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Fallen Empires - Archaeological Discoveries and the Bible

 

Sennacherib's Hexagonal Prism

Iraq: Nineveh
Neo-Assyrian Period
Reign of Sennacherib, (689 BC)
Baked clay, inscribed
38.0 cm H, 14.0 cm W
500 Lines of Writing (cuneiform)
Purchased in Baghdad, 1919
OIM A2793

Sennacherib's Prism Reveals King Hezekiah

This six-sided hexagonal clay prism, commonly known as the Taylor Prism, was discovered among the ruins of Nineveh, the ancient capital of the Assyrian Empire.  It contains the Annals of Sennacherib himself, the Assyrian king who had besieged Jerusalem in 701 BC during the reign of king Hezekiah. 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 monarch of his campaign against Israel and Judah.

Who was Sennacherib?

Sennacherib in Akkadian means "Sin (moon god) has multiplied the brothers". Sennacherib was one of the most powerful monarchs in the history of the world. He was king of Assyria, and the son of Sargon. He inherited the vast empire from his father, and ascended the throne on the twelfth day of Ab (July-August), 705 B.C. Sennacherib was the king who had besieged Jerusalem during the reign of king Hezekiah of Judah.

Colonel Taylor, Hormuzd Rassam and Henry Austen Layard

The Taylor Prism was discovered among the ruins of ancient Nineveh by Colonel Taylor in 1830. Of all Assyrian documents that have come down to us not one is in better preservation than this.

Henry Austen Layard later found the Royal Palace of Sennacherib and many other archaeological treasures. The work of Layard was continued here and at other sites until 1847. In 1849 he began another exploring expedition which lasted three years. Layard had become popular in Britain as he gave persuasive scholarly accounts of his discoveries to the public, making remarkable comparisons with the Bible.

In 1878  Hormuzd Rassam (Assyrian Archaeologist 1826-1910) had resumed work for the British Museum at Nineveh after Henry Austen Layard's excavations in 1845 for the British Museum at the Mounds of Nimrud. There were clay tablets discovered in great quantities: and Rassam, without knowing it, unearthed at Nineveh a portion of the famous library of Assurbanipal (688-26 B. C.).

The palace at Nineveh was decorated with massive stone wall panels depicting the siege of Lachish. These can be seen today at the Lachish Gallery in the British Museum.

Taylor Prism Purchased by the Oriental Institute

In 1919 J. H. Breasted purchased the Taylor Prism for the Oriental Institute in Chicago from a Baghdad antiquities dealer

Specifications of the Prism

Language: Akkadian (Cuneiform)

Medium: Clay prism

Dimensions: 38cm high, 13.3cm wide (top) 14cm wide (bottom)
the width of the six panels are: 8, 7.6, 7.52, 8, 7.3, 7.7cm
the hole at the top is 2.3cm
the hole at the bottom is 2.5cm

Length of Writing: 6 columns; 500 lines

Approximate Date: 689 BCE

Dates of Sennacherib's reign: 701–681 BCE

Biblical Reference: 2 Kings 18:13-19:37; Isaiah 36:1-37:38

Location of Discovery: mound at Kuyunjik (in modern Mosul, Iraq)

Current Location: Oriental Institute Chicago, Illinois

Inventory Number: A2793.

Close up look at the Cuneiform

 

The Account Recorded on the Prism

"On the six inscribed sides of this clay prism, King Sennacherib recorded eight military campaigns undertaken against various peoples who refused to submit to Assyrian domination. In all instances, he claims to have been victorious. As part of the third campaign, he beseiged Jerusalem and imposed heavy tribute on Hezekiah, King of Judah-a story also related in the Bible, where Sennacherib is said to have been defeated by "the angel of the Lord," who slew 185,000 Assyrian soldiers (II Kings 18-19)." - Oriental Institute

Here is an exact rendering of Sennacheribs haughty introductory declaration about himself and his third campaign:

Sennacherib, the great king, the mighty king, king of the world, king of Assyria, king of the four quarters, the wise shepherd, favorite of the great gods, guardian of right, lover of justice, who lends support, who comes to the aid of the destitute, who performs pious acts, perfect hero, mighty man, first among all princes, the powerful one who consumes the insubmissive, who strikes the wicked with the thunderbolt; the god Assur, the great mountain, an unrivaled kinship has entrusted to me, and above all those who dwell in palaces, has made powerful my weapons; from the upper sea of the setting sun to the lower sea of the rising sun, he has brought the black-headed people in submission at my feet; and mighty kings feared my warfare, leaving their homes and flying alone, like the sidinnu, the bird of the cave, to some inaccessible place...

