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November 16    Scripture



Bible Cities: Nineveh
Ancient Nineveh

Map of Ancient Nineveh


Nineveh in Easton's Bible Dictionary First mentioned in Gen. 10:11, which is rendered in the Revised Version, "He [i.e., Nimrod] went forth into Assyria and builded Nineveh." It is not again noticed till the days of Jonah, when it is described (Jonah 3:3; 4:11) as a great and populous city, the flourishing capital of the Assyrian empire (2 Kings 19:36; Isa. 37:37). The book of the prophet Nahum is almost exclusively taken up with prophetic denunciations against this city. Its ruin and utter desolation are foretold (Nah.1:14; 3:19, etc.). Zephaniah also (2:13-15) predicts its destruction along with the fall of the empire of which it was the capital. From this time there is no mention of it in Scripture till it is named in gospel history (Matt. 12:41; Luke 11:32). This "exceeding great city" lay on the eastern or left bank of the river Tigris, along which it stretched for some 30 miles, having an average breadth of 10 miles or more from the river back toward the eastern hills. This whole extensive space is now one immense area of ruins. Occupying a central position on the great highway between the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean, thus uniting the East and the West, wealth flowed into it from many sources, so that it became the greatest of all ancient cities. About B.C. 633 the Assyrian empire began to show signs of weakness, and Nineveh was attacked by the Medes, who subsequently, about B.C. 625, being joined by the Babylonians and Susianians, again attacked it, when it fell, and was razed to the ground. The Assyrian empire then came to an end, the Medes and Babylonians dividing its provinces between them. "After having ruled for more than six hundred years with hideous tyranny and violence, from the Caucasus and the Caspian to the Persian Gulf, and from beyond the Tigris to...

Nineveh in Fausset's Bible Dictionary Nimrod builded Nineveh (Genesis 10:11); Herodotus (i. 7) makes Ninus founder of Nineveh. and grandson of Belus founder of Babylon; which implies that it was from Babylon, as Scripture says, that Nineveh's founder came. Nin is the Assyrian Hercules. Their mythology also makes Ninus son of Nimrod. Jonah is the next Scripture after Genesis 10 that mentions Nineveh. (See JONAH.) Sennacherib after his host's destruction "went and dwelt at Nineveh" (2 Kings 19:36). Jonah (Jonah 3:3) describes it as an "exceeding great city of three days' journey" round (i.e. 60 miles, at 20 miles per day) with 120,000 children "who knew not their right hand from their left" (Jonah 4:11), which would make a population in all of 600,000 or even one million. Diodorus Siculus (ii. 3), agreeing with Jonah's "three days' journey," makes the circumference 55 miles, pastures and pleasure grounds being included within, from whence Jonah appositely (Jonah 4:11) mentions "much cattle." G. Smith thinks that the ridges enclosing Nebi Yunus and Koyunjik (the mounds called "tels" opposite Mosul) were only the walls of inner Nineveh, the city itself extending beyond to the mound Yarenijah. The parallelogram in Assyria covered with remains has Khorsabad N.E.; Koyunjik and Nebi Yunus (Nineveh in the narrow sense) near the Tigris N.W.; Nimrud and Athur between the Tigris and Zab, N.W.; and Karamles at a distance inward from the Zab S.E. From Koyunjik to Nimrud is 18 miles; from Khorsabad to Karamles 18; from Koyunjik to Khorsabad 13 or 14; from Nimrud to Karamles 14. The length was greater than the breadth; so Jonah 3:4 "entered into the city a day's journey." The longer sides were 150 furlongs each, the shorter 90 furlongs, the whole circuit 480 or 460 miles. Babylon had a circuit of only 385 miles (Clitarchus in Diod. ii. 7, Strabo xvi. 737). The walls were 100 ft. high, with 1,500 towers, and broad enough for three chariots abreast. Shereef Khan is the northern extremity of the collection of mounds on the eastern bank of the Tigris, and is five and a half miles N. of Koyunjik. There is also an enclosure, 5,000 yards in circuit, once enclosed by a moat at Selamivah three miles N. of Nimrud. Nimrud in inscriptions is called Kalkhu or Calah in Genesis 10:11; Khorsabad is called Sargina from Sargon. At Kileh Sherghat is the presumed original capital," Asshur," 60 miles S. of Mosul, on the right or western bank of the Tigris. Sennacherib first made Nineveh the capital. Nineveh was at first only a fort to keep the Babylonian conquests around. It subsequently, with Rehoboth, Ir, Calah, and Resen, formed one great city, "Nineveh" in the larger sense. Thothmes III of Egypt is mentioned in inscriptions as capturing Nineveh. Phraortes the Mede perished in attempting to do so (Herodotus i. 102). Cyaxares his successor, after at first raising the siege owing to a Scythic invasion (Herodotus i. 103, 106) 625 B.C., finally succeeded in concert with the Babylonian Nabopolassar, 606 B.C., Saracus the last king, Esarhaddon's grandson, set fire to the palace and perished in the flames, as Ctesias states, and as the marks of fire on the walls still confirm. So Nahum 3:13; Nahum 3:15, "fire shall devour thy bars." Charred wood, calcined alabaster, and heat splintered figures abound. Nahum (Nahum 2) and Zephaniah (Zephaniah 2:13-15) foretold its doom; and Ezekiel (Ezekiel 31) shortly after attests the completeness of its overthrow, as a warning of the fatal issue of pride, Isaiah 10:7-14; Diodorus (ii. 27) says there...

