Of Production, Trade, Profit and Destruction: An Economic Interpretation of Sennacherib’s Third Campaign

in Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient
Restricted Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?

Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.


Have Institutional Access?

Access content through your institution. Any other coaching guidance?


Sennacherib’s campaign to the southern Levant in 701 bc is an extensively studied episode in the Neo-Assyrian period. Nevertheless, despite the abundance of sources, the existing scholarship has left several questions unanswered. Furthermore, although economic growth is suggested to have been a motor behind Neo-Assyrian expansion, current interpretations of the campaign do not consider this to have been its main goal. This article will present an analysis focussing particularly on this economic motive, an analysis that requires an alternative interpretation of the Neo-Assyrian royal inscriptions. The outcome sheds a new light not only on Assyrian confrontations with Egypt in the late 8th-century bc southern Levant but also on Judah’s and Gaza’s roles in the events, revealing altogether a world of long-distance trade.

Of Production, Trade, Profit and Destruction: An Economic Interpretation of Sennacherib’s Third Campaign

in Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient



AharoniY. Excavations at Tel Beer-sheba The Biblical Archaeologist 1972 35 4 111 127

AharoniY. The Land of the Bible. A Historical Geography 1979 2nd ed. Philadelphia Westminster John Knox Press

AmarZ. Agricultural Realia in Light of the Lachish Relief Ugarit-Forschungen 1999 31 1 11

BaggA.M. Die Assyrer und das Westland 2011 Leuven Peeters

BaggA.M. Palestine under Assyrian Rule. A New Look at the Assyrian Imperial Policy in the West Journal of the American Oriental Society 2013 133 1 119 144

BarnettR.D.FalknerM. The Sculptures of Aššur-naṣir-apli ii (883-859 bc) Tiglath-pileser iii (745-727 bc) Esarhaddon (681-669 bc) from the Central and South-West Palaces at Nimrud 1962 London Trustees of British Museum

BedfordP.R. MorrisI.ScheidelW. The Neo-Assyrian Empire The Dynamics of Ancient Empires. State Power from Assyria to Byzantium 2009 Oxford Oxford University Press 30 65

Ben-ShlomoD. Tell Jemmeh, Philistia and the Neo-Assyrian Empire during the Late Iron Age Levant 2014 46 1 58 88

BernbeckR. Imperialist Networks: Ancient Assyria and the United States Present Pasts 2010 2 1 142 168 doi:10.5334/pp30

BlakelyJ.A.HardinJ.W. Southwestern Judah in the Late Eighth Century bce. Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 2002 326 11 64

BlakelyJ.A.HardinJ.W.MasterD.M. SpencerJ.R.MullinsR.A.BrodyA.J. The Southwestern Border of Judah in the Ninth and Eighth Centuries bce. Material Culture Matters. Essays on the Archaeology of the Southern Levant in Honor of Seymour Gitin 2014 Winona Lake Eisenbrauns 33 51

BottaP.E.FlandinE.N. Monument de Ninivé vol. 2: Architecture et Sculpture 1972 Osnabrück Biblio Verlag (reprint of edition Paris 1846-1850)

BruggeC. van derKleberK. Moreno GarcíaJ. C. The Empire of Trade and the Empires of Force. Tyre in the Neo-Assyrian and Neo-Babylonian Periods Dynamics of Production in the Ancient Near East 1300-500 bc 2016 Oxford Oxbow Books 187 222

CoganM. Judah under Assyrian Hegemony: a Reexamination of Imperialism and Religion Journal of Biblical Literature 1993 112 3 403 414

CoganM. KalimiI.RichardsonS. Cross-examining the Assyrian Witnesses to Sennacherib’s Third Campaign: Assessing the Limits of Historical Reconstruction Sennacherib at the Gates of Jerusalem. Story History and Historiography 2014 Leiden Brill 51 74

DalleyS. Foreign Chariotry and Cavalry in the Armies of Tiglath-pileser iii and Sargon ii Iraq 1985 47 31 48

DalleyS. Recent Evidence from Assyrian Sources for Judaean History from Uzziah to Manasseh Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 2004 28 4 387 401

DeverW.G. Solomonic and Assyrian Period ‘Palaces’ at Gezer Israel Exploration Journal 1985 35 4 217 230

