LMLK--Non-Biblical Accounts

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Josephus, "The Antiquities of the Jews"

Sennacherib, Chicago Prism (almost identical to the Taylor Prism)

Sennacherib, Lachish Frieze


(NOTE:  He relates this Egyptian story that some historians refer to as a more believable account of Sennacherib's army being devastated.)

The next king, I was told, was a priest of Vulcan, called Sethos.  This monarch despised and neglected the warrior class of the Egyptians, as though he did not need their services.  Among other indignities which he offered them, he took from them the lands which they had possessed under all the previous kings, consisting of twelve acres of choice land for each warrior.  Afterwards, therefore, when Sanacharib, king of the Arabians and Assyrians, marched his vast army into Egypt, the warriors one and all refused to come to his aid.  On this the monarch, greatly distressed, entered into the inner sanctuary, and, before the image of the god, bewailed the fate which impended over him. As he wept he fell asleep, and dreamed that the god came and stood at his side, bidding him be of good cheer, and go boldly forth to meet the Arabian host, which would do him no hurt, as he himself would send those who should help him.  Sethos, then, relying on the dream, collected such of the Egyptians as were willing to follow him, who were none of them warriors, but traders, artisans, and market people; and with these marched to Pelusium, which commands the entrance into Egypt, and there pitched his camp.  As the two armies lay here opposite one another, there came in the night, a multitude of field-mice, which devoured all the quivers and bowstrings of the enemy, and ate the thongs by which they managed their shields.  Next morning they commenced their fight, and great multitudes fell, as they had no arms with which to defend themselves.  There stands to this day in the temple of Vulcan, a stone statue of Sethos, with a mouse in his hand, and an inscription to this effect - "Look on me, and learn to reverence the gods."

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1_About the same time Pekah, the king of Israel, died by the treachery of a friend of his, whose name was Hoshea, who retained the kingdom nine years' time, but was a wicked man, and a despiser of the Divine worship; and Shalmaneser, the king of Assyria, made an expedition against him, and overcame him, (which must have been because he had not God favorable nor assistant to him,) and brought him to submission, and ordered him to pay an appointed tribute.  Now, in the fourth year of the reign of Hoshea, Hezekiah, the son of Ahaz, began to reign in Jerusalem; and his mother's name was Abijah, a citizen of Jerusalem.  His nature was good, and righteous, and religious; for when he came to the kingdom, he thought that nothing was prior, or more necessary, or more advantageous to himself, and to his subjects, than to worship God.  Accordingly, he called the people together, and the priests, and the Levites, and made a speech to them, and said, "You are not ignorant how, by the sins of my father, who transgressed that sacred honor which was due to God, you have had experience of many and great miseries, while you were corrupted in your mind by him, and were induced to worship those which he supposed to be gods; I exhort you, therefore, who have learned by sad experience how dangerous a thing impiety is, to put that immediately out of your memory, and to purify yourselves from your former pollutions, and to open the temple to these priests and Levites who are here convened, and to cleanse it with the accustomed sacrifices, and to recover all to the ancient honor which our fathers paid to it; for by this means we may render God favorable, and he will remit the anger he hath had to us."
2_When the king had said this, the priests opened the temple; and when they had set in order the vessels of God, and east out what was impure, they laid the accustomed sacrifices upon the altar.  The king also sent to the country that was under him, and called the people to Jerusalem to celebrate the feast of unleavened bread, for it had been intermitted a long time, on account of the wickedness of the forementioned kings.  He also sent to the Israelites, and exhorted them to leave off their present way of living, and return to their ancient practices, and to worship God, for that he gave them leave to come to Jerusalem, and to celebrate, all in one body, the feast of unleavened bread; and this he said was by way of invitation only, and to be done of their own good-will, and for their own advantage, and not out of obedience to him, because it would make them happy.  But the Israelites, upon the coming of the ambassadors, and upon their laying before them what they had in charge from their own king, were so far from complying therewith, that they laughed the ambassadors to scorn, and mocked them as fools: as also they affronted the prophets, which gave them the same exhortations, and foretold what they would suffer if they did not return to the worship of God, insomuch that at length they caught them, and slew them; nor did this degree of transgressing suffice them, but they had more wicked contrivances than what have been described: nor did they leave off, before God, as a punishment for their impiety, brought them under their enemies: but of that more hereafter.  However, many there were of the tribe of Manasseh, and of Zebulon, and of Issachar, who were obedient to what the prophets exhorted them to do, and returned to the worship of God.  Now all these came running to Jerusalem, to Hezekiah, that they might worship God [there].
