The Stele of YHWH in Egypt: The Prophecies of Isaiah 18–20 concerning Egypt and Kush

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Imprint Leiden ; Boston : Brill, Physical description xviii, p. Online Available online. Full view.

Green Library. E59 B35 Unknown. More options. The rectangular sail was attached to a yard which could be hoisted or lowered at will. The wealth which accrued to the Tyrians from their naval expeditions had rendered the superiority of Tyre over the neighbouring cities so manifest that they had nearly all become her vassals.

Besides these, some parts of Cyprus were dependent on Tyre, though the Achaean colonies, continually reinforced by fresh immigrants, had absorbed most of the native population and driven the rest into the mountains.

A hybrid civilisation had developed among these early Greek settlers, amalgamating the customs, religions, and arts of the ancient eastern world of Egypt, Syria, and Chaldoa in variable proportions: their script was probably derived from one of the Asianic systems whose monuments are still but partly known, and it consisted of a syllabary awkwardly adapted to a language for which it had not been designed.

A dozen petty kings, of whom the majority were Greeks, disputed possession of the northern and eastern parts of the island, at Idalion, Khytros, Paphos, Soli, Kourion, Tamassos, and Ledron. The Phoenicians had given way at first before the invaders, and had grouped themselves in the eastern plain round Kition; they had, however, subsequently assumed the offensive, and endeavoured to regain the territory they had lost.

If this was actually the case, and Elulai was compelled to suspend hostilities against these hereditary foes, one can understand that this grievance, added to the reasons for uneasiness inspired by the situation of his continental dominions, may have given him the desire to rid himself of the yoke of Assyria, and contributed to his resolution to ally himself with the powers which were taking up arms against her. The latter monarch, who had ascended the throne while still very young, had at first shown no ambition beyond the carrying out of religious reforms.

His father Ahaz had been far from orthodox, in spite of the influence exerted over him by Isaiah.

The stele of YHWH in Egypt: the prophecies of Isaiah 18-20 concerning Egypt and Kush

During his visit to Tiglath-pileser at Damascus B. He sent a description of it to the high priest Urijah, with orders to have a similar one constructed, and erected in the court of the temple at Jerusalem: this altar he appropriated to his personal use, and caused the priests to minister at it, instead of at the old altar, which he relegated to an inferior position. He also effected changes in the temple furniture, which doubtless appeared to him old-fashioned in comparison with the splendours of the Assyrian worship which he had witnessed, and he made some alterations in the approaches to the temple, wishing, as far as we can judge, that the King of Judah should henceforth, like his brother of Nineveh, have a private, means of access to his national god.

This was but the least of his offences: for had he not offered his own son as a holocaust at the moment he felt himself most menaced by the league of Israel and Damascus? Among the people themselves there were many faint-hearted and faithless, who, doubting the power of the God of their forefathers, turned aside to the gods of the neighbouring nations, and besought from them the succour they despaired of receiving from any other source; the worship of Jahveh was confounded with that of Moloch in the valley of the children of Hinnom, where there was a sanctuary or Tophet, at which the people celebrated the most horrible rites: a large and fierce pyre was kept continually burning there, to consume the children whose fathers brought them to offer in sacrifice.

On the occasion of the revolt of Yamani, Isaiah counselled Hezekiah to remain neutral, and this prudence enabled him to look on in security at the ruin of the Philistines, the hereditary foes of his race. Under his wise administration the kingdom of Judah, secured against annoyance from envious neighbours by the protection which Assur freely afforded to its obedient vassals, and revived by thirty years of peace, rose rapidly from the rank of secondary importance which it had formerly been content to occupy.

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Now that the kingdom of Israel had been reduced to the condition of an Assyrian province, it was on Judah and its capital that the hopes of the whole Hebrew nation were centred. Tyre and Jerusalem had hitherto formed the extreme outwork of the Syrian states; they were the only remaining barrier which separated the empires of Egypt and Assyria, and it was to the interest of the Pharaoh to purchase their alliance and increase their strength by every means in his power. An unforeseen circumstance opportunely rekindled their zeal, and determined them to try their fortune. To accept the present was equivalent to open rebellion, and a declaration of war against the power of the suzerain.

And of thy sons that shall issue from thee, which thou shalt beget, shall they take away; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the King of Babylon. Isaiah, though temporarily out of favour with the king, ceased not to proclaim aloud in all quarters the will of the Almighty. Therefore shall the strength of Pharaoh be your shame, and the trust in the shadow of Egypt your confusion.