DubovskýP. Hezekiah and the Assyrian Spies. Reconstruction of the Neo-Assyrian Intelligence Services and its Significance for 2 Kings 18-19 2006 Roma Editrice Pontificio Instituto Biblico

EhrlichC.S. Coalition Politics in Eighth Century bce Palestine: The Philistines and the Syro-Ephraimite War Zeitschrift des Deutschen Palästina Vereins 1991 107 48 58

EhrlichC.S. The Philistines in Transition. A History from ca. 1000-730 bce. 1996 Leiden Brill

ElatM. The Economic Relations of the Neo-Assyrian Empire with Egypt Journal of the American Oriental Society 1978 98 20 34

ElatM. Der Tamkāru im neuassyrischen Reich Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 1987 30 233 254

EvansP.S. The Invasion of Sennacherib in the Book of Kings. A Source-Critical and Rhetorical Study of 2 Kings 18-19 2009 Leiden Brill

FalesF.M. Assyrian Royal Inscriptions: Newer Horizons State Archives of Assyria Bulletin 1999-2001 13 115 144

FalesF.M. LuukkoM.SvärdS.MattilaR. “To Speak Kindly to him/them” as Item of Assyrian Political Discourse Of God(s) Trees Kings and Scholars. Neo-Assyrian and Related Studies in Honour of Simo Parpola 2009 Helsinki Finnish Oriental Society 27 39

FalesF.M. KalimiI.RichardsonS. The Road to Judah: 701 bce in the Context of Sennacherib’s Political-Military Strategy Sennacherib at the Gates of Jerusalem. Story History and Historiography 2014 Leiden Brill 223 248

FalesF.M. PolitiG. Il caso dell’Assiria. L’ascesa storica verso uno status elezionista Popoli eletti. Storia di un viaggio oltre la storia Atti del convegno di Venezia 27-29 giugno 2012 2015 Venezia Unicopli 35 48

FantalkinA.FinkelsteinI. The Sheshonq i Campaign and the 8th-Century bce Earthquake—More on the Archaeology and History of the South in the Iron i-iia Tel Aviv 2006 33 18 42

FaustA. Settlement and Demography in Seventh-Century Judah and the Extent and Intensity of Sennacherib’s Campaign Palestine Exploration Quarterly 2008 140 3 168 194

FaustA. The Shephelah in the Iron Age: a new Look on the Settlement of Judah Palestine Exploration Quarterly 2013 145 3 203 219

FinkelsteinI. Tell El-Ful Revisited: the Assyrian and Hellenistic Periods (with a New Identification) Palestine Exploration Quarterly 2011 143 2 106 118

FinkelsteinI.Na’amanN. The Judahite Shephelah in the late 8th and early 7th Centuries bce. Tel Aviv 2004 31 60 79

FrameG. The Inscription of Sargon ii at Tang-i Var Orientalia 1999 68 31 57

FranklinN. The Room V Reliefs at Dur-Sharrukin and Sargon ii’s Western Campaigns Tel Aviv 1994 21 255 275

FuchsA. Die Inschriften Sargons ii aus Khorsabad 1994 Göttingen Cuvillier Verlag

FuchsA. Die Annalen des Jahres 711 v. Chr. 1998 Helsinki The Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project

FuchsA. MeißnerB.SchmittO.SommerM. War das Neuassyrische Reich ein Militärstaat? Krieg—Gesellschaft—Institutionen. Beiträge zu einer vergleichenden Kriegsgeschichte 2005 Berlin Akademie Verlag 35 60

GaddC.J. Inscribed Prisms of Sargon ii from Nimrud Iraq 1954 16 173 201

GallagherW.R. Sennacherib’s Campaign to Judah 1999 Leiden Brill

GitinS. Gezer iii. A Ceramic Typology of the Late Iron ii Persian and Hellenistic Periods of Tell Gezer 1990a Jerusalem Hebrew Union College

GitinS. Ekron of the Philistines. Part ii: Olive-Oil Suppliers to the World Biblical Archaeology Review 1990b 16 2 32 42

GitinS. ParpolaS.WhitingR.M. The Neo-Assyrian Empire and its Western Periphery: The Levant, with a Focus on Philistine Ekron Assyria 1995 1997 Helsinki The Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project 77 103