3_When these men were come, king Hezekiah went up into the temple, with the rulers and all the people, and offered for himself seven bulls, and as many rams, with seven lambs, and as many kids of the goats.  The king also himself, and the rulers, laid their hands on the heads of the sacrifices, and permitted the priests to complete the sacred offices about them.  So they both slew the sacrifices, and burnt the burnt-offerings, while the Levites stood round about them, with their musical instruments, and sang hymns to God, and played on their psalteries, as they were instructed by David to do, and this while the rest of the priests returned the music, and sounded the trumpets which they had in their hands; and when this was done, the king and the multitude threw themselves down upon their face, and worshipped God.  He also sacrificed seventy bulls, one hundred rams, and two hundred lambs.  He also granted the multitude sacrifices to feast upon, six hundred oxen, and three thousand other cattle; and the priests performed all things according to the law.  Now the king was so pleased herewith, that he feasted with the people, and returned thanks to God; but as the feast of unleavened bread was now come, when they had offered that sacrifice which is called the passover, they after that offered other sacrifices for seven days.  When the king had bestowed on the multitude, besides what they sanctified of themselves, two thousand bulls, and seven thousand other cattle, the same thing was done by the rulers; for they gave them a thousand bulls, and a thousand and forty other cattle.  Nor had this festival been so well observed from the days of king Solomon, as it was now first observed with great splendor and magnificence; and when the festival was ended, they went out into the country and purged it, and cleansed the city of all the pollution of the idols.  The king also gave order that the daily sacrifices should be offered, at his own charges, and according to the law; and appointed that the tithes and the first-fruits should be given by the multitude to the priests and Levites, that they might constantly attend upon Divine service, and never be taken off from the worship of God.  Accordingly, the multitude brought together all sorts of their fruits to the priests and the Levites.  The king also made garners and receptacles for these fruits, and distributed them to every one of the priests and Levites, and to their children and wives; and thus did they return to their old form of Divine worship.  Now when the king had settled these matters after the manner already described, he made war upon the Philistines, and beat them, and possessed himself of all the enemy's cities, from Gaza to Gath; but the king of Assyria sent to him, and threatened to overturn all his dominions, unless he would pay him the tribute which his father paid him formerly; but king Hezekiah was not concerned at his threatenings, but depended on his piety towards God, and upon Isaiah the prophet, by whom he inquired and accurately knew all future events.  And thus much shall suffice for the present concerning this king Hezekiah.
1_It was now the fourteenth year of the government of Hezekiah, king of the two tribes, when the king of Assyria, whose name was Sennacherib, made an expedition against him with a great army, and took all the cities of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin by force; and when he was ready to bring his army against Jerusalem, Hezekiah sent ambassadors to him beforehand, and promised to submit, and pay what tribute he should appoint.  Hereupon Sennacherib, when he heard of what offers the ambassadors made, resolved not to proceed in the war, but to accept of the proposals that were made him; and if he might receive three hundred talents of silver, and thirty talents of gold, he promised that he would depart in a friendly manner; and he gave security upon oath to the ambassadors that he would then do him no harm, but go away as he came.  So Hezekiah submitted, and emptied his treasures, and sent the money, as supposing he should be freed from his enemy, and from any further distress about his kingdom.  Accordingly, the Assyrian king took it, and yet had no regard to what he had promised; but while he himself went to the war against the Egyptians and Ethiopians, he left his general Rabshakeh, and two other of his principal commanders, with great forces, to destroy Jerusalem.  The names of the two other commanders were Tartan and Rabsaris.
2_Now as soon as they were come before the walls, they pitched their camp, and sent messengers to Hezekiah, and desired that they might speak with him; but he did not himself come out to them for fear, but he sent three of his most intimate friends; the name of one was Eliakim, who was over the kingdom, and Shebna, and Joah the recorder.  So these men came out, and stood over against the commanders of the Assyrian army; and when Rabshakeh saw them, he bid them go and speak to Hezekiah in the manner following:  That Sennacherib, the great king, desires to know of him, on whom it is that he relies and depends, in flying from his lord, and will not hear him, nor admit his army into the city?  Is it on account of the Egyptians, and in hopes that his army would be beaten by them?  Whereupon he lets him know, that if this be what he expects, he is a foolish man, and like one who leans on a broken reed; while such a one will not only fall down, but will have his hand pierced and hurt by it.  That he ought to know he makes this expedition against him by the will of God, who hath granted this favor to him, that he shall overthrow the kingdom of Israel, and that in the very same manner he shall destroy those that are his subjects also.  When Rabshakeh had made this speech in the Hebrew tongue, for he was skillful in that language, Eliakim was afraid lest the multitude that heard him should be disturbed; so he desired him to speak in the Syrian tongue.  But the general, understanding what he meant, and perceiving the fear that he was in, he made his answer with a greater and a louder voice, but in the Hebrew tongue; and said, that "since they all heard what were the king's commands, they would consult their own advantage in delivering up themselves to us; for it is plain that both you and your king dissuade the people from submitting by vain hopes, and so induce them to resist; but if you be courageous, and think to drive our forces away, I am ready to deliver to you two thousand of these horses that are with me for your use, if you can set as many horsemen on their backs, and show your strength; but what you have not you cannot produce.  Why therefore do you delay to deliver up yourselves to a superior force, who can take you without your consent? although it will be safer for you to deliver yourselves up voluntarily, while a forcible capture, when you are beaten, must appear more dangerous, and will bring further calamities upon you."
3_When the people, as well as the ambassadors, heard what the Assyrian commander said, they related it to Hezekiah, who thereupon put off his royal apparel, and clothed himself with sackcloth, and took the habit of a mourner, and, after the manner of his country, he fell upon his face, and besought God, and entreated him to assist them, now they had no other hope of relief. He also sent some of his friends, and some of the priests, to the prophet Isaiah, and desired that he would pray to God, and offer sacrifices for their common deliverance, and so put up supplications to him, that he would have indignation at the expectations of their enemies, and have mercy upon his people.  And when the prophet had done accordingly, an oracle came from God to him, and encouraged the king and his friends that were about him; and foretold that their enemies should be beaten without fighting, and should go away in an ignominious manner, and not with that insolence which they now show, for that God would take care that they should be destroyed.  He also foretold that Sennacherib, the king of Assyria, should fail of his purpose against Egypt, and that when he came home he should perish by the sword.
