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Palace of ASHURNASIRPAL II (883-859 BC) - Room 7

The Panel Behind His Throne. (WA 124531) (half-way down the room) - (1 of 5)

His palace was bigger than Buckingham Palace, being 650 feet long, 425 feet wide and 30 feet high. The main hall was 130 feet by 33 feet. For the house-warming feast, 69,574 guests were invited for a ten-day feast. The tyrant king fashioned this most powerful empire for himself and centuries of kings to come. Right here is the very seat where many officials and other kings must have stood with knees knocking.

The throne panel has two views of Ashurnasirpal, with a cherub on each side, with the tree of life in the centre, with the winged disk of Ashur, the god of Assyria (and their original ancestor - Gen 10:22) above, who the king is pointing to. Behind both images of the king are protective spirits who are anointing the king with incense from a bucket held in the hand.

Note the artist’s impression of Ashurnasirpal’s palace to the left. It shows that these friezes were minor decoration along the bottom of the 30-foot high walls, which bear records of victories and historical events.

The ambition of the empire was conquest of absolutely everybody, everywhere. The horror of their methods were unthinkable. Assyria financed its great empire by looting every other state and peoples and built its empire with tortured slaves taken prisoner.

Written in cunieform across many of the panels is the Standard inscription of Ashurnasirpal: "The palace of Ashurnasirpal, the priest of Ashur, favourite of Enlue of Inerta, beloved of Anu and Dagon, the weapon of the great gods, the mighty king, the king of the world, the king of Assyria ..., the valiant man who with the support of Ashur his lord, has no equal in the four regions of the world. The wonderful shepherd who is not afraid of battle. The Great Flood which no one can oppose. The king who has subjugated all mankind, the Mighty Warrior who treads on the neck of his enemies. The King whose word of his mouth destroys mountains and seas, who by his lord we attack, has made fearsome merciless kings. From the rising to the setting sun, all acknowledge one rule."

In Isaiah, God condemns the arrogant pride of Assyria, "The Lord … will punish the arrogant boasting of the king of Assyria and his haughty pride" (Is 10:12)