Historical Writings

Records of Assyrian Kings

Ancient Historical Writings Compared with the Bible

Records of Assyrian Kings Found on Monuments

Black Obelisk of Shalmanesar
Click here for close up of Jehu,
the king of Israel bowing down
to the king of Assyria.

The Black Obelisk Of Shalmaneser III

"The Tribute of ‘Su’a, of the country of the Guzanians: silver, gold, lead, articles of bronze, scepters for the King’s hand, horses, and camels with double backs: I received.

The tribute of Jehu, of the land of Omri, silver, gold, bowls of gold, vessels of gold, goblets of gold, pitchers of gold, lead, scepters for the King’s hand, and staves: I received.

The tribute of the country of Muzri: camels with double backs, an ox of the river ‘Saceya, horses, wild asses, elephants, and apes: I received.

The tribute of Marduk-pal-itstsar, of the country of the ‘Sukhians: silver, gold, pitchers of gold, tusks of the wild bull, staves, antimony, garments of many colors, and linen: I received.

The tribute of Garparunda, of the country of the Patinians: silver, gold, lead, bronze, gums, articles of bronze, tusks of wild bulls, and ebony: I received."

[End of Inscription]

Note: The House of Israel was not called "Israel" by the Assyrians, but instead, "Khumri," meaning the "House of Omri." In the inscription above we see the Israelite King Jehu identified by the Assyrians as from "the land of Omri," or Khumri.

Inscription Of Sargon II In His Palace At Khorsabad

"Palace of Sargon, the great King, the powerful King, King of the Legions, King of Assyria, Viceroy of the gods at Babylon, King of the Sumers and of the Akkads, favorite of the great gods…

I besieged and occupied the town of Samaria, and took 27,280 of its inhabitants captive. I took from them 50 chariots, but left them the rest of their belongings. I placed my lieutenants over them; I renewed the obligation imposed upon them by one of the Kings who preceded me…

Jaubid of Hamath, a smith, was not the legitimate master of the throne; he was an infidel and an impious man, and he had coveted the royalty of Hamath. He incited the towns of Arpad, Simyra, Damascus, and Samaria to rise against me, took his precautions with each of them, and prepared for battle. I counted all the troops of the god Ashur; in the town of Karkar, which had declared itself for the rebel, I besieged him and his warriors, I occupied Karkar and reduced it to ashes. I took him, himself, and had him flayed, and I killed the chief of the rioters in each town, and reduced them to a heap of ruins. I recruited my forces with 200 chariots and 600 horsemen from among the inhabitants of the country of Hamath and added them to my empire."

[End of Inscription]

Inscription Of Sennacherib

"In the course of my campaign Beth-Dagon, Joppa, Benebarqua, Azuru, the cities of Tsidqa, which had not quickly thrown themselves at my feet, I besieged, I took, I carried away their spoil. The governors, chiefs, and people of Ekron who had cast Padi, their king according to Assyrian right and oath, into iron chains, and had, in hostile manner, given him to Hezekiah of Judah – he shut him up in prison – feared in their hearts. The kings of Egypt called forth the archers, chariots, and horses of the king of Melukhkhi, a force without number, and came to their help; before the city of Eltekeh they arranged their battle array, appealing to their weapons. With the help of Ashur, my lord, I fought with them and accomplished their defeat. The chief of the chariots of the king of Melukhkhi my hands took alive in the fight. Eltekeh and Temnath I besieged, I took, and carried away their spoil.

To the city of Ekron I went; the governors and princes, who had committed a transgression, I killed and bound their corpses on poles around the city. The inhabitants of the city who had committed sin and evil I counted as spoil; to the rest of them who had committed no sin and wrong, who had no guilt, I spoke peace. Padi, their King, I brought forth from the city of Jerusalem; upon the throne of lordship over them I placed him. The tribute of my lordship I laid upon him. But Hezekiah, of Judah, who had not submitted to my yoke, I besieged 46 of his strong cities, fortresses, and small cities of their environs, without number, and by casting down the walls and advancing the engines, by an assault of the light-armed soldiers, by breaches, by striking, and by axes I took them; 200,150 men, young and old, male and female, horses, mules, asses, camels, oxen, and sheep without number I brought out from them, I counted them as spoil. Hezekiah himself I shut up like a caged bird in Jerusalem, his royal city; the walls I fortified against him, and whosoever came out of the gates of the city I turned back. His cities, which I had plundered, I divided from his land and gave them to Mitinti, King of Ashdod, to Padi, King of Ekron, and to Tsil-Bal, King of Gaza, and thus diminished his territory. To the former tribute, paid yearly, I added the tribute of alliance of my lordship, and laid that upon him. Hezekiah himself was overwhelmed by the fear of the brightness of my lordship; the Arabians and his other faith warriors whom, as a defense for Jerusalem, his royal city, he had brought in, fell into fear. With 30 talents of gold and 800 talents of silver, precious stones, gukhli daggassi, large lapis lazuli, couches of ivory, thrones of ivory, ivory, usu wood, boxwood of every kind, a heavy treasure, and his daughters, his women of the palace, the young men and young women, to Nineveh, the city of my lordship, I caused to be brought after me, and he sent his ambassadors to give tribute and to pay homage."

