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pass. He seems to have lived an isolated and ascetic life,
though he had great influence with the people and the king,
like other prophets of the Lord.

Jeroboam II. succeeded Johash, b. c. 825, and Their short
reigned successfully, and received all the territory rei s ns -
which the Syrians had gained, but he did not depart from



78 The Jewish Mona/rchy. [Chap, til

the idolatry of the golden calves. His son and successor,
Zachariah, followed his evil courses, and was slain by Shal-
lum, after a brief reign of six months, and the dynasty of
Jehu came to an end, b. c. 7*72.

Shallum was murdered one month afterward by Menahem,
who reigned ingloriously ten years. It was during his reign
that Pul, king of Assyria, invaded his territories, but was
induced to retire for a sum of one thousand talents of silver,
which he exacted from his subjects. He was succeeded by
Pekaiah, a bad prince, who was assassinated at the end of
two years by Pekah, one of his captains, who seized his
throne. During his reign, which lasted twenty years,
Tiglath-Pilaser, king of Assyria, made war against him, by
invitation of Ahaz, and took his principal cities, and carried
their inhabitants captive to Nineveh. He was assassinated
by Hosea, who reigned in his stead. He also was a bad
prince, and became subject to Shalmanezer, king of Assyria,
who came up against him. In the ninth year of his reign, hav-
ing proved treacherous to Shalmanezer, the king of Assyria
Fail of besieged Samaria, and carried him captive to his

Samaria. own capital. Thus ended the kingdom of the ten
tribes, who were now carried into captivity beyond the
Euphrates, and who settled in the eastern provinces of
Assyria, and probably relapsed hopelessly into idolatry,
without ever revisiting their native land. In all probability
most of them were absorbed among the nations which com-
posed the Assyrian empire, b. c. 721.

Nineteen sovereigns thus reigned over the children of
The kings Israel in Samaria — a period of two hundred and fifty-
o srae foyjx years, not one of whom was obedient to the
laws of God, and most of whom perished by assassination,
or in battle. There is no record in history of more inglori-
ous kings. There was not a great man nor a good man
among them all. They were, with one or two exceptions,
disgraced by the idolatry of Jeroboam, in whose steps they
followed. Nor was their kingdom ever raised to any con-
siderable height of political power. The history of the re-



Chap. VII.] Elijah and Elisha. 79

volted and idolatrous tribes is gloomy and disgraceful, only-
relieved by the stern lives of Elijah and Elisha, the only
men of note who remained true to the God of their fathers,
and who sought to turn the people from their sins. "Where-
upon the Lord was very angry with Israel, and removed
them out of his si«;ht."



CHAPTER Yin.

THE OLD CHALDEAN AND ASSYRIAN MONARCHIES.

On a great plain, four hundred miles in length and one
The plains hundred miles in width, forming the valley of the
of Babylon. Euphrates, bounded on the north by Mesopota-
mia, on the east by the Tigris, on the south by the Persian
Gulf, and on the west by the Syrian Desert, was estab-
lished, at a very early period, the Babylonian monarchy.
This plain, or valley, contains about twenty-three thousand
square miles, equal to the Grecian territories. It was desti-
tute of all striking natural features — furnishing an unbroken
horizon. The only interruptions to the view on this level
plain were sand-hills and the embankments of the river. The
river, like the Nile, is subject to inundations, though less
regular than the Nile, and this, of course, deposits a rich allu-
vial soil. The climate in summer is intensely hot, and in
winter mild and genial. Wheat here is indigenous, and the
vine and other fruits abound in rich luxuriance. The land
was as rich as the valley of the Nile, and was favorable to
flocks and herds. The river was stocked with fish, and
every means of an easy subsistence was afforded.

Into this goodly land a migration from Armenia — the
primeval seat of man — came at a period when history
begins. Nimrod and his hunters then gained an ascend-
ency over the old settlers, and supplanted them — Cushites,
of the family of Ham, and not the descendants of Shem.
The Tower ^ ie beginning of the kingdom of Nimrod was
of Babel. Babel, a tower, or temple, modeled after the one
which was left unfinished, or was destroyed. This was
ei-ected, probably, b. c. 2334. It was square, and arose with



Chap. VIII] Foundation of Assyria. 81

successive stories, each one smaller than the one below,
presenting an analogy to the pyramidical form. The high-
est stage supported the sacred ark. The temple was built
of burnt brick. Thus the race of Ham led the way in the
arts in Chaldea as in Egypt, and soon fell into idolatry.
We know nothing, with certainty, of this ancient monarchy,
which lasted, it is supposed, two hundred and fifty-eight
years, from b. c. 2234 to 1976. It was not established until
after the dispersion of the races. The dynasty of which
Nimrod was the founder came to an end during the early
years of Abraham.

