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Biblical Archeology,









Synchronous History of Assyria and Judea. By J. W. BOSANQUET, F.R.A.S


I- 82

The Third Sallier Papyrus, containing the Wars of Ramses II against the Cheta. By Professor


Observations on the Assyrian Verb Basu, as com-

pared with the Hebrew Verb n^H, Hdyd "He

was." By Professor William Wright, LL.D.

Account of an Egyptian Altar in the Museum at

Drawn by Joseph Boxomi and described


by Samuel Sharpe




Translation of the Hieroglypbic Inscription on the

Granite Altar at Turin.

By S. Birch, LL.D

11 3-1 17

Revised Translation of the Descent of Ishtar, with

a further Commentary.

F.R.S., &c

By H.

Nemrod et les Ecritures Cuneiformes.


Fox Talbot,

Par Josef


136- J 44

The Astronomy and Astrology of the Babylonians,

with Translations of the Tablets relating to these

By Rev. A. H. Sayce, M.A



Translation of a Fragment of an Historical Narrative

relating to the Reign of Tothmes III. Goodwin, M.A

By C. W.

Translation of a Fragment of an Egyptian Fabulous

By C. W. Good-

Tale, " The Doomed Prince."

win, M.A



Addenda to Paper on the "Descent of Ishtar." By

H. Fox Talbot, F.R.S





On Fragments of an Inscription giving part of the

Chronology from wliich the Canon of Berosus

was copied. By George Smith

On Four Songs contained in an Egyptian Papyrus in

the British Museum.

By C. W. Goodwin, M.A.

On the Phoenician Inscription generally known as

the "MelitensisQuinta." By Professor William

Wright, LL.D

Calendar of Astronomical Observations found in Royal Tombs of the XXth Dynasty. By P. Le Page


On the Cylindrical Monument of Nechtharhebes in

the Museum of Turin. By Joseph Bonomi

Translation of the Hieroglyphic Inscription upon the

Altar of Nechtarhebes. By S. Birch, LL.D

Assyrian Notes. No. I.

By H. F. Talbot, F.R.S. &c.

Account of Recent Excavations and Discoveries made

on the Site of Nineveh. By George Smith

The Languages of the Cuneiform Inscriptions of Elam

and Media.

By Rev. A. H. Sayce, M.A

Inscription of Haremhebi on a Statue at Turin,

S. Birch, LL.D., &c


Four New Syllabaries and a Bilingual Tablet. Edited,

with Notes and Remarks, by H. F. Talbot,

P.R.S., &c

The Eleventh Tablet of the Izdubar Legends. The

Chaldean Account of the Deluge. By G. Smith

Society of Biblical Archaeology. Condensed Report

of the Proceedings during the Third Session,

November, 1873, to July, 1874

Index to Vol. Ill

List of Members



















Vol. III.

JUNE, 1874.

Part 1.














Trom B.c 745 to 688.

By J. W. BosANQUET, F.R.A.S,, Treasurer.

Read Uh 3Iai/, 1874.

In continuation of the subject of my last essay on "the

date of the Fall of Nineveh" (vol. ii, p. 147), in which T

pointed out how both history and astronomy demand that the common reckoning of the reigns of the kings of Judah should be lowered throughout to the extent of 25 years,

thus reducing the date of the first year of Uzziah, or

Old Date.

New Date.

Azariah, who reigned 52 years,

from B.C.

810 to B.C.














I now propose to examine the various contemporary

records and published inscriptions, cuneiform or otherwise,

which bear upon the period between B.C. 745 and 688 : and

to show how, by adherence to the principle of accepting


Synchronous History of Assyria and Judea.

the evidence before us as it is written, and not too readily allowing the idea of corruption in the text to interpose, it will be found that Assyrian and Hebrew records are agreed,

when the reigns of the Idngs of Judah are lowered to the

extent of 25 years, as proposed : and how, on the other

hand, Assyrian monumental evidence is wholly irreconcilable

with the HebrcAv records when arranged according to the

common reckoning.

