The Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III, side A, 2nd register

The Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III, side A, 2nd register


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The Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III, side A, 2nd register - History

Shalmaneser black obelisk side B shows Israelites bearing tribute in the second row below the cuneiform inscription that describes the scene.

In the middle row in the image to the right
(or, the second row) on side B
of the Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser
two Assyrian officials lead three Israelite tribute bears who are carrying silver, gold, gold vessels and tin according to the cuneiform inscription
directly above the scene.

Israelite tribute bears for Israel's King Jehu in second row bring gold, golden bowl, golden tureen, golden vessels, golden pails, tin, spears and staffs of the kings hand.

In the second row Shalmaneser stands in front of Israel's King Jehu who is on his knees bowing with his face on the ground. The cuneiform inscription above the scene describes this second row of side A of the Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III saying:

"The tribute of Jehu, son of Omri: I received from him silver, gold, a golden saplu-bowl, a golden vase with pointed bottom, golden tumblers, golden buckets, tin,
a staff for a king, (and) wooden puruhtu
."
(ANET 281).

King Jehu paying tribute to Assyrian King Shalmaneser III while asking for military assistance against Israel's northern neighbors, the Arameans.

Close up of King Jehu on his face in row
two on side A of the Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III

Photos were taken by Galyn Wiemers of
Generation Word Bible Teaching Ministry
of images on location in Israel or
on display in a public library or
from Galyn's personal collection.
Some photographs are images of replicas
(not the original piece). These are identified.

All images may be downloaded, published, uploaded
or freely used for further study and Bible teaching.

For Bible teaching audio, video, notes and
study tools visit Generation Word's home page at


  Paul W. Manuel

This stele is one of the most important finds ever made relating to the Bible. Five registers of relief sculpture (horizontal sections of four panels each depicting a series of scenes) decorate the four-sided limestone monument and show the collection of tribute from vassal states by Shalmaneser III (ruled 858-824 B.C.). The second register from the top on one side shows the presentation of tribute by "Jehu," king of Israel (ruled 841-814 B.C.). The central figure on the first panel of the register is prostrate at the feet of the Assyrian monarch. Some scholars have suggested that the figure is Jehu's emissary but, if it is Jehu himself, this panel is the only extant picture of an Israelite ruler from the First Temple Period.

The Assyrian record differs from the biblical text in two ways. First, the Bible lacks any mention of Jehu's paying tribute to Shalmaneser. This difference does not mean the scriptural account is incorrect. The Bible does not record every event in the lives of the kings. Second, and perhaps more significant, the stele calls Jehu "son of Omri." According to the biblical text, Jehu was not a descendant of Omri. In fact, Jehu destroyed the Omride dynasty:

Murder and usurpation were common occurrences in the northern kingdom of Israel, unlike Judah, where Davidic kings ruled continuously for four hundred years. Omri, an Israelite general, became king by attacking his predecessor (882 B.C.). He was succeeded by his son Ahab (ruled 871-852 B.C.) who, in turn, was succeeded first by one son, Ahaziah (ruled 871-552 B.C.), then by another son, Joram (ruled 851-842 B.C.) whom Jehu murdered. The death of Joram, however, did not satisfy Jehu. He also killed Ahab's seventy descendants as well as all in Ahab's court "leaving him no survivor" (2 Kgs 10:11).

The grisly paradox of the cuneiform inscription on the Black Obelisk is that it identifies Jehu as the son of Omri. If that is true, then Jehu murdered his own family. Throughout the biblical Ahab/Jehu cycle, the destroyed house is the house of Ahab, while the text does not mention the house of Omri. It is possible that Jehu was indeed a "son" of Omri, that is, a descendant of Omri—but through a different line from that of Ahab.

Alternatively, the Assyrians may have misunderstood Israelite politics or, more likely, applied their own policy for designating vassal states. Assyrian kings often identified other kingdoms by the name of the first king they encountered. Hence, if Omri was in power when Assyria made its initial contact with Israel, Assyria would thereafter call that nation "the house of Omri." If this was the case with Shalmaneser III, then "Jehu, son of Omri" was a national designation not a lineal one, and Jehu did not kill his own family.

Significance for Biblical Studies: Discoveries like the Black Obelisk confirm that events in the Bible are about real people in real time and help to substantiate the Bible as an historical document, thereby giving us confidence in what we believe. The Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III, a ruler the Bible mentions, confirms the involvement of the Assyrian monarch with the Northern Kingdom of Israel and with Jehu, one of its kings.


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The Monolith Inscription of Shalmaneser III

1. Assur ( Osiris ) the great lord, the king of all the great gods Anu the king of the Igigi ( Anunnaki space truckers) and Anunnaki , 1 the master of the world Bel ( Enlil , sometimes Marduk ) the father of the gods, who determines destiny,

2. who institutes the laws [of heaven and earth] Ea ( Enki ) , the wise, the king of the Abyss, the discoverer of cunning arts Sin ( Nannar / Sin ) the illuminator of heaven (and) earth, the illustrious god Shamash ( Utu )

( Utu & twin sister Inanna with captive earthlings)

3. the judge of the (four) zones, the director of mankind Ishtar ( Inanna ) the lady of battles and combats, whose delight (is) conflict the great gods who love my royalty,

4. my empire, my power, and my government have they magnified a famous name, an illustrious renown, above all the sovereigns (of the world) have they bestowed on me in abundance!

