(In the inscriptions, "Sarra-yukin" [the god] has appointed the king; also "Sarru-kinu," the legitimate king.) On the death of Shalmaneser (B.C. 723), one of the Assyrian generals established himself on the vacant throne, taking the name of "Sargon," after that of the famous monarch, the Sargon of Accad, founder of the first Semitic empire, as well as of one of the most famous libraries of Chaldea. He forthwith began a conquering career, and became one of the most powerful of the Assyrian monarchs. He is mentioned by name in the Bible only in connection with the siege of Ashdod ( Isaiah 20:1 ).
At the very beginning of his reign he besieged and took the city of Samaria ( 2 Kings 17:6 ; 18:9-12 ). On an inscription found in the palace he built at Khorsabad, near Nieveh, he says, "The city of Samaria I besieged, I took; 27,280 of its inhabitants I carried away; fifty chariots that were among them I collected," etc. The northern kingdom he changed into an Assyrian satrapy. He afterwards drove Merodach-baladan (q.v.), who kept him at bay for twelve years, out of Babylon, which he entered in triumph. By a succession of victories he gradually enlarged and consolidated the empire, which now extended from the frontiers of Egypt in the west to the mountains of Elam in the east, and thus carried almost to completion the ambitious designs of Tiglath-pileser (q.v.). He was murdered by one of his own soldiers (B.C. 705) in his palace at Khorsabad, after a reign of sixteen years, and was succeeded by his son Sennacherib.
who takes away protection
(prince of the sea ), one of the greatest of the Assyrian kings, is mentioned by name but once in Scripture-- ( Isaiah 20:1 ) He was the successor of Shalmaneser, and was Sennacheribs father and his reigned from B.C. 721 to 702, and seems to have been a usurper. He was undoubtedly a great and successful warrior. In his annals, which cover a space of fifteen years, from B.C. 721 to 706, he gives an account of his warlike expeditions against Babylonia and Susiana on the south, Media on the east, Armenia and Cappadocia toward the north, Syria, Palestine, Arabia and Egypt toward the west and southwest. In B.C. 712 he took Ashdod, by one of his generals, which is the event which causes the mention of his name in Scripture. It is not as a warrior only that Sargon deserves special mention among the Assyrian kings. He was also the builder of useful works, and of one of the most magnificent of the Assyrian palaces.
sar'-gon (722-705 BC):
The name of this ruler is written cargon, in the Old Testament, Shar-ukin in the cuneiform inscriptions, Arna, in the Septuagint, and Arkeanos, in the Ptolemaic Canon. Sargon is mentioned but once by name in the Old Testament (Isaiah 20:1), when he sent his Tartan (turtannu) against Ashdod, but he is referred to in 2 Kings 17:6 as "the king of Assyria" who carried Israel into captivity.
Shalmaneser V had laid siege to Samaria and besieged it three years. But shortly before or very soon after its capitulation, Sargon, perhaps being responsible for the king's death, overthrew the dynasty, and in his annals credited himself with the capture of the city and the deportation of its inhabitants. Whether he assumed the name of the famous ancient founder of the Accad dynasty is not known.
Sargon at the beginning of his reign was confronted with a serious situation in Babylon. Merodach-baladan of Kaldu, who paid tribute to previous rulers, on the change of dynasty had himself proclaimed king, New Year's Day, 721 BC. At Dur-ilu, Sargon fought with the forces of Merodachbalddan and his ally Khumbanigash of Elam, but although he claimed a victory the result was apparently indecisive. Rebellions followed in other parts of the kingdom.
In 720 BC Ilu-bi'di (or Yau-bi'di), king of Hamath, formed a coalition against Sargon with Hanno of Gaza, Sib'u of Egypt, and with the cities Arpad, Simirra, Damascus and Samaria. He claims that Sib'u fled, and that he captured and flayed Ilu-bi'di, burned Qarqar, and carried Hanno captive to Assyria. After destroying Rapihu, he carried away 9,033 inhabitants to Assyria.
In the following year Ararat was invaded and the Hittite Carchemish fell before his armies. The territory of Rusas, king of Ararat, as well as a part of Melitene became Assyrian provinces.
In 710 BC Sargon directed his attention to Merodachbaladan, who no longer enjoyed the support of Elam, and whose rule over Babylon had not been popular with his subjects. He was driven out from Babylon and also from his former capital Bit-Yakin, and Sargon had himself crowned as the shakkanak of Babylon.
In 706 BC the new city called Dur-Sharrukin was dedicated as his residence. A year later he was murdered. It was during his reign that the height of Assyrian ascendancy had been reached.
A. T. Clay
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