HOME
ListMoto - Assyrian Siege Of Jerusalem


--- Advertisement ---



(i) (i) (i)

Both sides claim victory

Kingdom of Judah
Kingdom of Judah
subjugated King Hezekiah
Hezekiah
of Judah remains in power

Belligerents

Neo-Assyrian Empire Kingdom of Judah

Commanders and leaders

Sennacherib's Rabshakeh Sennacherib's Rabsaris Sennacherib's Tartan King Hizkiyahu of Judah Eliakim ben Hilkiyahu Yoah ben Asaf Shebna

Strength

Unknown Unknown

Casualties and losses

Unknown Ancient Sources:

185,000 (According to the Biblical account)

Unknown

v t e

Campaigns of the Neo-Assyrian Empire

Rise of Neo-Assyria Campaigns of Ashurnasirpal II
Campaigns of Ashurnasirpal II
(Suru) Campaigns of Shalmaneser III
Campaigns of Shalmaneser III
(Qarqar) Campaigns of Shamshi-Adad V
Shamshi-Adad V
(Dur-Papsukkal) Campaigns of Tiglath Pileser III
Campaigns of Tiglath Pileser III
(Gezer) War with Urartu Campaigns of Sargon II Campaigns of Sennacherib
Campaigns of Sennacherib
(Sennacherib's campaign in Judah, Azekah, Lachish, Jerusalem, Diyala River, Halule, 1st Babylon) Campaigns of Esarhaddon Conquest of Elam Campaigns of Ashurbanipal
Campaigns of Ashurbanipal
(Ulai, Susa, Ashdod) 2nd Babylon Arrapha Assur Nineveh Harran

v t e

Campaigns of the ancient kingdoms of Israel
Israel
and Judah

Battle of Aphek Battle of Michmash Siege of Jebus Battle of the Wood of Ephraim Jeroboam's Revolt

Battle of Bitter Lakes Sack of Jerusalem
Jerusalem
(10th century BC) Battle of Mount Zemaraim

Battle of Zephath Battle of Qarqar Israelite–Aramean War Syro-Ephraimite War Sennacherib's campaign in Judah

Siege of Azekah Siege of Lachish Assyrian Siege of Jerusalem

Battle of Megiddo (609 BC) Jewish–Babylonian war

Siege of Jerusalem
Jerusalem
(597 BC) Siege of Jerusalem
Jerusalem
(587 BC)

In approximately 701 BCE, Sennacherib, king of Assyria, attacked the fortified cities of Judah, laying siege on Jerusalem, but failed to capture it (it is the only city mentioned as being besieged on Sennacherib's Stele, of which the capture is not mentioned).

Contents

1 Background 2 The siege

2.1 The Hebrew account 2.2 The Assyrian account 2.3 Other theories

3 Sennacherib's end 4 In popular culture 5 Ancient sources 6 See also 7 Footnotes

Background[edit] In 721 BCE, the Assyrian army
Assyrian army
captured the Israelite
Israelite
capital at Samaria
Samaria
and carried away the citizens of the Kingdom of Israel (Samaria) into captivity. The virtual destruction of Israel
Israel
left the southern kingdom, Judah, to fend for itself among warring Near Eastern kingdoms. After the fall of the Northern Kingdom, the kings of Judah tried to extend their influence and protection to those inhabitants who had not been exiled. They also sought to extend their authority northward into areas previously controlled by the Kingdom of Israel.The latter part of the reign of Ahaz, and most of that of Hezekiah
Hezekiah
were periods of stability during which Judah was able to consolidate both politically and economically. Although Judah was a vassal of Assyria during this time and paid an annual tribute to the powerful empire, it was the most important state between Assyria and Egypt.[1] When Hezekiah
Hezekiah
became king of Judah, he initiated widespread religious changes, including the breaking of religious idols. He re-captured Philistine-occupied lands in the Negev desert, formed alliances with Ashkelon
Ashkelon
and Egypt, and made a stand against Assyria by refusing to pay tribute.[2] In response, Sennacherib
Sennacherib
attacked Judah, laying siege to Jerusalem. The siege[edit] Sources from both sides claimed victory, the Judahites (or Biblical author(s)) in the Tanakh, and Sennacherib
Sennacherib
in his prism. Sennacherib claimed the siege and capture of many Judaean cities, but only the siege—not capture—of Jerusalem. The Hebrew account[edit]