[End of Inscription]

The Bible and History Comparison

Below is a comparison of the annals of Tiglath Pileser III and Sargon from the library of Ashurbanipal at Nineveh with the Biblical account.

Tiglath Pileser III

"I received tribute from Menahem of Samaria."

"I received tribute from Jauhazi [Ahaz] of Judah."

"I besieged and captured the native city of Reson [Rezin] of Damascus. 800 people with their belongings I led away. Towns in 16 districts of Damascus I laid waste like mounds after the Flood."

"They overthrew Pekah their king and I made Hoshea to be king over them."

The Bible

"Then Pul [Tiglath Pileser] king of Assyria invaded the land, and Menahem gave him a thousand talents of silver gain his support and strengthen his own hold on the kingdom" (2 Kings 15:19).

"Ahaz send messengers to say to Tiglath Pileser king of Assyria, . . . And Ahaz took silver and gold found in the temple of the Lord and in the treasuries of the royal palace and sent it as a gift to the king of Assyria" (2 Kings 16:7,8).

"The king of Assyria complied by attacking Damascus and capturing it. He deported its inhabitants to Kir and put Rezin to death" (2 Kings 16:9).

"Then Hoshea son of Elah conspired against Pekah son of Remaliah. He attacked and assassinated him, and then succeeded him as king" (2 Kings 15:30).

Sargon II

"Ashdod ...I besieged and conquered."

"And Hezekiah of Judah who had not submitted to my yoke ... him I shut up in Jerusalem his royal city like a caged bird."

"As for Hezekiah, the splendor of my majesty overwhelmed him ... 30 gold talents ... valuable treasures as well as his daughters, the women of his harem, singers both men and women, he caused to be brought after me to Nineveh. To pay his tribute and to do me homage he sent his envoys."

The Bible

"In the year that the supreme commander, sent by Sargon, king of Assyria, came to Ashdod and attacked and captured it" (Isaiah 20: 1).

"The king of Assyria sent his supreme commander, his chief officer and his field commander with a large army, from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem" (2 Kings 18:17).

"So Hezekiah king of Judah sent this message to the king of Assyria at Lachish: 'I have done wrong. Withdraw from me, and I will pay whatever you demand of me.' The king of Assyria exacted from Hezekiah king of Judah three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold" (2 Kings 18:14-15).

See Map of the Fertile Crescent

See Map of Israel

See Map of Assyria

The kings of later Assyria reigned from the 9th century BC until the fall of Assyria in 612 BC.

Later kings of Assyria (885-607 B.C.)

Assur-nasirpal II (885-860 B.C.)

Shalmaneser II (860-825 B.C.)

Shansi-adad (825-808 B.C.)

Adad-nirari (808-783 B.C.)

Shalmaneser III (783-771 B.C.)

Assur-dayan (771-753 B.C.)

Assur-lush (753-747 B.C.)

Tiglath-pileser III (Pul) (747-727 B.C.)

Shalmaneser IV (727-722 B.C.)

Sargon II (722-705 B.C.)

Sennacherib (705-681 B.C.)

Esar-haddon (681-668 B.C.)

Assur-banipal (668-626 B.C.)

Assur-etil-ilani (626-607 B.C.)

Assyrian annals mention contacts with some nine Hebrew kings: Omri, Ahab, Jehu, Menahem, Pekah, Uzziah, Ahaz, Hezekiah, and Manasseh.

In the reign of Hoshea, king of Israel, Shalmaneser, king of Assyria, twice invaded (2 Kings 17:3,5) the kingdom that remained, and his successor Sargon II took Samaria in 722 BC, carrying away 27,290 of the population as he tells in his Khorsabad Annals. Later Assyrian kings, notably Esarhaddon (681 BC - 668 BC), completed the task.