Jeroboam-Jonah and Archaeology
 
by Rick Dack, Founder and Director of Defending the Bible Int’l.
 
 
 
(All images and text are owned/purchased by Defending the Bible Int'l. and cannot be used without permission)
 
   
King Jeroboam's name found at Megiddo: An Israelite seal contains named Jeroboam was found at Megiddo. The inscription reads, "belonging to Shema" "servant of Jeroboam" the seal depicts a lion, a symbol of Israel and Judah (see Genesis 49:9 and Deuteronomy 33:22).
 
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Dan's high place/pedestal/gate: This high place located on the mound at Tal Dan is approximately 60' x 60' with steps leading to it. The earliest level to date has been excavated and it's been determined that it's from the time of Jeroboam I. This area at Dan may have also been where the golden calves were worshiped (Source: Bible and Spade, Winter 1972). A pedestal was excavated at the inner gate of the ancient city of Dan. It was at this gate of business and administrative duties were conducted. The pedestal was more than likely the resting place for the local ruler of the city. Sockets for the canopy supports have also been found in its very possible that Jeroboam himself may have sat here while doing business at Dan (source?). The gate has an inner and outer portal (12 feet wide) into large blocks of basalt was a doorstop between them. A paved road leads past the pedestal where Jeroboam sat, through the inner gate. Dr. Avraham Biran calls this "the Royal processional route of the days of King Jeroboam." Pottery sherds at Dan have been shown to be from the time of Jeroboam I. stage I masonry from the time of Jeroboam have been found and is staged to masonry leads to a shrine that is from the time of Ahab.
 
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  The Palace-Fort at Lachish was founded by Rehoboam (2 Chronicles 11:9) and is probably where Amaziah, king of Judah was murdered in 769 B.C.E. by rebels (2 Kings 14:9, 2 Chronicles 25:27). Lachish was first excavated in 1932 by JL Starkey and later by the Institute of archaeology/Tel Aviv University under David Ussishkin (Source: Bible and Spade, Joseph Free)
 
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  Jotham, 12th King of Judah: A signet ring was found by Nelson Gleuk at Elath. The ring inscription states that the house minister was also responsible for mining activities. The ring reads "belonging to Jotham, son of Uzziah" who held the crown prince ship during the time of his father's leprosy (2 Kings 15:5). (Source: Bible and Spade, Joseph Free)
 
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Shishak (Sheshonq I and II): A memorial stela was found in 1926 by the Oriental Institute at Megiddo. Shishaks name is contained on the stela which is more than likely from his 925 B.C.E. campaign. Shishak II's solid silver coffin, the grandson of Shishak I, was discovered in 1939. This discovery was made by Pierre Montet at Tanis, Egypt. Where did the wealth come from to create such an expensive coffin? It is believed that the silver used may have been from Solomon's Temple when his grandfather Shishak I stripped it of its gold and silver after Solomon's death (I Kings 14:26) - (source: Bible and Spade, Winter 1996).

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  Omri: Omri was the commander in chief under Elah in the army of northern Israel. Elah was assassinated by Zimri at his palace and Omri was proclaimed king by his soldiers. Omri ruled 12 years (885-874 B.C.E., I Kings 16:15-230 after he took the city of Tirzah from Zimri who committed suicide in the city. He was the father of Ahab (874-853 B.C.E.). He did evil in the eyes of the Lord (I Kings 16). Archaeology reveals Omri as a powerful ruler who established the capital Samaria. 1908-1910 in excavations by Harvard University under the direction of GA Reisner have uncovered his palace (source: Joseph Free). At least four inscriptions name Omri, the first being the Mesha Inscription (846 B.C.E - lines 7 and eight) - "Omri had occupied the lands of Medeba and had dwelt there in his time." The second being the Shalmaneser III records (841 B.C.E.) - "in the 18th year of my rule I crossed the Euphrates for the 16th time... at that time I received the tribute of Jehu, son of Omri," Tigleth Pilesers records (732 B.C.E.) - "Omri-land... and it's inhabitants and their positions I lead to Assyria" and finally the 721 B.C.E. records of Sargon II. (Source: Bible and Spade, Joseph Free)
 
