The Oriental Institute, University of Chicago

Sennacherib, king of Assyria, attacked Hezekiah in his Jerusalem capital in 701 B.C. The accounts of that siege and seven other campaigns by the Assyrians are inscribed in cuneiform on this six-sided clay prism which dates from about 689 B.C. Although the Assyrian account tells of Sennacherib’s victories over the Judeans, it makes no claim to his having conquered Jerusalem. In this, it is consistent with the Biblical account of Sennacherib’s siege of the city. According to the Biblical account, Hezekiah, encouraged by the prophet Isaiah, defended Jerusalem, and ultimately Sennacherib withdrew. The water tunnel which Hezekiah built to bring spring water inside the city during the siege is not mentioned in the Assyrian Annals, although in 2 Kings 20:20 it is said that Hezekiah “made the pool and the conduit and brought water into the city.”