Bible ConcordanceAssyria (124 Occurrences)
Genesis 2:14 The name of the third river is Hiddekel: this is the one which flows in front of Assyria. The fourth river is the Euphrates. (WEB KJV ASV BBE WBS NAS RSV)
Genesis 10:11 Out of that land he went forth into Assyria, and built Nineveh, Rehoboth Ir, Calah, (WEB ASV BBE NAS RSV NIV)
Genesis 25:18 They lived from Havilah to Shur that is before Egypt, as you go toward Assyria. He lived opposite all his relatives. (WEB KJV ASV DBY WBS NAS RSV)
2 Kings 15:19 There came against the land Pul the king of Assyria; and Menahem gave Pul one thousand talents of silver, that his hand might be with him to confirm the kingdom in his hand. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
2 Kings 15:20 Menahem exacted the money of Israel, even of all the mighty men of wealth, of each man fifty shekels of silver, to give to the king of Assyria. So the king of Assyria turned back, and didn't stay there in the land. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
2 Kings 15:29 In the days of Pekah king of Israel came Tiglath Pileser king of Assyria, and took Ijon, and Abel Beth Maacah, and Janoah, and Kedesh, and Hazor, and Gilead, and Galilee, all the land of Naphtali; and he carried them captive to Assyria. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
2 Kings 16:7 So Ahaz sent messengers to Tiglath Pileser king of Assyria, saying, "I am your servant and your son. Come up, and save me out of the hand of the king of Syria, and out of the hand of the king of Israel, who rise up against me." (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
2 Kings 16:8 Ahaz took the silver and gold that was found in the house of Yahweh, and in the treasures of the king's house, and sent it for a present to the king of Assyria. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
2 Kings 16:9 The king of Assyria listened to him; and the king of Assyria went up against Damascus, and took it, and carried the people of it captive to Kir, and killed Rezin. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
2 Kings 16:10 King Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglath Pileser king of Assyria, and saw the altar that was at Damascus; and king Ahaz sent to Urijah the priest the fashion of the altar, and its pattern, according to all its workmanship. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
2 Kings 16:18 The covered way for the Sabbath that they had built in the house, and the king's entry outside, turned he to the house of Yahweh, because of the king of Assyria. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
2 Kings 17:3 Against him came up Shalmaneser king of Assyria; and Hoshea became his servant, and brought him tribute. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
2 Kings 17:4 The king of Assyria found conspiracy in Hoshea; for he had sent messengers to So king of Egypt, and offered no tribute to the king of Assyria, as he had done year by year: therefore the king of Assyria shut him up, and bound him in prison. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
2 Kings 17:5 Then the king of Assyria came up throughout all the land, and went up to Samaria, and besieged it three years. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
2 Kings 17:6 In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away to Assyria, and placed them in Halah, and on the Habor, the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
2 Kings 17:23 until Yahweh removed Israel out of his sight, as he spoke by all his servants the prophets. So Israel was carried away out of their own land to Assyria to this day. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
2 Kings 17:24 The king of Assyria brought men from Babylon, and from Cuthah, and from Avva, and from Hamath and Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel; and they possessed Samaria, and lived in the cities of it. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
2 Kings 17:26 Therefore they spoke to the king of Assyria, saying, "The nations which you have carried away, and placed in the cities of Samaria, don't know the law of the god of the land. Therefore he has sent lions among them, and behold, they kill them, because they don't know the law of the god of the land." (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
2 Kings 17:27 Then the king of Assyria commanded, saying, "Carry there one of the priests whom you brought from there; and let them go and dwell there, and let him teach them the law of the god of the land." (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
2 Kings 18:7 Yahweh was with him; wherever he went forth he prospered: and he rebelled against the king of Assyria, and didn't serve him. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
2 Kings 18:9 It happened in the fourth year of king Hezekiah, which was the seventh year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, that Shalmaneser king of Assyria came up against Samaria, and besieged it. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
2 Kings 18:11 The king of Assyria carried Israel away to Assyria, and put them in Halah, and on the Habor, the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes, (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
2 Kings 18:13 Now in the fourteenth year of king Hezekiah did Sennacherib king of Assyria come up against all the fortified cities of Judah, and took them. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
2 Kings 18:14 Hezekiah king of Judah sent to the king of Assyria to Lachish, saying, "I have offended; return from me. That which you put on me, I will bear." The king of Assyria appointed to Hezekiah king of Judah three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
2 Kings 18:16 At that time did Hezekiah cut off the gold from the doors of the temple of Yahweh, and from the pillars which Hezekiah king of Judah had overlaid, and gave it to the king of Assyria. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
2 Kings 18:17 The king of Assyria sent Tartan and Rabsaris and Rabshakeh from Lachish to king Hezekiah with a great army to Jerusalem. They went up and came to Jerusalem. When they were come up, they came and stood by the conduit of the upper pool, which is in the highway of the fuller's field. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
2 Kings 18:19 Rabshakeh said to them, "Say now to Hezekiah,'Thus says the great king, the king of Assyria, "What confidence is this in which you trust? (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
2 Kings 18:23 Now therefore, please give pledges to my master the king of Assyria, and I will give you two thousand horses, if you are able on your part to set riders on them. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
2 Kings 18:28 Then Rabshakeh stood, and cried with a loud voice in the Jews' language, and spoke, saying, "Hear the word of the great king, the king of Assyria. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
2 Kings 18:30 Neither let Hezekiah make you trust in Yahweh, saying, "Yahweh will surely deliver us, and this city shall not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria." (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
2 Kings 18:31 Don't listen to Hezekiah.' For thus says the king of Assyria,'Make your peace with me, and come out to me; and everyone of you eat of his vine, and everyone of his fig tree, and everyone drink the waters of his own cistern; (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
2 Kings 18:33 Has any of the gods of the nations ever delivered his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria? (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
2 Kings 19:4 It may be Yahweh your God will hear all the words of Rabshakeh, whom the king of Assyria his master has sent to defy the living God, and will rebuke the words which Yahweh your God has heard. Therefore lift up your prayer for the remnant that is left.'" (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
2 Kings 19:6 Isaiah said to them, "Thus you shall tell your master,'Thus says Yahweh, "Don't be afraid of the words that you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
2 Kings 19:8 So Rabshakeh returned, and found the king of Assyria warring against Libnah; for he had heard that he had departed from Lachish. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
2 Kings 19:10 'Thus you shall speak to Hezekiah king of Judah, saying, "Don't let your God in whom you trust deceive you, saying, Jerusalem will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
2 Kings 19:11 Behold, you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands, by destroying them utterly. Will you be delivered? (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
2 Kings 19:17 Truly, Yahweh, the kings of Assyria have laid waste the nations and their lands, (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
2 Kings 19:20 Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying, "Thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel,'Whereas you have prayed to me against Sennacherib king of Assyria, I have heard you. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
2 Kings 19:32 "Therefore thus says Yahweh concerning the king of Assyria,'He shall not come to this city, nor shoot an arrow there, neither shall he come before it with shield, nor cast up a mound against it. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
2 Kings 19:36 So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed, and went and returned, and lived at Nineveh. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
2 Kings 20:6 I will add to your days fifteen years. I will deliver you and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria. I will defend this city for my own sake, and for my servant David's sake.'" (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
2 Kings 23:29 In his days Pharaoh Necoh king of Egypt went up against the king of Assyria to the river Euphrates: and king Josiah went against him; and Pharaoh Necoh killed him at Megiddo, when he had seen him. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
1 Chronicles 5:6 Beerah his son, whom Tilgath Pilneser king of Assyria carried away captive: he was prince of the Reubenites. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
1 Chronicles 5:26 The God of Israel stirred up the spirit of Pul king of Assyria, and the spirit of Tilgath Pilneser king of Assyria, and he carried them away, even the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh, and brought them to Halah, and Habor, and Hara, and to the river of Gozan, to this day. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
2 Chronicles 28:16 At that time did king Ahaz send to the kings of Assyria to help him. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
2 Chronicles 28:20 Tilgath Pilneser king of Assyria came to him, and distressed him, but didn't strengthen him. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
2 Chronicles 28:21 For Ahaz took away a portion out of the house of Yahweh, and out of the house of the king and of the princes, and gave it to the king of Assyria: but it didn't help him. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
2 Chronicles 30:6 So the posts went with the letters from the king and his princes throughout all Israel and Judah, and according to the commandment of the king, saying, You children of Israel, turn again to Yahweh, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, that he may return to the remnant that have escaped of you out of the hand of the kings of Assyria. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
2 Chronicles 32:1 After these things, and this faithfulness, Sennacherib king of Assyria came, and entered into Judah, and encamped against the fortified cities, and thought to win them for himself. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
2 Chronicles 32:4 So there was gathered much people together, and they stopped all the springs, and the brook that flowed through the midst of the land, saying, Why should the kings of Assyria come, and find much water? (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
2 Chronicles 32:7 Be strong and of good courage, don't be afraid nor dismayed for the king of Assyria, nor for all the multitude who is with him; for there is a greater with us than with him: (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
2 Chronicles 32:9 After this did Sennacherib king of Assyria send his servants to Jerusalem, (now he was before Lachish, and all his power with him), to Hezekiah king of Judah, and to all Judah who were at Jerusalem, saying, (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
2 Chronicles 32:10 Thus says Sennacherib king of Assyria, In whom do you trust, that you abide the siege in Jerusalem? (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
2 Chronicles 32:11 Doesn't Hezekiah persuade you, to give you over to die by famine and by thirst, saying, Yahweh our God will deliver us out of the hand of the king of Assyria? (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
2 Chronicles 32:21 Yahweh sent an angel, who cut off all the mighty men of valor, and the leaders and captains, in the camp of the king of Assyria. So he returned with shame of face to his own land. When he was come into the house of his god, those who came forth from his own bowels killed him there with the sword. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
2 Chronicles 32:22 Thus Yahweh saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib the king of Assyria, and from the hand of all others, and guided them on every side. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
2 Chronicles 33:11 Therefore Yahweh brought on them the captains of the army of the king of Assyria, who took Manasseh in chains, and bound him with fetters, and carried him to Babylon. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
Ezra 4:2 then they drew near to Zerubbabel, and to the heads of fathers' houses, and said to them, Let us build with you; for we seek your God, as you do; and we sacrifice to him since the days of Esar Haddon king of Assyria, who brought us up here. (WEB JPS ASV BBE DBY NAS RSV NIV)
Ezra 6:22 and kept the feast of unleavened bread seven days with joy: for Yahweh had made them joyful, and had turned the heart of the king of Assyria to them, to strengthen their hands in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
Nehemiah 9:32 Now therefore, our God, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who keep covenant and loving kindness, don't let all the travail seem little before you, that has come on us, on our kings, on our princes, and on our priests, and on our prophets, and on our fathers, and on all your people, since the time of the kings of Assyria to this day. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV
