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Title:Prism A (Rassam) and Prism C of Ashurbanipal/Osnappar: Alliance of 22 kings, Manasseh
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Body:Prism A (Rassam) and Prism C of Ashurbanipal: Alliance of Manasseh

Ashurbanipal or Osnappar, King of Assyria 668-631 BC

Ashurbanipal forms an alliance with 22 kings including Manasseh, king of Judah, to defeat Pharaoh Tirhakah at Memphis and Thebes in 667 BC.

Prism A (Rassam) and Prism C of Ashurbanipal

Date of inscription

643 BC

Annal years

Prism A: Campaigns 1-11; Prism C: Campaigns 1-10

Glyptic object

Akkadian Inscription on ten-sided (decagon) clay prism

Discovery

Prism A: Kouyunjik, North Palace (Nineveh) by Hormuzd Rassam in 1854 AD

Prism C: Kouyunjik by Sir Austen Henry Layard in 1879 AD

Current location

Prism A-Rassam: British Museum # 91026; Prism C: British Museum #93007

Bible names

Ashurbanipal, Osnappar, Esarhaddon, Manasseh king of Judah, Taharqa,

Neco I, Psammetichus, Tyre, Edom, Moab, Ammon, Gaza, Ashkelon, Ekron, Byblos, Arvad, Ashdod, Thebes

Bible texts

2 Chron 33:10-13; 2 Kings 19:37; 21:10-15 Isaiah 37:37-38; Ezra 4:2; 9-10; Isaiah 20:3-5; Nahum 3:8-10

Historic events

Manasseh joins 22 kings in an alliance with Esarhaddon in his first campaign of Egypt in 667 BC.

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Digging up Bible stories!

"On my 1st campaign (667 BC), I marched to Egypt and Ethiopia against Taharqa, the king of Egypt and Kush. ... 22 kings, servants who belonged to me, carried their substantial gifts to me and kissed my feet. ... Ba'alu, king of Tyre, Manasseh, king of Judah, Qa'us-gabri, king of Edom, Musuri, king of Moab, Sil-Bel, king of Gaza, Mitinti, king of Ashkelon, Ikausu, king of Ekron ... Ammi-nadbi, king of Ammon, Ahi-Milki, king of Ashdod. ... Taharqa fled from Memphis to Thebes, then south. ... I had mercy on Neco I and I let him live. I made his treaty more stringent than the previous one. ... I appointed Naba-gezibanni, his son, in the city Athribis. ... Afterwards, Tanutamon, the son of Shabako, rebelled against me. ... On my 2nd campaign (664 BC), I took the direct road to Egypt and Kush. Tanutamon heard about the advance and fled Memphis to Thebes, then south to Kipkipi. ... Later, Gyges, the king of Lydia ... sent his forces to aid Psammetichus I, the king of Egypt who had cast off the yoke." (RINAP 5/I, Jamie Novotny, Prism C, #6, Prism A, #11, 2018 AD)

"What you read in the book you find in the ground"

See also:

1. For a complete list of Assyrian kings see: Detailed outline on Adad-Nirari III

2. Victory Stele of Esarhaddon (671 BC) pictured a standing Manasseh, king of Judah (695-642 BC). Kneeling is Pharaoh Tirhakah's son Usanahuru (crown prince) as recorded in 2 Chronicles 33:11.

3. Prism A of Esarhaddon that names Manasseh who supplied materials for the Assyrian palace in 673 BC.

4. Chicago/Taylor Prisms of Sennacherib (689/691 BC) that describe the alliance of Hezekiah with Pharaoh Tirhakah in repelling the attack of Sennacherib's siege of Jerusalem in 701 BC.

5. Prism A (Rassam) and Prism C of Ashurbanipal: Alliance of 22 kings, including Manasseh king of Judah attach Egypt and defeat Tirhakah in 667 BC and the final conquest of Thebes in 664 BC.

6. Egyptian Pharaohs at the time of the Babylonian Captivity.

7. Josiah the chosen one: 640-609 BC

8. Jehoiakim the bible burner: 609-598 BC

9. Zedekiah the last hope: 597-587 BC

Introduction:

1. Importance of Prism A (Rassam) and Prism C of Ashurbanipal:

a. The many different complete and fragmentary annals cylinders of Ashurbanipal can be "sewn" together to create a single record of the 11 campaigns and other important information.

b. Prism A is a complete 10-sided decagonal clay prism. Prism A contains the most details, but it lacks certain details found in Prism C. For example, while Prism A reference the military allegiance of the 22 kings in the first campaign to Egypt against Pharaoh Tirhakah, only Prism C lists the individual kings and most importantly, only Prism C names Manasseh king of Judah on line ii 27'.

c. Prism C is incomplete even after the 6 fragments are composited, but it is the only place in all of the inscriptions of Ashurbanipal lists Manasseh king of Judah on line ii 27'.

d. Only once did Ashurbanipal name Manasseh on any of his steles, prisms, or cylinders on Prism C. For Bible students this proves what you read in the Book you find in the ground!

e. Although scripture never names Ashurbanipal, he was very influential in shaping the Hebrew nation. He continued to settle the 10 tribes of Israel in Assyria and lived to see the great restorative renaissance of Josiah King of Judah.

