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Milcah

Milcah – means ‘counsel’ and related to the Hebrew word for ‘queen’ (מלכה – malka) Phonetic Pronunciation: MIHL-kah. She can be found on the Bible Timeline around 1829 BC.

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Milcah
Milcah is related to the Hebrew word for ‘queen’

There are two Milcahs in the Bible. One being the fourth daughter of Zelophehad (Numbers 26:33). The more distinguished is Milcah, the daughter of Haran (Abraham’s oldest brother), wife (and niece) of Nahor, and brother of Lot. As Abraham’s niece, she plays a crucial role in continuing the line of the patriarchs as she is also the grandmother of Rebekah, who will later marry Abraham’s son Isaac, great-grandmother to Jacob and Esau, and one of the matriarchs of the 12 tribes of Israel. She bore eight children to Nahor including Betheul, Rebekah’s father.

Intermarriage between close family members was forbidden in Chaldea where Milcah’s family originated. However, there seems to be an exception between uncles and nieces during that time. The Mosaic Laws were established long after Milcah’s (other patriarchs’ death). These laws mentioned specific prohibitions on and punishments for sexual relations between a number of close relatives in Leviticus 20. Although, the laws do not specifically state and forbid the sexual relations or marriage between uncles and nieces. It has been implied later on that the prohibitions in Leviticus 20 cover this type of relationship as well.

There is little to no information regarding Milcah’s later life and death.

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Joseph and Mary

Joseph and Mary are Jesus Christ‘s earthly parents. Mary who was engaged to Joseph but had not yet married and was still a virgin was chosen by God to conceive by the Holy Ghost (Mathew 1:18) and care for Jesus. Joseph was described as a righteous man and proved it by being kind to Mary when he found she was pregnant before their marriage. Declining to follow the law which justified death for Mary, Joseph decided to ‘put her away privily'(Mathew 1:19). While he was thinking on this and wondering what to do, an ‘angel of the Lord’ came to him in a dream instructing him to take Mary as his wife for she had been called upon by God to bear Jesus. That he was sent to ‘save his people from their sins’ (Mathew 1:21).

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‘Now this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”‘

‘Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.’ (Mathew 1:22-25)

Mary_and_Joseph
‘The Annunciation by Eustache Le Sueur, an example of 17th-century Marian art. The Angel Gabriel announces to Mary her pregnancy with Jesus and offers her White Lilies’

Mary

The meaning of the name Mary is not clearly translated or recognized for something specific but a few definitions listed are: ‘sea of bitterness’, ‘rebelliousness’ or ‘wished for child’. It is thought to have originated from Egypt and related to ‘mry‘ or ‘beloved’, possibly ‘mr‘ meaning ‘love’.

Mary played a vital role all throughout Christ‘s life, she was there from the day he was born till the time of his death. Her bravery and faithfulness shone brightly from the very beginning at God’s call for her to conceive Christ although not yet wed. Accepting such responsibility and likely great criticism from others with the threat of death being with child before marriage showed an unwavering trust in God. Her passing is not mentioned in the Bible, some believe that she was taken into heaven and spared the pain of death. Hyppolitus of Thebes recorded that Mary was alive for 11 years past the crucifixion of Christ and died around 54 AD.

Joseph_Mary_and_Jesus
‘Sagrada Familia del pajarito, by Murillo’

Joseph

The name Joseph in Hebrew is translated into ‘Yosef’ which means ‘he will add’. He is part of Christ’s history on the Bible Timeline Chart around 1 AD. Not much is recorded about Joseph and his relationship with Jesus as he grew. The scriptures do tell us that he was a good man who was faithful to God and obeyed his words. It was clear that he was dedicated to God by how often he has lead his family out of danger after being warned and hearkening to God’s guidance.  One particular occurrence was their journey to Egypt away from Bethlehem just in time to escape Herod the Great‘s massacre of male infants in an attempt to destroy Jesus.

