James Frederick McCurdy.

History, prophecy and the monuments (Volume 2) online

. (page 2 of 39)
Online LibraryJames Frederick McCurdyHistory, prophecy and the monuments (Volume 2) → online text (page 2 of 39)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


— § 033. Parties to the conspiracy ; Judah not attacked by Sargon



CHAPTER II

Ahaz and the Assyrian Policy. § 634-648. P. 248-257

§ 634, Review of affairs in Judah from the fall of Samaria — § 035. Im-
portant chronological questions — § 636. Relative value of the data —
§637. Date of the embassy from Babylon — § 638. Probable time of
Hezekiah's accession — § 039. Motives of religious changes — §640. Se-
rious innovations under Ahaz, due to the influence of Assyria —
§ 641. Isaiah's picture of moral corruption, ch. xxviii. — § 642. Contrast
with the religious and moral ideal — § 643. Proofs of degeneracy —
§644. Isaiah supplemented by Micah, ch. i-iii. — §645. Micah's view
of the threatened dangers — § 646. Isaiah's symbols of chastisement
by the Assyrians — § 647. Rebuke of the expectation of Jehovah's help

— § 648. Judah secure from molestation during the reign of Ahaz

CHAPTER III

The New Policy cnder Hezekiah. § 649-059. P. 258-265

§ 649. Hezekiah, his character and disposition — § 650. His relations
with Assyria — § 651. Religious and political revivals — § 652. The inde-
pendence party and Egypt — § 653. The earlier years of Hezekiah's reign
a time of intrigue — § 654. Isaiah's attitude towards the movement ^-
§ 655. Isa. xviii. and its wide outlook — § 656. Isa. xix. : Egypt to be
subverted by As.syria — § 657. A distant vision of peace and reconcilia-
tion — § 058. fsa. XX.: a symbol of the helplessness and humiliation of
i-gypt — § ^^*«^- Temporary influence of the Prophet's appeals

CHAPTER IV

Sargon and Merodach-raladan. § 000-008. P. 260-271

§ 660. The situation in Babylonia — § 661. Final campaign of Sargon
against the Chald;eans and their allies — § 062. Retreat of the Chaldaeans

— § 063. (Occupation of Babylon — § 604. Blockade, defeat, and flight of
Merodach-baladan — §005. Policy of Sargon in Babylon — § GOO. Exten-
sion and security of the empire — § 067. Sargon as a city and palace
builder — § 008. His death, in 705 B.C., by assassination



CONTENTS



CHAPTER V

SiNACHERiB AND Merodach-baladan. § 669-674. p. 272-275

§ 669. Accession of Sinaclierib ; his character — § 670. Change of policy
in Babylonia — § 671. Reappearance of Merodach-baladan — § 672. His
final defeat and exile — § 673. Resettlement of Babylonian affairs —
§ 674. Subjugation of eastern mountaineers

CHAPTER VI

SiNACHERIB, HeZEKIAH, AND ISAIAH. § 675-732. P. 276-321

§ 675. Official Assyrian record of the expedition of 701 b.c. —
§ 676. Character of the parallel accounts — § 677. The interested parties
in Palestine — § 678. Attitude and action of Egypt — § 679. The part
played by Merodach-baladan — § 680. Invasion of Phoenicia — § 681. An
account by Josephus — § 682. How it is to be harmonized with the As-
syrian record — § 683. Valour and fortitude of the Tyrians — § 684. The
plan of operations adopted by the invaders — § 685. The lines of march —
§ 686. Judah outside of Jerusalem desolated — § 687. Prophetic allusion
to the invasion — § 688. Submission of Hezekiah, and its price —
§ 689. The Philistian cities — § 690. Centres of attack : importance of
Lachish — § 691. Capture of Askalon — § 692. Revolution in Ekron and
its significance — § 693. Intervention of the Egyptians — § 694. Their
disastrous defeat — § 695. Capture of minor towns and of Ekron —
§ 696. Jerusalem again menaced — § 697. Parties and events within the
city — § 698. Preparations for defence — § 699. Assyrian officers before
Jerusalem — § 700. Speech of the legate -^§ 701. Specious appeals to the
populace — § 702. Hezekiah's appeal to Isaiah, and the Prophet's reply

