The sketch is from a wall relief
depicting the Assyrians torturing their captives. The ancient Assyrian were
among the most ruthless of all ancient warriors. This was the fate of
the rebellious Israelites of the Northern Kingdom.
Assyrians Torturing Their Captives
"And they slew the sons of Zedekiah
before his eyes, and put out the eyes of Zedekiah, and bound him
with fetters of brass, and carried him to Babylon." - 2 Kings 25:7
"Because thy rage against me, and thy tumult, is come up into mine ears, therefore will I put my
hook in thy nose, and my
bridle in thy lips, and I will turn thee back by the way by which thou
camest." - Isaiah 37:29
"And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him, And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: And I will turn thee back, and put
hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen.."
- Ezekiel 38:1-4
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.
Map of Ancient Assyria
List of Assyrian Kings
The Bible Mentions the
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?
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
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.
- 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
2:36 - Why gaddest thou about so much to change thy way?
thou also shalt be ashamed of Egypt, as thou wast ashamed of
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,
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
- 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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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
- 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.
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
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:
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
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.
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.
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.
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.