4_About the same time also the king of Assyria wrote an epistle to Hezekiah, in which he said he was a foolish man, in supposing that he should escape from being his servant, since he had already brought under many and great nations; and he threatened, that when he took him, he would utterly destroy him, unless he now opened the gates, and willingly received his army into Jerusalem.  When he read this epistle, he despised it, on account of the trust that be had in God; but he rolled up the epistle, and laid it up within the temple.  And as he made his further prayers to God for the city, and for the preservation of all the people, the prophet Isaiah said that God had heard his prayer, and that he should not be besieged at this time by the king of Assyria that for the future he might be secure of not being at all disturbed by him; and that the people might go on peaceably, and without fear, with their husbandry and other affairs.  But after a little while the king of Assyria, when he had failed of his treacherous designs against the Egyptians, returned home without success, on the following occasion:  He spent a long time in the siege of Pelusium; and when the banks that he had raised over against the walls were of a great height, and when he was ready to make an immediate assault upon them, but heard that Tirhaka, king of the Ethiopians, was coming and bringing great forces to aid the Egyptians, and was resolved to march through the desert, and so to fall directly upon the Assyrians, this king Sennacherib was disturbed at the news, and, as I said before, left Pelusium, and returned back without success.  Now concerning this Sennacherib, Herodotus also says, in the second book of his histories, how "this king came against the Egyptian king, who was the priest of Vulcan; and that as he was besieging Pelusium, he broke up the siege on the following occasion:  This Egyptian priest prayed to God, and God heard his prayer, and sent a judgment upon the Arabian king."  But in this Herodotus was mistaken, when he called this king not king of the Assyrians, but of the Arabians; for he saith that "a multitude of mice gnawed to pieces in one night both the bows and the rest of the armor of the Assyrians, and that it was on that account that the king, when he had no bows left, drew off his army from Pelusium."  And Herodotus does indeed give us this history; nay, and Berosus, who wrote of the affairs of Chaldea, makes mention of this king Sennacherib, and that he ruled over the Assyrians, and that he made an expedition against all Asia and Egypt; and says thus:
5_"Now when Sennacherib was returning from his Egyptian war to Jerusalem, he found his army under Rabshakeh his general in danger [by a plague], for God had sent a pestilential distemper upon his army; and on the very first night of the siege, a hundred fourscore and five thousand, with their captains and generals, were destroyed.  So the king was in a great dread and in a terrible agony at this calamity; and being in great fear for his whole army, he fled with the rest of his forces to his own kingdom, and to his city Nineveh; and when he had abode there a little while, he was treacherously assaulted, and died by the hands of his elder sons, Adrammelech and Seraser, and was slain in his own temple, which was called Araske.  Now these sons of his were driven away on account of the murder of their father by the citizens, and went into Armenia, while Assarachoddas took the kingdom of Sennacherib."  And this proved to be the conclusion of this Assyrian expedition against the people of Jerusalem.
1_Now king Hezekiah being thus delivered, after a surprising manner, from the dread he was in, offered thank-offerings to God, with all his people, because nothing else had destroyed some of their enemies, and made the rest so fearful of undergoing the same fate that they departed from Jerusalem, but that Divine assistance.  Yet, while he was very zealous and diligent about the worship of God, did he soon afterwards fall into a severe distemper, insomuch that the physicians despaired of him, and expected no good issue of his sickness, as neither did his friends:  and besides the distemper itself, there was a very melancholy circumstance that disordered the king, which was the consideration that he was childless, and was going to die, and leave his house and his government without a successor of his own body; so he was troubled at the thoughts of this his condition, and lamented himself, and entreated of God that he would prolong his life for a little while till he had some children, and not suffer him to depart this life before he was become a father. Hereupon God had mercy upon him, and accepted of his supplication, because the trouble he was under at his supposed death was not because he was soon to leave the advantages he enjoyed in the kingdom, nor did he on that account pray that he might have a longer life afforded him, but in order to have sons, that might receive the government after him.  And God sent Isaiah the prophet, and commanded him to inform Hezekiah, that within three days' time he should get clear of his distemper, and should survive it fifteen years, and that he should have children also.  Now, upon the prophet's saying this, as God had commanded him, he could hardly believe it, both on account of the distemper he was under, which was very sore, and by reason of the surprising nature of what was told him; so he desired that Isaiah would give him some sign or wonder, that he might believe him in what he had said, and be sensible that he came from God; for things that are beyond expectation, and greater than our hopes, are made credible by actions of the like nature.  And when Isaiah had asked him what sign he desired to be exhibited, he desired that he would make the shadow of the sun, which he had already made to go down ten steps [or degrees] in his house, to return again to the same place, and to make it as it was before. And when the prophet prayed to God to exhibit this sign to the king, he saw what he desired to see, and was freed from his distemper, and went up to the temple, where he worshipped God, and made vows to him.