For Egypt helpeth in vain, and to no purpose: therefore have I called her Rahab that sitteth still. For thus saith the Lord unto me, Like as when the lion growleth, and the young lion over his prey, if a multitude of shepherds be called forth against him, he will not be dismayed at their voice, nor abase himself for the noise of them: so shall the Lord of hosts come down to fight upon Mount Zion, and upon the hill thereof. As birds flying, so will the Lord of hosts protect Jerusalem: He will protect and deliver it.

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Turn ye unto Him from whom ye have deeply revolted, O children of Israel. No one, however, gave heed to his warnings, either king or people; but the example of Phoenicia soon proved that he was right. When Sennacherib bestirred himself, in the spring of B. He had no army to risk in a pitched battle; but fondly imagined that his cities, long since fortified, and protected on the east by the range of Lebanon, would offer a resistance sufficiently stubborn to wear out the patience of his assailant. The Assyrians, however, disconcerted his plans.

Instead of advancing against him by the pass of Nahr-el-Kebir, according to their usual custom, they attacked him in flank, descending into the very midst of his positions by the col of Legnia or one of the neighbouring passes. All his former possessions on the mainland were given to a certain Eth-baal, who chose Sidon for his seat of government, and Tyre lost by this one skirmish the rank of metropolis which she had enjoyed for centuries.

Sennacherib then turned against Ekron, and was about to begin the siege of the city, when the long-expected Egyptians at length made their appearance. We may here pause to inquire how Hezekiah was occupied while his fate was being decided on the field of Altaku. He was fortifying Jerusalem, and storing within it munitions of War, and enrolling Jewish soldiers and mercenary troops from the Arab tribes of the desert. He had suddenly become aware that large portions of the wall of the city of David had crumbled away, and he set about demolishing the neighbouring houses to obtain materials for repairing these breaches: he hastily strengthened the weak points in his fortifications, stopped up the springs which flowed into the Gibon, and cut off the brook itself, constructing a reservoir between the inner and outer city walls to store up the waters of the ancient pool.

O thou that art full of shoutings, a tumultuous city, a joyous town; thy slain are not slain with the sword, neither are they dead in battle. All thy rulers fled away together, they are made prisoners without drawing the bow; they are come hither from afar for safety, and all that meet together here shall be taken together.

Three Nations Resurrected In a Day, Israel, Assyria, and Egypt

And it came to pass that thy choicest valleys were full of chariots, and the horsemen set themselves in array at thy gate, and he took away the covering of Judah. And the Lord of hosts revealed Himself in mine ears, Surely this iniquity shall not be purged from you till ye die, saith the Lord, the Lord of Hosts. And I will thrust thee from thy office, and from thy station he shall pull thee down!

Behold, thou trustest upon the staff of this bruised reed, even upon Egypt; whereon if a man lean, it will go into his hand and pierce it: so is Pharaoh, King of Egypt, to all that trust on him. Let not Hezekiah deceive you; for he shall not be able to deliver you: neither let Hezekiah make you trust in the Lord, saying, The Lord will surely deliver us: this city shall not be given into the hand of the King of Assyria. Hearken not to Hezekiah: for thus saith the King of Assyria, Make your peace with me, and come out to me; and eat ye every one of his vine, and every one of his fig tree, and drink ye every one the waters of his own cistern; until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of corn and wine, a land of bread and vineyards.

Beware lest Hezekiah persuade you, saying, The Lord will deliver us! The Jewish king was to give up his wives and daughters as hostages, to pledge himself to pay a regular tribute, and disburse immediately a ransom of thirty talents of gold, and eight hundred talents of silver: he could only make up this large sum by emptying the royal and sacred treasuries, and taking down the plates of gold with which merely a short while before he had adorned the doors and lintels of the temple.

He had, indeed, already planned an attack on Egypt, and had reached the isthmus, when a mysterious accident arrested his further progress. The Hebrews did not hesitate to ascribe the event to the vengeance of Jahveh, and to make it a subject of thankfulness. Behold, thou hast heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands, by destroying them utterly; and shalt thou be delivered?

Have the gods of the nations delivered them which my fathers have destroyed, Gozan and Haran and Rezepk, and the children of Eden which were in Telassar? By the way that he came, by the same shall he return, and he shall not come unto this city, saith the Lord.


And it came to pass that night, that the angel of the Lord went forth, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred four-score and five thousand: and when men arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses. The Egyptians considered the event no less miraculous than did the Hebrews, and one of their popular tales ascribed the prodigy to Phtah, the god of Memphis. Sethon, the high priest of Phtah, lived in a time of national distress, and the warrior class, whom he had deprived of some of its privileges, refused to take up arms in his behalf.

