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Fausset's Bible Dictionary

Sargon

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(See NAHUM.) From sar a "king", and gin or kin "established". In the inscriptions Sargina ; founded Κhorsabad (named Sarghun by Arabian geographers). (See HOSHEA.) Once "Sargon's" name in Isaiah 20:1, as having taken Ashdod by his general Tartan, caused a difficulty. He is not mentioned in the Scripture histories nor the classics; but Assyrian inscriptions show he succeeded Shalmaneser, and was father of Sennacherib, and took Ashdod as Isaiah says; he finished the siege of Samaria (721 B.C.) which Shalmaneser had begun, and according to the inscription carried away 27,280 persons (compare 2 Kings 17:6). Scripture, while naming at the capture of Samaria Shalmaneser, 2 Kings 17:3, in 2 Kings 17:4-5-6, four times says "the king of Assyria," which is applicable to Sargon.

In 2 Kings 18:9-11 it is implied Shalmaneser was not the actual captor, since after 2 Kings 18:9 has named him 2 Kings 18:10 says "THEY took it." Isaiah was the sole witness to Sargon's existence for 25 centuries, until the discovery of the Assyrian monuments confirmed his statement. They also remarkably illustrate 2 Kings 17:6, that he placed the deported Israelites (in Halah, Habor, the river of Gozan, and at a later time) "in the cities of the Medes"; for Sargon in them states he overran Media and "annexed many Median towns to Assyria." Sargon mounted the throne the same year that Merodach Baladan ascended the Babylonian throne, according to Ptolemy's canon 721 B.C. He was an usurper, for he avoids mentioning his father. His annals for 15 years, 721-706 B.C., describe his expeditions against Babylonia and Susiana on the S., Media on the E., Armenia and Cappadocia N., Syria, Palestine, Arabia, and Egypt, W. and S.W.

He deposed Merodach Baladan and substituted a viceroy. He built cities in Media, which he peopled with captives from a distance. He subdued Philistia, and brought Egypt under tribute; in his second year (720) he fought to gain Gaza; in his sixth against Egypt (715); in his ninth (712) he took Ashdod by Tartan. Azuri was king of Ashdod; Sargon deposed him and made his brother Ahimiti king; the people drove hint away, and raised Javan to the throne, but the latter was forced to flee to Meroe. (G. Smith, Assyrian Discoveries.) Then, according to the inscriptions, he invaded Egypt and Ethiopia, and received tribute from a Pharaoh of Egypt, besides destroying in part the Ethiopian No-Amon or Thebes (Nahum 3:8); confirming Isaiah 20:2-4, "as Isaiah hath walked naked and barefoot three years for a sign and wonder upon Egypt and upon Ethiopia, so shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptians and the Ethiopians captives, young and old, naked and barefoot," etc.

The monuments also represent Egypt at this time in that close connection with Ethiopia which the prophet implies. A memorial tablet in Cyprus shows he extended his arms to that island; a statue of him, now in the Berlin Museum, was found at Idalium in Cyprus. Sargon built one of the most magnificent of the Assyrian palaces. He records that he thoroughly repaired the walls of Nineveh, which he raised to be the first city of the empire; and that near it he built the palace and town (Khorsabad) which became his chief residence, Dursargina; from it the Louvre derived its series of Assyrian monuments. He probably reigned 19 years, from 721 to 702 B.C., when Sennacherib succeeded.


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Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew R. Entry for 'Sargon'. Fausset's Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/fbd/s/sargon.html. 1949.

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