Page images



good fortune. It appears, namely, to be an indisputable fact that both Baal and Ashtoreth, although their primary relation was to the sun and moon, came in process of time to be connected, in the religious conceptions of the SyroArabians, with the planets Jupiter and Venus, as the two stars of good fortune [See the article MENI].

ASIA. The ancients had no divisions of the world into parts or quarters; and hence the word Asia, in the modern large sense, does not occur in Scripture. Indeed it does not at all occur, in any sense, in the Hebrew Scriptures, but is found in the books of the Maccabees and in the New Testament. It there applies, in the largest sense, to that peninsular portion of Asia which, since the fifth century, has been known by the name of Asia Minor; and, in a narrower sense, to a certain portion thereof which was known as Asia Proper. Thus, it is now generally agreed,-1. ThatAsia' denotes the whole of ASIA MINOR, in the texts Acts xix. 26, 27; xx. 4, 16, 18; xxvii. 2. &c.: but, 2. That only ASIA PROPER, the Roman or Proconsular Asia, is denoted in Acts ii. 9; vi. 9; xix. 10, 22; 2 Tim. i. 15; 1 Pet. i. 6; Rev. i. 4, 11. ASIA MINOR Comprehended Bithynia, Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Cicilia, Pamphylia, Pisidia, Lycaonia, Phrygia, Mysia, Troas (all of which are mentioned in the New Testament), Lydia, Ionia, Eolis (which are sometimes included under Lydia), Caria, Doris, and Lycia. ASIA PROPER, or Proconsular Asia, comprehended the provinces of Phrygia, Mysia, Caria, and Lydia. But it is evident that St. Luke uses the term Asia in a sense still more restricted, for in one place he counts Phrygia (Acts ii. 9, 10), and in another Mysia (xvi. 6, 7), as provinces distinct from Asia. Hence it is probable that in many, if not all, of the second set of references the word Asia denotes only Ionia, or the entire western coast, of which Ephesus was the capital, and in which the seven churches were situated. This is called Asia also by Strabo.

ASIAR'CHE (Acts xix. 31; Auth. Vers. 'certain of the chief of Asia'). These asiarchæ, who derived their appellation from the name of the province over which they presided (as Syriarchæ, 2 Macc. xii. 2. Lyciarch, Cariarch, &c.), were in Proconsular Asia the chief presidents of the religious rites, whose office it was to exhibit every year, in honour of the gods and of the Roman emperor, solemn games in the theatre. This they did at their own expense, whence none but the most opulent persons could bear the office, although only of one year's continuance. The appointment was much as follows: at the beginning of every year (i. e. about the autumnal equinox) each of the cities of Asia held a public assembly, in order to nominate one of their citizens as asiarch. A person was then sent to the general council of the province, at some one of the principal cities, as Ephesus, Smyrna, Sardis, &c., to announce the name of the individual who had been selected. Of the persons thus nominated by the cities the council designated ten, and it is probable that one chosen by the proconsul was pre-eminently the asiarch, but that the other nine acted as his assessors and also bore that title. AS'KELON, a city of the Philistines, and seat



