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Babylon = Assyria
In the Old Testament, “Babylon” and “Assyria” are sometimes used interchangeably of the same political power:
Evidence for the Israelites in Assyria
The ten tribe kingdom of Israel was subject to several invasions by the Assyrians, culminating in the capture of the capital Samaria in 722 B.C., which brought the kingdom to its end. The account of these invasions in 2 Kings several times records that the Assyrians took the Israelites into captivity to various parts of the Assyrian Empire (2 Kings 15:29; 17:6; 18:11).
Assyria was an ancient empire whose demise was prophesied by Zephaniah: “And He will stretch out His hand against the north, and destroy Assyria; and will make Nineveh a desolation, and dry like a wilderness” (Zephaniah 2:13). As Nahum said: “Nineveh is laid waste” (Nahum 3:7). Nineveh was burnt and captured by a combination of Babylonians, Medes and Scythians in 612 B.C. The Assyrian Empire thus came to an end and consequently is a not a power in its own right at the return of Christ. It is not mentioned, for example, in Ezekiel 38.
Plot and Counter Plot in Palestine in the 8th Century B.C.
A comparison of the records of the Assyrian kings with the Biblical accounts of the later kings of Israel and Judah shows a remarkable dove-tailing of the two narratives. This is especially so in connection with the history of the turbulent times which marked the twilight of the Kingdom of Israel and hastened its extinction by the Assyrians.
What sort of a place was this Nineveh to which Jonah was being sent?
"Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee." (Jonah 3:2)
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.”
Assyria, a Greek name formed from Asshur (אשׁוּר, ‘ashshūr; Ἀσσούρ, Assoúr; Assyrian Assur): The primitive capital of the country.
nin ́ḗ-ve (נינוה, nīnewēh; Νινευή, Nineuḗ, Νινευΐ́, Nineuí; Greek and Roman writers, Νῖνος, Nínos):
shī ́nar (שׁנער, shin‛ar; Σεναάρ, Senaár, Σεν(ν)αάρ, Sen(n)aár):
Assyr’ia, (Α᾿σσυρία). We must here distinguish between the country of Assyria and the Assyrian empire. They are both designated in Hebrew by אִשּׁוּר, ASSHUR, the people being also described by the same term, only that in the latter sense it is masculine, in the former feminine. In the Septuagint it is commonly rendered by Α᾿σσούρ or Α᾿σσύριοι, and in the Vulgate by Assur and Assyrii, and seldom or never by Α᾿σσυρία, or Assyria. The Asshurim (Α᾿σσουριείμ) of Genesis 25:3, were an Arab tribe; and at Ezekiel 27:6, the word ashurim (in our version “Ashurites”) is only an abbreviated form of tedshur, box-wood. Assyria derived its name from the progenitor of the aboriginal inhabitants-Asshur, the second son of Shem (Genesis 10:22; 1 Chronicles 1:17), a different person from Ashchur, son of Hezron, and Caleb’s grandson (1 Chronicles 2:24; 4:5). In later times it is thought that Asshur was worshipped as their chief god- by the Assyrians (Layard, Nin. and Bab. p. 537). SEE CUNEIFORM INSCRIPTIONS. The extent of Assyria differed greatly at different periods. Probably in the earliest times it was confined to a small tract of low country between the Jebel Maklub, or Taurus range on the N., and the Lesser Zab (Zab Asfal) toward the S., lying chiefly on the immediate bank of the Tigris. Gradually its limits were extended, until it came to be regarded as comprising the whole region between the Armenian mountains (lat. 37° 30’) upon the north, and upon the south the country about Bagdad (lat. 33° 30’). Eastward its boundary was the high range of Zagros, or mountains of Kurdistan; westward it naturally retained the Tigris as its boundary, although, according to the views of some, it was eventually bounded by the Mesopotamian desert, while, according to others, it reached the Euphrates. Taking the greatest of these dimensions, Assyria may be said to have extended in a direction from N.E. to S.W. a distance of nearly 500 miles, with a width varying from 350 to 100 miles. Its area would thus a little exceed 100,000 square miles, or about equal that of Italy.