2_At this time it was that the dominion of the Assyrians was overthrown by the Medes; but of these things I shall treat elsewhere.  But the king of Babylon, whose name was Baladan, sent ambassadors to Hezekiah, with presents, and desired he would be his ally and his friend.  So he received the ambassadors gladly, and made them a feast, and showed them his treasures, and his armory, and the other wealth he was possessed of, in precious stones and in gold, and gave them presents to be carried to Baladan, and sent them back to him.  Upon which the prophet Isaiah came to him, and inquired of him whence those ambassadors came; to which he replied, that they came from Babylon, from the king; and that he had showed them all he had, that by the sight of his riches and forces he might thereby guess at [the plenty he was in], and be able to inform the king of it.  But the prophet rejoined, and said, "Know thou, that, after a little while, these riches of thine shall be carried away to Babylon, and thy posterity shall be made eunuchs there, and lose their manhood, and be servants to the king of Babylon; for that God foretold such things would come to pass."  Upon which words Hezekiah was troubled, and said that he was himself unwilling that his nation should fall into such calamities; yet since it is not possible to alter what God had determined, he prayed that there might be peace while he lived.  Berosus also makes mention of this Baladan, king of Babylon.  Now as to this prophet [Isaiah], he was by the confession of all, a divine and wonderful man in speaking truth; and out of the assurance that he had never written what was false, he wrote down all his prophecies, and left them behind him in books, that their accomplishment might be judged of from the events by posterity:  nor did this prophet do so alone, but the others, which were twelve in number, did the same.  And whatsoever is done among us, Whether it be good, or whether it be bad, comes to pass according to their prophecies; but of every one of these we shall speak hereafter.
1_When king Hezekiah had survived the interval of time already mentioned, and had dwelt all that time in peace, he died, having completed fifty-four years of his life, and reigned twenty-nine.

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[Column 1]
1_Sennacherib, the great king,
2_the mighty king, king of the world, king of Assyria,
3_king of the four quarters, the wise shepherd,
4_favorite of the great gods, guardian of right,
5_lover of justice, who lends support,
6_who comes to the aid of the destitute, who performs pious acts,
7_perfect hero, mighty man,
8_first among all princes, the powerful one who consumes
9_the insubmissive, who strikes the wicked with the thunderbolt;
10_the god Assur, the great mountain, an unrivaled kinship
11_has entrusted to me, and above all those
12_who dwell in palaces, has made powerful my weapons;
13_from the upper sea of the setting sun
14_to the lower sea of the rising sun,
15_he has brought the black-headed people in submission at my feet;
16_and mighty kings feared my warfare,
17_leaving their homes and
18_flying alone, like the sidinnu, the bird of the cave,
19_to some inaccessible place.
20_IN MY FIRST CAMPAIGN I accomplished the defeat of Morodach-baladan,
21_king of Babylonia, together with the army of Elam,
22_his ally, on the plain of Kish.
23_In the midst of that battle he deserted his camp,
24_and he escaped alone, so he saved his own life.
25_The chariots, horses, wagons, mules,
26_which he left behind at the beginning of the battle
27_my hands siezed.  Into his palace, which is in
28_Babylon, I entered jubilantly.
29_I opened his treasure-house:  gold, silver, vessels of gold and silver,
30_precious stones of every name, goods and property
31_without limit, heavy tribute, his harem,
32_courtiers and officials, singers--male and
33_female--all his artisans,
34_as many as there were, his palace servants
35_I brought out, and I counted as spoil.  In the might of Assur
36_my lord, seventy-five of his strong walled cities
37_of Chaldea, and 420 small cities
38_of their area I surrounded, I conquered, I carried off their spoil.
39_The Arabs, Arameans, and Chaldeans
40_who were in Erech, Nippur, Kish, Harsagkalamma,
41_Kutha and Sippar, together with the citizens,
42_the rebels I brought out and counted as booty.
43_On my return, the Tu'muna,
44_Rihihu, Yadakku, Ubudu,
45_Kibre, Malahu, Gurumu,
46_Ubulu, Damunu, Gambulu,
47_Hindaru, Ru'ua, Bukudu,
48_Hamranu, Hagaranu, Nabatu,
49_Li'tau, Arameans who were not submissive--
50_I conquered all of them.  208,000 people, great and small,
51_male and female, horses, mules, asses,
52_camels, cattle and sheep, without number--
53_a heavy booty--I carried off to Assyria
54_In the course of my campaign, I received from Nabu-bel-shumate,
55_governor of the city of Hararate:  gold, silver, great musukkani-trees,
56_asses, camels, cattle, and sheep
57_as his onerous contribution.  The warriors of
58_Hirimme, wicked enemies, I cut down with the sword.
59_No one escaped.  Their corpses
60_I hung on stakes, surrounding the city (with them).
61_That district I reorganized:  one ox,
62_ten lambs, ten homers of wine, twenty homers of dates,
63_its choicest, for the gods of Assyria,
64_my lords, I established for all time.
65_IN MY SECOND CAMPAIGN, Assur, my lord, encouraged me, and
66_against the land of the Kassites and the land of the Yasubigallai,
67_who from of old had not been submissive to the kings, my ancestors,
68_I marched.  In the midst of the high mountains
69_I rode on horseback where the terrain was difficult,
70_and had my chariot drawn up with ropes:
71_where it became too steep, I clambered up on foot like the wild-ox.
72_The cities of Bit-Kilamzah, Hardishpi
73_and Bit-Kubatti, their strong, walled cities,
74_I besieged, I captured.  People, horses,
75_mules, asses, cattle, and sheep,
76_I brought out from their midst and counted as booty.
77_And their small cities, which were beyond numbering
78_I destroyed, I devastated, and I turned into ruins.  The houses of the steppe, (namely) the tents,
79_in which they lived, I set on fire and
80_turned them into flames.  I turned round, and
81_made that Bit-Kilamzah into a fortress--
82_I made its walls stronger than they had ever been before--

1_and settled in it people of the lands my hands had conquered.
2_The people of the land of the Kassites and the land of the Yasubigallai,
3_who had fled before my arms,
4_I brought down out of the mountains and
5_settled them in Hardishpi and Bit-Kubatti.
6_Into the hand of my official, the governor of Arapha,
7_I placed them.  I had a stele made, and
8_the might of my conquering hand which I had
9_established upon them, I had inscribed on it.