of one of their five states (Judg. xiv. 19; 1 Sam.
vi. 17; 2 Sam. i. 20). It was situated on the
Mediterranean coast, between Gaza and Ashdod,
twelve geog. miles north of the former, and ten
S. by W. from the latter, and thirty-seven
S.W.W. from Jerusalem. It was the only one
of the five great Philistine towns that was
maritime port, and stood out close to the shore.
Askelon was assigned to the tribe of Judah
(Josh. xiii. 13; comp. Judg. i. 18); but it was
never for any length of time in possession of the
Israelites. The part of the country in which it
stood abounded in aromatic plants, onions, and
vines. It was well fortified, and early became
the seat of the worship of Decerto. After the
time of Alexander it shared the lot of Phoenicia,
and also of Judæa, being tributary sometimes to
Egypt, and at other times to Syria. The mag-
nificent Herod was born at Askelon, and although
the city did not belong to his dominion, he
adorned it with fountains, baths, and colonnades;
and after his death Salome, his sister, resided
there in a palace which Cæsar bestowed upon
It suffered much in the Jewish war with
the Romans, but afterwards it again revived,
and in the middle ages was noted not only as a
stronghold, but as a wealthy and important town.
The town bears a prominent part in the history
of the Crusades. After being several times dis-
mantled and re-fortified in the times of Saladin
and Richard, its fortifications were at length
totally destroyed by the Sultan Bibars in A.D.
1270, and the port filled up with stones, for fear
of future attempts on the part of the Crusaders.
Its desolation has long been complete, and little
now remains of it but the walls, with numerous
fragments of granite pillars. The situation is
described as strong; the thick walls, flanked
with towers, were built on the top of a ridge of
rock that encircles the town, and terminates at
The place still bears the
each end in the sea.
name of Askulan.


ASMODEUS (Tob. iii. 8), a demon or evil spirit, mentioned in the Apocryphal book of Tobit as having beset Sarah, the daughter of Raguel, and killed the seven husbands whom she had married before Tobit. The Rabbins call Asmodeus, as well as Beelzebub, the prince of devils,' whence the two names have been supposed to refer to the same demon. But this title they also give to the angel of death,' as the destroyer of all mankind. Thus the story in Tobit means no more than that the seven husbands died successively on their marriage with Sarah.


ASNAPPER, the name of the king, or possibly Assyrian satrap, who sent the Cuthean colonies into Palestine (Ezra iv. 10). Taking him for king of Assyria, he is generally idenThe title tified with Esar-haddon, although some believe the name to denote Salmanezer. (most noble') which is given to him belonged to the satraps.

ASPA'LATHUS, a name which occurs only in the Apocrypha (Ecclus. xxiv. 15), where the substance which it indicates is enumerated with the other spices and perfumes to which wisdom is compared. Though this drug is not mentioned in the canonical Scriptures, it is probable that it may have been one of the substances


comprehended under the general name of spices. It was no doubt one of the substances employed by the ancients as a perfume and incense, as it forms one of the ingredients of the cyphi, or compound incense made use of by the Egyptian priests. The substance which was called aspalathus has not been very clearly ascertained.

ASPHALTUM (Auth. Vers. pitch') doubtless derives its name from the Lake Asphaltites (Dead Sea), whence it was abundantly obtained. Usually asphaltum is of a shining black colour; it is solid and brittle, with a conchoidal fracture, altogether not unlike common pitch. Its speoific gravity is from 1 to 16, and it consists chiefly of bituminous oil, hydrogen gas, and charcoal. It is found partly as a solid dry fossil, intermixed in layers of plaster, marl, or slate, and partly as liquid tar flowing from cavities in rocks or in the earth, or swimming upon the surface of lakes or natural wells. To judge from Gen. xiv. 10, mines of asphaltum must have existed formerly on the spot where subsequently the Dead Sea, or Lake Asphaltites, was formed. The Palestine earth-pitch seems, however, to have had the preference over all the other sorts. It was used among the ancients partly for covering boats, paying the bottoms of vessels (Gen. vi. 14: Exod. ii. 3), and partly as a substitute for mortar in buildings; and it is thought that the bricks of which the walls of Babylon were built (Gen. xi. 3) had been cemented with hot bitumen, which imparted to them great solidity. In ancient Babylon asphaltum was made use of also as fuel, as the environs have from the earliest times been renowned for the abundance of asphalt-mines. Neither were the ancient Jews unacquainted with the medicinal properties of that mineral.

The asphaltum was also used among the ancient Egyptians for embalming the dead. This operation was performed in three different ways: the first with slaggy mineral pitch alone; the second with a mixture of this bitumen and a liquor extracted from the cedar; and the third with a similar mixture, to which resinous and aromatic substances were added.