2. Difficulty in the chronology of Ashurbanipal:

a. There are 11 campaigns over the course of Ashurbanipal's 37-year reign.

b. "The chronology of the reign of Ashurbanipal is still one of the more uncertain areas in Neo-Assyrian history and yet one of the most crucial. ... The reason that this is such a problematic area is the fact that chronologically oriented sources for Ashurbanipal are singularly sparse. There is no eponym chronicle for the entire reign; the eponym list breaks off at 649; no Babylonian chronicles are preserved beyond 667; and the chronological confusion is compounded by Ashurbanipal's "annals." In the text of the annals no eponyms are quoted for events but rather the campaigns are numbered in order of their appearance in the narrative and since the order of appearance is often different in the various editions, the number of the same campaign is often different. The designation "campaign" is also misleading for several expeditions or military incidents are commonly included under what is introduced as one campaign. The sequence of events in the narrative is unreliable for campaigns are arranged primarily along geographical rather than chronological lines. In other words Ashurbanipal's "annals" are not true Assyrian annals at all; rather they are a cross between the annals and display texts. Given these difficulties, how is one to reconstruct a chronology?" (The Chronology of the Reign of Ashurbanipal, A. K. Grayson, Zeitschrift für Assyriologie und vorderasiatische Archäologie, vol 70, Issue: 2, p227, 1980 AD)

3. The two campaigns of Ashurbanipal to Egypt: 667 and 664 BC:

a. The first Egyptian campaign of Ashurbanipal was in 667 BC and the second was in 664 BC.

b. "In 669, tensions in Egypt had flared up. Esarhaddon was en route to invade the country for a third time when he fell ill and died. Because Ashurbanipal was involved in matters closer to home, Taharqa and his supporters took the opportunity to consolidate their autonomy over Egypt. The Kushite pharaoh marched to Memphis, entered the city, and began ridding Egypt of Assyria and its influence, starting with the garrisons stationed there by Esarhaddon. Upon hearing the news, Ashurbanipal dispatched a large army to Egypt. Along the way, numerous western vassals paid tribute and sent troops and equipment (including boats) to aid in the fight. Assyrian and Egyptian forces clashed at the city Kar-Banitu. Assyria won the day and, when news of this reached Memphis, Taharqa and his supporters fled to Thebes and then further south, beyond the reach of Ashurbanipal's army. The Assyrians once again occupied Memphis and dealt appropriately with anti-Assyrian conspirators. Afterwards, some of the local rulers who had supported or conspired with Taharqa, Necho [I] and sarru-lu-daru in particular, were taken to Assyria. In the Assyrian capital, Ashurbanipal made Necho [I] swear a new oath of fealty before he was permitted to return to his post. When the exiled Taharqa died, his nephew Tanutamon, the son of Shabako, proclaimed himself pharaoh, secured Thebes and Heliopolis, and marched to Memphis. When news of the attack reached Nineveh, Ashurbanipal dispatched his army to Memphis. As soon as the Assyrians set foot on Egyptian soil, Tanutamon is reported to have fled south, first to Thebes, then to Kipkipi. The former city, a bustling metropolis and major religious center, was captured and plundered; in addition to an abundance of gold and silver, two metal obelisks were sent to Nineveh as part of the vast spoils of war. Psammetichus I (Nabu-sezibanni) was installed as ruler in Sais and Memphis; Tanutamon, however, remained the ruler of Kush and ruled from the south. After the sack of Thebes, Assyrian sources are silent on events in Egypt, apart from the fact that at some point Psammetichus had severed ties with Assyria and that the Lydian king Gyges (see below) had sent him troops." (Royal Inscriptions of Ashurbanipal (668-631 BC), RINAP 5/I, Jamie Novotny, Joshua Jeffers, p17, 2018 AD)

4. Bible verses:

a. Bible verses that reference the sacking of Thebes in 664 BC:

i. 700 BC: "And the Lord said, "Even as My servant Isaiah has gone naked and barefoot three years as a sign and token against Egypt and Cush, so the king of Assyria will lead away the captives of Egypt and the exiles of Cush, young and old, naked and barefoot with buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt. "Then they will be dismayed and ashamed because of Cush their hope and Egypt their boast." (Isaiah 20:3-5)

ii. 629-612 BC: "Are you better than No-amon (Thebes), Which was situated by the waters of the Nile, With water surrounding her, Whose rampart was the sea, Whose wall consisted of the sea? Ethiopia was her might, And Egypt too, without limits. Put and Lubim were among her helpers. Yet she became an exile, She went into captivity; Also her small children were dashed to pieces At the head of every street; They cast lots for her honorable men, And all her great men were bound with fetters." (Nahum 3:8-10)

b. Ashurbanipal is called Osnappar by Ezra:

i. 450 BC: "then wrote Rehum the commander and Shimshai the scribe and the rest of their colleagues, the judges and the lesser governors, the officials, the secretaries, the men of Erech, the Babylonians, the men of Susa, that is, the Elamites, and the rest of the nations which the great and honorable Osnappar (Ashurbanipal) deported and settled in the city of Samaria, and in the rest of the region beyond the River. Now" (Ezra 4:9-10)

5. Sources:

a. Royal Inscriptions of Ashurbanipal (668-631 BC), RINAP 5/I, Jamie Novotny, Joshua Jeffers, Prism C, #6, p107, 2018 AD

b. Royal Inscriptions of Ashurbanipal (668-631 BC), RINAP 5/I, Jamie Novotny, Joshua Jeffers, Prism A, #11, p222, 2018 AD

I. Chronology of Hezekiah, Manasseh, Josiah, Tirhakah, Sennacherib, Esarhaddon, Ashurbanipal:

1. 701 BC: Chicago/Taylor Prisms of Sennacherib described the alliance of Hezekiah with Pharaoh Tirhakah to defend against Sennacherib's (704-681 BC) siege of Jerusalem in Hezekiah 14th regnal year. The Chicago Prism/Taylor Prisms recorded that Hezekiah was like a "bird in a cage". Tirhakah was only king of Upper Egypt (Kush/Ethiopia) and did not become Pharaoh of both Upper and Lower Egypt until 690 BC.

