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Sennacherib, 705–681 BCE

SenacheribSennacherib was king of Assyria, the son of Sargon II. In 701 BCE, a rebellion backed by Egypt and Babylonia broke out in Judah, led by King Hezekiah. In response Sennacherib sacked a number of cities in Judah. He laid siege to Jerusalem, but soon returned to Nineveh, with Jerusalem not having been sacked. This event was recorded by Sennacherib himself, by Herodotus, and by the Bible.

Sennacherib attacks Lachish

“King Sennacherib of Assyria marched against all the fortified towns of Judah . . . King Hezekiah sent this message to the king of Assyria at Lachish- “I have done wrong- withdraw from me; and I shall bear whatever you impose on me.”

– 2 Kings 18-13-14

Sennacherib attacks Jerusalem

“ . . . the angel of the LORD went out . . . and smote an hundred fourscore and five thousand (185,000) . . . So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed . . . and dwelt at Nineveh.”

– 2 Kings 19-35-36

From Sennacherib’s accounts of campaigns one and two

271. I sent my soldiers after him to Guzummanu, into the midst of the swamps and marshes, and for five days they hunted him, but his (hiding-) place was not found (lit., seen).

272. In the might of Assur, my lord, 89 of the strong, walled cities of Chaldea, and 820 small cities (hamlets) of their environs, I besieged, I conquered, I carried off their spoil. The Arabs, Arameans and Chaldeans who were in Uruk, Nippur, Kish, Harsagkalamma, Kutha, together with the citizens (of these places), the rebels (sinners), I brought out, I counted as spoil.

273. Bel-ibni, the son of a master-builder, a scion of Shuanna (Babylon), who had grown up in my palace like a young hound, I set over them as king of Sumer and Akkad.

274. On my return march, the tribes of the Tu’muna, Rihihu, ladakku, Ubudu, Kipre, Malihu, Gurumu, Ubulu, Damunu, Gambulu, Hindaru, Ru’ua, Pukudu, Hamranu, Hagaranu, Nabatu, Li’tau,-Arameans (who were) not submissive, all of them, I conquered. 208,000 people, male and female, 7,200 horses and mules, 11,703 asses, 5,230 camels, 80,100 cattle, 800,509 sheep, an enormous spoil, I carried off to Assyria.

275. In the course of my campaign, I received from Nabubel-shumate, governor of the city of Hararate, gold, silver, great mulberry (musukkani) trees, asses, camels, cattle and sheep, as his onerous contribution.

276. The inhabitants (subjects) of the city of Hirimme, wicked enemies, who from of old had not submitted to my yoke, I cut down with the sword. Not a soul escaped. That district (province) I reorganized- lOX, 10 lambs, 10 homers of wine, 20 homers of dates, its choicest, (as gifts) for the gods of Assyria, my lords, I established for all time.

Source- Ancient Records of Assyria and Babylonia– part II by Daniel David Luckenbill, Ph.D. Histories and Mysteries of Man, LTD. London, England, 1989. p. 134

From the prism inscriptions from Nineveh. Prism A.

195. . . . . . . . . of its neighborhood, a moat. . . . . 20 cubits down they reached the nether waters. To the kings of the lands of Piliste (Philistia), laudi (Judah), Edom Moab, who dwell by the sea, payers of tribute [and] tax to Assur, my lord, (they sent) numberless inflammatory and disdainful (messages) to set them at enmity with me, to Pir’u, king of Egypt, a prince who could not save them, they sent their presents (bribes) and attempted to gain him as an ally. (Whereupon) I, Sargon, the rightful ruler, who fears the curse of Shamash and Marduk, who observes the command of Assur, [crossed] the Tigris and Euphrates, at the high(est) flood, the high water of the spring of the year, in boats, and made my way on the dry land. And that Iamani, their king, who had trusted in his own strength and had not submitted to my rule, heard of the progress of my march from afar and the terror of [Assur, my lord], overwhelmed him and… of the bank of the river, … in the depth of the waters, … distant.. fled… Ashdod… I took [the road].

Source- Ancient Records of Assyria and Babylonia– part II by Daniel David Luckenbill, Ph.D. Histories and Mysteries of Man, LTD. London, England, 1989. pp. 105-106

From Sennacherib’s records written after the sixth campaign.

Third Campaign.

