NINEVEH was the capital of the Assyrian Empire. It was a mighty city with magnificent palaces and temples, broad streets, and massive walls. The Hebrew prophet Nahum referred to it as “the city of bloodshed.”—Nahum 3:1.
That was an apt description, for reliefs from Sennacherib’s palace in Nineveh attest to Assyrian cruelty.
Assyriologist Archibald Henry Sayce describes the barbarities that followed the capture of a town: “Boys and girls were burned alive or reserved for a worse fate; men were impaled, flayed alive, blinded, or deprived of their hands and feet, of their ears and noses.”
After the reign of King Solomon, the 12-tribe nation of Israel was split. Judah and Benjamin formed the southern kingdom; and the other ten tribes, the northern kingdom. Jerusalem was the capital of the southern kingdom, and Samaria was the capital of the northern.
In the year 740 B.C.E., Assyria conquered Samaria, the capital of the norhern kingdom of Israel, and took its people into exile. Eight years later, Assyria invaded Judah. (2Kings 18:13)
About a hundred years before the fall of the Assyrian Empire, Isaiah declared that Jehovah God would call those proud conquerors to account for their insolence toward his people:”I shall make an accounting for the fruitage of the insolence of the heart of the king of Assyria and for the self-importance of his loftiness of eyes,” Jehovah said. (Isaiah 10:12) Furthermore, God’s prophet Nahum foretold that Nineveh would be plundered, its gates would be opened to its enemies, and its guards would flee. (Nahum 2:8, 9; 3:7, 13, 17, 19) The Bible prophet Zephaniah wrote that the city would become “a desolate waste.”—Zephaniah 2:13-15.
Those prophecies of destruction were fulfilled in 632 B.C.E. That is when Nineveh fell to the combined forces of the Babylonians and the Medes, bringing the Assyrian Empire to an inglorious end. A Babylonian chronicle of that event states that the conquerors “carried off the vast booty of the city and the temple” and turned Nineveh “into a ruin heap.” Today the desolate waste that was once Nineveh is marked by mounds of ruins on the east bank of the Tigris River, opposite the city of Mosul, in Iraq.
Accurate history and prophecy put the Bible in a class of its own, demonstrating to those sincerely searching for the truth that it is indeed a book worthy of our trust.
Nineveh, Kuyunjik, Iraq. View from near the northwest corner of the city wall looking south. Western city wall and Mashki gate are on the right. (Photo April 1990) — Wikipedia.
Photo Credit: (Photo at top of article) Tiglath Pileser III besieging a town.—Wikipedia.