a. See: Chicago/Taylor Prisms of Sennacherib (689/691 BC) described the alliance of Hezekiah with Pharaoh Tirhakah in repelling the attack of Sennacherib's siege of Jerusalem in 701 BC.

b. "This, in turn, settles another old problem. In 701, during his Palestinian campaign, Sennacherib is said to have had to watch out for "Tirhaqa, king of Kush" (2 Kings 19:9; Isaiah 37:9). Kush, may I emphasize, NOT Egypt! Which is how almost all commentators have stubbornly misunderstood it (myself included). In 701, Shebitku ruled Egypt, and Taharqa was his Nubian lieutenant, precisely as Shebitku himself had been for Shabako. There was thus a clear, practical Kushite policy for ruling their vast twin realm effectively - and that twice over, on Assyrian and West-Semitic data that are together consistent." (The strengths and weaknesses of Egyptian chronology - A Reconsideration, Kenneth A. Kitchen, Egypt and the Levant, Vol. 16, p294, 2006 AD)

c. "A Serapeum stela linking Psammetichus I to Taharqa and other dated sources yield 690 BC as the latter's [Taharqa] year 1. Dated documents of Taharqa's predecessor Shebitku are few, but according to the Tang-i Var inscription, regnal year 1 of Shebitku corresponded to 706 BC at the latest. His predecessor Shabaka ruled at least into a year 15; at the beginning of his reign, he defeated Bocchoris of Memphis. Using dead reckoning 723/22 BC is the latest possible date for year 6 of Bocchoris." (Ancient Egyptian Chronology, Erik Hornung, Rolf Krauss, and David A. Warburton, p473, 2006 AD)

2. 685 BC: Manasseh executed Isaiah the prophet by sawing him into two in a tree trunk: Heb 11:37

a. This was recorded in Hebrews: "They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated" (Hebrews 11:37)

b. "And they seized Isaiah the son of Amoz and sawed him in half with a wood saw. 12 And Manasseh, and Belkira, and the false prophets, and the princes, and the people, and all stood by looking on. 13 And to the prophets who (were) with him he said before he was sawed in half, "Go to the district of Tyre and Sidon, because for me alone the LORD has mixed the cup." 14 And while Isaiah was being sawed in half, he did not cry out, or weep, but his mouth spoke with the Holy Spirit until he was sawed in two. 15 Beliar did this to Isaiah through Belkira and through Manasseh, for Sammael was very angry with Isaiah from the days of Hezekiah, king of Judah, because of the things which he had seen concerning the Beloved, 16 and because of the destruction of Sammael which he had seen through the LORD, while Hezekiah his father was king. And he did as Satan wished." (Ascension of Isaiah 5:11-16, 200 BC - 400 AD)

c. "Because of these visions and prophecies Sammael Satan sawed Isaiah the son of Amoz, the prophet, in half by the hand of Manasseh. 42 And Hezekiah gave all these things to Manasseh in the twenty-sixth year of his reign. 43 But Manasseh did not remember these things, nor place them in his heart, but he became the servant of Satan and was destroyed." (Ascension of Isaiah 11:41, 200 BC - 400 AD)

d. "When Manasseh arose, he pursued Isaiah, wanting to kill him. Isaiah fled from him. He escaped to a cedar, which swallowed him up, except for the show fringes of his cloak, which revealed where he was. They came and told him. He said to them, "Go and cut the cedar down." They cut the cedar down, and blood showed [indicating that Isaiah had been sawed also.] (Jerusalem Talmud Sanh.10:2, III.1.OO-PP, 400 AD)

3. 681 BC: Esarhaddon and his brothers assassinated their father Sennacherib and fight for succession rights for a year. Esarhaddon was victorious and became king then and began a 3-year siege of Sidon.

4. 677 BC: Esarhaddon defeated and beheaded Abdi-Milkuti, the king Sidon and rebuilt Sidon as the "Port of Esarhaddon".

5. 676 BC: Prism A of Esarhaddon described how 22 vassal kings, including Manasseh of Judah, contributed building materials for the palace of Esarhaddon at Nineveh. See: Prism A of Esarhaddon

6. 673 BC, 5th Adar: Esarhaddon's failed first campaign against Egypt. Tirhakah and Neco I (673-664 BC) were principles in the successful rebellion.

a. "The seventh year [of Esarhaddon]: On the fifth day of the month Adar the army of Assyria was defeated in Egypt." (Assyrian and Babylonian Chronicles, A. Kirk Grayson, Babylonian Chronicle 1.iv.16, p84, 2000 AD)

b. "ln the winter of 673 B.C., at the end of Esarhaddon's seventh year, the Assyrian army set out to conquer Egypt. The campaign ended in what was probably one of Assyria's worst defeats. A few months later, Esarhaddon went to war against Shubria, a small kingdom at the foot of the Taurus Mountains, east of the upper Tigris and west of Lake Van." (Esarhaddon, Egypt, and Shubria: Politics and Propaganda, Israel Eph'al, Journal of Cuneiform Studies, vol 57, p99, 2005 AD)

7. 672 BC: Tirhakah's defeat of Esarhaddon prompted Manasseh, king of Judah, to join with Egypt in rebellion against Assyria.