In my third campaign, I went against the Hittite-land. Lulê, king of Sidon, the terrifying splendor of my sovereignty overcame him, and far off into the midst of the sea he fled. There he died. Great Sidon, Little Sidon, Bît-Zitti, Zaribtu, Mahalliba, Ushu, Akzib, Akko, his strong, walled cities, where there were fodder and drink, for his garrisons, the terrors of the weapon of Assur, my lord, overpowered them and they bowed in submission at my feet. I seated Tuba'lu on the royal throne over them, and tribute, gifts for my majesty, I imposed upon him for all time, without ceasing.

From Menachem, the Shamsimurunite, Tuba'lu the Sidonite, Abdi-liti the Arvadite, Uru-milki the Gublite, Mitinti the Ashdodite Budu-ilu the Beth Ammonite, Kammusu-nadbi the Moabite, Malik-rammu the Edomite, kings of Amurru, all of them, numerous presents as their heavy tribute, they brought before me for the fourth time, and kissed my feet.

But Sidka, the king of Ashkelon, who had not submitted to my yoke, the gods of his father's house, himself, his wife, his sons, his daughters, his brothers, the seed of his paternal house, I tore away and brought to Assyria. Sharru-lu-dari, son of Rukibti, their former king, I set over the people of Ashkelon, and I imposed upon him the payment of tribute: presents to my majesty. He accepted my yoke. In the course of my campaign, Beth-Dagon, Joppa, Banaibarka, Asuru, cities of Sidka, who had not speedily bowed in submission at my feet, I besieged, I conquered, I carried off their spoil.

The officials, nobles, and people of Ekron, who had thrown Padi their king—bound by oath and curse of Assyria— into fetters of iron and had given him over to Hezekiah, the Judahite—he kept him in confinement like an enemy— their heart became afraid, and they called upon the Egyptian kings, the bowmen, chariots and horses of the king of Meluhha [Ethiopia], a countless host, and these came to their aid. In the neighborhood of Eltekeh, their ranks being drawn up before me, they offered battle. With the aid of Assur, my lord, I fought with them and brought about their defeat. The Egyptian charioteers and princes, together with the Ethiopian king's charioteers, my hands captured alive in the midst of the battle. Eltekeh and Timnah I besieged, I captured, and I took away their spoil.

I approached Ekron and slew the governors and nobles who had rebelled, and hung their bodies on stakes around the city. The inhabitants who rebelled and treated (Assyria) lightly I counted as spoil. The rest of them, who were not guilty of rebellion and contempt, for whom there was no punishment, I declared their pardon. Padi, their king, I brought out to Jerusalem, set him on the royal throne over them, and imposed upon him my royal tribute.

As for Hezekiah the Judahite, who did not submit to my yoke: forty-six of his strong, walled cities, as well as the small towns in their area, which were without number, by levelling with battering-rams and by bringing up seige-engines, and by attacking and storming on foot, by mines, tunnels, and breeches, I besieged and took them. 200,150 people, great and small, male and female, horses, mules, asses, camels, cattle and sheep without number, I brought away from them and counted as spoil. (Hezekiah) himself, like a caged bird I shut up in Jerusalem, his royal city. I threw up earthworks against him— the one coming out of the city-gate, I turned back to his misery. His cities, which I had despoiled, I cut off from his land, and to Mitinti, king of Ashdod, Padi, king of Ekron, and Silli-bêl, king of Gaza, I gave (them). And thus I diminished his land. I added to the former tribute, and I laid upon him the surrender of their land and imposts—gifts for my majesty. As for Hezekiah, the terrifying splendor of my majesty overcame him, and the Arabs and his mercenary troops which he had brought in to strengthen Jerusalem, his royal city, deserted him. In addition to the thirty talents of gold and eight hundred talents of silver, gems, antimony, jewels, large carnelians, ivory-inlaid couches, ivory-inlaid chairs, elephant hides, elephant tusks, ebony, boxwood, all kinds of valuable treasures, as well as his daughters, his harem, his male and female musicians, which he had brought after me to Nineveh, my royal city. To pay tribute and to accept servitude, he dispatched his messengers..

