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

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    SENNACHERIB, the son of Sargon, ascended the throne of Assyria “on the 12th day of the month Abu,” 705 B. C. He seems to have been the most intelligent of Assyria’s kings, as also, through his record in the Bible, he is the most widely known. At the beginning of his reign he was obliged to carry an expedition into Babylonia; for as soon as the death of Sargon was learned abroad, Merodach-Baladan returned from the region to which he had escaped, secured the allegiance of the cities of Chaldea, and entered Babylon again.EB 317.1

    2. This Merodach-Baladan was certainly a most singular sort of personage, or else the inhabitants of Babylonia were a most singular sort of people; or both. First he set himself up for king, and gathered a host of people around him, and induced them to take a stand against the king of Assyria. Then when the king of Assyria came against him, he ran away, leaving his soldiers and people to captivity and slaughter at the hand of the king of Assyria. After the king of Assyria had departed to his own capital, Merodach-Baladan returned, and had enough influence with the people of Chaldea and Babylonia to gather them all again to him, only to repeat the same story of cowardice on his part, and of slaughter and captivity to the people. Up to this point in the history, this same thing has been done three times at least. Such is the history of Merodach-Baladan from the first day that we meet him until the last view we shall have of him shortly, as he makes his last run in a desperate endeavor to escape from the king of Assyria. The power that he had so to wheedle to destruction those people over and over, is a mystery.EB 317.2

    3. Merodach-Baladan had succeeded also in drawing the Elamites into an alliance with him again, to oppose the arms of Assyria. The history is much the same as before, though, as Sennacherib’s account is such an easy, running narrative, we will allow him to tell it. “In the beginning of my reign I defeated Marduk-Baladan, king of Babylonia, and his allies, the Elamites, in the plains near the city of Kish. In the midst of that battle he quitted his camp, and fled alone; he escaped to the city of Gutzumman; he got into the marshes full of reeds and rushes, and so saved his life.EB 317.3

    4. “The chariots, wagons, horses, mules, camels, and dromedaries, which in the midst of the battle he had abandoned, were captured by my hands. I entered rejoicing into his palace in the city of Babylon: I broke open his royal treasury: gold and silver; vessels of gold and silver; precious stones of every kind; goods and valuables, and much royal treasure; his wife, the men and women of his palace; the noblemen and those who ranked, first among all his men of trust, and were clothed with the chief authority in the palace, I carried off, and I counted them as a spoil. I marched after him to the city of Gutzumman, and I sent off my soldiers to search through the marshes and reeds. Five days they moved about rapidly, but his hiding-place was not discovered! In the power of Ashur, my lord, 89 large cities, and royal dwellings in the land of Chaldea, and 820 small towns in their neighborhood, I assaulted, captured, and carried of their spoils. The Urbi, and the Arameans, and Chaldeans who were in the cities of Erech, Nipur, Kish, Herrish-kalama, and Tiggaba, and the people of the cities which had been in rebellion, I carried away, and I distributed them as a spoil.EB 318.1

    5. “Belibus, the son of Rabbani, who was prefect of Suanna city, who as a young man had been brought up in my palace, I placed over them as king of Leshan and Akkadi. During my return, seventeen tribes (Arameans all of them, and rebels), I completely conquered: 208,000 people, male and female; 7200 horses and mules; 11,173 asses; 5230 camels; 80,100 oxen; 800,600 sheep: a vast spoil, I carried off to Assyria.” 1[Page 318] 1 “Records of the Past,” Old Series, Vol. i, pp, 25, 26. All the quotations in this account of Sennacherib are taken from this volume, pp. 25-56, unless otherwise credited. There is another translation of a portion of Sennacherib’s inscriptions in “Records of the Past,” New Series, Vol. vi, pp. 83-101; and yet another in “Assyrian Discoveries,” pp. 296-309.EB 318.2

    6. His second expedition was made to the eastward, “against the land of the Kassi and Yatsubi-galla, obstinate enemies, who from old times had never submitted to the kings, my fathers.” This and a neighboring district, all the “broad country,” he “swept like a mighty whirlwind,” and says that “34 great cities, with numberless smaller towns in their neighborhood,” he ravaged and destroyed. As he returned, he says, “I received a great tribute from the distant Medians, who in the days of the kings, my fathers, no one had ever heard even the name of their country; and I made them bow down to the yoke of my majesty.”EB 319.1

    7. When he had returned to Nineveh, he rebuilt the great palace in that city, and made some excellent improvements both in the city and in the country adjoining. He says,“Of all the kings of former days, my fathers who went before me, who reigned before me over Assyria; and governed the city of Bel; and every year without fail augmented its interior rooms, and treasured up in them all their revenues which they received from four countries; not one among them all, though the central palace was too small to be their royal residence, had the knowledge, nor the wish to improve it. As to caring for the health of the city, by bringing streams of water into it, and the finding of new springs, none turned his thought to it, nor brought his heart to it.EB 319.2

    8. “Then I, Sennacherib, king of Assyria, by command of the gods, resolved in my mind to complete this work, and I brought my heart to it. Men of Chaldea, Aram, Manna, Kue, and Cilicia, who had not bowed down to my yoke, I brought away as captives, and I compelled them to make bricks. In baskets made of reeds which I had cut in the land of Chaldea, I made the foreign workmen bring their appointed tale of bricks, in order to complete this work.EB 319.3

    9. “The former palace, of 360 measures long, adjoining the gardens of the Great Tower: 80 measures wide, adjoining the watchtower of the temple of Ishtar: 134 measures wide, adjoining the watchtower of the house of worship: and 95 measures wide, ... which the kings, my fathers who went before me, had built for their royal residence, but had not beautified its front,—the River Tibilti [“The Stream of Fertility,” a poetical name of the Tigris] had ruined the brickwork of it, when it ravaged the quays of the central city. The trees of its gardens had been burnt for fire-wood years ago. For a long time this river had undermined the front of the palace. In the high water of its floods it had made great rents in its foundations, and had washed away the Timin. 2[Page 320] The “timin” was a small, inscribed clay cylinder, that was placed in the first cornerstones of buildings: sometimes at all the four corners. “It was regarded with peculiar reverence.”EB 319.4