The last mention of Joseph in the scriptures was when Christ was only 12. After that during Christ’s life as an adult Mary is spoken of in terms that indicate she was a widow. Joseph was not recorded in key events during those times that would have called for involvement on his part. He was not recorded to be standing there at Christ’s crucifixion and Jewish tradition would have placed responsibility on Joseph for the caring of Christ’s body after his death but this charge was undertaken by Joseph of Arimathea. Christ also would not have given Mary’s care into the hands of John if Joseph was still around.

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Azariah or Uzziah,  King

In Hebrew, the name Uzziah or Azariah means “Yahweh is my strength”. This man was noted as one of the Kingdom of Judah‘s finest kings. Although he ruled at a very young age, he was able to show great wisdom and character as a king, and this was the reason he remained in his reign for as much as 52 years. However, he was only his father’s co-regent during the initial 24 years that he ruled the kingdom.

According to some historians, King Azariah reigned from 783 to 742 BC, which is where he can be found on the Biblical  Timeline. In the Bible, he suffered from leprosy because of is disobedience to God. At this time, Jotham, his son, took his place. Another ruler named Pekah led the kingdom during the final year of King Azariah’s reign.

Life of Azariah

According to researchers, Azariah began his reign when he was only 16 years of age. Although he started as a young ruler, it was noted that his time was one of the most prosperous. He was also inspired and guided by Zechariah, a prophet, who helped him during the onset of his reign. Azariah remained faithful to God, and he did his best to always do what was pleasing to the Lord.

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‘The King successfully made great machines used for battles including ones that can hurl big stones or shoot arrows, in case they were under attack by invaders.’

The king successfully made great machines used for battles including ones that can hurl big stones or shoot arrows, in case they were under attack by invaders. In 2 Chronicles 26, Azariah was able to defeat the Arabians and the Philistines. He also reorganized the country, and his army was re-equipped with strong weapons to use for battles. Indeed, the king was a responsible and committed ruler. His contributions made him popular in various lands including Egypt, as stated in 2 Chronicles 26:8.

The Downfall of a Great King

Unfortunately, things fell to an end when he allowed his pride to get the best of him. He made a mistake by entering the Lord’s temple to burn incense on the altar. When the high priest discovered this, a group of 80 priests confronted the King to say that he was not supposed to do a thing as that. Burning incense at the altar of the temple was supposed to be reserved solely to the priests who were Aaron‘s descendants.

Afterwards, there was a strong earthquake that occurred, and a large hole appeared in the temple where brilliant rays radiated from it. The ray hit the king’s face, and he was instantly afflicted with leprosy. Immediately, he was asked to leave the temple, and he was forced to find himself a separate dwelling where he stayed until he died.

Thus, Jotham, son of Azariah, was on a co-regency where his reign lasted for 11 years. This period was the last 11 years of the king’s life. In his death, he was given a separate grave, which was described as lonely and isolated.

This was the life of a powerful ruler who started his reign being admired by many, yet his pride caused him to lose everything he had even at the time of his death.

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Judah, Son of Jacob 

In the Book of Genesis, Judah was considered the founder and leader of the Tribe of Judah of the Israelites and can be found on the Bible Timeline around 1704 BC. He was Jacob and Leah’s fourth son, whose name means “praise” or “thanksgiving”. As mentioned in Genesis 29:35, upon giving birth to Judah, Leah sang praises to the Lord for having been blessed with a son.

In the Scriptures, Judah had several brothers including Reuben, Levi, Simeon, Zebulun and Issachar. In the Bible, narrations on Judah’s birth was followed by stories about how he and his brothers were jealous of Joseph, who was the favorite son of their father. When they had the chance they took Joseph and threw him into a pit and debated about what should be done with him. In Genesis 37:26-28, it was Judah who saw an Ishmaelite caravan passing them at that moment. The said caravan was bound for Egypt, and Judah suggested that instead of killing Joseph, he should be sold as a slave to this group of people. He believed it was better to gain profit from selling Joseph, which the other brothers took as a wise suggestion.

