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Old 07-18-2014, 02:48 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whoppers View Post
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".
This is typical of the non-linear time mindset of our ancestors that I refer to. They remembered events . . . not their linear chronology . . . and they didn't worry about the order of the events either. This why so much historical misinterpretation is applied using our modern ingrained linear chronology.
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Old 07-18-2014, 04:59 PM
 
Location: University City, Philadelphia
22,583 posts, read 11,769,669 times
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Originally Posted by thrillobyte View Post
Oh, the Book of Mormon exists all right. I saw it at the Pantages Theater last week. Funnier than the devil.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVJgmp2Tc2s
It's opening at the Forrest Theater in Philadelphia next week.
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Old 02-23-2015, 05:31 PM
 
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The fact is Sennacherib had already received his requested tribute from Hezekiah BEFORE his attempt to conquer Jerusalem. ..As is greedy Earthly Kings way..he wasn't satisfied with just the tribute..he wanted to humiliate Hezekiah and his people.Why would he send his high ranking officials to the very walls of Jerusalem with intimidating, demeaning and boastful threats if he didn't plan on carrying them out?..No..its painfully obvious due to NO archeological evidence of his overtaking Jerusalem...or of punishing Hezekiah for his previous non support that something Extremely disastrous happened to his forces that he in no way shape or form would EVER corroborate! (Such as the unimaginable desolation of his entire army in one night!.).certainly no worldly king with this kind of ego would ever admit this disaster!..thus he had to leave..never ever to come against Jerusalem again..the World's most powerful nation (at that time ) forcibly humiliated by the very God that he tried to bring down to the same level as the false idols that he had easily conquered. ..Jehovah! As a consequence he learned a very harsh reality..that Jehovah is the only true God and certainly no one to be mocked or demeaned! ..pride is before a crash..

L





















ranking representatives making very

proud and insulting boasts about his previous victories and their ineffective gods...if he wasn't determined to completely put them to waste?..and furthermore why would he stop at Jerusalem after he had already captured 46 of his other cities?..this would have been the absolute crowning achievement! ...Why? Because some extremely unaccounted for disaster occurred that so humiliated him.. that not only could he not continue with his conquest..but you can be reassured as with any braggart..this horrible defeat would never be released as true fact or news to anybody!!
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Old 02-23-2015, 05:47 PM
 
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I'm not sure it was a horrible defeat. The Assyrian version, suggests otherwise, though it is striking that the king had to put up public announcements making the result look good for him. It suggests that the amount of labour and expense that had gone into the walls of Jerusalem (nothing was done to improve the defences of Lachish, so that fell, as is passed over quickly is a line or two in the Bible) paid off and Sennacherib was kept outside and maybe (as is often the case in protracted sieges) disease broke out and supplies ran short. It seems credible that Sennacherib settled for tribute and submission and it was not a case of having to withdraw after most of his army had been struck down.

I seem to reacll that he continued his campaign and reduced some other areas, which would indicate that he still had plenty of army but not unlimited time to spend in a siege. I see no particular reason why we should believe the political spin the Bible puts on the event rather than the Assyrian one.
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Old 02-23-2015, 06:04 PM
 
Location: North America
14,212 posts, read 9,616,814 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Ryan View Post
The fact is Sennacherib had already received his requested tribute from Hezekiah BEFORE his attempt to conquer Jerusalem. ..As is greedy Earthly Kings way..he wasn't satisfied with just the tribute..he wanted to humiliate Hezekiah and his people.Why would he send his high ranking officials to the very walls of Jerusalem with intimidating, demeaning and boastful threats if he didn't plan on carrying them out?..No..its painfully obvious due to NO archeological evidence of his overtaking Jerusalem...or of punishing Hezekiah for his previous non support that something Extremely disastrous happened to his forces that he in no way shape or form would EVER corroborate! (Such as the unimaginable desolation of his entire army in one night!.).certainly no worldly king with this kind of ego would ever admit this disaster!..thus he had to leave..never ever to come against Jerusalem again..the World's most powerful nation (at that time ) forcibly humiliated by the very God that he tried to bring down to the same level as the false idols that he had easily conquered. ..Jehovah! As a consequence he learned a very harsh reality..that Jehovah is the only true God and certainly no one to be mocked or demeaned! ..pride is before a crash..

L





















ranking representatives making very

proud and insulting boasts about his previous victories and their ineffective gods...if he wasn't determined to completely put them to waste?..and furthermore why would he stop at Jerusalem after he had already captured 46 of his other cities?..this would have been the absolute crowning achievement! ...Why? Because some extremely unaccounted for disaster occurred that so humiliated him.. that not only could he not continue with his conquest..but you can be reassured as with any braggart..this horrible defeat would never be released as true fact or news to anybody!!