Complete translations of the records of Sennacherib can be found in Daniel D. Luckenbill, Ancient Records of Assyria and Babylonia, vol. 2, and in James Pritchard's Ancient Near Eastern Texts (1950).

The Biblical Comparison

The best way to see the accuracy of the Biblical account with this record on Sennacherib's Prism is to compare 2 Kings 18:13-19:37 and Isaiah 36:1-37:38 with the last paragraph on the above account.

A Mystery of History

After comparing the Biblical account with that of the Sennacherib Prism one Scripture stands out above all of the rest, which remains a mystery even to today. It is also recorded in the Book of Kings along with the Book of Isaiah. It is the part where Isaiah gives a Word from the Lord just after King Hezekiah's awesome prayer.

Isa 37:33-38 "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."

This miracle cannot be substantiated by archaeological discoveries for a reason of which only God knows, but all of the pieces seem to fit together because even today no one has determined exactly why Sennacherib did not even enter Jerusalem with his great army once it was besieged. After reading his campaigns on his Prism it would seem that this was the thing he had intended to do, and with all anxiety.

Another revealing fact is this: At this point in time there was an abrupt discontinuance of Assyria’s western invasions. Professor George Rawlinson of Oxford noted:

Sennacherib during his later years made no expedition further westward than Cilicia; nor were the Assyrian designs against Southern Syria and Egypt resumed till toward the close of the reign of Esarhaddon (Historical Illustrations of the Old Testament, 1873, p. 145).

Herodotus and Josephus on Sennacherib's Campaigns

Herodotus, the father of ancient Greek history, records what is probably an Egyptian legend (that grew out of this historical event); he suggests that Sennacherib’s fighting force was greatly reduced when in one night, a plague of field mice gnawed the quivers, bowstrings, and shield-straps of his soldiers, thus making them suddenly vulnerable to their enemies (cf. Edersheim, Bible History, VII, p.155).

Josephus quotes the Chaldean historian Berosus as follows:

Now when Sennacherib was returning from his Egyptian war to Jerusalem, he found his army under Rabshakeh his general in danger [by a plague], for God had sent a pestilential distemper upon his army; and on the very night of the siege, a hundred fourscore and five thousand, with their captains and generals, were destroyed (Antiquities 10.1.5).

But the account of his death may give us some sort of distant light as to this miracle and the possibility of his great army being utterly routed.

Sennacherib Murdered by his own sons.

One interesting note worth investigating further is where the Bible records what happened to Sennacherib once he had returned to Nineveh, without his great army.

In reviewing the background of this situation King Hezekiah was intensely concerned about the armies of the Assyrian king Sennacherib. He sent his servants to inquire of the prophet Isaiah just exactly what the Lord was saying that he needed to do. Once his servants had found Isaiah, he said:

2 Kings 19:6-7 "And Isaiah said to them, "Thus you shall say to your master, 'Thus says the LORD: "Do not be afraid of the words which you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed Me. Surely I will send a spirit upon him, and he shall hear a rumor and return to his own land; and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land."

The book of Kings goes on to record what had actually happened to Sennacherib once he returned to his capital, Nineveh.

2 Kings 19:37 Now it came to pass, as he (Sennacherib) was worshiping in the temple of Nisroch his god, that his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer struck him down with the sword; and they escaped into the land of Ararat. Then Esarhaddon his son reigned in his place."

This exact same account was unearthed, having been recorded on a clay tablet, now in the British Museum.

'On the twentieth day of the month Tebet Sennacherib king of Assyria his son slew him in rebellion... Esarhaddon his son sat on the throne of Assyria.' 

This clay tablet along with 2 Kings 19:37 was the last recorded mention of Sennacherib, the powerful Assyrian monarch who once ruled the world.

The Evidence of Archaeology

The evidence of archaeology helps to give us:

1. Confidence that the places and people mentioned in the Bible are accurate, even though those places and people existed thousands of years in the past.

2. Confidence that the details of the Biblical accounts have not changed over the centuries since it was written as we have a "fixed fact" in history. 

3. Confidence that everything that the Lord speaks will be fulfilled in its time.

Isa 46:8-10 "Remember this, and show yourselves men; Recall to mind, O you transgressors. Remember the former things of old, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, 'My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure,' 

 

Written by Rusty Russell (Bible History Online)


Webmaster: rusty@bible-history.com

http://www.bible-history.com

 


List of Assyrian Kings

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.