Asphaltum is found in masses on the shore of the Dead Sea, or floating on the surface of its waters. The local Arabs affirm that the bitumen only appears after earthquakes. They allege that after the earthquake of 1834 huge quantities of it were cast upon the shore, of which the Jehalin Arabs alone took about 60 kuntars (each of 98 lbs.) to market. There was another earthquake on January 1, 1837, and soon after a arge mass of asphaltum (compared by one person to an island, and by another to a house) was discovered floating on the sea, and was driven aground on the western side, near Usdum. The neighbouring Arabs assembled, cut it up with axes. removed it by camels' loads, and sold it at the rate of four piastres the rutl, or pound; the product is said to have been about 3000 dollars. Except during these two years, the Sheik of the Jehalin, a man fifty years old, had never known bitumen appear in the sea, nor heard of it from his fathers.

ASS. 1. The common working ass of Western Asia (called in the Hebrew Chamor), is an animal of small stature, frequently represented on Egyptian monuments with panniers on the




back, usually of a reddish colour. It appears to be a domesticated race of the wild ass of Arabia, Mesopotamia, and Southern Persia.

In its natural state it never seeks woody, but upland pasture, mountainous and rocky retreats; and it is habituated to stand on the brink of precipices (a practice not entirely obliterated in our own domestic races), whence, with protruded ears, it surveys the scene below, blowing and at length braying in extreme excitement This habit is beautifully depicted by Jeremiah (xvii. 6; xlviii. 6).


The Auth. Vers. translates the Hebrew words Oir, Oirim, young ass,' colt; but this rendering does not appear on all occasions to be correct, the word being sometimes used where the Oirim or Ourim carry loads and till the ground, which seems to afford evidence of, at least, full growth (Isa. xxx. 6, 24). The word Aton, Atunuth, is unsatisfactorily rendered she-ass,' unless we suppose it to refer to a breed of greater beauty and importance than the common, namely, the silver grey of Africa; which being large and indocile, the females were anciently selected in preference for riding, and on that account formed

62. [Domestic Ass of Western Asia.]

a valuable kind of property. It is now the fashion, as it was during the Parthian empire, and probably in the time of the Judges, to dapple this breed with spots of orange or crimson, or of both colours together; and although the taste may be puerile, we conceive that it is the record of remote conquest achieved by a nation of Central Asia mounted on spotted or clouded horses, and revived by the Parthians, who were similarly equipped.

As this animal was most serviceable to man, its name was held in respect rather than contempt. It is alleged, indeed, that the ass was held in contempt in Egypt; but among the Arabs and Jews we have the voice of one crying in the wilderness,' a solemn allusion derived from the wild ass, almost the only voice in the desert; and in the distinguishing epithet of Mirvan II., last Ommiad caliph, who was called the wild ass of Mesopotamia-proofs that no idea of contempt was associated with the prophet's metaphor, and that, by such a designation, no insult was intended to the person or dignity of the prince.

2. WILD ASS. By this term the Scripture seems




to intend the horse-ass, or wild mule. The species is first noticed by Aristotle, who mentions nine of these animals as being brought to Phrygia by Pharnaces the satrap, whereof three were living in the time of his son Pharnabazus. The allusion of Jeremiah, in speaking of the wild ass (xiv. 6), most forcibly depicts the scarcity of food when this species, inured to the desert and to want of water, are made the prominent example of suffering. They were most likely used in traces to draw chariots (Isa. xxi. 7). The wild ass is little inferior to the wild horse; in shape it resembles a mule, in gracefulness a horse, and in colour it is silvery, with broad spaces of flaxen or bright bay on the thigh, flank, shoulder, neck, and head; the ears are wide like the zebra's, and the neck is clothed with a vertical dark mane prolonged in a stripe to the tuft of the tail. The company of this animal is liked by horses, and, when domesticated, it is gentle: it is now found wild from the deserts of

63. [Wild Ass.]

the Oxus and Jaxartes to China and Central India. In Cutch it is never known to drink, and in whole districts which it frequents water is not to be found. Though the natives talk of the fine flavour of the flesh, and the Gour in Persia is the food of heroes, to an European its smell is abominable.

