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sargon Summary and Overview

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sargon in Easton's Bible Dictionary

(In the inscriptions, "Sarra-yukin" [the god] has appointed the king; also "Sarru-kinu," the legitimate king.) On the death of Shalmaneser (B.C. 723), one of the Assyrian generals established himself on the vacant throne, taking the name of "Sargon," after that of the famous monarch, the Sargon of Accad, founder of the first Semitic empire, as well as of one of the most famous libraries of Chaldea. He forthwith began a conquering career, and became one of the most powerful of the Assyrian monarchs. He is mentioned by name in the Bible only in connection with the siege of Ashdod (Isa. 20:1). At the very beginning of his reign he besieged and took the city of Samaria (2 Kings 17:6; 18:9-12). On an inscription found in the palace he built at Khorsabad, near Nieveh, he says, "The city of Samaria I besieged, I took; 27,280 of its inhabitants I carried away; fifty chariots that were among them I collected," etc. The northern kingdom he changed into an Assyrian satrapy. He afterwards drove Merodach-baladan (q.v.), who kept him at bay for twelve years, out of Babylon, which he entered in triumph. By a succession of victories he gradually enlarged and consolidated the empire, which now extended from the frontiers of Egypt in the west to the mountains of Elam in the east, and thus carried almost to completion the ambitious designs of Tiglath-pileser (q.v.). He was murdered by one of his own soldiers (B.C. 705) in his palace at Khorsabad, after a reign of sixteen years, and was succeeded by his son Sennacherib.

sargon in Smith's Bible Dictionary

(prince of the sea), one of the greatest of the Assyrian kings, is mentioned by name but once in Scripture-- #Isa 20:1| He was the successor of Shalmaneser, and was Sennacherib's father and his reigned from B.C. 721 to 702, and seems to have been a usurper. He was undoubtedly a great and successful warrior. In his annals, which cover a space of fifteen years, from B.C. 721 to 706, he gives an account of his warlike expeditions against Babylonia and Susiana on the south, Media on the east, Armenia and Cappadocia toward the north, Syria, Israel, Arabia and Egypt toward the west and southwest. In B.C. 712 he took Ashdod, by one of his generals, which is the event which causes the mention of his name in Scripture. It is not as a warrior only that Sargon deserves special mention among the Assyrian kings. He was also the builder of useful works, and of one of the most magnificent of the Assyrian palaces.

sargon in Schaff's Bible Dictionary

SAR'GON (in Assyrian Sarrukin, "established is the king"), the successor of Shalmaneser and father of Sennicherib, king of Assyria by usurpation, b.c. 722-705. Of his existence nothing was known for many centuries save the single fact, incidentally stated by Isaiah as the mere date of one of his prophecies, that Tartan took Ashdod by command of Sargon. Isa 20:1. The name was a stumbling-block. But Isaiah was correct, and to-day the buried ruins of the Khorsabad palace attest the accuracy of the prophet. From excavations made at the latter place, we are able to form a chronology, defective, however, of sixteen of the seventeen years of his reign. These ruins prove him, says Prof. Schrader, the distinguished Assyriologist, who is the authority for these statements, "to have made a quite unmistakable progress in originality and fineness of design, in neatness of execution and variety of pattern." The colored enamelling of bricks was carried to a finish unattained in later Assyrian history. The reign was an almost unbroken series of military triumphs; all the nations round felt the power of his arm. His annals describe his expeditions against Babylon and Susiana on the south; Media on the east: Armenia and Cappadocia on the north; Syria, Palestine, Arabia, and Egypt on the west and south-west. He had, indeed, very able generals, of whom Tartan was the chief; but this fact does not detract from his personal glory. The expedition against Philistia in which the city of Ashdod was taken, as Isaiah mentions, Isa 20:1, took place in b.c. 711. But this was not the first time Sargon was near Judah, for in b.c. 720 he conducted an expedition against Egypt, and in the year before he took Samaria, carrying away part of the inhabitants. 2 Kgs 17:6; 2 Kgs 18:9-11. "The king of Assyria" referred to is not Shalmaneser, but Sargon, who claims it, and the indefiniteness about 2 Kgs 18:10; - "they took it" - agrees with the inscriptions, and shows that during the siege Sargon became king. The inscriptions show further that Judah was already a vassal of Sargon at the time of the siege of Ashdod. For the interesting account of this event given by the conqueror himself see Smith (George), Assyrian Discoveries, pp. 289-292. The next year after this important capture Sargon turned his arms against Merodach-baladan, king of Babylon, and reduced him to vassalage. In b.c. 707 he completed the building of the palace of Khorsabad, which was near Nineveh, and in this magnificent building, in b.c. 705, he was murdered.

