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March 19    Scripture

Images & Art: Sketches
Reconstructions and Sketches of the Ancient World.

Assyrian Death Penalty This sketch represents the usual death penalty given by the Assyrians which was hoisting on poles. The victims were tied with their stomachs or throats on the point of a stake so that their own weight thrust them downwards. There are many examples revealing Assyrian severity. A captured king was taken to the capital and compelled to pull the royal chariot of triumph. Rings were put through their lips or noses and sometimes hands, feet, noses and ears were cut off, they were blinded and their tongues were torn from their mouths. Prisoners were skinned alive and set on fire. Their skins were also hung near enemy city gates in order to collect tribute. The Lord allowed the ruthless Assyrians to capture the northern kingdom of Israel in 722 BC because of Israel`s rebellion against Him. They were never seen again.

Assyrian Fetters Fetters were used to fasten prisoners. They were made of various shapes and materials. The ones that were put on Zedekiah and Samson were made of brass or copper. The sketch on top is from a pair of Fetters found in Nineveh. They weigh 8 lbs, 11 oz. and are 16 ½ inches long. The part which enclosed the ankles is thinner so that they could be hammered small after the feet were placed in them. The Egyptians enclosed the hands of their prisoners in an elongated shackle of wood, made of two opposite segments nailed together at each end.

Assyrian King Trods the Neck of His Enemy This Assyrian king places his foot upon the neck of his enemy to symbolize complete subjugation and possession of the captured king.

Assyrian Seige of Lachish Sketch

Assyrians Blinding Their Prisoners This sketch represents part of a scene from a marble slab discovered at Khorsabad. The Assyrian king is using a spear to blind one of his many prisoners. In his left hand he holds a cord with a hook attached at the opposite end which are inserted into the prisoners lips. The Assyrians would thrust the point of a dagger or spear into the eye. Their are many representations that have been discovered revealing that the Babylonians, Assyrians and Persians made use of the same cruel punishment.

Dagon the Fish-God Dagon was the god of the Philistines. This image shows that the idol was represented in the combination of both man and fish. The name "Dagon" is derived from "dag" which means "fish." Although there was a deep affection from Dagon`s worshippers to their deity, the symbol of a fish in human form was really meant to represent fertility and the vivifying powers of nature and reproduction.

Egyptians Counting Enemy Hands This sketch represents how the Egyptians would count the severed hands of enemy corpses after a battle. They would usually cut off the hands or the genitals of the dead and make a heap before their king. In one case 12,535 of these "battle trophies" were counted and assembled into a mound after a victory of Ramsees III over the Libyans.

Israelites Forced to Labor This sketch is taken from a marble relief found in the palace of Sennacherib. It illustrates how the Israelite prisoners were assembled into gangs and forced to perform heavy labor. They are clothed in short skirted garments and are carrying heavy loads of rocks.

Karnak - Temple of Amun This sketch is a reconstruction of the great ancient temple of Amun at Karnak, the ram-headed god of Thebes. His union was with the sun-god Re and thus Amun-Re.

Luxor - Amun Cult Center This sketch is a reconstruction of Luxor, near Karnak which was another cult center of the Amun.

Mayan Acropolis at Copan This sketch is a reconstruction of the ancient multi-plaza "acropolis" at Copan which was a major Maya Classic settlement and religious center. Bible History Online

Oval Temple at Khafaje This sketch is a reconstruction of the ancient Sumerian "Oval Temple" at Khafaje from around 2500 BC. Archaeologists unearthed this site in the 1930`s.

Palace of Minos at Knossos

Paul`s Ship Traveling to Malta It was actually a grain ship like the image above. It was of enormous size and the corn ship that Paul traveled on carried 276 men. Ships of this size had a tonnage of 2,600 tons. The hull ran up to a bird`s-head carving above the bows and a bird`s-tail at the stern. In the midst was a high mast, usually of cedar wood and near the prow was a smaller one for hoisting a small sail. Two large oars were used to steer. On the deck was a wooden hut for the helmsman which was also used as a temple of worship containing an idol.

Philistine Ships Philistine ships were sailing ships and had no oars. In the front and rear was a vertical prow and sternpost. In this image they were carved in the shape of a swans neck. At the top of the mast was a crows nest. Notice the ship below contains two Philistine warriors carrying their round army shields and the warrior on the right is also holding a special dagger in his right hand.

Phoenician Ships Phoenician ships had a curved shape with similar stems and sternposts. The masts had two large yardarms. Notice all the ropes used in the yard rigging. The ships also had high washboards with strakes around the deck to prevent cargo from falling off during heavy seas. The prophet Ezekiel describes the building of these ships: "They made all your planks of fir trees from Senir; They took a cedar from Lebanon to make you a mast. Of oaks from Bashan they made your oars; The company of Ashurites have inlaid your planks With ivory from the coasts of Cyprus. Fine embroidered linen from Egypt was what you spread for your sail; Blue and purple from the coasts of Elishah was what covered you." - Ezek 27:5-7

Plan of Abdon Reconstruction. Khirbet Adben

Pompeii Illustration Rolling Up a Sail A mural found in the ruins of ancient Pompeii reveals how sails were furled (rolled up). The mainmast was in the center, made of one piece and held by strong ropes running from the sides of the ship to the main top. The large yard was fixed to the mainmast which enabled it to carry the sail. Four-inch strips of leather was sewn across the sail to reinforce it..

Prisoners Under an Egyptian Kings Footstool This sketch is from a larger one where Pharaoh (Amenhotep II 1448-1420 BC) places his feet upon his enemies, in this case his enemies were Negroes and Semites, who were caught in a snare. Notice that the subjugated persons have their arms tied behind their backs and "have now been made his footstool." The "footstool" is mentioned in Scripture as apart of the throne of the king and symbolizes God`s throne.

Reconstruction Sketch of the Temple of Marduk, Babylon

Reconstruction Sketch of the Ziggurat at Ur Ur of the Chaldees was the original home of Abraham, the first Hebrew.

Sketch of Ancient Lachish

Sketch of Ancient Nineveh Cities. Assyria

Sketch of Nebuchadnezzar`s City of Babylon

The Egyptian Staff of Inheritance This engraving reveals the staff of inheritance in the left hand. If it were in the right hand it would be a scepter. This Egyptian was from the time of Amunmai Thori II, around two hundred years or so before Moses. Ancient Egyptian Tomb Walls contain pictures of important men represented with a long staff which marks his rank, head of a family and great landowner. Fragments have been discovered revealing these rods with hieroglyphic inscriptions. It is interesting that God anointed the staff or rod of Moses to lead the people of Israel to the promised land.

The Roman Scourge The Romans would, according to custom, scourge a condemned criminal before he was put to death. The Roman scourge, also called the "flagrum" or "flagellum" was a short whip made of two or three leather (ox-hide) thongs or ropes connected to a handle as in the sketch above. The leather thongs were knotted with a number of small pieces of metal, usually zinc and iron, attached at various intervals. According to history the punishment of a slave was particularly dreadful. The leather was knotted with bones, or heavy indented pieces of bronze. Sometimes the Roman scourge contained a hook at the end and was given the terrifying name "scorpion."

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