BAR 36:03, May/Jun 2010
How many kings of the neo-Assyrian empire are mentioned in the Bible?
After the dissolution of the United Monarchy of David and Solomon, the Iron Age (1000–586 B.C.E.) kingdoms of Israel and Judah arose, matured and, in the case of Israel, even perished amid the brutal campaigns of conquest wrought by the kings of the Assyrian empire. Modern exploration of ancient Iraq’s royal cities and archives revealed countless documents and reliefs commissioned by these warrior kings, and yet the names of at least six Assyrian rulers were already known to readers of the Bible.
For several of these kings, little is noted other than the king’s name and a brief note about something that happened during his reign. Esarhaddon and Ashurbanipal are remembered in the Book of Ezra, for example, …