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Old 07-18-2014, 01:03 AM
 
Location: City-Data Forum
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuminousTruth View Post
If their god Yahweh (making claims to be the true El, Zeus, Allah, Vishnu) had any honor it would have materialized the tribute money or educated the Assyrians instead of supposedly leaving 150,000 bodies for the criminal Jerusalem (refused to pay the tribute under the peace accords) to clean up. More likely some underhanded political stuff happened (weak government payed the Assyrians off) and they had to cover it up with "magic from our Lord, the greatest Lord from any city."
I remember reading about how Jewish religious leaders in Ancient Egypt changed the ages of their supposed ancient forefathers when the Egyptians laughed at their "global flood" dating after the first few recorded pharaohs. Now I see Genesis Literalismists changing the Egyptian Dynasties to all fit into each other instead, without hard evidence, of course. "Egyptians used to allow co-regency at times"... therefore all the Dynasties fit perfectly together to match biblical timelines that were edited and re-edited by "God's inspiration" to what they are today? Don't make me laugh.
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Old 07-18-2014, 05:00 AM
 
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It seems that the three prisms in London, Chicago and Jerusalem are the same account. There are odd bits of another eight (1). The provenance appears to be in Assyria for all of them, the Jerusalem prism being bought in London. The Chicago one being bought from a baghdad antiques dealer and the London prism being found in Iraq.

So my suggestion that Hezekiah had to put up an account of Sennacherib making him a vassal is unfounded. It seems more likely that the Assyrian king felt obliged to set up in his kingdom a dozen or more accounts of how he forced Hezekiah to come to terms. While one Bible truth site overdoes it in claiming that the king returned 'in disgrace', it seems likely that he felt the need to do some Comical Ali Press -release on a large scale to made a failure look good.
It might also explain why he chose the successful siege and sack of Lachish as his palace wallpaper rather than the anticlimax of a deal at best and withdrawal with nothing accomplished at worst.

This looks like Damage -limitation P.R and it does suggest that there is some basis for the Bible account that the Assyrian army was kept out of Jerusalem and finally had to withdraw. And I am back to wondering whether a plague or pestilence did decimate Sennacherib's army (send by God or the dysentery bacillus, take your pick) and whether Hezekiah did at least get offered terms rather than the total sack that he saw coming.

In the absence of any comfirmative evidence, and bearing in mind Biblical and Imperial slanting of history, it remains open as to what really happened at a siege that plainly failed to result is a Lascheish -type sack and pretty much represented a halt to Sennacherib's military efforts.
..
for seven year, at any rate, from 701 to 694 BC, when he got involved in a power -struggle with the Elamites. How long did the siege of Jerusalem last? Was the seven -year glitch a sign that the Assyrians were befeft of a fighting force? If so, why didn't the enemies (the Judean-Israel campaign was just part of the overall war against Elam and the Babylonian revolt) mount an attack?

Was it because Sennacherib has least secured a peaceful status-quo? Since he had time to get the interior -decorators into the Nineveh palace, it seems that the campaign had resulted in an advantageous peace - until Elam could se the chance to try again.

Thus I am inclining (apart from mistrusting the Bible anyway) towards Jerusalem keeping Sennacherib at bay and both sides agreeing to a deal, and probably both sides were running out of time, with disease causing problems for the Assyrian army but also Hezekiah was running out of time or he would never have agreed to pay tribute.

That's if you believe that tribute was paid, One side or the other is being economical with the truth. Which is pretty much where we came is, and I suppose it leaves the question of a miracle wide open.

I think we must be looking at disease in the camp as otherwise, a pure lie would have God appearing in a dream to Sennacherib and the King begging Hezekiah for forgiveness and being baptized in the Jordan. It at least looks like a highly fiddled account of a camp -epidemic.

(1) though they are supposed to have been made at different dates in the 7 year Hiatus (around 660 BCE).

Last edited by TRANSPONDER; 07-18-2014 at 06:16 AM..
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Old 07-18-2014, 06:19 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuminousTruth View Post
I remember reading about how Jewish religious leaders in Ancient Egypt changed the ages of their supposed ancient forefathers when the Egyptians laughed at their "global flood" dating after the first few recorded pharaohs. Now I see Genesis Literalismists changing the Egyptian Dynasties to all fit into each other instead, without hard evidence, of course. "Egyptians used to allow co-regency at times"... therefore all the Dynasties fit perfectly together to match biblical timelines that were edited and re-edited by "God's inspiration" to what they are today? Don't make me laugh.

That is certainly possible. The Bible is a product of its culture and was definitely influenced by it.