GrabbeL.L. Like a Bird in a Cage. The Invasion of Sennacherib in 701 bce 2003a Sheffield Sheffield Academic Press

GrabbeL.L. GrabbeL.L. Introduction Like a Bird in a Cage. The Invasion of Sennacherib in 701 bce 2003b Sheffield Sheffield Academic Press 2 43

GraysonA.K.NovotnyJ. The Royal Inscriptions of Sennacherib King of Assyria (704-681 bc) part 1 2012 Winona Lake Eisenbrauns

GrimalN.-C. La Stèle Triomphale de Pi(‘ankh)y au Musée du Caire 1981 Le Caire Institut Français d’Archéologie Orientale

HardinJ.W. ParkerB.J.FosterC.P. Household Archaeology in the Southern Levant: An Example from Iron Age Tell Halif New Perspectives on Household Archaeology 2012 Winona Lake Eisenbrauns 519 556

HardinJ.W. SteinerM.L.KillebrewA.E. Judah during the Iron Age ii Period The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of the Levant c. 8000-332 bce 2014 Oxford Oxford University Press 743 756

HeidornL.A. The Horses of Kush Journal of Near Eastern Studies 1997 56 2 105 114

HerzogZSinger-AvitzL. Redefining the Centre: the Emergence of State in Judah Tel Aviv 2004 31 209 244

JohnsonB.L.StagerL.E. GitinS. Ashkelon: Wine Emporium of the Holy Land Recent Excavations in Israel. A View to the West 1995 Dubuque, Iowa Kendall/Hunt Publ. Cy 95 105

KahnD. The Inscription of Sargon ii at Tang-i Var and the Chronology of Dynasty 25 Orientalia 2001 70 1 18

KahnD. Was there a Co-regency in the 25th Dynasty? Mitteilungen der Sudanarchäologischen Gesellschaft zu Berlin 2006 17 135 141

KalimiI.RichardsonS. Sennacherib at the Gates of Jerusalem. Story History and Historiography 2014 Leiden Brill

KitchenK.A. The Third Intermediate Period in Egypt 1100-650 bc. 1986 Warminster Aris and Phillips Ltd

KletterR. Economic Keystones. The Weight System of the Kingdom of Judah 1998 Sheffield Sheffield Academic Press

LaatoA. Assyrian Propaganda and the Falsification of History in the Royal Inscriptions of Sennacherib Vetus Testamentum 1995 45 198 226

LauingerJ. The Neo-Assyrian adê: Treaty, Oath, or Something Else? Zeitschrift für Altorientalische und Biblische Rechtsgeschichte 2013 19 99 115

Lawson YoungerK.Jr. VaughnA.C.KillebrewA.E. Assyrian Involvement in the Southern Levant at the End of the Eighth Century bce. Jerusalem in Bible and Archaeology. The first Temple Period 2003 Atlanta Society of Biblical Literature 235 263

LayardA.H. Discoveries in the Ruins of Nineveh and Babylon 1853 London John Murray

LehmannG.NiemannH.M. When did the Shephelah Become Judahite? Tel Aviv 2014 41 77 94

LevineL.D. Two Neo-Assyrian Stelae from Iran 1972 Toronto Royal Ontario Museum

LiveraniM. LarsenM.T. The Ideology of the Assyrian Empire Power and Propaganda 1979 Copenhagen Akademisk Forlag 297 317

LiveraniM. SassonJ.M. The Deeds of Ancient Mesopotamian Kings Civilizations of the Ancient Near East 1995 vol. IV New York Scribner 2353 2366

LuckenbillD.D. Azariah of Judah The American Journal of Semitic Languages and Literatures 1925 41 4 217 232

LuckenbillD.D. Ancient Records of Assyria and Babylonia vol. 2: Historical Records of Assyria from Sargon to the End 1927 Chicago University of Chicago Press

LuukkoM. The Correspondence of Tiglath-Pileser iii and Sargon ii from Calah/Nimrud 2012 Helsinki The Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project

MaeirA.M. BerlejungA. Philistia and the Judean Shephelah after Hazael and the “Uzziah Earthquake”. The Power Play between the Philistines, Judahites and Assyrians in the 8th Century bce in Light of the Excavations at Tell eṣ-Ṣafi/Gath Disaster and Relief Management 2012 Tübingen Mohr Siebeck 241 262