— § 703. Further Assyrian successes ; a second demand for surrender —
§ 704. Disaster to the Assyrians — § 705. Account of Herodotus —
§ 706. Some explanations — § 707. Character and extent of the infliction

— § 708. The scene of the catastrophe — § 709. Connected summary of
the later events — § 710. Isaiah's role in these occurrences — § 711. A
striking series of prophecies — § 712. Isa. xxix, 1-9 : The siege and the
relief — § 713. Isa. xxix. 10-16: Stupidity and perversity of the leaders
of the people — § 714. Isa. xxix. 17-24 : The coming moral transformation

— § 715. Isa. XXX. 1-7: The futile embassy to Egypt — § 716. Isa. xxx.
8-17: The consequences of defying and ignoring Jehovah — § 717. Isa.
xxx. 18-26 : The returning blessings that result from misfortune —
§ 718. Isa. xxx. 27-33 : The doom of the Assyrians as prepared by Jehovah

— § 719. Isa. xxxi. : Jehovah's protection illustrated — § 720. Isa. xxxii.
1-8: The righteous king and his subjects— § 721. Isa. xxxii. 9-20:
Frivolous women and what they suggested — § 722. Place of the remain-
ing prophecies of this era — § 723. Isa. x. 5 ff . : The key to Oriental
history — § 724. The moral of the judgment upon Assyria — § 725. Im-



CONTENTS



agery of the catastrophe — § 726. Isa. xi. 1-5: The attributes of the ideal
King — § 727. Isa. xi. 6-xii. : The reign of peace and the hymn of reunited
Israel — § 728. Isa. xxxiii. 1-12 : The coming redemption in spite of disap-
pointments — § 729. Isa. xxxiii. 13-19 : The trial and the deliverance —
§ 730. Isa. xxxiii. 20-24 : The redeemed city and its people — § 731. Ps.
xlvi. : The lyrical pendant of the later prophecies — § 732. Effect of the
disaster on Sinacherib

CHAPTER VII
Sinacherib and Babylonia. § 733-744. P. 322-332

§ 733. Drift of affairs in Babylonia — § 734. Final disappearance of
Merodach-baladan — § 735. Sinacherib's son made viceroy in Babylon —
§ 730. Reprisals of the fugitive Chaldteans — § 737. A fleet built for
Sinacherib by inland waters — § 738. A naval expedition across the
Gulf — § 739. The Elamites and Chaldfeans in Babylonia ; battle of
Halule — § 740. Capture and ruthless destruction of Babylon by Sina-
cherib— § 741. Closing years of Sinacherib — § 742. His character and
disposition — § 743. Disastrous results of his centralizing policy — § 744.
The manner of his taking off

CHAPTER VIII

EsARHADDON, Babylonia, AND Egypt. § 745-762. p. 333-350

§ 745. The assassins and the rightful heir — § 746. Esarhaddon's
report of his success — § 747. Factors of the situation — § 748. Esarhad-
don's commission to restore Babylon — § 749. His description of the
■work — § 750. Beneficent effects of his policy — § 751. Outbreak and
reconciliation of the Chaldseans — § 752. Good relations at length secured
with Elam — § 753. The West-land ; revolt and capture of Sidon — § 754.
Campaigns in Arabia and their motive — § 755. Incidents of these trans-
actions — § 756. The conquest of Egypt — § 757. Tyre not taken by
Esarhaddon — § 758. The Kimmerians in the north — § 759. Their re-
pulse by the Assyrians — § 760. New conditions ominous for Assyria —
§ 761. Death and achievements of Esarhaddon — § 762. His architectural
monuments and his character

CHAPTER IX

ASSHURBANIPAL AND THE DISSOLVING E.MI'IRE. § 763-807. P. 351-390

§ 763. Accession of Asshurbanipal and his brother — § 764. Campaign
in Egypt — § 765. Attitude of the vassal princes — § 706. Conspiracy of
the viceroys with Tirhaka, and their defeat — § 767. The new king Urda-
man and his unsuccessful war against Assyria — § 768. Egypt finally



