Nineveh

Boyd’s Bible Dictionary:

(dwelling of Ninus). Capital of Assyria, on river Tigris. Founded by Asshur (Gen. 10:1111Out of that land went forth Asshur, and builded Nineveh, and the city Rehoboth, and Calah, (Genesis 10:11)). At height of its wealth and splendor during time of Jonah and Nahum, and burden of their prophecies. Taken by Medes about B. C. 750, and destroyed by combined Medes and Babylonians, B. C. 606 (Jonah; Nah. 1-3; Zeph. 2:1313And he will stretch out his hand against the north, and destroy Assyria; and will make Nineveh a desolation, and dry like a wilderness. (Zephaniah 2:13)). Among the ruins of Nineveh, which was supposed to embrace Nimrud and other suburbs, have been discovered many palaces and temples, and a richly sculptured obelisk whose references are to Syria and Israel.

Concise Bible Dictionary:

The capital of the ancient kingdom of Assyria. It was founded very early by Nimrod (Gen. 10:11-1211Out of that land went forth Asshur, and builded Nineveh, and the city Rehoboth, and Calah, 12And Resen between Nineveh and Calah: the same is a great city. (Genesis 10:11‑12); Compare Mic. 5:66And they shall waste the land of Assyria with the sword, and the land of Nimrod in the entrances thereof: thus shall he deliver us from the Assyrian, when he cometh into our land, and when he treadeth within our borders. (Micah 5:6)). It was doubtless comparatively small at first, but nothing is related of its progress until Jonah was sent, about 1,300 years after its founding, to threaten its destruction. It was then an exceeding great city (literally “a great city unto God”) of three days’ journey, probably signifying its circumference. A “three days’ journey” is estimated by Niebuhr to be about ninety English miles. This area would include gardens, pastures (which the “much cattle” would necessitate), and pleasure grounds. The population was large, but not densely located together as in modern cities. There were 120,000 that could not discern their right hand from their left, probably children, which would give a population of about 600,000.
Jonah took a day’s journey in the city, delivering his message as he proceeded. The people believed God, and, led by the king, humbled themselves, fasted, and ceased from their evil deeds (Jonah 3-4). God saw their works and turned from the evil that He had threatened. This king was perhaps Shalmaneser II, whose reign has been dated at B.C. 858-823.
The other references to Nineveh in scripture are occupied with its judgment and foretelling its destruction. The prophecy of Nahum is especially devoted to this. Diodorus asserts that there was an ancient prophecy that Nineveh should not fall till the river became an enemy to the city; which happened in the third year of the siege, when the river partially overflowed the city. In the prophecy of Nahum it is said, “with an overrunning flood he will make an utter end of the place;” “the gates of the rivers shall be opened, and the palace shall be dissolved” (Nah. 1:88But with an overrunning flood he will make an utter end of the place thereof, and darkness shall pursue his enemies. (Nahum 1:8); Nah. 2:66The gates of the rivers shall be opened, and the palace shall be dissolved. (Nahum 2:6)). It was to be totally destroyed and not rise again: “a desolation, and dry like a wilderness.” Nineveh had been very proud, and had said in its heart, “I am, and there is none beside me”; it should be a place for wild beasts (Zeph. 2:13-1513And he will stretch out his hand against the north, and destroy Assyria; and will make Nineveh a desolation, and dry like a wilderness. 14And flocks shall lie down in the midst of her, all the beasts of the nations: both the cormorant and the bittern shall lodge in the upper lintels of it; their voice shall sing in the windows; desolation shall be in the thresholds: for he shall uncover the cedar work. 15This is the rejoicing city that dwelt carelessly, that said in her heart, I am, and there is none beside me: how is she become a desolation, a place for beasts to lie down in! every one that passeth by her shall hiss, and wag his hand. (Zephaniah 2:13‑15): Isa. 10:5-195O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation. 6I will send him against an hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets. 7Howbeit he meaneth not so, neither doth his heart think so; but it is in his heart to destroy and cut off nations not a few. 8For he saith, Are not my princes altogether kings? 9Is not Calno as Carchemish? is not Hamath as Arpad? is not Samaria as Damascus? 