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The Ancient Assyrians who Conquered Samaria
The Assyrians dwelt in the region of the upper Tigris River. They were Semitic peoples as can be seen from tracing Genesis 10:22, as well as from researching the many inscriptions found in the ruins of ancient Assyria. In fact everything about them was very Semitic, their looks, their mannerisms, etc.
In stature the Assyrians were average height, and powerfully built. Their complexion was dark, the nose prominent, the hair, eyebrows, and beard thick and bushy. Their physical features can be seen clearly in the ancient discoveries along the upper Tigris.
They actually looked very much like Jews and Babylonians and possessed a similar dialect. They wore eloquent garments and the royalty wore elaborate headdresses. It was not their custom to intermarry with foreigners.
Note: Scholars have identified 3 stages of development in forming the Assyrian Empire.
The Old Empire - 18th - 14th Centuries BC. (Small Expansion)
The Middle Empire - 13th - 9th Centuries BC (Larger Expansion)
The New Empire - 9th - 7th Centuries BC (Largest and Most Terrorizing Expansion)
The Brutal Assyrians - Quotes and Images
“I built a wall before the great gates of the city; I flayed the chief men of the rebels, and I covered the wall with their skins. Some of them were enclosed alive in the bricks of the wall, some of them were crucified on stakes along the wall; I caused a great multitude of them to be flayed in my presence, and I covered the wall with their skins. I gathered together the heads in the form of crowns, and their pierced bodies in the form of garlands.”
“Asshur my Lord commanded me to go forth…I covered the regions of Saraush and of Ammaush with ruins…I proved myself against their armies at the mountain of Aruma, I chastised them, I strawed the earth with their bodies as they had been beasts of the field; I took their cities in possession, I carried away their gods, I led them away captive, them and their goods and their treasures;
“I burned the cities with fire, I destroyed them, I made them even with the ground, I made of them heaps and a desolation; I laid upon them the grievous yoke of my dominion, and in their presence I gave thanks unto Asshur my Lord.”
“I slew two hundred and sixty fighting men; I cut off their heads and made pyramids thereof. I slew one of every two.”
See Map of Israel
See Map of Assyria
The kings of later Assyria reigned from the 9th century BC until the fall of Assyria in 612 BC.
Later kings of Assyria (885-607 B.C.)
Assur-nasirpal 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.)
"Therefore the LORD was very angry with Israel, and removed them from His sight; there was none left but the tribe of Judah alone. . And the LORD rejected all the descendants of Israel, afflicted them, and delivered them into the hand of plunderers, until He had cast them from His sight." (The Book of 2 Kings)
When Your Enemies Are The Size Of Assyria - A Heart Message
Isa 10:5-7 "Woe to Assyria, the rod of My anger And the staff in whose hand is My indignation. I will send him against an ungodly nation, And against the people of My wrath I will give him charge, To seize the spoil, to take the prey, And to tread them down like the mire of the streets. Yet he does not mean so, Nor does his heart think so; But it is in his heart to destroy, And cut off not a few nations."
The Northern Kingdom consisted of 10 of the tribes (excluding Judah and Benjamin). It lasted for about 210 years until it was destroyed by Assyria in 722 BC. Its capital was Samaria. Every king of Israel was evil. In the northern kingdom there were 9 dynasties (family lines of kings) and 19 kings in all. An average of 11 years to a reign. 8 of these kings met death by violence.
The epitaph written over every one of its kings was:
I King 15:34 "and he did evil in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the way of Jeroboam, and in his sin by which he had made Israel to sin."
It was king Ahab who introduced Baal worship to them.
I King 16:30-33 "Now Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the LORD, more than all who were before him. And it came to pass, as though it had been a trivial thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took as wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal, king of the Sidonians; and he went and served Baal and worshiped him. Then he set up an altar for Baal in the temple of Baal, which he had built in Samaria. And Ahab made a wooden image. Ahab did more to provoke the LORD God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel who were before him."
The last king was Hoshea (2 Ki 17). The petty wars of the past, wars with Syria and Edom, Ammon and Philistia, were now to give way to war on an ominous new scale. A world empire was being gathered into the ruthless hands of the Assyrians. The ruthless and cruel Assyrians (under Sargon II) besieged Samaria for 3 years and finally it fell, Israel was doomed. The Assyrians hauled them away into captivity (722 BC).
But the Lord always reminded them of why judgment came:
II Ki 17:7-23 "For so it was that the children of Israel had sinned against the LORD their God, who had brought them up out of the land of Egypt, from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and they had feared other gods, and had walked in the statutes of the nations whom the LORD had cast out from before the children of Israel, and of the kings of Israel, which they had made.
Also the children of Israel secretly did against the LORD their God things that were not right, and they built for themselves high places in all their cities, from watchtower to fortified city. They set up for themselves sacred pillars and wooden images on every high hill and under every green tree. There they burned incense on all the high places, like the nations whom the LORD had carried away before them; and they did wicked things to provoke the LORD to anger, for they served idols, of which the LORD had said to them, "You shall not do this thing."
Yet the LORD testified against Israel and against Judah, by all of His prophets, every seer, saying, "Turn from your evil ways, and keep My commandments and My statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by My servants the prophets." Nevertheless they would not hear, but stiffened their necks, like the necks of their fathers, who did not believe in the LORD their God. And they rejected His statutes and His covenant that He had made with their fathers, and His testimonies which He had testified against them; they followed idols, became idolaters, and went after the nations who were all around them, concerning whom the LORD had charged them that they should not do like them.
So they left all the commandments of the LORD their God, made for themselves a molded image and two calves, made a wooden image and worshiped all the host of heaven, and served Baal. And they caused their sons and daughters to pass through the fire, practiced witchcraft and soothsaying, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke Him to anger.
Therefore the LORD was very angry with Israel, and removed them from His sight; there was none left but the tribe of Judah alone. . And the LORD rejected all the descendants of Israel, afflicted them, and delivered them into the hand of plunderers, until He had cast them from His sight. For He tore Israel from the house of David, and they made Jeroboam the son of Nebat king. Then Jeroboam drove Israel from following the LORD, and made them commit a great sin. For the children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they did not depart from them, until the LORD removed Israel out of His sight, as He had said by all His servants the prophets. So Israel was carried away from their own land to Assyria, as it is to this day."
Charts and Information
Table of Contents
The Eighth Century BC
Tiglath Pileser III
King Menahem of Israel
Pekah Slays Pekahiah
The Syrian League
King Ahaz of Judah
Assyria Attacks Damascus
Assyria Attacks Israel
Israel is Deported
The 10 Lost Tribes of Israel
Plague of Lions
Kingdom of Judah