    10. “That small palace I pulled down, the whole of it. I made a new channel for the River Tibilti, I regulated its water, I restrained its flow. Within its old limits I walled up its stream. The low platform I raised higher, and paved it firmly with stones of great size, covered with bitumen, for a space of 354 measures in length, and 279 in breadth. 3[Page 320] The Assyrian table of measurements was as follows:
    1 Assyrian inch = 1.0797 English inches.
    1 Assyrian span = 10.7972 English inches.
    1 Assyrian foot = 12.9567 English inches.
    1 Assyrian cubit = 21.5944 English inches.
    1 Assyrian fathom = 129.5666 English inches.
    1 Assyrian pole = 259.133 English inches.
    Whether these “measures” of the works of Sennacherib were spans, or feet, or cubits is not stated.
    That space I elevated above the waters, and restored it to be again dry ground: 1700 measures long, 162 measures wide on the upper side toward the north, 217 measures wide in the center, 386 measures wide on the lower side toward the south fronting the River Tigris; I completed the mound. and I measured the measure.
    EB 320.1

    11. “On a high festival, in a great affluence of people, I replaced the timin. With a layer of large stones I enclosed its place, and I made its deposit sure. The written records of my name, 160 fathoms of bas-reliefs. I sculptured in the palace; but the lower part of the wall, next to the ground, I left to be filled up in future times. Afterward I resolved to have more tablets carved. I sculptured 20 fathoms of them in addition to the former ones, so that I formed 180 fathoms of them altogether. The enclosure itself I increased beyond what it was in former days: above the measure of the former palace I enlarged it, and I liberally augmented its dwellings, and its fine buildings of ivory, dan wood, ku wood, meshukan wood, cedar wood, cypress wood, and pistachio wood.EB 320.2

    12. “In the midst I placed my royal residence, the palace of Zakdi-nu-isha [“Has not an equal”]. Around it I planted the finest of trees, equal to those of the land of Khamana [Amanus], which all the knowing prefer to those of the land of Chaldea. By my care I caused the uprising of springs in more than forty places in the plain: I divided them into irrigating canals for the people of Nineveh, and gave them to be their own property. To obtain water to turn the flour-mills, I brought it in pipes from Kishri to Nineveh, and I skillfully constructed water-wheels. I brought down the perennial waters of the River Kutzuru, from the distance of half a Kasbu [three and a half miles,], 4[Page 321] A kasbu was seven miles. into those reservoirs, and I covered them all. Of Nineveh, my royal city, I greatly enlarged the dwellings. Its streets, I renovated the old ones, and I widened those which were too narrow. I made them as splendid as the sun.”EB 321.1

    13. His third campaign was to the westward, through the land of Syria, Phenicia, Philistia, and Judah. These countries had formed a conspiracy once more against Assyria, and had secured the support of Egypt. “Luliah [Elulaeus], king of Sidon (for the fearful splendor of my majesty had overwhelmed him), to a distant spot in the midst of the sea, fled. His land I entered. Sidon the greater, Sidon the lesser, Beth-Zitti, Sarepta, Makalliba, Usu, Akziba [Achzib], Akku[Accho], his strong cities; and his finest towns (for the flash of the weapons of Ashur my lord had overcome them) made submission at my feet. Tubaal upon the throne over them I seated. A fixed tribute to my majesty, paid yearly without fail, I imposed upon him. Then Menahem, king of Ussimiruna; Tubaal, king of Sidon; Abd-iliut, king of Arvad; Uru-milki, king of Gubal; Mitinti, king of Ashdod; Buduel, king of Beth-Ammon; Kammuznatibi, king of Moab; Airammu, king of Edom;—the kings of the west country, all of them ... their great presents and wealth to my presence brought, and kissed my feet.EB 321.2

    14. “Zedek, king of Ascalon, who had not bowed down to my yoke, the gods of his father’s house, himself, his wife, his sons, his daughters, his brothers, the race of his father’s house, I carried off and brought to Assyria. Sarludari, son of their former king, Rukipti, over the men of Ascalon I placed; a fixed gift of offerings to my majesty I imposed on him. In the course of my expedition, the cities of Beth-Dagon, Joppa, Banai-barka [Bene-berak], and Hazor, cities of Zedek, which to my feet homage had not rendered, I attacked, captured, and carried off their spoils.EB 321.3

    15. “The chief priests, noblemen, and people, of Ekron, who Padiah, their king (holding the faith and worship of Assyria), had placed in chains of iron; and unto Hezekiah, king of Judah, had delivered him; and had acted toward the deity with hostility; these men now were terrified in their hearts. The kings of Egypt and the soldiers, archers, chariots, and horses of Ethiopia, forces innumerable, gathered together and came to their assistance. In the plains of Altaku [Eltekon, Joshua 15:59] in front of me they placed their battle array. They discharged their arrows. With the weapons of Ashur my lord, with them I fought, and I defeated them. The chief of the chariots and the sons of the king of Egypt, and the chief of the chariots of the king of Ethiopia, alive in the midst of the battle my hands captured. The city of Altaku and the city of Tamna [Timnath, where Samson killed the lion] I attacked, captured, and carried off their spoil.EB 322.1

    16. “Then I drew nigh to the city of Ekron. The chief priests and noblemen, who had committed these crimes, I put to death. On stakes all round the city I hung their bodies. The people of the city who had committed sins and crimes, to slavery I gave. The rest of them who had not been guilty of faults and crimes, and who sinful things against the deity had not done, to spare them I gave command.EB 322.2