10As my hand hath found the kingdoms of the idols, and whose graven images did excel them of Jerusalem and of Samaria; 11Shall I not, as I have done unto Samaria and her idols, so do to Jerusalem and her idols? 12Wherefore it shall come to pass, that when the Lord hath performed his whole work upon mount Zion and on Jerusalem, I will punish the fruit of the stout heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks. 13For he saith, By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom; for I am prudent: and I have removed the bounds of the people, and have robbed their treasures, and I have put down the inhabitants like a valiant man: 14And my hand hath found as a nest the riches of the people: and as one gathereth eggs that are left, have I gathered all the earth; and there was none that moved the wing, or opened the mouth, or peeped. 15Shall the axe boast itself against him that heweth therewith? or shall the saw magnify itself against him that shaketh it? as if the rod should shake itself against them that lift it up, or as if the staff should lift up itself, as if it were no wood. 16Therefore shall the Lord, the Lord of hosts, send among his fat ones leanness; and under his glory he shall kindle a burning like the burning of a fire. 17And the light of Israel shall be for a fire, and his Holy One for a flame: and it shall burn and devour his thorns and his briers in one day; 18And shall consume the glory of his forest, and of his fruitful field, both soul and body: and they shall be as when a standardbearer fainteth. 19And the rest of the trees of his forest shall be few, that a child may write them. (Isaiah 10:5‑19)). It had been “a city of blood,” and full of lies and robbery; it should be made vile; its destruction should be final: there would be no healing of its bruise (Nah. 3:1,191Woe to the bloody city! it is all full of lies and robbery; the prey departeth not; (Nahum 3:1)
19There is no healing of thy bruise; thy wound is grievous: all that hear the bruit of thee shall clap the hands over thee: for upon whom hath not thy wickedness passed continually? (Nahum 3:19)
). In Ezekiel 31:3-173Behold, the Assyrian was a cedar in Lebanon with fair branches, and with a shadowing shroud, and of an high stature; and his top was among the thick boughs. 4The waters made him great, the deep set him up on high with her rivers running round about his plants, and sent out her little rivers unto all the trees of the field. 5Therefore his height was exalted above all the trees of the field, and his boughs were multiplied, and his branches became long because of the multitude of waters, when he shot forth. 6All the fowls of heaven made their nests in his boughs, and under his branches did all the beasts of the field bring forth their young, and under his shadow dwelt all great nations. 7Thus was he fair in his greatness, in the length of his branches: for his root was by great waters. 8The cedars in the garden of God could not hide him: the fir trees were not like his boughs, and the chesnut trees were not like his branches; nor any tree in the garden of God was like unto him in his beauty. 9I have made him fair by the multitude of his branches: so that all the trees of Eden, that were in the garden of God, envied him. 10Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Because thou hast lifted up thyself in height, and he hath shot up his top among the thick boughs, and his heart is lifted up in his height; 11I have therefore delivered him into the hand of the mighty one of the heathen; he shall surely deal with him: I have driven him out for his wickedness. 12And strangers, the terrible of the nations, have cut him off, and have left him: upon the mountains and in all the valleys his branches are fallen, and his boughs are broken by all the rivers of the land; and all the people of the earth are gone down from his shadow, and have left him. 13Upon his ruin shall all the fowls of the heaven remain, and all the beasts of the field shall be upon his branches: 14To the end that none of all the trees by the waters exalt themselves for their height, neither shoot up their top among the thick boughs, neither their trees stand up in their height, all that drink water: for they are all delivered unto death, to the nether parts of the earth, in the midst of the children of men, with them that go down to the pit. 15Thus saith the Lord God; In the day when he went down to the grave I caused a mourning: I covered the deep for him, and I restrained the floods thereof, and the great waters were stayed: and I caused Lebanon to mourn for him, and all the trees of the field fainted for him. 16I made the nations to shake at the sound of his fall, when I cast him down to hell with them that descend into the pit: and all the trees of Eden, the choice and best of Lebanon, all that drink water, shall be comforted in the nether parts of the earth. 