Also see Babylon, Syria, and Mesopotamia

Israel's Captivity
History of the 2nd Assyrian Empire
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Easton's Bible Dictionary | Smith's Bible Dictionary | International Standard Bible Encyclopedia | Thompson Chain Reference


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Timeline of the Bible and the Second Empire of Assyria

Ancient Empires and Bible Prophecy, at

Major Cities: NINEVEH was an ancient city on the Tigris River and was the capitol; also ASSUR and CALAH

745–727 BC: Tiglath Pileser, founder of the Second Assyrian Empire, was the king during the Jewish reigns of Menehem (Israel) and Uzziah (Judah)
738, 722 BC: Israel became part of Assyria's Second Empire

Dates from the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia and Easton's Bible Dictionary (Cyrus)

745-727 BC: "Tiglath-pileser [aka Pul] 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..." (ISBE)

738 BC: Samaria (northern kingdom of Israel) became Tiglath-Pileser's tributary

See: 2 Kings 15:19-20 Israel's King Menahem paid tribute to Assyria

733 BC: the land of Naphtali was annexed to Assyria, and Yahu-khazi (Ahaz) of Judah became an Assyrian vassal

See: 2 Kings 15:29 Israel's King was Pekah when Tiglath Pileser king of Assyria, and took Ijon, Abel Beth Maacah, Janoah, Kedesh, Hazor, Gilead, Galilee, and all of Naphtali captive to Assyria.
See: 2 Kings 16:7-8 Judah's King Ahaz paid Assyria's Tiglath-pileser to help him fight Israel and Aram

733 BC: Tiglath-Pileser fought Rezin of Damascus until that city fell and was placed under an Assyrian governor.
See: 2 Kings 16:9 Assyria's Tiglath-pileser fought against Damascus, took the people into captivity, killed Rezin

731 BC: after Pekah was murdered, Hoshea became king of Israel
See: 2 Kings 15:30 Hoshea killed Pekah to become king of Israel.
See: Isaiah 10:5-19 Prophecy about Assyria
See: Isaiah 10:20ff God's purposes for the exiles of Israel and Judah

728 BC: Tiglath-pileser was crowned at Babylon

727 BC: Tiglath-pileser died.
727 BC: The next king was military man, Shalmaneser IV (727-722 BC), whose original name was Ulula.

722 BC: During the siege of Samaria, Shalmaneser died (murdered?)
722 BC: Army general took the name of Sargon (722-705 BC), seized the throne, and captured Samaria - taking 27,290 of the remaining 10 tribes of Israel into captivity

See: 2 Kings 15:30 Shalmaneser of Assyria credited for taking Israel into captivity.

722 BC: Merodach-Baladan, the Chaldean, possessed Babylonia

717 BC: Assyria captured the Hittite capital, Carchemish.

711 BC: States in southern Palestine revolted but Assyria suppressed them

711 BC: Assyria drove Merodach-Baladan the Chaldean out of Babylonia and south toward the Persian Gulf

705 BC: Sargon was murdered. His son Sennacherib (705-681 BC) without military or administrative abilities became king of Assyria

701 BC: Sennacherib of Assyria went against Hezekiah of Judah, but Judah prevailed against the attack
See: 2 Kings 18 and 2 Kings 19 describe Hezekiah's reign of Judah, trusting in God.
See: 2 Chronicles 32 Sennacherib of Assyria invaded Judah ruled by King Hezekiah.

698 BC: Sennacherib's troups suppressed a revolt in Cilicia where Assyria fought the Greeks

689 BC: Continual revolts against Sennacherib preceded his razing Babylon to the ground

681 BC: Sennacherib was murdered by 2 of his sons and a 3rd son, Esar-haddon, (681-669 BC) succeeded him. He had the military and administrative abilities his father lacked.