Inside Siloam tunnel, 2010

The story of the Assyrian siege is told in the Hebrew Bible
Hebrew Bible
books of Isaiah, Chronicles and Second Kings. As the Assyrians began their invasion, Hezekiah
Hezekiah
began preparations to protect Jerusalem. In an effort to deprive the Assyrians of water, springs outside the city were blocked. Workers then dug a 533-meter tunnel to the Spring of Gihon, providing the city with fresh water. Additional siege preparations included fortification of the existing walls, construction of towers, and the erection of a new, reinforcing wall. Hezekiah
Hezekiah
gathered the citizens in the square and encouraged them by reminding them that the Assyrians possessed only "an arm of flesh", but the Judeans had the protection of Yahweh. According to Second Kings 18, while Sennacherib
Sennacherib
was besieging Lachish, he received a message from Hezekiah
Hezekiah
offering to pay tribute in exchange for Assyrian withdrawal. According to the Hebrew Bible, Hezekiah
Hezekiah
paid three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold to Assyria — a price so heavy that he was forced to empty the temple and royal treasury of silver and strip the gold from the doorposts of Solomon's temple. Nevertheless, Sennacherib
Sennacherib
marched on Jerusalem
Jerusalem
with a large army. When the Assyrian force arrived, its field commander Rabshakeh brought a message from Sennacherib
Sennacherib
himself. In an attempt to demoralize the Judeans, the field commander announced to the people on the city walls that Hezekiah
Hezekiah
was deceiving them, and Yahweh
Yahweh
could not deliver Jerusalem
Jerusalem
from the king of Assyria. He listed the gods of the people thus far swept away by Sennacherib
Sennacherib
then asked, "Who of all the gods of these countries has been able to save his land from me?" During the siege, Hezekiah
Hezekiah
clad himself in sackcloth out of anguish from the psychological warfare that the Assyrians were waging. The prophet Isaiah
Isaiah
took an active part in the political life of Judah. When Jerusalem
Jerusalem
was threatened, he assured Hezekiah
Hezekiah
that the city would be delivered and Sennacherib
Sennacherib
would fall.[1] The Hebrew Bible
Hebrew Bible
states that during the night, an angel of YHWH
YHWH
brought death to 185,000 Assyrians troops.[2] Hezekiah
Hezekiah
had shut up all water outside the city so thirst and the fatigue of a long and tiring campaign possibly could have forced the Assyrians to retreat. It is also a possibility that a disease spread throughout the camp and killed a large number of Sennacherib's men.[3] When Sennacherib
Sennacherib
saw the destruction wreaked on his army, he withdrew to Nineveh. Jerusalem
Jerusalem
was spared destruction. The Hebrew Bible's suggestion that Jerusalem
Jerusalem
was victorious rather than defeated, is corroborated by the Jewish historian Josephus.[4] He quotes Berossus, a well-known Babylonian historian, that a pestilence broke out in the army camp. According to Herodotus, though, field mice chewed at the leather of their weapons and rendered them useless. It is more likely that the mice described by Herodotus
Herodotus
were the cause of the pestilence described by Berossus. Nevertheless, as all of these are expansions on the Hebrew Bible's account, adding Midrash, none are independent witnesses. In any case, most scholars are in agreement that Sennacherib
Sennacherib
suffered a humiliating defeat while besieging Jerusalem, and that he went back to Nineveh, never to return. "Like Xerxes in Greece, Sennacherib
Sennacherib
never recovered from the shock of the disaster in Judah. He made no more expeditions against either the Southern Levant or Egypt."[5] The Assyrian account[edit]