CONTENTS



freed under Psammetichus — § 769. The fortunes of Egj'pt and Isa. xix.
— § 770. Nahum iii. and the capture of Thebes — § 771. Phcenicia and
Palestine under Asshurbanipal — § 772. The capture of Tyre and Isa.
xxiii. — § 773. The Kimmerians and Gyges of Lydia — § 774. Gyges
and As.shurbanipal — § 775. Incidents and lessons of the story — § 776. A
vast disturbance in the empire — § 777. Minor troubles and the signs of
insurrection — § 778. Conditions under the king of Babylon — § 779. Ris-
ing of Chaldseans and Elamites — § 780. Parties to the great revolt —
§ 781. Babylon only partly responsible — § 782. Assyrians in Babylonia
and troubles in Elam — § 783. Assyrian triumph and revenge in Babylo-
nia — § 784. War with Elam; grandson of Merodach-baladan — § 785.
His fate and that of Elam — § 786. Babylon aided by Arabian troops —
§ 787. Arabians, Nebaioth, and Kedar in the later conflicts — § 788. As-
syrian expeditions and victories — §789. Explanation of small revolts
in Phoenicia — § 790. Revolt of Manasseh in Judah — § 791. Judah after
Sinacherib's invasion — § 792. Little loss of territory — § 793. Acquies-
cence in Assyrian suzerainty — § 794. Assyrian neglect of Judah —
§ 795. Lessons of the chastisement — § 796. Conditions favourable to
centralization of worship — § 797. Hezekiah's death; character of his
epoch — § 798. King Manasseh and his early years — § 799. Occasions of
his new religious policy — § 800. Decline of prophetism — § 801. Disaffec-
tion against Assyria — § 802. Settlement of its date — § 803. Silence of
Asshurbanipal on the event — § 804. Manasseh's sedition, exile, repent-
ance, and death — § 805. Results of his regime — § 806. Brief reign of
Amon — § 807. Young Josiah and the revival of the prophetic party



CHAPTER X

Downfall of the Assyrian Empire. § 808-833. P. 391-414

§ 808. Condition of Assyria under Asshurbanipal — § 809. Its essen-
tial weakness — § 810. The Scythians — § 811. Duration and character
of their invasions — § 812. Their devastations local and partial — § 813.
Supposed allusions in Jeremiah — § 814. Ezekiel xxxviii. and Zephaniah

— § 815. Immunity of Nineveh — § 816. Personal character of Asshur-
banipal — § 817. His literary tastes and influence — § 818. His significant
dependence on Babylonia — §819. His political and personal weakness

— § 820. His two successors on the throne of Nineveh — § 821. The de-
pendent states and Nineveh — § 822. Nabopalassar the viceroy in Babylon

— § 823. Growth and character of the Median kingdom — § 824. The
Median kings — § 825. Combination of Medes and Babylonians — § 826.
Basis of the understanding — § 827. Time of the destruction of Nineveh
and its character — § 828. Singular preservation of its monuments —
§ 829. Revival of Hebrew Prophecy before the event — § 8-30. Zephaniah
upon the catastrophe — § 831. The book of Nahum — §832. Its vivid de-
scriptions of the siege and capture — § 833. Prophetic images of Assyria



CONTENTS



APPENDIX
P. 414-433

NOTE PAGE

1. Absolute rule in Israel 415

2. Sargon's first Babylonian expedition 416

3. The Aryan Medes 416

4. The siege of Ashdod 417

5. Sargon and Judah 419

6. Biblical Chronology of the Kings 420

7. The Altar at Damascus 423

8. Date of Micah i-iii 424

9. Inscriptions of Sinacherib 425

10. Sinacherib and the siege of Tyre 426

11. The submission of Hezekiah 426

12. The capture of Lachi.sli 427

13. The plague in Sinacherib's army 428

14. Course of the invasion of Sinachei'ib 429

15. Isa. XXX. 7 432

16. Inscriptions of Esarhaddon 432

17. Inscriptions of Asshurbanipal 433



ADDITIONAL ABBREVIATIONS



AHW. =Friedrich Delitzsch, Assi/risches Haiuhoorterhuch, 1894 ff.

