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Sunday, November 13 2011
Sennacherib In History And Prophecy
Hezekiah was a king of the southern kingdom of Judah (see Hezekiah Of Judah and Kings of Israel and Judah) after the division of Israel into the independent kingdoms of "Israel" (see The Northern Kingdom) and "Judah" (see The Southern Kingdom).
"18:1 Now it came to pass in the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel [see Hoshea Of Israel], that Hezekiah the son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign. 18:2 Twenty and five years old was he when he began to reign; and he reigned twenty and nine years in Jerusalem. His mother's name also was Abi, the daughter of Zachariah. 18:3 And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father did. 18:4 He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brazen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan.
The Assyrian king (see also Ancient Empires - Assyria) that Hezekiah defended his kingdom against was Sennacherib, who, like the people of Judah, kept historical records. Included among those Assyrian records are the "Taylor Prism," today in the British Museum, and the "Sennacherib Prism," today in the Oriental Institute of Chicago. On them, Assyrian historians also recorded the Biblical account of Hezekiah's stance against the Assyrian invaders, and the further invasion that came after it. It was an example of typical human "politics," ancient or modern - threaten and provoke a nation to defend itself, as an excuse for a full-scale invasion i.e. "Because Hezekiah, king of Judah, would not submit to my yoke, I came up against him."
“Because Hezekiah, king of Judah, would not submit to my yoke, I came up against him, and by force of arms and by the might of my power I took 46 of his strong fenced cities; and of the smaller towns which were scattered about, I took and plundered a countless number. From these places I took and carried off 200,156 persons, old and young, male and female, together with horses and mules, asses and camels, oxen and sheep, a countless multitude; and Hezekiah himself I shut up in Jerusalem, his capital city, like a bird in a cage, building towers round the city to hem him in, and raising banks of earth against the gates, so as to prevent escape ... Then upon Hezekiah there fell the fear of the power of my arms, and he sent out to me the chiefs and the elders of Jerusalem with 30 talents of gold and 800 talents of silver, and diverse treasures, a rich and immense booty ... All these things were brought to me at Nineveh, the seat of my government."
The Holy Scriptures record the same further invasion. The Assyrians had just conquered and exiled the northern kingdom of Israel ("the lost ten tribes"; see The Galilee Captivity), to which Hezekiah lost his courage; he instead foolishly attempted to appease an invader, by looting his own city, and the Temple, as the Assyrian account itself also records above.
"18:9 And it came to pass 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 [see Baal's Samaria], and besieged it. 18:10 And at the end of three years they took it: even in the sixth year of Hezekiah, that is the ninth year of Hoshea king of Israel, Samaria was taken. 18:11 And the king of Assyria did carry away Israel unto Assyria, and put them in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes: 18:12 Because they obeyed not the voice of the LORD their God, but transgressed his covenant, and all that Moses the servant of the LORD commanded, and would not hear them, nor do them.
"Be not afraid of the words which thou hast heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed Me"
The Holy Bible is a Book of Truth, not of politics and nationalistic arrogance - as is obvious in the Assyrian account shown above. The Bible is a "let the chips fall where they may" book of reality; the Bible records everything, not just the victories - as is so-often the case in the "patriotic" propaganda that passes itself off as history in the nations of man. The Assyrian historical account proudly records the Assyrian victory in the land of Israel, as does the Bible, but only the Holy Bible records what happened to the Assyrians after that, when the LORD deflated their Satanic arrogance.
The Assyrians knew that they were being allowed, by the LORD, to enter the land of Israel - as a means of the wrath of the LORD against the people of Israel who had become religiously corrupt. In the words of the Assyrian military commander who had come against Jerusalem:
"18:25 Am I now come up without the LORD against this place to destroy it? The LORD said to me, Go up against this land, and destroy it." (2 Kings 18:25 KJV)
The fatal mistake made by the Assyrians is that they not only began to ignore what they already knew, but that their arrogance began to bloat against the LORD Himself:
"18:28 Then Rabshakeh stood and cried with a loud voice in the Jews' language, and spake, saying, Hear the word of the great king, the king of Assyria:
The prophet Isaiah (see The Prophets: Isaiah; also What Did Isaiah Know About Jesus Christ?) was active at that time (the account of the Assyrian siege is found in both 2 Kings, chapters 18 and 19, and Isaiah, chapters 36 and 37). Isaiah delivered the word of the LORD to Hezekiah that the battle was no longer Hezekiah's to fight. The LORD would deal with the Assyrian arrogance: "Be not afraid of the words which thou hast heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed Me."
"19:1 And it came to pass, when king Hezekiah heard it, that he rent his clothes, and covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of the LORD. 19:2 And he sent Eliakim, which was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and the elders of the priests, covered with sackcloth, to Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz. 19:3 And they said unto him, Thus saith Hezekiah, This day is a day of trouble, and of rebuke, and blasphemy: for the children are come to the birth, and there is not strength to bring forth. 19:4 It may be the LORD thy God will hear all the words of Rabshakeh, whom the king of Assyria his master hath sent to reproach the living God; and will reprove the words which the LORD thy God hath heard: wherefore lift up thy prayer for the remnant that are left.
The prophecy was then fulfilled - the defeat of the Assyrian army at Jerusalem, and the death of Sennacherib, right in his own home.
"19:35 And it came to pass that night, that the angel of the LORD went out, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses.
Fact Finder: What happened to the Assyrians when the LORD sent the prophet Jonah to them?
This Day In History, November 13
1002: English king Ethelred II launched a massacre of Danish settlers.
1093: Malcolm III of Scotland, son of King Duncan, died during his fifth attempt to invade England.
1460: Portuguese explorer Henry the Navigator died at age 66.
1474: During the Swiss-Burgundian Wars, Swiss forces defeated the army of Charles the Bold at Hericourt.
1715: The Battle of Sheriffmuir in Scotland.
1833: One of the greatest Leonid meteor storms dazzled people in eastern North America from midnight to dawn.
1843: Mount Rainier in Washington State erupted.
1851: A telegraph link was established between London and Paris.
1907: The first helicopter to achieve free flight carrying a man, designed by Paul Cornu, rose 6 feet above the ground at Lisieux, France.
1942: During the Second World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars; see also Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion), the British aircraft carrier Ark Royal was hit by a German torpedo off Gibraltar and sank the following day.
1945: Charles de Gaulle became the President of the French provisional government at the end of the Second World War.
1970: Hafez al-Assad seized power in Syria in a bloodless military coup.
1985: In Colombia, the Neva del Ruiz volcano erupted; an estimated 25,000 people died.
1994: Swedes voted by 52.2 percent in a referendum to join the European Union.
1998: U.S. President Bill Clinton agreed to pay Paula Jones $850,000.00 to drop her sexual harassment lawsuit against him. A New York businessman had earlier paid the woman another $1,000,000.00
1998: Michel Trudeau, 23, son of former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, drowned during a ski trip in British Columbia after being swept into a lake by an avalanche. The body was never recovered.