    17. “Henzekiah, king of Judah, did not submit to my yoke.” Therefore, “Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fenced cities of Judah, and took them.” 5[Page 322] 2 Kings 18:13. “Forty-six of his cities, strong fortresses, and cities of their territory which were without number, with warlike engines, I besieged, I captured, I plundered, and counted as spoil.” “Two hundred thousand one hundred and fifty people, small and great, male and female, horses, mares, asses, camels, oxen, and sheep beyond number, from the midst of them I carried off and distributed them as a spoil.”EB 322.3

    18. “And when Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib was come, and that he was purposed to fight against Jerusalem, he took counsel with his princes and his mighty men to stop the waters of the fountains which were without the city: and they did help him. So there was gathered much people together, who stopped all the fountains, and the brook that ran through the midst of the land, saying, Why should the kings of Assyria come, and find much water? Also he strengthened himself, and built up all the wall that was broken, and raised it up to the towers, and another wall without, and repaired Millo in the city of David, and made darts and shields in abundance.” 6[Page 323] 2 Chronicles 32:2-5.EB 323.1

    19. “He [Hezekiah] himself, like a bird in a cage, inside Jerusalem, his royal city, I shut him up: siege-towers against him I constructed (for he had given command to renew the bulwarks of the great gate of his city).”EB 323.2

    20. “And he set captains of war over the people, and gathered them together to him in the street of the gate of the city, and spake comfortably to them, saying, Be strong and courageous, be not afraid nor dismayed for the king of Assyria, nor for all the multitude that is with him: for there be more with us than with him: with him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the Lord our God to help us, and to fight our battles. And the people rested themselves upon the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.” 7[Page 323] 2 Chronicles 32:6-8.EB 323.3

    21. Hezekiah was right in saying to his men that they had the Lord to fight their battles for them, if only he had been innocent in this matter. But with Padi, the king of Ekron, in prison at that moment in Jerusalem, the Lord could not put his endorsement upon this course which Hezekiah had taken, by defending the city. Consequently, says Sennacherib, “Hezekiah himself the fear of the approach of my majesty overwhelmed; and the Urbi, and his own soldiers, and the other soldiers that he had caused to enter Jerusalem his royal city.” And, says the Bible: “Hezekiah king of Judah sent to the king of Assyria to Lachish, saying, I have offended; return from me: that which thou puttest on me will I bear.EB 323.4

    22. “And the king of Assyria appointed unto Hezekiah king of Judah three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold. And Hezekiah gave him all the silver that was found in the house of the Lord, and in the treasures of the king’s house. At that time did Hezekiah cut off the gold from the doors of the temple of the Lord, and from the pillars which Hezekiah king of Judah had overlaid, and gave it to the king of Assyria.” 8[Page 324] 2 Kings 18:14-16.EB 324.1

    23. Of this also Sennacherib says: “To the former tribute, paid yearly, I added the tribute of alliance of my lordship, and laid that upon him.” 9[Page 324] “Records of the Past,” New Series, Vol. vi, p. 91. “The workmen, soldiers, and builders, whom for the fortification of Jerusalem, his royal city, he had collected within it, now carried tribute. With 30 talents of gold, 800 talents of silver; woven cloth, scarlet, embroidered; precious stones of large size; couches of ivory, movable thrones of ivory, skins of buffaloes, dan wood, ku wood, a great treasure of every kind; and his daughters, the eunuchs of his palace, male musicians, and female musicians; unto Nineveh my royal city, after me sent. And to pay tribute and do homage he sent his envoy. His cities which I plundered, from his kingdom I cut off, and to Mitinti, king of Ashodod, Padiah, king of Ekron, and Zilli—Bel, king of Gaza, I gave them. I diminished his kingdom.”EB 324.2

    24. Sennacherib’s next campaign, the fourth, was against Merodach-Baladan again, who had returned and secured the support of the people of his native district; of Suzub, the Chaldean; and had seduced from his integrity even Belibus, whom Sennacherib had appointed governor of the country. As soon as the Assyrian army came near, however, Merodach-Baladan, as always before, and now for the last time, ran away as fast as he could. Sennacherib says, “I assembled my numerous army: to the city of Beth-Yakina to advance I gave command. At the commencement of my expedition of Suzubi, the Chaldean, dwelling within the marshes, in the city Bittutu, I accomplished the defeat. He himself, for the fury of my attack overwhelmed him, lost heart, and like a bird flew away alone, and his place of refuge could not be found.EB 324.3

    25. “I turned round the front of my chariot and took the road to Beth-Yakina. He himself, Merodach-Baladan, whom in the course of my first campaign I had defeated and had cut to pieces his army, the noise of my powerful arms and the shock of my fiery battle he now fled from. The gods, rulers of his land, in their arks he collected, and in ships he transported them, and to the city of Nagiti-Rakkin which is on the opposite seacoast, like a bird he flew. His brothers, the seed of his father’s house, whom he had left on the seashore, and the rest of the people of his land from Beth-Yakina within the marshes and morasses, I brought away and distributed them as slaves. Once more his cities I destroyed, overthrew them, and left them in heaps of ruins. To his protector, the king of Elam, I caused terror. On my return, Ashur-nadin-sum, my eldest son, brought up at my knees, I seated upon the throne of his kingdom: all the land of Leshan and Akkad I entrusted to him.”EB 325.1

    26. Merodach-Baladan succeeded as before in making good his escape. He seems to have died before he had a chance to do it all over again; for there is no further record of him.EB 325.2

    27. Sennacherib’s next campaign is not given in his annals. It was his second expedition into Judea, and was so altogether disastrous that he left no record of it. Hezekiah was still longing to cast off the yoke of Assyria. He had again sent ambassadors to Egypt to secure the support of Pharaoh. The Lord, however, by Isaiah, was still denouncing such a course, and was calling upon Hezekiah and the people to put their trust in Him alone. His word at this time was: “Woe to the rebellious children, saith the Lord, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my Spirit, that they may add sin to sin: that walk to go down into Egypt, and have not asked at my mouth; to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt!EB 325.3