Psalms 83:8 Assyria also is joined with them. They have helped the children of Lot. Selah. (WEB JPS ASV NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 7:17 Yahweh will bring on you, on your people, and on your father's house, days that have not come, from the day that Ephraim departed from Judah; even the king of Assyria. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 7:18 It will happen in that day that Yahweh will whistle for the fly that is in the uttermost part of the rivers of Egypt, and for the bee that is in the land of Assyria. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 7:20 In that day the Lord will shave with a razor that is hired in the parts beyond the River, even with the king of Assyria, the head and the hair of the feet; and it shall also consume the beard. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 8:4 For before the child knows how to say,'My father,' and,'My mother,' the riches of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria will be carried away by the king of Assyria." (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 8:7 now therefore, behold, the Lord brings upon them the mighty flood waters of the River: the king of Assyria and all his glory. It will come up over all its channels, and go over all its banks. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 10:5 Alas Assyrian, the rod of my anger, the staff in whose hand is my indignation! (Root in WEB KJV ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 10:12 Therefore it will happen that, when the Lord has performed his whole work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, I will punish the fruit of the willful proud heart of the king of Assyria, and the insolence of his haughty looks. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 11:11 It will happen in that day that the Lord will set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant that is left of his people from Assyria, from Egypt, from Pathros, from Cush, from Elam, from Shinar, from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 11:16 There will be a highway for the remnant that is left of his people from Assyria, like there was for Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 14:25 that I will break the Assyrian in my land, and tread him under foot on my mountains. Then his yoke will leave them, and his burden leave their shoulders. (Root in WEB KJV ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 19:23 In that day there will be a highway out of Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian shall come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria; and the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 19:24 In that day, Israel will be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth; (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 19:25 because Yahweh of Armies has blessed them, saying, "Blessed be Egypt my people, Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel my inheritance." (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 20:1 In the year that Tartan came to Ashdod, when Sargon the king of Assyria sent him, and he fought against Ashdod and took it; (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 20:4 so the king of Assyria will lead away the captives of Egypt and the exiles of Ethiopia, young and old, naked and barefoot, and with buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 20:6 The inhabitants of this coast land will say in that day,'Behold, this is our expectation, where we fled for help to be delivered from the king of Assyria. And we, how will we escape?'" (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 23:13 Behold, the land of the Chaldeans. This people was not. The Assyrians founded it for those who dwell in the wilderness. They set up their towers. They overthrew its palaces. They made it a ruin. (Root in WEB KJV ASV DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 27:13 It will happen in that day that a great trumpet will be blown; and those who were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and those who were outcasts in the land of Egypt, shall come; and they will worship Yahweh in the holy mountain at Jerusalem. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 30:31 For through the voice of Yahweh the Assyrian will be dismayed. He will strike him with his rod. (Root in WEB KJV ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 36:1 Now it happened in the fourteenth year of king Hezekiah, that Sennacherib king of Assyria attacked all of the fortified cities of Judah, and captured them. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 36:2 The king of Assyria sent Rabshakeh from Lachish to Jerusalem to king Hezekiah with a large army. He stood by the aqueduct from the upper pool in the fuller's field highway. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 36:4 Rabshakeh said to them, "Now tell Hezekiah,'Thus says the great king, the king of Assyria, "What confidence is this in which you trust? (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 36:8 Now therefore, please make a pledge to my master the king of Assyria, and I will give you two thousand horses, if you are able on your part to set riders on them. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 36:13 Then Rabshakeh stood, and called out with a loud voice in the Jews' language, and said, "Hear the words of the great king, the king of Assyria! (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 36:15 Don't let Hezekiah make you trust in Yahweh, saying, "Yahweh will surely deliver us. This city won't be given into the hand of the king of Assyria."' (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 36:16 Don't listen to Hezekiah, for thus says the king of Assyria,'Make your peace with me, and come out to me; and each of you eat from his vine, and each one from his fig tree, and each one of you drink the waters of his own cistern; (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 36:18 Beware lest Hezekiah persuade you, saying, "Yahweh will deliver us." Have any of the gods of the nations delivered their lands from the hand of the king of Assyria? (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 37:4 It may be Yahweh your God will hear the words of Rabshakeh, whom the king of Assyria his master has sent to defy the living God, and will rebuke the words which Yahweh your God has heard. Therefore lift up your prayer for the remnant that is left.'" (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 37:6 Isaiah said to them, "Tell your master,'Thus says Yahweh, "Don't be afraid of the words that you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 37:8 So Rabshakeh returned, and found the king of Assyria warring against Libnah, for he had heard that he was departed from Lachish. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 37:10 "Thus you shall speak to Hezekiah king of Judah, saying,'Don't let your God in whom you trust deceive you, saying, "Jerusalem won't be given into the hand of the king of Assyria." (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 37:11 Behold, you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands, by destroying them utterly. Shall you be delivered? (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 37:18 Truly, Yahweh, the kings of Assyria have destroyed all the countries and their land, (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 37:21 Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying, "Thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel,'Because you have prayed to me against Sennacherib king of Assyria, (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 37:33 Therefore thus says Yahweh concerning the king of Assyria,'He will not come to this city, nor shoot an arrow there, neither will he come before it with shield, nor cast up a mound against it. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 37:37 So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed, went away, returned to Nineveh, and stayed there. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 38:6 I will deliver you and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria, and I will defend this city. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 52:4 For thus says the Lord Yahweh, "My people went down at the first into Egypt to sojourn there: and the Assyrian has oppressed them without cause. (Root in WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
ThesaurusAssyria (124 Occurrences)...
They were a military people, the "Romans of the East.". Of the early history
of the kingdom of Assyria
little is positively known. .../a/assyria.htm - 101k
Assyria's (1 Occurrence)
... Multi-Version Concordance Assyria's (1 Occurrence). Zechariah 10:11 And
He hath passed over through the sea, And hath pressed and ...
/a/assyria's.htm - 6k
Tiglath-pileser (6 Occurrences)
... eser, as the name is read in 2 Kings, tilleghath pilnecer, in 2 Chronicles; Septuagint
Algathphellasar; Assyrian, Tukulti-abal-i-sarra): King of Assyria in the ...
/t/tiglath-pileser.htm - 12k
Tiglathpileser (3 Occurrences)
... eser, as the name is read in 2 Kings, tilleghath pilnecer, in 2 Chronicles; Septuagint
Algathphellasar; Assyrian, Tukulti-abal-i-sarra): King of Assyria in the ...
/t/tiglathpileser.htm - 11k
Rab'shakeh (14 Occurrences)
... 2 Kings 18:17 And the king of Assyria sent Tartan and Rab-saris and Rab-shakeh
from Lachish to king Hezekiah with a great army unto Jerusalem. ...
/r/rab'shakeh.htm - 10k
Rab-shakeh (14 Occurrences)
... 2 Kings 18:17 And the king of Assyria sent Tartan and Rab-saris and Rabshakeh
from Lachish to king Hezekiah with a great army unto Jerusalem. ...
/r/rab-shakeh.htm - 10k
Sennach'erib (13 Occurrences)
... 2 Kings 18:13 Now in the fourteenth year of king Hezekiah did Sennacherib king of
Assyria come up against all the fortified cities of Judah, and took them. ...
/s/sennach'erib.htm - 10k
Assyrian (18 Occurrences)
... Noah Webster's Dictionary 1. (a.) Of or pertaining to Assyria, or to its inhabitants.
2. (n.) A native or an inhabitant of Assyria; the language of Assyria. ...
/a/assyrian.htm - 12k
Deported (12 Occurrences)
... 2 Kings 15:29 In the days of Pekah king of Israel came Tiglath Pileser king of Assyria,
and took Ijon, and Abel Beth Maacah, and Janoah, and Kedesh, and Hazor ...
/d/deported.htm - 10k
Ashurbanipal (1 Occurrence)
... a-shoor-ba'-ne-pal (Ashur-bani-apal, "Ashur creates a son"): Before setting out
on his last campaign to Egypt, Esarhaddon king of Assyria doubtless having had ...
/a/ashurbanipal.htm - 12k
Greek3535. Nineui -- Nineve. ...
Noun, Indeclinable Transliteration: Nineui Phonetic Spelling: (nin-yoo-ee') Short
Definition: Nineveh Definition: Nineveh, a city on the Tigris in Assyria
. ... /greek/3535.htm - 6k
3536. Nineuites -- a Ninevite, an inhabitant of Ninevah
... Nineuites Phonetic Spelling: (nin-yoo-ee'-tace) Short Definition: a Ninevite Definition:
a Ninevite, an inhabitant of Nineveh, a city on the Tigris in Assyria. ...
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3370. Medos -- a Mede, Median, an inhabitant of Media
... Part of Speech: Noun, Masculine Transliteration: Medos Phonetic Spelling:
(may'-dos) Short Definition: a Mede Definition: a Mede, a Median, from east of Assyria ...
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Hitchcock's Bible NamesAssyria
country of Assur or Ashur
ATS Bible DictionaryAssyria
A celebrated country and empire, had its name from Ahur, or Assur, the second son of Shem, who settled in that region, Genesis 10:22. In the Bible the name Assyria is employed in three different significations: namely, 1. Assyria ancient and proper lay east of the Tigris, between Armenia, Susiana, and Media, and appears to have comprehended the six provinces attributed to it by Ptolemy, namely, Arrapachis, Adiabene, Arbelis, (now Erbil,) Calachene, (Heb. Halah- 2 Kings 17:6,) Apollonias, and Sittacne. It is the region which mostly comprises the modern Kurdistan and the pashalik of Mosul. Of these provinces, Adiabene was the most fertile and important; in it was situated Nineveh the capital; and the term Assyria, in its most narrow sense, seems sometimes to have meant only this province. 2. Most generally, Assyria means the Kingdom of Assyria, including Babylonia and Mesopotamia, and extending to the Euphrates, which is therefore used by Isaiah as an image of this empire, Isaiah 7:20; 8:7. In one instance, the idea of the empire predominates so as to exclude that of Assyria proper, namely, Genesis 2:14, where the Hiddekel or Tigris is said to flow eastward of Assyria. 3. After the overthrow of the Assyrian state, the name continued to be applied to those countries which had been formerly under its dominion, namely, (a) To Babylonia, 2 Kings 23:29; Jeremiah 2:18. (b) To Persia, Ezra 6:22, where Darius is also called king of Assyria.
The early history of Assyria is involved in obscurity. We know from the sacred narrative that it was a powerful nation. Israel was subjugated by one of its monarchs in the period of the Judges, and during the reign of the kings the Assyrian power was an object of perpetual dread. Pul, king of Assyria, invaded Israel in the reign of Menahem. Tiglath-pileser assisted Ahaz against a confederate army formed of the Syrian forces in league with those of the ten tribes. Shalmanezer invaded Israel, conquered Hoshea, and made him a vassal, bound to pay a yearly tribute. Hoshea wishing however to throw off the yoke, attempted to form a league with Egypt, and refused the tribute. On ascertaining this secret design of the Israelitish prince, Shalmanezer again invaded Israel, reduced Samaria, loaded its king with fetters, and transported the people of the land into Media, and put an end to the separate kingdom of the ten tribes. The three tribes located east of Jordan had already been deported into Media by Tiglath-pileser, when he ravaged Israel to save Ahaz, and the kingdom of Judah. Sennacherib of Assyria come into Judah with a powerful army in the reign of Hezekiah, but was miraculously defeated. Esarhaddon, his son and successor, ravaged Judah in the days of Manasseh, and carried the conquered sovereign in chains to Babylon. After this period the empire of Assyria suddenly waned, and its last monarch was the effeminate Sardanapalus, Numbers 24:22. Its capital was one of the most renowned of the eastern world. See NINEVEH. But the kingdom fell at length into the hands of the Medes, the monarchy was divided between them and the Babylonians, and the very name of Assyria was thenceforth forgotten.
