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The Empires of the Bible from the Confusion of Tongues to the Babylonian Captivity

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    SHALMANESER, or, strictly, Sulmanu-asaridu II, was the son of Assur-natsir-pal, and succeded that king about 905 B. C. 1[Page 267] Sayce would make the date of Shalmaneser II to be 858 B. C. But this is impossible; for, as will be seen, he mentions a battle in his sixth year in which troops of Ahab of Israel were engaged against him; and it is literally impossible to bring down any part of the reign of Ahab as late as 853. The Bible dates as they stand, are far better than any such scheme as that. Counting Shalmaneser’s sixth as Ahab’s last, gives his accession 905 B. C. Lenormant follows this dating, too. In ambition for conquest and in cruelty, he was the true son of his father. Like his father, he took delight in building pyramids of human heads and burying people alive in these pyramids; in impaling men on stakes; and in burning alive whole companies of young men and maidens. He reigned thirty-five years, and made at least thirty-three military expeditions, twenty-nine of which he led in person. He crossed the Euphrates, over and back, at least twenty-six times, many of which were at its flood. He is the first of the Assyrian kings who mentions kings that are also named in the Bible. And of these he speaks of four—Ahab, Ben-hadad, Hazael, and Jehu.EB 267.1

    2. It will not be necessary to follow in detail the campaigns made by this king; because many of them were made into and through the same countries that are named in the foregoing account of Assur-natsir-pal. Here will be noticed only the principal expeditions of Shalmaneser and those which were made in countries beyond the range of the power of Assur-natsir-pal. He introduces himself to us in these words:—EB 267.2

    “Shalmaneser, the king of the multitude of men, high priest of Assur, the powerful king, the king of all the four regions, the Sungod of the multitude of mankind, who governs in all countries; the son of Assur-natsir-pal, the supreme priest, whose priesthood unto the gods was pleasing, and who has subdued unto his feet all lands; the illustrious offspring of Tukulti-Adar who subjugated all his enemies, and swept them like the tempest.” 2[Page 268] “Records of the Past,” New Series, Vol.iv, pp. 38, 39.EB 267.3

    3. After a campaign to Lake Van and thereabout, in which he burnt more than a hundred towns; erected pyramids of human heads; “delivered to the flames” scores of “youths and maidens;” and set up an image of himself on the shore of Lake Van, “overlooking the sea;” he yet in his first year marched to the Mediterranean Sea and to Cilicia. He says, “In the first year of my reign I crossed the Euphrates in its flood; towards the sea of the setting sun I marched. I purified my weapons in the sea. Victims to my gods I sacrificed. I ascended Mount Amanus; I cut logs of cedar and thuya. I climbed Mount Lallar and erected there an image of my royalty.”EB 268.1

    4. “From Mount Amanus I departed; the Orontes I crossed; to Alimush, the stronghold of Sapalulme, the Patinian, 3[Page 268] The country of the Patinians lay “between the Afrin and the Gulf of Antioch, extending south ward.” I approached. Sapalulme, the Patinian, to save his life” called to his aid from Carchemish, from Kummukh, from Cilicia, and other districts round about, eight different kings, with their forces. This host was defeated and scattered by Shalmaneser, who says further: “The great cities of the Patinian I invested. The countries of the Upper Sea of Syria and of the sea of the setting sun, I swept like a mound under a storm. The tribute of the kings of the seacoast I received. On the shores of the broad sea, straight before me, victoriously I marched. An image of my majesty I made to perpetuate my name forever. Overlooking the sea I erected it. To the mountains of Amanus I ascended. Logs of cedar and thuya I cut. To the mountains of Mount Atalur where the image of Assur-irbi was set up, I marched. I erected an image by the side of his image.” 4[Page 268] “Records of the Past,” New Series, Vol.iv, pp.60, 61. From here he returned toward Aleppo, carrying 14,600 prisoners, and receiving “the tribute of Arame, the son of Gusi, silver, gold, oxen, sheep, wine, and couches of gold and silver.” From there he returned to Nineveh.EB 268.2

    5. The next year he traversed this same course again, to the Euphrates, to Carchemish, and to the country of the Patinians. He says, “The kings of the country of the Hittites, all of them, trembled before the splendor of my powerful weapons, and my violent onset, and they took my feet. From the Patinian, 3 talents of gold, 100 talents of silver, 300 talents of copper, 300 talents of iron, 1000 vases of copper, 1000 vestments of embroidered stuff and linen, his daughter with her abundant dowry, 20 talents of blue purple, 500 oxen, and 5000 sheep, I received. A talent of gold, 2 talents of blue people, and 100 logs of cedar, I imposed upon him as tribute; each year I received it in my city of Assur.EB 269.1