In all cases of intricate inquiry, where the theory of in- terpretation has to be tested by facts, we are all aware how

great is the tendency, on the occurrence of difficulties, to

tamper with the evidence rather than to abandon the theory

and this common frailty of criticism has been exhibited to

extreme excess in connexion with the particular period under

inquiry. For instance, Assyrian records attest, as we have

seen, that Menahem, king of Samaria, who only reigned ten

years, became tributary to Tiglath-Pileser about the eighth year of that king's reign, B.C. 738, when according to the

common reckoning Menahem had been dead just 24 years.

To any reasonable inquirer this might appear to be stumbling block in the way of the received opmion.



the contrary, however, it is supposed to be easily removed by the simple suggestion that the Assyrian scribe was ill

informed, and that he has written ignorantly, on the tablet containing the list of tributary kings who did homage to

Tiglath-Pileser, the name of Menahem instead of Pekah, one of his successors.

Again, the manifest tendency of the Assyrian Canon or list of archons throughout, is to lower the current history of the kings of S}Tia and Palestine between 20 and 30 years,

which should be mconvenient and perplexing one might

suppose to the upholders of the common reckonuig.


so, however: for the late Dr. Hincks^ and Dr. Oppert,^ no

mean critics, have not scrupled to accuse the Assyrian scribe

of blundering to that exact extent which will suit each of

their theories, by the omission of from thirty to forty names

from the consecutive list of eponymous archons of Assyria.

* Journal of Sacred Literature, January, 1863. " The compiler of the Canon

was a blunderer."

S)/))chronous History of Assyria and Judea.


Again, the prophet Isaiah, who wrote as an eye-witness

the events of his own days, and whose words are adopted by the writer of the Book of Kings, has related that Sen-

nacherib king of Assyria came up against Jerusalem in

in the year


B.C. 713, according to the received reckoning : while the

Assyrian Canon attests that Sennacherib had not even been

associated on the throne till some years after that date, that

14th year of Hezekiah's reign, that


is till B.C. 705.

This decisive contradiction to the common

theory it is proposed to remove, simply by assuming corrup-

tion in the Hebrew text, and by substituting in Isaiah and the

Book of Kings the 28th instead of the 14th year of Hezekiah.

Lastly, the most able interpreters of Assyrian inscriptions,

taking for granted the correctness of the ordinary dates, and

yet unable to find room for the reign of Jotham king of Judah,

when arranging the evidence of the inscriptions in connexion

with those dates,though Jotham according to native history

reigned not less than sixteen years between Azariah and

Ahaz,have been com2:)elled to assume corruption in the

Hebrew text, and either double the reign of Jotham over

that of Uzziah and Ahaz, or eject it wholly from the list of

kings. The only just conclusion to be derived from this con-

tinuous necessity for settmg aside the evidence, in order to

maintain the system is, that the system as it stands is

untenable and worthless. Fortunately this inevitable con-

clusion is not to be deplored, but greatly to be rejoiced at.

For it is in consequence chiefly of this false arrangement of

Scripture chronology that some of the most instructive and

important parts of Sacred Scripture have been pronounced

by emuient critics to be spurious and unhistorical,

in these

Transactions (vol. ii, p. 324), has admitted the necessity for lowering the current dates to the extent of ten years as

regard the death of Pekah king of Samaria, and pronounces

witli much emphasis—"I cannot doubt for one instant that the

accession of Hoshea king of Israel" (who slew Pekah) "was

about the year B.C. 729," instead of 739, which is the common

date. He does not however refer to the Assyrian authority

We still differ therefore to the extent of

for this assertion.

fifteen yearsand if my interpretation of the records ia

Mr. George Smith, in

a recent publication


Synchronous History of Assyria and Judea.

correct, the death of Pekah will have yet to be loAvered from

B.C. 729 to 716, as I shall presently show.

There is no question amongst Assyriologists, including I\Ir. Smith, that according to monumental testimony

Menahem king of Samaria paid tribute to Tiglath-Pileser,

in that king's eighth year, B.C. 738 ; which year was con- current wdth the 49th year of Azariah, B.C. 738,^ accord-

ing to the new reckoning : nor that Sennacherib in his

third campaign, in B.C. 701, imposed tribute upon Hezekiah

when he came against Jerusalem in that year.