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  Tirzah: (Tell el-Far'ah): Excavated between 1946 in 1960 by a team headed up by Roland De Vaux. This area related to Omri shows clear signs of a destruction layer. The main building at this location had a central courtyard struggled by three large rooms. Finely crafted stones were found at the site similar to those found in Samaria that the area was abandoned to construct the building at Samaria. (Source: Bible and Spade, Joseph Free)
 
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Samaria: the hill at Samaria was purchased by Omri and a new capitol built there. The excavations of the area started in 1908 by Harvard University and later by the British Academy from 1931-1935. What's left of the capitol is located on the summit of the hill. Omri's capitol consisted of two fortification walls, the inner was built by Omri and the outer by his son Ahab. On the southwest side is where the house was located near the inner wall.
 
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  Elijah and Zarephath: Zarephath was uncovered in 1970 by Dr. Pritchard of the University of Pennsylvania. The first ever Phoenician city found in the coast of Lebanon. The biblical connection lies in the figurines (Baal and Ashtoreth) that were discovered at this Phoenician city (see Judges 10:6, I Kings 11:5, 17:9).
 
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Ahab's biography/archaeology: Ahab married Jezebel, daughter of Ithbaal, king of Sidon, and began to worship Baal. God brought a three-year drought upon the land due to Ahab's sins (I Kings 17:1, 18:1, 16-18). Jezebel seeks to kill Elijah and he flees to Mount Horeb (I Kings 19:1-18). Ahab defeats Ben-Hadad but is defeated at Ramoth Gilead and his bloody chariot is washed in a pool there.
 
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Ahab and the Kurkh Stela of Shalmaneser: Found in 1861 in southeast Turkey originates from an 853 B.C.E. campaign (Battle of Qarqar info > “I departed from Argana and approached Qarqar... 20,000 foot soldiers of Hadadezer (Ben-Hadad of 1 Kings 20)... 10,000 foot soldiers of Ahab the Israelite... between the towns of Qarqar and Gilzau.”
 
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  Ahab's Samaria: A pool where Ahab probably washed his chariot (Sources: Joseph Free’s book Archaeology and Bible History, E.M. Blaiklock’s “New International Dictionary of Biblical Archaeology”) was uncovered. I Kings 22:39 speaks of Ahab's “House of ivory” at Samaria. The buildings discovered contain ivory carvings that once adorned the walls as well as the furniture in the palace there. Samaria was first excavated between 1908 in 1910 by Harvard University (Reisner and Fisher).
 
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 At Ahab's Megiddo a fortification wall was found which was 12 feet wide, large pillared buildings, a palace and the water system with a 20 foot long tunnel. At Ahab's Hazor 10 feet wide fortification wall was found as well as a citadel, a large pillared building an underground water system. At Ahab's Tell Dan (Stratum III) a reconstruction by Ahab after its original construction by Jeroboam I and destruction by Ben-Hadad (I Kings 16:20).
 
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Ahab's stables at Megiddo: What was originally thought to been Solomon stables have now been determined to be those of Ahab. The stables found in the 1930s could hold up to 500 horses.
 