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Judah and Tamar

Eventually, Judah was wed to a Canaanite, who was the daughter of Shua. He soon had three children named Er, Onan, and Shelah. When Er died after marrying Tamar, Onan took her in based on what was the custom that prevailed during that time. However, Onan died, and before his death, he refused to have any children with Tamar. Based on the custom, Tamar had a choice to marry Shelah, yet Judah was against it. However, Tamar decided to trick Judah by disguising herself as a prostitute. The two had intercourse, and this resulted in Tamar’s pregnancy. Upon discovering that he was tricked, Judah attempted to have Tamar killed, but what stopped him from doing so was the revelation that he was the father of the unborn child.

Joseph and Judah

judah_and_joseph
Joseph and his family reunite.

After Joseph had been sold as a slave, he experienced great fortunes in the land of Egypt. In fact, he soon was awarded a high position, and he became successful about 20 years after his brothers’ betrayal.

When the brothers came to Egypt, they did not recognize at first that it was Joseph whom they were speaking with. An incident happened during their visit, and Simeon was told to remain as a hostage. And would only be released as soon as Benjamin another of Jacob’s sons was brought to the palace upon the brothers’ next visit.

Judah spoke to Jacob and assured his father that Benjamin would be kept safe during their return to Egypt. However, another incident occurred, and Joseph ordered for Benjamin to stay in Egypt as his slave. Judah, who was responsible for Benjamin, decided to plead by taking the place of their youngest brother instead, until Joseph finally revealed his real identity upon discovering that his brothers have changed for the better.

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Elon, Bible Judge

Elon, which also appeared as Ahialon in other translations, was one of the judges in the land of Israel. His name was of Hebrew origin, which meant “strong” or “oak”. In Latin, he was referred to as Ahialon. This judge served in Israel after Ibzan, and his successor was Abdon. According to the Book of Judges 12:11, Elon came from the Tribe of Zebulun. He also became a judge for a period of ten years.

Accounts on Judge Elon

In the Bible, Elon was a Zebulunite. The length of time that he served as a judge in Israel was ten years, which was from 1073 to 1063 BC where  he is listed on the Bible Timeline Chart. When he died, he was burried in the land of Zebulunites, which was in Aijalon. Other than these details, there were not much mentioned about this man in the Bible. However, there were eight other men who also had the name Elon, based on the scriptures.

eblon_bible
Beautiful and strong Oak tree the meaning behind Elon

According to the Bible, there were three great judges of Israel that helped shape the society during the time of their rule. Their goal was to maintain the society’s peaceful and happy state with their wisdom and ability to ensure justice in the lives of all the people in their land. Moreover, these judges aimed to live in harmony with others, as well as to be of service to the people around them. They also did their best to maintain a solid communion with God as they lived their life. This way, they could attain wisdom and all the right traits that would help them become of great assistance to the people.

One of the known judges in Israel was Jephthah, and he ruled for six years as a judge. He was a Gileadite, and he became notable for his wisdom in the tasks he performed. When he died, he was buried in Gilead, which was his hometown.

After the rule of Jephthah, Ibzan became the next judge of Israel. He was from Bethlehem, and he had several sons and daughters. He decided to send his daughters abroad, where they all got married to those who were outside the clan of Ibzan. The same fate happened to his sons who were also married abroad.

This great judge served Israel for seven years, and he was buried in his native land when he died.

Elon became the successor of Ibzan. This wise judge was a Zebulunite, and he became Israel’s judge for ten years. When he died, another judge took his place, and his name was Abdon, who was the son of Hillel. His successor was from Pirathon, and he became a wise and fair judge to the people of Israel.

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Ibzan, Bible Judge

The name Ibzan was of Hebrew origin, which means ‘splendid’. In the Bible, this name was mentioned as one of the judges of Israel. He can be found on the Bible Timeline at the beginning of the 1st century B.C. There was only a little information stated in the Bible about him other than brief facts about his life and death. According to the Book of Judges 12:8-10 in the King James Version, Ibzan was originally from Bethlehem. He became a judge in Israel, and he remained in that position for seven years. Ibzan also had 30 sons and 30 daughters. He sent them abroad and took in 30 daughters-in-law for his sons. According to several scholars, this passage referred to Bethlehem as the place that was a part of the territory occupied by the Tribe of Zebulun. It was rather different from the Bethlehem that most people know, which was a part of the area where the Tribe of Judah remained. In the Talmud, though, Ibzan was often associated with Boaz, who was a figure mentioned in the Book of Ruth. This man settled in Bethlehem in the land of Judah, where he also lived with Ruth and consummated his marriage during the very last night of his life.