Sennacherib's Prism

Sennacherib's Prism, which details the events of Sennacherib's campaign against Judah, was discovered in the ruins of Nineveh
Nineveh
in 1830, and is now stored at the Oriental Institute in Chicago, Illinois.[2] The account dates from about 690 BCE. The text of the prism boasts how Sennacherib
Sennacherib
destroyed forty-six of Judah's cities, and trapped Hezekiah
Hezekiah
in Jerusalem
Jerusalem
"like a caged bird." The text goes on to describe how the "terrifying splendor" of the Assyrian army caused the Arabs
Arabs
and mercenaries reinforcing the city to desert. It adds that the Assyrian king returned to Assyria where he later received a large tribute from Judah. This description inevitably varies somewhat from the Jewish version in the Tanakh. The massive Assyrian casualties mentioned in the Tanakh
Tanakh
are not mentioned in the Assyrian version, but Assyrian government records tend to commonly take the form of propaganda claiming their own invincibility, with the result that they rarely mention their own defeats or heavy casualties.[6] After he besieged Jerusalem, Sennacherib
Sennacherib
was able to give the surrounding towns to Assyrian vassal rulers in Ekron, Gaza and Ashdod. His army was still in existence when he conducted campaigns in 702 BCE and from 699 BCE until 697 BCE, when he made several campaigns in the mountains east of Assyria, on one of which he received tribute from the Medes. In 696 BCE and 695 BCE, he sent expeditions into Anatolia, where several vassals had rebelled following the death of Sargon. Around 690 BCE, he campaigned in the northern Arabian deserts, conquering Dumat al-Jandal, where the queen of the Arabs
Arabs
had taken refuge.[7] When Marduk-apla-iddina continued his rebellion with the help of Elam, in 694 Sennacherib
Sennacherib
took a fleet of Phoenician ships down the Tigris River to destroy the Elamite base on the shore of the Persian Gulf. While he was doing this the Elamites captured Ashur-nadin-shumi and put Nergal-ushezib, the son of Marduk-apla-iddina, on the throne of Babylon.[8] Nergal-ushezib was captured in 693 BCE and taken to Nineveh, and Sennacherib
Sennacherib
attacked Elam again. The Elamite king fled to the mountains and Sennacherib
Sennacherib
plundered his kingdom, but when he withdrew the Elamites returned to Babylon and put another rebel leader, Mushezib-Marduk, on the Babylonian throne. Babylon eventually fell to the Assyrians in 689 BCE after a lengthy siege. Other theories[edit] In What If?, a collection of essays on counterfactual history, historian Willian H. McNeill speculates that the accounts of mass death among the Assyrian army
Assyrian army
in the Tanakh
Tanakh
might be explained by an outbreak of cholera (or other water-borne diseases) due to the springs beyond the city walls having been blocked, thus depriving the besieging force of a safe water supply. In McNeill's speculative essay, the Assyrians were forced to withdraw by disease, an event which in McNeill's opinion served to support Judaism's then-new monotheistic tradition. In addition, McNeill reasons that the Assyrian siege of Jerusalem holds special historical significance due to the newness (at the time) of the monotheistic tradition in Judaism. McNeill argues that the apparent defeat of Sennacherib
Sennacherib
by YHWH
YHWH
supported the idea of monotheism in an age when a conquered people typically adopted the god or gods of their conquerors, as their own had failed to protect them. The extraordinary defeat of Sennacherib
Sennacherib
which McNeill suggests, by disease which was as yet not understood, would have proven YHWH superior to the gods of the most powerful nation then known to the Jews, Assyria. McNeill concludes that if Sennacherib
Sennacherib
had taken the city, the Jews may have adopted polytheism, and consequently, the Abrahamic religions
Abrahamic religions
would not exist. Henry T. Aubin writes in The Rescue of Jerusalem: The Alliance Between Hebrews and Africans in 701 B.C. that the Assyrian army
Assyrian army
was routed by an Egyptian army under Kushite (Nubian) command. Sennacherib's end[edit] The prophecy of Isaiah
Isaiah
did not come to pass immediately, but did eventually intersect with Sennacherib. In 681 BCE, while worshiping in the temple of Nisroch, the king of Assyria was killed by two of his sons. He had ruled Assyria for twenty-four years. In popular culture[edit] An 1813 poem by Lord Byron, The Destruction of Sennacherib, commemorates Sennacherib's campaign in Judea from the Hebrew point of view. Written in anapestic tetrameter, the poem was popular in school recitations. Ancient sources[edit]

Book of Kings Book of Isaiah Book of Chronicles Sennacherib's Prism Antiquities of the Jews, Titus Flavius Josephus

See also[edit]

Second Temple Herod's Temple Siege of Jerusalem
Jerusalem
(AD 70) Destruction of Jerusalem Jewish-Roman wars Western Wall

Footnotes[edit]

^ a b Malamat, Abraham and Ben-Sasson, Haim Hillel. A History of the Jewish People, Harvard University Press, 1976 ISBN 9780674397316 ^ a b c Pritchard, James B. ed., Ancient Near Eastern Texts, 2nd ed. (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1955), 287ff. ^ Plants, Luke. "The Assyrian Attack on Jerusalem", Cornell University ^ Josephus, Antiquities, x.21 ^ Sayce, Archibald Henry. The Ancient Empires of the East. Macmillan, 1884, p. 134. ^ Laato, Antti. "Assyrian Propaganda
Propaganda
and the Falsification of History in the Royal Inscriptions of Sennacherib." Vetus Testamentum XLV (1995): 198-226. JSTOR. 15 Oct. 2007 ^ Grayson 1991, p. 111-113. ^ Leick 2009, p. 156.

Coordinates: 31°46′06″N 35°12′49″E / 31.768319°N 35.21371°E / 3

.

Time at 25410160.133333, Busy percent: 30
***************** NOT Too Busy at 25410160.133333 3../logs/periodic-service_log.txt
1440 = task['interval'];
25411346.483333 = task['next-exec'];
25409906.483333 = task['last-exec'];
daily-work.php = task['exec'];
25410160.133333 Time.

10080 = task['interval'];
25418546.516667 = task['next-exec'];
25408466.516667 = task['last-exec'];
weekly-work.php = task['exec'];
25410160.133333 Time.

1440 = task['interval'];
25411346.666667 = task['next-exec'];
25409906.666667 = task['last-exec'];
PeriodicStats.php = task['exec'];
25410160.133333 Time.

1440 = task['interval'];
25411346.7 = task['next-exec'];
25409906.7 = task['last-exec'];
PeriodicBuild.php = task['exec'];
25410160.133333 Time.

1440 = task['interval'];
25411346.716667 = task['next-exec'];
25409906.716667 = task['last-exec'];
cleanup.php = task['exec'];
25410160.133333 Time.

1440 = task['interval'];
25411346.933333 = task['next-exec'];
25409906.933333 = task['last-exec'];
build-sitemap-xml.php = task['exec'];
25410160.133333 Time.