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Kassites Govern Babylon

Kar-Duniash was the name given to ancient Babylon during the reign of the Kassite kings. The Kassites were a warlike people that invaded Babylon during the 16th century B.C. and ruled the area for 576 years. Historians and scholars claim that their rule was the longest in the history of ancient Babylon. The Kassites entered into Babylon after the Old Babylonian Empire and established their rule around 1531 B.C.  This is when they are shown on the Biblical Timeline with world history. During this time, Joseph was born and eventually sold into Egypt.

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Around 1800 B.C., the Kassites began to settle in the Zagros Mountains which are located in modern day Iran. They slowly then began to make their way southward toward Babylon. They had encountered many different kingdoms and tribes before they reached their destination. Once they made it to Babylon, they managed to defeat the weakened Babylonian city state and set themselves up as rulers.

When the Kassites took over, they managed to forge political stability within the region, and they began to transform the southern Mesopotamian region into a unified territorial state. Many of the kings were popular rulers who became allies with other city-states within the region. The Kissites used their alliances to help repel enemies and to establish a trade. Through their efforts, Babylon had become a recognized world power. The Kassites had also developed their unique style of poetry, architecture, medicine, sculpture, astrology and fortune telling. They had some distinct words for their language, but they borrowed most of their dialect from the Babylonian people.

The Kassites were not referenced in the Bible but according to some Christian and Hebrew scholars a king named Cushan-Rishathaim was supposed to have been a Kassite ruler. Cushan-Rishathaim is mentioned in Judges 3:8 and God had used this ruler to punish his people for eight years before he releases them from his rule. The name Cushan is considered a translation for Kassite or northwest Mesopotamia.

A map of the Babylonian Empire during the time of the Kassites, roughly the 13th century BC. This map shows the probable river courses and coastline at that time.

The Kassites influenced Babylonian culture after they took over the city-state. Their rule helped to shape many different aspects of the culture and religion was one major area where it was experienced the most. Marduk was already the patron deity of the Babylonians before the Kassites arrived, but this God was elevated to the position of supreme god once Babylon became a powerful Mesopotamian territory. This God held this position for many years after Kassite rule hand ended.

There were nearly thirty rulers who controlled Babylon under the reign of the Kassites, and they started with Agum II and ended with Enlil-nadin-ahi. Most of the Kassite kings ruled on an average of 17 to 20 years. Adad-shuma-usur had the longest reign that lasted for about 30 years.

Another ancient Middle Eastern people known as the Elam finally defeated the last Kassite ruler in 12 B.C. The Babylonian territory had experienced internal strife and rebellion and the people of Elam took advantage of this situation and conquered Babylon. The ruler Shutruk-Nakhkhunte is credited with permanently ending Kassite power. Once Kassite rulers were finally overthrown, they never regained power. Historical records indicate that the remaining Kassiste people eventually migrated back to their homeland in modern day Iran and were conquered ruled by the Greeks under Alexander the Great. After this point, the Kassites had faded into obscurity.

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