International Standard Bible EncyclopediaASSYRIA
II. EARLY HISTORY
III. CLIMATE AND PRODUCTIONS
V. TRADE AND LAW
VIII. FURNITURE, POTTERY AND EMBROIDERY
IX. LANGUAGE, LITERATURE AND SCIENCE
X. GOVERNMENT AND ARMY
1. Early Period
2. The Older Empire
3. The Second Empire
4. Last Period and Fall of Empire
Assyria, a Greek name formed from Asshur ('ashshur; 'Assour; Assyrian Assur): The primitive capital of the country.
The origin of the city (now Kala'at Shergat), which was built on the western bank of the Tigris between the Upper and Lower Zab, went back to pre-Sem times, and the meaning of the name was forgotten (see Genesis 2:14, where the Hiddekel or Tigris is said to flow on the eastern side of Asshur). To the North of the junction of the Tigris and Upper Zab, and opposite the modern Mossul, was a shrine of the goddess Ishtar, around which grew up the town of Nina, Ninua or Nineveh (now Kouyunjik and Nebi Yunus). Another early sanctuary of Ishtar was at Urbillu, Arbailu or Arbela, East of the Upper Zab. North of Nineveh was Dur-Sargina (now Khorsabad) where Sargon built his palace (720 B.C.). All this district was embraced in the kingdom of Assyria which extended from Babylonia northward to the Kurdish mountains and at times included the country westward to the Euphrates and the Khabur.
II. Early History.
The whole region was known to the early Babylonians as Subartu. Its possession was disputed between Semitic Amurru or AMORITES (which see) and a non-Semitic people from the North called Mitannians. The earlier high priests of Assur known to us bear Mitannian names. About 2500 B.C. the country was occupied by Babylonian Semites, who brought with them the religion, law, customs, script and Semitic language of Babylonia (Genesis 10:11, 12, where we should read "He went forth to Asshur"; see Micah 5:6). The foundation of Nineveh, Rehoboth-'Ir (Assyrian Rebit-Ali, "the suburbs of the city"), Calah and Resen (Assyrian Res-eni, "head of the spring") is ascribed to them. The triangle formed by the Tigris and Zab, which enclosed these cities, was in later times included within the fortifications of the "great city" (Genesis 10:12 Jonah 3:3). Assyria is always distinguished from Babylonia in the Old Testament, and not confounded with it as by Herodotus and other classical writers.
III. Climate and Productions.
Assyria, speaking generally, was a limestone plateau with a temperate climate, cold and wet in winter, but warm during the summer months. On the banks of the rivers there was abundant cultivation, besides pasture-land. The apple of the North grew by the side of the palm-tree of the South. Figs, olives, pomegranates, almonds, mulberries and vines were also cultivated as well as all kinds of grain. Cotton is mentioned by Sennacherib (King, PSBA, December, 1909). The forests were tenanted by lions, and the plains by wild bulls (rimi, Hebrew re'emim), wild asses, wild goats and gazelles. Horses were imported from Cappadocia; ducks were kept, and mastiffs were employed in hunting.
The dominant type was Semitic, with full lips, somewhat hooked nose, high forehead, black hair and eyes, fresh complexion and abundance of beard. In character the Assyrians were cruel and ferocious in war, keen traders, stern disciplinarians, and where religion was concerned, intense and intolerant. Like the Ottoman Turks they formed a military state, at the head of which was the king, who was both leader in war and chief priest, and which offered a striking contrast to theocratic state of theBabylonians. It seems probable that every male was liable to conscription, and under the Second Empire, if not earlier, there was a large standing army, part of which consisted of mercenaries and recruits from the subject races. One result of this was the necessity for constant war in order to occupy the soldiery and satisfy their demands with captured booty; and the result, as in the Northern Kingdom of Israel, was military revolution, with the seizure of the throne by the successful general. As might be expected, education was confined to the upper classes, more especially to the priests and scribes.
V. Trade and Law.
As far back as the age of Abraham, when Assyria was still a dependency of Babylonia, trade was carried on with Cappadocia and an Assyrian colony of merchants settled at Kara Eyuk near Kaisariyeh. Down the Euphrates came the silver, copper and bronze of Asia Minor, together with horses. Cedar wood was brought from Mount Amanus, and there was already trade, through Syria, with the Mediterranean. Nineveh itself was probably founded in the interests of the trade with the North. In later days commercial reasons had much to do with the efforts of the Assyrian kings to conquer eastern Asia Minor and the Mediterranean coast of Syria and Pal: under the Second Empire no pains were spared to obtain possession of the Phoenician cities and divert their commerce into Assyrian hands. Hence the importance of the capture of the Hittite stronghold, Carchemish, by Sargon in 717 B.C., as it commanded the road to Syria and the passage across the Euphrates. Nineveh had at that time already become a great resort of merchants, among whom the Semitic Arameans were the most numerous. Aramaic, accordingly, became the language of trade, and then of diplomacy (compare 2 Kings 18:26), and commercial documents written in cuneiform were provided with Aramaic dockets. As in Babylonia, land and houses were leased knd sold, money was lent at interest, and the leading firms employed numerous damgari or commercial agents. Assyrian law was, in general, derived from Babylonia and much of it was connected with trade. The code of Khammu-rabi (Code of Hammurabi) or AMRAPHEL (which see) underlay it, and the same system of judicial procedure, with pleading before judges, the hearing of witnesses, and an appeal to the king, prevailed in both countries.
Unlike Babylonia, Assyria abounded in stone; the brick buildings of Babylonia, accordingly, were replaced by stone, and the painted or tiled walls by sculptured slabs. In the bas-reliefs discovered at Nineveh three periods of artistic progress may be traced. Under Assur-nazir-pal the sculpture is bold and vigorous, but the work is immature and the perspective faulty. From the beginning of the Second Empire to the reign of Esar-haddon the bas-reliefs often remind us of embroidery in stone. Attempts are made to imitate the rich detail and delicate finish of the ivory carvings; the background is filled in with a profusion of subjects, and there is a marked realism in the delineation of them. The third period is that of Assur-bani-pal, when the overcrowding is avoided by once more leaving the background bare, while the animal and vegetable forms are distinguished by a certain softness, if not effeminacy of tone. Sculpture in the round, however, lagged far behind that in relief, and the statuary of Assyria is very inferior to that of Babylonia. It is only the human-headed bulls and winged lions that can be called successful: they were set on either side of a gate to prevent the entrance of evil spirits, and their majestic proportions were calculated to strike the observer with awe (compare the description of the four cherubim in Ezekiel 1).
In bronze work the Assyrians excelled, much of the work being cast. But in general it was hammered, and the scenes hammered in relief on the bronze gates discovered by Mr. Rassam at Balawat near Nineveh are among the best examples of ancient oriental metallurgy at present known. Gold and silver were also worked into artistic forms; iron was reserved for more utilitarian purposes. The beautiful ivory carvings found at Nineveh were probably the work of foreign artificers, but gems and seal cylinders were engraved by native artists in imitation of those of Babylonia, and the Babylonian art of painting and glazing tiles was also practiced. The terra-cotta figures which can be assigned to the Assyrian period are poor. Glass was also manufactured.
The Assyrians were skilled in the transport of large blocks of stone, whether sculptured or otherwise. They understood the use of the lever, the pulley and the roller, and they had invented various engines of war for demolishing or undermining the walls of a city or for protecting the assailants. A crystal lens, turned on the lathe, has been found at Kouyunjik: it must have been useful to the scribes, the cuneiform characters inscribed on the tablets being frequently very minute. Water was raised from the river by means of a shaduf. VIII. Furniture, Pottery and Embroidery.
The furniture even of the palace was scanty, consisting mainly of couches, chairs, stools, tables, rugs and curtains. The chairs and couches were frequently of an artistic shape, and were provided with feet in the form of the legs of an ox. All kinds of vases, bowls and dishes were made of earthenware, but they were rarely decorated. Clothes, curtains and rugs, on the other hand, were richly dyed and embroidered, and were manufactured from wool and flax, and (in the age of the Second Empire) from cotton. The rug, of which the Persian rug is the modern representative, was a Babylonian invention.
IX. Language, Literature and Science.
The Assyrian language was Semitic, and differed only dialectically from Semitic Babylonian. In course of time, however, differences grew up between the spoken language and the language of literature, which had incorporated many Summerian words, and retained grammatical terminations that the vernacular had lost, though these differences were never very great. Assyrian literature, moreover, was mainly derived from Babylonia. Assur-bani-pal employed agents to ransack the libraries of Babylonia and send their contents to Nineveh, where his library was filled with scribes who busied themselves in copying and editing ancient texts. Commentaries were often written upon these, and grammars, vocabularies and interlinear translations were compiled to enable the student to understand the extinct Sumerian, which had long been the Latin of Semitic Babylonia. The writing material was clay, upon which the cuneiform characters were impressed with a stylus while it was still moist: the tablet was afterward baked in the sun or (in Assyria) in a kiln. The contents of the library of Nineveh were very various; religion, mythology, law, history, geography, zoology, philology, mathematics, astronomy, astrology and the pseudo-science of omens were all represented in it, as well as poetry and legendary romance. SeeNINEVEH, LIBRARY OF.
X. Government and Army.
Assyria was a military kingdom which, like the Northern Kingdom of Israel, had established itself by a successful revolt from Babylonia. In contradistinction to Babylonia, which was a theocratic state, the king being subordinate to the priest, the Assyrian king was supreme. Whereas in Babylonia the temple was the chief public building, in Assyria the royal palace dominated everything, the temple being merely a royal chapel attached to the palace. The king, in fact, was the commander of an army, and this army was the Assyrian people. How far the whole male population was liable to conscription is still uncertain; but the fact that the wars of Assur-bani-pal so exhausted the fighting strength of the nation as to render it unable to resist the invaders from the North shows that the majority of the males must have been soldiers. Hence the constant wars partly to occupy the army and prevent revolts, partly for the sake of booty with which to pay it. Hence too, the military revolutions, which, as in the kingdom of Israel, resulted in changes of dynasty and the seizure of the throne by successful generals. The turtannu or commander-in-chief, who took the place of the king when the latter was unable or unwilling to lead his forces, ranked next to the sovereign. From the reign of Tiglath-pileser IV onward, however, the autocracy was tempered by a centralized bureaucracy, and in the provinces a civil governor was appointed by the side of the military commander. Among the high officials at court were the rab-saki or "vizier," and the rab-sa-risi or "controller," the rabhcaric (RAB-SARIS (which see)) of the Old Testament.