AL-. = Delitzsch, Assyrische Lesestiicke, 3d ed., 1885.

UA II. = Ed. Meyer, Geschichte des AUerthrans, Vol. II, 1893.

HA. = W. Non-ack, Lehrbnch der hehriiischen Archdologie, 2 vols.,
1894.

HG. = G. A. Siiiitli, Historical Geography of the Holy Land, 1894.

IJG. = J. Wellhausen, Israelitische und judische Geschichte, '2d ed.,

1895.
Kinship =W. Robertson Smith, Kinship in Early Arabia, 1885.
OTJC. = Ibid. The Old Testament in the Jewish Church.
Prophets = Ibid. The Prophets of Israel.
RS. =Ibid. The Religion of the Semites.

S. = The collection of inscriptions in the British Museum named

after the discoverer, George Smith.



Book YII

THE INNER DEVELOPMENT OF ISRAEL
CHAPTER I

RETROSPECT AND PROSPECT

§ 865. It has been permitted to us to survey in the pre-
ceding chapters the lands and peoples that made up the
ancient Semitic world. We have traced in broadest out-
line the rise and progress of the nationalities that played
their parts in remotest times in Western Asia. We have
seen how, at the date still popularly accepted as that of
the creation of man, the well-defined territory known as
the home of the Northern Semites was already portioned
out. We have been enabled to tell with some degree of
consistency and intelligence the story of the enterprise
and achievements of the early Babylonians. We have
learned to recognize them as among the greatest benefac-
tors of our race, as the pioneers of science, and as the
founders of the useful and liberal arts. Comparing the
Babylonia of those remote days with the Babylonia of
the present, we have beheld the law of human progress
apparently reversed. The region of the lower Euphrates,
now a dreary marshy waste, is revealed to us as reclaimed
by them from desolation and barrenness, and made the
garden of the world, while its dead level of desert land
was relieved by populous cities and adorned with countless
temples and palaces. We have seen how, for a period of



2 FORTUNES AND POLICY OF EARLY STATES Book VII

time twice as long as the present Christian era, this same
people, through endless vicissitudes of political fortune,
retained control of the birthplace of civilization. We have
observed the growth, and the rise to power and pride, of
Assyria, the offshoot, the rival, and the conqueror of Baby-
lonia. The fortunes also of Aramaeans and Canaanites
enlisted our attention. In spite of the vagueness of their
historical beginnings, we could at least follow the wander-
ings of the one family along the rivers of Mesopotamia to
their inland commercial stations, and those of the other to
their settlements on the harbours, the hill-slopes, and the
valleys of the Mediterranean coastland. We found the
Euphrates standing in the way of the westward movement
of the Aramaeans, and Northern Syria long unclaimed as a
permanent abiding-place by any Semitic people. In earli-
est historic times, and for two thousand years thereafter,
we find nowhere any memorial of the Hebrew race.

§ 366. Such is the groundwork of a vast historic struct-
ure. Symptoms of independent action and interaction
among these Semitic peoples begin already with the first
monumental records. A Babylonian empire appears about
4000 B.C. grasping at dominion, or at least aspiring to
paramount influence, over the whole region between the
Persian Gulf and the Sea of the West. Already are to
be observed tokens of a far-reaching foreign policy on the
part of the world's first empire. Already is given expres-
sion to that imperial idea which of itself gives unity and
consistency to the most enduring national history the
world has known. The first Sargon, with whom our nar-
rative began, pointed the way westward to the second
Sargon, with whom it has just come to a pause. The in-
terval between the two is over three thousand years, and
the dominant idea that vivifies and illumines it will be
found operating to the end of our story, till the extinction
of Semitism itself with the fall of Babylon. When the
centre of political control was shifted from Sargon's city of
Akkad to the southern region of Babylonia, the imperial



