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Old 10-07-2015, 07:27 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Ryan View Post
..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!.)
I know this particular post is very old, but the logic jumped out at me: there is no archaeological evidence to show A and B - so C must have happened, which also does not have any archaeological evidence, but fits the incredibly improbable divine intervention via killing angel narrative.

But then one realizes what type of background produces such a way of thinking:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Ryan View Post
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!
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Originally Posted by Pinetop View Post
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.
Oral tradition is not as reliable as you may think, and it certainly isn't as simplistic as you make it out to be. And it DOES matter if it was written down much later, despite what you wrote.
Oral tradition can change quite fast, and even within the space of a few generations (according to researchers of cultural memory and oral tradition). Apart from oral tradition - (which we don't have!) textually, we can see inner-Biblical interpretation taking place rewriting previous histories when one compares the Deuteronomistic History (Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings - see:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deuter...mistic_history) to the account in Chronicles. This is a well-known feature of Chronicles. Heck, even the DH had already begun spinning the stories of David in Samuel, long before Chronicles would whitewash his dynasty (for an example, see: King David: Mobster Racketeer), not to mention the vast difference between the conquest accounts in Joshua and Judges.

The Bible did not exist in a cultural vacuum - it is susceptible to the same things that are typical of other sociopolitical and religious writings.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
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.
The problem of the aggressive and obstinate nature of the Assyrians, as you pointed out, may be overshadowing their actual military might as a major world-power at the time and making it appear as if they had encountered problems at all in the first place. Taking Jerusalem was not a requirement to cow Judah. Jerusalem, despite the Bible's claims to greatness, seems to have been (as far as we can tell archaeologically) a very small "city" (if it could even have been called a "city" by the definition which requires a certain number of inhabitants) - it's importance at the time does not seem to have matched its later literary and religious importance. Sennacherib had effectively subdued most of Judah, with Lachish being a much more important conquest than Jerusalem ever would have been.

I find it highly unlikely that the same nation that was responsible for subduing Judah and reducing it once again to vassal status, would have been stopped by any natural or divine force if it had truly wanted to take Jerusalem in the end. It is not as if all of its troops had been sent to little ol' Jerusalem. It seems more likely that its point had been made and it just wasn't worth it to spend the additional manpower and resources to take a capital "city" that would serve a better purpose intact. Hezekiah truly was a "bird in a cage" in the big picture and he would have been more valuable as a means to a more obedient vassal.

See, interestingly, Thomas L. Thompson's latest appraisal (at The Bible and Interpretation) of Biblical Archaeology and his critiques of both Finklestein and Dever: The Bible and Interpretation - Biblical Archaeology: The Hydra of Palestine?s History, especially his section titled "The Lost Tribe of Judah". It's a very interesting article.



Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
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)
I think you are correct concerning the Assyrian version. Check out the Thompson essay if you have time. I can't agree with everything he says, but he makes very good points that I cannot easily refute.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
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.
Exactly my thoughts as well. An inscription closer to the actual campaign versus a textual document that had undergone who-knows-how-many editions to reach the final form we have now? The Biblical texts show massive amounts of editing as it is (as opposed to a monument that never served the same sociopolitical and religious purpose the Biblical account ended up doing), and they were not produced for the general populace to read in the first place - so I think it would have been quite easy to divorce what the people "remembered" from what the text eventually told them they "remembered". This would have especially been possible when being written by elite scribes amid an illiterate population. Even if memory served properly, it is not as if a people would be entirely averse to the idea of whitewashing cultural memory - especially when they were living in Babylon and a small group of elites were trying to revitalize (or create!) the idea of a former great Yahwistic Kingdom of Judah, and even the greater idea of a United Israel. I think a LOT happened in Babylon....

Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
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.
The only mystery about Sennacherib and propaganda, in my eyes, is whether he trumped up the importance of Jerusalem to Judah and the scope of the siege. Pretty common to make a small enemy great, to make one's self great.
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Old 10-08-2015, 03:38 PM
 
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Even though the Kingdom of Israel fell to the Assyrians around 700 BC , the Assyrians did fall to conquer Hezekiah and His kingdom of Judah and the Benjamin tribe for some 140 years until Nebuchadnezzar took the land of the Judah kingdom in 588 BC, where the Jewish people did not have a land rule by them until 1948 AD...........
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Old 10-09-2015, 03:43 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hljc View Post
Even though the Kingdom of Israel fell to the Assyrians around 700 BC , the Assyrians did fall to conquer Hezekiah and His kingdom of Judah and the Benjamin tribe for some 140 years until Nebuchadnezzar took the land of the Judah kingdom in 588 BC, where the Jewish people did not have a land rule by them until 1948 AD...........
I think it's fairly obvious we're all familiar with the Biblical version of the event. We have been discussing what may have happened historically, while using both the Hebrew Bible and Assyrian sources to help flesh out the picture. Have you been following along in the thread?
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Old 10-09-2015, 01:18 PM
 