The army consisted of cavalry, infantry, bowmen and slingers, as well as of a corps of charioteers. After the rise of the Second Empire the cavalry were increased at the expense of the chariotry, and were provided with saddles and boots, while the unarmed groom who had run by the side of the horse became a mounted archer. Sennacherib further clothed the horseman in a coat of mail. The infantry were about ten times as numerous as the calvary, and under Sargon were divided into bowmen and spearmen, the bowmen again being subdivided into heavy-armed and light-armed, the latter being apparently of foreign origin. Sennacherib introduced a corps of slingers, clad in helmet and cuirass, leather drawers and boots. He also deprived the heavy-armed bowmen of the long robes they used to wear, and established a body of pioneers with double-headed axes, helmets and buskins. Shields were also worn by all classes of soldiers, and the army carried with it standards, tents, battering-rams and baggage-carts. The royal sleeping-tent was accompanied by tents for cooking and dining. No pains, in fact, were spared to make the army both in equipment and discipline an irresistible engine of war. The terror it excited in western Asia is therefore easily intelligible (Isaiah 10:5-14 Nahum 2:11-13; Nahum 3:1-4).
The state religion of Assyria was derived from BABYLONIA (which see) and in its main outlines is Babylonian. But it differed from the religion of Babylonia in two important respects:
(1) the king, and not the high priest, was supreme, and
(2) at the head of it was the national god Asur or Assur, whose high priest and representative was the king. Asur was originally Asir, "the leader" in war, who is accordingly depicted as a warrior-god armed with a bow and who in the age when solar worship became general in Babylonia was identified with the sun-god. But the similarity of the name caused him to be also identified with the city of Asur, where he was worshipped, at a time when the cities of northern Babylonia came to be deified, probably under Hittite influence. Later still, the scribes explained his name as a corruption of that of the primeval cosmogonic deity An-sar, the upper firmament, which in the neo-Babylonian age was pronounced Assor. The combination of the attributes of the warrior-god, who was the peculiar god of the commander of the army, with the deified city to which the army belonged, caused Assur to become the national deity of a military nation in a way of which no Babylonian divinity was capable. The army were "the troops of Assur," the enemies were "the enemies of Assur" who required that they should acknowledge his supremacy or be destroyed. Assur was not only supreme over the other gods, he was also, in fact, unlike them, without father or wife. Originally, it is true, his feminine counterpart, Asirtu, the ASHERAH (which see) of the Old Testament, had stood at his side, and later literary pedants endeavored to find a wife for him in Belit, "the Lady," or Ishtar, or some other Babylonian goddess, but the attempts remained purely literary. When Nineveh took the place of Assur as the capital of the kingdom, Ishtar, around whose sanctuary Nineveh had grown up, began to share with him some of the honor of worship, though her position continued to be secondary to the end. This was also the case with the war-god Nin-ip, called Mas in Assyria, whose cult was specially patronized by the Assyrian kings. SeeBABYLONIA AND ASSYRIA, RELIGION OF.
Rich, who had first visited Mossul in 1811, examined the mounds opposite in 1820 and concluded that they represented the site of Nineveh. The few antiquities he discovered were contained in a single case in the British Museum, but the results of his researches were not published until 1836. In 1843-45 the Frenchman Botta disinterred the palace of Sargon at Khorsabad, 15 miles North of Nineveh, while at Nimrud (Calah) and Kouyunjik (Nineveh) Layard (1845-51) brought to light the ruins of the great Assyrian palaces and the library of Assur-bani-pal. His work was continued by Rassam (1851-54). Nothing more was done until 1873-75 when George Smith resumed excavations on the site of Assur-bani-pal's library; this was followed in 1877-79 by the excavations of Rassam, who discovered among other things the bronze gates of Balawat. At present a German expedition under Andrae is working at Kala'at Shergat (Assur) where the English excavators had already found the cylinder-inscription of Tiglath-pileser I (see SHERGHAT).
The Assyrians reckoned time by means of limmi, certain officials appointed every New Year's day, after whom their year of office was named. The lists of limmi or "Eponyms" which have come down to us form the basis of Assyrian chronology. Portions of a "synchronous" history of Assyria and Babylonia have also been discovered, as well as fragments of two "Babylonian Chronicles" written from a Babylonian point of view. The "Eponym" lists carry back an exact dating of time to the beginning of the 10th century B.C. Before that period Sennacherib states that Tiglath-pileser I reigned 418 years before himself. Tiglath-pileser, moreover, tells us that Samas-Ramman son of Isme-Dagon had built a temple at Assur 641 years earlier, while Shalmaneser I places Samas-Ramman 580 years before his own reign and Erisu 159 years before Samas-Ramman, though Esar-haddon gives the dates differently. Apart from the native documents, the only trustworthy sources for the chronology (as for the history) of Assyria are the Old Testament records. In return the "Eponym" lists have enabled us to correct the chronology of the Books of Kings (see KINGS, BOOKS OF).
1. Early Period:
Assyrian history begins with the high priests (patesis) of Assur. The earliest known to us are Auspia and Kikia, who bear Mitannian names. The early Semitic rulers, however, were subject to Babylonia, and under Khammurabi (AMRAPHEL) Assyria was still a Babylonian province. According to Esar-haddon the kingdom was founded by Bel-bani son of Adasi, who first made himself independent; Hadad-nirari, however, ascribes its foundation to Zulili. Assyrian merchants and soldiers had already made their way as far as Cappadocia, from whence copper and silver were brought to Assyria, and an Assyrian colony was established at Kara Eyuk near Kaisariyeh, where the Assyrian mode of reckoning time by means of limmi was in use. In the age of Tell el-Amarna Letters (1400 B.C.) Assur-uballid was king of Assyria. He corresponded with the Egyptian Pharaoh and married his daughter to the Bah king, thereby providing for himself a pretext for interfering in the affairs of Babylonia. The result was that his son-in-law was murdered, and Assur-uballid sent troops to Babylonia who put the murderers to death and placed the grandson of the Assyrian king on the Babylonian throne.
Babylonia had fallen into decay and been forced to protect herself from the rising power of Assyria by forming an alliance with Mitanni (Mesopotamia) and Egypt, and subsequently, when Mitanni had been absorbed by the Hittites, by practically becoming dependent on the Hittite king. Shalmaneser I (1300 B.C.), accordingly, devoted himself to crippling the Hittite power and cutting it off from communication with Babylonia. Campaign after campaign was undertaken against the Syrian and more eastern provinces of the Hittite empire, Malatiyeh was destroyed, and Carehemish threatened. Shalmaneser's son and successor Tukulti-Mas entered into the fruits of his father's labors. The Hittites had been rendered powerless by an invasion of the northern barbarians, and the Assyrian king was thus left free to crush Babylonia. Babylon was taken by storm, and for seven years Tukulti-Mas was master of all the lands watered by the Tigris and Euphrates. The image of Merodach was carried to Assur as a sign that the scepter had passed from Babylon to the parvenu Assyria. A successful revolt, however, finally drove the Assyrian conqueror back to his own country, and when he was murdered soon afterward by his own son, the Babylonians saw in the deed a punishment inflicted by the god of Babylon.
2. The Older Empire:
A few years later the Assyrian king Bel-kudur-uzur lost his life in battle against the Babylonians, and a new dynasty appears to have mounted the Assyrian throne. About 1120 B.C. the Assyrian king was Tiglath-pileser I, whose successful wars extended the Assyrian empire as far westward as Cappadocia. In one of his campaigns he made his way to the Mediterranean, and received presents from the king of Egypt, which included a crocodile. At Assur he planted a botanical garden stocked with trees from the conquered provinces. After his death the Assyrian power declined; Pitru (Pethor, Numbers 22:5) fell into the hands of the Arameans and the road to the Mediterranean was blocked.
A revival came under Assur-nazir-pal III (884-860 B.C.) who rebuilt CALAH (which see) and established the seat of the government at Nineveh, where he erected a palace. Various campaigns were carried on in the direction of Armenia and Comagene, the brutalities executed upon the enemy being described in detail by their conqueror. He then turned westward, and after receiving homage from the Hittite king of Carchemish, laid the Phoenicians under tribute. The road to the West was thus again secured for the merchants of Assyria. Assur-nazir-pal was succeeded by his son Shalmaneser II (859-825 B.C.), who, instead of contenting himself, like his father, with mere raids for the sake of booty, endeavored to organize and administer the countries which his armies had subdued. The famous bronze gates of Balawat were erected by him in commemoration of his victories.
In his reign the Israelites and Syrians of Damascus first came into direct relation with the Assyrians. In 854 B.C. he attacked Hamath and at Qarqar defeated an army which included 1,200 chariots, 1,200 cavalry and 20,000 infantry from Ben-hadad of Damascus, 2,000 chariots, and 10,000 infantry from. "Ahab of Israel," besides considerable contingents from Ammon, Arvad, Arabia and elsewhere. In 842 B.C. Shalmaneser penetrated to Damascus where Hazael, the successor of Ben-hadad, who had already been defeated in the open field, was closely besieged. The surrounding country was ravaged, and "Jehu son of Omri" hastened to offer tribute to the conqueror. The scene is represented on the Black Obelisk found at Nimrud and now in the British Museum. Shalmaneser's campaigns were not confined to the West. He overran Armenia, where the kingdom of Van had just been established, made his way to Tarsus in Cilicia, took possession of the mines of silver, salt and alabaster in the Taurus mountains among the Tabal or Tubal, and obliged the Babylonian king to acknowledge his supremacy.
In his later days, when too old to take the field himself, his armies were led by the turtannu or commander-in-chief, and a rebellion, headed by his son Assur-danin-pal (Sardanapalus) broke out at home, where Nineveh and Assur were jealous of the preference shown for Calah. Nineveh, however, was captured and the revolt suppressed after two years' duration by another son, Samas-Ramman IV, who shortly afterward, on his father's death, succeeded to the throne (824-812 B.C.). His chief campaigns were directed against Media. His son Hadad-nirari III (811-783 B.C.) was the next king, whose mother was Sammu-ramat (Semiramis). He claims to have reduced to subjection the whole of Syria, including Phoenicia, Edom and Philistia, and to have taken Mari'a, king of Damascus, prisoner in his capital city. After this, however, Assyria once more fell into a state of decay, from which it was delivered by the successful revolt of a military officer Pulu (Pul), who put an end to the old line of kings and took the name of Tiglath-pileser IV (745-727 B.C.).
3. The Second Empire:
Tiglath-pileser founded the second Assyrian empire, and made Assyria the dominant power in western Asia. The army was reorganized and made irresistible, and a new administrative system was introduced, the empire being centralized at Nineveh and governed by a bureaucracy at the head of which was the king. Tiglath-pileser's policy was twofold: to weld western Asia into a single empire, held together by military force and fiscal laws, and to secure the trade of the world for the merchants of Nineveh. These objects were steadily kept in view throughout the reigns of Tiglath-pileser and his successors. For the history of his reign, see TIGLATH-PILESER. In 738 B.C. Tiglath-pileser put an end to the independent existence of the kingdom of Hamath, Menahem of Samaria becoming his tributary, and in 733 B.C. he commenced a campaign against Rezin of Damascus which ended in the fall of Damascus, the city being placed under an Assyrian governor. At the same time the land of Naphtali was annexed to Assyria, and Yahu-khazi (Ahaz) of Judah became an Assyrian vassal, while in 731 B.C., after the murder of Pekah, Hoshea was appointed king of Israel (compare 2 Kings 15-17).