    28. “Therefore shall the strength of Pharaoh be your shame, and the trust in the shadow of Egypt your confusion. For his princes were at Zoan, and his ambassadors came to Hanes. They were all ashamed of a people that could not profit them, nor be an help nor profit, but a shame, and also a reproach. The burden of the beasts of the south: into the land of trouble and anguish, from whence come the young and old lion, the viper and fiery flying serpent, they will carry their riches upon the shoulders of young asses, and their treasures upon the bunches of camels, to a people that shall not profit them. For the Egyptians shall help in vain, and to no purpose: therefore have I cried concerning this, Their strength is to sit still.” 10[Page 326] Isaiah 30:1-7.EB 325.4

    29. “Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help; and stay on horses, and trust in chariots, because they are many; and in horsemen, because they are very strong; but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the Lord! Yet He also is wise, and will bring evil, and will not call back His words: but will arise against the house of the evil doers, and against the help of them that work iniquity. Now the Egyptians are men, and not God; and their horses flesh, and not spirit. When the Lord shall stretch out His hand, both he that helpeth shall fall, and he that is holpen shall fall down, and they all shall fail together.EB 326.1

    30. “For thus hath the Lord spoken unto me, Like as the lion and the young lion roaring on his prey, when a multitude of shepherds is called forth against him, he will not be afraid of their voice, nor abase himself for the noise of them: so shall the Lord of Hosts come down to fight for Mount Zion, and for the hill thereof. As birds flying, so will the Lord of Hosts defend Jerusalem; defending also He will deliver it; and passing over He will preserve it.EB 326.2

    31. “Turn ye unto Him from whom the children of Israel have deeply revolted. For in that day every man shall cast away his idols of silver, and his idols of gold,which your own hands have made unto you for a sin. Then shall the Assyrian fall with the sword, not of a mighty man; and the sword, not of a mean man, shall devour him: but he shall flee from the sword, and his young men shall be discomfited. And he shall pass over to his stronghold for fear, and his princes shall be afraid of the ensign, saith the Lord, whose fire is in Zion, and His furnace in Jerusalem.” 11[Page 326] Isaiah 31:1-9.EB 326.3

    32. By some means Sennacherib received word of this scheme of Hezekiah’s of sending ambassadors of Egypt, and to checkmate this movement he passed at once round to the south of Jerusalem, thus placing himself between Egypt and Jerusalem, so that the forces of the two countries could not be joined, and by meeting each one alone, he could accomplish the defeat of both. The cities of Lachish and Libnah, if they had been taken by him in his former expedition, had now rebelled, for he had to besiege them both. He began with a siege of Lachish. The city held out strongly against him, and forced him to conduct a long siege.EB 327.1

    33. As before stated, this expedition is not recorded in the annals of Sennacherib; but the siege and capture of Lachish was sculptured on slabs of his palace, and these slabs were discovered in the ruins of Nineveh, and were removed to the British Museum. There on one is pictured the king in his royal apparel, sitting upon a throne at some distance from a pictured city. A procession issuing from the gateway of the city reaches to the throne of the king. Above the picture of the king, where he sits upon his throne, is written the following inscription:—EB 327.2

    “Sennacherib, king of nations, king of Assyria, sitting on his throne, causes the spoils of the city of Lachish to pass before him.” 12[Page 327] “Records of the Past,” Old Series, Vol. i, p. 36.EB 327.3

    34. Lachish was “a city evidently of great extent and importance. It appears to have been defended by double walls, with battlements and towers, and by fortified outworks. The country around it was hilly and wooded, producing the fig and the vine. The whole power of the great king seems to have been called forth to take this stronghold. In no other sculptures were so many armed warriors seen drawn up in array before a besieged city. In the first rank were the kneeling archers, those in the second were bending forward, whilst those in the third discharged their arrows standing upright, and were mingled with spearmen and slingers; the whole forming a compact and organized phalanx. The reserve consisted of large bodies of horsemen and charioteers.EB 327.4

    35. “Against the fortifications had been thrown up as many as ten banks, or mounts, compactly built of stones, bricks, earth, and branches of trees; and seven battering-rams had already been rolled up to the walls. The besieged defended themselves with great determination. Spearmen, archers, and slingers thronged the battlements and towers, showering arrows, javelins, stones, and blazing torches upon the assailants. On the battering-rams were bowmen discharging their arrows, and men with large ladles pouring water upon the flaming brands, which, hurled from above, threatened to destroy the engines. Ladders, probably used for escalade, were falling from the walls upon the soldiers who mounted the inclined ways to the assault.EB 327.5

    36. “Part of the city had, however, been taken. Beneath its walls were seen Assyrian warriors impaling their prisoners; and from the gateway of an advanced tower, or fort, issued a procession of captives reaching to the presence of the king, who, gorgeously arrayed, received them seated on his throne. Amongst the spoil were furniture, arms shields, chariots, vases of metal of various forms, camels, carts drawn by oxen and laden with women and children, and many objects the nature of which cannot be determined.EB 328.1

    37. “The vanquished people were distinguished from the conquerors by their dress; those who defended the battlements wore a pointed helmet, differing from that of the Assyrian warriors in having a fringed lappet falling over the ears. Some of the captives had a kind of turban with one end hanging down to the shoulder, not unlike that worn by the modern Arabs of Hedjaz. Others had no head-dress, and short hair and beards. Their garments consisted either of a robe reaching to the ankles, or of a tunic scarcely falling lower than the thigh, and confined at the waist by a girdle. The latter appeared to be the dress of the fighting men. The women wore long shirts[skirts?], with an outer cloak thrown, like the veil of modern Eastern ladies, over the back of the head and falling to the feet.EB 328.2