Cii. I, § 367 POLITICAL INFLUENCE OF EGYPT 3

policy was still maintained. When, in the time of Abra-
ham, the successive djaiasties of native Babylonian princes
were superseded by a brief foreign domination, the new
rulers from over the Tifyris fell in with the old ag-aressive
movement towards Egypt and Palestine. During all the
following centuries united Babylonia, whether under domes-
tic rulers or princes of Kasshite descent, never abdicated
the intellectual control of the West-land, though for con-
siderable periods of time her military and political influ-
ence was in abeyance. The gradual decline of Babylonia
and the rise of the Assyrians to power involved no aban-
donment of the traditional policy. The wa}' to the West
was only traversed more directly and more swiftly by the
more energetic and practical servants of Asshur. Slowly
but surely these " Romans of the East " extended their
dominion, till at last they are found with the whole of the
coastlaud either incorporated into their empire or ready
for absorption.

§ 367. The other claimant to dominion in Asia was a
non-Asiatic power. Egypt was at no time a nation of
great political consequence to the world. It was not until
the ancient role of Babylonia as a controlling force had
been played out that she was able to secure any permanent
footing in Asia, outside of the peninsula of Sinai. Nor did
she ever extend her rule beyond the westerly sweep of the
middle Euphrates. Moreover, her first military interven-
tion north of the Desert was indirectly a consequence of
the early Babylonian dominion in that region. Previously
to the beginning of the sixteenth century B.C. the relations
of Egypt with Palestine and Syria had been almost wholly
commercial and social. The constant intrusion for many
centuries of nomadic Asiatic tribes into Egypt, culminating
in the dominion of the Shepherd Princes, was due in great
part to the pressure of the Babylonian occupation of the
West. It was the instinct of self-preservation, as much
as the desire of foreign possessions, which first urged the
Eg3^ptians to the invasion of Asia after the withdrawal of



EGYPTIANS AND HETTITES Book VII



that pressure which coincided in time with the expulsion
of the Hyksos. The relations of Egypt with the Asiatic
West-land were wholly changed at that momentous epoch.
From beino- so long the invaded, she became for a time the
invader. But she could only undertake the new adventure
because the immemorial arbiter in Asiatic affairs was then
quite divided and weakened. This the greatest opportunity
of Egypt came to her when Babylonia had begun to decline
under the Kasshite dynasty, and Assyria, though strong
enough to prevent the mother country from asserting her-
self as of old, was not yet prepared to reach out and grasp
for herself the coveted western coastland. Furthermore,
when the Egyptian conquests in Asia in the sixteenth cen-
tury B.C. were begun, the whole region both east and west
of the River had long been under the intellectual as well
as the political sway of Babylonia. And when, two centu-
ries later, the empire of the Nile had relaxed its grasp upon
its Asiatic subjects, the Babylonian culture was as much
in vogue as ever, and the very language of Babylonia was
employed in letters sent to Upper Egypt from the hard-
pressed Egyptian commanders in Palestine and Syria. Yet
it was not by Babylonians, or Assyrians, or Aramaeans, that
the trespassers from over the Isthmus were extruded from
their military tenure. Mere local uprisings of the small,
communities which then made up the population of Pales-
tine and Syria were sufficient to eject them. When they
next appeared as invaders in the fourteenth and thirteenth
centuries, they were met by a more formidable foe, the
Hettites — a race of mysterious origin, but probably in
part at least of native Syrian stock. The prolonged hos-
tilities of these powers, on pretty equal terms, prevented
Palestine from falling permanently into the hands of either,
and thus left it open to the next formidable invaders, the
heroes of our story. Thereafter followed soon the whole-
sale incursions from the islands and shores of the Medi-
terranean, which damaged both of the rival claimants
beyond recovery. The Hettite confederation was dissolved,



Ch. I, § 3G9 ASSYRIANS IN THE WEST-LAND 5

and Egypt did not appear in Asia again for four hundred
years. Palestine was once more left open ; and while the
Phoenician seaports expanded their commercial ventures
to world-wide dimensions, their kindred in the interior
were left to contend unequally with a new and more suc-
cessful invasion.