In 728 B.C. Tiglath-pileser was solemnly crowned at Babylon and the following year he died. His successor was another military adventurer, Shalmaneser IV (727-722 B.C.), whose original name was Ulula. While engaged in the siege of Samaria Shalmaneser died or was murdered, and the throne was seized by another general who took the name of Sargon (722-705 B.C.). Sargon, for whose history see SARGON, captured Samaria in 722 B.C., carrying 27,290 of its inhabitants into captivity. A large part of his reign was spent in combating a great confederation of the northern nations (Armenia, Manna, etc.) against Assyria. Carchemish, the Hittite capital, was captured in 717 B.C., a revolt of the states in southern Palestine was suppressed in 711 B.C. and Merodach-Baladan, the Chaldean, who had possessed himself of Babylonia in 722 B.C., was driven back to the marshlands at the head of the Persian Gulf.
In 705 B.C. Sargon was murdered, and succeeded by his son SENNACHERIB (which see). Sennacherib (705-681 B.C.) had neither the military skill nor the administrative abilities of his father. His campaign against Hezekiah of Judah in 701 B.C. was a failure; so, also, was his policy in Babylonia which was in a constant state of revolt against his rule, and which ended in his razing the sacred city of Babylon to the ground in 689 B.C. Nine years previously his troops had been called upon to suppress a revolt in Cilicia, where a battle was fought with the Greeks.
4. Last Period and Fall of the Empire:
His son Esar-haddon, who succeeded him (681-669 B.C.) after his murder by two other sons on the 20th Tebet (compare 2 Kings 19:37), was as distinguished a general and administrator as his father had been the reverse. For his history see ESARHADDON. Under him the Second Empire reached the acme of its power and prosperity. Babylon was rebuilt and made the second capital of the empire, Palestine became an obedient province, and Egypt was conquered (674 and 671 B.C.), while an invasion of the Cimmerians (Gomer) was repelled, and campaigns were made into the heart of both Media and Arabia. Esar-haddon died while on his way to repress a revolt in Egypt, and his son Assur-bani-pal succeeded him in the empire (669-626 B.C.), while another son Samas-sum-ukin was appointed viceroy of Babylonia. Assur-bani-pal was a munificent patron of learning, and the library of Nineveh owed most of its treasures to him, but extravagant luxury had now invaded the court, and the king conducted his wars through his' generals, while he himself remained at home.
The great palace at Kouyunjik (Nineveh) was built by him. Egypt demanded his first attention. Tirhakah the Ethiopian who had headed its revolt was driven back to his own country, and for a time there was peace. Then under Tandamane, Tirhakah's successor, Egypt revolted again. This time the Assyrian punishment was merciless. Thebes-"No-amon" (Nahum 3:8)-was destroyed, its booty carried away and two obelisks transported to Nineveh as trophies of victory. Meanwhile Tyre, which had rebelled, was forced to sue for peace, and ambassadors arrived from Gyges of Lydia asking for help against the Cimmerians. Elam still remained independent and endeavored to stir up disaffection in Babylonia. Against his will, therefore, Assur-bani-pal was obliged to interfere in the internal affairs of that country, with the result that the Elamites were finally overthrown in a battle on the Eulaeus beneath the walls of Susa, and the conquered land divided between two vassal kings.
Then suddenly a revolt broke out throughout the greater part of the Assyrian empire, headed by Assur-bani-pal's brother, the viceroy of Babylonia. For a time the issue was doubtful. Egypt recovered its independence under Psammetichus, the founder of the XXVIth Dynasty (660 B.C.) who had received help from Lydia, but Babylonia was reconquered and Babylon after a long siege was starved out, Samas-sum-ukin burning himself in the ruins of his palace. Elam remained to be dealt with, and an Assyrian army made its way to Susa, which was leveled to the ground, the shrines of its gods profaned and the bones of its ancient kings torn from their graves. Then came the turn of northern Arabia, where the rebel sheikhs were compelled to submit. But the struggle had exhausted Assyria; its exchequer was empty, and its fighting population killed. When the Cimmerians descended upon the empire shortly afterward, it was no longer in a condition to resist them. Under Assur-etil-ilani, the son and successor of Assur-bani-pal, Calah was taken and sacked, and two reigns later, Sin-sar-iskun, the last king of Assyria, fell fighting against the Scythians (606 B.C.). Nineveh was utterly destroyed, never again to be inhabited, and northern Babylonia passed into the hands of Nabopolassar, the viceroy of Babylon, who had joined the northern invaders. Assur, the old capital of the country, was still standing in the age of Cyrus, but it had become a small provincial town; as for Nineveh and Calah, their very sites were forgotten.
SeeG. Rawlinson, Five Great Monarchies of the Eastern World, 1862-67; Perrot and Chipiez, Histoire de l'art dans l'antiquite, II, 1884; Maspero, Struggle of the Nations, and Passing of the Empires, 3 volumes, 1894-1900; Rogers, A History of Babylonia and Assyria, 1900; Johns, Assyrian Deeds and Documents, 1898; Schrader, KAT, English translation by Whitehouse, 1885; Pinches, The Old Testament in the Light of the Historical Records of Assyria and Babylonia, 1902.
A. H. Sayce
BABYLONIA AND ASSYRIA, RELIGION OF
1. First Period
2. Second Period
3. Third Period
II. THE SOURCES
III. THE HISTORY
IV. THE PANTHEON
1. Enlil, Ellil
7. Marduk (Old Testament Merodach)
8. Nabu (Old Testament Nebo)
9. Nergal, the city god of Kutu (Old Testament Guthah)
V. HYMNS AND PRAYERS
VII. THE LAST THINGS
VIII. MYTHS AND EPICS
IX. THE ASTRAL THEORY OF THE UNIVERSE
X. THE RELATIONS WITH THE RELIGION OF ISRAEL
The religion of Babylonia and Assyria is that system of belief in higher things with which the peoples of the Tigris and Euphrates valley strove to put themselves into relations, in order to live their lives. The discoveries of the past century have supplied us with a mass of information concerning this faith from which we have been able to secure a greater knowledge of it than of any other ancient oriental religion, except that of Israel. Yet the information which is thus come into our hands is embarrassing because of its very richness, and it will doubtless be a long time before it is possible to speak with certainty concerning many of the problems which now confront us. Progress in the interpretation of the literature is however so rapid that we may now give a much more intelligible account of this religion than could have been secured even so recently as five years ago.
For purposes of convenience, the religion of Babylonia and Assyria may be grouped into three great periods.
1. First Period:
The first of these periods extends from the earliest times, about 3500 B.C., down to the union of the Babylonian states under Hammurabi, about 2000 B.C.
2. Second Period:
The second period extends to the rise of the Chaldean empire under Nabopolassar, 625 B.C., and
3. Third Period:
The third period embraces the brief history of this Chaldean or neo-Babylonian empire under Cyrus, 538 B.C.
The Assyrian religion belongs to the second period, though it extends even into the third period, for Nineveh did not fall until 607 B.C.
II. The Sources.
The primary sources of our knowledge of this religion are to be found in the distinctively religious texts, such as hymns, prayers, priestly rituals and liturgies, and in the vast mass of magical and incantation literature. The major part of this religious literature which has come down to us dates from the reign of Ashurbanipal (668-625 B.C.) though much of it is quite clearly either copied from or based upon much older material. If, however, we relied for our picture of the Babylonian and Assyrian religion exclusively upon these religious texts, we should secure a distorted and in some places an indefinite view. We must add to these in order to perfect the picture practically the whole of the literature of these two peoples.
The inscriptions upon which the kings handed down to posterity an account of their great deeds contain lists of gods whom they invoked, and these must be taken into consideration. The laws also have in large measure a religious basis, and the business inscriptions frequently invoke deities at the end. The records of the astronomers, the state dispatches of kings, the reports of general officers from the field, the handbooks of medicine, all these and many other divisions of a vast literature contribute each its share of religious material. Furthermore, as the religion was not only the faith of the king, but also the faith of the state itself, the progress of the commonwealth to greater power oftentimes carried some local god into a new relationship to other gods, or the decadence of the commonwealth deprived a god of some of his powers or attributes, so that even the distinctively political inscriptions have importance in helping us to reconstruct the ancient literature.
III. The History.
The origin of the Babylonian religion is hid from our eyes in those ancient days of which we know little and can never hope to know much. In the earliest documents which have come down to us written in the Sumerian language, there are found Semitic words or constructions or both. It seems now to be definitely determined that a Sumerian people whose origin is unknown inhabited Babylonia before the coming of the Semites, whose original home was in Arabia. Of the Sumerian faith before a union was formed with the Semites, we know very little indeed. But we may perhaps safely say that among that ancient people, beneath the belief in gods there lay deep in their consciousness the belief in animism. They thought that every object, animate or inanimate, had a zi or spirit. The word seems originally to have meant life. Life manifests itself to us as motion; everything which moves has life. The power of motion separates the animate from the inanimate. All that moves possesses life, the motionless is lifeless or dead.
Besides this belief in animism, the early Sumerians seem to have believed in ghosts that were related to the world of the dead as the zi was related to the world of the living. The lil or ghost was a night demon of baleful influence upon men, and only to be cast out by many incantations. The lil was attended by a serving-maid (ardat lili, "maid of night") which in the later Semitic development was transformed into the feminine lilitu. It is most curious and interesting that this ghost demon of the Sumerians lived on through all the history of the Babylonian religion, and is mentioned even in one of the Old Testament prophets (Isaiah 34:14; Hebrew Lillith, translated "night monster"). The origin of the Semitic religion brought by the ancient Semitic people and united with this Sumerian faith is also lost in the past.
It seems to be quite clear that the gods and the religious ideas which these Semites brought with them from the desert had very little if any importance for the religion which they afterward professed in Babylonia. Some of the names of their gods and images of these they very probably brought with them, but the important thing, it must always be remembered, about the gods is not the names but the attributes which were ascribed to them, and these must have been completely changed during the long history which follows their first contact with the Sumerians. From the Sumerians there flowed a great stream of religious ideas, subject indeed to modifications from time to time down the succeeding centuries. In our study of the pantheon we shall see from time to time how the gods changed their places and how the ideas concerning them were modified by political and other movements. In the very earliest times, besides these ideas of spirits and ghosts, we find also numbers of local gods. Every center of human habitati on had its special patron deity and this deity is always associated with some great natural phenomenon. It was natural that the sun and moon should be made prominent among these gods, but other natural objects and forces were personified and deified, streams, stones and many others.