The first king of the new dynasty is supposed to be Ched-
orlaomer, though Josephus represents him as a general of
the Chaldean king who extended the Chaldean conquests
to Palestine. His encounters with the kino-s of ™ . .

» The founda-

Sodom, Gomorrah, and others in the vale of Sid- turn of the

' ' Assyrian

dim, tributary princes, and his slaughter by Abra- monarchy,
ham's servants, are recounted in the fourteenth chapter of
Genesis, and put an end to Chaldean conquests beyond the
Syrian desert. From his alliance, however, with the Tidal,
king of nations ; Amrapher, king of Shinar; and Arioch,
king of Ellasar, we infer that other races, besides the Hamite,
composed the population of Chaldea, of Avhich the subjects
of Chedorlaomer were pre-eminent.

His empire was subverted by Arabs from the desert, b. c.
1518 ; and an Arabian dynasty is supposed to have reigned
for two hundred and forty-five years.

This came to an end in consequence of a grand irruption
of Assyrians — of Semitic origin. "Asshur (Gen. Extension of

•> & v . theking-

10, 11), the son of Shem, built Nineveh," which dom.
was on the Tigris. The name Assyria came to be extended
to the whole of Upper Mesopotamia, from the Euphrates
to the Tagros mountains. This country consisted oi undu-
lating pastm-es, diversified by woodlands, and watered by
streams running into the Tigris. Its valleys were rich, its
hills were beautiful, and its climate was cooler than the
Chaldean plain.
6



82 Chaldean and Assyrian Monarchies. [Chap. Till.

It would seem from the traditions preserved by the
Greeks, that Nineveh was ruled by a viceroy of
the Babylonian king. This corresponds with the
book of Genesis, which makes the dynasty Chaldean, while
the people were Semitic, since the kingdom of Asshur was
derived from that of Nimrod. " Ninus, the viceroy," says
Smith, "having revolted from the king of Babylon, overruns
Armenia, Asia Minor, and the shores of the Euxine, as far
as Tanais, subdues the Medes and Persians, and makes war
upon the Bactrians. Semiramis, the wife of one of the chief
nobles, coming to the camp before Bactria, takes the city by
a bold stroke. Her courage wins the love of Ninus, and
she becomes his wife. On his death she succeeds to the
throne, and undertakes the conquest of India, but is
defeated." These two sovereigns built Nineveh on a grand
scale, as well as added to the edifices of Babylon.

This king was the founder of the northwest palace of
Nineveh, three hundred and sixty feet long and three hun-
dred wide, standing on a raised platform overlooking the
Tigris, with a grand facade to the north fronting the town,
and another to the west commanding the river. It was built
of hewn stone, and its central hall was one hundred and
twenty feet long and ninety wide. The ceilings were of cedar
brought from Lebanon. The walls were paneled with slabs
of marble ornamented with bas-reliefs. The floors were
paved with stone. (See Rawlinson's Herodotus.)

All this is tradition, but recent discoveries in cuneiform
literature shed light upon it. From these, compared with
the fragments of Berosus, a priest of Babylon in the third cen-
tury before Christ, and the scattered notices of Scripture his-
tory, we infer that the dynasty which Belus founded reigned
more than five hundred years, from 1272 to 747 before Christ.
Of these kings, Sardanapalns, the most famous, added
Babylonia to the Assyrian empire, and built vast architec-
tural works. He employed three hundred and sixty

Tho palaces. ,, , . . „ , . ,

thousand men in the construction oi this palace,
some of whom were employed in making brick, and others in



Chap. Till] Conquests of the Assyrians. 83

cutting timber on Mount Hermon. It covered an area of
eight acres. The palaces of Nineveh were of great splendor,
and the scenes portrayed on the walls, as discovered by Mr.
Layard, lately disinterred from the mounds of earth, repre-
sent the king as of colossal stature, lighting battles, and
clothed with symbolic attributes. He appears as a gi'eat
warrior, leading captives, and storming cities, and also in the
chase, piercing the lion, and pursuing the wild ass. This
monarch should not be confounded with the Sardanapalus of
the Greeks, the last of the preceding dynasty. His son,
Shalmanezer, was also a great prince, and added to the
dominion of the Assyrian empire. Distant nations paid
tribute to him, the Phoenicians, the Syrians, the Jews, and
the Medians beyond the Tagros mountains. He defeated
Benhadad and routed Hazael. His reio-n ended, . ..

o ' Assyrian

it is supposed, b. c. 850. Two other kings sue- kin s s -
ceeded him, who extended their conquests to the west, the
last of whom is identified by Smith with Pul, the reigning
monarch when Jonah visited Nineveh, b. c. 770.