It's hard to prove a lot about Jerusalem because it's nature as a holy city makes getting the rights to dig in it very difficult. Added to the fact that it is still occupied and areas that were part of the original 7th century city are now several feet under the modern city. It wasn't uncommon for leaders to send troops into an area and back out if the enemies they were fighting capitulated. Taking small towns is one thing, a large city another. The Romans had a brutal time taking Jerusalem and they attempted to negotiate a surrender several times rather than take then city. No intelligent leader is going to throw away the lives of veteran soldiers when they don't need to.
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Old 02-23-2015, 10:08 PM
 
34,479 posts, read 8,888,267 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Ryan View Post
The fact is Sennacherib had already received his requested tribute from Hezekiah BEFORE his attempt to conquer Jerusalem. ..As is greedy Earthly Kings way..he wasn't satisfied with just the tribute..he wanted to humiliate Hezekiah and his people.Why would he send his high ranking officials to the very walls of Jerusalem with intimidating, demeaning and boastful threats if he didn't plan on carrying them out?..No..its painfully obvious due to NO archeological evidence of his overtaking Jerusalem...or of punishing Hezekiah for his previous non support that something Extremely disastrous happened to his forces that he in no way shape or form would EVER corroborate! (Such as the unimaginable desolation of his entire army in one night!.).certainly no worldly king with this kind of ego would ever admit this disaster!..thus he had to leave..never ever to come against Jerusalem again..the World's most powerful nation (at that time ) forcibly humiliated by the very God that he tried to bring down to the same level as the false idols that he had easily conquered. ..Jehovah! As a consequence he learned a very harsh reality..that Jehovah is the only true God and certainly no one to be mocked or demeaned! ..pride is before a crash..



ranking representatives making very

proud and insulting boasts about his previous victories and their ineffective gods...if he wasn't determined to completely put them to waste?..and furthermore why would he stop at Jerusalem after he had already captured 46 of his other cities?..this would have been the absolute crowning achievement! ...Why? Because some extremely unaccounted for disaster occurred that so humiliated him.. that not only could he not continue with his conquest..but you can be reassured as with any braggart..this horrible defeat would never be released as true fact or news to anybody!!
In a way your post makes the case for Assyria. He was getting tribute, but then Hezekiah stopped paying it. Looking back at an earlier post, it seems that he was counting on Egyptian help, but the Assyrians put paid to that. The siege of Jerusalem was part of a campaign to reassert Assyrian authority in the area and. having reduced Lachish to rubble, Sennacherib found Jerusalem a harder nut to crack because Hezekiah had put a lot of effort into the defences. Sennacherib wanted to get on with the campaign and thus came to terms with Hezekiah and since hefty tribute was paid, Hezekiah must have realized that the game would be up eventually.

This was not the object lesson Sennacherib had intended and so he had to put up his billboards assuring everyone that it had been a victory.

The Jews put in their Bible that the Assyrians had been struck by plague. No mention of hefty tribute. At first I was inclined to credit the Bible account, though I would think of the diseases that break out in lengthy sieges, and the Assyrians having to break the siege off, but, now I'm inclined to regard the Bible account as heavily slanted to make the god of the Hebrews look all -powerful.
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Old 02-24-2015, 12:30 AM
 
Location: City-Data Forum
6,896 posts, read 4,298,435 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Ryan View Post
The fact is Sennacherib had already received his requested tribute from Hezekiah BEFORE his attempt to conquer Jerusalem.
How is that a "fact"? We have more evidence that Hezekiah published the Book of Isaiah than that Sennacherib wanted less tribute money and more wasting of his troops lives, and then forgetting about them.
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Old 10-05-2015, 11:25 AM
 
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There are a few reasons to believe the biblical view here may be more accurate than alternatives beyond Jewish or Christian faith:

1) The way ancient near eastern covenantal suzerains acted when the weaker partner betrayed the covenant pretty much precludes Sennacharib leaving non violently regardless of tribute offered. They always massacred the "uppity" weaker partner for good logic, to give negative motivation for future betrayals that could cause destruction of their own empire.