Nineveh in Hitchcock's Bible Names handsome; agreeable

Nineveh in Naves Topical Bible Capitol of the Assyrian Empire Ge 10:11,12 -Contained a population of upwards of one-hundred and twenty thousand people, when Jonah preached Jon 4:11 -Extent of Jon 3:4 -Sennacherib in 2Ki 19:36,37; Isa 37:37,38 -Jonah preaches to Jon 1:1,2; 3 -Nahum prophesies against Na 1; 2; 3 -Zephaniah foretells the desolation of Zep 2:13-15

Nineveh in Smiths Bible Dictionary (abode of Ninus), the capital of the ancient kingdom and empire of Assyria. The name appears to be compounded from that of an Assyrian deity "Nin," corresponding, it is conjectured, with the Greek Hercules, and occurring in the names of several Assyrian kings, as in "Ninus," the mythic founder, according to Greek tradition of the city. Nineveh is situated on the eastern bank of the river Tigris, 50 miles from its mouth and 250 miles north of Babylon. It is first mentioned in the Old Testament in connection with the primitive dispersement and migrations of the human race. Asshur, or according to the marginal reading, which is generally preferred, Nimrod is there described, Ge 10:11 as extending his kingdom from the land of Shinar or Babylonia, in the south, to Assyria in the north and founding four cities, of which the most famous was Nineveh. Hence Assyria was subsequently known to the Jews as "the land of Nimrod," cf. Mic 5:6 and was believed to have been first peopled by a colony from Babylon. The kingdom of Assyria and of the Assyrians is referred to in the Old Testament as connected with the Jews at a very early period, as in Nu 24:22,24 and Psal 83:8 but after the notice of the foundation of Nineveh in Genesis no further mention is made of the city until the time of the book of Jonah, or the eighth century B.C. In this book no mention is made of Assyria or the Assyrians, the king to whom the prophet was sent being termed the "king of Nineveh," and his subjects "the people of Nineveh." Assyria is first called a kingdom in the time of Menahem, about B.C. 770. Nahum (? B.C. 645) directs his prophecies against Nineveh; only once against the king of Assyria. ch. Na 3:18 In 2Ki 19:36 and Isai 37:37 the city is first distinctly mentioned as the residence of the monarch. Sennacherib was slain there when worshipping in the temple of Nisroch his god. Zephaniah, about B.C. 630, couples the capital and the kingdom together, Zep 2:13 and this is the last mention of Nineveh as an existing city. The destruction of Nineveh occurred B.C. 606. The city was then laid waste, its monuments destroyed and its inhabitants scattered or carried away into captivity. It never rose again from its ruins. This total disappearance of Nineveh is fully confirmed by the records of profane history. The political history of Nineveh is that of Assyria, of which a sketch has already been given. [ASSYRIA] Previous to recent excavations and researches, the ruins which occupied the presumed site of Nineveh seemed to consist of mere shapeless heaps or mounds of earth and rubbish. Unlike the vast masses of brick masonry which mark the site of Babylon, they showed externally no signs of artificial construction, except perhaps here and there the traces of a rude wall of sun-dried bricks. Some of these mounds were of enormous dimensions, looking in the distance rather like natural elevations than the work of men's hands. They differ greatly in form, size and height. Some are mere conical heaps, varying from 50 to 150 feet high; others have a broad flat summit, and very precipitous cliff-like sites furrowed by deep ravines worn by the winter rains. The principal ruins are-- (1) the group immediately opposite Mosul, including the great mounds of Kouyunjik and Nebbi Yunus; (2) that near the junction of the Tigris and Zab comprising the mounds of Nimroud and Athur; (3) Khorsabad, about ten miles...