Our chief source of information concerning the gods of the first period of religious development before the days of Hammurabi is found in the historical inscriptions of the early kings and rulers. Many of these describe offerings of temples and treasures made to the gods, and all of them are religious in tone and filled with ascriptions of praise to the gods. From these early texts Professor Jastrow has extricated the names of the following deities, gods and goddesses. I reproduce his list as the best yet made, but keep in mind that some of the readings are doubtful and some were certainly otherwise read by the Babylonians or Sumerians, though we do not now know how they ought to be read. The progress of Assyrian research is continually providing corrected readings for words hitherto known to us only in ideograms. It is quite to be expected that many of these strange, not to say grotesque, names will some day prove to be quite simple, and easy to utter: En-lil (Ellil, Bel) Belit, Nin-khar-sag, Nin-gir-su, wh o also appears as Dun-gur, Bau, Ga-tum-dug, Nin-dindug, Ea, Nin-a-gal, Gal-dim-zu-ab, Nin-ki, Damgal-nun-na, Nergal, Shamash, A or Malkatu, the wife of Shamash, Nannar, or Sin, Nin-Urum, Innanna, Nana, Anunit, Nina, Ishtar, Anu, Nindar-a, Gal-alim, Nin-shakh, Dun-shagga, Lugalbanda, with a consort Nin-sun, Dumu-zi-zu-ab, Dumu-zi, Lugal-Erim, Nin-e-gal and Ningal, Nin-gish-zi-da, Dun-pa-uddu, Nin-mar, Pa-sag, Nidaba, Ku(?)-anna, Shid, Nin-agid-kha-du, Ninshul-li, En-gubarra, Im-mi-khu(?), Ur-du-zi, Kadi, Nu-ku-sir-da, Ma-ma, Za-ma-ma, Za-za-ru, Impa-ud-du, Ur-e-nun-ta-ud-du-a, Khi-gir-nunna, Khi-shagga, Gur-mu, Zar-mu, Dagan, Damu, Lama, Nesu, Nun-gal, An-makh, Nin-si-na, Nin-asu. In this list great gods and goddesses and all kinds of minor deities are gathered together, and the list looks and sounds hopeless. But these are local deities, and some of them are mere duplications. Nearly every place in early times would have a sun-god or a moon-god or both, and in the political development of the country the moon-god of the conquering city displaced or absorbed the moon-god of the conquered. When we have eliminated these gods, who have practically disappeared, there remains a comparatively small number of gods who outrank all the others.
In the room of some of these gods that disappeared, others, especially in Assyria, found places. There was, however, a strong tendency to diminish the number of the gods. They are in early days mentioned by the score, but as time goes on many of these vanish away and only the few remain. As Jastrow has pointed out, Shalmaneser II (859-825 B.C.) had only eleven gods in his pantheon: Ashur, Anu, Bel, Ea, Sin, Shamash, Ninib, Nergal, Nusku, Belit and Ishtar. Sennacherib (704-681 B.C.) usually mentions only eight; namely, Ashur, Sin, Shamash, Bel (that is, Marduk), Nabu, Nergal, Ishtar of Nineveh and Ishtar of Arbela. But we must not lay much emphasis upon the smallness of this number, for in his building inscriptions at the end he invokes twenty-five deities, and even though some of these are duplicates of other gods, as Jastrow correctly explains, nevertheless the entire list is considerably increased over the eight above mentioned. In the late Babylonian period the worship seems chiefly devoted to Marduk, Nabu, Sin, Shamash and Ishtar. Often there seem little faint indications of a further step forward. Some of the hymns addressed to Shamash seem almost upon the verge of exalting him in such a way as to exclude the other deities, but the step is never taken. The Babylonians, with all their wonderful gifts, were never able to conceive of one god, of one god alone, of one god whose very existence makes logically impossible the existence of any other deity. Monotheism transcends the spiritual grasp of the Babylonian mind.
Amid all this company of gods, amid all these speculations and combinations, we must keep our minds clear, and fasten our eyes upon the one significant fact that stands out above all others. It is that the Babylonians were not able to rise above polytheism; that beyond them, far beyond them, lay that great series of thoughts about God that ascribe to him aloneness, to which we may add the great spiritual ideas which today may roughly be grouped under ethical monotheism. Here and there great thinkers in Babylonia grasped after higher ideas, and were able only to attain to a sort of pantheism of a speculative kind. A personal god, righteous and holy, who loved righteousness. and hated sin, this was not given to them to conceive.
The character of the gods changed indeed as the people who revered them changed. The Babylonians who built vast temples and composed many inscriptions emphasizing the works of peace rather than of war, naturally conceived their deities in a manner different from the Assyrians whose powers were chiefly devoted to conquests in war, but neither the Babylonians nor the Assyrians arose to any such heights as distinguish the Hebrew book of Psalms. As the influence of the Babylonians and Assyrians waned, their go ds declined in power, and none of them survived the onrush of Greek civilization in the period of Alexander.
IV. The Pantheon.
The chief gods of the Babylonian and Assyrian pantheon may now be characterized in turn.
1. Enlil, Ellil:
In the earliest times known to us the greatest of the gods is the god of Nippur whose name in the Sumerian texts is Enlil or Ellil. In the Semitic pantheon of later times he was identified with the god Bel, and it is as Belhe has been chiefly known. During the whole of the first epoch of Babylonian history up to the period of Hammurabi, he is the Lord of the World and the King of the Land. He was originally the hero of the Flood story, but in the form in which it has come down to us Marduk of Babylon has deprived him of these honors. In Nippur was his chief temple, called E-kur or "mountain house." It was built and rebuilt by the kings of Babylonia again and again from the days of Sargon I (3800 B.C.) onward, and no less than twenty kings are known to us who pride themselves on their work of rebuilding this one temple. He is saluted as "the Great Lord, the command of whose mouth cannot be altered and whose grace is steadfast." He would seem, judging from the name of his temple and from some of his attributes, to have been originally a god of the mountains where he must have had his original dwelling-place.
The name of the god Anu was interpreted as meaning heaven, corresponding to the Sumerian word ana, "heaven," and he came thus to be regarded as the god of heaven as over against Enlil who was the god of earth, and Ea who was the god of the waters. Anu appears first among the great gods in an inscription of Lugalsaggi, and in somewhat later times he made his way to the top of the earliest triad which consists of Ann, Enlil and Ea. His chief seat of worship was Uruk, but in the Assyrian period he was associated with the god Adad in a temple in the city of Asshur. In the myths and epics he fills an important role as the disposer of all events, but he cannot be thought of as quite equal in rank with Enlil in spite of his position in the heavens. Antu or Anatu is mentioned as the wife of Ann, but hers is a colorless figure, and she may probably be regarded as little else than a grammatical invention owing to the desire of the Semites to associate the feminine with the masculine in their languages.
The reading of the name of the god Ea still remains uncertain. It may perhaps have been Ae, as the Greek Aos would seem to indicate. His chief city of worship was Eridu, which in the earliest period was situated on the Persian Gulf, near the mouths of the Euphrates and the Tigris. His temple was there called E-absu, which means "house of the deeps," interpreted also as "house of wisdom." He must have been a god of great importance in early times, but was left behind by the growing influence of Ellil and in a later period retained honor chiefly because he was assumed to be the. father of the god Marduk, and so was reverenced by the people of the city of Babylon. As the lord of wisdom he filled a great role in exorcisms down to the very last, and was believed to be the god who was most ready to respond to human need in direful circumstances. Ea's wife is called Damkina.
Sin was the city god of Urn (Ur of the Chaldeans in the Old Testament). He was originally a local god who came early to a lofty position in the canon because he seems always to have been identified with the moon, and in Babylon the moon was always of more importance than the sun because of its use in the calendar. His temple was called E-kishshirgal, i.e. "house of light." His worship was widespread, for at a very early date he had a shrine at Harran in Mesopotamia. His wife is called Ningal, the Great Lady, the Queen, and his name probably appears in Mt. Sinai. He is addressed in hymns of great beauty and was regarded as a most kindly god.
The Sun-god, Shamash, ranks next after Sin in the second or later triad, and there can be no doubt that he was from the beginning associated with the sun in the heavens. His seats of worship were Larsa in southern Babylonia and Sippar in northern Babylonia in both of which his temple was called E-bab-bar, "shining house." He also is honored in magnificent hymns in which he is saluted as the enemy and the avenger of evil, but as the benignant furtherer of all good, especially of that which concerns the races of men. All legislation is ascribed to him as the supreme judge in heaven. To him the Babylonians also ascribe similar powers in war to those which the Egyptians accorded to Re. From some of the texts one might have supposed that he would have come to the top of the triad, but this appears not to have been the case, and his influence extended rather in the direction of influencing minor local deities who were judged to be characterized by attributes similar to those ascribed to him in the greater hymns.
The origin and the meaning of the name of the goddess Ishtar are still disputed, but of her rank there can be no doubt. In the very earliest inscriptions known to us she does not seem to have been associated with the planet Venus as she is in later times. She seems rather to have been a goddess of fruitfulness and of love, and in her temple at Uruk temple-prostitution was a feature. In the mythological literature she occupies a high place as the goddess of war and of the chase. Because of this later identification she became the chief goddess of the warlike Assyrians. Little by little she absorbed all the other goddesses and her name became the general word for goddess. Her chief seats of worhip were Uruk in southern Babylonia, where she was worshipped in earliest times under the name of Nana, and Akkad in northern Babylonia, where she was called Anunitu, and Nineveh and Arbela in Assyria. Some of the hymns addressed to her are among the noblest products of Babylonian and Assyrian religion and reach a considerable ethical position. This development of a sexual goddess into a goddess who severely judged the sins of men is one of the strangest phenomena in the history of this religion.
Marduk (in the Old Testament Merodach) is the city-god of Babylon where his temple was called E-sagila ("lofty house") and its tower E-teme nanki ("house of the foundation of heaven and earth"). His wife is Sarpanitu, and, as we have already seen, his father was Ea, and in later days Nabu was considered his son. The city of Babylon in the earliest period was insignificant in importance compared with Nippur and Eridu, and this city-god could not therefore lay claim to a position comparable with the gods of these cities, but after Hammurabi had made Babylon the chief city of all Babylonia its god rapidly increased in importance until he absorbed the attributes of the earlier gods and displaced them in the great myths. The speculative philosophers of the neo-Babylonian period went so far as to identify all the earlier gods with him, elevating his worship into a sort of henotheism. His proper name in the later periods was gradually displaced by the appellativc Belu "lord," so that finally he was commonly spoken of as Bel, and his consort was called Belit. He shares with Ishtar and Shamash the honor of having some of the finest hymns, which have come down to us, sung to his name.
Nabu (in the Old Testament Nebo) was the city-god of Bor-sippa. His name is clearly Semitic, and means "speaker" or "announcer." In earlier times he seems to have been a more important god than Marduk and was worshipped as the god of vegetation. His temple in Borsippa bore the name E-zida ("perpetual house") with the tower E-uriminanki ("house of the seven rulers of heaven and earth"). In later times he was identified with the planet Mercury.
Nergal, the city-god of Kutu (in the Old Testament Cuthah), was the god of the underworld and his wife Eresh-kigal was the sovereign lady of the under-world. He was also the god of plague and of fever, and in later days was associated with the planet Mars, though scholars who are attached to the astral theory (see below) think that he was identified at an earlier date with Saturn. For this view no certain proof has yet been produced.
Unfortunately the correct pronunciation of the name of the god Ninib has not yet been secured. He seems originally to have been a god of vegetation, but in the later philosophical period was associated with the planet Saturn, called Kaitaann (Kewan, Chiun, Amos 5:26 the King James Version, the English Revised Version). As a god of vegetation he becomes also a god of healing and his wife Gula was the chief patroness of physicians. He comes also to be regarded as a mighty hero in war, and, in this capacity generally, he fills a great role in the Assyrian religion.
Ramman is the god of storms and thunder among the Babylonians and in the Assyrian pantheon he is usually called Adad. This form of the name is doubtless connected with the Aramaic god Hadad. In the Sumerian period his name seems to have been Ishkur. His wife is called Shala.
