Sennach’erib, or Sennache’rib (sin, the moon, increases brothers), was the son and successor of Sargon. [Sargon.] His name in the original is read as Tsinakki-irib, the meaning of which, as given above, indicates that he was not the first-born of his father. Sennacherib mounted the throne b.c. 702. His efforts were directed to crushing the revolt of Babylonia, which he invaded with a large army. Merodach-baladan ventured on a battle, but was defeated and driven from the country. In his third year, b.c. 700, Sennacherib turned his arms toward the west, chastised Sidon, and, having probably concluded a convention with his chief enemy, finally marched against Hezekiah, king of Judah. It was at this time that “Sennacherib came up against all the fenced cities of Judah, and took them.” 2 Kings 18:13. There can be no doubt that the record which he has left of his campaign against “Hiskiah” in his third year is the war with Hezekiah so briefly touched in vs. 13–16 of this chapter. In the following year (b.c. 699) Sennacherib made his second expedition into Palestine. Hezekiah had again revolted, and claimed the protection of Egypt. Sennacherib therefore attacked Egypt, and from his camp at Lachish and Libnah he sent an insulting letter to Hezekiah at Jerusalem. In answer to Hezekiah’s prayer an event occurred which relieved both Egypt and Judea from their danger. In one night the Assyrians lost, either by a pestilence or by some more awful manifestation of divine power, 185,000 men! The camp immediately broke up; the king fled. Sennacherib reached his capital in safety, and was not deterred by the terrible disaster which had befallen his arms from engaging in other wars, though he seems thenceforward to have carefully avoided Palestine. Sennacherib reigned 22 years, and was succeeded by Esar-haddon, b.c. 680. Sennacherib was one of the most magnificent of the Assyrian kings. He seems to have been the first who fixed the seat of government permanently at Nineveh, which he carefully repaired and adorned with splendid buildings. His greatest work is the grand palace at Kouyunjik. Of the death of Sennacherib nothing is known beyond the brief statement of Scripture that “as he was worshipping in the house of Nisroch his god, Adrammelech and Sharezer his sons smote him with the sword, and escaped into the land of Armenia.” 2 Kings 19:37; Isa. 37:38.
Sennacherib on his Throne.