MULE occurs in 2 Sam. xiii. 29; 1 Kings i. 33; x. 25; and in other places. This animal is sufficiently well known to require no particular description. Where, or at what period, breeding mules was first commenced is totally unknown, although, from several circumstances, Western Asia may be regarded as the locality; and the era as coinciding with that of the first kings of Israel. In the time of David, to be allowed to ride on the king's own mule was an understood concession of great, if not sovereign authority, and several years before the mention of this event all the king's sons already rode upon mules. It does not appear that the Hebrew people, at this early period at least, bred mules; they received them from Armenia; but the most beautiful were no doubt brought from the vicinity of Bassora.

[blocks in formation]


Scriptures, nor in Josephus; but in the First Book of Maccabees it is applied to the body of zealous and devoted men who rose at the signal for armed resistance given by Mattathias, the father of the Maccabees, and who, under him and his successors, upheld with the sword the great doctrine of the unity of God, and stemmed the advancing tide of Grecian manners and idolatries.

In the entire absence of collateral information, it seems the safest course to conclude that the Assidæans were a body of eminently zealous men, devoted to the Law, who joined Mattathias very early, and remained the constant adherents of him and his son Judas-not, like the mass of their supporters, rising occasionally and then relapsing into the ordinary pursuits of life. It is possible that, as Jennings conjectures, the name came to be applied to them by their enemies as a term of reproach, like 'Puritans' formerly in this country, and 'saints' very often in the present day.

AS'SOS, a town of Lesser Mysia, or of Adramyttium, opposite the island of Lesbos, or Mitylene. Paul came hither on foot from Troas, to meet with his friends, in order to take shipping for Mitylene (Acts xx. 13, 14). It is now a miserable village, called Beiram, built high upon the rocks on the side towards the land.

ASSYRIA. We must here distinguish between the country of Assyria, and the Assyrian empire. They are both designated in Hebrew by Asshur. The Asshurim of Gen. xxv. 8, were, however, an Arab tribe; and in Ezek. xxvii. 6, the word ashurim (in our version 'Ashurites") is only an abbreviated form of teashur, box-wood.

1. ASSYRIA PROPER was a region east of the Tigris, the capital of which was Nineveh. It derived its name from the progenitor of the aboriginal inhabitants-Asshur, the second son of Shem (Gen. x. 22; 1 Chron. i. 17). Its limits in early times are unknown; but when its monarchs enlarged their dominions by conquest, the name of this metropolitan province was extended to the whole empire.

According to Ptolemy, Assyria was in his day bounded on the north by Armenia, the Gordiæan or Carduchian mountains, especially by Mount Niphates; on the west by the river Tigris and Mesopotamia; on the south by Susiana, or Chuzistan, in Persia, and by Babylonia; and on the east by a part of Media, and mounts Choathras and Zagros. It corresponded to the modern Kurdistan, or country of the Kurds (at least to its larger and western portion), with a part of the pashalik of Mosul. Assyria,' says Mr. Ainsworth (Researches in Assyria, Babylonia, and Chaldæa, Lond. 1838), including Taurus, is distinguished into three districts: by its structure, into a district of plutonic and metamorphic rocks, a district of sedentary formations, and a district of alluvial deposits; by configuration, into a district of mountains, a district of stony or sandy plains, and a district of low watery plains: by natural productions, into a country of forests and fruit-trees, of olives, wine, corn, and pasturage, or of barren rocks; a country of mulberry, cotton, maize, tobacco, or of barren clay, sand, pebbly or rocky plains; and into a country of date-trees, rice, and pasturage, or a land of saline plants.' The northern


part is little else then a mass of mountains, which, near Julamerk, rise to a very great height, Mount Jewar being supposed to have an elevation of 15,000 feet; in the south it is more level, but the plains are often burnt up with scorching heat, while the traveller, looking northward, sees a snowy alpine ridge hanging like a cloud in mid air. On the west this country is skirted by the great river Tigris, the Hiddekel of the Hebrews (Gen. ii. 14; Dan. x. 4), noted for the impetuosity of its current [TIGRIS].