10_I set it up in the midst of the city.  The front of my yoke I turned around and
11_took the road to the land of the Elippi.
12_Before me Ispabara, their king,
13_abandoned his strong cities, his treasurehouses,
14_and fled to the distant parts.
15_Over the whole of his wide land I swept like a hurricane.
16_The cities Marubishti and Akkuddu,
17_his royal residence-cities, together with thirty-four small towns
18_of their area, I besieged, I captured, I destroyed, I devastated,
19_I burned with fire.  The people, great and small, male and female,
20_horses, mules, asses, camels,
21_cattle, and sheep, without number I carried off.
22_I brought him to nothing; I diminished his land.
23_Sisirtu and Kummahlum,
24_strong cities, together with the small towns in their areas,
25_the district of Bit-Barru in its totality,
26_I cut off from his land and added it to the territory of Assyria.
27_Elenzash I turned into the royal city
28_and stronghold of that district.
29_I changed its former name, calling its name Kar-Sennacherib.
30_Peoples of the lands my hands had conquered
31_I settled in it. To my official,
32_the governor of Harhar, I handed it over. Thus I extended my land.
33-35_On my return, I received the heavy tribute of the distant Medes, whose name none of the kings, my fathers, had ever heard.
36_I made them submit to the yoke of my rule.
37_IN MY THIRD CAMPAIGN, I went against the Hittite-land.
38_Lule, king of Sidon, the terrifying splendor
39_of my sovereignty overcame him, and far off
40_into the midst of the sea he fled.  There he died.
41_Great Sidon, Little Sidon,
42_Bit-Zitti, Zaribtu, Mahalliba,
43_Ushu, Akzib, Akko,
44_his strong, walled cities, where there were fodder and drink,
45_for his garrisons, the terrors of the weapon of Assur,
46_my lord, overpowered them and they bowed in submission at my feet.
47_I seated Tuba'lu on the royal throne
48_over them, and tribute, gifts for my majesty,
49_I imposed upon him for all time, without ceasing.
50_From Menachem, the Shamsimurunite,
51_Tuba'lu the Sidonite,
52_Abdi-liti the Arvadite,
53_Uru-milki the Gublite,
54_Mitinti the Ashdodite
55_Budu-ilu the Beth Ammonite,
56_Kammusu-nadbi the Moabite,
57_Malik-rammu the Edomite,
58_kings of Amurru, all of them, numerous presents
59_as their heavy tribute,
60_they brought before me for the fourth time, and kissed my feet.  But Sidka,
61_the king of Ashkelon, who had not submitted
62_to my yoke, the gods of his father's house, himself, his wife,
63_his sons, his daughters, his brothers, the seed of his paternal house,
64_I tore away and brought to Assyria.
65_Sharru-lu-dari, son of Rukibti, their former king,
66_I set over the people of Ashkelon, and
67_I imposed upon him the payment of tribute:  presents to my majesty.
68_He accepted my yoke.  In the course of my campaign,
69_Beth-Dagon, Joppa,
70_Banaibarka, Asuru, cities
71_of Sidka, who had not speedily bowed in
72_submission at my feet, I besieged, I conquered, I carried off their spoil.
73_The officials, nobles, and people of Ekron,
74_who had thrown Padi their king--bound by oath and curse of Assyria--
75_into fetters of iron and
76-77_had given him over to Hezekiah, the Judahite--he kept him in confinement like an enemy--
78_their heart became afraid,
79_and they called upon the Egyptian kings, the bowmen, chariots and horses
80_of the king of Meluhha [Ethiopia], a countless host, and
81_these came to their aid.
82_In the neighborhood of Eltekeh,
83_their ranks being drawn up before me,

1_they offered battle.  With the aid of Assur,
2_my lord, I fought with them and
3_brought about their defeat.  The Egyptian charioteers and princes,
4_together with the Ethiopian king's charioteers,
5_my hands captured alive in the midst of the battle.
6_Eltekeh and Timnah
7_I besieged, I captured, and I took away their spoil.
8_I approached Ekron and slew the governors and nobles
9_who had rebelled, and
10_hung their bodies on stakes around the city.  The inhabitants
11_who rebelled and treated (Assyria) lightly I counted as spoil.
12_The rest of them, who were not guilty of rebellion
13_and contempt, for whom there was no punishment,
14_I declared their pardon.  Padi, their king,
15_I brought out from Jerusalem,
16_set him on the royal throne over them, and
17_imposed upon him my royal tribute.
18_As for Hezekiah the Judahite,
19_who did not submit to my yoke:  forty-six of his strong, walled cities, as well as
20_the small towns in their area,
21_which were without number, by levelling with battering-rams
22_and by bringing up siege-engines, and by attacking and storming on foot,
23_by mines, tunnels, and breeches, I besieged and took them.
24_200,150 {alternately translated by some scholars as 205,105 or 2,150} people, great and small, male and female,
25_horses, mules, asses, camels,
26_cattle and sheep without number, I brought away from them
27_and counted as spoil.  Himself [Hezekiah], like a caged bird
28_I shut up in Jerusalem, his royal city.
29_I threw up earthworks against him--
30_the one coming out of the city-gate, I turned back to his misery.
31_His cities, which I had despoiled, I cut off from his land, and
32_to Mitinti, king of Ashdod,
33_Padi, king of Ekron, and Silli-bel,
34_king of Gaza, I gave (them).  And thus I diminished his land.