MartinW.J. Tribut und Tributleistungen bei den Assyrern 1936 Helsinki Societas Orientalis Fennica

MayerW. Sargons Feldzug gegen Urartu—714 v. Chr Mitteilungen der Deutschen Orient-Gesellschaft 1983 115 65 132

MillardA.R. The Eponyms of the Assyrian Empire 910-612 bc. 1994 Helsinki The Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project

MojeJ. Herrschaftsräume und Herrschaftswissen Ägyptischer Lokalregenten. Soziokulturelle Interaktionen zur Machtkonsolidierung vom 8. bis zum 4. Jahrhundert v. Chr. 2014 Berlin De Gruyter

MumfordG. International relations between Egypt Sinai and Syria-Palestine during the Late Bronze Age to Early Persian Period (Dynasties 18-26: c. 1550-525 bc): A spatial and temporal analysis of the distribution and proportions of Egyptian(izing) artefacts and pottery in Sinai and selected sites in Syria-Palestine 1998 Dissertation University of Toronto

MumfordG. SchneiderT.SzpakowskaK. Egypto-Levantine relations during the Iron Age to early Persian periods (Dynasties late 20 to 26) Egyptian Stories. A British Egyptological Tribute to Alan B. Lloyd on the Occasion of his Retirement 2007 Münster Ugarit-Verlag 225 288

Na’amanN. Sennacherib’s “Letter to God” on his Campaign to Judah Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 1974 214 25 39

Na’amanN. Hezekiah and the Kings of Assyria Tel Aviv 1994 21 235 254

Na’amanN. Siruatti the Me’unite in a second Inscription of Tiglath-pileser iii N.A.B.U. 1997 4 139

Na’amanN. An Assyrian Residence at Ramat Rahel? Tel Aviv 2001 28 260 280

Na’amanN. The Boundary System and Political Status of Gaza under the Assyrian Empire Zeitschrift des Deutschen Palästina-Vereins 2004 120 55 72

Na’amanN.ZadokR. Sargon ii’s Deportations to Israel and Philistia (716-708 bc) Journal of Cuneiform Studies 1988 40 1 36 46

OdedB. The Phoenician Cities and the Assyrian Empire in the Time of Tiglath-pileser iii Zeitschrift des Deutschen Palästina-Vereins 1974 90 38 49

OdedB. War Peace and Empire. Justifications for War in Assyrian Royal Inscriptions 1992 Wiesbaden Reichert Verlag

OppenheimA.L. Essay on Overland Trade in the First Millennium bc. Journal of Cuneiform Studies 1967 21 236 254

ParpolaS. The Correspondence of Sargon ii part i: Letters from Assyria and the West 1987 Helsinki Helsinki University Press

ParpolaS.WatanabeK. Neo-Assyrian Treaties and Loyalty Oaths 1988 Helsinki Helsinki University Press

PopeJ. KalimiI.RichardsonS. Beyond the Broken Reed: Kushite Intervention and the Limits of l’Histoire Événementielle Sennacherib at the Gates of Jerusalem. Story History and Historiography 2014 Leiden Brill 105 160

PostgateJ.N. The Land of Assur and the Yoke of Assur World Archaeology 1992 23 3 247 263

PraticoG.D. Nelson Glueck’s 1938-1940 Excavations at Tell el-Kheleifeh: A Reappraisal Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 1985 259 1 32

PraticoG.D. Where is Ezion-Geber? A Reappraisal of the Site Archaeologist Nelson Glueck Identified as King Solomon’s Red Sea Port Biblical Archaeology Review 1986 12 5 24 35

RadnerK. DercksenJ.G. Traders in the Neo-Assyrian Period Trade and Finance in Ancient Mesopotamia 1999 Leiden NINO 101 126

RadnerK. RollingerR.UlfC. Assyrische Handelspolitik. Die Symbiose mit unabhängigen Handelszentren und ihre Kontrolle durch Assyrien Commerce and Monetary Systems in the Ancient World: Means of Transmission and Cultural Interaction 2004 Wiesbaden Franz Steiner Verlag 152 169