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 Jezreel is located 21 miles north of Samaria overlooking the Jezreel Valley. Tel Aviv University and the British school of archaeology has been digging there since 1990. A royal citadel has been uncovered which is much larger than the one at Samaria. The original maker of the citadel was probably Omri. This location is between Megiddo and Beth Shan. It's size is about 15 acres into the north of Jezreel is the road that leads to Megiddo and Beth Shan (trade route). Jezreel was built by Ahab probably has a winter home (Amos 3:5). Ahab used this location for about 30 years (874-853 B.C.E.). This location was the royal residence of Ahab and Jezebel. This is where Jezebel was thrown from her palace and was eaten by dogs, were Gideon chose 300 at the spring of Harod and where Kings Saul camped before the battle at Gilboa. The continued excavations at Samaria have unearthed evidence of the impact of Queen Jezebel had on her citizens. Since her introduction of Baal some of the citizenry themselves chose to carry the same name as part of their original name. On a number of potsherds (Ostraca) that have been unearthed from Samaria and name Baal has appeared. For example on one potsherds for the tax revenue record reads, "in the 10th year, to Gaddiyau, from Azah, Abibaal 2, Ahaz 2, Sheba 1, Meribaal 1." These potsherds D2 775 B.C.E. almost 80 years after the death of Ahab and Jezebel. The palace where Jezebel died measured anywhere from 140 to 350 meters and 35 meters wide-it included a moat (Source: Bible and Spade, Summer 1993).
 
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  Jezebel: Biblical Archaeology Review March/April of 1983 covered the story of the "seal of Jezebel" artifact which reads in paleo-Hebrew words..yzbl (Jezebel).
 
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 Jehu (2 Kings 9): The Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser was uncovered in 1846 in Iraq by A.H. Layard at Nimrud. The obelisk recounts the tribute he received from the five kings, one of them being Jehu, "at that time I received the tribute of the inhabitants of Tyre, Sidon, and of Jehu, son of Omri." (Note: Jehu was not the direct descendent of Omri but the title refers to succession of power not blood relation). Panel two of the obelisk reads, "the tribute of Jehu. son of Omri: I received from him silver, gold, a gold saplu-bowl, a golden vase with a pointed bottom..."
 
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Jehoash the Samarian: The Stela of Adad-Nirari III was uncovered in Iraq in 1967. This artifact concerns Jehoash's military contact with
the Syria.
 
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The Moabite (Mesha) Stone: An Arab sheik had in his possession the stone and showed it to a German missionary by the name of Klein in 1868 in Dhibon, Jordan. An attempt was made to buy the artifact from the Arabs but a dispute broke out. The Arabs believed that the stone was valuable and decided to break it apart and divide up the fragments which they believed would bless their crops. Fortunately a French archaeologist was able to make an impression of the stone before it was destroyed. It was re-created and is now on display in the Louvre in Paris. This artifact commemorates Mesha, the king of Moab's revolt against the dynasty of Omri. This artifact also mentions the God of Moab (Chemosh) and Jehovah the God of the Israelites and references David.
 
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Chemosh, god of Moab is mentioned on the Moabite Stone 11 times. (Lines 3,5,9,11-12, 12-13, 14, 17, 17-18, 32, 33).
 
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Biblical towns mentioned on the Moabite Stone: "I am Mesha...the Dibonite" (line 1). Dhibon was excavated 1950-1956, 1965. A city wall, gateway and large podium (supported the Royal Quarter ). A text was also found that refers to the "temple of Chemosh.” Isaiah 15:2.
 
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Jeremiahs predicts: "Dibon goes up to its temple, to its high places to weep." (Jer. 48:18, 48:21-22) > Jeremiahs predicts the foritified cities of Dibon will be a ruin.Baal Meon (lines 29-31) on the Mesha Stone > (Sources: Bible and Spade, Joseph Free).
 
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Baal Meon (Jer. 48:23): Baal Meon will be judged according to Jeremiah. Baal Meon is possible 5 miles from modern Madaba, Jordan. This "And i built..the temple of Baal Meon; i established there...the sheep of the land." (Source: Bible and Spade, Joseph Free, Blaiklock)
 
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2 Kings 3:4: "Now Mesha king of Moab raised sheep. and he had to supply the king of Israel with 100,000 lambs with the wool of 100,000 rams."
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Kiriathaim (lines 9-10) and the Mesha Stone: Kiriathaim was prophesied by Jeremiah that it would be disgraced and captured (Jer. 48:1). Jeremiah also mentioned Kiriathaim in 25:9.
 
"And i built Kiriathaim" (lines 9-11) and other biblical parallels...
 