( Shalmaneser II stele, King of Assyria)

5. Shalmaneser , the king of the multitudes of men, the sovereign pontiff of Assur , the powerful king, the king of Assyria , the king of all the four zones, the Sun-god ( Utu ) 2 of the multitudes of men,

6. who governs all the world the king who fears the gods, the favorite 3 of Bel , the appointed vicar of Assur , the august prince, who has traversed

7. easy paths and difficult roads, who has trodden the summits of the mountains (and) all (their) ranges, who has received tribute and presents

8. from all regions, who has opened the mountains above and below before the onset of whose mighty battle the regions (of the world) have yielded,

(gods Ashur & Utu the Commander of the alien Space Port)

9. the world has trembled to its foundations before his warlike fury the male hero who has marched under the protection of Assur (and) Shamash ( Utu ) , the gods his allies

10. who has no rival among the kings of the four zones (of the world) the royal despot of the world, who has traversed difficult roads, (and) has advanced over mountains and seas

11. the son of Assur-natsir-pal , the vicegerent of Bel , the priest of Assur , whose priesthood has been pleasing to the gods, and who has subjected to his feet all lands the illustrious descendant of Tukulti-Adar 1

( Ashur in his winged sky-disc, protecting his king)

12. who subjugated all his foes, and swept them like the tempest, when Assur the great lord in the determination of his [heart] had turned upon me his illustrious eyes, and

13. had called me to the government 2 of Assyria had given me to hold the mighty weapon (alien technology) which overthrows the rebellious had [invested] me with the [sacred] crown the lordship over all lands

14. had granted me had strongly urged me to conquer and subjugate: in those days at the beginning of my reign, in the first of my (regnal) years, 3

15. (when) I had seated myself in state on the throne of royalty, I summoned my chariots (and) armies into the defiles of the country of Simesi I entered to Aridu ( Eridu )the fortified city

( Inanna , tHE Goddess of Love & A winged pilot)

16. of Ninni ( Inanna ) I approached. The city I besieged, I captured its numerous soldiers I slew its spoil Icarried away. I erected a pyramid of heads at the entrance of his city.

17. Their youths and maidens I delivered to the flames. 1 While I remained in Aridu the tribute of the people of Kharga , Kharmasa ,

18. Simesi , Simera , Sirisha , (and) Ulmania , horses trained to the yoke, oxen, sheep, (and) wine I received. From Aridu ( Eridu )

19. I departed difficult paths (and) inaccessible mountains whose peaks rose to the sky like the point of an iron sword I cut with axes of bronze (and) copper. The chariots

20. (and) troops I caused to cross (them). To the city of Khupushkia I approached. Khupushkia with 100 towns which (were) dependent on it I burned with fire. Kakia

21. a king of the country of Nairi and the rest of his troops trembled before the splendor of my arms, and occupied the strong mountains. After them I ascended the mountains,

22. I fought a hard battle in the midst of the mountains (and) utterly destroyed them. I brought back from the mountains chariots, troops, (and) horses trained to the yoke. The terror of the glory (alien tech weapons)

23. of Assur my lord overwhelmed them they descended (and) took my feet. Taxes and tribute I imposed upon them. From the city of Khupushkia I departed.

24. To Sugunia the stronghold of Arame of Arara 2 I approached. The city I besieged, I captured their numerous soldiers I slew.

25. Its spoil I carried away. I erected a pyramid of heads at the entrance of his city 14 towns which (were) dependent on it I burned with fire. From Sugunia

26. I departed to the sea of the country of Nairi 1 I descended. I purified my weapons in the sea I sacrificed victims to my gods. In those days an image of my person

( Ashur above his king in his winged sky-disc)

27. I made I inscribed upon it the glory of Assur the great lord, my lord, and the mightiness of my empire I erected (it) overlooking the sea. On my return

28. from the sea I received the tribute of Asû of the land of Guzan in abundance, horses, oxen, sheep, wine, (and) two camels with two humps

( Ashur’s ziggurat residence in his patron city of Assur)

29. to my city of Assur I brought (them).—In the month Iyyar, on the 13th day, 2 I departed from Nineveh . I crossed the Tigris . I passed through the mountains 3 Of Khasamu and Dikhnunu .

(many ancient artifacts of Ashur , some destroyed by Radical Islam)

30. To La’la’te 4 a city of Akhuni the son of Adini I approached. The terror of the glory (alien tech) of Assur my lord overwhelmed [them , to the mountains …]

31. they ascended. The city I threw down, dug up (and) burned with fire. From La’la’te I departed. [To Ki … qa the stronghold]

32. of Akhuni the son of Adini I approached. Akhuni the son of Adini to the multitude [of his troops trusted, and to make ] combat and battle [came against] me. Under the protection of Assur

( Shalmaneser II protected by Ashur above)

33. and the great gods, my lords, I fought with him I utterly defeated him. I shut him up in his city. From the city of Ki … qa I departed

34. to Bur-mar’âna 5 a city of Akhuni the son of Adini [I approached. The city] I besieged, I captured. I destroyed with my weapons 300 of his fighting-men. A pyramid of heads

35. I erected [at the entrance to his city]. The tribute of Khapini 1 of Til-abna , 2 of Ga’uni of Sa[llu] , … of Giri-Dadda 3

36. [of Assu ], silver, gold, oxen, sheep, (and) wine I received. From the city of Bur-mar’âna I departed in boats of seal-skin the Euphrates

37. I crossed. The tribute of Qata-zilu of Kummukh , 4 silver, gold, oxen, sheep, (and) wine I received. To the city of Paqarrukhbuni 5

