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Maps of the Middle East, BCE:
The Assyrian Empire under Assarhaddon and Assurbanipal

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Sargon II replaced the exiled Israelites with deportees from the area of Babylonia and Aram: “The king of Ashur brought men from Bavel, and from Kutah, and from Avva, and from Chamat and Sefarvayim, and placed them in the cities of Shomron instead of the children of Israel; and they possessed Shomron, and lived in the cities” (2Kings 17:24). There is an uncertainty concerning Sefarvayim, name that corresponds to the twin cities of Sippar in Mesopotamia, but the religious practices of those people were not Babylonian but Canaanite (2Kings 17:31), therefore it is probable that such name was applied also to Arvad and Sumur (Simyra, Sibraim) in Phoenicia. Successive resettlements in Samaria were carried out by Assarhaddon and Assurbanipal (Asnappar): “Then wrote Rechum the chancellor, and Shimshai the scribe, and the rest of their companions, the Dinaites, the Afarsatkhi, the Tarpelites, the Afarsi, the Arkevi, the Bavlites, the Shushankhites, the Dehites, the Elamites, and the rest of the nations whom the great and noble Asnappar brought over, and set in the city of Shomron, and in the rest of the country beyond the River, and so forth” (Ezra 4:9,10).

Sources: Map courtesy of, cannot be republished without consent from author or AICE.

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