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"And the men of Gad had dwelt in the land of Ataroth from of old" (lines 10-14): Numbers 32:3-4, 34, 36. Attarus or Ataroth is still unexcavated as of this 1996 publication but its probably 8 miles NW of Dhibon.
 
"And Chemosh said to me: Go! Take Nebo against Israel" (line 14).Isaiah 15:2, Jer. 48:1.

 "And the king of Israel had built Jahaz" (lines 18-19). Numbers 21: 21-31,  Jer. 48:21. 
 
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Archaeological site: Khirbet Medieneyah (10 miles SE of Madaba is probably the location."
"I built Aroer, and made the highway through the Arnon"  line 26). Deut. 2:3-6, Jer. 48: 19-20.
 
Archaeological site: Aroer was a border fortress in the Mtns. it was excavated between 1964 and 1966. Some of the fortress has been uncovered.
 
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"I built Beth Bamoth, for it was destroyed" (line 27 Numbers 22, Joshua 13: 17. Archae. site: location unknown.
 
f"And i built Bezer, for it was in ruins" (line 27) (Jer. 48:24): possibly Bozrah. Archae site: location unknown.
 
"And i built the temple of Medeba" (lines 29-30)Numbers 21:30, Joshua 13:9, 16. Isaiah 15:2. Archae. site: modern daY Madaba, Jordan.
 
"And i built...the temple of Diblaten" (lines 29-30)Numbers 33:46-47. Archae site: probably located 10 miles NE of Dhibon, Jordan.
 
(Source: Bible/Spa 1996)
 
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Sargon / Khorsabad of Isaiah 20:1-1: In the year that the supreme commander, sent by Sargon king of Assyria, came to Ashdod and attacked and captured it. Sargon II records (721 BCE): Sargon II like Tigleth-Pileser before him referred to the land as "Omri-land" in 721 bc. After this Assyrian King captured Samaria and the citizens were taken captive. "I conquered and sacked the towns of Shinuhtu and Samaria, and all Omri-land.” Sargon II's name was found on a seal from Khorsabad.
 
Sargon and Khorsabad:  Sargon, King of Assyria's Palace has been found 12 miles north of ancint Ninevah. The Palace, which was discovered in 1848 by a French consular agent, resides on about 25 acres and the walls of the Palace are anywhere from 9 to 16 feet thick. Later in 1925 a large stone winged bull was discovered at Khorsabad. The bull is 16 feet long, 16 feet high is currently on display at the Louvre Musem in Paris.
 
Sargon goes against Ashdod:  In Isaiah 20:1 the city of Ashdod was contronted by Sargon II. This event is recorded in the records of Sargon where he states, “Azuru, king of Ashdod, plotted in his heart to withold tribute and sent messages of hostility to the Kings around him..Against Ashdod, his royal city, I advanced in haste.”  (Source: Joseph Free)
 
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Isaiah confront the vain women of his day: Excavations at Keriath Sepher has shed light upon the verses 16-24 of Isaiah chapter 6. A vanity palette was uncovered at the site which reveals the true vain women that Isaiah addressed with the  “mincing walks,” “outstretched necks” and the “flirting eyes.) (Source: Joseph Free’s “Archaeology and Bible History”).
 
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Tigleth Pileser (ruled 754-727 BCE) ....
 
  • Biography
  • Founder of the Neo-Assyrian Empire
  • Reorganized the Assyrian army and was an administrative reformer.
  • Through the military he turned many countries into Assyrian provinces.
  • Practiced mass deportation of peoples and put other peoples in the cities
  • Took Syria and Phoenicia in about 740 BCE
  • Received tributes from Rezin, king of Damascus and Menahem, king of Israel.
 
 
Tigleth-Pilesers name was found on the (Aramaic) Bar-Rakkab stele from Zinjirli. This was carved during or shortly after his reign.
 