38. (and) the cities of Akhuni the son of Adini on the farther bank of the Euphrates I approached. I utterly destroyed the country. Its cities to ruins

39. I reduced. I filled the broad plain with the corpses of his warriors 1300 of his fighting-men I slew with weapons.

40. From the city Paqarrukhbuni I departed to the cities of Mutalli 6 of the city of the Gamgumians I approached. The tribute

41. of Mutalli of the city of the Gamgumians , silver, gold, oxen, sheep, wine, (and) his daughter with a large dowry I received. From the city of Gamgumê

42. I departed Lutibu the stronghold of Khânu of the country of the Sam’alians I approached. Khânu of the country of the Sam’alians , Sapalulme 7

43. of the country of the Patinians , 8 Akhuni the son of Adini, Sangara of the country of the Carchemishians , trusted to their mutual alliance and prepared for

(alien giant Nergal , Lord of the Under World, WARRIOR GOD WHO GOES 1ST, BEFORE THE KING INTO BATTLE)

44. battle they came against me to fight. By the supreme power of Nergal who marches before me, with the forceful (alien tech) weapons

45. which Assur the lord has granted (me) I fought with them, I utterly defeated them. Their combatants

(alien giant Adad stele, God of Thunder, god who kills earthlings at will)

46. I slew with weapons like Hadad ( Adad / Ishkur ) 1 I poured the deluge upon them, I heaped them up in the ditches with the bodies

47. of their warriors I filled the broad plain with their blood I dyed the mountains like wool. (His) many chariots [and troops], (and) horses

(stacking & counting severed heads)

48. trained for the yoke I took from him. 2 I erected a pyramid of heads at the entrance to his city. His cities I threw down, dug up (and) burned with fire.

49. In those days I celebrated the greatness of the great gods I proclaimed for ever the valor of Assur and Shamash ( Utu ) . A great image of my royalty

/> (his image & text made by Shalmaneser II )

50. I made I inscribed upon it the exploits of my valor (and) the deeds of my glory. At the source of the river Saluara

51. at the foot of mount Amanus I erected (it). From mount Amanus I departed the Orontes 3 I crossed to Alimush 4

52. the stronghold of Sapalulme the Patinian I approached. Sapalulme the Patinian to save

53. his life [called to his aid] Akhuni the son of Adini, Sangara the Carchemishian , Khayânu the Sam’alian , Kate-[zilu the Komagenian ], …

54. the Quan , 5 Pikhirim the Cilician , 6 Bur-anate the Yasbukian , Ada … the country of Assyria

2. … I shattered [his forces] the city I besieged, I captured. …

3. … his numerous chariots (and) horses trained to the yoke … I carried away …

4. [His fighting-men] I slew [with] weapons. In the midst of this battle Bur-anate

5. … my hands captured. The great cities of the Patinian I in[vested. The countries]

6. of the Upper [Sea] 1 of Syria 2 and of the sea of the setting sun I swept like a mound under a storm.

7. The tribute of the kings of the sea-coast I received. On the shores of the broad sea, straight before me, victoriously

8. I marched. An image of my majesty I made to perpetuate my name for ever, overlooking the sea I e[rected it].

9. To the mountains of Amanus I ascended. Logs of cedar and thuya I cut. To the mountains

10. of mount Atalur where the image of Assur-irbi 3 was set up I marched. I erected an image by the side of his image. From the sea I went [down]

11. the cities of Taya …, Khazazu , 4 Nulia (and) But-âmu belonging to the Patinian I captured 2800 fighting-men

12. I slew 14,600 prisoners I carried away. The tribute of Arame the son of Gusi, 5 silver, gold, oxen,

13. sheep, wine, (and) couches of gold and silver I received.—In the year of my own eponymy, 6 on the 13th day of the month Iyyar from [ Nineveh ]

14. I departed the Tigris I crossed, the mountains 7 of Khasamu and Dikhnunu I traversed. To Til-Bursip 8 the stronghold of Akhuni

15. the son of Adini I approached. Akhuni the son of Adini trusted to the multitude of his troops and came to meet me. I utterly defeated him. In [his city]

16. I shut him up. From Til-Bursip I departed in boats of seal-skin the Euphrates at its flood I crossed. Al (?) … gâ , Tagi …

17. Sûrunu , Paripa , Til-Basherê 1 (and) Dabigu , six strongholds of Akhuni the son of Adini I [besieged], I captured. His numerous fighting-men

18. I slew: their spoil I carried away 200 towns which (were) dependent on them I threw down, dug up (and) burned with fire. [From] Dabigu I (departed)

19. to Sazabê the stronghold of Sangara the Carchemishian I approached. The city I besieged, I captured. Their numerous fighting-men I slew

20. their spoil I carried away. The towns which (were) dependent on him I threw down, dug up (and) burned with fire. The kings of the country [of the Hittites ] all of them,

21. trembled before the splendor of my powerful weapons and my violent onset, and they took my feet. From … shun 2 the Patinian

22. 3 talents of gold, 100 talents of silver, 300 talents of copper, 300 talents of iron, i000 vases of copper, i000 vestments of embroidered stuff (and) linen, his daughter

23. with her abundant dowry, 20 talents of blue purple, 300 oxen, (and) 5000 sheep, I received. A talent of gold, 2 talents of blue purple, (and) 100 logs of cedar

