Cam Rea: "Assyria's invasion of Media, a Short Introduction"

The Ten Tribes of Israel were exiled by the Assyrians to the North and settled in the Cities of the Medes becoming later identified as Medes.

 A Brit-AM 
 Historical Study 
by Cam Rea

Strive not with a man without cause, if he hath done thee no harm" (Proverbs 3;30).
And the channels of the sea appeared, the foundations of the world were discovered, at the rebuking of the LORD, at the blast of the breath of his nostrils.
He sent from above, he took me; he drew me out of many waters:  (2-Samuel 22;16-17).
Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee" (Proverbs 4;24)



Assyria's invasion of Media, a Short Introduction

by Cam Rea

Assyria's invasion of Media, a Short Introduction
By Cam Rea

The Medes according to the Bible were the descendants of Japheth (Gen 10:2).[1] However, the first time the Medes are mentioned in inscription was during the reign of Shalmaneser III around 834 BCE give or take a few years. This came to be when Shalmaneser III went on campaign east of Parsua. Once the Assyrians decided to return home, they had to pass through the Hamadan plain and right through the region called Media.[2] This may have been the first time that the two nations meet name wise but I find it unlikely due to Parsua being mentioned for the first time in 844 BCE. The province of Parsua is considered as being apart of Median territory and one could make the argument that Media is first mentioned in 844BCE.[3] However, it was during this campaign that twenty-seven kings of Parsua gave gifts. However, it is more likely that twenty-seven chiefs gave gifts.[4] Shalmaneser III mentions this campaign in his annuals: the lands of.. the Medes, the lands of Araziash and Kharkhar I descended ..I slew their warriors, I carried off their spoil...[5]
Once Shalmaneser III died, his son Samsi-Adad V ascended the throne of Assyria. Samsi-Adad V like his father also invaded the region of Media. Samsi-Adad V invaded Media around 815 BCE and caused great devastation to the region. According to Samsi-Adad V he killed 2,300 Medes, 140 horsemen captured, and 1,200 settlements were all destroyed. In-addition, it should be noted that this was the beginning of regular Median tribute. However, Assyria still raided Media whenever it wanted to quench its thirst for more.[6] Once Samsi-Adad V died, Adadnerari III came to the throne and conducted eight more campaigns against the Medes.[7] However, I have not found any info about any of the campaigns other then the dates and the fact that they were just mainly raids and no conquest.[8] The next Assyrian king to invade Media was none other then Tiglath-pileser III. Tiglath-pileser III invaded the region on several occasions,[9] it is said he deported on one campaign 65,000 Medes back to Assyria, and if that is not enough, it is said he moved another 154,000 from the region. Afterwards, Tiglath-pileser III had to replace them with conquered peoples from the west that were mainly Aramaeans, which were deported Israelites and quite possibly Syrians mixed in as well.[10] Once Tiglath-pileser III died, Sargon II would continue the on and off campaign against Media which resulted in six expeditions into the loosely held territory.[11] During Sargon II invasion of the Kingdom of Israel it is stated that he deported back 27.290 from the capital of Samaria. However, one must consider the fact that there most likely were no more Israelites in the former Kingdom of Israel, for Samaria became the welcoming center for incoming deportees to be resettled. In other words, Israel was wide open like the Oklahoma land grab of 1889. Sargon II did have more encounters with the Medes sometime later in which they paid heavy tribute to him. Prior to this and to give you an example, Sargon II conquered Kishesim, and Harhar, and turned them into Assyrian provinces, and settled people from all over in these cities. However, Sargon II conquered and set up many of his own officials throughout Media controlled Assyria. It could be said that the Median chieftains that were forced to pay tribute were also flooded with deportees as in the case of the Israelites, for the provinces or regions conquered by the Assyrians had a center welcoming deportees along with a watch man looking over them just like in Samaria. In-addition, this did not always work, and most likely as time went on it is possible that ether many Median chieftains joined the soon to come rebellions, or were disposed of by the deportees. It is a question to consider. [12] When Sargon II died the term Mede slowly fads away, but the regions name stays. In turn, we read names such as Cimmerian, Ishkuza, and Umman-manda more then Mede or Medes. It seems that the deported Israelites were the successors of the Media region. This is not to say there was no Medes around, it is just not many of them were found.[13]

[1] King James Bible
[2] M. Dandamayev and I. Medvedskaya, "Media."  Encyclopedia Iranica,
newsite/articles/unicode/ot_grp10/ot_media_20060106.html January 6, 2006
[3] De Vries, Ellens, Kinerim, Kalimi, Gods word for our world, p. 101-102
[4] M. Dandamayev and I. Medvedskaya, "Media."  Encyclopedia Iranica,

January 6, 2006
[5] Boyce, A History of Zoroastrianism, p. 7
[6] M. Dandamayev and I. Medvedskaya, "Media."  Encyclopedia Iranica,
January 6, 2006
[7] Yamauchi, Persia and the Bible, p. 47
[8] Roux, Ancient Iraq, p. 302
[9] Mills, Bullard, Mercer Dictionary of the Bible, p. 562
[10] Sanderson Beck, "Assyrian, Babylonian, and Persian Empires."
[11] Yamauchi, Persia and the Bible, p. 48
[12] Kristensen, Who were the Cimmerians, and where did they come from?, p. 123-125
[13] Rea, The Assyrian Exile: Israe's Legacy in Captivity, p. 45,49,64,68

Also by Cam Rea
From Parthia to Gothica
"Sometimes They Come Back". The Assyrian Exile
"The War Machine of Scythia
Israelites After the Assyrian Exile

See also,
Articles on this subject by Yair Davidiy:
The Completeness of the Exile
What Spake Zarathustra?
The Cimmerians, Scythians, and Israel
Pictures of Ancient Hebrews: Hebrew Types

by Steven Collins

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