Build a Fortress
Walls and Towers
Sargon II and Tartan
Trodden Under Foot
Tiglath-Pileser in Chariot
Forced Quarry Labor
Winged Bull Guardian
Human Headed Bull
Hero Grasping Lion
Sargon and High Official
The Black Obelisk
Assyrian Soldier 1
Assyrian Soldier 2
Below images are rated M for violence
King Stabbing Lion
The Striding Lion
Mentions Nisroch. This sculpture
of an eagle headed winged genie was believed to be Nisroch, who
was sought by Sennacherib for protection. Nisroch was mentioned
in the Bible in in 2 Kings 19:36-37
This miniature replica is of the Eagle
Headed Winged Genie of Assyria,
from the Palace of Sargon II. Many scholars believe that this is Nisroch
who is mentioned in the Bible in connection with king Sennacherib. The
panel was discovered at the site of ancient Nimrud during the reign of
Ashurnasirpal (885-860 BC). The original is
located at the British Museum.
19:36-37 - So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed, and went and
returned, and dwelt at Nineveh. And it came to pass, as he was
worshipping in the house of Nisroch his god, that
Adrammelech and Sharezer his sons smote him with the sword: and they
escaped into the land of Armenia. And Esarhaddon his son reigned in his
This map shows the primary capitals of the Neo-Assyrian Empire
Information About the Eagle Headed
- Sculpture of an eagle headed protective
- Nisroch was an eagle headed deity who was sought for protection
- It was a winged genie with eagle's head and man's body
- He is holding a water vessel in his left hand for sprinkling water
- The fir cone (sponge) was used for sprinkling and purification
- The eagle-headed deity had wings and exaggerated muscles
- Assyrian word was lamassu, shedu and
"kuribu", very similar to Cherubim
- Nimrud was excavated by Austen Henry Layard in 1849
- Excavated at the site of ancient Nimrud (Calah)
- Currently at the British Museum in London
- From the Neo-Assyrian Period (1000-612 BC)
- Nimrud was Ashurnasirpal's capital city (Northern Iraq)
- During the reign of King Ashurnasirpal (885-860 BC)
- These sculptures were also used to guard against evil spirits
- Winged bulls were accompanied by winged genies
- The Bible says Sennacherib was praying to Nisroch when his sons slew
2 Kings 19:35-37 -
"And it came to pass that night,
that the angel of the LORD went out, and smote in the camp of the
Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose
early in the morning, behold, they [were] all dead corpses. So
Sennacherib king of Assyria departed, and went and returned, and dwelt
at Nineveh. And
it came to pass, as he was worshipping in the house of
his god, that Adrammelech and Sharezer his sons smote him with the
sword: and they escaped into the land of Armenia. And Esarhaddon his son
reigned in his stead.
Interesting Note: An Assyrian scribe claimed that
one of the reasons for the death of Sennacherib was that a Lamassu fell
on him because of his impious deeds. Sennacherib was the Assyrian king
who lost his army attacking Jerusalem, destroyed by the "Angel of the
The Winged Spirit
Nimrud (ancient Kalhu), northern Iraq
Neo-Assyrian, 883-859 BC
A protective spirit
Eagle Headed Winged Spirit
This winged eagle-headed figure is a
classic Assyrian type of protective magical spirit, and great numbers of
such figures decorated the palace.The Sacred Tree was extremely common
in magical sculptures of Ashurnasirpal's reign, and probably represented
the fertility of the land which the magical figure was protecting.
Parpola (1993) has maintained that it acquired great esoteric
significance in Mesopotamian religious thought.
Limestone wall-relief depicting an Eagle
Headed Genii and tree: he wears a kilt with long tassels hanging from
it, and a fringed robe, and has two daggers and a whetstone in his belt.
The cone in his right hand is described in Assyrian texts as a purifier,
and was presumably envisaged as being covered in liquid from the bucket
in his left hand. The cone may derive its shape from the male date-spathe,
used to fertilise female date-palms.On the right is half a Sacred Tree,
again a symbol of great importance in Assyria. The trunk has a large
palmette at its top, and a network of palmettes surrounding it, only
half of which are preserved on this piece. Around the trunk are three
sets of horizontal binding, each supporting hornlike growths and
volutes, and a chevron pattern runs up it. Part of the standard
inscription is preserved above the scene.
The relief, carved on gypsum, guarded an entrance into the throne room
of Ashurnasirpal II (reigned 883-859 BC) at his palace in Nimrud
(ancient Kalhu, the Assyrian capital). The tradition of protecting the
entrances of buildings using magic was very old in Mesopotamia. Images
of supernatural creatures would be buried under doorways or set up at
the entrances of palaces and temples. Their supposed magical strength
would frighten away malevolent demons.