309. In my third campaign I went against the Hittiteland. Lull, king of Sidon,-my terrifying splendor overcame him, and from Tyre he fled to Iadnana (Cyprus) in the midst of the sea, and died. Tuba’lu I placed on his royal throne, (and) imposed my kingly tribute upon him.

310. The kings of Amurru, all of them, brought their heavy tribute before me in the neighborhood of the city of Ushu, and Sidka, king of Ashkelon, who had not submitted to my yoke,-the gods of his father’s house, himself, together with [his] family, I tore up and carried away to Assyria. Sharru-lu-dari, son of Rukibti, their [former] king, I placed [over the people of] Ashkelon, and imposed my royal tribute upon him.

311. In the course of my campaign I captured his cities, which had not submitted at my feet, I carried off their spoil. The governors and people of Amkaruna (Ekron), who had thrown into iron fetters Padi, their king, who was bound by oath to Assyria, and had given him to Hezekiah, the Jew, he kept him in confinement,-they became afraid, and appealed (for aid) to the Egyptian kings, the bowmen, the chariots and horses of the king of Meluhha, a countless host. In the plain of Altaku (Eltekeh) I fought with them, I defeated them. The charioteers and Egyptian princes, together with the charioteers of the king of Meluhha, I captured alive with my (own) hand.

312. I drew near to Amkaruna. The governors who had rebelled (committed sin) I slew with the sword. The citizens who had rebelled (sinned) I counted as spoil. The rest of them, who were guiltless, I pardoned. Padi, their king, I brought out of Jerusalem and placed on the throne over them. My royal tribute I imposed upon him. As for Hezekiah, the Jew, who had not submitted to my yoke, 46 of his strong, walled cities and the cities of their environs, which were numberless, I besieged, I captured, I plundered, as booty I counted them. Him, like a caged bird, in Jerusalem, his royal city, I shut up. Earthworks I threw up about it. His cities which I plundered, I cut off from his land and gave to the kings of Ashdod, Ashkelon, Ekron and Gaza; I diminished his land. To the former tribute, I imposed the payment of yearly gifts by them, as tax, and laid it upon him. That Hezekiah,-the terrifying splendor of my royalty overcame him, and the Arabs and his picked troops whom he had brought into Jerusalem, his royal city, ran away (took leave). With 30 talents of gold, 800 talents of silver and all kinds of treasure from his palace, he sent his daughters, his palace women, his male and female singers, to Nineveh, and he dispatched his messengers to pay the tribute.

Source- Ancient Records of Assyria and Babylonia– part II by Daniel David Luckenbill, Ph.D. Histories and Mysteries of Man, LTD. London, England, 1989. pp. 142-143

Sixth Campaign.

327. I devastated the wide province of Judah; the strong, proud Hezekiah, its king, I brought in submission to my feet.

328. The people of Tumurru, who dwell on Mount Nipur, a steep mountain, I cut down with the sword. Ukku, together with all of its towns, I destroyed (so that they were) like a mound (left) by the deluge.

329. The people of Hilakku, who dwell in the high mountains, I slaughtered like lambs. Til-garimmu, which is on the border of Tabalu, I captured, I turned it into a ruin. The men of Chaldea, who feared the onset of my battle, gathering together the gods of their whole land in their shrines, they crossed the sea, and settled in N agitu. I crossed over after them in Hittite (Syrian) ships. Nagiatu, Nagiatu-di’bina. Hilmu, Pillatu and Hupapanu, provinces which are on the other side of the Bitter Sea, I conquered. And the people of Chaldea, together with their gods, the people of the king Elam, I carried off. Not a sinner escaped.

Source- Ancient Records of Assyria and Babylonia– part II by Daniel David Luckenbill, Ph.D. Histories and Mysteries of Man, LTD. London, England, 1989. p.148

Settlement of the Arabian question (Prism S, Cot. IV, ll. 2-29)

