ESAR-HADDON (Hebrew, "Esar ḥaddon."; Assyrian, "Ashur aḥ-iddin" = "Ashur has given a brother"):

King of Assyria from 680 to 668 B.C.; son and successor of Sennacherib and predecessor of Assurbanipal. He was one of the most energetic monarchs of the Assyrian empire. After ascending the throne vacated by the assassination of his father (II Kings xix. 37; Isa. xxxvii. 38), his first concern was to quell the rebellion in Nineveh, which, according to the Babylonian chronicles, he accomplished in a month and a half—from the twentieth day of Ṭebet to the second day of Adar. According to the Biblical story, the assassins fled to Armenia; the inscriptions represent Esar-haddon as leaving Nineveh in the month of Shebaṭ, probably in pursuit of his brothers (Winckler, in Schrader's "K. B." ii. 140-143). He met the rebels at Khanigalbat, near Nelid, and easily defeated them, his campaign lasting eight months, so that in the month of Kislew, 680, Esar-haddon was crowned King of Assyria. Abandoning the policy of his predecessor, Esar-haddon rebuilt Babylon, for he affected great regard for the old Babylonian deities. He also extended his empire toward the southwest to an extent never before attained, in consequence of various military expeditions primarily planned to maintain a hold upon Palestine and the Phenician seacoast. Sidon was destroyed, and in its place on the mainland the king ordered a new town to be built, with the name "Ḳar-Ashshur-aḥ-iddin" (Esar-haddon's town). In 676 his army invaded Egypt, but was repulsed with heavy losses.

After securing a better foothold in Arabia, Esar haddon (671) led a second expedition into Egypt; his report shows a striking similarity to the descriptionof the country in Isa. xxx. 6. Tyre was besieged; another army occupied Arabia and the territory of the tribe of Simeon, while a third marched into Egypt. Manasseh, the King of Judah, is named among the vassals that had sent auxiliary troops. In the month of Tammuz Memphis was taken, after Tirhaka, the Ethiopian King of Egypt, had thrice been defeated in open battle. This led to the withdrawal of the Ethiopian ruler from the country to beyond Thebes. In 669 the Assyrian nobility, apprehending that Esar-haddon intended neglecting Assyria in favor of Babylon, rebelled; in consequence of which Assurbanipal was appointed coregent for Assyria, while another son, Samash-shumukin, was crowned King of Babylon. In the meantime Tirhaka had returned to Lower Egypt and garrisoned Memphis (669). Esar-haddon set out to look after his dominions in Egypt, but died on the march in the month of Ḥeshwan (668), the army continuing its forward movement and defeating Tirhaka at Karbanit.

In the Bible Esar-haddon is mentioned as the ruler who sent eastern, and especially Babylonian, settlers to Samaria (Ezra iv. 2); he thus continued the policy of Sargon, the "destroyer of Samaria," and conformed to his own general practise as detailed in his inscriptions (see Schrader, "K. A. T." 2d ed., pp. 373 et seq.). Manasseh remained loyal to him throughout his reign, even when undoubtedly many voices must have pleaded the timeliness of a policy of resistance to Assyria (see Winckler in Schrader's "K. A. T." 3d ed., p. 275).

  • Cylinders A, B, C, Rawlinson, Inscriptions of Western Asia, i. 45-47;
  • ib., i. 49, 50 and iii. 15, 16;
  • Winckler, Keilschrifttexte Sargons, pp. 25-26;
  • R. G. Harper, Cylinder A of the Esar-Haddon lnscriptions, 1888;
  • Abel and Winckler, in Schrader, K. B. ii. 120-151;
  • The Stele of Zenjirli, i 11-29, plates i.-iv. (transl. by Schrader, pp. 29-43);
  • Prayers to the Sun God (transl. by J. A. Kundtzon), Assyrische Gebete, etc., i., ii. 72-264;
  • Budge, The History of Esarhaddon, London, 1880;
  • the histories of Assyria by Hommel, Tiele, Rogers, Goodspeed;
  • McCurdy, History, Prophecy and the Monuments, ii.
E. G. H.
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