2) Of all human groups in history, the Assyrians are still known as uber brutal to the utter maximum who enjoyed being the worst bullies in human history compared to say the Hittites, who when forging these suzerain treaties showed respect for the weaker partner intially, there is simply 0% chance an Assyrian king in a position of strength could leave a little "snot nosed betrayer" like a tiny part of the original Israel survive like suggested by some. Simply doesn't fit. Remember, Hezekiah only ruled a rump state of 2 of the original 12 tribes by this era, the northern 10 had been destroyed previously.


3) Less significant though important is how the ancient Jewish writer saw things compared to their gentile neighbors.

The Jewish scribe always saw good things happening only because God saw to it, the Jews themselves never wrote about how great the Jews were, the Jewish king was most often seen as a failure, even David and Solomon had massive failures recorded, whereas the pagan king always bragged about how awesome they were and how successful they were and how it was because they were hooked up with their high god. All archaeological evidence we have accessed shows the pagan king was always showing he was in effect going to become a high god himself eventually, no chance he could lose.

Add to this the Jewish texts show the Jews often got the snot knocked out of them because of Divine judgment contra pagan literature and in this specific story judgment has been pronounced until Hezekiah repents at the last moment. Just has more authenticity to it than the Gentile narratives because of the willingness of Jewish scribes to malign the Jews and their kings.

4) Sennacharib's son had the temerity to murder his father and usurp the throne shortly thereafter, another piece of data indicating Sennacharib had lost respect among his inner circle. Leaving a tiny uppity betrayer intact sure fits here.

5) On events in full view of a large society, it makes 0 logic that the Jewish scribal elite would create a story like the mass deaths of Sennacharib's army. People would have known it was bs. Doesn't matter if the story was written later in Babylon, oral tradition was impossible to amend like texts can be, if the elite made this up they would have been laughed out of office. Modern people don't factor in oral tradition properly, IMO.

I think the evidence weighs towards something really bad happened to Sennacharib's army at Jerusalem.
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Old 10-05-2015, 12:34 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
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Originally Posted by Pinetop View Post
I think the evidence weighs towards something really bad happened...
If you want to speculate about what would have made the normally aggressively obstinate Assyrians withdraw, why not start with a more likely explanation: an epidemic combined with a superstitious reaction, possibly exacerbated by knowledge of a well-placed "prophecy" that the local god would destroy the army.

Here you have a bunch of troops in an area full of bacteria and parasites their immune systems have no experience with. I can imagine some sort of dysentery sweeping the troops, causing panic, and an ignominious withdrawal.

And sure enough, a little Googling around and I see that historian William Hardy McNeill suggested just that -- positing cholera, due to the springs originating in the city being blocked, denying the troops fresh drinking water.

Of course we will never really know because the Israeli account in scriptures is going to take credit for their (then newly) monotheistic god, and the Assyrians were well known for glossing over their own defeats and failures and presenting propaganda that they were invincible.
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Old 10-06-2015, 06:29 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinetop View Post
There are a few reasons to believe the biblical view here may be more accurate than alternatives beyond Jewish or Christian faith:

1) The way ancient near eastern covenantal suzerains acted when the weaker partner betrayed the covenant pretty much precludes Sennacharib leaving non violently regardless of tribute offered. They always massacred the "uppity" weaker partner for good logic, to give negative motivation for future betrayals that could cause destruction of their own empire.
That is correct. Which, whe you think about it, tends to support the Assyrian version of events. (P.s it is worth noting that the Assyrians, like the Romans were fine so long as you kept paying tribute - rebel and THEN they would make an example of you)

Quote:
2) Of all human groups in history, the Assyrians are still known as uber brutal to the utter maximum who enjoyed being the worst bullies in human history compared to say the Hittites, who when forging these suzerain treaties showed respect for the weaker partner intially, there is simply 0% chance an Assyrian king in a position of strength could leave a little "snot nosed betrayer" like a tiny part of the original Israel survive like suggested by some. Simply doesn't fit. Remember, Hezekiah only ruled a rump state of 2 of the original 12 tribes by this era, the northern 10 had been destroyed previously.
I suspect that their reputation is somewhat based on the Biblical view and it was pretty standard behaviour for the time. The Bible doesn't make the Jews look any more inclined to mercy towards those they beat. The rest of that para is correct but irrelevant to whether the Biblical account of the siege is the more correct.

Quote:
3) Less significant though important is how the ancient Jewish writer saw things compared to their gentile neighbors.
Also true - they were prone to interpret and twist everything to look like God was masterminding it...so far all you are saying is tending to support the Assyrian account.