    6. “From Khayanu the son of Gabbaru who dwells at the foot of Mount Amanus 10 talents of silver, 90 talents of copper, 30 talents of iron, 300 vestments of embroidered stuff and linen, 300 oxen, 3000 sheep, 200 logs of cedar, ... 2 homers of cedar-resin, and his daughter with her dowry, I received. I laid upon him as tribute 10 manehs of silver, 200 logs of cedar, and an homer of cedar-resin; each year I receive it.EB 269.2

    7. “From Aramu, the son of Agusi, 10 manehs of gold, 6 talents of silver, 500 oxen, and 5000 sheep, I received.EB 269.3

    8. “From Sangara, the Carchemishian, 2 talents of gold, 70 talents of silver, 30 talents of copper, 100 talents of iron, 20 talents of blue purple, 500 weapons, his daughter with a dowry, and 100 daughters of his nobles, 500 oxen, and 5000 sheep, I received. I laid upon him as tribute, a maneh of gold, a talent of silver, and 2 talents of blue purple; each year I received it.EB 269.4

    9. “From Qata-zilu, the Komagenian, I receive each year 20 manehs of silver, and 300 logs of cedar.” 5[Page 269] Id., pp. 62, 63.EB 269.5

    10. The next two campaigns were in the countries of the Hittites, on the west of the Euphrates. In the second of these, the city of Pethor, from which Balaam came, he took for himself,—that is, he made it a royal and store city. Of this city of Pethor he says: “In those days the city of Ana-Assur-utir-atsbat [to Assur I have restored, I have taken], which the Hittites call Pitru, Which is upon the River Sagura on the farther side of the Euphrates, and the city of Mutkinu which is upon the hither side of the Euphrates, which Tiglath-pileser, the royal forefather who went before me had captured, and which in the time of Assur-Irbi, the king of Assyria, the king of the country of Aram had taken away by force—these cities I restored to their former position. I settled men of Assyria in them.” 6[Page 270] Id., p. 64.EB 269.6

    11. His fourth and fifth years were spent in the region at the upper Euphrates, near the source of the Tigris, and eastward to Lake Van. At the shore of Lake Van, as he approached the cities of Nikdime and Nigdera, he says: “They trembled before the splendor of my powerful weapons and violent onset, and took refuge on the sea in coracles of willow. In boats of sealskin I followed after them. A hard battle I fought in the middle of the sea, and utterly defeated them. The sea with their blood I dyed like wool.” 7[Page 270] Id., p. 69. The spoil was “sheep, horses, colts, and calves, to a countless number.”EB 270.1

    12. In his sixth year his campaign was to the westward again. The cities on the bank of the Balikh had slain Giammu their governor. When he had settled his affairs in this country, he again “crossed the Euphrates at its flood,” and “the tribute of the kings of the” Hittites, “all of them,” received at his royal city of Pethor. From the banks of the Euphrates he departed “to the city of Khalman,” the modern Aleppo, or Haleb. This city surrendered without a fight, and paid tribute. From there he went southward “to the cities of Irkhuleni, the Hamathite.” A number of cities, including one royal city of the king of Hamath, were captured and destroyed; and he set out toward another royal city which he calls Qarqara. By this time a great force of about seventy thousand men and nearly two thousand chariots, had been gathered together at the River Orontes to resist his further progress.EB 270.2

    13. This force was composed, Shalmaneser says, of “1200 chariots, 1200 litters, and 20,000 men from Dadda-Idri [Ben-ha-dad] of the country of Damascus; 700 chariots, 700 litters, and 10,000 men from Irkhuleni, the Hamathite; 2000 chariots and 10,000 men from Ahab, the Israelite [Akhabbu mat’ Sir’ ald]; 500 men from the Guans; 1000 men from the Egyptians; 10 chariots and 10,000 men from the Irqanatians [the Arkites, chap. 3, par. 26]; 200 men from Matinu-ba’al, the Arvadite; 200 men from the Usanatians; 30 chariots and 10,000 men from Adunu-ba’al, the Shianian; 1000 camels from Gindibu’i, the Arabian; and ... 00 men from Ba’asha, the son of Rukhubi, of the country of Ammon—these 12 kings he took to his assistance. To offer battle and combat, they came against me. I fought with them; from the city of Qarqara to the city of Kirzau, I utterly defeated them, 14,000 [in another place he says 20,500] of their fighting men I slew with weapons. Like Hadad I rained a deluge upon them, and exterminated them. I filled the face of the plain with their wide-spread troops, with my weapons I covered with their blood the whole district. The soil ceased to give food to its inhabitants. In the broad fields there was no room for their graves. With the bodies of their men, as with a bridge, I bound together the banks of the Orontes. In this battle their chariots, their litters, and their horses bound to the yoke, I took from them.” 8[Page 271] Id., 70, 71.EB 270.3

