dayan (771-753 B.C.) Assyria in decline
Assur-lush (753-747 B.C.) Assyria in decline
Tiglath-pileser III (Pul) (747-727 B.C.) He carried the Northern Kingdom of Israel into captivity.
Shalmaneser IV (727-722 B.C.) He besieged Samaria and died during the siege.
Sargon II (722-705 B.C.) He completed the destruction of Samaria and the captivity of Israel.
Sennacherib (705-681 B.C.) He was the most famous of the Assyrian kings, he mentions the name of Hezekiah on his prism. His army was defeated at the gates of Jerusalem by the Angel of the Lord. He also conquered Babylon.
Esar-haddon (681-668 B.C.) He rebuilt Babylon and conquered Egypt. He was one of Assyria's greatest kings.
Assur-banipal (668-626 B.C.) He destroyed the Thebes in Egypt and collected a great library, innumerable clay tablets were found.
Assur-etil-ilani (626-607 B.C.) It was under his reign that the Assyrian Empire fell.
Assyrian annals mention contacts with some ten Hebrew kings: Omri, Ahab, Jehu, Menahem, Hoshea, Pekah, Uzziah, Ahaz, Hezekiah, and Manasseh.