Nineveh in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE nin'-e-ve (nineweh; Nineue, Nineui; Greek and Roman writers, Ninos): I. BEGINNINGS, NAME, POSITION 1. First Biblical Mention 2. Etymology of the Name 3. Position on the Tigris II. NINEVEH AND ITS SURROUNDINGS 1. Its Walls 2. Principal Mounds and Gateways 3. Extent and Population within the Walls 4. Extent outside the Walls 5. Calah, Resen and Rehoboth-Ir 6. Khorsabad 7. Sherif Khan and Selamieh 8. Nimroud III. PALACES AT NINEVEH PROPER 1. The Palace of Sennacherib 2. The Palace of Assur-bani-apli IV. SENNACHERIB'S DESCRIPTION OF NINEVEH 1. The Walls 2. The Gates--Northwest 3. The Gates--South and East 4. The Gates--West 5. The Outer Wall: the Plantations 6. The Water-Supply, etc. 7. How the Bas-Reliefs Illustrate the King's Description 8. Nineveh the Later Capital V. LAST DAYS AND FALL OF NINEVEH LITERATURE I. Beginnings, Name, Position. 1. First Biblical Mention: The first Biblical mention of Nineveh is in Gen 10:11, where it is stated that NIMROD (which see) or Asshur went out into Assyria, and builded Nineveh and Rehoboth-Ir, and Calah, and Resen between Nineveh and Calah, with the addition, "the same is the great city." Everything indicates that these statements are correct, for Nineveh was certainly at one time under Babylonian rule, and was at first not governed by Assyrian kings, but by issake or viceroys of Assur, the old capital. To all appearance Nineveh took its name from the Babylonian Nina near Lagas in South Babylonia, on the Euphrates, from which early foundation it was probably colonized. The native name appears as Ninua or Nina (Ninaa), written with the character for "water enclosure" with that for "fish" inside, implying a connection between Nina and the Semitic nun, "fish." 2. Etymology of the Name: The Babylonian Nina was a place where fish were very abundant, and Ishtar or Nina, the goddess of the city, was associated with Nin-mah, Merodach's spouse, as goddess of reproduction. Fish are also plentiful in the Tigris at Mosul, the modern town on the other side of the river, and this may have influenced the choice of the site by the Babylonian settlers, and the foundation there of the great temple of Ishtar or Nina. The date of this foundation is unknown, but it may have taken place about 3OOO BC. 3. Position on the Tigris: Nineveh lay on the eastern bank of the Tigris, at the point where the Khosr falls into that stream. The outline of the wall is rectangular on the West, but of an irregular shape on the East. The western fortifications run from Northwest to Southeast, following, roughly, the course of the river, which now flows about 1,500 yards from the walls, instead of close to them, as in ancient times. II. Nineveh and Its Surroundings. According to the late G. Smith, the southwestern wall has a length of about 2 1/2 miles, and is joined at its western corner by the northwestern wall, which runs in a northeasterly direction for about 1 1/3 miles. 1. Its Walls: The northeastern wall, starting here, runs at first in a southeasterly direction, but turns southward, gradually approaching the southwestern wall, to which, at the end of about 3 1/4 miles, it is joined by a short wall, facing nearly South, rather more than half a mile long. 2. Principal Mounds and Gateways: The principal mounds are Kouyunjik, a little Northeast of the village of `Amusiyeh, and Nebi-Yunas, about 1,500 yards to the Southeast. Both of these lie just within the Southwest wall. Extensive remains of buildings occupy the fortified area. Numerous openings occur in the walls, many of them ancient, though some seem to have been made after the abandonment of the site. The principal gate on the Northwest was guarded by winged bulls (see Layard, Monuments of Nineveh, 2nd series, plural 3; Nineveh and Babylon, 120). Other gates gave access to the various commercial roads of the country, those on the East passing through the curved outworks and the double line of fortifications which protected the northeastern wall from attack on that side, where the Ninevites evidently considered that they had most to fear. 3. Extent and Population within the Walls: According to G. Smith, the circuit of the inner wall is about 8 miles, and Captain Jones, who made a trigonometrical survey in 1854, estimated that, allotting to each inhabitant 50 square yards, the city may have contained...

Nineveh Scripture - 2 Kings 19:36 So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed, and went and returned, and dwelt at Nineveh.

Nineveh Scripture - Genesis 10:11 Out of that land went forth Asshur, and builded Nineveh, and the city Rehoboth, and Calah,

Nineveh Scripture - Genesis 10:12 And Resen between Nineveh and Calah: the same [is] a great city.

Nineveh Scripture - Isaiah 37:37 So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed, and went and returned, and dwelt at Nineveh.

Nineveh Scripture - Jonah 1:2 Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.

Nineveh Scripture - Jonah 3:2 Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee.

Nineveh Scripture - Jonah 3:3 So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days' journey.

Nineveh Scripture - Jonah 3:4 And Jonah began to enter into the city a day's journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.

Nineveh Scripture - Jonah 3:5 So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.

Nineveh Scripture - Jonah 3:6 For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered [him] with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.

Nineveh Scripture - Jonah 3:7 And he caused [it] to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water:

Nineveh Scripture - Jonah 4:11 And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and [also] much cattle?

Nineveh Scripture - Matthew 12:41 The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas [is] here.

Nineveh Scripture - Nahum 1:1 The burden of Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite.

Nineveh Scripture - Nahum 2:8 But Nineveh [is] of old like a pool of water: yet they shall flee away. Stand, stand, [shall they cry]; but none shall look back.

Nineveh Scripture - Nahum 3:7 Nahum 3:7 - And it shall come to pass, [that] all they that look upon thee shall flee from thee, and say, Nineveh is laid waste: who will bemoan her? whence shall I seek comforters for thee?

Nineveh Scripture - Zephaniah 2:13 And he will stretch out his hand against the north, and destroy Assyria; and will make Nineveh a desolation, [and] dry like a wilderness.

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