When the river of Assyria overflowed its banks even into the land of Israel, the Lord had given them strength and glory for a season. They conquered His rebellious people in 722 B.C. and led them away into captivity. When the river of Assyria overflowed once again, and swept the countryside of Judah, reaching to the neck, the prophet Isaiah strengthened himself by seeking Immanuel, the divine owner of the land. It was Yahweh who bore the name Immanuel "God with us" and it was He and He alone who would protect Jerusalem from the Assyrian's and any other enemy. If king Hezekiah was to fear anyone he was to fear the Lord alone, who dwells in Mount Zion, not Sennacherib, king of Assyria and his invincible host.
This was Isaiah's message to the people in Jerusalem and to king Hezekiah. Hezekiah called the people to seek after Yahweh and to trust in Him for their deliverance. The prophet Isaiah said that Yahweh was using the Assyrians as a rod to chastise Israel and Judah. But the proud Assyrians took quite a different view of the situation. To them Yahweh was only the god of a small weak nation, and not to be compared with Asshur or Ishtar, whom the Assyrians worshipped. King Sennacherib never dreamed that he was merely an instrument in the hands of an Almighty God. This was Isaiah's message ever since the Assyrians first stepped foot into Judah. Isaiah prophesied that the Assyrians would be overthrown by God Himself in Jerusalem, and he repeated this message many times. No doubt that many Jews mocked Isaiah's message of deliverance, for who could stand up to the mighty Assyrians? The Jewish God is the God of all the earth and the Assyrian knew it not. God spoke again through His prophet Isaiah and said that Sennacherib would leave the land of Judah and return to his own land.
Isaiah 37:29 "Because your rage against Me and your tumult Have come up to My ears, Therefore I will put My hook in your nose And My bridle in your lips, And I will turn you back By the way which you came."'
The invincible Assyrian army was routed by the Lord Himself in Jerusalem just as the Lord had promised. Sennacherib returned to his land and was murdered by his own sons. This was recorded in the Bible and also on the Nabonidus Stele discovered in ancient Nineveh.
The Lord also promised that the "cruel" Assyrian Empire would fall, and again not by human hands. This also came to pass in 612 B.C. when the Babylonians and the Medes came against Assyria. God sent a flood to wash away the walls and Nabopolassarís armies utterly demolished the Assyrian Empire.
Ancient Assyria passed into history and was so utterly devastated that they were believed to have been a biblical myth throughout the centuries. In fact no one even knew where Nineveh was located until archeologists came in the 19th-century and performed excavations.
History testifies in the ruins of ancient Assyria that the Lord keeps His promises. But the Bible is more than a book of history, it is a history of redemption. It is not a history of the world, not even a history of the Hebrew people. The Bible accurately records gods plan of redemption in history, everything else, however magnificent and whatever the treasure may be, is passed by silently, and left to the examination of the archaeologist.
"Heaven and earth will pass away but My Word will abide forever."