24. I imposed upon him as tribute each year I receive (it) in my city of Assur . From Khayânu the son of Gabbaru who (dwells) at the foot of mount Amanus 10 talents of silver, 90 talents

25. of copper, 30 talents of iron, 300 vestments of embroidered stuff (and) linen, 300 oxen, 3000 sheep, 200 logs of cedar … 2 homers of cedar-resin

26. (and) his daughter with her dowry I received. I laid upon him as tribute 10 manehs of silver, 200 logs of cedar, (and) a homer of cedar-resin each year

27. I receive (it). From Aramu the son of Agûsi 10 manehs of gold, 6 talents of silver, 500 oxen, (and) s000 sheep I received. From Sangara the Carchemishian 2 talents

28. of gold, 70 talents of silver, 30 talents of copper, 100 talents of iron, 20 talents of blue purple, 500 weapons, his daughter with a dowry, and 100 daughters of his nobles,

29. 500 oxen, (and) 5000 sheep, I received. I laid upon him as tribute a maneh of gold, a talent of silver, (and) 2 talents of blue purple each year I receive (it). From Qata-zilu

30. the Komagenian I receive each year 20 manehs of silver (and) 300 logs of cedar.—In the eponymy of Assur-bel-kain, 1 on the 13th day of the month Tammuz (named after Dumuzi ) , I departed from Nineveh

31. the Tigris I crossed the mountains of Khasamu and Dikhnunu I traversed. At Til-Barsip the stronghold of Akhuni the son of Adini I arrived. Akhuni

32. the son of Adini, before the splendor of my powerful weapons and my violent onset, to save his life, crossed [to the western bank] of the Euphrates

( Ashur in his winged sky-disc)

33. to other countries he passed over. By the command of Assur the great lord, my lord, the cities of Til-Barsip (and) Aligu [I occupied. The city of] … Shaguqa as my royal city

34. I chose. I settled men of Assyria within (it). I founded palaces within it for the habitation of my majesty. To Til-Barsip the name of Kar-Shalmaneser , 1

35. to Nappigu the name of Lita-Assur , 2 to Aligu the name of Atsbat-la-kunu , 3 to Ruguliti the name of Qibit-[Assur] 4 I gave. In those days

36. the city of Ana-Assur-utir-atsbat , 5 which the Hittites call Pitru , 6 which (is) upon the river Sagura on the farther side of the Euphrates ,

37. and the city of Mutkînu which is upon the hither side of the Euphrates , which Tiglath-Pileser , 7 the royal forefather who went before me had [captured] (and which) in the time of Assur-Irbi (?), 8

38. t he king of Assyria , the king of the country of Aram 9 had taken away by force, these cities I restored to their (former) position, I settled men of Assyria in them.

39. While I was staying in the city of Kar-Shalmaneser the tribute of the kings of the sea-coast and of the kings of the banks of Euphrates , silver, gold, lead, copper,

40. vases of copper, oxen, sheep, (and) embroidered and linen vestments I received. From Kar-Shalmaneser I departed mount 10 Sumu I traversed.

41. Into the country of Bit-Zamâni I descended. From Bit-Zamâni I departed the mountains 11 of Namdanu (and) Merkhisu I traversed. Difficult paths (and) mountains

42. inac cessible whose peaks rose to the sky like the point of a sword I cut with axes of bronze. I caused chariots (and) troops to pass (them). Into the country of Enzite 1 in mount Shua 2

43. I descended. My hand conquered the country of Enzite throughout its extent. Their cities I threw down, dug up and burned with fire. Their spoil, their goods, their riches without number

44. I carried away. A great image of my majesty I made I inscribed upon it the glory of Assur the great lord, my lord, and the power of my empire I set (it) up (in) the city of Saluria at the foot (?) of Qirêqi .

45. From the country of Enzite I departed the river Arsania 3 I crossed. To the country of Sukhme I approached. Uashtal its stronghold I captured. The [land] of Sukhme throughout its extent

46. I ove rthrew, dug up (and) burned with fire. Sua their governor with my hand I captured. From the country of Sukhme I departed into the country of Dayaeni 4 I descended. The city of Dayaeni

47. with all its territory I conquered. Their cities I threw down, dug up (and) burned with fire. Their spoil, their goods (and) abundant wealth I took. From the country of Dayaeni I departed

48. to Arzasku 5 the royal city of Arrame of Ararat I approached. Arramu of Ararat before the splendor of my powerful weapons

49. and my violent onset trembled and abandoned his city to the mountains of Addur i he ascended. After him I ascended the mountains. A hard battle in the mountains I fought 3400

/> ( Adad atop his zodiac symbol of Taurus, warrior son to Enlil )

50. of his soldiers I slew with weapons. Like Hadad ( Adad ) 1 I poured a deluge upon them. (With) their blood I dyed (the mountains) like wool. His camp I took from him

51. his chariots, his litters (?), his horses, his colts, (his) calves, his riches, his spoil, (and) his abundant goods I brought back from the mountains. Arramu , to save

52. his life ascended the inaccessible mountains. In the energy of my manhood I trampled on his country like a wild bull I reduced his cities to ruins. Arzasku together with the towns

53. which (were) dependent on it I threw down, dug up (and) burned with fire. I erected pyramids of heads at the entrance of his great gate. [Some of the survivors] alive within

54. [the pyramids I immured] others I impaled on stakes round about the pyramids. From Arzasku I departed to the mountains

55. [of Eritia I ascended]. A great image of my majesty I made. The glory of Assur my lord and the mighty deeds of my empire which I had wrought in the land of Ararat upon it

56. [I inscribed. On the mountains of Eri]tia I set (it) up. From mount Eritia I departed the city of Aramale 2 I approached. Its towns I threw down, dug up (and) burned with fire.