RadnerK. KlinkottH.KubischS.Müller-WollermannR. Abgaben an den König von Assyrien aus dem In- und Ausland Geschenke und Steuern Zölle und Tribute. Antike Abgabenformen in Anspruch und Wirklichkeit 2007 Leiden Brill 213 230

RadnerK. BakerH.KaniuthK.OttoA. After Eltekeh: Royal Hostages from Egypt at the Assyrian Court Stories of Long Ago. Festschrift für Michael D. Roaf 2012 Münster Ugarit Verlag 471 419

RaineyA.F.NotleyR.S. The Sacred Bridge 2006 Jerusalem Carta

ReadeJ. LarsenM.T. Ideology and Propaganda in Assyrian Art Power and Propaganda 1979 Copenhagen Akademisk Forlag 329 343

RedfordD.B. Egypt Canaan and Israel in Ancient Times 1992 Princeton Princeton University Press

RedfordD.B. A Note on the Chronology of Dynasty 25 and the Inscription of Sargon ii at Tang-i Var Orientalia 1999 68 58 60

RobertsJ.J.M. VaughnA.C.KillebrewA.E. Egypt, Assyria, Isaiah and the Ashdod Affair: An Alternative Proposal Jerusalem in Bible and Archaeology. The first Temple Period 2003 Atlanta Society of Biblical Literature 265 283

SharonI. SteinerM.L.KillebrewA.E. Levantine Chronology The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of the Levant c. 8000-332 bce 2014 Oxford Oxford University Press 44 65

Singer-AvitzL. Beersheba—a Gateway Community in Southern Arabian Long-Distance Trade in the Eighth Century bce. Tel Aviv 1999 26 3 75

SodenW. von Grundriss der akkadischen Grammatik 1995 3rd ed Roma Editrice Pontificio Instituto Biblico

SpalingerA.J. The Foreign Policy of Egypt Preceding the Assyrian Conquest Chronique d’Égypte 1978 105 22 47

SpalingerA.J. Notes on the Military in Egypt during the xxvth Dynasty Journal of the Society for the Study of Egyptian Antiquities 1981 11 1 37 58

StarrI. Queries to the Sungod. Divination and Politics in Sargonid Assyria 1990 Helsinki Helsinki University Press

TadmorH. The Campaigns of Sargon ii of Assur: a Chronological-Historical Study Journal of Cuneiform Studies 1958 12 22 40 77 100

TadmorH. Azriyau of Yaudi Scripta Hierosolymitana 1961 8 232 271

TadmorH. Philistia under Assyrian Rule The Biblical Archaeologist 1966 29 86 102

TadmorH. ParpolaS.WhitingR.M. Propaganda, Literature, Historiography: Cracking the Code of the Assyrian Royal Inscriptions Assyria 1995 1997 Helsinki The Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project 325 338

TadmorH.YamadaS. The Royal Inscriptions of Tiglath-Pileser iii (744-727 bc) and Shalmaneser v (727-722 bc) kings of Assyria 2011 Winona Lake Eisenbrauns

TörökL. The kingdom of Kush 1997 Leiden Brill

UssishkinD. The Conquest of Lachish by Sennacherib 1982 Tel Aviv Institute of Archaeology of Tel Aviv University

UssishkinD. UssishkinD. A Synopsis of the Stratigraphical, Chronological and Historical Issues The Renewed Archaeological Excavations at Lachish (1973-1994) 2004 vol. 1 Tel Aviv Institute of Archaeology of Tel Aviv University 50 119

UssishkinD. KalimiI.RichardsonS. Sennacherib’s Campaign to Judah: the Archaeological Perspective with an Emphasis on Lachish and Jerusalem Sennacherib at the Gates of Jerusalem. Story History and Historiography 2014 Leiden Brill 75 103

WeidnerE.F. Šilkan(he)ni, König von Muṣri, ein Zeitgenosse Sargons ii Archiv für Orientforschung 1941 14 40 56

WightmanG.J. The Myth of Solomon Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 1990 277 5 22

WittkeA-M. B IV 8 Ostlicher Mittelmeerraum Und Mesopotamien Um 700 V.chr.: 1:4 Mio. (Tübinger Atlas Des Vorderen Orients (TAVO)) 1993 Wiesbaden Reichert Verlag

ZamazalováS. MynářováJ. Before the Assyrian Conquest in 671 bce: Relations between Egypt, Kush and Assyria Egypt and the Near East—the Crossroads: Proceedings of an International Conference on the Relations of Egypt and the Near East in the Bronze Age Prague September 1-3 2010 2011 Prague Czech University, Czech Institute of Egyptology 297 328


See for instance Bedford 2009: 44 and Oded 1974: 39 with references.