    38. “Several prisoners were already in the hands of the torturers. Two were stretched naked on the ground to be flayed alive, others were being slain by the sword before the throne of the king. The haughty monarch was receiving the chiefs of the conquered nation, who crouched and knelt humbly before him. They were brought into the royal presence by the Tartan of the Assyrian forces, probably the Rabshakeh himself, followed by his principal officers. The general was clothed in embroidered robes, and wore on his head a fillet adorned with rosettes and long tasseled bands.EB 328.3

    39. “The throne of the king stood upon an elevated platform, probably an artificial mound, in the hill country. Its arms and sides were supported by three rows of figures, one above the other. The wood was richly carved, or encased in embossed metal, and the legs ended in pine [cone]-shaped ornaments, probably of bronze... Over the back was thrown an embroidered cloth, doubtless of some rare and beautiful material.EB 329.1

    40. “The royal feet rested upon a high footstool of elegant form, fashioned like the throne, and encased with embossed metal, the legs ending in lions’ paws. Behind the king were two attendant eunuchs raising fans above his head, and holding the embroidered napkins.EB 329.2

    41. “The monarch himself was attired in long, loose robes, richly ornamented, and edged with tassels and fringes. In his right hand he raised two arrows, and his left rested upon a bow; an attitude, probably denoting triumph over his enemies, and in which he is usually portrayed when receiving prisoners after a victory...EB 329.3

    42. “Above the head of the king was an inscription which may be translated, ‘Sennacherib, the mighty king, king of the country of Assyria, sitting on the throne of judgment, before (or at the entrance of) the city of Lachish (Lakhisha). I give permission for its slaughter.’...EB 329.4

    43. “The captives were undoubtedly Jews; their physiognomy was strikingly indicated in the sculptures, but they had been stripped of their ornaments and their fine raiment, and were left barefooted and half clothed. From the women, too, had been removed ‘the splendor of their foot ornaments and the caps of network, and the crescents; the ear-pendants, and the bracelets, and the thin veils; the head-dress, and the ornaments of the legs, and the girdles, and the perfume boxes, and the amulets; the rings, and the jewels of the nose; the embroidered robes, and the tunics, and the cloaks, and the satchels; the transparent garments, and the fine linen vests, and the turbans, and the mantles,’ ‘for they wore instead of a girdle, a rope; and instead of a stomacher, a girdle of sackcloth.’”—Layard. 13[Page 330] “Nineveh and Babylon,” chap 6, par.21-26. The articles of dress of the women, here enumerated, are those named in Isaiah 3:18-24.EB 329.5

    44. While Sennacherib was delayed at Lachish, he sent his “Rabshakeh from Lachish to Jerusalem unto King Hezekiah with a great army” to demand the surrender of the city. “And he stood by the conduit of the upper pool in the highway of the fuller’s field. Then came forth unto him Eliakim, Hilkiah’s son, which was over the house, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah, Asaph’s son, the recorder.EB 330.1

    45. “And Rabshakeh said unto them, Say ye now to Hezekiah, Thus saith the great king, the king of Assyria, What confidence is this wherein thou trustest? I say, sayest thou, (but they are but vain words) I have counsel and strength for war: now on whom dost thou trust, that thou rebellest against me? Lo, thou trustest in the staff of this broken reed, on Egypt; whereon if a man lean, it will go into his hand, and pierce it: so is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all that trust in him.EB 330.2

    46. “But if thou say to me, We trust in the Lord our God: is it not He, whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah hath taken away, and said to Judah and to Jerusalem, Ye shall worship before this alter? Now therefore give pledges, I pray thee, to my master the king of Assyria, and I will give thee two thousand horses, if thou be able on thy part to set riders upon them. How then wilt thou turn away the face of one captain of the least of my master’s servants, and put thy trust on Egypt for chariots and for horsemen?EB 330.3

    47. “And am I now come up without the Lord against this land to destroy it? the Lord said unto me, Go up against this land, and destroy it.EB 330.4

    48. “Then said Ellakim and Shebna and Joah unto Rabshakeh, Speak, I pray thee, unto thy servants in the Syrian language; for we understand it: and speak not to us in the Jews’ language, in the ears of the people that are on the wall.” 14Isaiah 36:2-11.EB 330.5

    49. When they had said this, then Rabshakeh detected at once that they were afraid; and that they were afraid for the people on the wall to hear what he was saying. This made him so much the more determined that the people should hear everything that he had to say. Therefore, “Rabshakeh stood, and cried with a loud voice in the Jews’ language, and said, Hear ye the words of the great king, the king of Assyria. Thus saith the king, Let not Hezekiah deceive you: for he shall not be able to deliver you. Neither let Hezekiah make you trust in the Lord, saying, The Lord will surely deliver us: this city shall not be delivered into the hand of the king of Assyria. Hearken not to Hezekiah: for thus saith the king of Assyria. Make an agreement with me by a present, and come out to me: and eat ye every one of his vine, and every one of his fig-tree, and drink ye every one the waters of his own cistern; until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of corn and wine, a land of bread and vineyards.EB 331.1

    50. “Beware lest Hezekiah persuade you, saying, The Lord will deliver us. Hath any of the gods of the nations delivered his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria? Where are the gods of Hamath and Arphad? where are the gods of Sepharvaim? and have they delivered Samaria out of my hand? who are they among all the gods of these lands, that have delivered their land out of my hand, that the Lord should deliver Jerusalem out of my hand?EB 331.2

    51.“But they held their peace, and answered him not a word; for the king’s commandment was, saying, Answer him not. Then came Eliakim, the son of Hilkiah, that was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah, the son of Asaph, the recorder, to Hezekiah with their clothes rent, and told him the words of Rabshakeh.”EB 331.3