The name Tammuz is derived from the Sumerian Dumuzi-zuab ("real child of the water depths"). He is a god of vegetation which is revived by the rains of the spring. Tammuz never became one of the great gods of the pantheon, but his popularity far exceeded that of the many gods who were regarded as greater than he. His worship is associated with that of Ishtar whose paramour he was, and the beautiful story of the descent of Ishtar to Hades was written to describe Ishtar's pursuit of him to the depths of the under-world seeking to bring him up again. His disappearance in the under-world is associated with the disappearance of vegetation under the midsummer heat which revives again when the rain comes and the god appears once more on the earth. The cult of Tammuz survived the decay of Babylonian and Assyrian civilization and made its way into the western world. It was similar in some respects to that of Osiris in Egypt, but was not so beautiful or so humane.
The supreme god of Assyria, Asshur, was originally the local god of the city which bears the same name. During the whole of Assyrian history his chief role is as the god of war, but the speculative philosophers of Assyria absorbed into him many of the characteristics of Ellil and Marduk, going even so far as to ascribe to him the chief place in the conflict with the sea monster Tiamat in the creation epoch.
V. Hymns and Prayers.
The religious literature of the Babylonians and Assyrians culminated in a great series of hymns to the gods. These have come down to us from almost all periods of the religious history of the people. Some of them go back to the days of the old city-kingdoms and others were composed during the reign of Nabonidus when the fall of Babylon at the hands of Cyrus was imminent. The greatest number of those that have come down to us are dedicated to Shamash, the Sun-god, but many of the finest, as we have already seen, were composed in honor of Sin, the Moon-god. None of these reached monotheism. All are polytheistic, with perhaps tendencies in the direction of pantheism or henotheism. This incapacity to reach monotheism may have been partially due to the influence of the local city whose tendency was always to hold tightly to the honor of the local god. Babylonia might struggle never so hard to lift Marduk to high and still higher position, but in spite of all its efforts he remains to the very end of the days only one god among many. And even the greatest of the Babylonian kings, Nebuchadrezzar and Nabonidus, continued to pay honor to Shamash in Sippar, whose temple they continually rebuilt and adorned with ever greater magnificence. Better than any description of the hymns is a specimen adequately to show their quality. Here are some lines taken from an ancient Sumerian hymn to the Moon-god which had been copied and preserved with an Assyrian translation in the library of Ashurbanipal: + O Lord, chief of the gods, who alone art exalted on earth and in heaven, Father Nannar, Lord, Anshar, chief of the gods, Father Nannar, Lord, great Ann, chief of the gods, Father Nannar, Lord, Sin, chief of the gods, Father Nanbar, Lord of Ur, chief of the gods, Father Nannar, Lord of E-gish-shir-gal, chief of the gods, Father Nannar, Lord of the veil, brilliant one, chief of the gods, Father Nannar, whose rule is perfect, chief of the gods, Father Nannar, who does march in great majesty, chief of the gods, O strong, young bull, with strong horns, perfect in muscles, with beard of lapis lazuli color, full of glory and perfection, Self-created, full of developed fruit, beautiful to look upon, in whose being one cannot sufficiently sate himself; Mother womb, begetter of all things, who has taken up his exalted habitation among living creatures; O merciful, gracious father, in whose hand rests the life of the whole world, O Lord, thy divinity is full of awe, like the far-off heaven and the broad ocean. O creator of the land, founder of sanctuaries, proclaimer of their names, O father, begetter of gods and men, who dost build dwellings and establish offerings, Who dost call to lordship, dost bestow the scepter, determinest destinies for far-off days. Much of this is full of fine religious feeling, and the exaltation of Sin sounds as though the poet could scarcely acknowledge any other god, but the proof that other gods were invoked in the same terms and by the same kings is plentiful.
Some of these hymns are connected with magical and incantation literature, for they serve to introduce passages which are intended to drive away evil demons. A very few of them on the other hand rise to very lofty conceptions in which the god is praised as a judge of righteousness. A few lines from the greatest of all the hymns addressed to Shamash, the Sun-god, will make this plain:
COLUMN II + Who plans evil-his horn thou dost destroy, 40 Whoever in fixing boundaries annuls rights. The unjust judge thou restrainest with force. Whoever accepts a bribe, who does not judge justly-on him thou imposest sin. But he who does not accept a bribe, who has a care for the oppressed, To him Shamash is gracious, his life he prolongs. 45 The judge who renders a just decision Shall end in a palace, the place of princes shall be his dwelling. - COLUMN III + The seed of those who act unjustly shall not flourish. What their mouth declares in thy presence Thou shalt burn it up, what they purpose wilt thou annul. 15 Thou knowest their transgressions: the declaration of the wicked thou dost cast aside. Everyone, wherever he may be, is in thy care. Thou directest their judgments, the imprisoned dost thou liberate. Thou hearest, O Shamash, petition, prayer, and appeal. Humility, prostration, petitioning, and reverence. 20 With loud voice the unfortunate one cries to thee. The weak, the exhausted, the oppressed, the lowly, Mother, wife, maid appeal to thee. He who is removed from his family, he that dwelleth far from his city. - There is in this hymn no suggestion of magic or sorcery. We cannot but feel how close this poet came to an appreciation of the Sun-god as a judge of men on an ethical basis. How near he was to passing through the vale into a larger religious life!
The prayers are on the whole upon a lower plane, though some of them, notably those of Nebuchadrezzar, reach lofty conceptions. The following may serve as a sufficient example:
O eternal ruler, lord of all being, grant that the name of the king that thou lovest, whose. name thou hast proclaimed. may flourish as seems pleasing to thee. Lead him in the right way. I am the prince that obeys thee, the creature of thy hand. Thou hast created me, and hast entrusted to me dominion over mankind. According to thy mercy, O Lord, which thou bestowest upon all, may thy supreme rule be merciful! The worship of thy divinity implant in my heart! Grant me what seems good to thee, for thou art he that hast fashioned my life.
Next in importance to the gods in the Babylonian religion are the demons who had the power to afflict men with manifold diseases of body or mind. A large part of the religion seems to have been given up to an agonized struggle against these demons, and the gods were everywhere approached by prayer to assist men against these demons. An immense mass of incantations, supposed to have the power of driving the demons out, has come down to us. The use of these incantations lay chiefly in the hands of the priests who attached great importance to specific words or sets of words. The test of time was supposed to have shown that certain words were efficacious in certain instances. If in any case the result was not secured, it could only be ascribed to the use of the wrong formula; hence there grew up a great desire to preserve exactly the words which in some cases had brought healing. Later these incantations were gathered into groups or rituals classified according to purpose or use. Of the rituals which have come down to us, the following are the most important:
Maqlu, i.e. "burning," so called because there are in it many symbolic burnings of images or witches. This series is used in the delivering of sufferers from witches or sorcerers.
Shurpu is another word for burning, and this series also deals much in symbolic burnings and for the same purposes as the former. In these incantations we make the acquaintance of a large number of strange demons such as the rabisu, a demon that springs unawares on its victims; the labartu, which attacks women and children; and the lilu and the lilitu, to which reference has been made before, and the utuku, a strong demon.
These incantations are for the most part a wretched jargon without meaning, and a sad commentary on the low position occupied by the religion which has attained such noble heights as that represented in the hymns and prayers. It is strange that the higher forms of religion were not able to drive out the lower, but these incantations continued to be carefully copied and used down to the very end of the Babylonian commonwealth.
VII. The Last Things.
In Babylonia, the great question of all the ages-"If a man die shall he live again?"-was asked and an attempt made to answer it. The answer was usually sad and depressing. After death the souls of men were supposed to continue in existence. It can hardly be called life. The place to which they have gone is called the "land of no return." There they lived in dark rooms amid the dust and the bats covered with a garment of feathers, and under the dominion of Nergal and Ereshkigal. When the soul arrived among the dead he had to pass judgment before the judges of the dead, the Annunaki, but little has been preserved for us concerning the manner of this judgment. There seems to have been at times an idea that it might be possible for the dead to return again to life, for in this underworld there was the water of life, which was used when the god Tammuz returned again to earth. The Babylonians seem not to have attached so much importance to this after-existence as did the Egyptians, but they did practice burial and not cremation, and placed often with the dead articles which might be used in his future existence. In earlier times the dead were buried in their own houses, and among the rich this custom seems to have prevailed until the very latest times. For others the custom of burying in an acropolis was adopted, and near the city of Kutha was an acropolis which was especially famous. In the future world there seem to have been distinctions made among the dead.
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ASSYRIA AND BABYLONIA, RELIGION OF
See BABYLONIA AND ASSYRIA, RELIGION OF.
Easton's Bible Dictionary
The name derived from the city Asshur on the Tigris, the original capital of the country, was originally a colony from Babylonia, and was ruled by viceroys from that kingdom. It was a mountainous region lying to the north of Babylonia, extending along the Tigris as far as to the high mountain range of Armenia, the Gordiaean or Carduchian mountains. It was founded in B.C. 1700 under Bel-kap-kapu, and became an independent and a conquering power, and shook off the yoke of its Babylonian masters. It subdued the whole of Northern Asia. The Assyrians were Semites (Genesis 10:22
), but in process of time non-Semite tribes mingled with the inhabitants. They were a military people, the "Romans of the East."
Of the early history of the kingdom of Assyria little is positively known. In B.C. 1120 Tiglath-pileser I., the greatest of the Assyrian kings, "crossed the Euphrates, defeated the kings of the Hittites, captured the city of Carchemish, and advanced as far as the shores of the Mediterranean." He may be regarded as the founder of the first Assyrian empire. After this the Assyrians gradually extended their power, subjugating the states of Northern Syria. In the reign of Ahab, king of Israel, Shalmaneser II. marched an army against the Syrian states, whose allied army he encountered and vanquished at Karkar. This led to Ahab's casting off the yoke of Damascus and allying himself with Judah. Some years after this the Assyrian king marched an army against Hazael, king of Damascus. He besieged and took that city. He also brought under tribute Jehu, and the cities of Tyre and Sidon.
About a hundred years after this (B.C. 745) the crown was seized by a military adventurer called Pul, who assumed the name of Tiglath-pileser III. He directed his armies into Syria, which had by this time regained its independence, and took (B.C. 740) Arpad, near Aleppo, after a siege of three years, and reduced Hamath. Azariah (Uzziah) was an ally of the king of Hamath, and thus was compelled by Tiglath-pileser to do him homage and pay a yearly tribute.
In B.C. 738, in the reign of Menahem, king of Israel, Pul invaded Israel, and imposed on it a heavy tribute (2 Kings 15:19). Ahaz, the king of Judah, when engaged in a war against Israel and Syria, appealed for help to this Assyrian king by means of a present of gold and silver (2 Kings 16:8); who accordingly "marched against Damascus, defeated and put Rezin to death, and besieged the city itself." Leaving a portion of his army to continue the siege, "he advanced through the province east of Jordan, spreading fire and sword," and became master of Philistia, and took Samaria and Damascus. He died B.C. 727, and was succeeded by Shalmanezer IV., who ruled till B.C. 722. He also invaded Syria (2 Kings 17:5), but was deposed in favour of Sargon (q.v.) the Tartan, or commander-in-chief of the army, who took Samaria (q.v.) after a siege of three years, and so put an end to the kingdom of Israel, carrying the people away into captivity, B.C. 722 (2 Kings 17:1-6, 24; 18:7, 9). He also overran the land of Judah, and took the city of Jerusalem (Isaiah 10:6, 12, 22, 24, 34). Mention is next made of Sennacherib (B.C. 705), the son and successor of Sargon (2 Kings 18:13; 19:37; Isaiah 7:17, 18); and then of Esar-haddon, his son and successor, who took Manasseh, king of Judah, captive, and kept him for some time a prisoner at Babylon, which he alone of all the Assyrian kings made the seat of his government (2 Kings 19:37; Isaiah 37:38).
