Monday, March 19, 2012

Worrying Duplications of Esarhaddon by Ashurbanipal


Damien F. Mackey

The neo-Assyrian progression according to the conventional textbook history is:

Tiglath-pileser III

Shalmaneser V

Sargon II




The Book of Tobit commences with a “Shalmaneser”, whose son is “Sennacherib”, who is succeeded by “Esarhaddon”, or “Sacherdonos” in the Greek (cf Saosduchin Judith note 1:5 Douay), which some think might even relate to Ashurbanipal.

Thus the Book of Tobit gives:



Esarhaddon (Sacherdonos)

Tobit’s is somewhat different from - shorter than - the modern view.
I have argued that the Book of Tobit gives the correct neo-Assyrian progression, and that the captivity of Naphtali (Tobit’s tribe) there attributed to “Shalmaneser” - but attributed in the textbooks to Tiglath-pileser III - suggests that this is but the one king. And I have argued extensively for Sargon II and Sennacherib as being the one king. My view has also been that Esarhaddon’s reign was fully encompassed within that of Sennacherib, so that Ashurbanipal effectively succeeded Sennacherib.

Anyway, I would definitely favour the Book of Tobit over convention.

But now I am faced with these strange overlaps between Esarhaddon and Ashurbanipal (given below), some occurring at the very beginning of Esarhaddon (so not attributable to any co-regency factor); the re-building of Babylon, for instance. This realisation was prompted by John Salverda’s mentioning of the fact that Esarhaddon claimed to have slain Tirhakah king of Egypt and Ethiopia, when I was considering Asurbanipal’s identical boast. I had never before even noticed this duplication.

All of the following is taken from D. Luckenbill’s Ancient Records of Assyria and Babylonia, II (Greenwood, NY, 1975).


# 580 “Of Tirhakah, king of Egypt and Ethiopia (Kush) … him I [Esarhaddon] smote five times with the point of my javelin, with wounds (from which there was) no recovery”.
# 906 “As for Tirhakah, king of Kush, the fear and terror of my [Ashurbanipal] sovereignty overwhelmed him and the night of death overtook him”.

# 547 “[Ba’lu, king of Tyre] … who dwelt [in the midst of the sea] …….. and had thrown off [the yoke of my rule] ……… [the might] of Assur, king of the gods, and the splendor of my majesty [overcame him …]”.
# 847 “… against Ba’li, king of Tyre, [who dwells in the midst of the sea], I marched. Because he did not mind my royal command …”.

# 690 “And I summoned the kings of the Hittite-land (Syria) … Ba’lu, king of Tyre, Manasseh, king of Judah ,,,”.
# 876 “In the course of my campaign, Ba’alu, king of Tyre, Minsê (Manasseh), king of Iaudi (Judah) …”.

[Cf. also Necho comparisons]

Building Works

# 659D “The splendid cults of Esagila I restored to their former magnificence (lit., to their place). I made them much grander than in days gone by.
… Etemenanki, the temple tower … I built anew in the place of its former site.
Imgur-Bêl, its great wall … To its former (dimensions) I restored it and made it mountain high.
Nimitti-Bêl, its outer wall, I rebuilt (completely), heaping up adornments upon it to [the astonishment of all the people].
[The gods] of the lands, who had been carried off, from Assur and Elam I brought them back to their places, and in every metropolis I established the customary (cults)”.
# 963 “To Marduk … who dwells in Esagila, lord of Babylon … I, Assurbanipal … restored their regular offerings, which had ceased …. who renewed (lit., returned to their places) the cults of the sanctuaries (making them) as (they were) of old.
….. # 964 “At that time Imgur-Bêl, the wall of Babylon, and Nimit-Bêl, its outer wall, which had become old, had caved in, and had fallen to ruins … I built anew Nimit-Bêl … quickly, with brickwork. Its gates [I [finished], I made door-leaves and hung them in its gates …”.
… # 1118 “… Assurbanipal had caused bricks to be made anew for Etemenanki”.

[Cf. massive palace building work in Nineveh]

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