35_I added to the former tribute,
36_and I laid upon him the surrender of their land and imposts--gifts for my majesty.
37_As for Hezekiah,
38_the terrifying splendor of my majesty overcame him, and
39_the Arabs and his mercenary troops which he had brought in to strengthen
40_Jerusalem, his royal city,
41_deserted him.  In addition to the thirty talents of gold and
42_eight hundred talents of silver, gems, antimony,
43_jewels, large carnelians, ivory-inlaid couches,
44_ivory-inlaid chairs, elephant hides, elephant tusks,
45_ebony, boxwood, all kinds of valuable treasures,
46_as well as his daughters, his harem, his male and female
47_musicians, which he had brought after me
48_to Nineveh, my royal city.  To pay tribute
49_and to accept servitude, he dispatched his messengers.
50_IN MY FOURTH CAMPAIGN, Assur, my lord, gave me courage, and
51_I mustered my numerous troops and gave the
52_command to proceed against Bit-Yakin.  In the course of my campaign,
53_I accomplished the overthrow of Shuzubi, the Chaldean, who sat in the midst of the swamps,
54_at Bitutu.
55_That one, the terror of my battle fell upon him, and
56_tore his heart; like a criminal he fled alone, and
57_his place was seen no more.  The front of my yoke I turned
58_and I took the way to Bit-Yakin.
59_That Merodach-baladan, whose defeat I had brought about
60_in the course of my first campaign, and whose forces I had shattered,
61_the roar of my mighty arms
62_and the onset of my terrible battle he feared and
63_he gathered together the gods of his whole land in their shrines,
64_and loaded them into ships and fled
65_like a bird to Nagite-rakki, which is in the middle of the sea.  His brothers,
66_the seed of his father's house, whom he had left by the seashore,
67_together with the rest of the people of his land,
68_I brought out of Bit-Yakin, from the midst of the swamps and canebrakes,
69_and counted as spoil.  I turned about and ruined and devastated his cities;
70_I made them like ruin-heaps.  Upon his ally, the king of Elam,
71_I poured out my terror.  On my return,
72_I placed on his (Merodach-baladan's) royal throne,
73_Assur-nadin-shum, my oldest son, offspring of my knees.
74_I placed him in charge of the wide land of Sumer and Akkad.
75_IN MY FIFTH CAMPAIGN, the warriors of Tumurru,
76_Sharum, Ezama, Kibshu, Halgidda,
77_Kua, and Kana--whose abodes
78-79_were set on the peak of Mt. Nipur, a steep mountain, like the nests of the eagle, king of birds--were not submissive to my yoke.
80_I had my camp pitched at the foot of Mt. Nipur and
81_with my choice bodyguard

1_and my relentless warriors,
2_I, like a strong wild-ox, went before them.
3-4_I surmounted gullies, mountain torrents and waterfalls, dangerous cliffs in my sedan-chair.
5_Where it was too steep for my chair, I advanced on foot.
6_Like a young gazelle, I mounted the highest peaks pursuing them.
7_Wherever my knees found a resting-place,
8_I sat down on some mountain boulder and drank the cold water from a waterskin
9_for my thirst.  To the summits
10_of the mountains I pursued them and brought about
11_their overthrow.  I captured their cities and carried off their spoil,
12_I destroyed, I devastated, I burned with fire.  The front of my yoke
13_I turned.  Against Maniae, king of Ukku
14_of the land of Daie, who was not submissive, I took the road.
15-17_Before my day, none of the kings who lived before me, had traveled the unblazed trails and wearisome paths which run along these rugged mountains.
18_At the foot of Mt. Anara and Mt. Uppa, mighty mountains,
19_I had my camp pitched, and on a house-chair I
20_together with my seasoned warriors,
21_made my wearisome way through their narrow passes,
22_and with great difficulty climbed to the highest peak of the mountains.
23_That Maniae saw the clouds of dust raised by the feet of my armies,
24_abandoned Ukku, his royal city,
25_and fled to distant parts.
26_I besieged Ukku, I captured it, and took away its spoil.  All kinds of goods and merchandise,
27_the treasure of his palace,
28_I carried away from it and counted it as booty.  Furthermore, thirty-three cities
29_within the bounds of his province I captured.  People, asses, cattle
30_and sheep, I carried away from them as spoil.
31_I destroyed, I devastated, and I burned with fire.
32_IN MY SIXTH CAMPAIGN the rest of the people of Bit-Yakin,
33_who had run off before my powerful weapons like wild asses,
34_who had gathered together the gods of their whole land in their shrines, had
35_crossed the great sea of the rising sun and
36_in Nagitu of Elam had established their abodes;
37_in Hittite ships I crossed the sea.  Nagitu
38_Nagitu-di'bina, together with the lands of Hilmu, Billatu
39_and Hupapanu, provinces of Elam, I conquered.
40_The people of Bit-Yakin, together with their gods, and the people
41_of the king of Elam, I carried off;
42_not a rebel escaped.  I had them loaded in vessels,
43_brought over to this side, and started on the way
44_to Assyria.  The cities which were in those
45_provinces I destroyed, I devastated, I burned with fire.  Into tells and ruins
46_I turned them.  On my return, Shuzubu,
47_the Babylonian, who during an uprising in the land
48_had turned to himself the rule of Sumer and Akkad,
49_I accomplished his defeat in a battle of the plain.
50_I seized him alive with my own hands, I threw him into bonds and fetters of iron and
51_brought him to Assyria.  The king of Elam, who
52_had gone over to his side and had aided him, I defeated.