Gary Rendsburg, in a lecture, gave an interesting theory of Cyrus Gordon's - his teacher, in which Gordon spent some time in the Middle East and had some Bedouin Arabs working on a dig. He liked to talk to them and asked one of them how old his son was, and the father basically replied along the lines of "I don't know. He could be 20, he could be 40, he could be 60. I only know that he was born during the time of X".

From other sources, supposedly, many Bedouins have an incredible memory of ancestral genealogies, but it only extends back so many generations. If there is no written document, the details get lost eventually.

I've always found this theory of Gordon's interesting, with possible implications for the Hebrew Bible. Or, it could have been cultural influence, as you say. Who knows?
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Old 07-18-2014, 09:06 AM
 
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Your average garden-variety Christian knows absolutely nothing about this stuff, which is why 99.99% of them get everything they know from the guy in the pulpit. They have not the least bit of critical-thinking capacity, whether out of laziness or just lack of IQ. It's no accident that teleeeevangelsts, the kind that dress like Creflo Dollar, are totally absent from European TV screens and that coincidently Europeans are mostly secular atheists with a high IQ.

Americans, on the other hand, own a Bible but have never read it; have lower IQ's on average so they wouldn't understand it even if they did; get all their info from their preacherman; fall for teleeeevangelists' line of HS like a computer geek does for the high school beauty queen. It's no wonder if you raise this kind of discussion with the average Christian they will just stare at you with glassy eyes and then find some nonsensical reason to get away, "Uhhh...my house is on fire. I have to go."

In other words, Americans are like spring chickens just ripe for the plucking. Sorry to digress.

As Robert Price says, when you're confronted with a natural and a supernatural explanation, go for natural 99.9999% of the time. Seems Hezekiah did pay the tribute and was spared the sacking, because as someone pointed out why sack a city and ruin it and lose all that revenue from it. Makes sense.
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Old 07-18-2014, 09:43 AM
 
Location: The backwoods of Pennsylvania ... unfortunately.
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I wouldn't make the claim that Americans have lower IQs ... there is nothing which really says intelligence can be defined by national borders.

The problem is that many Americans do not use the IQ they have. As an immigrant to this country, it is really super-noticeable whereas someone who has lived here all his/her life might not see it as I do.

There are just too many cultural and religious ideosyncracies that cause children to look down on education and the subsequent critical thinking skills that come with it. For instance, friends and popularity are important to teens, and we always depict the smart kid as the one who is frequently bullied, who has never had a date, who is socially awkward, dresses like a nerd, and sits alone in the cafeteria. No, the popular kid is the football quarterback with rockstar looks - but is just five neurons short of being comatose. So who do you think kids aspire to be? When the newspaper has full spreads of sports heroes chasing balls around but the person who won the national spelling bee is briefly mentioned in the bottom corner of page 5?

That's just one example of why Americans aren't very hip on using the IQs that they have. It's also why America doesn't do anything truly great anymore. There are no more Panama Canals, no more Hoover Dams, no more Apollo programs, no more Polio vaccines, no more Empire State Buildings. Other nations now build the biggest, the tallest, the fastest, the most high tech things - we don't even have the Space Shuttle anymore - while we Americans flip through our Bibles while on our knees. And while our heads our bowed looking at the floor, the rest of the world has their eyes skyward envisioning new horizons to be conquered.
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Old 07-18-2014, 10:25 AM
 
3,488 posts, read 3,116,267 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
It seems that the three prisms in London, Chicago and Jerusalem are the same account. There are odd bits of another eight (1). The provenance appears to be in Assyria for all of them, the Jerusalem prism being bought in London. The Chicago one being bought from a baghdad antiques dealer and the London prism being found in Iraq.

So my suggestion that Hezekiah had to put up an account of Sennacherib making him a vassal is unfounded. It seems more likely that the Assyrian king felt obliged to set up in his kingdom a dozen or more accounts of how he forced Hezekiah to come to terms. While one Bible truth site overdoes it in claiming that the king returned 'in disgrace', it seems likely that he felt the need to do some Comical Ali Press -release on a large scale to made a failure look good.
It might also explain why he chose the successful siege and sack of Lachish as his palace wallpaper rather than the anticlimax of a deal at best and withdrawal with nothing accomplished at worst.

This looks like Damage -limitation P.R and it does suggest that there is some basis for the Bible account that the Assyrian army was kept out of Jerusalem and finally had to withdraw. And I am back to wondering whether a plague or pestilence did decimate Sennacherib's army (send by God or the dysentery bacillus, take your pick) and whether Hezekiah did at least get offered terms rather than the total sack that he saw coming.

In the absence of any comfirmative evidence, and bearing in mind Biblical and Imperial slanting of history, it remains open as to what really happened at a siege that plainly failed to result is a Lascheish -type sack and pretty much represented a halt to Sennacherib's military efforts.
..
for seven year, at any rate, from 701 to 694 BC, when he got involved in a power -struggle with the Elamites. How long did the siege of Jerusalem last? Was the seven -year glitch a sign that the Assyrians were befeft of a fighting force? If so, why didn't the enemies (the Judean-Israel campaign was just part of the overall war against Elam and the Babylonian revolt) mount an attack?