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Shalmaneser V ruled from 726-722 BCE. Hoshea, king of Israel rebeled against Shalmaneser in 724 BCE and Hoshea is taken prisoner and he laid seige to Samaria and it fell (722 BCE. The seige of Samaria is recorded in the Babylonian Chronicles and Sargon II's Palace.
 
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Hezekiah and the Siloam inscription: In 2 Kings 20:20 the Bible records that Hezekiah created a pool and conduit to get water into the city of Jerusalem. The tunnel itself may contain an inscription recorded by the ones who dug the tunnel for the King. In 1880 the Siloam inscription was found and was translatd by archaeologists that say that it records the tunnel as being 1200 cubits long (1800 feet long). The place where the two diggers met can still be seen as well as the direction of the pick marks used to created the tunnel.
 
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Deuteronomy in the Foundation: When the Temple was being repaired during the reign of Josiah, Hilkiah the Priest relayed to Shaphan the scribe that he had found the Book of the Law (2 Kings 22:8). The Book of the Law that Hilkiah found was probably placed in the foundation of the Temple (as was the custom) to preserve the records in the days of Solomon. Archaeolology has discovered this practice of uncovering records in foundations was a favorite of Nabonidas (Father of Belshazzar) Nabonidas writes about his work at the temple of Shamash at  Sippar (Mesopotamia).” He writes…”When I brought out Shamash from within it, and made him dwell in another house, that house I  tore down, and I made a search for its old foundation record; and I dug to a depth of 18 cubits,and the foundation record of Naram-Sin, the son of Sargon I, which for 3200 years no king that preceded me had discovered.”
  
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King Josiah destroys paganism: In 2 Kings 22-23 and 2 Chronicles 34-35 the Bible says that King Josah restores worship the True God and rids the land of Paganism. Archaeology reveals Josiah's actions > at En Hatzeva in the Arabah an Edomite cult center was discovered in which idols and ashlar blocks were "intentionally" destroyed. The excavation site was discovered by Rudolf Cohen and Yigael Yisrael (best my knowledge in 1996) it was dated to the late 7th Century BCE, the time of Josiah. Proof of Josiahs reform.
 
The death of King Josiah explained (2 Kings 23:29): For some time, people have been puzzled as to why Josiah went out against Neco, the king of Egypt who went out to stop the Assyrians, a long time enemy of Israel and Judah. A clay table now in the British Musem has the answer. The tablet says that Neco went out to aid and not stop the Assyrians. Josiah not wanting anyone to aid their enemy (Assyrians) went to Megiddo to stop Neco and was killed there. The word translated “against” in the 2 Kings passage can also be translated as “on behalf of.”
 
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Jehoaichim, the 18th King of Judah, came to the throne April 22, 597 bc (2 Kings 24:6-16) after the death of his father Jehoiakim. His reign lasted only 3 months due to his deportation at the hands of Nebuchadnezzar in 597 bc. The name Jehoiachim was discovered at Tell Beit-Mirsim, 13 miles southwest of Hebron. The work at Tell Beit-Mirsim (biblical Keriath Sepher) under William Albright and M.G. Carter lasted from 1926-1932. Two stamped jar handles were found. They read, “ Belonging to Eliakim steward of  Yokin.” Yokin is shortened form of the name Jehoaichim. The same inscription was also found at Beth - Shemesh in 1930. Another clay tablet that has been found at Babylon says says, “Jehoiachin the king of the land of Judah.” (Free). The people of Babylon still believed him to be the king of Judah.
 
 
After Jehoiachim was exiled to Babylon he remained there as a political prisoner for 37 years. Jehoiachim was then released, in a matter of speaking, by Evil-Merodoch, king of Babylon and was given a food allowance for the rest of his life. This food allowance is chronicled on a list that was discovered at Babylon in which Yokim (Jehoiachim) and his 5 sons are listed as recievers of this food.
 