    14. In his seventh year he says: “I marched to the sources of the Tigris, the place from whence the waters gush forth. There I purified the arms of Assur; I sacrificed victims to my gods; a feast of rejoicing I made. I erected a great image of my royal majesty. The glory of Assur, my lord, the exploits of my valor, and all that I had done in these countries, I Inscribed upon it; I set it up there.” 9[Page 271] Id., p. 42.EB 271.1

    15. We have seen that Assur-natsir-pal had conquered the country of the Shuhites, and invaded Babylonia, and swept Chaldea like a storm; and that Nebo-Baladan who was king of Babylon at that time, had saved his city by making peace with Assur-natsir-pal. Nebo-Baladan was yet king of Babylon in the seventh year of Shalmaneser II, of Assyria. Of him and his successor, one account is as follows:—EB 271.2

    “In the time of Shalmaneser, king og Assyria, and Nebo-bal-iddina, king of Kar-Dunias, friendship and complete alliance with one another they made. In the time of Shalmaneser, king of Assyria, Nebo-bal-iddina, king of Kar-Dunias, was overcome by death. Merodach-nadin-sumi sat on the throne of his father. Merodach-bil-u’sate his brother revolted against him. He seized the city of Ahdaban. The country of Accad was disturbed everywhere. Shalmaneser, king of Assyria, to the help of Merodach-nadin-sumi, king of Kar-Dunias, marched. Merodach-bil-u’sate, the king, he smote. The rebel soldiers who were with him, he slew. In Kutha, Babylon, and Borsippa he offered sacrifice.” 10[Page 272] Id., p. 33.EB 271.3

    16. Of this, Shalmaneser says: “In the eponymy of Samas-bel-utsur [his seventh year], in the time of Merodach-bel-usate, his brother revolted against him. They divided the country into two factions. Merodach-sum-iddin, to ask help, to Shalmaneser sent his ambassador. Shalmaneser, the impetuous chief, whose trust is Adar, took the road; he gave the order to march against Akkad. I approached the city of Zaban; victims before Hadad, my lord, I sacrificed. I departed from Zaban; to the city of Me-Turnat I approached; the city I besieged, I captured; his fighting men I slew; his spoil I carried away. From the city of Me-Turnat I departed; to the city of Gannanate I approached. Merodach-bel-usate, the lame king, ignorant how to conduct himself, came forth against me to offer combat and battle. I utterly defeated him; his fighting men I slew; in his city I shut him up. His crops I gathered in; his plantations I cut; his river I dammed up.EB 272.1

    17. “In a second expedition, in the eponymy of Bel-bunaya [his eigth year], on the 20th day of the month Nisan, I departed from Nineveh. The Upper Zab, and the Lower Zab I crossed. To the city of Lakhiru I approached. The city I besieged, I captured. Its fighting men I slew, its spoil I carried away. From the city of Lakhiru I departed. To the city of Gannanate I approached. Merodach-bel-usate came forth like a fox from his hole; towards the mountains of Yasubi, he set his face. The city of Arman he took for his stronghold. The city of Gannanate I captured; its fighting men I slew; its spoil I carried away. I ascended the mountains after him. In the city of Arman I shut him up; the city I besieged, I took. His fighting men I slew, his spoil I carried away. I put Merodach-bel-usate to death with weapons. Of the miserable soldiers who were with him, not one did I leave.”EB 272.2