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I'd hazard a guess that hlj's post is intended to imply that the Assyrian failure to take Jerusalem, the Babylonian success in taking Jerusalem, the Roman success in taking Jerusalem, the Arab success in taking Jerusalem, the Norman success in taking Jerusalem and quite a lot of takings of Jerusalem since then culminating in the Jews finally taking and keeping it - with America's help if not God's - is to be seen in terms of True Bible Prophecy, and never mind whether it is actually true or not.
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Old 07-14-2016, 10:01 PM
 
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There's only one problem with the logic of this article. The writer says that there is no historical explanation for why the troops died. However he is overlooking the fact that there is absolutely no historical evidence that any of the troops died in the first place. You don't need to find an explanation for something that didn't happen. It's quite likely that the king realize that his goal have been accomplished and his point had been made. The tribute that he asked for was given to him and he continued to receive tribute from Jerusalem thereafter. The entire purpose of the war was to remind Jerusalem that they need to to pay the tribute or else, once they started paying again the King likely realize that there was no point in destroying the city when he could continue to receive tribute from it.
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Old 07-15-2016, 05:28 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Riddler2033 View Post
There's only one problem with the logic of this article. The writer says that there is no historical explanation for why the troops died. However he is overlooking the fact that there is absolutely no historical evidence that any of the troops died in the first place. You don't need to find an explanation for something that didn't happen. It's quite likely that the king realize that his goal have been accomplished and his point had been made. The tribute that he asked for was given to him and he continued to receive tribute from Jerusalem thereafter. The entire purpose of the war was to remind Jerusalem that they need to to pay the tribute or else, once they started paying again the King likely realize that there was no point in destroying the city when he could continue to receive tribute from it.
Yes. I see it as a not uncommon ploy of taking an event and giving it a miraculous twist. The fact that the Assyrians did not in fact take and sack Jerusalem as was their usual practice with rebels (especially in view of what they had done with Laschish, earlier ...only one reference to that in the Bible - the Assyrians devoted a whole palace wall to the tale) begged to be seen in terms of a miraculous delivery. It wouldn't do just to have the Assyrians after a siege up sticks and decamp, as you need a definite Smite to explain it. Thus you need to claim 600, 000 (or whatever) smitten with plague.

The damnable thing for history with this sort of thing is that it is so often seen as a historical fact, even if inflated a bit and then you need to explain it in terms of disease over the course of a long siege. (nota, benny, Hezekiah since joining the general rejection of vassalage by the Syrian states, had put large amounts of dosh into fortifying Jerusalem as the expense of Lachish, which still held out a long time) and had hpes of support from Egypt, which turned out to a "Boken reed" indeed).

And it could be true, of course. The Assyrians don't mention it, but they wouldn't, would they? But that together with supplies running low, the need to get on with the rest of the campaign and worries about what his sons were getting up to back in Nineveh could be the reason why he made a deal with Hezekiah to accept his vassalage - again, with some tribute. It can't be overlooked that Sennacherib must have been aware that it looked like he had been beaten to a draw, so he had to put up stone prisms around the city explaining how he had 'Shut up Hezekiah like a bird in a cage' and list the tribute he had forced the king to pay. He had almost had a PR disaster just as Ramesses II did at Kadesh, and had to carve a wall proclaiming how he had beaten the Hittites - just to counter any rumours that he hadn't.

No wonder this was seen as a miracle of deliverance by the Hebrews, but the facts (if indeed they are) of the dead left behind had to be inflated in numbers and suddenness to make it a miracle, and the reason for that was also found in the Bible - an ongoing political authority struggle between Priests of of the Lord and the temporal authority of the Ruler. From the time of David to the Hasmoneans, and from Herod to Pilate. And in modern Israel, too.

Last edited by TRANSPONDER; 07-15-2016 at 05:37 AM..
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Old 07-24-2016, 10:04 PM
CK4
 
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An army known for savage acts such as skinning it's victims alive just shrugs it's shoulders and moves on. Laughable. Yahweh(Jehovah) has shown himself powerful in many other instances. Ala, Jericho, the fall of Egypt, and countless others. They all seem to coincide with Jewish history of things like rebuilding the temple and many other events. Give the glory to Jehovah and not self righteous men.
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Old 07-25-2016, 03:39 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CK4 View Post
An army known for savage acts such as skinning it's victims alive just shrugs it's shoulders and moves on. Laughable. Yahweh(Jehovah) has shown himself powerful in many other instances. Ala, Jericho, the fall of Egypt, and countless others. They all seem to coincide with Jewish history of things like rebuilding the temple and many other events. Give the glory to Jehovah and not self righteous men.
Jericho? Fall of Egypt? Where has that been confirmed in Jewish or any other history? the collapse of the walls of Jericho was claimed to be evidenced in archaeology, but that claim has been shown false. That is why "Biblical archaeology" is at best highly suspect and at worst, bunk.