 

 

Some Scriptures mentioning the word "Sennacherib"

 

2 Kings 19:16 - LORD, bow down thine ear, and hear: open, LORD, thine eyes, and see: and hear the words of Sennacherib, which hath sent him to reproach the living God.

Isaiah 37:17 - Incline thine ear, O LORD, and hear; open thine eyes, O LORD, and see: and hear all the words of Sennacherib, which hath sent to reproach the living God.

2 Chronicles 32:9 - After this did Sennacherib king of Assyria send his servants to Jerusalem, (but he [himself laid siege] against Lachish, and all his power with him,) unto Hezekiah king of Judah, and unto all Judah that [were] at Jerusalem, saying,

2 Chronicles 32:22 - Thus the LORD saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib the king of Assyria, and from the hand of all [other], and guided them on every side.

Isaiah 36:1 - Now it came to pass in the fourteenth year of king Hezekiah, [that] Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the defenced cities of Judah, and took them.

2 Kings 18:13 - Now in the fourteenth year of king Hezekiah did Sennacherib king of Assyria come up against all the fenced cities of Judah, and took them.

2 Kings 19:20 - Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, [That] which thou hast prayed to me against Sennacherib king of Assyria I have heard.

2 Chronicles 32:1 - After these things, and the establishment thereof, Sennacherib king of Assyria came, and entered into Judah, and encamped against the fenced cities, and thought to win them for himself.

Isaiah 37:21 - Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent unto Hezekiah, saying, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Whereas thou hast prayed to me against Sennacherib king of Assyria:

2 Chronicles 32:10 - Thus saith Sennacherib king of Assyria, Whereon do ye trust, that ye abide in the siege in Jerusalem?

2 Kings 19:36 - So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed, and went and returned, and dwelt at Nineveh.

Isaiah 37:37 - So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed, and went and returned, and dwelt at Nineveh.

2 Chronicles 32:2 - And when Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib was come, and that he was purposed to fight against Jerusalem,

 

Some Scriptures mentioning the name "Assyria"

 

Jeremiah 2:18 - And now what hast thou to do in the way of Egypt, to drink the waters of Sihor? or what hast thou to do in the way of Assyria, to drink the waters of the river?

2 Kings 16:10 - And king Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglathpileser king of Assyria, and saw an altar that [was] at Damascus: and king Ahaz sent to Urijah the priest the fashion of the altar, and the pattern of it, according to all the workmanship thereof.

2 Kings 19:4 - It may be the LORD thy God will hear all the words of Rabshakeh, whom the king of Assyria his master hath sent to reproach the living God; and will reprove the words which the LORD thy God hath heard: wherefore lift up [thy] prayer for the remnant that are left.

Isaiah 37:4 - It may be the LORD thy God will hear the words of Rabshakeh, whom the king of Assyria his master hath sent to reproach the living God, and will reprove the words which the LORD thy God hath heard: wherefore lift up [thy] prayer for the remnant that is left.

Jeremiah 2:36 - Why gaddest thou about so much to change thy way? thou also shalt be ashamed of Egypt, as thou wast ashamed of Assyria.

2 Chronicles 32:9 - After this did Sennacherib king of Assyria send his servants to Jerusalem, (but he [himself laid siege] against Lachish, and all his power with him,) unto Hezekiah king of Judah, and unto all Judah that [were] at Jerusalem, saying,

2 Chronicles 30:6 - So the posts went with the letters from the king and his princes throughout all Israel and Judah, and according to the commandment of the king, saying, Ye children of Israel, turn again unto the LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, and he will return to the remnant of you, that are escaped out of the hand of the kings of Assyria.

2 Kings 16:7 - So Ahaz sent messengers to Tiglathpileser king of Assyria, saying, I [am] thy servant and thy son: come up, and save me out of the hand of the king of Syria, and out of the hand of the king of Israel, which rise up against me.

2 Kings 18:9 - And it came to pass in the fourth year of king Hezekiah, which [was] the seventh year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, [that] Shalmaneser king of Assyria came up against Samaria, and besieged it.