The most remarkable feature, says Ainsworth, in the vegetation of Taurus, is the abundance of trees, shrubs, and plants in the northern, and their comparative absence in the southern district. Besides the productions above enumerated, Kurdistan yields gall-nuts, gum-arabic, mastich, manna (used as sugar), madder, castoroil, and various kinds of grain, pulse, and fruit. Rich informs us that a great quantity of honey, of the finest quality, is produced; the bees (comp. Isa. vii. 18, the bee in the land of Assyria) are kept in hives of mud. The naphtha springs, on the east of the Tigris, are less productive than those in Mesopotamia, but they are much more numerous. The zoology of the mountain district includes bears (black and brown), panthers, lynxes, wolves, foxes, marmots, dormice, fallow and red deer, roebucks, antelopes, &c., and likewise goats, but not (as was once supposed) of the Angora breed. In the plains are found lions, tigers, hyænas, beavers, jerboas, wild boars, camels, &c.

Ptolemy divides Assyria into six provinces. Farthest north lay Arrapachitis, south of it was Calakine, perhaps the Chalach of 2 Kings xvii. 6; xviii. Il. Next came Adiabene, so called from the above-mentioned rivers Dhab or Diab; it was so important a district of Assyria, as sometimes to give name to the whole country [ADIABENE] North-east of it lay Arbelitis, in which was Arbela, famous for the battle in which Alexander triumphed over Darius. South of this lay the two provinces of Apolloniatis and Sittakene. The capital of the whole country was Nineveh, the Ninos of the Greeks, the Hebrew name being supposed to denote the abode of Ninos,' the founder of the empire. Its site is believed to have been on the east bank of the Tigris, opposite the modern town of Mosul, where there is now a small town called Nebbi Yunus (i. e. the prophet Jonah) [NINEVEH]. At the town of Al Kosh, N. of Mosul, tradition places the birth and burial of the prophet Nahum, and the Jews resort thither in pilgrimage to his tomb.

The greater part of the country which formed Assyria Proper is under the nominal sway of the Turks, who compose a considerable proportion of the population of the towns and larger villages, filling nearly all public offices, and differing in nothing from other Osmanlis. But the aboriginal inhabitants of the country, and of the whole mountain-tract that here divides Turkey from Persia, are the Kurds, from whom the country is now designated Kurdistan. They are still, as of old, a barbarous and warlike race, occasionally yielding a formal allegiance, on the west, to the Turks, and, on the east, to the Persians, but never wholly subdued; indeed, some of the more



rowerful tribes, such as the Hakkary, have maintained an entire independence. Some of them are stationary in villages, while others roam far and wide, beyond the limits of their own country, as nomadic shepherds; but they are all, more or less, addicted to predatory habits, and are regarded with great dread by their more peaceful neighbours. They profess the faith of Islam, and are of the Soonee sect. All travellers have remarked many points of resemblance between them and the ancient Highlanders of Scotland.

