Second Kings and Isaiah report the siege of Jerusalem by Assyrian king Sennacherib is suddenly interrupted by a report that “Tirhakah, the king of Kush, is come forth to make war with thee.” Cuneiform inscriptions commissioned by the Assyrian king confirm that his attack on Judah was challenged by Egyptian armies under the command of the Kushite king. Professor Pope will discuss what neither the Biblical accounts nor the Assyrian inscriptions do: why Tirhakah chose to intervene in defense of Judah at the behest of King Hezekiah.

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