Was it because Sennacherib has least secured a peaceful status-quo? Since he had time to get the interior -decorators into the Nineveh palace, it seems that the campaign had resulted in an advantageous peace - until Elam could se the chance to try again.

Thus I am inclining (apart from mistrusting the Bible anyway) towards Jerusalem keeping Sennacherib at bay and both sides agreeing to a deal, and probably both sides were running out of time, with disease causing problems for the Assyrian army but also Hezekiah was running out of time or he would never have agreed to pay tribute.

That's if you believe that tribute was paid, One side or the other is being economical with the truth. Which is pretty much where we came is, and I suppose it leaves the question of a miracle wide open.

I think we must be looking at disease in the camp as otherwise, a pure lie would have God appearing in a dream to Sennacherib and the King begging Hezekiah for forgiveness and being baptized in the Jordan. It at least looks like a highly fiddled account of a camp -epidemic.

(1) though they are supposed to have been made at different dates in the 7 year Hiatus (around 660 BCE).
Very good thoughts on the matter!

I think you're correct in that some sort of plague, or even famine, might have been the root of the Bible's miraculous account, and led to a cessation of hostilities - but nonetheless, the return of Judah to its prior vassal status. The Egyptians that Isaiah (I think I might have mistakenly mentioned Jeremiah in a previous post, oh dear) had warned the Judahites not to place their trust in turned out to be less then helpful, and may even account for the many prophetic oracles against the nation, as well as much of the Exodus Account. I think we may find here the roots of the Exodus Account - more propaganda.
Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help and rely on horses,
who trust in chariots because they are many
and in horsemen because they are very numerous.
But they did not look to the Holy One of Israel or consult Yahweh. (1)

And yet he is wise and brought disaster,
and did not call back his words,
He will arise against the house of the evildoers,
and against the help of those who work iniquity. (2)

For the Egyptians are men, and not God;
and their horses are flesh, and not spirit.
When Yahweh stretches out his hand,
the helper will stumble, and he who is helped will fall,
and they will all perish together. (3)
(Isaiah 31:1-3, TOTL Kaiser)
Wall plaque of Ramesses II riding into battle with the horse taking a prominent role in the action (notice the solar imagery on the wheel and the fact that he was the most important figure responsible for undoing his predecessors "monotheizing" practices):



It is not as if it would be the first time a rival or hated nation would be "back-written" into the history of Israel and given a less-than stellar origin, as any Moabite or Ammonite could tell you from the story of Lot's Daughters heh heh! But it would be unique in how prominent a role Egypt served as the arch "bad guy". In fact, a recent article I read about how people now consider Hitler to have been the most evil man ever, asked who people thought the personification of pure evil was prior to that. "Pharoah" topped the list! If it was propaganda, it worked... Just read the many wonderfully horrific oracles against Egypt by the prophets over the centuries. They make for some spine-tingling reading. It is also important to note the refusal of most Biblical writers (all?) to ever name the king of Egypt, but to only call him as "the Pharaoh" - some sort of archetype of unreliability and evil.

Hezekiah had sent envoys to Pharaoh Shabaka (though some recent evidence suggests that he died previously then once thought, so this may need to be changed to a different Pharaoh) during Sennacherib's campaign in the west where Sennacherib had boasted that:
As for Hezekiah, the Judean, I besieged forty-six
of his fortified walled cities and surrounding
smaller towns, which were without number. Using
packed-down ramps and applying battering rams,
infantry attacks by mines, breeches, and siege machines,
I conquered (them). I took out 200,150
people, young and old, male and female, horses,
mules, donkeys, camels, cattle, and sheep, without
number, and counted them as spoil.
(COS 2.119B)
Pharaoh Shabaka - the "Donation Plaque":