57. From Aramale I departed to the city of Zanziuna [I approached], … he trembled he took my feet.

( Ashur artifacts destroyed by Radical Islam)

58. Horses trained to the yoke, oxen (and) sheep I received from him. I granted pardon to [him] … [On] my [return?], to the sea

59. of the cou ntry of Nairi 1 I descended I purified the forceful weapons of Assur in the sea . [I sacrificed] victims. [An image of my majesty] I made the glory

60. of Assur the great lord, my lord, the exploits of my valor and the deeds of my renown I inscribed upon it. [From the sea] I departed to the country of Guzan

61. I approached. Asâu the king of the country of Guzan with his brothers (and) his sons came forth to meet me [and took the feet] of my majesty. Horses

62. trained to the yoke, oxen, sheep, wine (and) 7 camels with two humps I received from him. A great image of my majesty I made. The glory of Assur the great lord, my lord,

63. and the illustrious deeds of my empire which I had wrought in the land of Nairi I inscribed upon it in the middle of his city, in his temple, I set (it) up. From the country of Guzan I departed

64. to Shilaya the stronghold of Kâki the king of the city of Khupushkia I approached. The city I besieged, I captured. Their numerous fighting men I slew 3000 of them as prisoners, their oxen,

65. their sheep, horses, colts, (and) calves to a countless number I carried away to my city of Assur I brought (them). The defiles of the country of Enzite I entered by the defiles of the country of Kirruri

66. which commands 2 the city of Arbela I came out.—As for Akhuni the son of Adini, who with the permission of the kings my fathers had acquired power and strength, in the beginning of my reign, in the eponymy

67. of the year called after my own name I departed from Nineveh , Til-Barsip his stronghold I besieged, I surrounded him with my soldiers, I fought a battle in the midst of it,

68. I cut down his plantations, I rained upon him arrows (and) javelins, before the splendor of my weapons (and) the glory of Assur he trembled and abandoned his city,

69. to save his life he crossed the Euphrates ,—(again) in the second year in the eponymy of Assur-bunâya-utsur 1 I pursued after him Shitamrat , a mountain peak on the bank of the Euphrates ,

70. which hangs from the sky like a cloud, he made his stronghold. By the command of Assur the great lord, my lord, and Nergal who marches before me, I approached the mountain of Shitamrat ,

71. within which none of the kings my fathers had penetrated. In three days a soldier scaled the mountain, a hero whose heart led (him) to the fray, (who) climbed up on his feet. The mountain

72. I stormed. Akhuni trusted to the multitude of his troops and came forth to meet

( Ashur )

me he drew up (his) array . I launched among them the (alien tech) weapons of Assur my lord I utterly

73 . defea ted them. I cut off the heads of his soldiers and dyed the mountains with the blood of his fighting-men. Many of his (people) flung themselves against the rocks of the mountains. A hard battle in the midst of his city

74. I fought. The terror of the glory of Assur my lord overwhelmed them they descended (and) took my feet. Akhuni with his troops, chariots, his litters (?) and the many riches of his palace,

75. whose weight could not be estimated, I caused to be brought before me I transported (them) across the Tigris I carried (them) to my city of Assur . As men of my own country I counted the inhabitants.—In this same year I marched against the country of Mazamua . 2 Into the defiles

76. of the country of Bunais (?) 1 I entered: the cities of Nikdime (and) Nigdera 2 I approached. They trembled before the splendor of my powerful weapons and violent onset, and

77. took refuge on the sea 3 in coracles of willow. In boats of seal-skin I followed after them. A hard battle I fought in the middle of the sea (and) utterly defeated them.

78. The sea with their blood I dyed like wool.—In the eponymy of Dayan-Assur, 4 on the 14th day of the month Iyyar, I departed from Nineveh the Tigris I crossed to the cities

79. of Giammu on the river Balikh I approached. (Before) the fear of my lordship (and) the splendor of my forceful weapons they trembled and with their own weapons Giammu their lord

80. they slew. Into the cities of Kitlala 5 and Til-sa-Turakhi 6 I entered. I introduced my gods into his palaces I made a feast in his palaces.

81. I opened (his) treasury I saw his stored-up wealth his riches (and) his goods I carried away to my city of Assur I brought (them). From Kitlala I departed to the city of Kar-Shalmaneser

82. I approached. In boats of seal-skin for the second time I crossed the Euphrates at its flood. The tribute of the kings of the farther 7 bank of the Euphrates , of Sangar

83. of the city of Carchemish , of Kundashpi of the city of Kummukh , 8 of Arame the son of Gusi, of Lalli of the city of Melid , 9 of Khayanu the son of Gabaru,

84. of Girparuda of the country of the Patinians , (and) of Girparuda of the country of the Gamgumians , silver, gold, lead, copper (and) vases of copper

85. in the city of Assur-utir-atsbat on the farther side of the Euphrates , which (is) upon the river Saguri , which the Hittites

86. call Pitru , I received. From the banks of the Euphrates I departed to the city of Khalman 1 I approached. They were afraid to fight (and) took my feet.