2 Kings 18:17 - And the king of Assyria sent Tartan and Rabsaris and Rabshakeh from Lachish to king Hezekiah with a great host against Jerusalem. And they went up and came to Jerusalem. And when they were come up, they came and stood by the conduit of the upper pool, which [is] in the highway of the fuller's field.

2 Kings 17:26 - Wherefore they spake to the king of Assyria, saying, The nations which thou hast removed, and placed in the cities of Samaria, know not the manner of the God of the land: therefore he hath sent lions among them, and, behold, they slay them, because they know not the manner of the God of the land.

2 Kings 17:24 - And the king of Assyria brought [men] from Babylon, and from Cuthah, and from Ava, and from Hamath, and from Sepharvaim, and placed [them] in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel: and they possessed Samaria, and dwelt in the cities thereof.

2 Kings 20:6 - And I will add unto thy days fifteen years; and I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for mine own sake, and for my servant David's sake.

2 Chronicles 28:21 - For Ahaz took away a portion [out] of the house of the LORD, and [out] of the house of the king, and of the princes, and gave [it] unto the king of Assyria: but he helped him not.

Zechariah 10:10 - I will bring them again also out of the land of Egypt, and gather them out of Assyria; and I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon; and [place] shall not be found for them.

Jeremiah 50:17 - Israel [is] a scattered sheep; the lions have driven [him] away: first the king of Assyria hath devoured him; and last this Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon hath broken his bones.

2 Kings 18:16 - At that time did Hezekiah cut off [the gold from] the doors of the temple of the LORD, and [from] the pillars which Hezekiah king of Judah had overlaid, and gave it to the king of Assyria.

Isaiah 36:8 - Now therefore give pledges, I pray thee, to my master the king of Assyria, and I will give thee two thousand horses, if thou be able on thy part to set riders upon them.

Nehemiah 9:32 - Now therefore, our God, the great, the mighty, and the terrible God, who keepest covenant and mercy, let not all the trouble seem little before thee, that hath come upon us, on our kings, on our princes, and on our priests, and on our prophets, and on our fathers, and on all thy people, since the time of the kings of Assyria unto this day.

Micah 5:6 - And they shall waste the land of Assyria with the sword, and the land of Nimrod in the entrances thereof: thus shall he deliver [us] from the Assyrian, when he cometh into our land, and when he treadeth within our borders.

2 Kings 23:29 - In his days Pharaohnechoh king of Egypt went up against the king of Assyria to the river Euphrates: and king Josiah went against him; and he slew him at Megiddo, when he had seen him.

Isaiah 27:13 - And it shall come to pass in that day, [that] the great trumpet shall be blown, and they shall come which were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and the outcasts in the land of Egypt, and shall worship the LORD in the holy mount at Jerusalem.

Isaiah 36:2 - And the king of Assyria sent Rabshakeh from Lachish to Jerusalem unto king Hezekiah with a great army. And he stood by the conduit of the upper pool in the highway of the fuller's field.

2 Kings 18:23 - Now therefore, I pray thee, give pledges to my lord the king of Assyria, and I will deliver thee two thousand horses, if thou be able on thy part to set riders upon them.

2 Kings 18:28 - Then Rabshakeh stood and cried with a loud voice in the Jews' language, and spake, saying, Hear the word of the great king, the king of Assyria:

2 Kings 19:10 - Thus shall ye speak to Hezekiah king of Judah, saying, Let not thy God in whom thou trustest deceive thee, saying, Jerusalem shall not be delivered into the hand of the king of Assyria.

Isaiah 36:13 - Then Rabshakeh stood, and cried with a loud voice in the Jews' language, and said, Hear ye the words of the great king, the king of Assyria.

2 Kings 15:19 - [And] Pul the king of Assyria came against the land: and Menahem gave Pul a thousand talents of silver, that his hand might be with him to confirm the kingdom in his hand.

2 Kings 16:8 - And Ahaz took the silver and gold that was found in the house of the LORD, and in the treasures of the king's house, and sent [it for] a present to the king of Assyria.

2 Kings 18:30 - Neither let Hezekiah make you trust in the LORD, saying, The LORD will surely deliver us, and this city shall not be delivered into the hand of the king of Assyria.

