Review of Time & Prophecy - Hezekiah - part 4 - Sargon is Sennacherib

“As Tadmor has observed, such a statement never appears in the titulary of Sennacherib. This omission is surprising since Sennacherib was unquestionably [sic] the legitimate heir of Sargon II”.

Toby has further written:


Greetings all,

I have mentioned several times now, that there is evidence that Sargon and Sennacherib are indeed the same person. I do not claim that their reigns overlapped each other, but I believe that Sargon (the Assyrian name) came to be called Sennacherib … much as Tiglathpileser (Assyrian) came to be called PUL …. I have given evidence from the Eponym and Assyrian King lists; and I have given evidence from scripture.

But there is more.

This part is just a few snippets from … Damien Mackey’s internet article called ‘Sargon is Sennacherib’. It is a fairly long article, but I wanted you all to see at least a couple of his major points. The rest of this section is all from his article:

What had struck me, however, was that Sargon's 12th and 15th year campaigns were worded very similarly to Sennacherib's first two campaigns.

Sargon: "In my twelfth year of reign, Marduk-apal-iddina [Merodach-baladan] and Shuturnahundu, the Elamite ... I ... smote with the sword, and conquered ..."

Sennacherib: "In my first campaign I accomplished the defeat of Merodach-baladan ... together with the army of Elam, his ally ....".


Sargon: "Talta, king of the Ellipi ... reached the appointed limit of life ... Ispabara [his son] ... fled into ... the fortress of Marubishti, ... that fortress they overwhelmed as with a net. ... people ... I brought up."

Sennacherib: "... I turned and took the road to the land of the Ellipi. ... Ispabara, their king, ... fled .... The cities of Marubishti and Akkuddu, ... I destroyed .... Peoples of the lands my hands had conquered I settled therein".

Added to this was the possibility that they had built their respective 'Palace Without Rival' close in time, because the accounts of each were worded almost identically …. Eric Aitchison alerted me to the incredible similarity in language between these two accounts:

Sargon: "Palaces of ivory, maple, boxwood, musukkani-wood (mulberry?), cedar, cypress, juniper, pine and pistachio, the "Palace without Rival"2a), for my royal abode .... with great beams of cedar I roofed them. Door-leaves of cypress and maple I bound with ... shining bronze and set them up in their gates. A portico, patterned after a Hittite (Syrian) palace, which in the tongue of Amurru they call a bit-hilanni, I built before their gates. Eight lions, in pairs, weighing 4610 talents, of shining bronze, fashioned according to the workmanship of Ninagal, and of dazzling brightness; four cedar columns, exceedingly high, each 1 GAR in thickness ... I placed on top of the lion-colossi, I set them up as posts to support their doors. Mountain-sheep (as) mighty protecting deities, I cunningly constructed out of great blocks of mountain stone, and, setting them toward the four winds ... I adorned their entrances. Great slabs of limestone, - the (enemy) towns which my hands had captured I sculptured thereon and I had them set up around their (interior) walls; I made them objects of astonishment".

Sennacherib: "Thereon I had them build a palace of ivory, maple, boxwood, mulberry (musukannu), cedar, cypress ... pistachio, the "Palace without a Rival"2a), for my royal abode. Beams of ceda .... Great door-leaves of cypress, whose odour ... I bound with shining copper and set them up in their doors. A portico, patterned after a Hittite (Syrian) palace, which they call in the Amorite tongue a bit-hilani, I constructed inside them (the doors) .... Eight lions, open at the knee, advancing, constructed out of 11,400 talents of shining bronze, of the workmanship of the god Nin-a-gal, and full of splendour ... two great cedar pillars, (which) I placed upon the lions (colossi), I set up as posts to support their doors. Four mountain sheep, as protecting deities ... of great blocks of mountain stone ... I fashioned cunningly, and setting them towards the four winds (directions), I adorned their entrances. Great slabs of limestone, the enemy tribes, whom my hands had conquered, dragged through them (the doors), and I set them up around the walls, - I made them objects of astonishment".


Conventional Theory's Strengths

(i) Primary

I can find only two examples of a primary nature for the conventional view.

By far the strongest support for convention in my opinion is Esarhaddon's above-quoted statement from what is called Prism S - and it appears in the same form in several other documents as well - that he was 'son of Sennacherib and (grand)son of Sargon'. Prism A in the British Museum is somewhat similar, though much more heavily bracketted ….:


[Esarhaddon, the great king, the mighty king, king of the universe, king of Assyria, viceroy of Babylon, king] of [Sumer] and Akkad, [son of Sennacherib, the great king, the mighty king], king of Assyria, [(grand)son of Sargon, the great king, the mighty king], king of Assyria ....


The first document, Prism S, would be enough to stop me dead in my tracks, were it not for other evidences in support of my proposed merger.

The other, quasi-primary evidence is in regard to Sennacherib's accession. One reads in history books of supposed documentary evidence telling that Sargon was killed and that Sennacherib sat on the throne. Carl Olaf Jonsson gives it, bracketed again, as follows ….:


For the eponym Nashur(a)-bel (705 BC) one of the Eponym Chronicles (Cb6) adds the note that the king (= Sargon) was killed, and that Sennacherib, on Ab 12, took his seat on the throne.


What one notices in all of the above cases of what I have deemed to be primary evidence is that bracketting is always involved. Prism S, the most formidable testimony, has the word "(grand)son" in brackets. In Prism A, the entire titulary has been square bracketed, which would indicate that Assyriologists have added what they presume to have been in the original text, now missing. And, regarding Sennacherib's accession, Jonsson qualifies the un-named predecessor king with the bracketted "(= Sargon)".


It was customary for the Assyrian kings to record their titulary back through father and grandfather. There are two notable exceptions in neo-Assyrian history: interestingly, Sargon and Sennacherib, who record neither father nor grandfather. John Russell's explanation for this omission is as follows ….:


In nearly every other Assyrian royal titulary, the name of the king was followed by a brief genealogy of the form "son of PN1, who was son of PN2," stressing the legitimacy of the king. As Tadmor has observed, such a statement never appears in the titulary of Sennacherib. This omission is surprising since Sennacherib was unquestionably [sic] the legitimate heir of Sargon II. Tadmor suggests that Sennacherib omitted his father's name either because of disapproval of Sargon's policies or because of the shameful manner of Sargon's death ....

This may be, but it is important to note that Sargon also omitted the genealogy from his own titulary, presumably because, contrary to this name (Sargon is the biblical form of Šarru-kên: "the king is legitimate"), he was evidently not truly the legitimate ruler. Perhaps Sennacherib wished to avoid drawing attention to a flawed genealogy: the only way Sennacherib could credibly have used the standard genealogical formulation would have been with a statement such as "Sennacherib, son of Sargon, who was not the son of Shalmaneser", or "who was son of a nobody", and this is clearly worse than nothing at all.


That there was some unusual situation here cannot be doubted. And the bracketing that we find in Esarhaddon's titulary may be a further reflection of it. By contrast, Esarhaddon's son, Ashurbanipal, required no such bracketing when he declared: I am Assurbanipal ... offspring of the loins of Esarhaddon ...; grandson of Sennacherib ...".



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