The Assyrian Empire is important to biblical history for devastation the kingdom of Israel and taking the 10 northern tribes into captivity in 722 BC.
The Assyrian Empire began to arise around 1270 BC, in the area far north on the Tigris River after the fall of Chaldea. The first capital of Assyria was Assur. Nimrod was the capital of ancient Assyria. Then Nineveh became capital, during the reign of king Sennacherib. Nineveh soon became one of the largest cities of the ancient Near East. At the height the Assyrian Empire the kingdom embraced the lands of the northern Tigris, Armenia, Media, Babylonia, Elam, Mesopotamia, Syria, Israel, Judah, and the northern portion of Egypt. The city of Nineveh was finally destroyed by the Medes and Babylonians in 625 BC.
Assurnasirpal II (883-859 BC) A cruel warrior king, he made Assyria into the most fierce fighting machine of ancient world.
Shalmaneser III (859-824 BC) His reign was marked by almost constant war. He was the first Assyrian king to invade Israel. King Ahab fought against him, and King Jehu paid him tribute in 841 BC. Two of his monuments name rulers from Old Tesatment: The Black Obelisk names Jehu son of Omri. The Kurkh Monolith names King Ahab, in reference to the Battle of Qarqar.
Shalmaneser IV (783-772 BC) Very little information about his reign has survived.
Assur-dan III (772-755 BC) Succeeded his brother Shalmaneser IV. The little information about this ruler reveals Assyria being in a period of decline.
Assur-nirari V (755-745 BC) Succeeded his brother Assur-dan III. There is very little information about his reign. The king of Urartu boasted of a victory over this king of Assyria in an inscription.
Tiglath-Pileser III (Pul) (745-727 BC) Seized the throne from Assur-nirari V. He restored Assyria to a major world power. He is the “Pul” mentioned in the Bible and the one who began to destroy Samaria, the capital of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. He carried many away into captivity. This captivity is mentioned in his own inscriptions, the Babylonian Chronicle. Biblical records describe how Tiglath-Pileser III exacted 1,000 talents of silver as tribute from King Menahem (2 Kings 15:19) and later defeated his successor Pekah (2 Kings 15:29). Pekah had allied with Rezin, king of the Arameans against Ahaz (King of Judah), who responded by appealing for the Assyrian monarch’s help with the Temple gold and silver. Tiglath-Pileser answered swiftly. He first marched his army down the eastern Mediterranean coast, taking coastal cities all the way to Egypt. This cut off his enemies’ access to the sea. Once this was achieved, he returned to the Northern Kingdom of Israel, destroyed their army, and deported their people (1 Chronicles 5:26). He then installed an Israelite puppet king, Hoshea in the place of Pekah.
Shalmaneser V (727-722 BC) He besieged Samaria, the capital of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. The city’s fall ended the northern Kingdom of Israel, and nearly thirty thousand Israelites were deported and resettled across the Assyrian Empire. This specific resettlement resulted in the famous loss of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel.
Sargon II (722-705 BC) He completed the destruction of Samaria and the captivity of Israel. He was also famous for his magnificent palace with his colossal winged guardians.
Sennacherib (705-681 B.C.) He was the most famous of the Assyrian kings. He mentions the name of Hezekiah on his prism during his war campaigns, he claimed to have “Hezekiah captured in his own royal city (Jerusalem) like a caged bird.” His army was defeated at the gates of Jerusalem by the Angel of the Lord. Sennacherib returned to Nineveh and was killed violently by his own son. He also conquered Babylon.
Esar-haddon (681-669 BC) He rebuilt Babylon, invaded and conquered Egypt by crossing over the Sinai Desert with Arab camels carrying water for his army, and was one of Assyria’s greatest kings. He died fighting Egypt.
Ashurbanipal (668-631 BC) He destroyed the Thebes in Egypt and created the first systematically organized library, a collection of over 30,000 clay tablets. He is considered the last great king of Assyria.
Ashur-etil-ilani (631-627 BC) It was under his reign that the Assyrian Empire fell.
- Wikipedia: List of Assyrian Kings (scroll down to Neo Assyrian Kings).