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ibzan,_bible
‘The lion is the symbol of the Tribe of Judah. It is often represented in Jewish art, such as this sculpture outside a synagogue.’

Accounts on Ibzan

There was not much detail presented in the Bible about the life and character of Ibzan. However, it was clear that Ibzan became Israel’s tenth judge. Although he was noted to have been originally from Bethlehem, it was not very clear if this town was the one from the Tribe of Zebulun or the Tribe of Judah.

Judge Ibzan served as Israel’s great judge for 7 years. There were accounts that he became a judge from 1081 to 1073 BC. When Ibzan died, he was buried in his hometown. Other than these details, there were not much stated about him. He had several sons and daughters that lived abroad, and he sent them far from their native land to find husbands and wives.

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Jabin, Canaanite King

The name Jabin was based on the Hebrew language, which means “wise” or “discerner”. It is a Biblical name, which refers to the King of the land of Hazor, as mentioned in the Book of Joshua 11:1-14. Based on the scriptures, he was a part of the confederacy against Joshua. He was also responsible for the conquest of the land during that period, as stated in Joshua 11:21. Jabin can be found on the Bible Timeline Chart starting around 1354 BC.

It is also worth noting that there is another king of Canaan who was known to overpower the people of Israel in The North, about 160 years after the death of Joshua. Moreover, the king has kept them in subjection for 20 years. It was during this period that the entire nation was filled with fear and hoped to be redeemed one day.

In the Book of Judges 4:10, it was mentioned that Barak and Deborah inspired the people and helped gather as much as 10,000 men to try and become victorious over the army of Jabin. Thus, this was the very first successful attempts of Israel during the time of Joshua. Because of their victory, they had no reason to join and fight another battle against the people of Canaan.

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Jaban
Jabin means ‘Wise.’

Jabin in the Bible

Jabin was the king of Canaan, and he was noted to have rebuilt the capital city in the region of northern Canaan following the victory of Joshua in that land. He also had great control of the northern portion of Canaan.

In Joshua 4:2, it was apparent that Jabin was merely a title given to the kings of Hazor. In fact, there was one Jabin that Joshua was able to defeat and kill, as presented in Joshua 11:1. Based on archaeological finds, this confirmed the early destructions made by the people under the leadership of Josha, as well as the victory made under the rule of Barak.

There were several references made to Jabin, and archaeologists have successfully discovered three additional references other than the ones mentioned in the Book of Joshua and Deborah. With this in mind, it was indeed true that Jabin was only a dynastic title for kings instead of referring to only one king.

Based on archeological findings, Jabin King of Hazor once ruled in 1402 BC. He was mentioned in Joshua 11:1. In 1200 BC and the Book of Judges 4:2, another Jabin was noted, and it indicated that the Israelites were sold to a king of Canaan who reigned over them for a long period. Sisera was the army’s commander, and he was a resident of Harosheth-ha goyim.

It could also be possible that Hazor was one of the most significant cities in the region. According to Joshua 11:10, Joshua seized and killed the king with a sword. Joshua’s army killed every person in Hazor using a sword, and they successfully destroyed all people. Then, Hazor was burned through fire. Thus, the Bible used Jabin as a term for a dynastic title. The king of Hazor also ruled in long periods of succession for 500 years.

Lastly, there was a small portion of a clay tablet that archaeologists found with the text addressed to Jabin, who was Hazor’s king. While the Jabin mentioned on the tablet was not similar to the Jabins in the Bible, it aimed to negate the fact that Jabin was not a king’s title at Hazor.

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Eglon, Moabite King

King Eglon was one of the rulers of Moab, and he was also responsible for the oppression and sufferings of the Israelites as presented in the Book of Judges. His name has several meanings including ‘Chariot’ and ’rounds’. He is on the Biblical Timeline Chart around 1354 BC.

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Eglon
One of the meanings for King Eglon’s name was ‘chariot.’

