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Myths of Babylonia and Assyria

Page: 215

In time Jehoiada stirred up a revolt against the Baal-worshipping queen of Judah. Having secured the support of the captains of the royal guard and a portion of the army, he brought out from the temple the seven years old prince Joash, "the king's son, and put upon him the crown, and gave him the testimony, and made him king. And Jehoiada and his sons anointed him, and said, God save the king.

"Now when Athaliah heard the noise of the people running and praising the king, she came to the people into the house of the Lord: and she looked, and, behold the king stood at his pillar at the entering in, and the princes and the trumpets by the king: and all the people of the land rejoiced, and sounded with trumpets, also the singers with instruments of musick, and such as taught to sing praise. Then Athaliah rent her clothes, and said, Treason, Treason.

"Then Jehoiada the priest brought out the captains of hundreds that were set over the host, and said unto them, Have her forth of the ranges: and whoso followeth her, let him be slain by the sword. For the priest said, Slay her not in the house of the Lord. So they laid hands on her; and when she was come to the entering of the horse gate by the king's house, they slew her there.

"And Jehoiada made a covenant between him, and between all the people, and between the king, that they should be the Lord's people. Then all the people went to the house of Baal, and brake it down, and brake his altars and his images in pieces, and slew Mattan the priest of Baal before the altars."[462]

When Jehu of Israel died, he was succeeded by Jehoahaz. "The Lord was kindled against Israel, and he delivered them into the hand of Ben-hadad the son of Hazael all their days." Then Jehoahaz repented. He "besought the Lord, and the Lord hearkened unto him: for he saw the oppression of Israel, because the king of Syria oppressed them. And the Lord gave Israel a saviour, so that they went out from under the hands of the Syrians."[463] The "saviour", as will be shown, was Assyria. Not only Israel, but Judah, under King Joash, Edom, the Philistines and the Ammonites were compelled to acknowledge the suzerainty of Damascus.

Shalmaneser III swayed an extensive and powerful empire, and kept his generals continually employed suppressing revolts on his frontiers. After he subdued the Hittites, Kati, king of Tabal, sent him his daughter, who was received into the royal harem. Tribes of the Medes came under his power: the Nairi and Urartian tribes continued battling with his soldiers on his northern borders like the frontier tribes of India against the British troops. The kingdom of Urartu was growing more and more powerful.

In 829 B.C. the great empire was suddenly shaken to its foundations by the outbreak of civil war. The party of rebellion was led by Shalmaneser's son Ashur-danin-apli, who evidently desired to supplant the crown prince Shamshi-Adad. He was a popular hero and received the support of most of the important Assyrian cities, including Nineveh, Asshur, Arbela, Imgurbel, and Dur-balat, as well as some of the dependencies. Shalmaneser retained Kalkhi and the provinces of northern Mesopotamia, and it appears that the greater part of the army also remained loyal to him.


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