The Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser
"He will raise a signal for a nation from afar
off, and whistle for it from the ends of the earth; and lo, swiftly,
speedily it comes."
Hebrew Kings and Prophets
Brief History about the Kings and
In Hebrew history when the people of Israel cried
for a king, the Lord sent Samuel to anoint Saul as the first king
over Israel. After Saul died David became king and he was the
greatest king over Israel, he made Israel a strong nation following
the Lord. After David died, his son Solomon became king and he made
Israel wealthy and famous among all the nations of the world.
Solomon's one mistake was that he married foreign wives. These women
brought their foreign gods and idols into Israel, and it was not
long before idolatry spread throughout Israel. When Solomon died the
kingdom was split in two, the Northern Kingdom consisted of ten of
the tribes and was called Israel, and the Southern Kingdom consisted
of two of the tribes and was called Judah.
From this point onward almost every king was an
idol worshipper. In fact every king in the North was evil, but in
the Southern Kingdom of Judah some of the kings followed the Lord,
and when they brought the people back to God the nation prospered.
But when they disobeyed the Lord great problems would arise.
It was during this time that God raised up
certain "prophets" who were His mouthpieces. They would speak out
against their sin and idolatry and would continually warn of God's
judgment. Some of the prophets spoke out in the North and some in
the South, but God was faithfully warning them of certain
catastrophe if they would not turn to him.
Finally in 722 BC the Assyrians came down and
conquered the Northern Kingdom of Israel and took the ten tribes
away never to be seen again. The prophets had continually warned
them but the judgment finally came.
The Southern Kingdom had continued to follow the
Lord, but they finally turned away from God and became totally
corrupt. In 586 BC the Babylonians came and destroyed Jerusalem and
carried the Jews away to Babylon. God continued to send prophets to
encourage the Hebrews that their captivity would only last 70 years.
The prophets also gave a message of hope that one
day God would send His Messiah, who would not only save the Hebrews
but the whole world. Their message was that their real bondage and
captivity was to spiritual powers that cannot be seen, and God
Himself would come as a man and die, so that death would "Passover"
anyone who believes, and break their spiritual captivity.
The Black Obelisk
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