87. Silver (and) gold as their tribute I received. I offered sacrifices before Dadda 2 the god of Khalman . From Khalman I departed. To the cities

88. of Irkhulêni the Hamathite I approached. The cities of Adennu , 3 Mashgâ 4 (and) Argana his royal city I captured. His spoil, his goods,

89. (and) the riches of his palaces I removed his palaces I delivered to the flames. From the city of Argana I departed to the city of Qarqara I approached.

90. Qarqara his royal city I threw down, dug up (and) burned with fire 1200 chariots, 1200 litters (?) (and) 20,000 men from Dadda-idri

91. of the [country] of Damascus , 700 chariots, 700 litters (?) (and) 10,000 men from Irkhulêni the Hamathite , woo chariots (and) 10,000 men from Ahab

92. the Israelite 5 500 men from the Guans 6 1000 men from the Egyptians 10 chariots (and) 10,000 men from the Irqanatians 7

93. 200 men from Matinu-ba’al the Arvadite 200 men from the Usanatians 1 30 chariots (and) 10,000 men

94. from Adunu-ba’al the Shianian 2 1000 camels from Gindibu’i the Arabian 3 (and) … 00 men

95. from Ba’asha, the son of Rukhubi 4 of the country of Ammon 5—these 12 kings 6 he took to his assistance to [offer]

96. battle and combat they came against me. With the mighty forces which Assur the lord has given (me),

( Nergal in his sky-chariot)

with the powerful weapons which Nergal who goes before me

97. has granted (me), I fought with them from the city of Qarqara to the city of Kirzau I utterly defeated them 14,000

( Hadad / Adad & smaller mixed-breed descendant-king)

98. of their fighting-men I slew with weapons. Like Hadad I rained a deluge upon them (and) exterminated (?) them.

99. I filled the face of the plain with their wide-spread troops, with (my) weapons I covered with their blood the whole district

100. (the soil) ceased to give food to its inhabitants in the broad fields was no room for their graves with (the bodies of) their men

101. as with a bridge I bound together (the banks of) the Orontes . In this battle their chariots, their litters(?)

102. (and) their horses bound to the yoke I took from them.

Footnotes

55:1 The spirits of heaven and earth.

55:2 [The identification of the king with the Sun-god is frequent in the cuneiform tablets of Tel el-Amarna, where it is an imitation of an Egyptian usage. It is probable that the application of the term to the Assyrian king was due to the early influence of Egypt.— Ed. ]

55:3 [Literally “the pupil of the eyes.”— Ed. ]

56:2 Literally “had called me as a prophet (nabium) to the shepherding.”

57:1 [Literally, “I burned for a holocaust.” There seems to be a reference to human sacrifice cf. 2 Kings iii. 27.— Ed. ]

57:2 [In the time of Shalmaneser the kingdom of Ararat, with its capital near Lake Van, was distinguished from Nairi, with its centre at Khubuskia. See Records of the Past , new series, i. p. 106, note 7.— Ed. ]

58:2 B.C. 857. The events of the year are summed up in the annals of the Black Obelisk, lines 26–31.

58:3 [Or “countries.”— Ed. ]

58:4 [Lahlahte.— Ed. ]

58:5 [Perhaps an Aramaic name signifying “the son of our lord.”— Ed. ]

59:1 Called Khabini by Assur-natsir-pal and on the Black Obelisk.

59:2 [“The mound of stones.”— Ed. ]

59:3 [Or perhaps Ki-giri-Dadda: he is called Giri-Dadi by Assur-natsir-pal , Records of the Past , new series, ii. p. 173, note 1.— Ed. ]

59:5 Called Paqarkhubuna on the Black Obelisk, line 90.

59:6 [The name of Mutalli is the same as that of the Hittite king Mutal, formerly read Mautenar, who is mentioned in the Egyptian copy of the treaty concluded between Ramses II, the Egyptian monarch, and the Hittites of Kadesh.— Ed. ]

59:7 [Or Sapa-lulve, the Saplil of the Egyptian texts.— Ed. ]

59:8 Between the Afrin and the gulf of Antioch, extending southwards to the sources of the Orontes.

60:3 Arantu .

60:5 Twenty-five years later the king of Que was Kate or Katî see Black Obelisk, line 132.

60:6 Khilukâ .

61:2 Literally, “the country of the west.”

61:3 [The Assyrian king Assur-irbi is otherwise unknown, but he probably reigned in the interval between Samsi-Rimmon I , B.C. 1070, and Tiglath-pileser II , B.C. 950. For his identification with Assur-rab-buri , see note on line 37.— Ed. ]

61:4 [The modern ’Azaz, about twenty-two miles north-west of Aleppo.— Ed. ] .

61:5 [Called Agûsi in line 27, and on the Black Obelisk.— Ed. ]

61:6 B.C. 856 Black Obelisk, lines 32–35.

61:8 [Probably meaning in Aramaic “Mound of the Son of ’Sip,” a name which must be identified with that of Saph in 2 Sam. xxi. 18. Til-Bur´sip is also written Til-Bur´saip and Til-Bar´sip.— Ed. ]

62:1 [Probably the modern Tel Basher see Records of the Past , new series, i. p. 109, note 5, and ii. p. 166, note 3. The printed text of the inscription has to be corrected here.— Ed. ]

62:2 [This king must have been the successor of Sapalulve mentioned in Column I, and the predecessor of Girparuda mentioned in Column n, line 84.— Ed. ]

63:1 B.C. 856. Black Obelisk, lines 35 sq .

64:3 “I have taken (it is) not yours.”