In the Bible

Eglon was the leader of the confederacy of the Ammon, Amalek and Moab. It was narrated in the scriptures that there was a day when Ehud came to present a customary tribute. Then, he tricked Eglon and killed him using a sword. However, when Ehud tried to draw back the sword, the fat in the king’s body stopped him from retrieving it. When the king’s servants saw him in this state, they only assumed that he was only trying to relieve himself. Thus, the king’s men only left him alone.

In the Talmudic tradition, several rabbis believed that Eglon had a daughter named Ruth. He was rewarded by God when he showed respect after Ehud mentioned the name of the God of Israelites upon having David as one of the descendants. The Talmuds also had some accounts that Eglon could be Balak’s grandson although there were no verses in the scriptures that would prove this claim.

Other Accounts on Eglon

In a Midrash legend, Eglon had two daughters named Orpah and Ruth. They were Moabite women who were mentioned in the Book of Ruth, although the same Midrash presented Eglon as Balak’s son. He was also in Numbers 22 as the King of Moab.

However, the story of the Moabite King Eglon was noted in the third chapter of the Book of Judges. According to Judges 3:12, God has sent King Eglon the power over evil as the Israelites disobeyed the Lord’s commands. In Judges 3:14, the people of Israel were under the rule of this king for a total of 18 years.

There were only a few accounts of this king, yet there were some narrations presented in Judges 3:17 where Eglon was described as a fat man. Although there were no accurate details on his weight, he was nonetheless described as one of the biggest men in his kingdom during his rule.

Although the Israelites were treated harshly and suffered greatly under this king’s rule, it was their fault that they experienced these conditions. It was only after they repented and turned back from their evil ways when God delivered them from their sufferings. Hence, in Judges 3:15, God sent the Israelites Ehud, who would serve as their deliverer. Ehud was from the tribe of Benjamin, and he freed Israel from the oppression of Eglon for a long period.

After Ehud had defeated Eglon, he went to Ephraim to blow his trumpet and commanded the Israelites to follow him and seek to regain possession of the Promised Land. Together, he and the Israelites were able to defeat as much as 10,000 Moabites. For a long period of 80 years, Moab was completely in peace upon being subjected to Israel..

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Shamgar, Judge

The name Shamgar is of Hebrew origin, which means “sword”. It is also the name mentioned twice in the Book of Judges. For instance, in Judges 3:31 of the New International Version Bible, it was indicated that Shamgar was the son of Anath. He was also the same man who successfully struck down and defeated 600 Philistines using an ox goad as a weapon. Moreover, this man handled saving Israel at one point in his life. He can be found on the Biblical Timeline starting at 1354 BC.

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In the Bible

Judge Shamgar, in the Book of Judges, was a great man who was able to drive away the Philistines and prevent them from invading the Israelite regions. Using an ox goad, he was able to slaughter 600 foreign invaders in the region. Another occasion where Shamgar was mentioned was in the Song of Deborah. In the scriptures, this man was presented as one of the previous rulers of the land. He ruled at a time where the roads in his land were abandoned, and there was barely any progress in the village life.

shamgar
He was able to slaughter 600 foreign invaders in the region

In the first accounts on Shamgar, there was no introduction given nor any conclusion and reference to the period that he ruled the land. There were also a few other ancient manuscripts were brief narrations on the life of Shamgar were presented after the story of Samson instead of being mentioned right after the narrative on Ehud. According to scholars, this is a more logical and more original location of Shamgar’s story in the scriptures.

Who is Shamgar?

The brave acts of Shamgar as presented in the scriptures had some similarities to what Shammah did, the courageous son of Agee. In the books of Samuel, Shammah was presented as “one of the Three”, which was a group of warriors during the time of King David. Based on scholars, the similar person was presented in this part of the Bible, and that the text was only moved from the Book of Judges and into the current location in the Song of Deborah.

There were also claims among scholars that the person was originally Shammah, yet he was only influenced by the man named Shamgar in the accounts presented in the Song of Deborah. Furthermore, in another instance that Shamgar was mentioned in the Bible, this associated the man with the collapse and difficulty in the life of the Israelites. Hence, there were speculations by scholars that Shamgar was a foreigner who handled the low period of the Israelites instead of being a great ruler.