sargon in Fausset's Bible Dictionary

frontNAHUM.) From sar a "king", and gin or kin "established". In the inscriptions Sargina; founded Khorsabad (named Sarghun by Arabian geographers). frontHOSHEA.) Once "Sargon's" name in Isaiah 20:1, as having taken Ashdod by his general Tartan, caused a difficulty. He is not mentioned in the Scripture histories nor the classics; but Assyrian inscriptions show he succeeded Shalmaneser, and was father of Sennacherib, and took Ashdod as Isaiah says; he finished the siege of Samaria (721 B.C.) which Shalmaneser had begun, and according to the inscription carried away 27,280 persons (compare 2 Kings 17:6). Scripture, while naming at the capture of Samaria Shalmaneser, 2 Kings 17:3, in 2 Kings 17:4-5-6, four times says "the king of Assyria," which is applicable to Sargon. In 2 Kings 18:9-11 it is implied Shalmaneser was not the actual captor, since after 2 Kings 18:9 has named him 2 Kings 18:10 says "THEY took it." Isaiah was the sole witness to Sargon's existence for 25 centuries, until the discovery of the Assyrian monuments confirmed his statement. They also remarkably illustrate 2 Kings 17:6, that he placed the deported Israelites (in Halah, Habor, the river of Gozan, and at a later time) "in the cities of the Medes"; for Sargon in them states he overran Media and "annexed many Median towns to Assyria." Sargon mounted the throne the same year that Merodach Baladan ascended the Babylonian throne, according to Ptolemy's canon 721 B.C. He was an usurper, for he avoids mentioning his father. His annals for 15 years, 721-706 B.C., describe his expeditions against Babylonia and Susiana on the S., Media on the E., Armenia and Cappadocia N., Syria, Israel, Arabia, and Egypt, W. and S.W. He deposed Merodach Baladan and substituted a viceroy. He built cities in Media, which he peopled with captives from a distance. He subdued Philistia, and brought Egypt under tribute; in his second year (720) he fought to gain Gaza; in his sixth against Egypt (715); in his ninth (712) he took Ashdod by Tartan. Azuri was king of Ashdod; Sargon deposed him and made his brother Ahimiti king; the people drove hint away, and raised Javan to the throne, but the latter was forced to flee to Meroe. (G. Smith, Assyrian Discoveries.) Then, according to the inscriptions, he invaded Egypt and Ethiopia, and received tribute from a Pharaoh of Egypt, besides destroying in part the Ethiopian No-Amon or Thebes (Nahum 3:8); confirming Isaiah 20:2-4, "as Isaiah hath walked naked and barefoot three years for a sign and wonder upon Egypt and upon Ethiopia, so shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptians and the Ethiopians captives, young and old, naked and barefoot," etc. The monuments also represent Egypt at this time in that close connection with Ethiopia which the prophet implies. A memorial tablet in Cyprus shows he extended his arms to that island; a statue of him, now in the Berlin Museum, was found at Idalium in Cyprus. Sargon built one of the most magnificent of the Assyrian palaces. He records that he thoroughly repaired the walls of Nineveh, which he raised to be the first city of the empire; and that near it he built the palace and town (Khorsabad) which became his chief residence, Dursargina; from it the Louvre derived its series of Assyrian monuments. He probably reigned 19 years, from 721 to 702 B.C., when Sennacherib succeeded.