    52. “And it came to pass, when King Hezekiah heard it, that he rent his clothes, and covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of the Lord. And he sent Eliakim, who was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and the elders of the priests, covered with sackcloth, unto Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz. And they said unto him, Thus saith Hezekiah, This day is a day of trouble, and of rebuke, and of blasphemy: for the children are come to the birth, and there is not strength to bring forth. It may be the Lord thy God will hear the words of Rabshakeh, whom the king of Assyria his master hath sent to reproach the living God, and will reprove the words which the Lord thy God hath heard: wherefore lift up thy prayer for the remnant that is left. So the servants of King Hezekiah came to Isaiah.EB 331.4

    53. “And Isaiah said unto them, Thus shall ye say unto your master, Thus saith the Lord, Be not afraid of the words that thou hast heard, wherewith the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me. Behold, I will send a blast upon him, and he shall hear a rumor, and return to his own land; and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land.EB 332.1

    54. “So Rabshakeh returned, and found the king of Assyria warring against Libnah: for he had heard that he was departed from Lachish. And he heard say concerning Tirhakah king of Ethiopia, He is come forth to make war with thee.” 15[Page 332] Isaiah 36:13-22; 37:1-9.EB 332.2

    55. When Sennacherib heard that Tirhakah was coming, of course the only thing to do was to meet him first, and in the open field. And that Hezekiah should not suppose that he had left Jerusalem entirely, he again sent an embassy with the following letter to him:—EB 332.3

    “Thus shall ye speak to Hezekiah king of Judah, saying, Let not thy God, in whom thou trustest, deceive thee, saying, Jerusalem shall not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria. Behold, thou hast heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands by destroying them utterly; and shalt thou be delivered? Have the gods of the nations delivered them which my fathers have destroyed, as Gozan, and Haran, and Rezeph, and the children of Eden which were in Telassar? Where is the king of Hamath, and the king of Arphad, and the king of the city of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivah?EB 332.4

    56. “And Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it: and Hezekiah went up unto the house of the Lord, and spread it before the Lord. And Hezekiah prayed unto the Lord, saying O Lord of Hosts, God of Israel, that dwellest between the cherubims, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth: thou hast made heaven and earth. Incline thine ear, O Lord, and hear; open thine eyes, O Lord, and see: and hear all the words of Sennacherib, which hath sent to reproach the living God. Of a truth, Lord, the kings of Assyria have laid waste all the nations, and their countries, and have cast their gods into the fire: for they were no gods, but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone: therefore they have destroyed them. Now therefore, O Lord our God, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that thou art the Lord, even thou only.EB 332.5

    57. “Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent unto Hezekiah, saying, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Whereas thou hast prayed to me against Sennacherib king of Assyria: This is the word which the Lord hath spoken concerning him: The virgin, the daughter of Zion, hath despised thee, and laughed thee to scorn; the daughter of Jerusalem hath shaken her head at thee.EB 333.1

    58. “Whom hast thou reproached and blasphemed? and against whom hast thou exalted thy voice, and lifted up thine eyes on high? even against the Holy One of Israel. By thy servants hast thou reproached the Lord, and hast said, By the multitude of my chariots am I come up to the height of the mountains, to the sides of Lebanon; and I will cut down the tall cedars thereof, and the choice firtrees thereof: and I will enter into the height of his border, and the forest of his Carmel. I have digged, and drunk water; and with the sole of my feet have I dried up all the rivers of the besieged places.EB 333.2

    59. “Hast thou not heard long ago, how I have done it; and of ancient times, that I have formed it? now have I brought it to pass, that thou shouldest be to lay waste defensed cities into ruinous heaps. Therefore their inhabitants were of small power, they were dismayed and confounded: they were as the grass of the field, and as the green herb, as the grass on the housetops, and as corn blasted before it be grown up.EB 333.3

    60. “But I know thy abode, and thy going out, and thy coming in, and thy rage against me. Because thy rage against me, and thy tumult, is come up into mine ears, therefore will I put my hook in thy nose, and my bridle in thy lips, 16[Page 333] This refers to an Assyrian method of leading captives. and I will turn thee back by the way by which thou camest ....EB 333.4

    61. “Therefore thus saith the Lord concerning the king of Assyria, He shall not come into this city, nor shoot an arrow there, nor come before it with shields, nor cast a bank against it. By the way that he came, by the same shall he return, and shall not come into this city, saith the Lord. For I will defend this city to save it, for mine own sake, and for my servant David’s sake.EB 334.1

    62. “Then the angel of the Lord went forth, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians a hundred and fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses. So Sennacherib, king of Assyria departed, and went and returned, and dwelt at Nineveh.” 17[Page 334] Isaiah 37:9-37.EB 334.2

    63. His next campaign, the fifth recorded, was in a mountainous region against eight named peoples, “who like the nests of eagles on the highest summits and wild crags of the Nipur [Taurus] Mountains had fixed their dwellings, in places which for my chariot were dangerous, I alighted on my feet; and like a mountain goat among the lofty cliffs I clambered up them. Where my knees took rest, upon a mountain rock I sat down, and water, cold even to freezing, to assuage my thirst I drank. To the tops of the mountains I pursued them and completely defeated them.... I carried off their spoils.”EB 334.3

    64. His sixth recorded campaign, he says, was against “the rest of the men of Beth-Yakina who from my powerful arms like birds had fled away. The gods who rule over their lands into their arks [they] had collected, the great sea of the rising sun had crossed over, and in a city just opposite, in the land of Elam had placed their dwellings.EB 334.4

    65. “In Syrian ships I crossed the sea; [five] cities of Elam, I captured. The men of Beth-Yakina and their gods and the men of Elam I carried away. Not even a remnant of them was left. In ships I embarked them: to the other side I caused them to cross: and I made them take the road to Assyria. The cities in those provinces I ravaged, destroyed, and burnt with fire. I reduced them to ruins and rubbish.EB 334.5

    66. “In my return, Suzub the Babylonian, who to the sovereignty of the lands of Leshan and Akkad had restored himself, in a great battle I defeated him. I captured him alive. Strong chains of iron I placed on him: and to Assyria I carried him off. The king of Elam who had encouraged him and come to his assistance, I defeated. I dispersed his expedition and cut to pieces his army.”EB 334.6