17They also went down into hell with him unto them that be slain with the sword; and they that were his arm, that dwelt under his shadow in the midst of the heathen. (Ezekiel 31:3‑17) Assyria is compared to a cedar of high stature, which had been brought to utter ruin.
Nineveh may be regarded as typical of the world in its haughty pride, glorying in its prowess. It was the power used by God to carry out His indignation against Israel: it is thus called “the rod of mine anger,” and the indignation of Jehovah against His land and people ceases in the destruction of the Assyrian—a reference to some power in the last days which will morally succeed to the character of the Assyrian, and be destroyed subsequent to Babylon (Isa. 14:24-2524The Lord of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand: 25That I will break the Assyrian in my land, and upon my mountains tread him under foot: then shall his yoke depart from off them, and his burden depart from off their shoulders. (Isaiah 14:24‑25)). Historically Assyria fell before Babylon.
The account of the taking of Nineveh is thus given by Ctesias, preserved in Diodorus Siculus, 2. 27-28. Cyaxares, the Median monarch, aided by the Babylonians under Nabopolassar, laid siege to the city. His efforts were in vain; he was repulsed again and again; but receiving reinforcements he overcame the Assyrian army and they were shut up in the city. He then attempted to reduce the city by blockade, but was unsuccessful for two years, till his efforts were unexpectedly assisted by an extraordinary rise of the Tigris, which swept away a part of the walls and allowed the Medes to enter. The Assyrian king Saracus, in despair, burnt himself in his palace. The conquerors gave up the whole to the flames, and it was razed to the ground.
Rawlinson and others do not credit this account, they consider it undeserving a place in history. Some such destruction would, however, agree with scripture, which, as quoted above, speaks of the water, it also refers to the place being pillaged of its gold and silver, “for there is none end of the store and glory out of all the pleasant furniture” (Nah. 2:99Take ye the spoil of silver, take the spoil of gold: for there is none end of the store and glory out of all the pleasant furniture. (Nahum 2:9)). Those who of late years have examined the mounds testify to its destruction by fire. Calcined sculptured alabaster statues split by heat, charcoal, and charred wood have been found buried in bricks and earth. For years search has been made among its ruins, and there is yet much to be examined. The principal museums of Europe are stored with the relics, and many tablets have been discovered, one of which gives a remarkable account of the deluge. It may indeed be said that the library of Nineveh has been opened in modern times, and the details of the records made thousands of years ago can now be read.
The principal ruins are found at:
1. Kouyunjik (or Nineveh proper), opposite Mosul, which is situate 36° 22' S, 43° E.
2. Some eighteen miles south-east, lies Nimroud.
3. About twelve miles nearly northward are ruins at Karamles.
4. About twelve miles north-west lies Khorsabad.
These four places may be taken as the corners of the ancient city. They form a trapezoid of about sixty miles in circumference. The walls of the ancient city may have extended further, except where bounded by the river Tigris. The excavations reveal extensive buildings with the entrances adorned with winged bulls and other sculptures. In some places the marks of the chariot wheels can be traced on the limestone pavements.
It was destroyed about B.C. 606, by the Medes and Babylonians, and the fall of this city was the end of the kingdom of Assyria.

Strong’s Dictionary of Hebrew Words:

Transliteration:
Niynveh
Phonic:
nee-nev-ay’
Meaning:
of foreign origin; Nineveh, the capital of Assyria
KJV Usage:
Nineveh

Jackson’s Dictionary of Scripture Proper Names:

offspring of ease: offspring abiding

Potts’ Bible Proper Names:

Abode of Ninus; handsome; agreeable:―the capital of Assyria, Gen. 10: 12. {Habitaculum Nini}