Jeremiah 38 – The Miry Dungeon & The Hitittes

President Obama (he had the title, but he was never a president) was dangerous and greedy like the Hittites were.  The difference between the Hittites and Obama is they were smart, his and his wife, Michael, were just ignorant puppets. 

Another difference is that Obama worships only one false god, Allah.  The Hittites were real proud to call their homeland, Hatti, “the land of a thousand gods,” and would typically bring home the gods of conquered people to worship in their own land. 

The Hittites were powerful, not as powerful as the Sea People, but still powerful so what about…

Jeremiah 38
The Miry Dungeon

Battle between Tiamat [left] and Marduk.
Tiamat is portrayed as a griffinlike beast instead of an elongated sea dragon. This is possibly a copy of the original relief at Nimrud.
Tiamat was the dragon goddess of salt waters. She was a turbulent, salf-water ocean that existed at the beginning of time with Apsu. She is said to have been a fierce dragoness in form.

The embodiment of the raw energy of the ocean, she was also the personification of the untamed forces of the universe before order was established. Her battle with Marduk [son of the water god Ea] is part of the Babylonian mythology of creation.

Marduk caught Tiamat in a net after he threw a raging storm into her mouth. She failed to swallow him and he tore her entrails apart after piercing her with an arrow. He slaughtered Tiamat’s army of monsters, then split her skull and slashed her body in two.

One half of her body became the vault of the heavens and the other, the ocean floor. Her eyes became the sources of the rivers Tigris and Euphrates, which the lives of the Mesopotamians depended on. Her tail was bent up into the sky to form the Milky Way. Marduk went on to kill her son, Kingu, and mixed his blood with earth to create humankind.

1 Then Shephatiah the son of Mattan, and Gedaliah the son of Pashur, and Jucal the son of Shelemiah, and Pashur the son of Malchiah, heard the words that Jeremiah had spoken unto all the people, saying,

2 Thus saith the LORD, He that remaineth in this city shall die by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence: but he that goeth forth to the Chaldeans shall live; for he shall have his life for a prey, and shall live.

3 Thus saith the LORD, This city shall surely be given into the hand of the king of Babylon’s army, which shall take it.

4 Therefore the princes said unto the king, We beseech thee, let this man be put to death: for thus he weakeneth the hands of the men of war that remain in this city, and the hands of all the people, in speaking such words unto them: for this man seeketh not the welfare of this people, but the hurt.

5 Then Zedekiah the king said, Behold, he is in your hand: for the king is not he that can do anything against you.

6 Then took they Jeremiah, and cast him into the dungeon of Malchiah the son of Hammelech, that was in the court of the prison: and they let down Jeremiah with cords. And in the dungeon there was no water, but mire: so Jeremiah sunk in the mire.

7 Now when Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, one of the eunuchs which was in the king’s house, heard that they had put Jeremiah in the dungeon; the king then sitting in the gate of Benjamin;

8 Ebed-melech went forth out of the king’s house, and spake to the king, saying,

9 My lord the king, these men have done evil in all that they have done to Jeremiah the prophet, whom they have cast into the dungeon; and he is like to die for hunger in the place where he is: for there is no more bread in the city.

10 Then the king commanded Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, saying, Take from hence thirty men with thee, and take up Jeremiah the prophet out of the dungeon, before he die.

11 So Ebed-melech took the men with him, and went into the house of the king under the treasury, and took thence old cast clouts and old rotten rags, and let them down by cords into the dungeon to Jeremiah.

12 And Ebed-melech the Ethiopian said unto Jeremiah, Put now these old cast clouts and rotten rags under thine armholes under the cords. And Jeremiah did so.

13 So they drew up Jeremiah with cords, and took him up out of the dungeon: and Jeremiah remained in the court of the prison.

14 Then Zedekiah the king sent, and took Jeremiah the prophet unto him into the third entry that is in the house of the LORD: and the king said unto Jeremiah, I will ask thee a thing; hide nothing from me.

15 Then Jeremiah said unto Zedekiah, If I declare it unto thee, wilt thou not surely put me to death? and if I give thee counsel, wilt thou not hearken unto me?

16 So Zedekiah the king sware secretly unto Jeremiah, saying, As the LORD liveth, that made us this soul, I will not put thee to death, neither will I give thee into the hand of these men that seek thy life.

17 Then said Jeremiah unto Zedekiah, Thus saith the LORD, the God of hosts, the God of Israel; If thou wilt assuredly go forth unto the king of Babylon’s princes, then thy soul shall live, and this city shall not be burned with fire; and thou shalt live, and thine house:

18 But if thou wilt not go forth to the king of Babylon’s princes, then shall this city be given into the hand of the Chaldeans, and they shall burn it with fire, and thou shalt not escape out of their hand.

Marduk
This glazed black brick relief shows a striding dragon, sacred to the god Marduk [a.k.a the sirrush]. It is a portion of the decoration from one of the city gates of Babylon. King Nebuchadnezzar, whose name appears as the ruler of Jerusalem in the Bible [Kgs II 24:10-16, 25:8-15], ornamented the monumental entrance gate dedicated to Ishtar, the goddess of love and fertility.

Marduk was originally regarded as a fertility or agricultural deity, but gained a reputation as a fearless warrior and this grew to such an extent that he was called upon to attack the terrifying Tiamat. He was awarded 50 titles after killing her, and in this way he absorbed all the other gods and came to symbolise total divinity, becoming the chief god of Babylon.