 

Sennacherib in Easton's Bible Dictionary Sin (the god) sends many brothers, son of Sargon, whom he succeeded on the throne of Assyria (B.C. 705), in the 23rd year of Hezekiah. "Like the Persian Xerxes, he was weak and vainglorious, cowardly under reverse, and cruel and boastful in success." He first set himself to break up the powerful combination of princes who were in league against him. Among these was Hezekiah, who had entered into an alliance with Egypt against Assyria. He accordingly led a very powerful army of at least 200,000 men into Judea, and devastated the land on every side, taking and destroying many cities (2 Kings 18:13-16; comp. Isa. 22, 24, 29, and 2 Chr. 32:1-8). His own account of this invasion, as given in the Assyrian annals, is in these words: "Because Hezekiah, king of Judah, would not submit to my yoke, I came up against him, and by force of arms and by the might of my power I took forty-six of his strong fenced cities; and of the smaller towns which were scattered about, I took and plundered a countless number. From these places I took and carried off 200,156 persons, old and young, male and female, together with horses and mules, asses and camels, oxen and sheep, a countless multitude; and Hezekiah himself I shut up in Jerusalem, his capital city, like a bird in a cage, building towers round the city to hem him in, and raising banks of earth against the gates, so as to prevent escape...Then upon Hezekiah there fell the fear of the power of my arms, and he sent out to me the chiefs and the elders of Jerusalem with 30 talents of gold and 800 talents of silver, and divers treasures, a rich and immense booty...All these things were brought to me at Nineveh, the seat of my government." (Comp. Isa. 22:1-13 for description of the feelings of the inhabitants of Jerusalem at such a crisis.) Hezekiah was not disposed to become an Assyrian feudatory. He accordingly at once sought help from Egypt (2 Kings 18:20-24). Sennacherib, hearing of this, marched a second time into Israel (2 Kings 18:17, 37; 19; 2 Chr. 32:9-23; Isa. 36:2-22. Isa. 37:25 should be rendered "dried up all the Nile-arms of Matsor," i.e., of Egypt, so called from the "Matsor" or great fortification across the isthmus of Suez, which protected it from invasions from the east). Sennacherib sent envoys to try to persuade Hezekiah to surrender, but in vain. (See TIRHAKAH 19:10-14), which Hezekiah carried into the temple and spread before the Lord. Isaiah again brought an encouraging message to the pious king (2 Kings 19:20-34). "In that night" the angel of the Lord went forth and smote the camp of the Assyrians. In the morning, "behold, they were all dead corpses." The Assyrian army was annihilated. This great disaster is not, as was to be expected, taken notice of in the Assyrian annals. Though Sennacherib survived this disaster some twenty years, he never again renewed his attempt against Jerusalem. He was murdered by two of his own sons (Adrammelech and Sharezer), and was succeeded by another son, Esarhaddon (B.C. 681), after a reign of twenty-four years.

