ASSHUR

Ganymede, Jupiter’s largest moon, larger than Mercury itself, has eponymous names to its craters after the gods and heroes of the ancient Fertile Crescent. One such, Asshur, is named after the Assyro-Babylonian warrior god. Asshur is Hebrew for Assyria. one of the great ancient empires: the word Assyria(n) in the Old Testament has been translated from the Hebrew word Asshur. ¹

The capital city of Assyria until 900 BCE, when it became one only of several important cities in the greatly enlarged empire. The name was also used for the patron-god of the city and in the OT stands for the nation itself (Hos. 14: 3, AV). ²

Asshur was founded, on the western bank of the Tigris, in 1700 BC by Bel-kap-kapu. Ancient Assyria’s headquarters eventually settled to the opposite, eastern bank, in Nineveh — present-day Mosul, northern Iraq.

Map showing location of Assur and Nineveh in Assyria. [Wikimedia Commons]
‘Indeed, as long as Assyria lasted, that is until 612 BC, accounts of battles, diplomatic affairs and foreign bulletins were daily read out to his image; and every Assyrian king held that he wore the crown only with the express permission of Asshur’s deified ghost.’ ¹

Assyrian Empire. [Image as uploaded by user: Ningyou and derived from a map in ‘Atlas of the Bible Lands’, C S Hammond & Co (1959) is in the Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons]
Some scholars suggest that the Assyrians were forced to migrate north to eventually become what is modern-day Germany.

2004 CIA Map of Iraq [Wikimedia Commons]
Iraq, topographical [Wikimedia Commons]
Iraq, provincial [Wikimedia Commons]
Ethnic and religious groups in Iraq: Shia Arabs (pink); Sunni Arabs (green); Kurds (yellow); Assyrians (purple); Yazidis (olive); Iraqi Turkmens (orange). [Wikimedia Commons]
Note: Southern Iraq is descendent from Arphaxad.

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Asshur in the Bible

Son of Shem, and ancestor of the Assyrians

  • Genesis 10:11 Out of that land went forth Asshur, and builded Nineveh, and the city Rehoboth, and Calah,
  • Genesis 10:22 The children of Shem; Elam, and Asshur, and Arphaxad, and Lud, and Aram.
  • 1 Chronicles 1:17 The sons of Shem; Elam, and Asshur, and Arphaxad, and Lud, and Aram, and Uz, and Hul, and Gether, and Meshech.
  • Ezekiel 32:22 Asshur is there and all her company: his graves are about him: all of them slain, fallen by the sword:

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Precedent

The Vedic Age Vishnu Ashura / Ahura Mazda. He rides on Grauda-Ananta and holds His discus, while possibly making a blessing sign [Image and text: Collected Works of Sri Bhakti Ananda Goswami]
Ahasuerus and Haman at the Feast of Esther, Rembrandt (1606-1669) [Wikipedia]


Further Reading
Annotations
  • According to Sarna, the Ashurrim of Genesis 25:3 is not Assyria, but another, much smaller, people with the same name. —Sarna. Genesis (1989)
References
  1. The sixteen grandsons of Noah, by Harold Hunt with Russell Grigg – Creation
  2. Asshur, Oxford Biblical Studies Online
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