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Zedekiah, 19th King of Judah (2 Kings 24:17): Based upon known Chronologies we can date to the day some events of the Bible including the events that surrounded the reign of Zedekiah, 19th King of Judah. In the 9th year of the reign of Zedekiah we know that Nebuchadnezzar invaded Judah (588 BCE). On January 15, 588 bc Nebuchadnezzar laid seige to Jerusalem. On July 18, 586 bc Jerusalem fell to the Babylonians (2 Kings 25:1-4) and on August 14th the final destruction of the city came. The Bible, as a historical record, can be challenged but has never failed to answer the questions of the critic. It should understood that many critics aren't necessarily interested in answers and may not be swayed by any answer no matter how sound or convincing.
 
 
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The Fall of Assyria in the words of Ashurbanipal: The last of the great Assyrian Kings, Ashurbanipal reigned from 668-627 b.c. Based upon his extensively library found at Ninevah  (where the Babylonian account of the Flood was discovered) we can conclude that he knew Assyrias days were numbered. On a clay tablet Ashurbanipal writes...“…Enmity in the land, strife in the house, do not depart from my side. Disturbances, evil words are continually arrayed against me. Distress of the soul, distress of the body have bowed my form. Ispend my days sighing and lamenting…Death is making an end to me, is weighing me down.” After the death of Ashurbanipal his capital (Ninevah) fell to the Medes, Persians and Scythians in 612 BCE.
 
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Biblical Lachish: “we are watching the signals of Lachish according to all indications my Lord hath given , for we cannot see Azekah.” During the time of Jeremiah, the Babylonian army was conquering one city after another in Judah except for Azekah and Lachish (Jer. 34:7). The quote that was just read is from the Lachish Letters (no.4) that was sent from an officer to his superior. The letter shows the tightening of the noose by the Babylonians as well as the connection between the two biblical cities.
 
Biblical names found in the Lachish letters: The Lachish Letters were written during the time of Jeremiah. These letters (found in 1935) contain the names of biblical characters such as Jeremiah, Jaazaniah (Jer. 35:3), Gemariah (Jer. 36:10), Neriah (Jer. 36:4) as well as Maataniah. Supporting the existence of the characters and if anything that those names did exist during the time of the prophet.
 
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Lachish, Sennacharib and Nebuchadnezzar: Lachish was first excavated in 1932 under J.L. Starkey and continued until 1938 where it was resumed by Yohanan Aharoni in 1966 and in 1973 by David Ussushkin. Level III has been determined to be the excavation level that Sennacharib attacked. Lachish at the time of Sennacharib was a huge garrison surrounded by battlements. After the city was conquered, it was burned. It's believed that King Josiah rebuilt Lachish because it was quite formidable when Nebuchadnezzar attacked in 598 bc.Also found..arrowheads, Assyrian bronzxe helmet crest, spearhead: indicators of the conflict. (Blaiklock). A 90 ft. mural of the defeat of Lachish was found at Sennacharibs Palace at Ninevah by Henry Layard.
 
During the excavations of 1935, Starkey found eighteen ostraca from the Babylonian level in a layer of ash from the time of the Babylonian conquest of city. These ostraca were located between the inner and outer gates in a guardroom. Burned olive pits were also found quite possibly from the time of  the Chaldeans who breached the wall in 589 bc.
 
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Sennacharib's failure to capture Judah: Sennacharibs attempt at taking Jerusalem was to say the least a failure. The death of the 185,000 at the hand of the “angel of lord” may very well have been the result of the bubonic plague as is believed by Dr. Clyde Billington of Northwestern College. Sennacharib himself has written that he didn't take the city of Jerusalem and this is recorded on 2 inscriptions: The Oriental Institute Cylinder as well as the Taylor Cylinder which was discovered by J.E. Taylor at Ninevah in 1830. Both cylinders are strickingly similar in their wording concerning Hezekiah. “As for himself, like a bird in a cage, in his royal city Jerusalem, i shut him up.” (2 Kings 19). (Joseph Free)
 