He repaired, therefore, to the temple to implore divine assistance, and, falling asleep, was visited by a dream. The god appeared to him, and promised to send him some auxiliaries who should ensure him success. He enlisted such of the Egyptians as were willing to follow him, shopkeepers, fullers, and sutlers, and led them to Pelusium to resist the threatened invasion. In the night a legion of field-mice came forth, whence no one knew, and, noiselessly spreading throughout the camp of the Assyrians, gnawed the quivers, the bowstrings, and the straps of the bucklers in such a way that, on the morrow, the enemy, finding themselves disarmed, fled after a mere pretence at resistance, and suffered severe losses.

A statue was long shown in the temple at Memphis portraying this Sethon: he was represented holding a mouse in his hand, and the inscription bade men reverence the god who had wrought this miracle. The loss of a single army, however much to be deplored, was not irreparable, since Assyria could furnish her sovereign with a second force as numerous as that which lay buried in the desert on the road to Egypt, but it was uncertain what effect the news of the calamity and the sight of the survivors might have on the minds of his subjects and rivals.

The latter took no immediate action, and the secret joy which they must have experienced did not blind them to the real facts of the case; for though the power of Assyria was shaken, she was still stronger than any one of them severally, or even than all of them together, and to attack her or rebel against her now, was to court defeat with as much certainty as in past days.

The Pharaoh kept himself behind his rivers; the military science and skill which had baffled his generals on the field of Altaku did not inspire him with any desire to reappear on the plains of Palestine. Hezekiah, King of Judah, had emptied his treasury to furnish his ransom, his strongholds had capitulated one by one, and his territory, diminished by the loss of some of the towns of the Shephelah, was little botter than a waste of smoking ruins. He thought himself fortunate to have preserved his power under the suzerainty of Assyria, and his sole aim for many years was to refill his treasury, reconstitute his army, and re-establish his kingdom.

The Philistine and Nabatasan princes, and the chiefs of Moab, Ammon, and Idumsea, had nothing to gain by war, being too feeble to have any chance of success without the help of Judah, Tyre, and Egypt. The Syrians maintained a peaceful attitude, which was certainly their wisest policy; and during the following quarter of a century they loyally obeyed their governors, and gave Sennacherib no cause to revisit them. The Elamites, disconcerted by the rapidity of his action, allowed him to crush their allies unopposed; and as they had not openly intervened, the conqueror refrained from calling them to account for their intrigues.

Babylon paid the penalty for all: its sovereign, Belibni, who had failed to make the sacred authority of the suzerain respected in the city, and who, perhaps, had taken some part in the conspiracy, was with his family deported to Nineveh, and his vacant throne was given to Assur-nadin-shumu, a younger son of Sargon B. Order was once more restored in Karduniash, but Sennacherib felt that its submission would be neither sincere nor permanent, so long as Merodach-baladan was hovering on its frontier possessed of an army, a fleet, and a supply of treasure, and prepared to enter the lists as soon as circumstances seemed favourable to his cause.

Sennacherib resolved, therefore, to cross the head of the Persian Gulf and deal him such a blow as would once for all end the contest; but troubles which broke out on the Urartian frontier as soon as he returned forced, him to put off his project. The tribes of Tumurru, who had placed their strongholds like eyries among the peaks of Nipur, had been making frequent descents on the plains of the Tigris, which they had ravaged unchecked by any fear of Assyrian power. Sennacherib formed an entrenched camp at the foot of their mountain retreat, and there left the greater part of his army, while he set out on an adventurous expedition with a picked body of infantry and cavalry.

The Stele of YHWH in Egypt: The Prophecies of Isaiah 18–20 concerning Egypt and Kush The Stele of YHWH in Egypt: The Prophecies of Isaiah 18–20 concerning Egypt and Kush
The Stele of YHWH in Egypt: The Prophecies of Isaiah 18–20 concerning Egypt and Kush The Stele of YHWH in Egypt: The Prophecies of Isaiah 18–20 concerning Egypt and Kush
The Stele of YHWH in Egypt: The Prophecies of Isaiah 18–20 concerning Egypt and Kush The Stele of YHWH in Egypt: The Prophecies of Isaiah 18–20 concerning Egypt and Kush
The Stele of YHWH in Egypt: The Prophecies of Isaiah 18–20 concerning Egypt and Kush The Stele of YHWH in Egypt: The Prophecies of Isaiah 18–20 concerning Egypt and Kush
The Stele of YHWH in Egypt: The Prophecies of Isaiah 18–20 concerning Egypt and Kush The Stele of YHWH in Egypt: The Prophecies of Isaiah 18–20 concerning Egypt and Kush

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