53_His forces I scattered and I shattered his army.
54_IN MY SEVENTH CAMPAIGN, Assur, my lord, supported me,
55_and I advanced against Elam.  Bit-Ha'iri and
56_Rasa, cities on the border of Assyria
57_which the Elamite had seized by force during the time of my father--
58_in the course of my campaign I conquered and I despoiled them.
59_I settled my garrisons in them
60_and restored them to the borders of Assyria.
61_I placed them under the commandant of Der.  The cities of Bube, Dunni-Shamash, Bit-Risia,
62_Bit-ahlame, Duru, Kalte-sulai
63_Shilibtu, Bit-Asusi, Kar-Zer-ikisha,
64_Bit-Gissi, Bit-Katpalani, Bit-Imbia,
65_Hamanu, Bit-Arrabi, Burutu,
66_Dimtu-sha-Sulai, Dimtu-sha-Marbiti-etir,
67_Harri-ashlaki, Rabbai,
68_Rasu, Akkabarina Tel-Uhuri,
69_Hamranu, Naditu, together with the cities
70_of the passes of Bit-Bunaki, tel-Humbi,
71_Dimtu-sha-Dume-ilu, Bit-Ubia,
72_Balti-lishir, Tagab-lishir,
73_Shanakidate, the lower Masutu,
74_Sar-hudiri, Alum-sha-belit-biti,
75_Bit-ahe-iddina, Ilte-uba,
76_thirty-four strong cities, together with the small cities
77_in their areas, which were countless,
78_I besieged, I conquered, I despoiled, I destroyed, I devastated,
79_I burned with fire, with the smoke of their conflagration
80_I covered the wide heavens like a hurricane.
81_The Elamite, Kudur-nahundu, heard

1_of the overthrow of his cities,
2_terror overwhelmed him, the (people of) the rest of his cities
3_he brought into the strongholds.  He himself
4_left Madaktu, his royal city,
5_and took his way to Haidala which is in the distant mountains.
6_I gave the word to march against Madaktu, his royal city.
7_In the month of rain, extreme cold set in and the
8_heavy storms sent down rain upon rain and
9_snow.  I was afraid of the swollen mountain streams;
10_the front of my yoke I turned and took the road to
11_Nineveh.  At that time, at the command of Assur, my lord,
12_Kudur-Nahundu, the king of Elam, in less than three months
13_died suddenly on a day not of his fate.
14_After him, Umman-menanu,
15_who possessed neither sense nor judgment,
16_his younger brother, sat on his throne.
17_IN MY EIGHTH CAMPAIGN, after Shuzubu had revolted,
18_and the Babylonians, wicked devils, had
19_closed the city-gates--their hearts planning resistance;
20_Shuzubu the Chalden, a weakling hero,
21_who had no knees, a slave, subject to the governor of the city of
22_the city of Lahiri; the fugitive Arameans gathered around him, the runaway,
23_the murderer, the bandit.  Into the marshes
24_they descended and started a rebellion.  But I completely surrounded him.
25_I pressed him to the life.  Through fear and hunger
26_he fled to Elam.  When plotting
27_and treachery were hatched against him,
28_he fled from Elam and entered Shuanna.  The Babylonians
29_placed him on the throne--for which he was not fit--
30_and entrusted to him the government of Sumer and Akkad.
31_They opened the treasury of the Esagila temple and the gold and silver
32_belonging to Bel [Marduk] and Sarpanit, they brought forth the property of the temples of their gods.
33_And to Umman-menanu, king of Elam, who had
34_neither sense nor judgment, they sent them as a bribe (saying):
35_"Gather your army, prepare your camp,
36_haste to Babylon, stand at our side, for
37_you are our trust." That Elamite--
38_whose cities I had conquered and turned into ruins
39_on my earlier campaign against Elam--
40_without thinking
41_received the bribes from them, gathered his army and camp,
42_collected his chariots and wagons, and hitched his horses
43_and mules to them.  The lands of Parsuash
44_Anzan, Pasheru, Ellipi, the men of Yazan,
45_Lakabra, Harzunu, Dummuku,
46_Sulai, Samuna, the son of Merodach-baladan,
47_the lands of Bit-Adini, Bit-Amukkanu, Bit-Sillana,
48_Bit-Salatutu-akki, the city of Lahiru, the men of Bukudu,
49_Gambulum, Halatum Ru'ua,
50_Ubulum, Malahu, Rapiku,
51_Hindaru, Damunu--an enormous vassal army
52_he called to his side.  The largest portion of them
53-55_took the road to Akkad.  Closing in on Babylon, they exchanged courtesies with Shuzubu, the Chaldean king of Babylon, and brought their army to a halt.
56_Like the onset of locust swarms of the springtime,
57_they steadily progressed against me to offer battle.
58_With the dust of their feet covering the wide heavens,
59_like a mighty storm with masses of dense clouds,
60_they drew up in battle array before me in the city of Halule, on the bank of the Tigris.
61_They blocked my passage and offered battle.
62-65_As for me, I prayed for victory over the mighty foe to Assur, Sin, Shamash, Bel, Nabu, Nergal, Ishtar of Nineveh, Ishtar of Arbela.
66_They quickly gave ear to my prayers and came
67_to my aid.  Like a lion I raged; I put on
68_a coat of mail.  A helmet, emblem of victory,
69_I placed upon my head.  My great battle chariot,
70_which brings the foe low,
71_I hurriedly mounted in the anger of my heart.  The mighty bow,
72_which Assur had given me, I seized in my hands;
73_the javelin, piercing to the life, I grasped.