The Christian population is scattered over the whole region, but is found chiefly in the north. It includes Chaldæans, who form that branch of the Nestorians that adheres to the church of Rome, a few Jacobites, or monophysite Syrians, Armenians, &c. But the most interesting portion is the ancient church of the primitive Nestorians, a lively interest in which has lately been excited in the religious world by the publications of the American missionaries, especially by a work entitled The Nestorians, by Asahel Grant, M.D. Lond. 1841. Besides the settlements of this people in the plain of Ooroomiah to the east, and in various parts of Kurdistan, where they are in a state of vassalage, there has been for ages an independent community of Nestorians in the wildest and most inaccessible part of the country. It lies at nearly equal distances from the lakes of Van and Ooroomiah, and the Tigris, and is hemmed in on every side by tribes of ferocious Kurds; but, entrenched in their fastnesses, the Nestorians have defied the storms of revolution and desolation that have so often swept over the adjacent regions; and in their character of bold and intrepid, though rude and fierce mountaineers, have so entirely maintained their independence unto the present day, as to bear among the neighbours the proud title of Ashiret, the tributeless.' The attempts lately made by Dr. Grant and others to prove that this interesting people are the descendants of the ten 'lost' tribes of Israel, cannot be regarded as successful, and will not bear the test of rigid examination. Another peculiar race that is met with in this and the neighbouring countries is that of the Yezidees, whom Grant and Ainsworth would likewise connect with the ten tribes; but it seems much more probable that they are an offshoot from the ancient Manichees, their alleged worship of the Evil Principle amounting to no more than a reverence which keeps them from speaking of him with disrespect. Besides the dwellers in towns, and the agricultural population, there are a vast number of wandering tribes, not only of Kurds, but of Arabs, Turkomans, and other classes of robbers, who, by keeping the settled inhabitants in constant dread of property and life, check every effort at improvement; and, in consequence of this, and the influence of bad government, many of the finest portions of the country are little better than unproductive wastes.

2. THE ASSYRIAN EMPIRE. No portion of ancient history is involved in greater obscurity than that of the empire of Assyria. In attempting to arrange even the facts deducible from Scripture, a difficulty presents itself at the outset, arising from the ambiguity of the account given of the origin of the earliest Assyrian state in Gen. x. 11. After describing Nimrod, son of




Cush, as a mighty one in the earth,' the historian adds (ver. 10), And the beginning of his kingdom (or rather, the first theatre of his dominion) was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar,' i. e. Babylonia. Then follow the words :- Out of that land went forth Asshur and builded Nineveh,' or (as it is in the margin) out of that land he (i. e. Nimrod) went out into Assyria and builded Nineveh.' Looking at the entire context, and following the natural current of the writer's thoughts, we shall find that the second translation yields the most congruous sense. It likewise agrees with the native tradition, that the founder of the Assyrian monarchy and the builder of Nineveh was one and the same person, viz. Ninus, from whom it derived its name, and in that case the designation of Nimrod (the Rebel) was not his proper name, but an opprobrious appellation imposed on him by his enemies. Modern local tradition likewise connects Nimrod with Assyria.



posed to point to the conquest of the regions that once formed the Assyrian empire, first by the Macedonians from Greece, and then by the Romans, both of whose empires were in their turn overthrown.

[ocr errors]

In the time of the Judges, the people of Israel became subject to a king of Mesopotamia, Chushanrishathaim (Judg. iii. 8), who is by Josephus styled King of the Assyrians; but we are left in the same ignorance as in the case of Chedorlaomer, as to whether he was an independent sovereign or only a vicegerent for another. The first king of Assyria alluded to in the Bible, is he who reigned at Nineveh when the prophet Jonah was sent thither (Jon. iii. 6). Hales supposes him to have been the father of Pul, the first Assyrian monarch named in Scripture, and dates the commencement of his reign B.C. 821. By that time the metropolis of the empire had be come an exceeding great' and populous city, but one pre-eminent in wickedness (Jon. i. 2: iii. 3; iv. 11).