    67. His seventh recorded campaign was against Elam itself; not only because the kings and tribes of Elam were constantly joining with the Babylonian and Chaldean tribes in their insurrections, but because the Elamites had taken some cities of the Assyrian Empire in the last days of Sargon. Sennacherib recovered these cities, “and restored them to the Assyrian Empire.” And in addition to this, thirty-four of the Elamite cities, he says, “and smaller towns in their neighborhood beyond number, I attacked and captured, and carried off their spoils; I ravaged, destroyed them, and burnt them with fire. The smoke of their burning like a mighty cloud obscured the face of high heaven.”EB 335.1

    68. At this the “king of Elam was struck with terror; into the rest of his cities he threw garrisons; he himself abandoned Madakta, his royal city, and toward Khaidala, which is among high mountains, he took the road.” “To the city Madakta, his royal city, ‘Advance!’ I commanded. In the month Dhabitu a terrible storm arrived, a vast cataract poured down; rains upon rains, and snow caused the torrents to burst forth. Then I quitted the mountains, I turned round the front of my chariot, and I took the road to Nineveh. In those same days by the will of Ashur, my lord, SutrukNankhunda, king of Elam, did not complete three months [more of life]; on a day which was not fated for him, he was violently put to death. After him Umman-Minan, who was no friend to religion and law, his brother illegitimate, sat upon his throne.EB 335.2

    69. “In my eighth campaign, after Suzub had escaped, the children of Babylon, wicked devils, the great gates of their city barred strongly, and hardened their hearts to make war. Suzub the Chaldean, Lidunnamu a man who had no education, Kilpan prefect of Lakhiri, a refugee from Arrapkha, and a band of wicked men around him he assembled. He entered among the marshes, and made there a hiding-place: then, to collect more men, he went back by himself and passed into Elam, over the bounds and frontiers; then, with the band of criminals who were with him from Elam, he returned rapidly, and entered the city of Suanna.EB 335.3

    70. “The men of Babylon, even before he wished it, upon the throne had seated him, and the crown of Leshan and Akkad had bestowed upon him. The treasury of the great temple they opened. The gold and silver of Bel and Zarpanita and the wealth of their temples, they brought out, and to Umman-minan, king of Elam, who had no right to it, they sent it as a bribe: (saying) ‘Collect thy army! strike thy camp! make haste to Babylon! stand by our side! thou art our guardian king!’EB 336.1

    71. “Then he, the Elamite, whom in the course of my former campaign into Elam I had captured his cities and reduced them to ruins, showed that he had no sense: he accepted the bribe. He assembled his army in his camp. His chariots and wagons he collected. Horses and mares he harnessed to their yokes. The city of Samuna (who was the son of Merodach-Baladan), and a vast host of allies, he led along with him. They assembled themselves, and the road to Babylonia they took. They rushed upon Babylon. Unto Suzub, the Chaldean, king of Babylon, they approached and met him. They united their armies.EB 336.2

    72. “Then, as a mighty swarm of locusts covers the face of the earth in destroying multitudes, they rushed against me. The dust of their feet like a mighty cloud as they drew nigh to me, the face of heaven darkened before me. In the city of Khaluli, which is on the bank of the Tigris, they drew out their battle array. The front of my fenced camp they seized, and discharged their arrows. Then I to Ashur, the Moon, the Sun, Bel, Nebo, Nergal, Ishtar of Nineveh, and Ishtar of Arbela, the gods, my protectors, that I might conquer my powerful enemies, I prayed unto them. My earnest prayers they heard, and came to my assistance. From my heart I vowed a thanksgiving for it.EB 336.3

    73. “In my great war-chariot (named), ‘Sweeper away of Enemies,’ in the fury of my heart I drove rapidly. My great bow which Ashur gave me in my hand I took. With greaves of showy workmanship I enclosed my legs; and rushing on the whole army of those wicked enemies, in crowded confusion I crushed them together, and like the god Im I thundered. By command of Ashur, the great lord, my lord, both to my side and front as it were fiery darts against my enemies I hurled ...EB 336.4

    74. “Khumban-undash, an engineer whom the king of Elam had made general of his army, I captured his great chain of honor. His chief officers, who wore gold-handled daggers, and with crowded rings of bright gold encircled their legs, like a herd of sleek oxen of abundant fatness eagerly I attacked and defeated them. Their heads I cut off like victims. Their highly worked decorations I tore off with derision. Like the fall of a great shower, their rings and bracelets I cast down upon the earth in a lofty heap .... The bracelets I cut off from their hands. The rings heavy of gold, of beautiful workmanship, I took off from their feet. The gold-and silver-handled daggers from their girdles I took.” The details of the slaughter are too horrible to be reproduced.EB 337.1

    75. “The rest of the chiefs and Nebo-zikir-iskun, son of Merodach-Baladan, who from my battle had fled, but had rallied their forces, alive in the battle my hands seized them. The chariots and horses, whose drivers in the great battle had been killed, ran away by themselves, in multitudes. I returned when the fourth hour of the night was past, and stopped the slaughter.EB 337.2

    76. “He himself, Umman-minan, king of Elam, and the kings of Babylon, and the princes of Chaldea who had come with him, overwhelmed by the tumult of my battle, grew as feeble as children. They abandoned their tents, and to save their lives, the dead bodies of their own soldiers they trampled underfoot and fled like frightened birds who had lost all heart. In double numbers they crowded into their chariots, set off, and fled away to their own dominions. My chariots and horses I dispatched after them, and those fugitives who fled for their lives wherever they came up with them, they put them to the sword.”EB 337.3