Now be-

tween 738 and 701 there is an interval of just thirty-seven years : and according to the Book of Kings, thirty-seven

years counted from the 49th year of Azariah lead down to the second year of Hezekiah, in which second year therefore

we ought to find in the Hebrew annals that Jerusalem had

been attacked by Sennacherib. Now I have abeady pointed

out elsewhere^ that the Second Book of Chronicles (ch. xxix,

XXX, xxxi) relates with much minuteness all that Hezekiah did in the first year of his reign, B.C. 702 according to the

new reckoning, that is in the " first month," in the " second

month," the "third month," and on to the "seventh month"

of that year : and how ch. xxxii begins thus " After these things and the establishment thereof, Sennacherib king of Assyria came and entered into Judah, and encamped against

the fenced cities, and thought to win them to himself," that is to say, in Hezekiah's second year, B.C. 701. I have also

pointed out that the description given in Chronicles of the

determined resistance of Hezekiah at that time, and of his

l)uilding up " the wall that was broken," and of the raising of the wall " up to the towers, and another wall without,"

well agrees with what Sennacherib himself describes in his

* " Depuis fort longtcmps, on connait un passage d'une texte do Teglath-

plialasar, verifi6 par deux examplaires, que, dans sa huitifeme anne, ii recut les ti"i-

butesde Menachem de Samarie."Oppert, Revue Archeologique, Dec, 1868, p. 384.

Sir Henry Rawlinson also remarks that this tribute from Menahem to the

king of Assyria " is assigned to his eighth regnal year in a most important frag- ment of an inscription found in the south-west palace at Nimrud."Outhnes of

Assyrian Ilistory, p. xxvi, 1852. Mr. Smith confirms this conclusion.Zeitschrift fiir .3£gypt. Spr., January

18G9, p. 12.

Si/)ich)vnoHs Histonj of Assi/ria and Judea.


annals as having been done by Hezekiah at Jerusalem in the

year B.C. 701, that is to say, of liis having " shut himself up

in his royal city, Jerusalem, like a bh-d in a cagehe built

to"wers of defence over it, and strengthened and rebuilt the

bulwarks of his great gate."' This is unquestionably the

time when " he rebelled agamst the king of Assyria, and

served him 7iot'^ : that is to say, some time afte.j' his first year

(702), as collected from the Book of Chronicles, and some

time before his fourth year (699), as described in the Second Book of Kings (xviii, 7, 9). So that as regards the interval of thirty-seven years between the 49th of Azariah and

2nd of Hezekiah, it appears that in the first year of that

period (738), and in the last year (701), Assyrian and Hebrew

records are agreed, according to the new reckoning. But if

so, it would seem strange indeed that the same records

should be found at variance to such an extent within the

interval, that the whole reign of Jotham should have to be extinguished, and that the reigns of Ahaz, Pekah, and

Hoshea should have to be so much raised, as to make the dislocated contents of the Books of Kings and Chronicles

utterly worthless as history at tliis period.

Happily there is an unusual abundance of monumental

and historical evidence still extant, of the highest character

and authenticity, bearing upon tliis period, by which these

questions may be set at rest, and by which to arrange the

true chronology and sequence of events during these reigns.

I will therefore first enumerate the several documents which

I have consulted, and then proceed to analyse their contents.

I. There is Sir Henry Rawlins on's Assyrian Canon, con-

taining the names of the eponymous archons of Assyria in

from the first year of Tiglath - Pileser

unbroken series

(B.C. 745) to the year 688, or 17th of Sennacherib.

n. The well-known Babylonian Canon, based on astro-

nomical data, beginning in the year B.C. 747, and recordmg

the names and reigns of the kings of Babylon down to the

same date.

in. The annals of the first seventeen years of the reign

1 I follow Mr. Fox Talbot's early translation, which differs slightly from that

given in " Records of the Past," p. 39. Both agree in representing that Hezekiah

at this time closed his great gatCj and bid defiance to Sennacherib's attack.