    18. “When Merodach-sum-iddin had conquered his enemies, and Shalmaneser the powerful king had fulfilled the desire of his heart, he exalted thee, O great lord Merodach! Shalmaneser the king of Assyria ordered the march to Babylon; he arrived at Kutha, the city of the warrior of the gods, the exalted ones, the city of the Sun-god of the south. At the gate of the temple he prostrated himself humbly, and presented his sacrifice; he made offerings. He entered also into Babylon, the bond of heaven to earth, the seat of life. He ascended also to E-Sagil [the house of the high-head], the palace of his gods as many as there are. Before Bel and Beltis he was seen to pass, and he directed their path. Their propitiatory sacrifices and pure offerings on E-Sagil he lavished. He visited all the shrines in E-Sagil and Babylon; he presented his pure sacrifice. He took also the road to Borsippa, the city of the warrior of the gods, the angel supreme. He entered also into E-Zida [the immutable house], he prostrated himself before the temple of his immutuable oracle; and in the presence of Nebo and Nana, the gods, his lords, he directed reverently his path. Strong oxen and fat sheep he gave in abundance. He visited all the shrines in Borsippa and E-Zida; each time he offered libations. For the men of Babylon, and Borsippa, the vassals of the great gods, he made a feast, and gave them food and wine; with embroidered robes he clothed them; with presents he endowed them.EB 273.1

    19. “After that the great gods had favorably regarded Shalmaneser, the powerful king, the king of Assyria, had directed his face, had granted the desire of his heart and strength, and had heard his prayers, I departed from Babylon. To the country of Chaldea I descended. To the city of Baqani, a fortress of Adini, the son of Dakuri, I approached. The city I besieged, I captured. His numerous soldiers I slew; their rich spoil, their oxen and their sheep, I carried away. The city I threw down, dug up, and burned with fire.EB 273.2

    20. “From the city of Baqani I departed; the Euphrates hard by it I crossed. The city of Enzudi, the royal city of the aforesaid Adini, I approached. As for Adini, the son of Dakuri, the terror of the glory of Merodach, the great lord overwhelmed him, and If received from him, silver, gold, copper, lead, iron, muskanna wood, ivory, and elephants’ skins. While I was staying on the shores of the sea [the Persian Gulf], the tribute of Yakin, the king of the maritime country, and of Musallim-Merodach, the son of Amukkani, silver, gold, lead, copper, iron, muskanna wood, ivory, and elephants’ skins, I received.” 11[Page 274] Id., pp. 76-79.EB 273.3

    21. In his tenth year, for the eighth time, Shalmaneser crossed the Euphrates, “captured the cities of Sangara of Carchemish;” and of the cities of Arame, he “captured Arne, his royal city, and 100 of his towns.”EB 274.1

    22. In his eleventh year, for the ninth time, he crossed the Euphrates, and “captured cities without number.” “To the cities of the land of the Hittites and of the country of the Hamathites, I descended. I captured 89 towns. Dadda-Idri [Ben-hadad] of the country of Damascus and twelve kings of the country of the Hitties, ranged themselves side by side; I overthrew them.”EB 274.2

    23. In his twelfth year, for the tenth time he crossed the Euphrates; and in his fourteenth year again he says: “I crossed the Euphrates; twelve kings met me; I fought with them; I overthrew them.” Not till his seventeenth year did he again cross the Euphrates. He then went once more as far as Mount Amanus, and there cut logs of cedar.EB 274.3

    24. In his eighteenth year he says, “For the sixteenth time I crossed the Euphrates. Hazael, of Damascus, trusted to the strength of his armies, and assembled his armies to a large number. Saniru [the Biblical Shenir], 12[Page 274] Deuteronomy 3:9 a mountain summit as you come to Lebanon, he made his stronghold. I fought with him, I defeated him: 6000 of his soldiers I slew with weapons, 1121 of his chariots, 470 of his war-horses, along with his camp, I took from him. To save his life he ascended the mountain. I perused after him. In Damascus, his royal city, I shut him up. His plantations I cut down. As far as the mountains of Hauran, I marched. The cities to a countless number I threw down, dug up, and burned with fire. Their spoil to a countless amount I carried away. As far as the mountain of Bahlirashi [Baal-rosh at the mouth of the Dog River], which is headland of the sea, I marched. As image of my majesty I set up upon it. At that time I received the tribute of the Tyrians, the Sidonians, and of Yahua [Jehu], the son of Khumri [Omri]. 13[Page 275] “Records of the Past,” New Series, Vol.iv, p. 44, note 2.EB 274.4

