Summary: Archers fire volleys of arrows on the incoming hoards of Assyrian troops besieging the city of Samaria. The cries of dying soldiers on both sides is heard in the hot morning air. Assyria is a powerful kingdom invading Israel from the north.
Archers fire volleys of arrows on the incoming hoards of Assyrian troops besieging the city of Samaria. The cries of dying soldiers on both sides is heard in the hot morning air. Assyria is a powerful kingdom invading Israel from the north. King Hoshea of Israel was an evil leader, and so Israel was defeated by Assyria, and forced to pay heavy tributes to Assyria. But King Hoshea secretly plots against Assyria with Egypt, and soon Assyria’s king Shalmaneser hears about his treachery.
So Assyria has come and besieged Samaria, for three long years. Thousands of people must’ve starved to death. Many must’ve died in the fighting. But finally, the Assyrian troops broke through the walls, and the entire kingdom of Israel is taken captive, and taken to Assyria.
The northern kingdom has fallen. If you recall, all 20 kings that reigned over the northern kingdom did evil in the eyes of God. And finally all that evil and demon worship and idolatry and corruption has led the northern kingdom into complete collapse. They are destroyed by Assyria, and the survivors are dragged back to Assyria.
And we actually have archaeological evidence that this did take place. There are several ancient carvings that were discovered that depict how Assyria took captive Israel and brought them back to Assyria.
But why? Why did this happen? This is God’s chosen nation, the people he planned to raise up to be a blessing to the whole world. First it split into north and south, now the north falls.
And it explains in 2nd Kings 17 why this happened: 7-11 “7 All this took place because the Israelites had sinned against the Lord their God, who had brought them up out of Egypt from under the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. They worshiped other gods 8 and followed the practices of the nations the Lord had driven out before them, as well as the practices that the kings of Israel had introduced. 9 The Israelites secretly did things against the Lord their God that were not right. From watchtower to fortified city they built themselves high places in all their towns. 10 They set up sacred stones and Asherah poles on every high hill and under every spreading tree. 11 At every high place they burned incense, as the nations whom the Lord had driven out before them had done. They did wicked things that aroused the Lord’s anger.”
So the northern kingdom is gone. Boom, gone. No longer there. They are taken to Assyria. And Assyria sends it’s own people into Israel to live there.
Now we turn the page to 2nd Kings 18, and we focus in on all that remains of God’s people, the kingdom of Judah. In Judah, the new king is king Hezekiah. He is only 25 years old when he becomes king.
And at this moment in history Judah is very worried. They see the entire kingdom of Israel fall, and now Assyria is on their doorstep.
For many years Assyria doesn’t bother Judah. But 14 years later, when Hezekiah is 39 years old, Assyria begins their invasion. Hezekiah tries to buy them off, sending them tribute, but it doesn’t work, their army comes right to Jerusalem the holy city.
So you’ve got this guy Sennacherib, he’s sort of the Assyria king’s personal representative. And he comes to the walls of Jerusalem and he’s meeting with some of King Hezekiah’s senior guys.
You’ll see on the slide here a photograph of the remnants of the broad wall, that was built during the reign of king Hezekiah, to hold off the Assyrian army. This is all history folks, it’s real stuff, go to Jerusalem, you can see this place for yourself. Someday I hope to visit Israel, after five years good service officers can go on a special guided tour of Israel so I’m very excited to do that.
So Sennacherib says this, ““On what are you basing this confidence of yours? 20 You say you have the counsel and the might for war—but you speak only empty words. On whom are you depending, that you rebel against me? 25 Furthermore, have I come to attack and destroy this place without word from the Lord? The Lord himself told me to march against this country and destroy it.’”
So Sennacherib is at the wall of Jerusalem shouting out all this garbage to Judah. And Hezekiah’s representatives reply and say hey, speak to us in Aramaic. Because he’s saying all this in Hebrew, and they don’t want it to make the archers on the walls nervous.
But Sennacherib wants everyone to hear this. He’s trying to scare Judah’s troops. His chief of staff replies“ 7 “Do you think my master sent this message only to you and your master? He wants all the people to hear it, for when we put this city under siege, they will suffer along with you. They will be so hungry and thirsty that they will eat their own dung and drink their own urine.”