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Rise of Indo-Germanic Tribes and the Bible

Indo-Germanic Tribes and the Bible

The term “Indo-Germanic” came from the word “indogermanisch” coined by German Orientalist Heinrich Julius von Klaproth in 1823, making it a popular term for German scholars to refer to Amorite tribes during the middle bronze age in Mesopotamia. Among Indio-Germanic tribes are those dwelling near the ancient civilization of Mesopotamia, sometimes called Indo-Iranians and Aryans. Celebrated Indo-Germanic tribes in the Bible include Amorites, Assyrians, Babylonians, Medes, and Persians.
 Rise of Indo-Germanic Tribes (2000BC – 1700BC)
The rise of Indo-Germanic tribes is on the Bible Timeline Poster from 2000 BC – 1700 BC era. The primary and most important civilization at that time was Mesopotamia. The Akkadian Empire and Ur dynasty ruled North and South Mesopotamia, respectively. The Akkadian Empire lasted until the rise of the Third Dynasty of Ur in 2112 BC. Around 2000 BC when the power of the UR dynasty declined, the Amorites occupied much of Mesopotamia. Amorites are nomads from the West and are long-standing rivals of the Sumerians. These Amorites established a kingdom in primary Mesopotamian states like Mari, Yamkhad, Qatna, Assyria (under Shamshi-Adad I), Isin, Larsa, and Babylon. Thus, the rise of Indo-Germanic tribes in this Mesopotamian era is also synonymous with the rise of Amorite Kingdoms.

The Amorite Kingdom in Mari


Mari in relation to Babylon

Mari was an ancient Sumerian and Amorite city presently called Tell Hariri, Syria. The Amorite dynasty revived the city of Mari at around 1900 BC after its destruction in the mid-24th century BC by either Sargon of Akkad or the Eblaites, Mari’s traditional commercial rivals. It’s king, Zimri-Lim, built a royal palace of over 3000 rooms.

The Amorite Kingdom in Yamhad

Yamhad (also known as Yamkhad or Jamhad) was an ancient Amorite kingdom with its capital at Ḥalab, presently called Aleppo. This Amorite kingdom enjoyed prosperity in 1800 BC – 1600 BC together with its greatest rival, another Amorite kingdom in Qatna of the south. The Amorite Kingdom in Qatna Qatna, also called Qatanum, is one of the largest Bronze Age towns in western Syria, presently called Tell el-Mishrife. Its first king under an Amorite Kingdom is Ishi-Adad (or Haddad), an ally of Shamshi-Adad I of upper Mesopotamia, king of Assyria.

The Amorite Kingdom in Assyria

The rise of the Amorite in Assyria, an ancient home of the Akkadian empire and  northern Iraq of the present day, has been attributed Shamshi-Adad I who seized the throne from a native Akkadian king Erishum II in 1813 BC. Shamshi-Adad I is also a descendant of the native ruler Ushpia, who formalized the Assyrian monarchy of the Assyrian empire.

The Amorite Kingdom in Isin and Larsa

Isin was an ancient city-state in Lower Mesopotamia while Larsa is an important ancient city being the center of worship of the sun god Utu. Although not totally captured Isin, Gungunum, an Amorite son of Samium, ruled Larsa (1868 BC – 1841 BC) and brought economic and political havoc to Isin during his reign. His successors also crippled Isin’s economy leaving the city-state with few inhabitants.

The Amorite Kingdom in Babylon

The city-state of Babylon was established by an Amorite ruler Sumuabum in the early 18th century BC. The kingdom started as a small nation with little power compared to established kingdoms like Isin, Larsa, Assyria and Elam. However, the kingdom enjoyed glorious years on its sixth ruler Hammurabi in 1792 BC – 1750 BC conquering city-states of Isin, Eshnunna, Uruk, Mari and eventually Assyria to dominate in Mesopotamia.

Indo-Germanic Tribes in the Bible

Genesis 10:15-16. Amorites are descendants of Canaan, son of Ham.

Deuteronomy 3:11. Amorites are tall people and of great physique.

Deuteronomy 4:46-48. Amorites have two kings in the east of Jordan.

Deuteronomy 1:7. Amorites occupy the southern mountains of Judea.

Joshua 10:10-27. On the days of Joshua, five Amorites already ruled Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish and Eglon.

1 Samuel 7:14. During the time of Samuel, there is a peace between Israelites and Amorites.



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