Sargon King of Assyria
      Isaiah the prophet, in one of God’s prophecies regarding a judgment against the nations of Egypt and Ethiopia, mentions an Assyrian king by the name of Sargon.
      This posed a problem for archaeologists back in the earliest days of their field of study, during the early 1800's, because no mention of Sargon had been discovered on any artifact at that time. Some contended that Sargon never existed, while other scholars held that Sargon was just another name or title that the Bible used for either Shalmaneser, Sennacherib or the Assyrian king Esarhaddon.
      But a funny thing occurred, you could say it was God’s little joke on men of science. Eventually they found the royal palace of Sargon, and a majestic one it was at that. How come they knew it was Sargon’s palace? Well because the bricks lining the palace walls were engraved with his name.
      Not only was his name found, but his capture of the city of Ashdod as mentioned in Isaiah 20, was engraved on the palace walls as well. And not only that, but digs from the city of Ashdod itself later turned up fragments from a monument which recorded this victory.
      One of the inscriptions read “Sargon, king of Assyria, who conquered Samaria and the entire region of Israel, he who made captives of Ashdod.” (ANET 284)
Winged Bull
Displayed in the British museum is this monument which stood at the entrance of Sargon’s palace. On this statue of a winged bull there is an inscription listing Sargon's titles and achievements.
      Another Inscription reads: “In my first year I besieged and conquered Samaria . . . I lead away 27,290 prisoners . . . I ordered tribute to be made to me . . . Hanno king of Gaza and also Sib’e the tartan of Egypt set out to engage me in battle. I defeated them . . . I received tribute from (pharaoh) Piye of Egypt . . . Iamani of Ashdod fled to the frontier of Egypt which belongs to Ethiopia . . . Frightened of my power, the king of Ethiopia put chains on Iamani’s hands and feet and sent him to me. I conquered the towns of Samaria and all Israel.” ANET 284-285
      Well, It seems like archaeology always catches up to the truth found in the Bible. For the Bible states that the entire region was looking for Egypt and Ethiopia to help them fight against the Assyrian king, but instead both countries became vassals of Sargon. And a future Assyrian king, Esarhaddon, would attack both Egypt and Ethiopia and lead them away as captives so that what Isaiah the prophet had spoken came to pass.
      “In the year that Tartan came to Ashdod, when Sargon the king of Assyria sent him, and he fought against Ashdod and took it, at the same time the LORD spoke by Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, "Go, and remove the sackcloth from your body, and take your sandals off your feet." And he did so, walking naked and barefoot.
       Then the LORD said, "Just as My servant Isaiah has walked naked and barefoot three years for a sign and a wonder against Egypt and Ethiopia, "so shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptians as prisoners and the Ethiopians as captives, young and old, naked and barefoot, with their buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt.        "Then they shall be afraid and ashamed of Ethiopia their expectation and Egypt their glory. "And the inhabitant of this territory will say in that day, 'Surely such is our expectation, wherever we flee for help to be delivered from the king of Assyria; and how shall we escape?' " Isaiah 20 (NKJV)
      The inhabitants of the land asked one of the most important questions a man or woman can ever ask. It is one concerning who would deliver them, “How shall we escape?”
      The Bible give us that answer.
      “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love,  in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.”                         Colossians 1:13-14 (NKJV)
How shall we escape if we refuse
so great a salvation!
      This article is a chapter from our 3 volume book series "Bible Believer's Archaeology" which can be downloaded for your ebook reader or mobile device by visiting our resource download page by Clicking Here.
Photo Links to Artifacts Mentioned in this Article
Sargon House of Omri Artifact Sargon brick
Sargon's palace
Nimrud Prism
Sargon's Palace Door Sill  inscribed with his name
One of many bricks from palace of Sargon  inscribed with his name
Sargon II mentions his conquering the House of Omri. (Israel)
MS 2368
Nimrud Prism of Sargon II confirms 2Kings 17:24
Repopulation of Samaria with foreigners
Sargon's Ashdod victory
Sargon II Palace
Tartan Artifact
Sargons Victory stele at Ashdod verifies his war against that city as isted in Isaiah 20:1
Sargon II Palace Releief with his Tartan
Isaiah 20:1
Assyrian Artifact
mentioning the title of Tartan as
listed in Isaiah 20:1
The Holy Bible, Author: The Lord God
Scripture taken from the New King James Version unless noted.
Dare to be a Daniel, author David Hocking, pg.3-4
ISBN#0-939497-26-3 Promise publishing co.
information on Sargon.
The Ancient Near East, Volume 1 An Anthology of Texts and Pictures Edited by James B. Pritchard
Princeton University Press ISBN#0-691-00200-2
Pg.195 Sargon Inscription
Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament. James Pritchard
pg.284-285 Mention of Sargon’s attack on Samaria and Israel, as well as Ashdod and Ashdod’s alliance with Egypt, Also mentions Egypt and Ethiopia as fearing Assyria.
The Schoyen Collection
Royal Inscription of Sargon - MS 2368 Nimrud Prism IV 25-41
Mentions conquest of Bit-Humriya (House of Omri) Israel.
"who made the House of Omri totter."
The Nimrud Prism of Saron II repopulation of Samaria: "I populated Samaria more then before. I brought into it people from countries conquered by my hands. I appointed my eunuch as governor over them. And I counted them as Assyrians"  BM22505
Notes on some officials of the Sargonid Period  by Howard Allen Godbey, Chicago 1906 - University of Chicago
pg.9 Lists of artifacts mentioning Tartan, many in the British Museum
pg.10 Lists of artifacts mentioning Rabshekah, many in the British Museum
The Bible in the British Museum, by author T.C. Mirchell
pg.76 Assyrian Eponym List mentions "Tartan." with artifact photo.
Photograph of winged bull from Sargon’s palace at Dur-Sharrukin ('the fortress of Sargon'), known today as Khorsabad, can be found at the British museum’s website. (
Artwork: “Winged bull from Sargon's palace” Illustrated in “Styles of Ornament” (1928) Author: Alexander Spletz, Publisher: Grosset and Dunlap.
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