64:5 “To Assur I have restored, I have taken.”

64:6 [The Pethor of the Old Testament, from which Balaam came. We learn from this and parallel passages that it stood on the eastern side of the Sagura, the modern Sajur, not far from the junction of this river with the Euphrates.— Ed. ]

64:7 [ Tiglath-pileser I , B.C. 1100. The name may be a modified form of that of Mitanni, for which see Records of the Past , new series, i. p. 113.— Ed. ]

64:8 [The reading of the name is doubtful, the characters being partly obliterated. George Smith read Assur-rab-buri.—ED].

64:9 Arumu .

65:1 [For Enzite, the Anzitênê of classical geography, see Records of the Past , new series, i. p. 103, note 2.— Ed. ]

65:2 [Or “belonging to the country of Isua.” See the inscription of Tiglath-pileser I , Column III, line 91.— Ed. ]

65:3 The Arsanias of classical geography, now called the Murad-Su.

65:4 [The Diyaveni or kingdom of the son “of Diaus” of the Vannic texts, which lay upon the Murad-Su in the neighbourhood of Melasgerd. One of its cities, Quais, is now represented by Yazlu-tash.— Ed. ]

65:5 [Also called Arzaskun. The destruction of Arzasku and the defeat of Arrame seem to have led to the overthrow of his dynasty. Immediately afterwards Sarduris I, the son of Lutipris, built the citadel of Van, and founded a new kingdom on the shores of Lake Van.— Ed. ]

66:2 [ Aramalis would be a Vannic adjective, formed by a suffix li , and signifying “belonging to Arama.” It had evidently been built by King Aramas or Aramis.— Ed. ]

67:2 Literally “at the head of.”

68:2 See Records of the Past , new series, p. 149, note 6.

69:1 [The reading of the last syllable is doubtful we should perhaps read Bunae. See my “Memoir on the Vannic Inscriptions,” Jrl. R.A.S. , xiv. 3, p. 396.— Ed. ]

69:2 Called Nigdiara on the Black Obelisk, line 51.

69:4 [B.C. 854. According to the Black Obelisk (ll. 54 sq .), however, the events here recorded took place two years later in B.C. 852, during the eponymy of Samas-bela-utsur.— Ed. ]

69:6 Or Til-sa-Balakhi, “The mound of the Balikh.”

69:9 The modern Malatiyeh.

70:1 [Or Khalvan, Aleppo. Compare Helam in 2 Sam. x. 17.— Ed. ]

70:2 [According to K 2100. i. 7, 16, 17, Addu and Dadu were the names given to Rimmon in Syria, Adad or Hadad being a further name by which the god was known in Assyria. Besides Dadu we also find the forms Dadda and Dadi . In Hadad-Rimmon (Zech. xii. II) the two names of the Air-god are united, while a comparison of 2 Sam. viii. to with 1 Chr. xviii. 9 (Jo-ram and Hado-ram) shows that at Hamath Hado or Addu was identified with the national god of Israel. In the Babylonian contract-tablets the name of the Syrian god Ben-Hadad appears as Bin-Addu.— Ed. ]

70:3 [Probably the Eden of Amos i. 5.— Ed. ]

70:5 Akhabbu mat ’Sir’alâ .

70:6 Probably the same as the Que.

70:7 [The “Arkite” of Gen. x. 17. The city is called Irqatu in the tablets of Tel el-Amarna.— Ed. ]

71:1 [Us’û is referred to, the Ushâ of the Talmud, which, as Delitzsch has shown, was not far from Acre.— Ed. ]

71:2 [The printed text has Si-za-na-â in mistake for Si-a-na-a . Probably “the Sinite” of Gen. x. 17 is meant.— Ed. ]

71:3 Arbâ .

71:4 Baasha the son of Rehob.

71:5 Amanâ .

71:6 Only eleven are mentioned. It seems probable that the scribe has omitted the name of one of the confederates.


The Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III

The Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III is a four-sided monument or pillar made of black limestone. It stands about 6 1/2 feet tall. It was discovered in 1846 by A.H. Layard in the Central Palace of Shalmaneser III at the ruins of Nimrud, known in the Bible as Calah, and known in ancient Assyrian inscriptions as Kalhu. It is now on display in the British Museum.

It contains 5 rows of bas-relief (carved) panels on each of the 4 sides, 20 panels in all. Directly above each panel are cuneiform inscriptions describing tribute offered by submissive kings during Shalmaneser’s war campaigns with Syria and the West.

The “Jehu Relief” is the most significant panel because it reveals a bearded Semite in royal attire bowing with his face to the ground before king Shalmaneser III, with Hebrew servants standing behind him bearing gifts. The cuneiform text around it reveals the tribute bearer and his gifts, it says:

“The tribute of Jehu, son of Omri: I received from him silver, gold, a golden bowl, a golden vase with pointed bottom, golden tumblers, golden buckets, tin, and a staff for a king [and] spears.”

The Assyrians referred to a northern Israel king as a “son of Omri,” whether they were a direct son of Omri or not. Other Assyrian inscriptions reveal Israel’s southern kings from Judah, as recorded on Sennacherib’s Clay Prism (also known as the Taylor Prism) which reads “Hezekiah the Judahite”.

