Assyrian vs Biblical accounts

TRANSPONDER wrote: Fri Nov 05, 2021 6:47 am But the Bible has an additional claim that God smote the Assyrians and that was why they marched away, and with no mention of tribute.

I wouldn’t necessarily call it “spin” just because the tribute was not mentioned in Isaiah. It’s not like every single account of every event in the Bible must provide a comprehensive treatment detailing every single thing that has happened. In all three accounts, there are elements not found in the others, but their stories match up pretty well, even aligning with the Assyrian account. Must there be a perfect alignment? I do not think there needs to be, but I think it’s close enough for government work.

And the spin is that God effectively helped Hezekiah to beat the Assyrians and yet Chronicles makes it clear that they didn’t.

Don’t know what you mean. 2 Chron explicitly says God helped Hezekiah beat the Assyrians.

2Chr 32:1 And the LORD sent an angel, who cut off all the mighty warriors and commanders and officers in the camp of the king of Assyria. So he returned with shame of face to his own land.

2Chr 32:1 So the LORD saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib king of Assyria and from the hand of all his enemies, and he provided for them on every side.

The point about ending the Jewish race is not even hypothetically valid. Since Hezekiah submitted, Sennacherib didn’t raze Jerusalem, so your point is Hypothetical.

If you only read the Assyrian version, yes, it would make it seem like Sennacherib left Jerusalem because of the tribute. But in the Bible, Sennacherib still attacked, even though he did get a tribute.

The question is which story is more believable?

But later, the 2nd Babylonian Empire did just that, and yet the Jews came back from Exile and became an effective nation again under the Persians.

The way the Assyrians and Babylonians conquered their enemies were different. As evidenced by the northern kingdom, the Assyrians were able to completely destroy their nationality, Hence they are the 10 lost tribes of Israel. If Assyria conquered Judah, they would’ve suffered the same fate.

But the Bible says the army was smitten and the King marched away and there would have been no submission or tribute. And evidence of the Bible and the Assyrian records shows that there was.

Again, just because Isaiah doesn’t record a tribute, it doesn’t mean there wasn’t one. Now, if it said in Isaiah that “And Sennacherib demanded a tribute and Hezekiah refused to comply”, then yes, it would be a contradiction.

Suppose I ask someone to recount the story of the siege on Jerusalem. He talks about Sennacherib attacking all the fortified cities of Judah and conquered them, the Assyrian messenger Rabshakeh going to Jerusalem to tell them surrender or they will suffer the same fate as all the other cities in Judah, Hezekiah praying to God, Isaiah saying God will deliver them, an angel of God kills 185,000 of the Assyrian army, and Sennacherib leaves without conquering Jerusalem. Can I then say he’s lying and spinning the story because he didn’t talk about the part of the tribute?

There is no reason to see God having anything to do with it, even of some kind of camp sickness is true.

On the human level, everything could be attributed to natural causes. It could be rodents carrying some plague that killed off the Assyrian army.

On a historic level, the siege was pivotal. Pretty much all of Judah was conquered by Sennacherib. The last city was Jerusalem. I think this is why Sennacherib violated war protocol by taking the tribute and also attacked. He knew if he could finish it off, that would be the end of his worries of all of Israel. He was dead set on conquering Jerusalem, even to the point that going back on his own word of accepting tribute for not attacking.

There was nothing Hezekiah could count on to stop the attack. All of his other cities fell and none of them could come to help. He had given away all the fortunes of the city as tribute and that didn’t work. Rabshakeh implied they didn’t even have 2000 men who could fight in the city. They only thing they could count on was a miracle from God. At the absolute low point where there was no other hope, then God delivered them.

Even if it had, there is no more evidence that God is real than the Insurance claim of an accident for which no human is responsible actually shows that a god is involved.

I think it’s the timing of events that makes it remarkable. Here is the most powerful empire in the region coming against one powerless holdout city. And then something happens practically overnight to completely turn the tide. And if the city would’ve been taken, that would’ve been the dead end of Judah, Jews, Jesus, and Christianity.

there was disease or some other problem and Hezekiah offered terms which Sennacherib accepted.

That’s the spin from the Assyrian account. But, it makes no sense. They were powerful enough to take all the other cities of Judah. They only had one city left to conquer. And they had no army to speak of compared to the Assyrian army. And Rabshakeh taunted them that they would suffer the same fate as all the others they have conquered.

2Chr 32:1 “Like the gods of the nations of the lands who have not delivered their people from my hands, so the God of Hezekiah will not deliver his people from my hand.”

And then the Assyrians simply walk away after all this? Doesn’t hold water to me.