    77. “Babylon I went forth to capture. I saw the destruction of its power. I went, and like the coming of storms I poured out my men; like a rushing wind I swept it. To save the life of the king of Babylon, himself, his family ... 18[Page 337] This place in the inscription is destroyed. alive to the midst of my country I took him. The valuables of that city I destroyed. Gold, precious stones, furniture, valuables, to the hands of my men I distributed, and to the place of their army they returned. The gods dwelling within it, the hands of my men captured them and broke them, and their furniture and valuables they brought out. Rimmon and Sala, the gods of the temples, which Marduk-nadin-akhi, king of Akkad in the time of Tiglath-Pileser [I], king of Assyria, had brought out, and to Babylon had taken for 418 years; from Babylon I caused to come forth, and to the temples to their places I restored them.EB 337.4

    78. “The city [of Babylon] and houses from its foundation to its upper chambers I destroyed, dug up, and burnt with fire. The fortress and outer wall, the temples of the gods, the tower of brickwork, the houses, all there was, I captured it and in the River Arakhti I placed. In the stronghold of that city, that multitude I shut up; and its ashes into the water I swept away. The fixing of its foundations I destroyed, and over it like a heap of corn, its ruins I caused to turn. In after days the ground of that city, and the houses of the gods which were unrequired, into the waters I swept it, and I made an end with power.” 19[Page 338] “Records of the Past,” Old Series, Vol. ix, pp.27,28.EB 338.1

    79. There is a parallel record, written in Babylon, and extending from the appointment of Sennacherib’s son, Assur-nadin-suma, as governor of Babylonia to the death of Sennacherib. It gives a fuller account of the connection between Elam and Babylonia, and of these with Assyria, than is given in the Assyrian record. It gives also the date of the death of Sennacherib, with some other items not in the Assyrian. It says that “Sennacherib placed his son, Assur-nadin-suma, upon the throne in Babylon. In the first year of Assur-nadin-suma, Sutruk-nan-khundu, king of Elam, was seized by his brother Khallusu who closed the gate before him. For eighteen years Sutruk-nan-khundu had reigned over Elam. His brother Khallusu sat upon the throne in Elam.EB 338.2

    80. “In the 6th year of Assur-nadin-suma, Sennacherib descended into the country of Elam; and the cities of Nagitum, Khilmi, Pellatum, and Khupapanu, he destroyed. He carried away their spoil. Afterwards Khallusu, the king of Elam, marched into the country of Accad and entered Sippara on the march. He killed some people, but the Sun-god did not issue forth from the temple of E-Babara. He captured Assur-nadin-suma, and he was carried to Elam. For 6 years Assur-nadin-suma reigned over Babylon. The king of Elam placed Nergal-yusezib in Babylon on the throne. He caused a revolt from Assyria.EB 338.3

    81. “In the 1st year of Nergal-yusezib, on the 16th day of the month Tammuz, Nergal-yusezib captured Nipur and occupied its neighborhood. On the 1st day of the month Tammuz the soldiers of Assyria had entered Uruk [Erech]. They spoiled the gods belonging to Uruk as well as its inhabitants. Nergal-yusezib fled after the Elamites, and the gods belonging to Uruk, as well as its inhabitants, the Assyrians carried away. On the 7th day of the month Tisri, in the province of Nipur, he fought a battle against the soldiers of Assyria, and was taken prisoner in the conflict, and he was carried to Assyria. For 1 year and 6 months Nergal-yusezib reigned over Babylon.EB 339.1

    82. “On the 26th day of the month Tisri, against Khallusu, king of Elam, his people revolted. The gate before him they closed. They slew him. For six years Khallusu reigned over Elam. Kudur in Elam sat upon the throne. Afterwards Sennacherib descended into Elam; and from the country of Rasi as far as BitBurna, he devastated. Musezib-Merodach sat upon the throne in Babylon.EB 339.2

    83. “In the first year of Musezib-Merodach, on the 17th day of the month Ab, Kudur, king of Elam, was seized in an insurrection and killed. For ten months Kudur had reigned over Elam. Menanu in Elam sat upon the throne. I do not know the year when the soldiers of Elam and Accad he collected together, and in the city of Khalule, a battle against Assyria he fought, and caused a revolt from Assyria. 20[Page 339] These are the words of the Babylon scribe. In the fourth year of Musezib-Merodach, on the fifteenth day of Nisan, Menanu, king of Elam, was paralyzed; and his mouth was seized, and he was deprived of speech. On the first day of the month Kisleu, the city of Babylon was taken, Musezib-Merodach was taken, and led away to Assyria. For four years Musezib-Merodach reigned over Babylon.” 21[Page 340] “Records of the Past,” New Series, Vol. i, pp. 25-28.EB 339.3

    84. As Sennacherib “was worshiping in the house of Nisroch his god, Adrammelech and Sharezer his sons smote him with the sword; and they escaped into the land of Armenia: and Esarhaddon his son reigned in his stead.” 22[Page 340] Isaiah 37:38. This act of the sons of Sennacherib seems to have been inspired by jealousy of his favor to their younger brother Esar-haddon. One important evidence of his special favor toward this son, is the following will bequeathing to him royal treasures, ornaments, and insignia:—EB 340.1

    “I, Sennacherib, king of multitudes, king of Assyria, bequeath armlets of gold, quantities of ivory, a platter of gold, ornaments, and chains for the neck: all these beautiful things, of which there are heaps, and three sorts of precious stones one and a half manehs and two and a half shekels in weight, to Esar-haddon, my son, whose name was afterward changed to Assur-sar-illak-pal by my wish. The treasure is deposited in the house of Amuk.” 23[Page 340] “Fresh Light from the Ancient Monuments,” p. 121.EB 340.2

    85. “On the twentieth day of the month Tebet [682 B. C.], Sennacherib king of Assyria by his own son was murdered in an insurrection. For [24] years Sennacherib reigned over Assyria. From the twentieth day of the month Tebet until the second day of the month Adar, is described as a period of insurrection in Assyria.” 24[Page 340] “Records of the Past,” New series, Vol. i. p. 28.EB 340.3

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