Already Luckenbill 1925: 221 made a remark on this subject. See also footnote 79. I shall come back to this in section 4.


See also Evans 2009: 160.


See for instance Faust 2008: 168-169; Blakely Hardin and Master 2014: 35-36; Hardin 2014: 749 (all with references to excavations). For an elaborate description of the destruction of Lachish see Ussishkin 1982.


See Grabbe 2003b: 4for an overview (although not complete and somewhat dated) of the variety in dates of Iron Age iiiaiib and iic. In short the high chronology was constructed in the 1920’s: Iron Age i 1200-1000 bc; Iron Age iia 1000-925 bc; Iron Age iib 925-700 bc. In 1990 a new chronology was suggested by Wightman (1990) the low chronology: Iron Age i 1200-900 bc; Iron Age iia 900-800 bc; Iron Age iib 800-700 bc (all approximate dates). However the discussion in which among others Israel Finkelstein and Amihai Mazar are involved has continued and dates have changed over time because of new information. Nowadays both chronologies agree on the beginning of Iron Age iib: end of the 9th century bc (although not every scholar does; see Sharon 2014: 60). The most important difference still is the question whether the reigns of David and Solomon (ca 1010-930 bc) belong to Iron Age i or iia. Both chronologies date Iron Age iic also named Iron Age iii to the 7th century bc.


Herzog and Singer-Avitz 2004: 227-231; they partly follow the high chronology linking the first Iron Age iia phase of habitation to the United Kingdom and the transition to a second phase to the second half of the 10th century bc; since according to them this phase of Iron Age iia may have lasted until the early 8th century bc the fortified settlements may have been built in the reign of Amaziah shortly after 800 bc. However if Fantalkin and Finkelstein´s (2006: 32) low chronology is applied this must have happened already before 800 bc. Hardin’s (2014: 745) high chronology dates both Iron Age iia phases to the 10th century bc. It seems that state organized expansion in the Shephelah and Negev took place earlier than Amaziah’s reign; more research on the start of this development is needed.


Pratico (1986) has reviewed the results of Glueck’s excavations at Tell el-Kheleifeh which the latter had identified as Ezion-Geber Solomon’s harbour. He concluded that pottery that was linked with this phase belonged to the 8th century bc though a few forms could be dated to the 9th (ibid.: 33).


See Johnson and Stager 1995: 95. Hosea 12:2 mentions oil exports to Egypt. What is possible (but needs more research) is that a growing Spanish market for olive oil and wine in the 8th century bc led to a relative scarcity of these products in Egypt which encouraged Judah to start or increase production for trade.


For textual evidence of trade see Elat 1978: 30-32. For horses probably of Kushite breed see Dalley 1985: 44 and Heidorn 1997; for gold linen byssus alum and natron see Elat 1978: 25-26 and Oppenheim 1967: 242-250. For an overview of archaeological evidence see Mumford 2007: 248-254. Note that he uses the original high chronology (Iron Age iib = ca. 925-700 bc; for the low and adapted high chronologies this would be ca. 800-700 bc).


Mumford 1998: 1402-1404 (quote on page 1404) and 1415-1419. The excavator Glueck has identified 5 periods. The quote refers to period 2 dated to the 8th century bc by Pratico (1985 and 1986) but the remark cannot be verified due to the fact that Glueck has not published material evidence for this contact. Egyptian artefacts are related to period 3 that probably ended with the conquest of Elath by Aram-Damascus in the Syro-Ephraimite crisis (see subsection 2.2). Glueck’s period 4 contains late 8th-/7th-centuries bc ‘Assyrian’ pottery (Pratico 1985: 25).


See Bagg 2011: 215-216for an alternative suggestion (Azriyau was king of a land of which the name is not preserved with a territory located in the Hamath region) and for references to three earlier hypotheses (he was king of Judah and his power extended as far as the Hamath region; he was king of Sam’al; he was king of Hatarikka). Tadmor 1961: 235-238 gives a complete overview of hypotheses and reactions before 1961.