It is also worth noting that Shamgar was believed to be a Hittite, and that his name might be similar to the one who was associated with Sangara, who was the Hittite ruler of Carchemish. Other accounts on Shamgar pointed out that the terms “son of Anath”, which was often linked with his name, was only a royal title. Some scholars also assume that he may also be Sisera’s father. However, further studies need to be carried out to determine the actual roles of this person in the scriptures.

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Shamshi-Adad I

Shamshi was an Amorite, who lived around 1809-1766 BC where he can be found on the Bible Timeline Poster. His name is translated to be ‘my sun is the god Adad’. He was a king who ruled over the ancient Near East of Assyria and Northern areas around Mesopotamia. His kingdom was frequently spoken of as Upper Mesopotamia. Shamshi’s father was Ila-kabkabu king over the borders of Mari (north Syria). When his father passed away, one of Shamshi’s brothers took reign causing Shamshi-Adad to create his own kingdom from the ground up. He started at the Akkadian Empire in Shekhna (north/east Syria) which had been left deserted for many years. It was established as his capital, and the name was changed to Shubat-Enlil which is today’s Tell Leilan.

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Following that Shamshi tried to conquer Ekallatum in Syria by the left shore of the Tigris against King Naram-Suen. Shamshi-Adad was defeated and had to retreat south to the city-state of Babylon which was created and governed by associated Amorites. Ultimately he came when Erishum II ruled and victoriously disposed the King of Assyria, bringing that dynasty to a close. This enabled him to govern Assyria, a growing nation that had established and prosperous trading settlements in Anatolia. His oldest son Ishme-Dagan I was set as ruler over Ekallatum and as he proclaimed himself king, Shamshi-Adad tried to strengthen his place as ruler by linking his heritage to Ushpia (21st century BC Assyrian King).

shamshi-adad_mari
‘Ziggurat at Mari’

Mari

Shamshi’s next focus was a city called Mari that had a caravan route from Anatolia to Mesopotamia. The ruler of Mari (Iakhdunlim) was murdered by his servants that could have been following Shamshi-Adad’s directions. Shamshi then grabbed his chance and placed himself over Mari. The original heir to the throne Zimri-Lim was obligated to escape and traveled to Aleppo (ancient Yamkhad). Shamshi then promoted his next son Yasmah-Adad as ruler over Mari so Shamshi could go back to Shubat-Enlil.

Sovereignty

With the contribution of Mari, Shamshi-Adad had power over a vast kingdom, which consisted of all of Upper Mesopotamia. Shamshi then announced himself as ‘King of All’ a name established by Sargon of Akkad. Predictably Shamshi-Adad’s success focused much jealously from the nearby nations and all through his rule Shamshi and his sons were made to defend their kingdom. Ishme-Dagan appeared to be a capable governor, however his sibling Yasmah-Adad looks to show someone of little strength and conviction; his unhappy parent was often complaining about it: ‘You are a child, not a man, have you no beard on your chin?’ – ‘While here your brother is victorious, down there you lie about among women’. Shamshi-Adad excelled at keeping matters in order and maintained a strict hold on every subject of the state ranging from high policy to choosing officials and sending out supplies. His movements were carefully laid out, and his men were taught all the common strategies of ‘siege craft’ like surrounding ramparts and battering rams. He frequently used spies and ‘propaganda’ to obtain victory.

shamshi-adad_zimri
‘Tablet of King Zimri-Lim of Mari, ca. 1780 BC, Louvre Museum.’

Shamshi-Adad was always working on making his realm stronger, however after his death the nation began to fall apart. The kingdom was missing the structure and was in a weak location. When everyone discovered that Shamshi had passed away, his previous enemies went out immediately to take the kingdom from his successors. Yasmah-Adad was quickly exiled from Mari by Zimri-Lim, and the remaining kingdom was slowly taken from Ishme-Dagan and Mut-Ashkur and put in the hands of a different Amorite King, Hammurabi of Babylon.