518a. [Adumu, the fortress of Arabia, which Sennacherib, the father] who begot me, [had captured and destroyed, carrying off the gods of [the king] of Arabia and [bringing them to Assyria];-Hazael, king of the Arabs, [came] to Nineveh, my royal city, [with his rich gifts, and kissed my feet, imploring me [to give (back.) his gods]. I had mercy upon him and…(the gods) … Dai, Nuhai, … Ebirillu, Atar-kurumai, [of these gods] I repaired the injuries and inscribed the might of Assur, my lord, [and the characters of my name] upon them and gave them back to him. [Tabua, a scion] of my palace, [I set] over them to rule (as queen) and, with her gods, sent her back to her land. [55(?) camels] [I added] to the former tribute and laid it upon him. As for Hazael, fate [snatched him away], and Iata’, his son, I placed on his throne. [10 minas] of gold, 1,000 precious stones, 50 camels, [1,000] bundles(?) of herbs, I added to his father’s tribute and laid it upon him. Thereafter Uabu, to gain the kingship, roused all of the Arabs to rebel against Iata’ and I, Esarhaddon, king of Assyria, king of the four regions (of the world), who loves righteousness and whose abomination (lit., agony, distress) is unrighteousness (evil, rebellion), my fighting men I sent to the aid of Iata’ and they subdued all of the Arabs. Uabu and the soldiers who were with him, they cast into fetters and brought them before me. I… them and to the lit of my (city) gate I tied them.

Source- Ancient Records of Assyria and Babylonia– part II by Daniel David Luckenbill, Ph.D. Histories and Mysteries of Man, LTD. London, England, 1989. pp. 207-208

Restoration of the palace at Nineveh (Prism S, Col. V, ll. 42 46+Prism B, Col. V, ll. 1-27)

690. [At that time’ the older palace of Nineveh, [which the kings who went before, my fathers, had built,-[for the care of the camp, the sheltering of the [great] (cavalry) horses, mules, chariots, arms, [battle] equipment, and the enemy’s plunder, of all sorts, which Assur, king of the gods granted me as my royal gift, that place had come (to seem) too small to me for the exercising of horses, and the maneuvering of chariots, and the people of the lands my arms (lit., bow) had despoiled, I made to carry the basket and headpad and they made bricks. That small palace I tore down in its totality, [cut off] a (piece) of land large (enough) for my plans from the plowland and added it thereto (i.e., to the palace area). With mountain limestone, whose. . . . . . . , I filled in the terrace. And I summoned the kings of the Hittiteland (Syria) and (those) across the sea,-Ba’lu, king of Tyre, Manasseh, king of Judah, Kaushgabri, king of Edom, Musurri, king of Moab, Sill-Bel, king of Gaza, Metinti, king of Ashkelon, Ikausu, king of Ekron, Milki-ashapa, king of Gebail (Byblos), Matan-ba’al, king of Arvad, Abi-baal, king of Samsi-muruna, Budu-il, king of Beth-Ammon, Ahi-milki, king of Ashdod,-twelve kings of the seacoast; Ekishtura, king of Edi’al, Pilagura, king of Kitrusi, Kisu, king of Sillua, Ituandar, king of Pappa, Eresu, king of Sillu, Damasu, king of Kuri, Atmesu, king of Tamesu, Damusi, king of Kartihadasti, Unasagusu, king of Lidir, Bususu, king of Nure,ten kings of the land of Iatnana (Cyprus), of the midst of the sea- a grand total of 22 kings of the Hittite-land (Syria), the seacoast and the (islands) in the midst of the sea, all of them. I gave them their orders and great beams…

Source- Ancient Records of Assyria and Babylonia– part II by Daniel David Luckenbill, Ph.D. Histories and Mysteries of Man, LTD. London, England, 1989. pp. 265-266

Cylinder C

First campaign (Col. I)

876. In the course of my campaign, Ba’alu, king of Tyre, Minse (Manasseh), king of Iaudi (Judah), Kaush-gabri, king of Edom, Musuri, king of Moab, Sil-bel, king of Gaza, Mitinti, king of Ashkelon, Ikausu, king of Ekron, Milki-ashapa, king of Gubla (Byblos), Iakinlu, king of Arvad, Abi-ba’al, king of Samsi-muruna, Ammi-nadbi, king of Beth-Ammon, Ahu-milki, king of Ashdod, Ekishtura, king of Edi’li, Pilagura, king of Kitrusi, Kisu, king of Sillia, Ituandar, king of Pappa, Erisu, king of Sillu, Damasu, king of Kurt, Admesu, king of Tamesu, Damusu, king of Karti-hadasti, Unasagusu, king of Lidir, Bususu, king of Nure,-in all 22 kings of the seacoast, of the midst of the sea and of the dry land, vassals of mine, brought their rich (lit., heavy) gifts [before me] and kissed my feet. Those kings, together with their forces…

Source- Ancient Records of Assyria and Babylonia– part II by Daniel David Luckenbill, Ph.D. Histories and Mysteries of Man, LTD. London, England, 1989. pp. 340-341

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