The next dynasty commences with Tiglath-Pileser II.,
who carried on wars against Babylon and Syria and Israel.
This was in the time of Ahaz, b, c. 729.

His son, Shalmanezer, made Hosea, king of Israel, his
vassal, and reduced the country of the ten tribes to a
province of his empire, and carried the people away into
captivity. Hezekiah was also, for a time, his vas- „

1 •> ' ' Conquests of

sal. He was succeeded by Saigon, b. c. 721, ac- shalmanezer.
cording to Smith, but 715 b. c, according to others. He
reigned, as Geseneus thinks, but two or three years ; but fif-
teen according to Rawlinson, and built that splendid palace,
the ruins of which, at Khorsabacl, have supplied the Louvre
with its choicest remains of Assyrian antiquity. He was
one of the greatest of the Assyrian conquerors. He invaded
Babylon and drove away its kings ; he defeated the Philis-
tines, took Ashdod and Tyre, received tribute from the
Greeks at Cyprus, invaded even Egypt, whose king paid
him tribute, and conquered Media.



84 Chaldean and Assyrian Monarchies. [Chap, yiil

His son, Sennacherib, who came to the throne, b. c. 702, is
Sennacherib an interesting historical personage, and under him
the Assyrian empire reached its culminating point.
He added to the palace of Nineveh, and built one which
exceeded all that had existed before him. ISTo monarch
surpassed this one in the magnificence of his buildings. He
erected no less than thirty temples, shining with silver and
gold. One of the halls of his palace was two hundred and
twenty feet long, and one hundred and one wide. He made
use of Syrian, Greek, and Phoenician artists. It is from the
ruins of this palace at Koyiuijlk that Mr. Layard made
those valuable discoveries which have enriched the British
Museum. He subdued Babylonia, Upper Mesopotamia,
Syria, Phoenicia, Philistia, Idumsea, and a part of Egypt,
which, with Media, a part of Armenia, and the old Assyrian
territory, formed his vast empire — by far greater than the
Egyptian monarchy at any period. He chastised also the
Jews for encouraging a revolt among the Philistines, and
carried away captive two hundred thousand people, and only
abstained from laying siege to Jerusalem by a present from
Hezekiah of three hundred talents of silver and thirty of
gold. The destruction of his host, as recorded by Scripture,
is thought by some to have occurred in a subsequent
Culmination invasion of Judea, when it was in alliance with

of the power -^ _, , -. -_. ., .

of Nineveh. Jigypt. lhat "he returned to Nineveh and
dwelt there " is asserted by Scripture, but only to be as-
sassinated by his sons, b. c. 680.

His son Esar-Haddon succeeded him, a warlike monarch,
who fought the Egyptians, and colonized Samaria with
Babylonian settlers. He also built the palace of Nimrod,
and cultivated art.

The civilization of the Assyrians shows a laborious and
Assyrian patient people. Its chief glory was in architect-
cm ization. ure ^ Sculpture was imitated from nature, but had
neither the grace nor the ideality of the Greeks. War was
the grand business of kings, and hunting their pleasure.
The people were ground down by the double tyranny of



Chap, vni] Nineveh. 85

kings and priests. There is little of interest in the Assyrian
annals, and what little we know of their life and manners
is chiefly drawn by inductions from the monuments exca-
vated by Botta and Layard. The learned treatise of Raw-
linson sheds a light on the annals of the monarchy, winch,
before the discoveries of Layard, were exceedingly obscure,
and this treatise has been most judiciously abridged by
Smith, whom I have followed. It would be interesting to
consider the mythology of the Assyrians, but it is too com-
plicated for a work like this.

Under his successors, the empire rapidly declined.
Thous;h it nominallv included the whole of West- Decline of

. nr t the lllon "

ern Asia, from the Mediterranean to the desert of arcny.
Iran, and from the Caspian Sea and the mountains of
Armenia to the Persian Gulf, it was wanting in unity.
It embraced various kingdoms, and cities, and tribes, which
simply paid tribute, limited by the power of the king to
enforce it. The Assyrian armies, which committed so
great devastations, did not occupy the country they chas-
tised, as the Romans and Greeks did. Their conquests
were like those of Tamerlane. As the monarchs became
effeminated, new powers sprung up, especially Media, which
ultimately completed the ruin of Assyria, under Cyaxares.
The last of the monarchs was probably the Sardanapalus of
the Greeks.