The more archaeology finds, the less true the Bible seems to be. The Flood - a myth, the Exodus, unsupported by history, the conquest, probably never happened, empire of David and Solomon, probably true, but far smaller and less powerful than the Bible claims.

The "Smiting" of Assyria's army - as explained, based on a historical fact, but given a massive Religious spin. Prophecies of Tyre and Babylon - failed. Daniel, evidence indicates it was written after the events, not before.

Nativity, rubbish. Massacre o innocents - never happened. Transfiguration - John knows nothing about it. Raising of Lazarus - nobody BUT John knows anything about it. And the trial, Blasphemy charge and blaming "The Jews" for the crucifixion - the dirtiest lie of all time. Crucifixion - they all agree on that - even Tacitus, but resurrection? 4 invented tales ...no...THREE, because Mark doesn't have it. Bible historical truth? Yore 'avin a larf, old mate.
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Old 07-25-2016, 07:13 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thrillobyte View Post
I'm critical of a lot of Jewish Old Testament stories, calling them myths--but one story that cannot be explained historically is Sennacherib suddenly withdrawing from his siege of Jerusalem just as he seemed to have it within his grasp.

Quick history lesson: Hezekiah refuses to pay any tribute to Sennacherib so Sennacherib lays siege to Jerusalem. At the time the Assyrians were the most powerful empire in the world so it was a cinch for them to mass 185,000 troops outside Jerusalem. But Isaiah delivers a prophecy that the angel of the Lord will slay them all and according to Kings and Chronicles 185,000 troops are killed in one night. Sennacherib withdraws with his tail between his legs and is later killed by his own sons.

There is no rational explanation for Sennacherib, on the cusp of a victory over Jerusalem, suddenly withdrawing. The artifact, Sennacherib's Prism--discovered in the early 19th century--relays mostly victorious propaganda of his siege as we would expect it to, but the actual results speak otherwise.

I am a deist in matters like this. I don't believe God intervenes in men's wars, but until a good historical explanation comes along, I think the supernatural account of 2 Kings has to win the day--God literally did slay 185,000 troops in one night. There are attempts to explain it in natural terms: a pestilence of cholera; a pestilence of rodents gnawing the quivers of all the troop's bows, making them unable to shoot arrows, but that wouldn't explain their mysterious deaths; the Hebrews allying with Egyptian troops to overcome the Assyrian army.

There is no historical evidence for any of the naturalistic explanations. Until there is, it seems the supernatural explanation of Yahweh's angel of death intervening is the most plausible. If anyone has any input as to why Sennacherib would give up a sure victory over Jerusalem to return to Nineveh in total disgrace and without an army in tow I'd be curious to hear it.
yeah, so what. was it 185000? or 185? It sounds like when they talk about "med-evil battles". They were more often like two mobs attacking each other then a "battle".
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Old 07-25-2016, 01:42 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thrillobyte View Post
I'm critical of a lot of Jewish Old Testament stories, calling them myths--but one story that cannot be explained historically is Sennacherib suddenly withdrawing from his siege of Jerusalem just as he seemed to have it within his grasp.

Quick history lesson: Hezekiah refuses to pay any tribute to Sennacherib so Sennacherib lays siege to Jerusalem. At the time the Assyrians were the most powerful empire in the world so it was a cinch for them to mass 185,000 troops outside Jerusalem. But Isaiah delivers a prophecy that the angel of the Lord will slay them all and according to Kings and Chronicles 185,000 troops are killed in one night. Sennacherib withdraws with his tail between his legs and is later killed by his own sons.

There is no rational explanation for Sennacherib, on the cusp of a victory over Jerusalem, suddenly withdrawing. The artifact, Sennacherib's Prism--discovered in the early 19th century--relays mostly victorious propaganda of his siege as we would expect it to, but the actual results speak otherwise.

I am a deist in matters like this. I don't believe God intervenes in men's wars, but until a good historical explanation comes along, I think the supernatural account of 2 Kings has to win the day--God literally did slay 185,000 troops in one night. There are attempts to explain it in natural terms: a pestilence of cholera; a pestilence of rodents gnawing the quivers of all the troop's bows, making them unable to shoot arrows, but that wouldn't explain their mysterious deaths; the Hebrews allying with Egyptian troops to overcome the Assyrian army.

There is no historical evidence for any of the naturalistic explanations. Until there is, it seems the supernatural explanation of Yahweh's angel of death intervening is the most plausible. If anyone has any input as to why Sennacherib would give up a sure victory over Jerusalem to return to Nineveh in total disgrace and without an army in tow I'd be curious to hear it.
Neither can a lot of what atheists believe, like Evolution.
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