681-669 BC: Babylon was rebuilt and became the second capital of the Assyrian empire

681-669 BC: Judah became an obedient province of Assyria

674 and 671 BC: Assyria conquered Egypt

681-669 BC: Cimmeria (Gomer) attempted an invasion of Assyria, but was defeated

681-669 BC: Assyria sent troups into both Media and Arabia

669 BC: On the way to repress a revolt in Egypt, Esar-haddon died

669 BC: Esar-haddon's son Assur-bani-pal succeeded him as king of the Assyrian empire (669-626 BC), and another son Samas-sum-ukin was appointed viceroy of Babylonia

669-626 BC: Assur-bani-pal brought together many books of learning to the Library of Nineveh

669-626 BC: Assur-bani-pal enjoyed extravagant luxury and stayed home when he sent the armies out to war

669-626 BC: Assur-bani-pal built the great palace at Kouyunjik (Nineveh)

669-626 BC: Assur-bani-pal had the first Egypt-Ethiopia revolt by Tirhakah put down, but the Ethiopian's successor Tandamane later revolted. Thebes -- "No-amon" (Nahum 3:8) -- was destroyed after looted treasures were moved to Nineveh
See: Nahum 3:8-10 describing the fall of Egyptian city Thebes (aka "No-amon") after Assyria looted it.

669-626 BC: Assur-bani-pal of Assyria put down a rebellion by Tyre

669-626 BC: Gyges of Lydia asked Assyria for help against the Cimmerians

669-626 BC: Assur-bani-pal of Assyria wouldn't put up with the challenges to Babylonia from the independant country of Elam (Persia), and had the Elamites overthrown beneath the walls of Susa. Two vassal kings were set up to rule Elam (Persia).

669-626 BC: Samas-sum-ukin, the brother of Assur-bani-pal of Assyria, revolted from Babylonia against Assyria

660 BC: In Egypt and with help from Lydia, Psammetichus, founder of the XXVIth Dynasty, won independence from Assyria

660-626 BC: Babylonia was reconquered by siege starvation from Assyria, and Samas-sum-ukin killed himself with fire in the palace

660-626 BC: Assyria leveled Susa to the ground, conquering Elam (Persia)

660-626 BC: Northern Arabia was defeated by Assyria, but its funds were exhausted and most soldiers killed

620s BC: When the Cimmerians attacked Assyria, the empire couldn't resist

626 BC: During the reign of Assur-etil-ilani, the son and successor of Assur-bani-pal, the Assyrian city of Calah was conquered

746-609 BC: Assyrian Empire -->

609-539 BC: Babylonian Empire -->

606 BC: Two reigns later Sin-sar-iskun, the last king of Assyria, fell fighting the Scythians (See Wikipedia)

606 BC: Nineveh was destroyed beyond repair, never again to be inhabited (another source says 612 BC)

606 BC: Northern Babylonia was conquered by Nabopolassar, father of Nebuchadezzar II and viceroy of Babylon, who had joined the northern invaders

606 BC: At Carchemish, the Egyptian army was defeated by the Babylon army led by Nebuchadezzar
See: Jeremiah 2-12 described the Egyptian defeat by Babylon.

606 BC: Syria and Phoenicia were incorporated by Babylon.

559 BC: Cyrus became king of Persia (Elam)

500s BC: During Cyrus' reign, Assur, the old Assyrian capital, was reduced to a small town, but the sites of Nineveh and Calah were desolate, forgotten.

ASSYRIA [Easton 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.)

ASSYRIA, ASSHUR [Smith Bible Dictionary]

Assyr’ia, As’shur,

was a great and powerful country lying on the Tigris, (Genesis 2:14) the capital of which was Nineveh. (Genesis 10:11) etc. It derived its name apparently from Asshur, the son of Shem, (Genesis 10:22) who in later times was worshipped by the Assyrians as their chief god.

1. Extent.

-- The boundaries of Assyria differed greatly at different periods, Probably in the earliest times it was confined to a small tract of low country lying chiefly on the left 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 Baghdad (lat. 33 30’). Eastward its boundary was the high range of Zagros, or mountains of Kurdistan; westward it was, according to the views of some, bounded by the Mesopotamian desert, while according to others it reached the Euphrates.

2. General character of the country.

-- On the north and east the high mountain-chains of Armenia and Kurdistan are succeeded by low ranges of limestone hills of a somewhat arid aspect. To these ridges there succeeds at first an undulating zone of country, well watered and fairly productive, which extends in length for 250 miles, and is interrupted only by a single limestone range. Above and below this barrier is an immense level tract, now for the most part a wilderness, which bears marks of having been in early times well cultivated and thickly peopled throughout.