8. 671 BC, Nisan-Tammuz/Tishri: Victory Stele of Esarhaddon pictured the defeat of Egypt. Esarhaddon defeated Pharaoh Tirhakah at Memphis, but he escaped. Neco I was appointed a vassal Pharaoh at Sais. Esarhaddon appointed new governors of Egypt and deported Tirhakah's son Usanahuru (crown prince), and Manasseh, king of Judah to Assyria. The Victory Stele of Esarhaddon showed him holding ropes attached to nose rings of Egypt's crown prince Usanahuru and Manasseh. Notice that the crown of Manasseh (king of Judah) in the victory Stele is the same as the crown of Jehu (king of Israel) in the Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III in 841 BC.

a. "Second Chronicles 33:11-16 indicates that he [Manasseh] was taken as a prisoner of war to Babylon, that he genuinely repented there, that God restored him as king, and that he tried to abolish his former pagan practices and to restore proper worship of God alone. Skepticism about this account is not warranted, even though unparalleled in 2 Kings. Surviving Assyrian records twice mention Manasseh, saying that he faithfully provided men to transport timber from Lebanon to Nineveh for the Assyrian king Esar-haddon (681-669 BC) and that he paid tribute to King Ashurbanipal (669-627 BC) after an Assyrian military campaign in Egypt in 667 BC." (Tyndale Bible dictionary, Manasseh)

9. 669 BC, 10th Marcheshvan: Esarhaddon's health problems worsened which likely prompted Pharaoh Tirhakah to rebel again against Assyria. This prompted a third attack on Egypt. However, Esarhaddon died in November (10th Marcheshvan) at Harran while marching to Egypt during the third Egyptian campaign. About this time, Manasseh's penitent prayer to God resulted in him being restored as a vassal king in Judah. It is likely that Manasseh accompanied Esarhaddon's army as a token of the alliance against Egypt and was finally released at Harran after the king died.

a. "In 669, tensions in Egypt had flared up. Esarhaddon was en route to invade the country for a third time when he fell ill and died. Because Ashurbanipal was involved in matters closer to home, Taharqa and his supporters took the opportunity to consolidate their autonomy over Egypt. The Kushite pharaoh marched to Memphis, entered the city, and began ridding Egypt of Assyria and its influence, starting with the garrisons stationed there by Esarhaddon. Upon hearing the news, Ashurbanipal dispatched a large army to Egypt. Along the way, numerous western vassals paid tribute and sent troops and equipment (including boats) to aid in the fight. Assyrian and Egyptian forces clashed at the city Kar-Banitu. Assyria won the day and, when news of this reached Memphis, Taharqa and his supporters fled to Thebes and then further south, beyond the reach of Ashurbanipal's army. The Assyrians once again occupied Memphis and dealt appropriately with anti-Assyrian conspirators. Afterwards, some of the local rulers who had supported or conspired with Taharqa, Necho and sarru-lu-dari in particular, were taken to Assyria. In the Assyrian capital, Ashurbanipal made Necho swear a new oath of fealty before he was permitted to return to his post. When the exiled Taharqa died [664 BC], his nephew Tanutamon, the son of Shabako, proclaimed himself pharaoh, secured Thebes and Heliopolis, and marched to Memphis. When news of the attack reached Nineveh, Ashurbanipal dispatched his army to Memphis. As soon as the Assyrians set foot on Egyptian soil, Tanutamon is reported to have fled south, first to Thebes, then to Kipkipi. The former city, a bustling metropolis and major religious center, was captured and plundered; in addition to an abundance of gold and silver, two metal obelisks were sent to Nineveh as part of the vast spoils of war. Psammetichus I (Nabu-sezibanni) was installed as ruler in Sais and Memphis; Tanutamon, however, remained the ruler of Kush and ruled from the south. After the sack of Thebes, Assyrian sources are silent on events in Egypt, apart from the fact that at some point Psammetichus had severed ties with Assyria and that the Lydian king Gyges had sent him troops." (The Royal Inscriptions of Ashurbanipal (668-631 BC), Part I, Jamie Novotny, Joshua Jeffers, p17, 2018 AD)

10. 667 BC Prism A (Rassam) and Prism C of Ashurbanipal: Vassal Pharaoh Necho I (Neco) rebelled, triggering Ashurbanipal's first campaign against Egypt in an alliance of 22 kings, including Manasseh king of Judah, resulted in the defeat of Pharaoh Tirhakah first at Memphis, then at Thebes. Tirhakah escaped and fled south into Nubia. Ashurbanipal reappointed Necho I and others as vassal rulers. Manasseh founded a Jewish military outpost at Elephantine in 667 BC as a function of his alliance with Ashurbanipal in defeating Tirhakah. In 536-526 BC, the Jews built a temple at Elephantine within ten years of the decree of Cyrus in 536 BC that predated Ezra's Jerusalem temple by at least 10 years (515 BC). Heroditus (Hist. 2.29.2-30.5) noted a military outpost in the days of Psammetichus I and the Aramaic Elephantine Papyri remarked that when Cambyses, the king of Persian who succeeded Cyrus the Great, conquered Egypt in 525 BC, that he saw the Jewish temple standing at Elephantine. The Hebrew sacrifice of rams in their Elephantine temple was an open point of conflict with the Egyptians who worshipped the ram god Khnum at their nearby temple. The "Razing of Temple and Petition for Aid" Elephantine Papyri dated to 410 BC and indicates that it was these Egyptian priests who burned the Hebrew Temple.