Assur-bani-pal, the son of Esarhaddon, became king, and in Ezra 4:10 is referred to as Asnapper. From an early period Assyria had entered on a conquering career, and having absorbed Babylon, the kingdoms of Hamath, Damascus, and Samaria, it conquered Phoenicia, and made Judea feudatory, and subjected Philistia and Idumea. At length, however, its power declined. In B.C. 727 the Babylonians threw off the rule of the Assyrians, under the leadership of the powerful Chaldean prince Merodach-baladan (2 Kings 20:12), who, after twelve years, was subdued by Sargon, who now reunited the kingdom, and ruled over a vast empire. But on his death the smouldering flames of rebellion again burst forth, and the Babylonians and Medes successfully asserted their independence (B.C. 625), and Assyria fell according to the prophecies of Isaiah (10:5-19), Nahum (3:19), and Zephaniah (3:13), and the many separate kingdoms of which it was composed ceased to recognize the "great king" (2 Kings 18:19; Isaiah 36:4). Ezekiel (31) attests (about B.C. 586) how completely Assyria was overthrown. It ceases to be a nation. (see NINEVEH; BABYLON.)
Strong's Hebrew8020. Shalman -- probably a king of Assyria...
<< 8019b, 8020. Shalman. 8021 >>. probably a king of Assyria
. Transliteration: Shalman
Phonetic Spelling: (shal-man') Short Definition: Shalman. ... /hebrew/8020.htm - 6k
3641b. Kalneh -- a city conquered by Assyria
... << 3641a, 3641b. Kalneh. 3642 >>. a city conquered by Assyria. Transliteration:
Kalneh Short Definition: Calneh. Word Origin from the ...
/hebrew/3641b.htm - 5k
804. Ashshuwr -- step, going
... << 803, 804. Ashshuwr. 804a >>. step, going. Transliteration: Ashshuwr Phonetic
Spelling: (ash-shoor') Short Definition: Asshur. Asshur, Assur, Assyria, Assyrians ...
/hebrew/804.htm - 5k
3625. Kelach -- a city in Assyr.
... NASB Word Usage Calah (2). Kelach, a place in Assyria. The same as kelach; Kelach,
a place in Assyria: see HEBREW kelach. << 3624, 3625. Kelach. 3626 >>. ...
/hebrew/3625.htm - 6k
804b. Ashshur -- the second son of Shem, also the people of Asshur ...
... Transliteration: Ashshur Short Definition: Assyria. ... NASB Word Usage Asshur (5), Assyria
(132), Assyrian (5), Assyrians (6), Assyrians* (3). << 804a, 804b. ...
/hebrew/804b.htm - 5k
2249. Chabor -- a river of Assyr.
... NASB Word Usage Habor (3). Habor. From chabar; united; Chabor, a river of Assyria --
Habor. see HEBREW chabar. << 2248, 2249. Chabor. 2250 >>. Strong's Numbers.
/hebrew/2249.htm - 6k
1784. Diynay -- judges
... Dinaite (Aramaic) partial from uncertain primitive; a Dinaite or inhabitant of some
unknown Assyria province -- Dinaite. << 1783, 1784. Diynay. 1784a >>. ...
/hebrew/1784.htm - 5k
3377. Yareb -- "let him contend," the name of an Assyrian king
... king NASB Word Usage Jareb (2). Jareb. From riyb; he will contend; Jareb, a symbolical
name for Assyria -- Jareb. Compare Yariyb. see HEBREW riyb. ...
/hebrew/3377.htm - 6k
2477. Chalach -- an area under Assyr. control
... control NASB Word Usage Halah (3). Halah. Probably of foreign origin; Chalach, a
region of Assyria -- Halah. << 2476, 2477. Chalach. 2478 >>. Strong's Numbers.
/hebrew/2477.htm - 6k
5614. Sephared -- the location of some exiles
... 1). Sepharad. Of foreign derivation; Sepharad, a region of Assyria -- Sepharad.
<< 5613c, 5614. Sephared. 5615 >>. Strong's Numbers.
/hebrew/5614.htm - 6k
Assyria: Alliances With, Sought by Judah and Israel
Assyria: An Empire Founded by Nimrod
Assyria: Antiquity and Origin of
Assyria: Armies of, Described
Assyria: Army of, Destroyed by the Angel of the Lord
Assyria: As a Power, Was: An Instrument of God's Vengeance
Assyria: As a Power, Was: Cruel and Destructive
Assyria: As a Power, Was: Intolerant and Oppressive
Assyria: As a Power, Was: Most Formidable
Assyria: As a Power, Was: Proud and Haughty
Assyria: As a Power, Was: Selfish and Reserved
Assyria: As a Power, Was: Unfaithful
Assyria: Called: Asshur
Assyria: Called: Shinar
Assyria: Called: The Land of Nimrod
Assyria: Celebrated For: Extensive Commerce
Assyria: Celebrated For: Extent of Conquests
Assyria: Celebrated For: Fertility
Assyria: Chief Men of, Described
Assyria: Commerce of
Assyria: Condemned for Oppressing God's People
Assyria: Governed by Kings
Assyria: Idolatry of, Brought Into Samaria
Assyria: Idolatry, the Religion of
Assyria: Invaded by Pharaoh-Necho
Assyria: Israel Condemned for Trusting To
Assyria: Israelites Carried Captive Into
Assyria: Israelites Subject To
Assyria: It Extended from East of the Tigris
Assyria: Its Armies Invade the Land of Israel Under Pul
Assyria: Jews Carried Captive To
Assyria: Judah Condemned for Trusting To
Assyria: Manasseh Taken Captive To
Assyria: Nineveh, Chief City of
Assyria: Possibly to Egypt
Assyria: Predictions Respecting: Conquest and Captivity of Israel By
Assyria: Predictions Respecting: Conquest of Syria By
Assyria: Predictions Respecting: Conquest of the Kenites By
Assyria: Predictions Respecting: Destruction of
Assyria: Predictions Respecting: Invasion of Judah By
Assyria: Predictions Respecting: Participation in the Blessings of the Gospel
Assyria: Predictions Respecting: Restoration of Israel From
Assyria: Productiveness of
Assyria: Prophecies Concerning
Assyria: Prophecies of Captivity of Israelites In
Assyria: Pul King of Brought off by Menahem
Assyria: Pul King of Invaded Israel
Assyria: Sennacherib King of Assassinated by his Sons
Assyria: Sennacherib King of Blasphemed the Lord
Assyria: Sennacherib King of Bought off by Hezekiah
Assyria: Sennacherib King of His Army Destroyed by God
Assyria: Sennacherib King of Insulted and Threatened Judah
Assyria: Sennacherib King of Invaded Judah
Assyria: Sennacherib King of Prayed Against by Hezekiah
Assyria: Sennacherib King of Reproved for Pride and Blasphemy
Assyria: Shalmaneser King of Carried Israel Captive
Assyria: Shalmaneser King of Imprisoned Hoshea
Assyria: Shalmaneser King of Reduced Israel to Tribute
Assyria: Shalmaneser King of Re-Peopled Samaria from Assyria
Assyria: Shalmaneser King of Was Conspired Against by Hoshea
Assyria: Situated Beyond the Euphrates
Assyria: The Greatness, Extent, Duration, and Fall, Illustrated
Assyria: The Jews Condemned for Following the Idolatries of
Assyria: The Re-Peopling of Samaria From, Completed by Asnappar
Assyria: Tiglathpileser King of Asked to Aid Ahaz Against Syria
Assyria: Tiglathpileser King of Conquered Syria
Assyria: Tiglathpileser King of Ravaged Israel
Assyria: Tiglathpileser King of Took Money from Ahaz, But Strengthened Him Not
Assyria: Watered by the River Tigris
Assyria's (1 Occurrence)
Tiglath-pileser (6 Occurrences)
Tiglathpileser (3 Occurrences)
Rab'shakeh (14 Occurrences)
Rab-shakeh (14 Occurrences)
Sennach'erib (13 Occurrences)
Assyrian (18 Occurrences)
Deported (12 Occurrences)
Ashurbanipal (1 Occurrence)
Rabshakeh (15 Occurrences)
Nimrod (4 Occurrences)
Gozan (5 Occurrences)
Halah (4 Occurrences)
Asshur (133 Occurrences)
Sennacherib (13 Occurrences)
Shalmaneser (3 Occurrences)
Chaldeans (82 Occurrences)
Assur (2 Occurrences)
Exile (101 Occurrences)
Menahem (8 Occurrences)
Habor (3 Occurrences)
Esarhaddon (3 Occurrences)
Assyrians (15 Occurrences)
Medes (15 Occurrences)
Chaldea (8 Occurrences)
Pekah (11 Occurrences)
Jareb (2 Occurrences)
Immanuel (3 Occurrences)
Tig'lath-pile'ser (3 Occurrences)
Tillegath-pilneser (3 Occurrences)
Tilgathpilneser (3 Occurrences)
Tilgath (3 Occurrences)
Tilgath-pilneser (3 Occurrences)
Tiglath (3 Occurrences)
Til'gath-pilne'ser (3 Occurrences)
Trustest (8 Occurrences)
Tartan (2 Occurrences)
Rehoboth-ir (1 Occurrence)
Rab-saris (3 Occurrences)
Rabsaris (3 Occurrences)
Exacted (9 Occurrences)
Pileser (3 Occurrences)
Pul (3 Occurrences)
Pilneser (3 Occurrences)
Sargon (1 Occurrence)
Withdrew (55 Occurrences)
Rely (31 Occurrences)
Placing (44 Occurrences)
Marched (51 Occurrences)
Lachish (22 Occurrences)
Persuade (20 Occurrences)
Nebo (13 Occurrences)
Janoah (3 Occurrences)
Lud (10 Occurrences)
Ludim (3 Occurrences)
Ijon (3 Occurrences)
Invaded (20 Occurrences)
Reubenite (16 Occurrences)
Rezin (11 Occurrences)
Envoys (16 Occurrences)
Men'ahem (8 Occurrences)
Besieged (34 Occurrences)
Bargain (7 Occurrences)
Basing (7 Occurrences)
Conspiracy (17 Occurrences)
Acco (2 Occurrences)
Abel-beth-maacah (2 Occurrences)
Asherah (40 Occurrences)
Astarte (2 Occurrences)
Ashtoreth (3 Occurrences)
Sharezer (5 Occurrences)
Shalman (1 Occurrence)
Judith (1 Occurrence)
Carchemish (3 Occurrences)
Prisoners (170 Occurrences)