Sennacherib in Fausset's Bible Dictionary On the monuments Tzin-akki-irib, "Sin (the "moon goddess") increases brothers," implying Sennacherib was not the firstborn; or else "thanking the god for the gift." Sargon's son and successor. Ascended the throne 704 B.C., crushed the revolt of Babylon, and drove away Merodach Baladan, made Belibus his officer viceroy, ravaged the Aramaean lands on the Tigris and Euphrates, and carried off 200,000 captives. In 701 B.C. warred with the tribes on Mount Zagros, and reduced the part of Media previously independent. In 700 B.C. punished Sidon, made Tyre, Arad, and other Phoenician cities, as also Edom and Ashdod, tributary. Took Ashkelon, warred with Egypt, took Libnah and Lachish on the frontier; and having made treaty with Sabacus or So (the clay seal of So found in Sennacherib's palace at Koyunjik was probably attached to this treaty), he marched against Hezekaih of Judah who had thrown off tribute and intermeddled in the politics of Philistine cities against Sennacherib (2 Kings 18:13). frontHEZEKIAH: ASSYRIA; NINEVEH.) Hezekiah's sickness was in his 14th year, but Sennacherib's expedition in his 27th, which ought to be substituted for the copyist's error "fourteenth." On his way, according to inscriptions (G. Smith, in Israel Exploration Quarterly Statement, October 1872, p. 198), Sennacherib attacked Lulia of Sidon, then took Sidon, Zarephath, etc. The kings of Israel mentioned as submitting to Sennacherib are Menahem of Samaria, Tubal of Sidon, Kemosh Natbi of Moab, etc. He took Ekron, which had submitted to Hezekiah and had delivered its king Padi up to him; Sennacherib reseated Padi on his throne. Sennacherib defeated the kings of Egypt and Ethiopia at Eltekeh. Sennacherib took 46 of Judah's fenced cities including Lachish, the storming of which, is depicted on his palace walls. He shut up Hezekiah, (building towers round Jerusalem), who then submitted and paid 30 talents of gold and 800 of silver. Sennacherib gave part of Judah's territory to Ashdod, Ekron, Gaza, and Ashkelon. It was at his second expedition that the overthrow of his host by Jehovah's Angel took place (2 Kings 18:17-37; 2 Kings 18:2 Kings 19). This was probably two years after the first, but late in his reign Sennacherib speaks of an expedition to Israel apparently. "After this," in 2 Chronicles 32:9; 2 Chronicles 32:17 years after his disaster, in 681 B.C., his two sons Adrammelech and Sharezer assassinated him after a reign of 22 years, and Esarhaddon ascended the throne 680 B.C. Esarhaddon's inscription, stating that he was at war with his half brothers, after his accession, agrees with the Bible account of Sennacherib's assassination. Moses of Chorene confirms the escape of the brothers to Armenia, and says that part was peopled by their descendants. Sennacherib's second invasion of Babylon was apparently in 699 B.C.; he defeated a Chaldaean chief who headed an army in support of Merodach Baladan. Sennacherib put one of his own sons on the throne instead of Belibus. Sennacherib was the first who made Nineveh the seat of government. The grand palace at Koyunjik was his, covering more than eight acres. He embanked with brick the Tigris, restored the aqueducts of Nineveh, and repaired a second palace at Nineveh on the mound of Nebi Yunns. Its halls were ranged about three courts, one 154 ft. by 125 ft., another 124 ft. by 90 ft. One hall was 180 ft. long by 40 ft. broad; 60 ft. small rooms have been opened. He erected memorial tablet at the mouth of the nahr el Kelb on the Syrian coast, beside an inscription recording Rameses the Great's conquests six hundred years before; this answers to his boast that "he had come up to the height of the mountains, to the sides of Lebanon."

Sennacherib in Hitchcock's Bible Names bramble of destruction

Sennacherib in Naves Topical Bible -(King of Assyria) -Invades Judah; lays siege to Jerusalem, but abandons the country and returns to Assyria 2Ki 18:17-37; 19:8; 2Ch 32:1-23; Isa 36; 37 -Death of 2Ki 19:35-37; Isa 37:36-38

Sennacherib in Smiths Bible Dictionary (sin, the moon, increases brothers), was the son and successor of Sargon. [SARGON] His name in the original is read as Tsinakki-irib, the meaning of which, as given above indicates that he was not the first-born of his father. Sennacherib mounted the throne B.C. 702. His efforts were directed to crushing the revolt of Babylonia, which he invaded with a large army. Merodach-baladan ventured on a battle, but was defeated and driven from the country. In his third year, B.C. 700, Sennacherib turned his arms toward the west, chastised Sidon, and, having probably concluded a convention with his chief enemy finally marched against Hezekiah, king of Judah. It was at this time that "Sennacherib came up against all the fenced cities of Judah, and took them." 2Ki 18:13 There can be no doubt that the record which he has left of his campaign against "Hiskiah" in his third year is the war with Hezekiah so briefly touched in vs. 13-16 of this chapter. In the following year (B.C. 699) Sennacherib made his second expedition into Israel. Hezekiah had again revolted, and claimed the protection of Egypt. Sennacherib therefore attacked Egypt, and from his camp at Lachish and Libnah he sent an insulting letter to Hezekiah at Jerusalem. In answer to Hezekiah's prayer an event occurred which relieved both Egypt and Judea from their danger. In one night the Assyrians lost, either by a pestilence or by some more awful manifestation of divine power, 185,000 men! The camp immediately broke up; the king fled. Sennacherib reached his capital in safety, and was not deterred by the terrible disaster which had befallen his arms from engaging in other wars, though he seems thenceforward to have carefully avoided Israel. Sennacherib reigned 22 years and was succeeded by Esar-haddon, B.C. 680. Sennacherib was one of the most magnificent of the Assyrian kings. Seems to have been the first who fixed the seat of government permanently at Nineveh, which he carefully repaired and adorned with splendid buildings. His greatest work is the grand palace Kouyunjik. Of the death of Sennacherib nothing is known beyond the brief statement of Scripture that "as he was worshipping in the house of Nisroch his god, Adrammelech and Sharezer his sons smote him with the sword and escaped into the land of Armenia." 2Ki 19:37; Isa 37:38

