- File Size: 5704 KB
- Print Length: 444 pages
- Publisher: Soho Press (July 1, 2003)
- Publication Date: July 1, 2018
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B004J4XG7W
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- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #612,074 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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The Rescue of Jerusalem: The Alliance Between Hebrews and Africans in 701 BC Kindle Edition
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“Thoroughly convincing . . . I am a convert.” —William H. McNeill, University of Chicago, Winner of the National Book Award, author of Plagues and Peoples and The Rise of the West
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In 701 BC, the Assyrians were on the verge of doing to the Judahites what they had done to Isreal a few decades earlier, i.e., eradicate it and remove its people from history. Instead of that fate, the Assyrians mysteriously called off their siefe and left Jerusalem chastened but intact. The Judahites were permitted to develope their monotheism for another century until Babylon did to them what the Assyrians had intended in 701 BC.
Author Henry T. Aubon points out that the extra century was vital for history. Without that century, the unique theology of the Hebrews would not have been as developed, allowing them to survive Babylon and return to Jerusalem with a richer and more developed monotheism.
I've read this thesis in other histories and it sounds right.
What Aubon adds to the mix is the thesis that the miracle of the Assyrian withdrawal from Jerusalem in 701 BC - the "Deliverance" - was due to the intervention of Egypt, which, at that time, was under the control of the 25th Dynasty. The 25th Dynasty was a Kushite - Sudanese - dynasty that had conquered Egypt and briefly revitalized Egypt as a world power. Aubon's argument is that the Kushite strategy was to protect Kush by protecting Egypt, which turned out to involve sending military forces into the Levant, or "Khorr" as Aubon calls the area that included Juda and surrounding territories.
Aubon makes a strong case based on minimal sources. He uses a handful of sources, including Isaiah, 2 Kings, and Assyrian records, to construct the case that after a desultory battle between Egypt and Assyria, a Kush force surprised the Assyrians, sending them in flight out of Khorr.
Like most people, I had always heard that the Assyrian withdrawal was caused by a plague in their camp, which the Bible characterized as the Angel of the Lord killing 185,000. Aubon, though, has convinced me to consider his argument with the simple point that the Assyrians never returned for decades after 701 BC. If it had simply been a plague, well, then, plagues happen and they would have returned, but it looks rather like Assyria ceded Khorr to another power with interests in the area.
Aubon also supports his argument with an analysis of Isaiah and Kings, which, frankly, do make "reports" of something, probably military action as a factor in the withdrawal. There are many other arguments that support Aubon's thesis, but these two seemed to be the strongest.
This book might be dissatisfying on two accounts. First, Aubon is firmly in the camp of those who maintain that Judah in 701 BC was polytheist and that Yahweh was one of many deities they recognized. Aubon accepts this view as a given, which is fine because his argument does not turn on the theology of the Jews at that moment.
Second, Aubon seems to turn his argument into a matter of identity politics in arguing that the modern world is very racist and has obscured the role of the Kushites for racist reasons and that the recovery of role of the Kushites will be blow to racism or something. Ok, again, fine but history is supposed to be objective and not a matter of identity politics. The facts are the facts even if they make people feel sad or happy.
On the other hand, and at the same time, he has a couple of chapters that do a very solid job of demonstrating how historical perception is influenced by identity politics. Thus, he points out that Calvin and others easily conceded the role of the Kushites in preserving Jerusalem and that it was only after the "scramble for Africa" that historians began to down play their role.
I don't have enough knowledge on any of these issues to make an informed judgment. All I can say is that the text was generally interesting and seemed to be well-supported by logic and data. I could be wrong, but I will factor Aubon's argument into the general stock of my knowlege on the subject.
The author painstakingly unearths historic documents and compares them to the bible to make his point.
History at its best.
Top international reviews
In his book "The Rescue of Jerusalem: The Alliance of Hebrews and Africans in 701 B.C", Henry T Aubin attempts to answer this question and show why many of the achievements of the Kushite ruled 25th dynasty of Egypt have been overlooked, downplayed or simply ignored. The author outlines how certain Academics, Egyptologists and Archaeologist of the 19th and 20th Centuries allowed their biased and prejudiced views, derived from the politics of the time, to enter their work. He draws on a number of sources and presents his arguments extremely well. The endnotes and numerous references provided show just how well researched this book has been.
This is an excellent book and recommended reading.
The Bible tells the story of how Jerusalem was menaced by the Assyrians, but how, by a miracle, they got up and left before the city fell. The Bible says that the miracle was accomplished by the Egyptian Army coming up to help and although this was accepted in the past, 19th century scholars phoo-phoo'd the idea, because they had realised that any Egyptian army of the period would be led by the black Nubian 25th Dynasty pharoahs - and 19th century Europeans had a very low opinion of black Africans, even when they ruled Egypt for 100 years!
This book studies the evidence, not only from the Bible, but other historical sources as well as the archaeology of the period and comes to the conclusion that, yes, the Egyptians really did chase the Assyrians away from Jerusalem - and it also suggsts reasons why this rescue was downplayed in the 19th and early 20th centuries.