But though Nimrod's kingdom' embraced the lands both of Shinar and Asshur, we are left in The first expressly recorded appearance of the the dark as to whether Babylon or Nineveh be- Assyrian power in the countries west of the Eucame the permanent seat of government, and phrates is in the reign of Menahem, king of consequently, whether his empire should be Israel, against whom the God of Israel stirred designated that of Babylonia or that of Assyria. up the spirit of Pul (or Phul), king of Assyria' No certain traces of it, indeed, are to be found (1 Chron. v. 26), who invaded the country, and in Scripture for ages after its erection. In the exacted a tribute of a thousand talents of silver days of Abraham, we hear of a king of Elam that his hand' i. e. his favour, might be with (i. e. Elymais, in the south of Persia) named him to confirm the kingdom in his hand' (2 Chedorlaomer, who had held in subjection for Kings xv. 19, 20). Newton places this event in twelve years five petty princes of Palestine (Gen. the year B.C. 770, in the twentieth year of Pul's xiv. 4), and who, in consequence of their rebel- reign, the commencement of which he fixes in lion, invaded that country along with three other the year B.C. 790. About this period we find the kings, one of whom was 'Amraphel, king of prophet Hosea making frequent allusions to the Shinar. It is possible that Chedorlaomer was practice both of Israel and Judæa, to throw an Assyrian viceroy, and the others his deputies; themselves for support on the kings of Assyria. for at a later period the Assyrian boasted, Are The supposition of Newton is adopted by Hales, not my princes altogether kings?' (Isa. x. 8). that at Pul's death his dominions were divided Yet some have rather concluded from the narra- between his two sons, Tiglath-pileser and Nabotive, that by this time the monarchy of Nimrod nassar, the latter being made ruler at Babylon, had been broken up, or that at least the seat of from the date of whose government or reign the government had been transferred to Elam. Be celebrated era of Nabonassar took its rise, correthis as it may, the name of Assyria as an inde- sponding to B.C. 747. When Ahaz, king of Judah, pendent state does not again appear in Scripture was hard pressed by the combined forces of Petill the closing period of the age of Moses. Ba- kah, king of Israel, and Rezin, king of Damalaam, a seer from the northern part of Mesopo- scene-Syria, he purchased Tiglath-pileser's astamia, in the neighbourhood of Assyria, address- sistance with a large sum, taken out of his own ing the Kenites, a mountain tribe on the east and the Temple treasury. The Assyrian king side of the Jordan, took up his parable,' i. e. accordingly invaded the territories of both the raised his oracular, prophetic chant, and said, confederated kings, and annexed a portion of 'Durable is thy dwelling-place! Yea in a rock them to his own dominions, carrying captive a puttest thou thy nest: nevertheless, wasted shall number of their subjects (2 Kings xv. 29; xvi. be the Kenite, until Asshur shall lead them cap- 5-10; 1 Chron. v. 26; 2 Chron. xxviii. 16; Isa. tive. The prediction found its fulfilment in the vii. 1-11; comp. Amos i. 5; ix. 7). His succesKenites being gradually reduced in strength sor was Shalman (Hos. x. 4), Shalmaneser or (comp. 1 Sam. xv. 6), till they finally shared the Salmanasser, the Enemessar of the apocryphal fate of the trans-Jordanite tribes, and were swept book Tobit (ch. i. 2). He made Hoshea, king away into captivity by the Assyrians (1 Chron. v. of Israel, his tributary vassal (2 Kings xvii. 3); 26; 2 Kings xvi. 9; xix. 12, 13; 1 Chron. ii. 55). but finding him secretly negotiating with So or But as a counterpart to this, Balaam next sees a Sobaco (the Sabakoph of the monuments), king vision of retaliatory vengeance on their oppres- of Egypt, he laid siege to the Israelitish capital, sors, and the awful prospect of the threatened Samaria, took it after an investment of three devastations, though beheld in far distant times, years (B.C. 719), and then reduced the country extorts from him the exclamation, Ah! who of the ten tribes to a province of his empire, shall live when God doeth this? For ships shall carrying into captivity the king and his people, come from the coast of Chittim, and shall afflict and settling Cuthæans from Babylonia in their ASSHUR, and shall afflict Eber, but he also [the room (2 Kings xvii. 3-6; xviii. 9-11). Hezeinvader] shall perish for ever.' This is not with- kiah, king of Judah, seems to have been for a out obscurity; but it has commonly been sup-time his vassal (2 Kings xviii. 7). The empire


« PreviousContinue »