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The Nimrud Prism, 720 BCE

The Re-population of Samaria
“I repopulated Sameria more than before. I brought into it people from countries conquered by my hands. I appointed my eunuch as governor over them. And I counted them as Assyrians.”

Nimrud_Prism

Nimrud Prism

“The king of Assyria brought [people] from Babylon . . . and he settled them in the towns of Samaria in place of the Israelites.” (2 Kings 1-24)

The Nimrud Prism commemorates Sargon’s rule. After boasting of how he deported and resettled Israelites in “the midst of Assyria,” Sargon claims that “I repopulated Sameria more than before. I brought into it people from countries conquered by my hands. I appointed my eunuch as governor over them. And I counted them as Assyrians.”

Following this re-conquest in 720 BCE, Sargon deported 27,290 people. In 716 BCE, the king captured Median territory, an event that probably occasioned another deportation of Israelites to the “cities of the Medes.” Sargon’s deportations were bi-directional- He explicitly claims to have repopulated Samaria with deportees from other nations.

Israelites in Exile, K. Lawson Younger, Jr., BAR 29-06, Nov-Dec 2003.

Posted in: Exodus

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