§ 368. Meanwhile Assyria was gradually extending her
power and resources, and the power of Babylon, though
with occasional retrievals, was as surely waning. Organ-
ized Assyrian colonies in Mesopotamia accelerated the
movement of Aramieans westward over the Euphrates and
their settlement in Northern and Middle Syria. Here
they proved too strong for the remnants of the ephemeral
Hettite confederacy. Very gradually and sporadically,
after their manner, were their settlements made. But
they had come to stay. This period in the checkered his-
tory shows Babylonia still circumscribed, Assyria still gain-
ing upon her as a military power, and making occasionally
a tremendous effort to subdue and hold the entire country
as far as the Mediterranean. The task was different from
that achieved by the old Babylonians. The country was
now filled by busy and energetic communities, capable
singly of offering a stubborn defence, and united, of repel-
ling any power that could molest them from the east.
They were, however, incapable of permanent confedera-
tion, and their submission to the more highly organized
Assyrians was onl}- a question of time. But these future
conquerors were not as yet prepared for successful action
on an adequate scale. It was not till the ninth century
that they appeared in Southern Syria. The period of their
preparation was the time of the early decisive development
of the Hebrew and Aramaic communities.

§ 369. When about the beginning of the twelfth cen-
tury B.C. the Hebrews appeared as invaders upon the bor-
ders of Canaan, they were sincerely asserting an hereditary
claim. And though the}' had been for many centuries
exiles from the Land of Promise, their memory had not



6 THE HEBREWS IN CANAAN Book VII

been entirely extinguished among the ruling occupants of
its soil. Partly perhaps through tradition ^ and partly
through the intercommunication between Palestine and
Egypt, which was the order of the day till the time of the
Exodus, a knowledge of the Hebrews as former inhabi-
tants of the country was maintained among the people of
Canaan. The "• mixed multitude " of intermediate nomads
who attached themselves to the fortunes of the marauders
were also a connecting link with the people of the land.
We must conceive of the " conquest of Canaan " as having
been a very complex process. Battles and sieges no doubt
formed some of the salient and decisive factors of the occu-
pation. But however much the valour of the immigrants
may have added to their prestige or accelerated their early
encroachments, it did little directly to confirm their posses-
sion of the territory they had won. We have to assume
that the relations of the Canaanites and Hebrews were
pretty much the same as those which have marked the
struggles for existence and supremacy from time immemo-
rial among the less cultivated peoples of the Semitic world.
Peaceful assimilation by naturalization and adoption is the
principal means by which tribes and clans inherently su-
perior enhance their pre-eminence. And while the supe-
rior organization of the Hebrews with their loyalty to, and
trust in, Jehovah gave them an immense moral advantage
over the peoples of the land, there was not such a radical

1 If the place-names Jacob-el and Joseph-el (to use modernized forms),
which have been for the last thirty -five years so famous among archae-
ologists, refer at all to the ancestors of the Hebrevrs, and are not
entirely Canaanitish, they imply that the memory of these tribal heroes
had been kept alive in Canaan for five hundred years. They are found in
geographical lists of Thothmes III (§ 145 ; c. 1500 n.c), the former being
in Southern Judah, the latter in "Mount Ephraim," just as vrould be
expected. The deification of Jacob and Joseph is naturally accounted for
if some of their descendants settled in Canaan before the Exodus. To
explain them as Canaanitic heroes has the obvious disadvantage of the
lack of known historical association. For an ingenious treatment of these
and kindred names from other points of view, see Sayce, The Higlter
Criticism and the Monuments (1894), p. 337 ff.



Ch. I, § 371 PROGRESS OF THE SETTLEMENT 7

social difference between the oj)posing elements as to pre-
vent their gradual amalgamation. Especially must we
keep in mind that the Canaanites did not, like the Babylo-
nians or the Egyptians, form large communities with an



Online LibraryJames Frederick McCurdyHistory, prophecy and the monuments (Volume 2) → online text (page 2 of 39)