Tadmor and Yamada 2011: texts 13 and 31. Both texts start with a gap and therefore part of the context lacks and it is not clear who had seized the land.


Nimrud Inscription: Luckenbill 1927: 72 (§137). For tribute from Judah during the reign of Sargon see Parpola 1987: text 110. We can assume that Judah had been loyal to Assyria in this period.


For archaeological support see Maeir 2012: 247-250who dated two Judean levels in Gath to the period before 701 bc. There is also the phenomenon of the lmlk-stamps that have been found on several sites in the Shephelah and Negev and that had been used during a very short period just before Sennacherib devastated these places. Blakely and Hardin (2002: 12-13) narrow this period to the years 705-701 bc; they suggest that the produce was meant to support a rebellion; I suggest that it was meant for trade. Hardin 2012 has analysed finds in a Judean house from the late 8th century bc at Tell Halif in the northern Negev and has come to the conclusion (ibid.: 544-546) that this household took part in a regional economy by producing wine and perhaps textiles and by consumption of fish from the Mediterranean Sea or the Nile whereas the find of two bullae may have connected this household to the king. Aharoni (1972: 123-126) and Singer-Avitz (1999: 44-46) mention finds of late 8th-century bc Egyptian and Egyptian-style objects in Beersheba. According to Kletter (1998: 47-48 and 121-122) the late 8th century bc was also the period in which a new weight system that was partly connected to the Egyptian system came into use. Finkelstein and Na’aman (2004: 73-74) have argued that in the late 8th century bc the economy of Judah and the Shephelah in particular was well planned and state-organized with olive oil production in Tell Beit Mirsim and Beth-Shemesh. Textual evidence is given by ii Chron 32:27-29. Redford (1992: 356) suggests that some products of Hezekiah’s tribute to Sennacherib may have been of African origin and he mentions Isa 30:6-7 which describes trade between Judah and Egypt.


Tiglath-pileser: Tadmor and Yamada 2011: text 42 lines 8’-15’; Sargon: Fuchs 1994: Annalen lines 53-57 and Prunk lines 25-26; Sennacherib: Grayson and Novotny 2012: text 4 lines 42-45.


Ehrlich 1996: 94-95 similarly presents an economic view on Tiglath-pileser’s actions against Gaza. He underlines the economic importance of Gaza for the Assyrian king but he suggests that just by capturing the city Assyria took control of the trade with Egypt and of Arabian trade routes and thus ignores the positions that Egypt and Arabs had in these trading activities.


The Assur Charter (Luckenbill 1927: 69-71) treats Sargon’s campaigns of 720 bc; the Nimrud Inscription (Luckenbill 1927: 71-73) contains campaigns from 720 to 716 bc only mentioning Sargon as ‘Subduer of Judah’; the text of Sargon’s Najafehabad stele (Levine 1972: 34-45) is readable from the revolt of Yaubi’di of Hamath in 720 to the campaign against Mannea in 716 bc.


Some authors for instance Roberts 2003: 268Redford 1992: 343 and 348 and Török 1997: 166-167 have stressed the tense or even hostile relation between Assyria and Egypt in the late 8th century bc but except for Tiglath-pileser’s and Sargon’s activities near Gaza (which I describe as negotiations concerning trade) I am not aware of any signs that might be interpreted as enmity between the two powers in this period.


Roberts 2003: 266-267referring to Kitchen 1986: 378-379 suggests that Shabaka conquered the Nile Delta and was recognized as overlord by the Delta rulers in the early years of his reign which probably started not later than 721 bc (Kahn 2001: 3). Moje 2014: 342-345 remarks that although local rulers still are attested after this conquest a king of Tanis/Bubastis successor of Osorkon iv is not and that this kingdom must have been placed under direct Kushite control after Osorkon’s death for which in my opinion Iamani’s reign in Ashdod sometime between 715 and 711 bc (Fuchs 1998: 74: vii.B lines 30-33) is a terminus post quem. Note that Moje does not use the new dates for reigns of Kushite kings deduced from the Tang-i Var inscription (see footnote 59). This direct Kushite control must have been organized because the small kingdom being the most north-eastern in the Delta (Kitchen 1986: 372) controlled the southern gateway to the desert part of the Via Maris; direct control made direct trade along this route possible for Kush. This suggestion might also explain why Iamani after his arrival in Muṣri ended up at Shabaka’s court.


