De Agostini Picture Library / A. de Gregorio / The Bridgeman Art Library

CAUGHT IN THE CROSSFIRE. During the reign of Sargon II (pictured in this relief from his palace at Khorsabad), the Assyrians defeated an Israelite revolt in 722 B.C.E., capturing Samaria and sending the Israelites into exile. Ancient records reveal Israel and Judah’s precarious position in contentious lands between the major imperial powers of the day. Isaiah 20:1 records Sargon’s defeat of an Egyptian-backed rebellion. Assyrian records corroborate the conflict and record Judah’s participation in the rebellion.