11. 664 BC: Ashurbanipal's second campaign against Egypt. After Tirhakah died in exile, his nephew, Tanutamon, recaptured Memphis and Thebes, killing Neco I. Psammetichus I (Psamtik I), the son of Neco I, fled to Assyria. Assyrian armies of Ashurbanipal and the armies of Psamtik I join forces and travel from Assyria to attack Egypt. When Ashurbanipal defeated Tanutamon at Memphis he fled south Thebes, then further south to Kipkipi where he continued to rule until being defeated by Psamtik I (Psammetichus I) in 656 BC. In 664 BC, Ashurbanipal appointed Psammetichus I as vassal Pharaoh at Sais (located 60 km south of Rosetta on the Canopic Branch of the Nile Delta) and Memphis. See the Prism A (Rassam) and Prism C of Ashurbanipal

12. 664-656 BC: Manasseh and Gyges sent troops to Psamtik I to help defeat Nubia. Psamtik I and Manasseh form an alliance and rebel against Assyria which is growing weaker with the rising Babylonian empire.

a. Manasseh declared independence from Ashurbanipal and helped Psamtik I (Psammetichus I) defeat Nubia by sending troops. See: Letter of Aristeas 13, 250 BC. Gyges, king of Lydia sent troops to Psamtik I in assistance see Prism A (Rassam) and Prism C of Ashurbanipal.

b. "Already in earlier times as well a fair number had entered the country with the Persian, and before them other confederate troops (i.e of Manasseh) had been dispatched to fight with Psammitichus against the king of the Ethiopians, but they were not so many in number as those brought over by Ptolemy the son of Lagos." (Letter of Aristeas 13, 250 BC)

c. "664-663 BC: Gyges contacts Assyria; somewhat after that, a Cimmerian invasion of Lydia is defeated. 662-658 BC: Gyges sends mercenaries to Psammetichus [I]; Sais begins to expand in the Delta. 657 BC: Second wave of Cimmerians attack Lydia; last year of the Kushite domination of Thebes; Psammetichus rules over the entire Delta. 656 BC: Egypt unified under Sais." (Date of the Death of Gyges and Its Historical Implications, Anthony J. Spalinger, Journal of the American Oriental Society, vol 98, no. 4, p405, 1978 AD)

13. 650 BC: Elephantine expanded by Manasseh. Although Elephantine was founded by Manasseh in 667 BC as a military outpost when he sent troops to help defend against Ashurbanipal I (Assyria), it was greatly expanded by Manasseh in 655 BC when Manasseh joined Pharaoh Psammetichus I and Gyges, king of Lydia where Nubia was defeated, and Egypt and Judea declared independence from Assyria.

14. 642 BC: Manasseh died, and Amon became king of Judah (642-640 BC).

15. 641 BC: Psammetichus I begins the 29-year siege of Ashdod which fell around 612 BC.

16. 640 BC: Amon died, and Josiah became king of Judah 640-609 BC. Josiah vacillated between alliances with Egypt and Assyria:

a. "Also the men of Memphis and Tahpanhes Have shaved the crown of your head." (Jeremiah 2:16)

b. "But now what are you doing on the road to Egypt, To drink the waters of the Nile? Or what are you doing on the road to Assyria, To drink the waters of the Euphrates?" (Jeremiah 2:18)

c. "Why do you go around so much Changing your way? Also, you will be put to shame by Egypt As you were put to shame by Assyria." (Jeremiah 2:36)

17. 612 BC: Fall of Assyria to Babylonians, and Ashdod is captured by Psamtik I after 29-year siege.

a. Nabopolassar captured Nineveh in alliance with the Medes.

b. In 605 BC, Jeremiah noted that Ashdod had recently been destroyed: "remnant of Ashdod" (Jer 25:20)

18. 610 BC: Psamtik I died, and Neco II becomes king who killed Josiah in 609 BC.

19. 609 BC: Neco II killed Josiah and appointed Jehoiakim king and pays tribute.

20. 608 BC: Jehoiakim submits to Nabopolassar in 608 BC when he conquered Neco II in Egypt

II. About Prism A (Rassam) and Prism C of Ashurbanipal

1. Prism C was written around 647 BC.

a. Prism C is in 6 fragments of the decagon prism.

b. Prism C is the only place in all the inscriptions of Ashurbanipal that named Manasseh, king of Judah.

2. Prism A was written in the years 644 BC or 643 BC or 642 BC.

a. Prism A is a complete ten-sided (decagon) prism.

b. Prism A has additional details lacking in other prisms including Prism C.

III. Translations of Prism A (Rassam) and Prism C of Ashurbanipal

Prism C (RINAP 5/1 #6) 647 BC

Prism A (Rassam) (RINAP 5/1 #11) 642 BC

First campaign to Egypt in 667 BC

ii 4'-24') On my fir[st campaign, I marched] to Makan (Egypt) [and Melubba (Ethiopia)]. Taharqa, the king of Eg[ypt and Kush], whose defeat Esarhaddon - king of As[syria, the father who had engendered me] - had brought about (and) [whose land] he [ruled over, forgot] the might of (the god) Assur and the goddess [Istar, the great gods], my lords, [and] (ii 10') trusted in [his] o[wn] strength. He marched against the kings (and) off[icials], whom the father who had en[gendered me] had appointed inside Egypt, to kill (and) rob (them) and to take away Eg[ypt (from them)]. (ii 15') He entered and resided in the city Mem[phis], a city that the father who had engendered me had conquer[ed] (and) made part of the territory of his land. A fast messenger came to Nineveh and reported (this) to me. (ii 20') My [h]eart became enraged about these deeds and my temper turned hot. I mustered my elite forces that (the god) Assur and the goddess Istar had placed in my hands and I made (them) take the direct road to Egypt and Kush.

i 52-68a) On my first campaign, I marched to Makan (Egypt) and Melubba (Ethiopia). (As for) Taharqa, the king of Egypt and Kush, whose defeat Esarhaddon -king of Assyria, the father who had engendered me - had brought about (and) (i 55b) whose land he ruled over, he, Taharqa, forgot the might of (the god) Assur, the goddess Istar, and the great gods, my lords, and trusted in his own strength. He marched against the kings (and) officials, whom the father who had engendered me had appointed inside Egypt, to kill (and) rob (them) and to take away Egypt (from them). (i 60b) He entered and resided in the city Memphis, a city that the father who had engendered me had conquered (and) made part of the territory of Assyria. A fast messenger came to Nineveh and reported (this) to me. My heart became enraged about these deeds and my temper turned hot. (i 65) I raised up my hands (and) made an appeal to (the god) Assur and the Assyrian Istar. I mustered my elite forces that (the god) Assur and the goddess Istar had placed in my hands (and) I made (them) take the direct road to Egypt and Kush.

