The Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser
"Of a truth O Lord, the kings of Assyria have
laid waste the nations and their lands."
2 Kings 19:17
Ancient Assyrian Kings
Assur-nasirpal II (885-860 B.C.) A cruel warrior
king, he made Assyria into the most fierce fighting machine of
Shalmaneser III (860-825 B.C.) His reign was marked by almost
constant war. He was the first Assyrian king to
come into conflict with Israel. King Ahab fought against him, and
king Jehu paid him tribute in 841 BC. His royal inscriptions were
more detailed and more numerous than any other king. His building
works were massive just like his father Assurnasirpal II. See
Shamsi-Adad V (825-808 B.C.) Most of his reign was focused on
Babylonia and his own internal conflicts.
Adad-nirari III (808-783 B.C.) The little information about
his reign mentions his building projects at Calah and Nineveh, as
well as a conflict at Der in Babylonia and collecting tribute in
Shalmaneser IV (783-771 B.C.) The limited knowledge of his
reign reveal some conflicts in Damascus and a period of decline in
Assur-dayan III (771-753 B.C.) The little information about
this ruler reveals Assyria being in a period of decline.
Assur-nirari V (753-747 B.C.) There is very little
information about his reign. The king of Urartu boasted of a victory
over this king of Assyria in an inscription.
Tiglath-pileser III (Pul) (747-727 B.C.) He restored Assyria
to a major world power. He is the "Pul" mentioned in the Bible and
the one who began to destroy Samaria, the capital of the Northern
Kingdom of Israel. He carried many away into captivity. This
captivity is mentioned in his own inscriptions, the Babylonian
Chronicle, and the Bible.
Shalmaneser V (727-722 B.C.) He besieged Samaria, the capital
of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. He died during the
siege after imposing taxation on the holy city (Asshur), and his son
Sargon came to power.
Sargon II (722-705 B.C.) He completed the destruction of Samaria and
the captivity of Israel. He was also famous for his magnificent
palace with his colossal winged guardians.
Sennacherib (705-681 B.C.) He was the most famous of the Assyrian
kings. He mentions the name of Hezekiah on his prism during his war
campaigns, he claimed to have "Hezekiah captured in his own royal
city (Jerusalem) like a caged bird." His army was
defeated at the gates of Jerusalem by the Angel of the Lord.
Sennacherib returned back to Nineveh and was killed violently by his
own son, as mentioned in the Babylonian Chronicle, The Bible, and
various other inscriptions. He also
Esar-haddon (681-668 B.C.) He rebuilt Babylon, invaded and conquered Egypt
by crossing over the Sinai Desert with Arab camels carrying water
for his army, and was one of Assyria's greatest kings. He died
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.
The Assyrian King List
The Assyrian King List reveals a list of the
kings of ancient Assyria in chronological order, from the 2nd
millennium BC to 609 BC. It lists the name of the king, his father's
name, the length of his reign, and some great achievements.
Assyrian records were kept very carefully, they
took their dating and their history seriously. They attached their
record of events with the solar year and with the name of an
official who was known as the "limmu." Their was a new limmu
appointed every year. They recorded political events in every year
and made references to eclipses. The Assyrian records are highly
dependable and allow Biblical scholars a very accurate way of dating
events and designating "eponyms" for 244 year in Hebrew history,
from 892-648 BC.
Chart of Hebrew Kings and Prophets
The Black Obelisk
© Bible History Online