Layard 1853: 156-159 has suggested that the seal of Shabaka (footnote 60) belonged to a peace treaty. Since this article does not suggest enmity between Sargon and Egypt it may have been a commercial treaty and since it contained the name of Shabaka Shebitku’s predecessor this treaty probably was concluded before Iamani was sent back.


Botta and Flandin 1972: plates 86-89 (lower sections); Franklin 1994: 265-267.


Grayson and Novotny 2012: text 4 lines 36-38. Ashdod had been conquered by Sargon in 711 bc but it had kept or returned to its status as a kingdom and it is likely that its new king Mitinti had been pro-Assyrian or had endured the presence of an Assyrian official. Ammon Moab and Edom probably also traded with Egypt but if they did this via Elath and the King´s Highway they will not have been confronted with the situation created by Judah in the Gaza region.


Grayson and Novotny 2012: text 4 lines 39-48. The term anti-Assyrian may technically not be correct because both parties may have been anti-Assyrian and the difference between the two may have been the way in which they wanted to deal with Assyria in order to prevent damage as much as possible.


Grayson and Novotny 2012: text 4 lines 49-58; see also subsection 2.3.


Na’aman 1974 and 1994: 245-247 with references to these different views. Na’aman has attributed the inscription to Sennacherib. The translation presented here is from Grayson and Novotny 2012: text 1015.


Na’aman 1974: 34-35 and 1994: 245-247 with references The most significant doubts are the fact that Gath had not been a Philistine royal city anymore for over one hundred years (see also Maeir 2012; Amos 1:6-8 concerning Philistia only mentions Gaza Ashkelon Ashdod and Ekron) and that Ekron is not mentioned in Sennacherib’s campaign in the context of a conquest by siege (Grayson and Novotny 2012: text 4 lines 36 39-41 and 46-48).


Grayson and Novotny 2012: text 4 lines 53-54 for Ashdod Ekron and Gaza and ibid.: text 46 lines 29-30 for an inclusion of Ashkelon in the list. Sennacherib also mentions the raise of their tribute. In this context Amar’s (1999: 4-5) remark that Sennacherib seems not to have destroyed the fruit trees around Lachish is significant. These areas must have raised Philistine profits and it would not surprise me if this transaction was the outcome of negotiations again.


Grayson and Novotny 2012: text 4 line 43; this line also contains Sennacherib’s description of the Egyptian army as ‘forces without number’ that must be read as an amusing detail. Spalinger (1981: 53-54) also has considered the composition of the Egyptian forces problematic. According to him faced by the large Assyrian army the Kushite king was outnumbered both in men and in material.


For the treaty see Parpola and Watanabe 1988: text 5; for an interpretation of this treaty see Van der Brugge and Kleber 2016: 195-196. For Qurdi-aššur-lāmur see footnote 40. For queries see for instance Starr 1990: texts 12 20 30 and 63.


Liverani (1979) initiated a discussion on Assyrian imperialist ideology; among subsequent contributions to the debate note Oded 1992; Cogan 1993; Laato 1995; Liverani 1995; Tadmor 1997; Fales 1999-2001.


Dubovský 2006: 230 gives many examples of similar phrases. He suggests that they have been used to describe the fear for Assyrian military actions after diplomatic measures had failed. I would go one step further and suggest that they have been used to conceal the fact that a mutual agreement had been reached instead of a unilateral diktat.


Grayson and Novotny 2012: text 4 lines 55-58. The two sources show a difference in the amount of silver and also in the exact moment of transmission. Sennacherib relates how he let Hezekiah bring tribute to him in Assyria whereas the Bible tells us that Hezekiah paid Sennacherib when the latter was besieging Lachish and therefore some scholars think that Hezekiah might have paid twice. I suggest that it concerned one and the same payment and that it was brought to Assyria but that the Biblical author let it antedate the arrival of the rab šāqê in Jerusalem since he wanted to express that a conquest was prevented by Jahweh not by a payment afterwards which would have taken away the glance of Jahweh’s victory.


Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 52 52 11
Full Text Views 86 86 56
PDF Downloads 5 5 1
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0