The End of Samaria

When Samaria chose to give her allegiance to Egypt, Isaiah regarded it as a political mistake.

Woe to the rebellious children . . . that walk to go down into Egypt . . . to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt. . . . For his princes were at Zoan [Tanis] and his ambassadors came to Hanes. (30: 1, 2, 4)
Because of the tribute Shoshenk received from Hoshea, king of Samaria, the Ten Tribes of Israel were doomed to lose their homeland. Shalmaneser V besieged Samaria, but Shoshenk did not send any military expedition to relieve the siege of Samaria by the Assyrians: there is no mention of it in the books of Kings or Chronicles, nor in the extant Egyptian documents.

Isaiah warned:

Therefore shall the strength of Pharaoh be your shame, and the trust in the shadow of Egypt your confusion.

For the Egyptians shall help in vain, and to no purpose . . . their strength is to sit still. (30: 3, 7)

It was more than confusion: it was an end of national existence for the northern kingdom, or of Israel, the Ten Tribes.

“Then the king of Assyria came up throughout all the land, and went up to Samaria, and besieged it three years.” (II Kings 17: 5)

For three long years Samaria withstood the siege; nothing is known of what took place among the besieged, besides that they defended their capital, the last unconquered city; no word of any prophet among the besieged survived, as did the words of Jeremiah from the besieged Jerusalem less than one hundred and forty years later. This is how Sargon II described the conquest of Samaria:

At the beginning of my royal rule, I _ _ _ the town of the Samaritans I besieged, conquered. _ _ _ for the god _ _ _ who let me achieve this my triumph _ _ _ I led away as prisoners 27,290 inhabitants of it and equipped from among them soldiers to man 50 chariots of my royal corps _ _ _ .(1)

In earlier Assyrian conquests by Tiglath-Pileser III and Shalmaneser V, the people of the land had already been carried into exile; those removed by Sargon were the last of Israel—if we do not count those few who, still in time, went over to Judah.(2) Hoshea was among those deported.(3)

The account of the Second Book of Kings is: “In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria took Samaria and carried Israel away into Assyria, and placed them in Halah and in Habor by the river Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.” (4)

Sargon, referring to another of his campaigns (against Babylon) wrote: “I bespatted his people with the venom of death.” Of his campaign against Elam he wrote: “Into all their cities I cast gloom and turned all their provinces into deserted mounds.” He did likewise to Israel and to Israel’s land.

The king of Assyria brought throngs of settlers from Babylon, Cuthah, Hamath, Ava, and Sepharvaim and placed them in the city of Samaria. “The town I rebuilt better than it was before and settled therein peoples from countries which I myself had conquered.” (5)

The reign of Sargon II (-723 to -702), the conqueror of Samaria and the Israelite tribes, fell in the midst of a period of great natural upheavals. These upheavals, which marked the century between -776 and -687, I showed in Worlds in Collision, part II ("Mars” ) to have been caused by perturbations in the celestial sphere—a battleground dominated in the sight of man on Earth by the planet Mars. The Earth was endangered at nearly regular intervals during this century by repeated near-approaches of this planet. Pestilence also broke out in many places and references in the cuneiform literature ascribe the cause of it to Nergal (Mars); earthquakes, overflooding, changes of climate—attested by Klimasturz and the abandonment of lake-dwellings in Central Europe—did not spare a single land. Calendars were repeatedly thrown out of order and re-founded—and the reader will find abundant material in the second part of Worlds in Collision and in Earth in Upheaval, where no human testimony, but only the testimony of nature, was presented; and my material could be multiplied by any dedicated researcher. these changes moved entire nations to migrations in the hope that beyond the horizon fertile lands, not damaged by unchained forces of nature, awaited the conquerors.

It seems that in one of the earliest waves of the eighth-century migrations the Phrygians moved from Thrace over the Hellespont into Asia Minor. The tradition is that the first king in their new domicile was Gordias, and the story of his selecting the site for his capital Gordion is a well-known legend. Soon he came into conflict with the Assyrians who opposed the penetration of newcomers into central Asia Minor, and Sargon II moved westward to stop the penetration of the Phrygians, by now ruled by Gordias’ son Midas.

In the decades that followed the Scythians descended from the steppes of Russia and moved along the Caspican coast. The Scythians at that time worshipped Mars, and a sword as his sign, for a while leaving their ancient worship of Saturn in abeyance—they were called Umman-Manda, or People of Saturn, in the Akkadian and so-called “Hittite” literary texts. The Scythians in their migration displaced the nomadic Cimmerians, pushing them towards the south and west. The Assyrian defenses withstood the Cimmerian onslaught, but at a heavy cost, which included the death of Sargon in battle in -702.



  1. Luckenbill, The Records of Assyria, Vol. II, par 4.

  2. [Archaeological evidence attests to a marked increase in the population of Judah at this time, presumably caused by a large influx of refugees from the northern kingdom.]

  3. Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews XIV.1.

  4. [See I. Velikovsky, “Beyond the Mountains of Darkness,” in KRONOS VII.4 (1982)].

  5. Luckenbill, Records of Assyria, Vol. II, par. 4. (Sargons’s annals).