Who Is Sennacherib In The Bible

Background Information

Sennacherib is a figure in the Bible, featured in several books, though not frequently. He is principally known for the tale of his siege of Jerusalem the capital of the Kingdom of Judah and his second son Ashurbanipal. He is believed to have been the King of Assyria who, together with his two sons, invaded the Kingdom of Judah and attempted to conquer Jerusalem.

The biblical narrative portrays Sennacherib as a formidable enemy of Judah. During the Judean civil war between the rival claimants to the throne – Hezekiah, who was supported by Egypt, and Marduk-apla-usur who was supported by Babylon – he served as a mercenary on behalf of Babylon. The campaign is famous for a miracle brought about by the prophet of God, Hezekiah’s prayer that saved the city from destruction.

Relevant Data and Perspectives from Experts

Sennacherib is a key figure of ancient Near East history and his life story is found in the Bible as well as in cuneiform inscriptions in Assyrian, Babylonian and Akkadian. According to the biblical record, he was the son of Sargon II and the successor to his father. He is mentioned in the book of Kings, which recounts his invasion of Judah and siege of Jerusalem in the 8th century BC.

He is also mentioned in books of Chronicles, as well as in the books of Isaiah and Ezekiel. According to the biblical accounts, he was both cruel and impious, though accounts in the books of Kings and Chronicles portray him as being relatively successful in his military campaigns.

According to the cuneiform inscriptions, Sennacherib reigned for around twenty years. He was an avid builder, erecting structures such as the one at Nineveh that still stands today. His reign is known for a number of other notable achievements, such as the construction of the palace at Nineveh. He is also known for his ruthless suppression of rebellions in Babylon.

Analysis and Insights

Sennacherib is remembered in both the Bible and in cuneiform inscriptions as a powerful and successful ruler. Though his reign was short-lived, his ability to successfully lead military campaigns and quash rebellions earned him a legacy that endured for centuries after his death.

He was not a popular ruler amongst some of his contemporaries, due to his ruthlessness and his lack of respect for the gods. His refusal to acknowledge the divine power of the God of Israel, as recorded in the books of Kings and Chronicles, led to his defeat when Hezekiah prayed for a miracle to drive him away from Jerusalem.

Sennacherib is an important figure in the annals of ancient Near East history, and his life story offers valuable insight into the political and social dynamics of the region in the 8th century BC. As such, he is an important figure to study when examining the history of this period.


Though Sennacherib’s reign was relatively brief, he left a lasting legacy in the ancient Near East. His military exploits were renowned, and he remains to this day an important figure in the Bible, as the story of his attempted siege of Jerusalem is an important part of the narrative of Judah at the time.

His palace at Nineveh, which still stands to this day, is an impressive example of his construction projects. And his failed military campaign against the people of Judah was influential in shaping the culture, religion and political climate of the region for centuries to come.

Social and Diplomatic Relations

Sennacherib had strong ties to many of the other Near Eastern rulers during his time, most notably the Egyptian Pharoah Taharqa. While the two rulers had a feud, Taharqa eventually submitted to Sennacherib after the Assyrian king was victorious in the long and bitter conflict between the two.

In addition, Sennacherib was known for his diplomatic efforts. He built strong relationships with other rulers, including Babylonian ruler Marduk-apla-usur, and even managed to negotiate peace between two Babylonian cities that were at war with each other. This action, among others, suggests that his diplomatic skills were even more impressive than his military acumen.

He was also known for his reverence of the gods. He conducted many religious rituals and offerings to honor the various deities of the Near East, particularly the gods of Babylon and Assyria. This demonstrates that despite his ruthlessness and cruelty, Sennacherib observed the ancient customs and respected the will of the gods.


Sennacherib is mentioned in several books of the Bible, where he is portrayed as cruel and impious. He is thus an important figure for scholars of the biblical narrative. His reign and military campaigns are at the center of the books of Kings, Chronicles, Isaiah, and Ezekiel, and his claimed victory over Jerusalem during the Judean civil war is a major event in the Bible.

Though he was not a follower of the God of Israel and was indeed hostile towards the people of Judah, he was a proponent of religious rituals and ceremonies. He conducted regular sacrifices to the gods of Assyria and Babylon, demonstrating his reverence. He also funded the construction of many temples and shrines in honor of the gods, suggesting a devout nature.

Though his reign was relatively brief, his legacy still remains today in the form of his palace at Nineveh, impressive military campaigns, and his contributions to religion and diplomacy. He was a powerful ruler in his time and is still studied to this day as an important figure of ancient Near East history.

Cultural Impact

Sennacherib’s reign had a significant impact on the culture and politics of the ancient Near East. He was known for his savage suppression of rebellions, which established Assyria’s dominance in the region during his time. His successful military campaigns during the Judean civil war cemented his legacy as a major force to be reckoned with in the ancient Near East.

His influence was also felt in terms of religion and diplomacy. He was a proponent of religious rituals and ceremonies, as evidenced by his reverence for the gods of Assyria and Babylon. Similarly, his diplomatic skills were highly regarded, and his ability to negotiate peace between two warring kingdoms stands as testament to his diplomatic prowess.

Sennacherib was also an avid builder and was known for his construction projects. During his reign, he built structures such as his palace at Nineveh, which has endured for centuries, as well as other impressive structures such a temples and statuary.


Sennacherib was a powerful and influential figure in ancient Near East history, whose reign had a lasting impact on the region. His successful military campaigns and suppression of rebellions cemented Assyria’s dominance, while his diplomatic and religious endeavors earned him a lasting legacy. He is remembered today as an important figure of biblical and cuneiform records, and his palace at Nineveh stands as a testament to his enduring legacy.

Hilda Scott is an avid explorer of the Bible and inteprator of its gospel. She is passionate about researching and uncovering the mysteries that lie in this sacred book. She hopes to use her knowledge and expertise to bring faith and God closer to people all around the world.

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