- Bible Atlas: Nineveh
- Bible Atlas: Assyria
- Bible Atlas: Samaria
- Chronology of Ezra-Nehemiah
- 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia: Tiglath-Pileser
- American Tract Society Dictionary: Tiglath-Pileser
- Bridgeway Bible Dictionary: ..
- Easton’s Bible Dictionary: Tiglath-Pileser III.
- Fausset Bible Dictionary: Tiglath Pileser
- Holman Bible Dictionary: Tiglath-Pileser
- Hastings’ Dictionary of the Bible: Tiglath-Pileser
- Kitto’s Popular Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature: Tiglath-Pileser
- Morrish Bible Dictionary: Tiglathpileser, Tilgathpilneser
- International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: Tiglath-Pileser
- McClintock and Strong: Tiglath-Pileser
Maps – Holman Bible Atlas
- The Rise of Assyria
- Israel & Judah in the days of Jeroboam II and Uzziah
- The Assyrian Empire under Tiglath-Pileser III
- The Syro-Ephraimite War
- Tiglath-Pileser III’s Campaigns
- Fall of Samaria and Deportation of Israelites
- The Fall of the Kingdom of Israel
- Assyrian Districts after the Fall of Samaria
- Assyria in the 7thC BC
Maps Insight for Living
Assyria is mentioned 130 times in 119 verses in the Old Testament
Gen 2:14; Gen 10:11; Gen 25:18; 2Ki 15:19; 2Ki 15:20; 2Ki 15:29; 2Ki 16:7; 2Ki 16:8; 2Ki 16:9; 2Ki 16:10; 2Ki 16:18; 2Ki 17:3; 2Ki 17:4; 2Ki 17:5; 2Ki 17:6; 2Ki 17:23; 2Ki 17:24; 2Ki 17:26; 2Ki 17:27; 2Ki 18:7; 2Ki 18:9; 2Ki 18:11; 2Ki 18:13; 2Ki 18:14; 2Ki 18:16; 2Ki 18:17; 2Ki 18:19; 2Ki 18:23; 2Ki 18:28; 2Ki 18:30; 2Ki 18:31; 2Ki 18:33; 2Ki 19:4; 2Ki 19:6; 2Ki 19:8; 2Ki 19:10; 2Ki 19:11; 2Ki 19:17; 2Ki 19:20; 2Ki 19:32; 2Ki 19:36; 2Ki 20:6; 2Ki 23:29; 1Ch 5:6; 1Ch 5:26; 2Ch 28:16; 2Ch 28:20; 2Ch 28:21; 2Ch 30:6; 2Ch 32:1; 2Ch 32:4; 2Ch 32:7; 2Ch 32:9; 2Ch 32:10; 2Ch 32:11; 2Ch 32:21; 2Ch 32:22; 2Ch 33:11; Ezr 4:2; Ezr 6:22; Neh 9:32; Isa 7:17; Isa 7:18; Isa 7:20; Isa 8:4; Isa 8:7; Isa 10:5; Isa 10:12; Isa 11:11; Isa 11:16; Isa 19:23; Isa 19:24; Isa 19:25; Isa 20:1; Isa 20:4; Isa 20:6; Isa 23:13; Isa 27:13; Isa 36:1; Isa 36:2; Isa 36:4; Isa 36:8; Isa 36:13; Isa 36:15; Isa 36:16; Isa 36:18; Isa 37:4; Isa 37:6; Isa 37:8; Isa 37:10; Isa 37:11; Isa 37:18; Isa 37:21; Isa 37:33; Isa 37:37; Isa 38:6; Jer 2:18; Jer 2:36; Jer 50:17; Jer 50:18; Lam 5:6; Eze 23:7; Eze 31:3; Eze 32:22; Hos 5:13; Hos 7:11; Hos 8:9; Hos 9:3; Hos 10:6; Hos 11:5; Hos 11:11; Hos 12:1; Hos 14:3; Mic 5:6; Mic 7:12; Nah 3:18; Zep 2:13; Zec 10:10; Zec 10:11.