The Black Obelisk has been precisely dated to 841 BC, due to the accurate Assyrian dating methods. One modern scholar refers to the accuracy of Assyrian records:


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Searching for the Remaining Dead Sea Scrolls

A t the beginning of May an exciting initiative began by the IAA (Israeli Antiquities Authority) to excavate the caves in the Judean Desert in search of the remaining Dead Sea Scrolls. The catalyst for this was partially due to the area being a prime spot over the last few years for looters and antiquities thieves who have been selling their findings on the black market. Thats why the IAA along with the several other organisations have come together to begin a national plan to find the remaining Dead Sea Scrolls, before the looters do.

The Dead Sea Scrolls (for those who do not know) were a collection of over 900 manuscripts from the Second Temple Period found in caves in Qumran, northwest of the Dead Sea. During this period, families and rebels were hiding from the Roman Empire in caves, hence why the scrolls were found hidden in caves. This excavation was south of that location in a place known as The Cave of Skulls in the Judean Desert.


Assyrian Lion-Hunting at the British Museum

Detail of an alabaster bas-relief showing a lion being stabbed in the neck. The lion has jumped and reached a critical point very close to the king's chariot. The king's attendants thrust their spears onto the lion's neck to stop the lion the king, using his right hand, stabs the lion deeply into his neck. The lion's painful facial expression was depicted very delicately. From Room C of the North Palace, Nineveh (modern-day Kouyunjik, Mosul Governorate), Mesopotamia, Iraq. Circa 645-535 BCE. The British Museum, London. Photo©Osama S.M. Amin.

Whoever was privileged to gain access to the North Palace of the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal at Nineveh, could consider himself part of something timeless. Thanks to the great work of Hormuzd Rassam (1826-1910), who unveiled a large number of alabaster bas-reliefs, which once decorated the walls of that king’s Palace (built around 645 BCE) the Assyrian lion-hunting scenes!

T hese extraordinary carvings, so dynamic and full of movements, are so realistic and so accomplished and are some of the most remarkable ancient artifacts ever found. They were discovered by Rassam in the year 1853 and have been housed in the British Museum since 1856. Rassam stated in his autobiography that “one division of the workmen, after 3-4 hours of hard labor, were rewarded by the grand discovery of a beautiful bas-relief in a perfect state of preservation”. Rassam ordered his men to dig a large hole in the mound after more than 2,000 years, the remains of a royal palace were found. The mud-bricks had disappeared, of course, completely but the reliefs themselves, which once decorated them, have fortunately survived.


Obelisk-erecting experiments

In late summer 1999, Roger Hopkins and Mark Lehner teamed up with a NOVA (TV series) crew to erect a 25-ton obelisk. This was the third attempt to erect a 25-ton obelisk the first two, in 1994 and 1999, ended in failure. There were also two successful attempts to raise a two-ton obelisk and a nine-ton obelisk. Finally in Aug–Sep of 1999, after learning from their experiences, they were able to erect one successfully.

First Hopkins and Rais Abdel Aleem organized an experiment to tow a block of stone weighing about 25 tons. They prepared a path by embedding wooden rails into the ground and placing a sledge on them bearing a megalith weighing about 25 tons. Initially they used more than 100 people to try to tow it but were unable to budge it. Finally, with well over 130 people pulling at once and an additional dozen using levers to prod the sledge forward, they moved it. Over the course of a day, the workers towed it 10 to 20 feet. Despite problems with broken ropes, they proved the monument could be moved this way. [ 22 ] Additional experiments were done in Egypt and other locations to tow megalithic stone with ancient technologies, some of which are listed here.

One experiment was to transport a small obelisk on a barge in the Nile River. The barge was built based on ancient Egyptian designs. It had to be very wide to handle the obelisk, with a 2 to 1 ratio length to width, and it was at least twice as long as the obelisk. The obelisk was about 10 feet long and no more than 5 tons. A barge big enough to transport the largest Egyptian obelisks with this ratio would have had to be close to 200 feet long and 100 feet wide. The workers used ropes that were wrapped around a guide that enabled them to pull away from the river while they were towing it onto the barge. The barge was successfully launched into the Nile.

The final and successful erection event was organized by Rick Brown, Hopkins, Lehner and Gregg Mullen in a Massachusetts quarry. The preparation work was done with modern technology, but experiments have proven that with enough time and people, it could have been done with ancient technology. To begin, the obelisk was lying on a gravel and stone ramp. A pit in the middle was filled with dry sand. Previous experiments showed that wet sand would not flow as well. The ramp was secured by stone walls. Men raised the obelisk by slowly removing the sand while three crews of men pulled on ropes to control its descent into the pit. The back wall was designed to guide the obelisk into its proper place. The obelisk had to catch a turning groove which would prevent it from sliding. They used brake ropes to prevent it from going too far. Such turning grooves had been found on the ancient pedestals. Gravity did most of the work until the final 15° had to be completed by pulling the obelisk forward. They used brake ropes again to make sure it did not fall forward. On September 12 they completed the project. [ 23 ]

This experiment has been used to explain how the obelisks may have been erected in Luxor and other locations. It seems to have been supported by a 3,000-year-old papyrus scroll in which one scribe taunts another to erect a monument for "thy lord". The scroll reads "Empty the space that has been filled with sand beneath the monument of thy Lord." [ 24 ] To erect the obelisks at Luxor with this method would have involved using over a million cubic meters of stone, mud brick and sand for both the ramp and the platform used to lower the obelisk. [ 25 ] The largest obelisk successfully erected in ancient times weighed 455 tons. A 520-ton stele was found in Axum, but researchers believe it was broken while attempting to erect it.


Watch the video: How does ancient Assyrian language sound?


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