Si/nchronous History of AsKi/ria and Judea.

reign of Tig-lath- Pileser, from tablets in the British i\Iiisenn),

beginning in the year 745, and containing two, if not three,

successive lists of tribntary kings of Syria and Palestine

who owned the supremacy of the king of Assyria between

the years B.C. 745 and 727.

IV. The annals of Sargon king of Assyria from B.C. 722

to 705, translated by ]\Ij\I. Oppert and Menant from inscrip-

tions at Khorsabad, entitled " Fastes de Sargon."

V. The well-preserved annals of the Books of Kings and

Chronicles, in duplicate copies, Hebrew and Greek, containing

histories of the kings of Judah and Israel in connexion with

the neighbouring kingdoms of Egypt, Assyria, and Babylon

and the writings and prophecies of Amos, who wrote two

years before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah ; of Jonah, who wrote in the days of Uzziah ; of Hosea, who wrote in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah ; of Micah, in the days of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah ; and of the great

prophet Isaiah, who lived and wrote in all these reigns.



There is the history of Josephus, containing

valuable extract from ]\lenander's translation of the Twian

records, relative to a siege of Tyi-e which lasted five years

in the reign of Shalmanezer, when Eluleeus was king ot

Tyre ; also a precious extract, from Clement of Alexandria,

from the Jewish historian Demetrius, fixing with precision

the time of the carrying away of the ten tribes from Samaria

by Shalmanezer in February, B.C. 695 ; and the retreat of

Sennacherib fi'om Judea (the second time) in February

B.C. 687 ; and Karaite records of the date of the captivity of the ten tribes, preserved in inscriptions on ancient tombstones

in the Crimea and in ancient manuscripts, fixing the year of

their captivity m B.C. 696.^

VII. Lastly, an extract from Herodotus, showing that

when Sennacherib invaded Palestine, Sethos was still on

' Concerning these inscriptions and manusci'ipts, Ewald writes "I may remark, that the attempts to reject these inscriptions as spurious, Hke that to cast suspicion on the Karaites and their ancient manuscripts of the Bible, seem

to me entirely gi-oundless."Hist, of Israel, Appendix, p. 299.

the inscriptions by Neubauer -will be found in vol. v, Melanges Asiatiques, St-

Pctersburgh, 18G4 ; in Chwolson's paper, in "Memoirs of the Imperial Acac^emy,"

St. Pctcr.-iburgh, 1865 ; Adolph Keubauer's " Gescliichtt? dcs Karacrthums,"

Leipsig, 1866 ; and Bosanquet's Preface to "Messiah the Prince," 2nd edit. 1869.

Facsimiles of

Synchronous History of Assyria and Judea.


the throne of Egypt : a few extracts from Polyhistor and

Abydenus, copied from Berosus, relative to this same period

and the legendary history of the Book of Tobit, who was of the tribe of Naphtali, and was carried away to Nineveh by

Shalmanezer (called Enemessar), and made purveyor to

that king : and who was actually living within the walls of

Nineveh at the time when Shalmanezer died and Sennacherib

took the throne. Such a mass of evidence, chiefly contemporary, is scarcely

to be met with in connexion with any period of ancient

history : and there ought to be no difficulty in coming to

very exact and definite conclusions in conformity with it,

either for or against the common reckoning. And if we are

content to accept the evidence of the documents as it is written, I ventm-e to say that no difficulty will be found in

rejecting the orthodox reckoning as impossible.

Let us first take the facts recorded in the Hebrew annals, and trace them down fi-om the reign of Azariah to the reign of Hezekiah, following the dates of the new reckoning. We

there read that " in the 52nd year of Azariah king of Judah

Pekah the son of Remaliah began to reign over Israel in

Samaria, for twenty years" (2 Kings xv, 27), that is to say,

from the autumn of B.C. 735 to 716, when he was slain by

Hosliea. About the same time Azariah appears to have been struck with leprosy, and being compelled to dwell in a

house separately till the day of his death, Jotham his son

took possession of his palace, and began to reign in associa-

tion with his father, that is in B.C. 734 (2 Chron. xxvi, 21 ;