19 And Zedekiah the king said unto Jeremiah, I am afraid of the Jews that are fallen to the Chaldeans, lest they deliver me into their hand, and they mock me.

20 But Jeremiah said, They shall not deliver thee. Obey, I beseech thee, the voice of the LORD, which I speak unto thee: so it shall be well unto thee, and thy soul shall live.

21 But if thou refuse to go forth, this is the word that the LORD hath shewed me:

22 And, behold, all the women that are left in the king of Judah’s house shall be brought forth to the king of Babylon’s princes, and those women shall say, Thy friends have set thee on, and have prevailed against thee: thy feet are sunk in the mire, and they are turned away back.

23 So they shall bring out all thy wives and thy children to the Chaldeans: and thou shalt not escape out of their hand, but shalt be taken by the hand of the king of Babylon: and thou shalt cause this city to be burned with fire.

24 Then said Zedekiah unto Jeremiah, Let no man know of these words, and thou shalt not die.

25 But if the princes hear that I have talked with thee, and they come unto thee, and say unto thee, Declare unto us now what thou hast said unto the king, hide it not from us, and we will not put thee to death; also what the king said unto thee:

26 Then thou shalt say unto them, I presented my supplication before the king, that he would not cause me to return to Jonathan’s house, to die there.

27 Then came all the princes unto Jeremiah, and asked him: and he told them according to all these words that the king had commanded. So they left off speaking with him; for the matter was not perceived.

28 So Jeremiah abode in the court of the prison until the day that Jerusalem was taken: and he was there when Jerusalem was taken.

The Hittites

Enki
Enki is the Sumerian god of water, knowledge (gestú), mischief, crafts (gašam), and creation (nudimmud). He was later known as Ea in Akkadian and Babylonian mythology.

He was originally patron god of the city of Eridu, but later the influence of his cult spread throughout Mesopotamia and to the Canaanites, Hittites and Hurrians. He was associated with the southern band of constellations called stars of Ea, but also with the constellation AŠ-IKU, the Field.

Beginning around the second millennium BCE, he was sometimes referred to in writing by the numeric ideogram for “40”, occasionally referred to as his “sacred number”.

The planet Mercury, associated with Babylonian Nabu was, in Sumerian times, identified with Enki.

Historians know little about the origin of the Hittites, who settled in present- day Turkey about 2000 B.C. Their language belonged to the Indo-European linguistic family, and they appear to have come from the west, from the Balkan region of Europe. They were a herding, horse-breeding tribe.

Hittite culture was highly advanced in some ways. The Hittites used both cuneiform and hieroglyphic writing, and as their empire grew, they both pre- served and shared elements of all the cultures in the region.

They developed a law code of their own. Their military was the strongest and most sophisticated of the time; they were the first to create iron weapons and to use iron for their chariot wheels.

Eventually, the Bronze Age gave way to the Iron Age, in which all the various cultures acquired the ability to work with iron, but this technology was exclusive to the Hittites for a long time. The use of iron contributed significantly to their agricultural production as well as to their military success.

The Hittites prospered economically for at least three reasons:

1.They were capable of working with iron before other peoples in the region, which gave them an advantage in making stronger tools and weapons.

2.They controlled many of the Mediterranean trade routes.

3.They had settled in an area that was rich in mineral resources.

Both the Hittites and the Kassites occupied Babylon at different times; these two peoples may have been related. Again, the origins of tribes of this early era of civilization are still obscure, and historians differ in their interpretation of the evidence.

As of about 1400 BC, the Kassite kingdom followed the course of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, reaching as far northwest as the city of Mari on the Euphrates and Sippar on the Tigris. At that time, the Hittites controlled a large area of present-day Turkey north of Cyprus in the Mediterranean. They would soon expand their empire to every part of the Fertile Crescent except the Nile River valley in Egypt.

The zenith of the Hittite Empire was in the early 13th  century B.C. under Suppiluliumas, who ruled from 1380 to 1346. Under Suppiluliumas, Hittite influence expanded throughout the Fertile Crescent; his rise to power coincided with a weak Egypt, and he led the Hittites into Syria.

Conclusion

The Hittite Empire faded around 1200 BC, due to attacks from the Assyrians and Phrygians. The Sea Peoples are mentioned as allies of the Hittites by Ramesses II in his record of the Battle of Kadesh in 1274 B.C.  Yet, for an unknown reason the Sea Peoples invaded Hittite strongholds and were wholly or partly responsible for their destruction.

The Sea Peoples also attacked and destroyed various cities in the region, particularly along the Syrian coast. The invasion of the Sea Peoples also coincided with the fall of the Mycenaean civilization.  They attacked Egypt twice but were defeated on both occasions. Some of them settled in Egypt, assimilating with the local population.

The Lion Gate at Hattusa, capital of the Hittite Empire. The city’s history dates back to before 2000 B.C.

Several scholars have puzzled over whether the Sea Peoples were responsible for the collapse of some of the Late Bronze Age civilizations or simply one of several catalysts that put that collapse in motion.

The Sea Peoples movement was one of the largest and most important migration in history which changed the face of the ancient world more than any other single event before the time of Alexander the Great.

…the Kassites.