74_Against all of the armies of wicked enemies,
75_I cried out, rumbling like a storm.  I roared like Adad.
76_At the word of Assur, the great lord, my lord, on flank and front
77_I pressed upon the enemy like the onset of a raging storm.
78_With the weapons of Assur, my lord, and the terrible onset of my attack,
79_I stopped their advance, I succeeded in surrounding them,
80_I decimated the enemy host with arrow and spear.
81_I bored through all of their bodies.
82_Humban-undasha, the field-marshall
83_of the king of Elam, a trustworthy man, commander
84_of his armies, his chief support, together with his nobles
85_who wear the golden belt-daggar
86-87_and whose wrists are encircles with thick rings of shining gold
88_like fat steers who have hobbles put on them,

1_quickly I cut them down and defeated them.
2_I cut their throats,
3_and I cut off their precious lives like a string.  Like the many waters
4_of a storm, I made their gullets and entrails
5_run down upon the wide earth.  My prancing
6_steeds harnessed for my riding plunged
7_into the streams of their blood as (into) a river.  The wheels of my war chariot,
8_which brings the wicked and evil low,
9_were spattered with blood and filth.  With the bodies of their warriors
10_I filled the plain like grass.  Their testicles
11_I cut off and tore out their privates like the seeds
12_of cucumbers of Siwan.  I cut off their hands.
13_The heavy rings of brightest gold which were on their wrists
14_I took away.  With sharp swords
15_I pierced their belts and took away
16_the belt-daggars of gold and silver which were on their persons.  The rest of his nobles, together with Nabu-shum-ishkun,
17_son of Moerodach-baladan, who was frightened at my onslaught
18_and had gone over to their side, my hands
19_seized in the midst of the battle.  The chariots and their horses,
20_whose riders had been slain at the beginning of the terrible battle,
21_and who had been left to themselves,
22_kept running back and forth
23_for two double-hours; I stopped their headlong flight.
24_That Umman-menanu, king of Elam,
25_together with the king of Babylon and the princes of Chaldea,
26_who had gone over to their side, the terror of my battle
27_overturned their bodies like a bull.  They abandoned their tents;
28_and to save their lives, they trampled
29_the bodies of their soldiers; they fled like young pigeons
30_that are pursued.  Their hearts were torn;
31_they held their urine, but let their dung go into their chariots.
32_In pursuit of them,
33_I dispatched my chariots and horses after them.
34_Those among them who had escaped, who had fled for their lives,
35_wherever they [the charioteers] met them, they cut them down with the sword.
36_After that time--after I had completed the palace
37_in the midst of the city of Nineveh for my royal residence,
38_had filled it with beautiful furnishings, to the astonishment of all the people
39_the side-palace, which the former kings,
40_my ancestors, had built
41_for the care of the camp, the stabling of the horses, and general storage,
42_had no terrace, that its site was too small,
43_that its construction had not been skillfuly done, that, as the days went by, its foundation-platform
44_had become weak, its foundation had given way and its roof had fallen in.
45_I tore down that palace in its entirety.
46_A large tract of land in the meadows
47_and environs of the city I confiscated, according to plan,
48_and added to it.  The site of the former palace
49_I abandoned.  With the ground of the meadows
50_which I had seized from the riverflats, I filled in a terrace,
51_I raised its top 200 tipki (thickness of brick) on high.  In a favorable month
52_on an auspicious day, on the top of that terrace,
53_following the cunning of my heart, a palace of limestone
54_and cedar, of Hittite workmanship also a
55_lofty palace of Assyrian workmanship, which
56_far surpassed the former one in size and beauty,
57_according to the plan of wise architects,
58_I had them build for my royal residence.
59_Mighty cedar beams, the product of Amanus, the shining mountain,
60_I stretched over them.  Door-leaves of liari-wood I
61_covered with a sheathing of bright bronze and set up
62_in their doors.  Out of white limestone,
63_which is found in the land of the city of Baladai,
64_I had mighty statues fashioned and
65_positioned on the right and left of the entrances.  For the equipment of the
66_black-headed people, the stabling of horses, mules, colts,
67_riding camels, chariots, wagons, carts, quivers,
68_bows and arrows, all kinds of battle equipment:
69_teams of horses and mules which
70_possessed enormous strength, and were broken to the yoke.
71_I greatly enlarged its court of the gates.  That palace, from its foundation
72_to its coping, I constructed, I finished.  A stele
73_with my name inscribed on it I set up in it.  In the days to come
74_among the kings, my sons, whose name Assur
75_and Ishtar shall name for the rule of land and people,
76_when that palace shall become old and ruined,
77_may some future prince restore its ruins, look upon
78_the stele with my name inscribed on it, anoint it with oil,
79_pour out a libation upon it, and return it to its place.  Then Assur and Ishtar
80_will hear his prayers.  He who destroys my inscription and my name--
81_may Assur, the great lord, the father of the gods,
82_treat him as an enemy,
83_take away the scepter and throne from him, and overthrow his rule.
84_The month of Tammuz; eponym of Gahilu,
85_governor of Hatarikka.

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A small section of a panel from Sennacherib's palace in Nineveh that originally measured about 8' tall by 80' long (click here to see the entire series of reliefs) depicting the conquest of Lachish with the cuneiform text, "Sennacherib, king of the world, king of Assyria, sat on his portable-throne, & the booty from Lachish passed before him":

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"The LORD is King forever & ever."--Psalm 10:16
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This page was created on January 21, 2002, & last updated on July 12, 2005