2 Kings XV, 27-32).

Now after the accession of Pekah (735), Tiglath-Pileser

we are told " took Ijon, and Abel-beth-maachah, and Janoah,

and Kedesh, and Hazor, and Gilead, and Galilee, all the land

of Naphtali, and carried them captive to Assyria." And again

"In those days (that is in the days of Jotham after 734)

the Lord began to send against Judah Rezin the king of

Syria and Pekah son of Remaliah," from which it appears

that the king of Damascus, Rezin, still maintained his inde-

pendence after that date, and was powerful enough to carry-

say about B.C. 730.

war into his neighbour's dominions,


St/)U'hro)ious History of Assyria and Judea.

Such is the history contained in the royal records of the

kings of Judah and IsraeL

What do the contemporary

prophets, Amos, Micah, and Isaiah write concerning the con-

quest of Syria and Palestine, which the king of Assyria had

now determined to carry into effect. Amos about the year

B.C. 765 had named the cities of Damascus, Hamath, Calneh,

Tyre, Samaria, Graza, Ashdod, and Ascalon, as still flourishing and independent, though threatened with foreseen invasion

and captivity ; and Pul king of Assyria had levied tribute

in Samaria in 746, from Menahem, nine years before Tiglath-

Pileser received his homage in 738.

Micah, in the reign of Jotham, speaks of Samaria and

Jerusalem as suffering from invasion, that is after B.C. 734 ;

and with reference to Samaria says "Her wound is incurable, for it is come even unto Judah. He (the king of Assyria) is

come unto the gate of my people, even to Jerusalem

(chap, i, 9) : while Isaiah, whose first vision is dated "in the

year that king (Jzziah died," that is to say in the reign of Jotham, some eight or ten years perhaps after 734, describes

with much minuteness the distressed and miserable condition to which Judea had been reduced in the years preceding

his death, thus "your country is desolate, your cities are

burned with fire, your land strangers devour it in your

presence," " and the daughter of Zion is left as a cottage in

a vuieyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged

city" (chap, i, 7, 8).

and Jerusalem about the year B.C. 732.' Tiglath-Pileser's

army had at this time made its appearance before the gates

Such was

the abject state of Palestine

of Jerusalem.

Let us now turn to the Assyrian monuments. We have

already ascertained that the first year of Tiglath-Pileser was

B.C. 745.

Syrian tribute list in the British Museum, which he places in

Mr. George Smith has met with fragments of a

the 3rd year of Tiglath-Pileser's reign (743) : from which we

learn that the cities of Carchemish and Tyre, and the district

' Mr. Birks, who follows the common reckoning, does not scruple to transfer this description of tlic state of Judea from the time of Uzziah to the reign of

Hezekiah, because he can find no other place for it. This is another instance of the sacrifice of evidence to theory. Birks' Isaiah, 1871.

S_i/iichronous Hwtorij of AHf^yria and Judea.


of Hamatli were yet governed by their own local kings, as

tributary vassals to the king of x^LSsyria.^ The next list of tributaries is that of the 8th year of

Tiglath-Pileser (738), to which we have already frequently

referred, when Rezin king of Syria,

Menahem king of

Samaria, Hiram king of Tyre, Pisiris king of Carchemish, Eniel king of Hamath, Zabibi queen of the Arabs, and twelve

other kings acknowledged the supremacy of the Assyrian

king: showing the progress of the extension of the empu-e towards the west. (Cuneif. Insc, vol. iii, p. 9.) Again, in

the loth and 14th years of Tiglath-Pileser, that is in B.C.

733, and 732, when Jotham was on the throne of Judea, and

Uzziah leading the life of a leper, we learn from the Assyrian

Canon that two expeditions were made towards Damascus,

where we may assume that Rezin had thrown off his allegi-

ancehis name not appearing amongst the tributaries and

on a tablet^ in the Museum we find that twenty-five kings

of Syria and Palestine are now registered as vassals of

Assyria. Amongst the tributaries we still read the name of

Pisiris king of Carchemish, and IMetenna is now king of Tyre,

Eniel is