Alliance of 22 kings, including Manasseh: First campaign to Egypt in 667 BC

ii 25'-52') In the course of my campaign, Ba'alu, king of the land Tyre, Manasseh, king of the land Judah, Qa'us-gabri, king of the land Edom, Musuri, king of the land Moab, (ii 30') Sil-Bel, king of the land Gaza, Mitinti, king of the land Ashkelon, Ikausu, king of the land Ekron, milki-asapa, king of the land Byblos, Yakin-Lu, king of the land Arwad, (ii 35') Abi-Ba'al, king of the land Samsimurruna, Ammi-nadbi, king of the land Bit-Ammon, Ahi-Milki, king of the land Ashdod, Ekistura, king of the land Idalion, Pilagura, king of the land Kitrusi, (ii 40') Kisu, king of the Admesu, king of the land Tamassos, (ii 45') Damysos, king of the land Qartihadasti, Unasagusu, king of the land Lidir, Bususu, king of the land Nuria - in total, twenty-two kings of the seacoast, the midst of the sea, and dry land, (ii 50') [serva]nts who belonged to me, carried their substantial [audience] gift(s) [before me] and kissed my feet.

i 68b-71) In the course of my campaign, twenty-two kings of the seacoast, the midst of the sea, and dry land, servants who belonged to me, carried their substantial audience gift(s) before me and kissed my feet.

Tirhakah defeated at Memphis and Thebes: First campaign to Egypt in 667 BC

ii 53'-55') I [made th]ose [kings], together with their forces (and) their [boat]s, [take] the road (and) path [with] my [tro]ops by se[a and dry land]. ii 56'-66') I [quickl]y adv[anc]ed [to sup]port (and) aid the kings (and) officials [who were in] Egypt, servants who belonged to me, and I marched as far as the city (ii 60') [Ta]harqa, the king of Egypt and Kush, heard about the advance of my expeditionary force (while he was) [in]side the city Memphis, and m[ustere]d his battle troops before me to wage armed battle and war. [With the su]pport of the gods Assur, Bel (Marduk), and Na[bil, the] great [god's, my lords [who ma]rch at my [si]de, [I brought about] the defeat of his troops [in a] widespr[ead pitch]ed [battle]. ii 67'-75') [Taharqa heard about the defeat of] his [tro]ops [while (he was) inside] the city Memphis. [The awe-inspiring radiance of (the god) Assur and] the goddess Istar (ii 70') [overwhelmed him and he wen]t into a frenzy. [The brilliance of my royal majesty, with which the gods o]f heaven (and) netherworld [had endowed me, cove]red him; he [abandoned the city Memphis] and, in order to save his (own) life, he fled inside the city Thebes. I seized th[a]t city (Memphis) (and then) made my troops enter (and) reside there.

i 72-74) I made those kings, together with their forces (and) their boats, take the road (and) path with my troops by sea and dry land. i 75-82) I quickly advanced to support the kings (and) officials who were in Egypt, servants who belonged to me, and I marched as far as the city Kar-Baniti. -ti Taharqa, the king of Egypt and Kush, heard about the advance of my expeditionary force (while he was) inside the city Memphis, and (i 80) mustered his battle troops before me to wage armed battle and war. With the support of the gods Assur, Bel (Marduk), (and) Nabil, the great gods, my lords who march at my side, I brought about the defeat of his troops in a widespread pitched battle. i 83-89) Taharqa heard about the defeat of his troops while (he was) inside the city Memphis. The awe- inspiring radiance of (the god) Assur and the goddess Istar overwhelmed him and he went into a frenzy. (i 85) The brilliance of my royal majesty, with which the gods of heaven and netherworld had endowed me, covered him; he abandoned the city Memphis and, in order to save his (own) life, he fled inside the city Thebes. I seized that city (Memphis) (and then) made my troops enter (and) reside there.

Ashurbanipal reappointed Necho I and others as vassal rulers after first campaign in 667 BC

ii 76'-85') (As for) Necho [I], king of the cities Memphis and Sais, gar[r]u-lii-dari, king of the city Pelusium, city Heracleopolis [thos]e ki[ngs], governors, (and) officials whom] the father who had engendered me had appointed [in Egypt], w[ho had abando]ned [their post(s) in the face of] Taharqa's [tactical adv]ance, (and) had go[ne to (lit. "fil[led]") the countrys]ide, Lacuna ii 1"-2") [I turned] ar[ound (lit. "[I turned] the front of my yokel") and returned] s[afely to Assyria].

i 90-116a) (As for) Necho, king of the cities Memphis and Sais, Sarru-111-dari, king of the city Pelusium, Pi-gan-Huru, king of the city Natho, Pa-gruru, king of the city Pigaptu, Bokennife (Bukkunanni'pi), king of the city Athribis, (i 95) Nabke, king of the city Heracleopolis, Putu-Bagti, king of the city Tanis, Unamunu, king of the city Natho, tiur-gi-Egu, king of the city Sebennytos, Pdiama, king of the city Mendes, (i 100) Sheshonq, king of the city Busiris, Tap-nabte, king of the city Punubu, Bokennife (Bukkunanni'pi), king of the city Mini, Eptimu-rtegu, king of the city Trenuthis, Nahti-huru-ansini, king of the city Pigapdf a, (i 105) Bukurninip, king of the city Pabnutu, Si-bu, king of the city Siut, Lamintu, king of the city Hermopolis, Igpimatu, king of the city Thinis, (and) Monthemhet, king of the city Thebes, (i 110) those kings, governors, (and) officials whom the father who had engendered me had appointed in Egypt, who had abandoned their post(s) in the face of Taharqa's tactical advance, (and) had gone to (lit. "filled") the countryside, where their post(s) were, I reappointed them in their (former) po-sitions. I reorganized Egypt and Kush, which the fa-ther who had engendered me had conquered. (i 115) I strengthened (its) guard more i 116b-117) With much plunder (and) substantial booty, I returned safely to Nineveh.