Quote:
The Jewish scribe always saw good things happening only because God saw to it, the Jews themselves never wrote about how great the Jews were, the Jewish king was most often seen as a failure, even David and Solomon had massive failures recorded, whereas the pagan king always bragged about how awesome they were and how successful they were and how it was because they were hooked up with their high god. All archaeological evidence we have accessed shows the pagan king was always showing he was in effect going to become a high god himself eventually, no chance he could lose.
There is certainly some particular feature of the YHWH religion that made it the State, whereas in other places it was the ruler. You could say that Israel and Judea were a Theocracy (1) and the rulers were rated against how well they matched up to the requirements of the state cult (last time I looked at the 2-kingdoms king-list, most of them not very well) That does not however do a thing to make the bible account more reliable than the Assyrian one. If anything the requirements of the state Cult that the facts be presented to make God look good, makes their version look as questionable as the Assyrian one - which gives the impression of a hurried campaign to persuade the public that it was a great triumph for the king.

Quote:
Add to this the Jewish texts show the Jews often got the snot knocked out of them because of Divine judgment contra pagan literature and in this specific story judgment has been pronounced until Hezekiah repents at the last moment. Just has more authenticity to it than the Gentile narratives because of the willingness of Jewish scribes to malign the Jews and their kings.
Again when you look at it, this argues the other way. Because the Jews got beat so often (which required blaming the kings, because God could not be seen to fail) the one time things did not go entirely to the Assyrian plan, then that could be held up as proof of God's power. And instead of a mention of Hezekiah having to load everything not nailed down onto the Assyrian baggage train before the siege was raised, we get a claim that half the army was wiped out by a divine blow. That does not seem to accord with the historical evidence that Sennacherib took his army off and completed the campaign.

Quote:
4) Sennacharib's son had the temerity to murder his father and usurp the throne shortly thereafter, another piece of data indicating Sennacherib had lost respect among his inner circle. Leaving a tiny uppity betrayer intact sure fits here.
I gather that grabbing the throne in such a way was not unknown, yet I can quite believe that the failure to simply demolish Jerusalem did reflect so badly on the King that he had to post vainglorious claims around the city about what a success it was. That merely gives the Bible -writers the excuse to cut out the tribute, put in a miracle and put their spin on it, where usually getting beat requires some moaning about Israel or Judea being sinful and annoying God.

Quote:
5) On events in full view of a large society, it makes 0 logic that the Jewish scribal elite would create a story like the mass deaths of Sennacharib's army. People would have known it was bs. Doesn't matter if the story was written later in Babylon, oral tradition was impossible to amend like texts can be, if the elite made this up they would have been laughed out of office. Modern people don't factor in oral tradition properly, IMO.
Well, that is a good point. If the Jews all know that Hezekiah had to do a humiliating deal, it makes 0 sense to claim that God smote the Assyrian army, if everyone knew different. On the other hand there is this:

(1) the Assyrian claim that they withdrew after Hezekiah had paid tribute also has to be true - and that was a couple of contemporary inscriptions on view in Nineveh - not a chapter written a lot later when all eyewitnesses were dead.
(2) The evidence of history is that the Assyrian army was in good enough shape to finish off the Syrian campaign.
P.s I like the adroit way you try to make oral Tradition a cast iron guarantee of veracity.

Quote:
I think the evidence weighs towards something really bad happened to Sennacharib's army at Jerusalem.
I certainly agree that the evidence indicates that Sennacherib did not simply roll over Jerusalem as he would have liked, but it does NOT indicate that the army was divinely smit. Consider that Hezekiah had invested a lot of cash into building the walls. Consider also that Sennacherib had already conducted one time consuming (but successful) siege at Lachish (which the bible passes over in one line) and perhaps a protracted 2nd siege was not what he needed. It can even be argued that he put the effort in to the somewhat easier siege at Lachish to say to Hezekiah "See this? Submit or you're next!" And Hezekiah duly submits. Do you see how this can all be spun the other way?

But bottom line is that the healthy state of the army to continue the campaign gives the lie to the divine smiting story but there does seem a germ of truth in the fact that Sennacherib had some propaganda work to do. But this was massively Spun by the bible -writers - as they did just about everything else.

(1) there were times when Egypt was in the same position and the cult of Amun acted as a Theocracy and the Kings were pretty much subordinate - as we found at times in Christian Europe and indeed in the Muslim middle east today. I suspect that the Cult of Aten and the 'heretic king' with his new capital was an attempt to wrest kingly power back from the state cult. And I think the campaign to vilify his name afterwards was masterminded by the temple priests, not by the later kings.

Last edited by TRANSPONDER; 10-06-2015 at 07:16 AM..
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