‘One Assyria Policy’ and the invasions of Israel


Koot van Wyk, Visiting Professor, KNU Sangju Campus, South Korea


Years ago my professor, Charles Fensham, said that Saggs indicated in his book on Assyria that the Assyrian territory was a drier one than the Babylonian one. Therefore, when they were in power, they use to invade other countries in order to take their booty to fill the gaps. All kinds of gaps. Migrations were then used to bring slavery and technical engineers to their territory to solve their problems in the country.

They operated with a “one Assyria policy” and that meant that Babylonia was considered historically to belong to Sumer and Akkad and thus in days passed was one territory, no matter how many millennia in the past. So Babylonia was to act and work together with Assyria within this unity framework and failure to do so was met with invasions and war. It was considered rebellion when Merodach-Baladan wanted to be separate and independent during the days of Sennacherib, when Hezekiah got sick in 702 BCE.

The Assyrians suffered from the Lucifer Syndrome (Isaiah 14) in that they wanted to excel their power all over the earth. They wanted to sit in the seat of God as “god”.

In modern times this attitude is still pervasive by some nations. Godlessness or atheism or agnosticism is honored or state-manipulated religion, where their god does not interfere too much with the state is sought for.

The Assyrians in the days of Hezekiah became angry with his attitude of independence. He and Merodach-Baladan, the rebel from Babylon were friends and he paid a visit to Hezekiah. Thus, in 701 BCE, Sennacherib came to Israel also, to all rebellious nations that did not recognize the ‘one Assyria-policy’. Allies of rebels were also considered independent seekers and thus punishment was the only remedy for Assyria. Sennacherib came to Jerusalem and kept Hezekiah locked up “like a bird in a cage” he reported in the original of his Third Campaign text. It is also the time Lachish was taken by force and all these nations had to pay money as tax. The event is summarized in Isaiah 36:1.  

In 689 BCE, described in detail by the historiographer Isaiah, running between Isaiah 36:2-37:34, Sennacherib came again but did not come to Jerusalem. He sent generals. They came to make a treaty. Their concept of peace was one-sided. Follow us and you will be prosperous with peace. Resist us and you will be pieces.

When the enemy comes to make peace and talk treaties, it reminds me of the anecdote that Charles Brooks told in his sermon about a frog and a scorpion.

A scorpion came to the frog and asked to be his friend and make peace and asked whether the frog can help him. The deal is that the frog must take the scorpion across the dam. The frog said that he is afraid because halfway on the dam, he may throw him with his missile tail and subsequently is he scared to help. “I promise,” said the scorpion, “how can I sting a kind friend like you?” The frog then carried the scorpion across the dam. When they arrived at the other side the scorpion stung the frog with his missile. “Let me remind you of your promise,” said the frog. “Sorry,” said the scorpion, “it is my nature to sting”.

In the contract or peace-agreement that Assyria offered, he asked them to come out of Jerusalem and be taken to a “paradise” where each one will sit under his vine, fig tree and at a cistern (Isaiah 36:16). What Assyria did, also with their invasions, is to landgrab from the rich their property and give it to party members or officials of the state. Ever heard of Engels and his 1893 book with the chapter: “The housing question”. Engels is just a warm-up of a theft motif that was part of the Lucifer-syndrome in heaven. “I want to take over the throne of God and sit in His place” (Isaiah 14:12-14). Lenin in his “The State and Revolution” of 1917 took Engels ideas over. One cannot break the commandments of God and in the same breath suggest religion is acceptable. Result? Bibles are forbidden and if used, only under state supervision and watchful eye since morally and ethically the system is corrupt essentially. They fear religion because they know they are wrong but they do not want to hear it. Assyria is also against the God of Hezekiah (Isaiah 36:18). In this scenario of invasion to solve the ‘one Assyria syndrome’ problems demand an absence of gods or God to tell them what they should or should not do. They rejected all religions, true and false just in case (Isaiah 36:20).

It is either the Bible or Engels/Marx/Lenin but not both. Landgrab is categorically and explicitly forbidden in the Bible, not only in one place, many places like Proverbs, Amos 1, and Micah 2:1-4.

Is it not irony that in modern times people talk about socialism of a Russian kind, socialism of a Chinese kind, socialism of a Korean kind, socialism of an Israeli kind, socialism of a Spanish, socialism of a Zimbawean kind but the core of the socialism comes from outside these countries from European Jewish philosophers and has nothing to do with the countries’ heritage themselves. What links them all is this philosophical core in Europe. In reality, looking at the results of socialism in all these countries and witnesses explaining about it, “socialism is the inability to make money and resorting to theft with Engels/Marx/Lenin to justify and rationalize what is wrong as right and thereby to make-up for the deficit by taking from the rich and give to the poor with a Robin Hood mentality”. No wonder the Bible conflict. No wonder Hezekiah was not interested in Assyria’s proposal.

“This is a day of Trouble” said Hezekiah Isaiah 37:3.

God sent then Tirhaka to come from Egypt as rescue. This western power scared Sennacherib a bit and he moved from Lachish. Tirhaka could not have come in 701 BCE because the Kawa IV inscription said that he was with his mother until the age of 20 and was born in 708 BCE. It had to be in 689 BCE (see Isaiah 37:9).

To solve this trouble, Hezekiah did what all of us must do: pray (Isaiah 37:16-20).

God came to his rescue and many soldiers died by a plaque (37:36).


Dear God Also we, here in South Korea are faced with a problem that we are sandwiched between superpowers, not Assyria and Egypt but current powers and we need Your help desperately, Amen.