The decline of this great monarchy was so rapid and
complete, that even Nineveh, the capital city, was blotted out
of existence. No traces of it remained in the Destruction
time of Herodotus, and it is only from recent ex- of ^ex-
cavations that its site is known. Still, it must have been
a great city. The eastern wall of it, as it now appears
from the excavations, is fifteen thousand nine hundred feet
(about three miles) ; but the city probably included vast
suburbs, with fortified towers, so as to have been equal to
four hundred and eighty stadias in circumference, or sixty
miles — the three days' journey of Jonah. It is supposed,
with the suburbs, to have contained five hundred thousand



86 Chaldean and Assyrian Monarchies. [Chap. Tin,

people. The palaces of the great were large and magnifi-
cent ; but the dwellings of the people were mean, built
of brick dried in the sun. The palaces consisted of a
large number of chambers around a central hall,

Its remains. ... .,, „ .

open to the sky, since no pillars are found neces-
sary to support a roof. No traces of windows are found
in the walls, which were lined with slabs of coarse marble,
with cuneiform inscriptions. The facade of the palaces we
know little about, except that the entrances to them were
lined by groups of colossal bulls. These are sculptured with
considerable spirit, but art, in the sense that the Greeks un-
derstood it, did not exist. In the ordinary appliances of
life the Assyrians were probably on a par with the Egyp-
tians ; but they were debased by savage passions and degrad-
ing superstitions. They have left nothing for subsequent
ages to use. Nothing which has contributed to civilization
remains of their existence. They have furnished no models
of literature, art, or government.

While Nineveh was rising to greatness, Babylon was
under an eclipse, and thus lasted six hundred and fifty years.
It was in the year 1273 that this eclipse began. But a great
Growth of change took place in the era of Narbonassar, b. c.
Babylon. ^^ when Babylon threatened to secure its inde-
pendence, and which subsequently compelled Esar-Haddon,
the Assyrian monarch, to assume, in his own person, the
government of Babylon, b. c. 680.

In 625 b. c. the old Chaldeans recovered their political
importance, probably by an alliance with the Medes, and
The Nabopolassar obtained undisputed possession of

monarchy. Babylon, and founded.a short but brilliant dynasty.
He obtained a share of the captives of Nineveh, and
increased the population of his capital. His son, Nebu-
chadnezzar, was sent as general against the Egyptians, and
defeated their king, Neko, reconquered all the lands bordering
on Egypt, and received the submission of Jehoiakim, of Jeru-
salem. The death of Nabopolassar recalled his son to Baby-
lon, and his great reign began b. c. 604.



Chap. YIIL] Babylon. 87

It was he who enlarged the capital to so great an extent
that he may almost be said to have built it. It was in the
form of a square, on both banks of the Euphrates, Nebuchad-
forty-eight miles in circuit, according to Herodotus, nezzar -
with an area of two hundred square miles — large enough
to support a considerable population by agriculture alone.
The walls of this city, if we accept the testimony of Hero-
dotus, were three hundred and fifty feet high, and eighty-
seven feet thick, and were strengthened by two hundred
and fifty towers, and pierced with one hundred gates of
brass. The river was lined by quays, and the two parts of
the city were united by a stone bridge, at each end of
which was a fortified palace. The greatest work of the
royal architect was the new palace, with the ad- Magnifi-

.,...,. _ . „ cence of

joining hanging garden — a series of terraces to Babylon,
resemble hills, to please his Median queen. This palace,
with the garden, was eight miles in circumference, and
splendidly decorated with statues of men and animals. Here
the mighty monarch, after his great military expeditions,
solaced himself, and dreamed of omnipotence, until a sudden
stroke of madness — that form which causes a man to mistake
himself for a brute animal — sent him from his luxurious halls
into the gardens he had planted. His madness lasted seven
years, and he died, after a reign of forty-three years, B. c.
561, and Evil-Merodach, his son, reigned in his stead.

He was put to death two years after, for lawlessness and
intemperance, and was succeeded by his brother-in-law and
murderer, Neriglissar. So rapid was the decline of the
monarchy, that after a few brief reigns Babylon F aai f t he
was entered by the army of Cyrus, and the last monaxch y-
king, Bil-shar-utzur, or Bilshassar, associated with his father
Nabonadius, was slain, b. c. 538. Thus ended the Chaldean
monarchy, seventeen hundred and ninety-six years after the
building of Babel by Nimrod, according to the chronology
it is most convenient to assume.



CHAPTER IX.

THE EMPIRE OF THE MEDES AND PERSIANS.