Vassal Pharaoh Necho I triggered rebellion in 667 BC

ii 3"-19"a) After[wards, Necho, garru-lii-dari, (and) Pa-qruru sinned against my] tr[eaty (and) did not honor the oath(s sworn) by the great gods. (ii 5") They forgot my kindness and their heart(s) plotted evil (deeds). They spoke word(s) of treachery and decided (among) themselves on a] pro[fitless deci]sion, [saying: "If they remove Tahar]qa from Eg[ypt, how then] can [w]e (ourselves) stay?" (ii 10") [T]o establish [treaties a]nd peace, they dispatched their mounted messenger(s) [t]o Taharqa, the king of Kush, [sayi]ng: "Let peace be established between us so that [we] can come to a mutual agreement. (ii 15") (Let) us divide [the land] am[ong ourselves] so that no other lord co[mes betw]een [us]." With regard to troops of Assyria, [the mig]ht of my lordly majesty, they [consta]ntly [so]ught out [evil plan(s) to cut (their) throat(s)].

i 118-128a) Afterwards, those kings, as many as I had appointed, sinned against my treaty (and) did not honor the oath(s sworn) by the great gods. They forgot the kindness that I had done for them and (i 120) their heart(s) plotted evil (deeds). They spoke word(s) of treachery and decided (among) themselves on a profitless decision, saying: "If they remove Taharqa from Egypt, how then can we (ourselves) stay?" To establish treaties and peace, they dispatched their mounted messenger(s) to Taharqa, the king of Kush, saying: (i 125) "Let peace be established between us so that we can come to a mutual agreement. (Let) us divide the land among ourselves so that no other lord comes between us." With regard to troops of Assyria, the might of my lordly majesty that I had stationed (there) to help them, they constantly sought out evil plan(s).

News of Egyptian Rebellion reached Ashurbanipal in 667 BC

ii 19"b) [Eunuchs of] mine [heard these] words; Lacuna Lacuna

i 128b-134a) Eunuchs of mine heard these words; they seized their mounted messenger(s) along with their Ha-to-ga-un messages and (i 130) (then) they saw their deceitful acts. They seized those kings and clamped (their) hands and feet in iron fetters (and) iron handcuffs. The oath (sworn) by (the god) Assur, the king of the gods, defeated them and my kindness, which I had done for them as a favor, called to account those who had sinned against the treaty (sworn) by the great gods. i 134b-ii 4) (As for) people of the cities Sais, Mendes, Pelusium, and the rest of the cities, as many as had sided with them (and) plotted evil (deeds), young and old, they (my troops) cut (them) down with the sword. They did not spare a single person among (them).

Ashurbanipal reappointed Necho I a second time as vassal ruler in Egypt in 667 BC

iii 1'-111) I plac[ed on him (Necho I) a golden hoe, an in]signia of his kingship, (and) fastened [gol]d [bracelets] around his wrists. [O]n [a belt-dagger] with gold mountings, I wrote out [my name] and I gave (it) to him. (iii 5') I presented him [with chariots, hors]es, (and) mules [to be] his [lord]ly [transport]. I sent [wit]h him [eunuchs of mine] (and) governors [to help him. Where] the father who had me had app]ointed him [as king, i]n the city Sais, returned him to his position. iii 12'-15') [Moreover], I appointed Naba-gezibanni, his son, in the city [Athribi]s. I performed more [k]ind (and) good deed(s) for him th[an the father] who had engendered me.

ii 8-17a) Among them, I had mercy on Necho and I let him live. I made (his) treaty more stringent than the previous one and I established (it) with him. (ii 10) I clothed him in garment(s) with multi-colored trim, placed on him a golden hoe, an insignia of his kingship, (and) fastened gold bracelets around his wrists. On an iron belt-dagger with gold mountings, I wrote out my name and I gave (it) to him. I presented him with chariots, horses, (and) mules to be his lordly transport. (ii 15) I sent with him eunuchs of mine (and) governors to help him. Where the father who had engendered me had appointed him as king, in the city Sais, I returned him to his position. ii 17b-19) Moreover, I appointed Naba-gezibanni, his son, in the city Athribis. I performed more kind (and) good deed(s) for him than the father who had engendered me.

Tirhakah died in exile in 664 BC

iii 16'-18'a) (As for) Tahar[q]a, in the place where he had fled, the awesome terror of the weapon of (the god) Assur, my lord, overwhelmed him and [he passed a]way.

ii 20-21) (As for) Taharqa, in the place where he had fled, the awesome terror of the weapon of (the god) Assur, my lord, overwhelmed him and he passed away.