The Winged Genie
The figure of a man with wings may be the supernatural creature known as
an apkallu. The significance of the deer and branch which the figure
carries is unknown. He wears a tasselled kilt and a fringed and
embroidered robe, while his curled moustache and long hair and beard is
typical of figures of this date. Across the body runs the so-called
'standard inscription' of Ashurnasirpal which records some of the king's
titles and achievements and is repeated on many of his stone reliefs.
This cuneiform text was cut after the figure was carved as some of the
details of decoration on the dress have been chiselled through.
Supernatural spirits and a sacred tree
The use of magic to protect buildings and their owners was an old
tradition in Mesopotamia. Images of supernatural creatures would be
buried under doorways or set up at the entrances of palaces and temples.
Their supposed magical strength would frighten away evil-wishing demons.
These figures with wings may possibly be supernatural creatures known as
apkallu. They wear horned headdresses to show their divinity and carry
buckets and what appear to be fir cones used to sprinkle, presumably,
water from the bucket for purification.
British Museum Page
The first great military empire in ancient history
was the Assyrian Empire. By the time of Ashurnasirpal and Shalmaneser
III in the 9th century BC the Assyrians organized a mighty army of
nearly 200,000 soldiers. Their military strategy was unsurpassed up to
that time, and with the age of iron they were an unstoppable fighting
machine. They brought spearmen, archers, shieldmen, slingers, siege
engines, chariots, and a huge calvary into the battlefield. The mighty
Assyrians dominated the ancient world until they were crippled by the
God of Israel in the reign of Sennacherib. God raised up the Assyrians
to remove Israel out of his sight for their rebellion and idolatry, but
the Assyrians would also be punished also for their wicked ways. They
finally fell to the Medes and Babylonians in 612 BC and passed into
Winged bulls from the palace of Ashurnasirpal (Ninth Century BC)
Assyrian Kings Mentioned in the Bible
2 Kings 15:29 -
In the days of Pekah king of Israel, Tiglath
of Assyria came and took Ijon, Abel Beth Maacah, Janoah, Kedesh, Hazor,
Gilead, and Galilee, all the land of Naphtali; and he carried them
captive to Assyria.
2 Kings 15:19 - Pul the
king of Assyria came against the land, and Menahem gave Pul one thousand
talents of silver, that his hand might be with him to confirm the
kingdom in his hand.
2 Kings 18:9 -
And it came to pass in the fourth year of king Hezekiah, which [was] the
seventh year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, that Shalmaneser king
of Assyria came up against Samaria, and besieged it.
Isaiah 20:1 -
In the year that Tartan came unto Ashdod, when Sargon the
king of Assyria sent him,) and fought against Ashdod, and took it;
2 Kings 19:16 -
LORD, bow down thine ear, and hear: open, LORD, thine eyes, and see: and
hear the words of Sennacherib,
which hath sent him to reproach the living God.
2 Kings 19:37 -
And it came to pass, as he was worshipping in the house of Nisroch his
god, that Adrammelech and Sharezer his sons smote him with the sword:
and they escaped into the land of Armenia. And Esarhaddon his
son reigned in his stead.
Ezra 4:10 - and the rest
of the nations whom the great and noble Asnapper brought
over, and set in the city of Samaria, and in the rest of the country
beyond the River, and so forth, wrote.
Assyrian Kings Names in Cuneiform
of Ancient Assyria
Timeline of Ancient Assyrian Kings
(During the Period of the Biblical Kings)
Assur-nasirpal II (885-860
B.C.) A cruel warrior king, he made Assyria into the most fierce
fighting machine of ancient world.
Shalmaneser III (860-825
B.C.) His reign was marked by almost constant war. He was the first
Assyrian king to come into conflict with Israel. King Ahab fought
against him, and king Jehu paid him tribute in 841 BC. His royal
inscriptions were more detailed and more numerous than any other king.
His building works were massive just like his father Assurnasirpal II.
and the Black Obelisk.
Shamsi-Adad V (825-808
B.C.) Most of his reign was focused on Babylonia and his own internal
Adad-nirari III (808-783
B.C.) The little information about his reign mentions his building
projects at Calah and Nineveh, as well as a conflict at Der in Babylonia
and collecting tribute in Damascus, Syria.
Shalmaneser IV (783-771
B.C.) The limited knowledge of his reign reveal some conflicts in
Damascus and a period of decline in Assyria.
Assur-dayan III (771-753
B.C.) The little information about this ruler reveals Assyria being in a
period of decline.
Assur-nirari V (753-747
B.C.) There is very little information about his reign. The king of
Urartu boasted of a victory over this king of Assyria in an inscription.
