Visualizing Isaiah 36: Hezekiah and Sennacherib

This installment regarding Isaiah’s prophecies features the “Sennacherib Prism” — one of which is in the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute, and featured in my tours there as a Docent at the OI. Check out other installments on “Ferrell’s Travel Blog.”

Ferrell's Travel Blog

Two significant historical characters are mentioned together in Isaiah 36. Sennacherib, the king of Assyria from 704–681 B.C., claims to have taken 46 cities of Judah in the days of Hezekiah. The biblical account says,

In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and took them. (2 Kings 18:13 ESV)

There are three known clay prisms in which Sennacherib mentions Hezekiah, king of Judah.

  1. The Taylor Prism, in the British Museum
  2. The Oriental Institute Prism in Chicago
  3. The Jerusalem Prism, in the Israel Museum

Sennacherib admits in the prism-account that Hezekiah did not submit to his yoke, but was “shut up in Jerusalem” like a caged bird.

The Jerusalem Prism, now displayed in the Israel Museum, is perhaps the least well-known of the three documents. Our photo shows that document displayed under the replica of the relief of…

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Lamassu of Sargon II — Oriental Institute, University of Chicago

Lamassu of Sargon II -- Oriental Institute, University of Chicago

Steve Wolfgang with grandchildren, Oriental Institute, University of Chicago

Harvard PhD, New York Times journalist ridiculed for expressing creationist beliefs

Harvard PhD, New York Times journalist ridiculed for expressing creationist beliefs

The Guardian: Andrew Brown’s Blog

Virginia Heffernan’s creationism is wrong but makes good sense

The tech writer understands that the biblical account is a story. It’s just one that she prefers over the stories told by science

God and Adam's hands about to touch in a detail from the Creation of Adam by Michaelangelo

‘In popular culture, arguments about evolution are not clashes of facts against stories. They are the clash of two competing stories.’ Photograph: World Films Enterprises/Corbis

A US writer, Virginia Heffernan, has just outed herself as a creationist. As she is currently earning a living writing on technology for Yahoo! News, this is a brave thing to do and has been greeted with obloquy, bemusement, and patronising explanations about the difference between facts and stories. Now of course evolution is true. Evolution is a fact: it happens. It’s also a predictive theory: it explains why things happen and have happened in ways that allow us to find out more about the world. It is something that I find fascinating, but there are lots of things that fascinate me, from fly fishing to philosophy, which I don’t expect the rest of the world to take an interest in.

In that respect, evolution is different. It has come to mean an explanation for everything, including all sorts of questions which were once, and rightly, treated as philosophical or ethical. Even more, it has come to be taken up as a banner in the American culture wars. In that context it is unattractive. If you want to know why an educated American might decide evolution is untrue, spend some time at the website Why evolution is true, run by the Chicago biologist Jerry Coyne. The science there is great, but the tone of voice is something else: hectoring arrogant mansplaining with sputtering outbursts of extraordinary viciousness. If you don’t much care whether the science is true, this would convince you that there must be something wrong with it.

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Read more at http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/andrewbrown/2013/jul/18/virginia-heffernan-creationism-nothing-wrong