Tanutamon recaptured Memphis and Thebes, killing Neco I in 664 BC

iii 18'b-27') Afterwar[ds, Tanutamon, the so]n of his sister, sat [upon] his [roya]l [throne. He mad]e the cities Thebes (and) [Heliopolis his fortresses] (and) assemb[led his forces]. To fight against [the Assyrian troops] who were inside the city Me[mphis, he mobi-lized his battle array, confined] tho[se] people, [and] (iii 25') cut off [their escape route]. A fas[t] messenger came [to Nineveh] and told (this) [to me].

ii 22-27) Afterwards, Tanutamon, the son of Shabako, sat upon his royal throne. He made the cities Thebes (and) Heliopolis his fortresses (and) assembled his forces. To fight against the Assyrian troops (ii 25) who were inside the city Memphis, he mobilized his battle array, confined those people, and cut off their escape route. A fast messenger came to Nineveh and told (this) to me.

Second campaign to Egypt in the sacking of Thebes in 664 BC

iii 28'-36') For a second time, I took the direct [road] to Egypt [and Kush]. Tanutamon [he]ard about the advance of [my expeditionary force] and that I had set foot on [Egyptian] territory, he abandoned the city Memphis and, in order to save [his (own)] li[fe], he fled inside [the city Thebes]. The kings, governors, (and) [officials] whom [I had stationed] in Egypt came to meet me and kiss[ed my feet].

iii 37'-42') [I took the road] in pursuit of Tanutamon (and) I marched as far as the city Thebes, [his] for[tified] city. He saw the assault of my battle array [and] abandoned the city Thebes; (iii 40') he fled to the city K[ip]kipi. With the support of (the god) Assur and the goddess Istar, I conquered that city (Thebes) i[n] its [entir]ety.

ii 28-33) On my second campaign, I took the direct road to Egypt and Kush. Tanutamon heard about the advance of my expeditionary force and that I had set foot on Egyptian territory, he abandoned the city Memphis and, in order to save his (own) life, he fled inside the city Thebes. The kings, governors, (and) officials whom I had stationed in Egypt came to meet me and kissed my feet.

ii 34-38) I took the road in pursuit of Tanutamon (and) I marched as far as the city Thebes, his fortified city. He saw the assault of my battle array and] abandoned the city Thebes; he fled to the city K[ip]kipi. With the support of (the god) Assur and the goddess Istar, I conquered that city (Thebes) in its entirety. ii 39-48) Silver, gold, precious stones, as much prop-erty of his palace as there was, garment(s) with multi-colored trim, linen garments, large horses, people -male and female - two tall obelisks cast with shiny zattahl-metal, whose weight was 2,500 talents (and which) stood at a temple gate, I ripped (them) from where they were erected and took (them) to Assyria. I carried off substantial booty, (which was) without number, from inside the city Thebes. (ii 45) I made my weapons prevail over Egypt and Kush and (thus) achieved victory. With full hand(s), I returned safely to Nineveh, my capital city.

Source: The Royal Inscriptions of Ashurbanipal (668-631 BC), 5/1, Jamie Novotny, Joshua Jeffers, 2018 AD

643-645 BC: "(lines ii 95-102) (As for) Gyges, the king of the land Lydia - a region on the opposite shore of the sea, a remote place, the mention of whose name none of the kings, my ancestors, had (ever) heard - (the god) Assur, the god who created me, made him see in a dream the mention of my name, saying: "Grasp the feet of Ashurbanipal, king of Assyria, and conquer your enemies through the mention of his name." (line ii 100) On the (very) day he saw this dream, he sent his mounted messenger to inquire about my well-being. (As for) this dream that he had seen, he sent (a message about it) by the hands of a messenger of his and he reported (it) to me. (lines ii 103-110) From the day that he grasped the feet of my royal majesty, he conquered the Cimmerians, who were disturbing the people of his land, had never feared my ancestors, and, with regard to me, had not grasped the feet of my royal majesty. With the support of (the god) Assur and the goddess Istar, my lords, he (Gyges) clamped two city rulers from among the city rulers of the Cimmerians that he had conquered in manacles, iron handcuffs, (and) fetters and sent (them) before me, together with (his) substantial audience gift(s). (lines ii 111-118) He allowed an interruption (in the sending of) his mounted messenger(s), whom he used to con-stantly send to inquire about my well-being. Because he did not honor the word(s) of (the god) Assur, the god who created me, he trusted in his own strength and (his) heart became proud. (line ii 115) He sent his forces to aid Psammetichus (I), the king of Egypt who had cast off the yoke of my lordly majesty, and (then) I myself heard about (this) and made an appeal to (the god) Assur and the goddess Istar, saying: "Let his corpse be cast down before his enemy and let them carry away his bones." Just as I had appealed to (the god) Assur, it was fulfilled and his corpse was cast down before his enemy and they carried away his bones. (lines ii 119-125) The Cimmerians whom he (Gyges) had trampled down through the mention of my name, attacked and flattened his entire land. Afterwards, his son, sat on his throne. (As for) the evil deed(s), which through my entreaties, the gods who support me had obstructed the father who had engendered him, he sent (a message about it) by the hands of his messenger and (then) he grasped the feet of my royal majesty, saying: "You are the king whom the god recognizes. You cursed my father and evil befell him. Pray for me, the servant who reveres you, so that I can pull your yoke." (Ashurbanipal, Prism A, Rassam, RINAP 5/1 #11, lines ii 95-125, 643-645 BC)

Conclusion:

1. Prism A (Rassam) and Prism C of Ashurbanipal reference many kings named in the Bible:

a. Kings of Judah: Manasseh

b. Kings of Egypt: Tirhakah, Necho I, Psammetichus I (referenced without naming)

c. Kings of Assyria: Sennacherib, Esarhaddon, Ashurbanipal (Osnappar)

2. What you read in the book you find in the ground! Find me a church to attend in my hometown this Sunday!

By Steve Rudd: Contact the author for comments, input or corrections.

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