Asshur-ubalitt II named himself after a former Assyrian king who ruled the land of Assyria around 1350 B.C. Asshur-ubalitt I ruled Assyria during this period of time in which Assyria was beginning to transform itself into a major Mesopotamian empire. Asshur-ublalitt II was the last ruler of the Assyrian empire and his reign signaled the end of the Assyrian empire as a major world power. He appears on the Biblical Timeline Poster 612 BC.
Asshur-ubalitt’s name is derived from Asshur who was the founder of the Assyrian empire. The book of Genesis in the Bible states that a man named Nimrod left the land of Shinar to form the cities Nineveh and Asshur. Genesis also points out that Asshur was the name of a man who was a part of the lineage of Noah’s son Ham. Some historians and scholars claimed that he started the two cities of Asshur and Nineveh. The Assyrians also regarded Asshur as their chief deity. The name Assyrian means “people who come from Asshur” or “people who worship Asshur”. Asshur-ubalitt II was a general who chose this name after he proclaimed himself king.
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Asshur-ubalitt II had a very short reign when he took over the Assyrian empire in 612 B.C. He was forced to defend the empire from a rebellious Babylonian, Mede and a Scythian force led by a general named Nebopolasser. The former Assyrian ruler Sin-shar-ishkun had disappeared from history about the time that Nebopolasser overran Nineveh. This happened in 612 B.C. Asshur-ubalitt II was a general who was given instructions to fortify the Assyrian stronghold of Harran. He ascended to the throne after Nineveh had fallen and there wasn’t any king to rule. He immediately had to protect the rest of the Assyrian empire from the advances of the Babylonians.
King Asshur-ubalitt II was a general at the time that he came to power. The former general knew he wasn’t going to be able to hold out against the Babylonians so he called on the help of Neco II from Egypt. Asshur-ubalitt II made himself king of the Assyrians after heard about the fall of Nineveh. He called on the aid of Neco II Pharaoh of the 26th dynasty of Egypt. This particular pharaoh marched to assist the Assyrians because he was prompted to so from God.
The Assyrians had conquered the Egyptians quite a few times in history. Asshur-banipal conquered Egypt around 960 B.C. and in 701 B.C. Sennacherib also took over the Egyptians land. Around 669 B.C. the Assyrians had once again dominated Egypt and supposedly had controlled the territory until 525 B.C. This means that Egypt was paying tribute to Assyria during this time period, but they apparently were able to govern their own affairs since Assyria had to rely on them for help. However, the book of Isaiah does say that the Assyrians would be used by God to defeat the Egyptians.
The Bible says that as King Neco II was crossing through the territory to help the Assyrians, King Josiah of Judah interfered with his arrival to Assyria. King Neco II told Josiah that he was sent from God to help Assyria and that he should not delay him, but Josiah didn’t take his advice. King Neco II defeated Josiah and forced him to pay tribute. He then went on to help the Assyrians, but his efforts didn’t make a difference. The Babylonians were too powerful for the Assyrian and Egyptian armies and they lost Haran. After Haran fell the Babylonians continued to wipe out any remaining Assyrian and Egyptian resistance.
King Asshur-Ubalitt II spent all of his time in power trying to hold the empire together. He didn’t have time to make any reforms, laws or to establish new policies. Historians, archaeologists and scholars can’t figure out if he died during the battle of Haran or disappeared from the scene to preserve his own life.
The Assyrians did conquer the Egyptians at one point in time, but they had become allies by the time that Asshur-ubalitt II ruled the land. The Egyptians continued to fight with remaining Assyrian forces, but they were not strong enough to topple the Babylonians. In the book of Daniel, God had declared that the Babylonians would be the next kingdom on the scene to rule because they were going to fulfill his purposes on Earth.
- Isaiah 20: 1 – 6 Isaiah prophecies that Egypt and Ethiopia will be defeated by Assyria.
- Daniel 2 Daniel interprets the dream of the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar and explains to him how Babylon was supposed to have been the next major power after Assyria.
- 2 Chronicles 35: 20 – 23 King Josiah of Judah interferes with Pharaoh Neco II aid and loses his life during the process.
- The books of Nahum and Jonah are biblical references to God’s punishment of the Assyrians.
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