Sennacherib in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE se-nak'-er-ib (cancheribh; Sennachereim, Assyrian Sin- akhierba, "the moon-god Sin has increased the brothers"): Sennacherib (704-682 BC) ascended the throne of Assyria after the death of his father Sargon. Appreciating the fact that Babylon would be difficult to control, instead of endeavoring to conciliate the people he ignored them. The Babylonians, being indignant, crowned a man of humble origin, Marduk-zakir-shum by name. He ruled only a month, having been driven out by the irrepressible Merodach- baladan, who again appeared on the scene. In order to fortify himself against Assyria the latter sent an embassy to Hezekiah, apparently for the purpose of inspiring the West to rebel against Assyria (2 Ki 20:12-19). Sennacherib in his first campaign marched into Babylonia. He found Merodach-baladan entrenched at Kish, about 9 miles from Babylon, and defeated him; after which he entered the gates of Babylon, which had been thrown open to him. He placed a Babylonian, named Bel-ibni, on the throne. This campaign was followed by an invasion of the country of the Cassites and Iasubigalleans. In his third campaign he directed his attention to the West, where the people had become restless under the Assyrian yoke. Hezekiah had been victorious over the Philistines (2 Ki 18:8). In preparation to withstand a siege, Hezekiah had built a conduit to bring water within the city walls (2 Ki 20:20). Although strongly opposed by the prophet Isaiah, gifts were sent to Egypt, whence assistance was promised (Isa 30:1-4). Apparently also the Phoenicians and Philistines, who had been sore pressed by Assyria, had made provision to resist Assyria. The first move was at Ekron, where the Assyrian governor Padi was put into chains and sent to Hezekiah at Jerusalem. Sennacherib, in 701 BC, moved against the cities in the West. He ravaged the environs of Tyre, but made no attempt to take the city, as he was without a naval force. After Elulaeus the king of Sidon fled, the city surrendered without a battle, and Ethbaal was appointed king. Numerous cities at once sent presents to the king of Assyria. Ashkelon and other cities were taken. The forces of Egypt were routed at Eltekeh, and Ekron was destroyed. He claims to have conquered 46 strongholds of Hezekiah's territory, but he did not capture Jerusalem, for concerning the king he said, in his annals, "himself like a bird in a cage in Jerusalem, his royal city, I penned him." He states, also, how he reduced his territory, and how Hezekiah sent to him 30 talents of gold and 800 talents of silver, besides hostages. The Biblical account of this invasion is found in 2 Ki 18:13 through 19:37; Isa 36; 37. The Assyrian account differs considerably from it; but at the same time it corroborates it in many details. One of the striking parallels is the exact amount of gold which Hezekiah sent to the Assyrian king (see The Expository Times, XII, 225,405; XIII, 326). In the following year Sennacherib returned to Babylonia to put down a rebellion by Bal-ibni and Merodach-baladan. The former was sent to Assyria, and the latter soon afterward died. Ashurnadin-shum, the son of Sennacherib, was then crowned king of Babylon. A campaign into Cilicia and Cappadocia followed. In 694 BC Sennacherib attacked the Elamites, who were in league with the Babylonians. In revenge, the Elamites invaded Babylonia and carried off Ashur-nadin-shum to Elam, and made Nergalushezib king of Babylon. He was later captured and in turn carried off to Assyria. In 691 BC Sennacherib again directed his attention to the South, and at Khalute fought with the combined forces. Two years later he took Babylon, and razed it to the ground. In 681 BC Sennacherib was murdered by his two sons (2 Ki 19:37; see SHAREZER). Esar-haddon their younger brother, who was at the time conducting a campaign against Ararat, was declared king in his stead. A. T. Clay

Sennacherib in Wikipedia Sennacherib (Akkadian: Sîn-ahhī-erība "Sîn has replaced (lost) brothers for me"; Aramaic: ܣܝܼܢ ܐܵܗܝܼ ܐܹܪܝܼܒܵܐ) was the son of Sargon II, whom he succeeded on the throne of Assyria (704 – 681 BC)...
 

 


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