3. Original peopling.

-- Scripture informs us that Assyria was peopled from Babylon, (Genesis 10:11) and both classical tradition and the monuments of the country agree in this representation.

4. Date of the foundation of the kingdom.

-- As a country, Assyria was evidently known to Moses. (Genesis 2:14; 25:18; Numbers 24:22,24) The foundation of the Assyrian empire was probably not very greatly anterior to B.C. 1228.

5. History.

-- The Mesopotamian researches have rendered it apparent that the original seat of government was not at Nineveh, but at Kileh-Sherghat, on the right bank of the Tigris. The most remarkable monarch of the earlier kings was called Tiglath-pileser. He appears to have been king towards the close of the twelfth century, and thus to have been contemporary with Samuel. Afterwards followed Pul, who invaded Israel in the reign of Menahem (2 Kings 15:29) about B.C. 770, and Shalmaneser who besieged Samaria three years, and destroyed the kingdom of Israel B.C. 721, himself or by his successor Sargon, who usurped the throne at that time. Under Sargon the empire was as great as at any former era, and Nineveh became a most beautiful city. Sargon’s son Sennacherib became the most famous of the Assyrian kings. He began to reign 704 B.C. He invaded the kingdom of Judea in the reign of Hezekiah. He was followed by Esarhaddon, and he by a noted warrior and builder, Sardanapalus. In Scripture it is remarkable that we hear nothing of Assyria after the reign of Esarhaddon, and profane history is equally silent until the attacks began which brought about her downfall. The fall of Assyria, long previously prophesied by Isaiah, (Isaiah 10:5-19) was effected by the growing strength and boldness of the Medes, about 625 B.C. The prophecies of Nahum and Zephaniah (Zephaniah 2:13-15) against Assyria were probably delivered shortly before the catastrophe.

6. General character of the empire.

-- The Assyrian monarchs bore sway over a number of petty kings through the entire extent of their dominions. These native princes were feudatories of the great monarch, of whom they held their crown by the double tenure of homage and tribute. It is not quite certain how far Assyria required a religious conformity from the subject people. Her religion was a gross and complex polytheism, comprising the worship of thirteen principal and numerous minor divinities, at the head of all of whom stood the chief god, Asshur, who seems to be the deified patriarch of the nation. (Genesis 10:22)

7. Civilization of the Assyrians.

-- The civilization of the Assyrians was derived originally from the Babylonians. They were a Shemitic race originally resident in Babylonia (which at that time was Cushite) and thus acquainted with the Babylonian inventions and discoveries, who ascended the valley of the Tigris and established in the tract immediately below the Armenian mountains a separate and distinct nationality. Still, as their civilization developed it became in many respects peculiar. Their art is of home growth. But they were still in the most important points barbarians. Their government was rude and inartificial, their religion coarse and sensual, and their conduct of war cruel.

8. Modern discoveries in Assyria.

-- (Much interest has been excited in reference to Assyria by the discoveries lately made there, which confirm and illustrate the Bible. The most important of them is the finding of the stone tablets or books which formed the great library at Nineveh, founded by Shalmaneser B.C. 860, but embodying tablets written 2000 years B.C. This library was more than doubled by Sardanapalus. These tablets were broken into fragments, but many of them have been put together and deciphered by the late Mr. George Smith, of the British Museum. All these discoveries of things hidden for ages, but now come to light, confirm the Bible.--ED.)


ASSYRIA - ASSYRIANS [Thompson Chain Reference]
Prophecies concerning Assyrians:
* Isaiah 10:5
* Isaiah 14:25
* Isaiah 19:23
* Isaiah 30:31
* Isaiah 31:8
* Ezekiel 31:3

ASSYRIA [BibleGateway Search]
Genesis 10:11 | 2 Kings 15:19-20, 29 | 2 Kings 16:7-10, 18 | 2 Kings 17:3-6 | 2 Kings 17:23-27 | more...