The third of the great Oriental monarchies brought in
contact with the Jews was that of the Medes and Persians,
which arose on the dissolution of the Assyrian and Babylo-
The country n ^ an em P n ' es - The nations we have hitherto
of the Medes alluded to were either Hamite or Shemite. But

and Per-
sians. our attention is now directed to a different race,

the descendants of Japhet. Madai, the third son of Japhet,
was the progenitor of the Medes, whose territory extended
from the Caspian Sea on the north, to the mountains of Per-
sia on the south, and from the highlands of Armenia and
the chain of Tagros on the west, to the great desert of Iran
on the east. It comprised a great variety of climate, and
was intersected by mountains whose valleys were fruitful in
corn and fruits. " The finest part of the country is an ele-
vated region inclosed by the offshoots of the Armenian
mountains, and surrounding the basin of the great lake
Urumizu, four thousand two hundred feet above the sea, and
the valleys of the ancient Mardus and the Araxes, the north-
ern boundary of the land. In this mountain region stands
Tabris, the delightful summer seat of the modern Persian
shahs. The slopes of the Tagros furnish excellent pasture ;
and here were reared the famous horses which the an-
cients called Nisoean. The eastern districts are flat and
pestilential, where they sink down to the shores of the Cas-
pian Sea; rugged and sterile where they adjoin the desert
of Iran." The people who inhabited this country were
The martial hardy and bold, and were remarkable for their
the people, horsemanship. They were the greatest warriors



Chap. IX. Revolt of Media. 89

of the ancient world, until the time of the Greeks. They
were called Aryians by Herodotus. They had spread over
the highlands of Western Asia in the primeval ages, and
formed various tribes. The first notice of this Aryan (or
Arian) race, appears in the inscriptions on the black obelisk
of Nimrod, b. c. 880, from which it would appear that this
was about the period of the immigration into Media, and
they were then exposed to the aggressions of the Earl kinc , s
Assyrians. " The first king who menaced their in- of Media -
dependence was the monarch whose victories are recorded on
the black obelisk in the British Museum." He made a raid
into, rather than a conquest of, the Median country. Sargon,
the third monarch of the Lower Enrpire, effected something
like a conquest, and peopled the cities which he founded with
Jewish captives from Samaria, b. c. 710. Media thus became
the most eastern province of his empire, but the conquest of
it was doubtless incomplete. The Median princes paid trib-
ute to the kings of Nineveh, or withheld it, according to
their circumstances.

According to Ctesias, the Median monarchy commenced
b. c. 875 ; but Herodotus, with greater probable accuracy,
places the beginning of it b. c. 708. The revolt of Media
from Assyria was followed by the election of Deio-
ces, who reigned fifty-three years. The history of
this king is drawn through Grecian sources, and can not much
be depended upon. According to the legends, the seven
tribes of the Medes, scattered over separate villages, suffered
all the evils of anarchy, till the reputation of Deioces made
him the arbiter of their disputes. He then retired into pri-
vate life; anarchy returned, a king was called for, and Deioces
was elected. He organized a despotic power, which had its
central seat in Ecbatana, which he made his capital, built
upon a hill, on the summit of which was the royal palace,
where the king reigned in seclusion, transacting all business
through spies, informers, petitions, and decrees. Such is
the account which Rawlinson gives, and which Smith fol-
lows.



90 Empire of the Medea and Persians. [Chap. IX.

The great Median kingdom really began with Cyaxares,
about the year B. c. 633, when the Assyrian empire

Cyaxares. . J TT „ * . ,.,

was waning. He emerges irom the obscurity like
Attila and Gengis Khan, and other eastern conquerors, at
the head of irresistible hordes, sweeps all away before him,
and builds up an enormous power. This period was distin-
guished by a great movement among the Turanian races
(Cimmerians), living north of the Danube, which, according
to Herodotus, made a great irruption into Asia Minor,
where some of the tribes effected a permanent settlement ;
while the Scythians, from Central Asia, overran Media, crossed
the Zagros mountains, entered Mesopotamia, passed through
Syria to Egypt, and held the dominion of Western Asia, till
expelled by Cyaxares. He only established his new king-
dom after a severe conflict between the Scythian and Aryan
races, which had hitherto shared the possession of the table-
lands of Media.

From age to age the Turanian races have pressed forward
to occupy the South, and it was one of these great move-
Theimip- nients which Cyaxares opposed, and opposed suc-
Tnran'an cessfully — the first recorded in history. These no-
races, mads of Tartary, or Scythian tribes, which overran
Western Asia in the seventh century before Christ, under the



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