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The Assyrian army was one of the greatest fighting machines in the ancient world, and military strategists have stood in awe of the Assyrian warfare skills, their advanced weaponry, and their strict discipline.
The Assyrians were also some of the most bloodthirsty and cruel nations in the history of the world. But why would a people become so powerful and so wicked? The answer is because the Lord gave them power for a specific time to be His instrument of judgement to break down the walls of his powerful yet rebellious people Israel, and remove them from the land that God had given them.
Isaiah 10:6 - "I will send the king of Assyria against an ungodly Israel, And against the people of My wrath I will give him charge, To seize the spoil, to take the prey, And to tread them down like the mire of the streets."
In 722 BC Sargon II of Assyria conquered the Northern Kingdom of Israel after a 3 year siege and drove all the inhabitants into captivity. Sargon's war annals records:
"At the beginning of my rule, in the very first year I reigned…I set siege to and conquered Samaria…I carried away into captivity 27,290 persons who lived there; I took fifty fine chariots for my royal equipment." - Sargon II
The Bible provides the reason:
2 Kings 17:22-23 - "For the children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they departed not from them; Until the LORD removed Israel out of his sight, as he had said by all his servants the prophets. So was Israel carried away out of their own land to Assyria unto this day."