Nin’eveh, (Heb. Nineveh‘,נַינוֵה:); Sept. Νινευή or Νινευῆ, v. r. Νινευϊv; Vulg. Ninive), the capital of the ancient kingdom and empire of Assyria; a city of great power, size, and renown, usually included among the most ancient cities of the world of which there is any historic record. In the following account we bring together the ancient and the modern notices, especially the Scripture relations.
The Destruction of Sennacherib’s Army
Jerusalem Delivered from Sennacherib
Ashur-etil-ilani was a king of Assyria (c. 631 BC – c. 627 BC). He succeeded his father Ashurbanipal.
Ashur (אַשּׁוּר; often also transliterated as Asshur to reflect the pointing of Hebrew letter ‘ש’ (Shin) in the Masoretic text, which doubles the ‘ש’), was the second son of Shem, the son of Noah. Ashur’s brothers were Elam, Arphaxad, Lud, and Aram.
Assyria, a major Mesopotamian East Semitic-speaking kingdom and empire of the ancient Near East, existed as an independent state from perhaps as early as the 25th century BC, until its collapse between 612 BC and 599 BC, spanning the mid to Early Bronze Age through to the late Iron Age.
The Assyrian captivity (or Assyrian exile) is the period in the history of Ancient Israel and Judah during which several thousand Israelites of ancient Samaria were resettled as captives by Assyria. The Northern Kingdom of Israel was conquered by the Neo-Assyrian monarchs, Tiglath-Pileser III (Pul) and Shalmaneser V. The later Assyrian rulers Sargon II and his son and successor, Sennacherib, were responsible for finishing the twenty-year demise of Israel’s northern ten-tribe kingdom, although they did not overtake the Southern Kingdom. Jerusalem was besieged, but not taken. The tribes forcibly resettled by Assyria later became known as the Ten Lost Tribes.
Esarhaddon (Akkadian: Aššur-aḥa-iddina “Ashur has given a brother” Hebrew: אֵסַר חַדֹּן Ancient Greek: Ασαραδδων; Latin: Asor Haddan) was a king of the Neo-Assyrian Empire who reigned 681 – 669 BC. He was the youngest son of Sennacherib and the West Semitic queen Naqi'a (Zakitu), Sennacherib’s second wife.
Sennacherib (Akkadian: Sîn-ahhī-erība, “Sîn has replaced the brothers” Syriac: ???????, translit. Sīnḥārīḇ; Hebrew: “סַנְחֵרִיב” pronounced in Modern Hebrew [/sanχeːˈʁiv/] or in some Mizrahi dialects [/sanħeːˈʁiv]) was the king of Assyria from 705 BCE to 681 BCE. He is principally remembered for his military campaigns against Babylon and Judah, and for his building programs — most notably at the Akkadian capital of Nineveh. He was assassinated in obscure circumstances in 681 BCE, apparently by his eldest son (his designated successor, Esarhaddon, was the youngest).
Sin-shumu-lishir (or Sin-shum-lishir, Sîn-šumu-līšir), was a usurper king of a part of the Assyrian empire during 626 BC. Little is known about this king due to the lack of sources covering this time.
Sinsharishkun (Sin-shar-ishkun; Sîn-šarru-iškun, c. 627 – 612 BC), who seems to have been the Saràkos (Saracus) of Berossus, was one of the last kings of the Assyrian empire, followed only by Ashur-uballit II.
Tiglath-Pileser III Akkadian: Tukultī-apil-Ešarra, “my trust is in the son of Esharra”) was a prominent king of Assyria in the eighth century BCE (ruled 745–727 BCE) who introduced advanced civil, military, and political systems into the Neo-Assyrian Empire.