Testimony Of Assyrian Inscriptions To The Truth Of Scripture -- By: Thomas Laurie

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 014:53 (Jan 1857)
Article: Testimony Of Assyrian Inscriptions To The Truth Of Scripture
Author: Thomas Laurie

Testimony Of Assyrian Inscriptions To The Truth Of

Rev. Thomas Laurie

Standing on the highest part of Mosul, and looking across the Tigris, the eye rests on a long range of ancient mounds. At the southern end is the irregular platform on which stands the village of Nebby Yoonas, with its spacious mosque and populous cemetery. Towards the northern extremity rises the huge plateau of Kouyunjik, large enough to hold four such villages and still have room to spare. Its sides are too steep for direct ascent, but by following the narrow paths that wind obliquely upward, one can ride to the very top, where he will find a broad surface, cultivated from time immemorial, and rewarding the toil of the Fellah as richly as the plain below.

But this mound, though noted as containing the palace of ancient Nineveh, is only one of many. There are others at Khorsabad, twelve miles to the north; at Nimroud, twenty miles in the opposite direction, and at Kala Shergat, thirty miles further down on the opposite bank of the Tigris. The traveller finds them at Babylon and Borsippa, Senkereh and Niffer. Along the Khabor and Euphrates, and on the plains of Babylonia and Chaldea as well as Mesopotamia and Assyria.

Many of these have been recently explored, and wonderful things have been brought to light; for, deep down in their interior have lain buried, for thousands of years, palaces of monarchs who reigned from the time when Abraham dwelt in tents down to the days of Ezra and Nehemiah, or from a period about six hundred years before the founding of Troy, down almost to the expulsion of Tarquin and the commencement of the Roman Republic.

It is not the object of this Article to repeat the account of

the discovery of these antiquities, which has been so well done both by Mons. Botta the pioneer, and Mr. Layard his worthy successor in the work. The magnificent success of the latter has somewhat eclipsed the achievements of the other; but, with the generosity of the true scholar, he tells us that “To Mons. Botta belongs the honor of having discovered the first Assyrian monuments.” That was a success that crowned months of persevering effort, made wholly at his own expense and in the face of just such opposition as Layard has described so graphically.

Nor does the writer intend to enter on any description of these antiquities as works of art. That is a subject which demands a separate discussion by one more familiar with such themes.

The present Article proposes merely to give a brief notice of the inscriptions, their interpretation, and a few of the historical facts learned from them by those who have studied them most thoroughly...

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