|Stolen Stones: The Modern Sack of Nineveh
|December 30, 1996
|by John Malcolm Russell
For information on the more recent looting in Iraq, see “Taking Stock in Baghdad,” April-July 2003.
|The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold,
And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold.
(Byron, “The Destruction of Sennacherib,” 1815)
So wrote Byron of the siege of Jerusalem, undertaken by the Assyrian king Sennacherib in 701 B.C. from Nineveh [IMAGE, 37K], capital of the greatest empire the world had ever known. For two and one-half millennia, the only known account of this momentous event was in II Kings 18-19, which reports that Sennacherib’s invincible army was laid low by the angel of the Lord, after which Sennacherib returned to Nineveh where he was murdered by his sons. Nineveh itself fell to the Medes and Babylonians in 612 B.C., its splendor buried under the shifting dust of northern Mesopotamia.
This was a part of an article that I found that speaks about Nineveh in the modern context of today (1996). After the modern War’s the palace of Sennacherib was protected by our troops but after they left things got pretty iffy. Parts if the palace walls are being sold in the open market. Nineveh is across the river from Mosul where ISIS burned an 1800 year old Christian Church and basically forced all the Christians to leave. They have fled to what is now a new Kurdistan. Nineveh and the Assyrians are really central to the Old Testament and the people of Israel and the historical purposes of God. Jonah is about Nineveh and one of the atrocities of ISIS is the destruction of Jonah’s burial site. Nahum is about the Assyrians and God’s judgment against them and His plans for the world.
Pastor Nathanael Mayhew of Zion Lutheran Church, Lawrenceville, GA wrote a study on Nahum – http://clclutheran.org/atlanta/bibleclass/booksofbibleoverview/ot/nahumfulfillment.html – and he wrote this –
“Nahum predicts that this would be the end for Nineveh, for not only would it be destroyed, but it would disappear into history, “What do you conspire against the LORD? He will make an utter end of it. Affliction will not rise up a second time” (1:9), “Your name shall be perpetuated no longer. Out of the house of your gods I will cut off the carved image and the molded image. I will dig your grave, For you are vile” (1:14), “the voice of your messengers shall be heard no more” (2:13), “Nineveh is laid waste!” (3:7), and “She is empty, desolate, and waste!” (2:10). With very few exceptions every large ancient city in the Orient has been destroyed; but many of them have been rebuilt, and some are still around today. But that would not be the case with this city. Just 200 years after its destruction the Greek historian Xenophon traveled past the site of its destruction without realizing that it was even there. For centuries the very site of the ancient city remained unknown and some even believed that Nineveh had never existed. ”
So wrap your brain around this – Mosul is across the river from Nineveh. Nineveh was excavated and the ancient city and the temple where Sennacherib was murdered by his sons were uncovered and now even the dug up carvings in the walls are being cut out and sold to people on the open market. Across the river in modern day Mosul a new type of Sennacherib is trying to form a Caliphate. Selling something on the open market that dates back to 663 BC and destroying an 1800 year old Christian Church are not morally equivalent but the point is that these people have no conscience or “fear of the Lord”. The fact that a political party and its leaders in this country compare Christian moral concern about abortion to the attitude of modern day Sennacheribs’ and Nebuchanezers’ should be appalling to any thinking person.