Whether he sent the envoys during the initial campaign against the West or when he was approaching, we do not really know. We do know that Sennacherib had not limited himself to Judahite cities - other great cities had fallen: Phillistine, Ammonite, Moabite and Edomite cities. That would be enough to make anyone reconsider their political choices. He requested military assistance from Egypt at this time, and this probably underlies the oracle of Isaiah 30 as well, with the assumption the Yahweh had not been consulted in the matter (by not consulting the prophet, essentially).
Woe to the rebellious children,
saying of Yahweh,
who carry out a plan,
but not mine;
and who pour a libation,
but without my spirit,
in order <to add>
sin to sin (1)
who set out to go down to Egypt,
and did not ask for my counsel,
to take refuge in the protection of Pharaoh,
and to seek shelter in the shadow of Egypt! (2)
Therefore shall the protection of Pharaoh turn to your shame,
and the shelter in the shadow of Egypt to your humiliation. (3) [A later addition - Whoppers]
For though his officials are at Zoan
and his envoys reach Hanes,
every one <who went was shamed>
through a people that does not profit them,
that (brings) neither help nor profit,
but shame and indeed disgrace. (4)
(Isaiah 30:1-5, TOTL Kaiser)
In those days, kings did not make decisions by themselves. They consulted the gods via oracles via prophets, and the writer takes great pains to show that Yahweh would not have approved of Hezekiah placing his trust in Egypt. The Pharaoh's army ended up defeated regardless, so the help was indeed of "no profit" and the siege of Jerusalem eventually came to pass. In the Biblical Account, I suppose Yahweh won, and in the Assyrian Account Ashur won - that's how things went down in those days. Gods fought, not people. The eventual fall of Judah completely is what prompted the later Deutero-Isaiah to turn Yahweh's defeat by Marduk into a victory by declaring Yahweh the God of Gods, the only God, the God who transcended nations - the monotheistic GOD that came to dominate Jewish and Christian beliefs. The God who controlled the world so utterly that it was HIS will that Judah be chastised by the Babylonians, and therefore Yahweh had not actually lost at all. I suppose it's good consolation to have when living in an alien nation and trying to make some sense of what had happened, what had gone wrong. More propaganda.

I had some more to say on the anger of Sennacherib as evidenced in his other campaigns and how he usually determined when to loot and pillage, and when to just take tribute - but this post is already long enough and I want to get back to watching Yojimbo hee hee!
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Old 07-18-2014, 10:27 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Shirina View Post
It's also why America doesn't do anything truly great anymore.
What about "twerking"? I hear all the idiot kids are using it in their newest mating rituals nowadays.

I hope that's the only archaeological evidence of America found in the future some day. I would love to read the anthropological reports!
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Old 07-18-2014, 11:01 AM
 
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Good post. I did read that Egypt did send an expeditionary force as agreed, but it just got beat by the Assyrians (in fact I recall reading that Egypt was for a time regarded as part of the Assyrian empire). And Hezekiah found himself without any hope of assistance. Given that he had built strong walls and had a water supply, he must have realized that, with no hope of relief, it was a matter of time and so I think he did come to terms. There may have been many reasons for this, including possibly that Judea had not previously been a vassal, and the Assryans allowed you one mistake. If you rebelled a second time, two strikes and you are Out.

There's a lot morte work to do with the fall of the Northern kingdom, with Rachel weeping for her children (personification of the two principal northern tribes - but used by Matthew as a prophecy for his unhistorical Bethlehem massacre story) and I recall that they previously had been a vasal kingdom, but had rebelled.

But Lachish was in Judea, I believe, so perhaps Sennacherib was just mopping up possible hinterland threats before besieging Jerusalem as well as an element of 'See this? You're next!'

P.s Shinia, you are so funny. And yes, same story here. While the tall godlike captain of All Sports and head prefect was followed around by a comet tail of adoring adolescent femmes, the skinny kid who could never get a date (he was skinny back then) in the glasses was sitting by himself in the canteen, reading James Jeans...

Last edited by TRANSPONDER; 07-18-2014 at 11:53 AM..
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Old 07-18-2014, 11:37 AM
 
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I don't think the plague/pestilence theory holds water. Wouldn't it take days, if not weeks or months to decimate an army of over 100,000? We don't know of any diseases in that time that could move that swiftly.

It really just boils down to a he said/she said far as the annihilation of an entire army. The Jews are going to tell their side; the Assyrians theirs, and both do it effectively. The question is who will you believe. The Christian fundamentalists will go for the Biblical account without considering any outside veridical evidence to the contrary or that casts at least a smidgen of doubt. Liberal Christian/Deists like myself will go for the natural explanation and stay away from miraculous accounts and say, "I'd like to see some hard and fast evidence the Biblical account is totally wrong or right. But in absence of an conclusive evidence on either side, I'd prefer to go with the Assyrian account but cannot discount the intervention of God, though I think it highly unlikely.

I hate all this middle-of-the-road stuff. That's all religion is for a thinking person--riding the rails of doubt and indecision.
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Old 07-18-2014, 11:52 AM
 
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Yes it would, but a sudden khufahing of 100,000 Assyrian troomps overnight would look a lot better as a miracle of god. never let the facts get in the way of a good story.

Of course, Happy mean compromises are no more than a convenience, and of course goddles bastards like me are always looking to explain away miracles, but there does seem to be more than just the story that the bible -truth sites relate. If it happened as the Bible says, some of the resultant history doesn't quite stack up.
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