Sennacharibs death: Esarhaddon (Sennacharibs successor)  writes of the death of his father at the hands of his two brothers (2 Kings 19:37, Isaiah 37:38) in this inscription. The inscription says..”In the month of Nisanu…. I made my joyful entrance in the royal palace…A firm determination fell upon my brothers. They forsook the gods and turned deeds of violence, plotting evil. To gain the kingship they slew Sennacharib, their father.” (Free)
 
The Officers of Sennacharib (2 Kings 18:13-17)
Now in the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and seized them. Then Hezekiah king of Judah sent to the king of Assyria at Lachish, saying, "I have done wrong. Withdraw from me; whatever you impose on me I will bear." So the king of Assyria required of Hezekiah king of Judah three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold. Hezekiah gave him all the silver which was found in the house of the LORD, and in the treasuries of the king's house.
At that time Hezekiah cut off the gold from the doors of the temple of the LORD, and from the doorposts which Hezekiah king of Judah had overlaid, and gave it to the king of Assyria. Then the king of Assyria sent Tartan and Rab-saris and Rabshakeh from Lachish to King Hezekiah with a large army to Jerusalem. So they went up and came to Jerusalem. And when they went up, they came and stood by the conduit of the upper pool, which is on the highway of the fuller's field.
 
Excavations at Babylon have spread light on the names pertaining to the officers under Sennacharib. 2 Kings 18:17 contains three specific titles: Tartan, Rabsaris and Rab-Shakeh..
  • Tartan: the 2nd in command, a field marshall.
  • Rabsaris: Chief Officer
  • Rab-Shakeh: Chief Eunuch.
 
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Jonah and the great fish/whale: Is it physically possible to Jonah could have been swallowed by a whale or large fish and have survived? What would be the chances of surviving inside the fish/whale? In J. Carl Laney's book "Answers to Tough Questions" he writes that whales, being air breathing mammals, have in their heads a large air storage chamber. The chamber is an enlargement of the nasal sinus and, in a large whale, can be as large as 14' x 8', and 7 feet high. This amounts to 686 cubic ft. of space. It is possible someone could survive for three days and three nights in such a chamber. If the whale takes in an object too big to swallow, it thrusts it up into the air chamber. If it finds that it has a large object in its head, its swims for the nearest land, lies in shallow water, and ejects it. It is also reported that a sperm whale ejects the contents of its stomach such as what happened to Jonah.
 
Jonah at Nineveh: when Jonah entered the city of Nineveh it was more than likely during the tumultuous reign of Assur-Dan III (772-755 BCE) in which famines, revolts and plagues were hitting the city. What better time for a prophet to proclaim  God's judgment and redemption at such a difficult time.
 
Jonah 3:7-9  > Similarities in Jonah 3 and an Assur-Dan correspondence (below):
 
Jonah 3:7-9: > "By the decree of the king and his nobles:
 
Do not let any man or beast, herd or flock, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink. 8 But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. 9 Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish."
 
Assur-Dan to Mannu Ki-Assur (Gov. of Gozan) >
  
“Decree of the King. You and all the people, your land, your meadows will mourn and pray for three days before the God Adad and repent. You will perform purification rights so that there may be rest.”
 
Noted similarities...
  • Introduction (refers to King and people).
  • Refers to people and beasts ( lands and meadows may also refer to the beasts that graze on them).
  • Mourn and Pray before a God with repentence (giving up their evil ways).
  • Sackcloth and Purification rights.
  • God in both will accept repentence.
  •  
 
Nineveh fails to repent the second time: The evidence for Nineveh was overrun of 612 B.C.E. by the Babylonians and Medes was uncovered by PE Botta and later by Austen Layard. This excavation began in 1842 then continued through 1845 and was resumed later by Campbell Thompson in his 1927 to 1932 digs. David Stronach from the University of California-Berkeley excavated between 1980 and 1990. Winged bull statues and a mud brick wall was found. Under the wall skeletons were exhumed of those in defense of the city. Some bodies still remain unearthed. (Source: Bible and Spade, Joseph Free).