    25. In his nineteenth year, for the eighteenth time, he crossed the Euphrates, the ascended to Mount Amanus, where he again cut logs of cedar. And “in the twentieth year, for the twentieth time” he crossed the Euphrates, invaded the country about the mouth of the Orontes, captured their cities, and carried away the spoil. Again he says, “In the 21st year of my reign, for the 21st time I crossed the Euphrates. Against the cities of Hazael of the country of Damascus, I marched. Four of his cities I captured. The tribute of the Tyrians, the Sidonians, and the Gebalites, I received. In the 22nd year of my reign, for the 22nd time, the Euphrates I crossed. I descended into the country of Tubal. At that time from the twenty-four kings of Tubal, I received gifts. To Mount Tumar, a mountain of silver, a mountain of mull, a mountain of marble, I marched.” 14[Page 275] Id., pp.44, 45.EB 275.1

    26. In his twenty-third year, and twenty-fifth campaign, he again crossed the Euphrates in the same region, and captured “the strongold of Lalla, the Milidian [the modern Malatiyeh],” and there received the tributes of “the kings of Tubal.” In his twenty-fourth year, and twenty-sixth campaign, he crossed the lower Zab, and overran the country to the northeast. Along the southwestern shore of Lake Urumiyah, he received “the tribute of twenty-seven kings of country of Parsua.” 15[Page 275] Several authorities see in this the first mention of the Persians. Others think it refers to the Parthians. From all the circumstances it seems almost certain to be the Persians. The next name but one is certainly that of the Medes, and as the Medes and Persians were always in aftertimes together, it is but reasonable to suppose it was so at this time. Further he says: “Into the country of Messi, the country of the Amadians [the Mada. or Medes], the country of Araziash, and the country of Kharkhar, I descended.” These countries were overrun, and their cities were thrown down, dug up, and burned with fire. He set up an image of his majesty in the country of Kharkhar, and carried back to his capital, many captives and much spoil.EB 275.2

    27. In his twenty-fifth year, and twenty-seventh campain, “the Euphrates at its flood” he crossed, and “received the tribute of all the kings of the country of the Hittites. Mount Amanns I passed over. I descended into the cities of Kate, of the country of the Qauians. The cities to a countless number I threw down, dug up, and burned with fire.” In that region a certain stronghold, he says, “I took for myself. I surrounded its enclosure with a wall; I founded therein a palace as my royal abode.” In his twenty-sixth year he says, “For the 7th time I passed over Mount Amanus. For the fourth time, against the cities of Kate, of the country of the Qauians, I marched. I besieged Tanakun, the strongold of Tulka.” This city with several others in that region, were destroyed, the inhabitants of the country were perused to the mountain tops and brought down. Hostages were taken; a tribute of “silver, gold, iron, oxen, and sheep,” was laid upon them; and “Kirri, the brother of Kate, to the sovereignty over them” was appointed. Again on Mount Amanus, logs of cedar were cut, and taken to the city of Assur.EB 276.1

    28. This is the last campaign that Shalmaneser made in person. His five remaining campaigns, he says, were conducted by “Dayan-Assur, the Tartan, the commander of my numerous armies.” One of these expeditions was made against “the country of the Manna,” the Minni of Jeremiah 51:27, which extended along the western shore of Lake Urumiyeh. Another was “against the country of Ararat,” in the region of the present city of mush, on the west of Lake Van. Another was made across the Euphrates, to the shore of the Mediterranean between Mount Amanus and the Orontes. Another was to the source of the Tigris, in the region opposite the land of the Hittites. Another was through the country between the lakes Urumiyeh and Van, and around again to the district of the parsua to the west of Lake Van. The last campaign, the thirty-third, in the thirty-first of his reign, was made again to the east and the northeast.EB 276.2

    29. In the last four years of Shalmaneser II, his son, Assurdayan raised a revolt, and succeeded in gaining to himself twenty-seven fortified cities, one of which was Assur, the original capital of the country: Assur-Natsir-pal having established the capital at Calah. Shalmaneser Seems to have been too old to attempt to do anything against him, and he continued in possession of his revolted cities till the death of the king.EB 276.3

    30. In another inscription Shalmaneser says: “I have received the tribute of Jehu, the son of Omri: silver, gold, bowls of gold, chalices of gold, cups of gold, pails of gold, lead, scepters for the hand of the king, and spear-shafts.” 16[Page 277] “Records of the Past,” New Series. Vol.iv, p. 52. It is supposed that he made the mistake of calling Jehu “the son of Omri,” from the fact that his first connection with Israel was in the reign of Ahab who was the son of Omri; and as Jehu was a successor of Ahab, Shalmaneser supposed him to have been of the house of Omri also.EB 276.4

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