From southern Ava, Cuthah, and Hamath, the Assyrian king brought colonists to people Samaria, after the ten tribes were deported (2 Kings 17:24). Rabshakeh and Sennacherib (2 Kings 18:34; 2 Kings 19:13) boastingly refer to Assyria's conquest of Sepharvaim as showing the hopelessness of Samaria's resistance (Isaiah 36:19): "where are the gods of Hamath ... Sepharvaim? have they (the gods of Hamath and Sepharvaim) delivered Samaria out of my hand?" How just the retribution in kind, that Israel having chosen the gods of Hamath and Sepharvaim should be sent to Hamath and Sepharvaim as their place of exile, and that the people of Hamath and Sepharvaim should be sent to the land of Israel to replace the Israelites! (Proverbs 1:31; Jeremiah 2:19).
Sepharvaim is Sippara, N. of Babylon, built on both banks of Euphrates (or of the canal nahr Agane), from whence arises its dual form, -aim, "the two Sipparas." Above the nahr Malka. The one Sippara was called Sipar-sa-samas, i.e. consecrated to Samas "the sun god"; the other, Sipar-sa-Anunit, consecrated to "the goddess Anunit". The Sepharvites burned their children in fire to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the "male and female powers of the sun"; on the monuments Sepharvaim is called "Sepharvaim of the sun."(See ADRAMMELECH; ANAMMELECH.)
Nebuchadnezzar built the old temple, as the sacred spot where Xisuthrus deposited the antediluvian annals before entering the ark, from whence his posterity afterward recovered them (Berosus Fragm. 2:501; 4:280). Part of Sepharvaim was called Agana from Nebuchadnezzar's reservoir adjoining. Sepharvaim is shortened into Sivra and Sura, the seat of a famed Jewish school. Mosaib now stands near its site. The name Sippara means "the city of books." The Berosian fragments designate it Pantibiblia, ("all books"). Here probably was a library, similar to that found at Nineveh, and which has been in part deciphered by G. Smith and others.
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