Tiglath-pileser III (Pul)
(747-727 B.C.) He restored Assyria to a major world power. He is the "Pul"
mentioned in the Bible and the one who began to destroy Samaria, the
capital of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. He carried many away into
captivity. This captivity is mentioned in his own inscriptions, the
Babylonian Chronicle, and the Bible.
Shalmaneser V (727-722
B.C.) He besieged Samaria, the capital of the Northern Kingdom of
Israel. He died during the siege after imposing taxation on the holy
city (Asshur), and his son Sargon came to power.
Sargon II (722-705
B.C.) He completed the destruction of Samaria and the captivity of
Israel. He was also famous for his magnificent palace with his colossal
B.C.) He was the most famous of the Assyrian kings. He mentions the name
of Hezekiah on his prism during his war campaigns, he claimed to have
"Hezekiah captured in his own royal city (Jerusalem) like a caged bird."
His army was defeated at the gates of Jerusalem by the Angel of the
Lord. Sennacherib returned back to Nineveh and was killed violently by
his own son, as mentioned in the Babylonian Chronicle, The Bible, and
various other inscriptions. He also conquered Babylon.
B.C.) He rebuilt Babylon, invaded and conquered Egypt by crossing over
the Sinai Desert with Arab camels carrying water for his army, and was
one of Assyria's greatest kings. He died fighting Egypt.
B.C.) He destroyed the Thebes in Egypt and collected a great library,
innumerable clay tablets were found.
B.C.) It was under his reign that the Assyrian Empire fell.
annals mention contacts with some ten Hebrew kings: Omri, Ahab, Jehu,
Menahem, Hoshea, Pekah, Uzziah, Ahaz, Hezekiah, and Manasseh.
In the reign of Hoshea, king of Israel, Shalmaneser, king of
Assyria, twice invaded (2 Kings 17:3,5) the kingdom that remained, and
his successor Sargon II took Samaria in 722 BC, carrying away 27,290 of
the population as he tells in his Khorsabad Annals. Later Assyrian
kings, particularly Esarhaddon (681 BC - 668 BC), completed the task.
For More Info See:
Bible History Online
Map of the Land of Assyria
Kids Bible Maps
Primary Sources for Assyrian History
The Assyrian Annals. The scribes of the chief cities of the
Assyrians wrote the accounts of the king's military campaigns on
cuneiform tablets, and clay prisms or cylinders. The accounts are very
reliable, even though the accounts do not speak negatively of the
Assyrians and are meant to glorify the king. The annals also give much
detail to geography and Chronology. It is interesting how accurate the
Assyrians were with dates, they made use of an Assyrian Kings List or
the Eponym Canon.
The Assyrian Chronicles and Eponym Canon. The Assyrian scribes
organized their national events whether military, political or religious
every regnal year. The Babylonian Chronicles were structured the same
way. Assyrian records were kept very carefully, they took their dating
and their history seriously. They attached their record of events with
the solar year and with the name of an official who was known as the
"limmu." Their was a new limmu appointed every year. They recorded
military, political and religious events in every year and made
references to eclipses. The Assyrian records are highly dependable and
allow Biblical scholars a very accurate way of dating events and
designating "eponyms" for 244 year in Hebrew history, from 892-648 BC.
The Assyrian King List.
The Assyrian King List reveals a list of the kings of ancient
Assyria in chronological order, from the 2nd millennium BC to 609 BC. It
lists the name of the king, his father's name, the length of his reign,
and some great achievements.
Assyrian Sculptures. The limestone bas-reliefs discovered
from the palace walls of major Assyrian capital cities like Nineveh
(Kuyunjik), Nimrud (Calah), Khorsabad (Dur-Sharrukin), and the bronze
bands on the Balawat Gates reveal a wealth of history. The illustrative
events were carved be professional Assyrian artists like a modern day
photographer on the scene. The carvings reveal the military might and
tactics of the Assyrians, as well as the futility of those nations that
defied their might. These sculptures are on display in museums around
the world, for example: The British Museum in London, The Louvre in
France, The Iraqi Museum, and The Oriental Institute in Chicago.
The Bible. The Old Testament records the history of the Kingdoms
of Israel and Judah, along with the battles of other nations. It
includes the fall of the 10 tribes in northern kingdom of Israel in 722
BC by the Assyrians, as well as the
fall of the southern kingdom of Judah in 586 BC by Nebuchadnezzar of
Babylon. The Bible also records miraculous events surrounding people
like Elijah, and Jonah, as well as the slaying of 185,000 Assyrians at
Jerusalem by the Angel of the LORD. The events recorded in 2 Kings
generally agree with Assyrian and Babylonian sources.