The Rescue of Jerusalem: The Alliance of Hebrews and Africans in 701 B.C.

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9781569472750: The Rescue of Jerusalem: The Alliance of Hebrews and Africans in 701 B.C.

At the turn of the eighth century B.C., a mighty Assyrian army entered Judah and fought its way to the very gates of Jerusalem, poised, the prophet Isaiah warned, to "smash the city as easily as someone hurling a clay pot against the wall." But the assault never came; instead, the Assyrian army turned and fled, an event that has been called the Deliverance of Jerusalem. Whereas biblical accounts attribute the Assyrian retreat to divine intervention, journalist Henry Aubin offers an explanation that is miraculous in its own light: the siege was broken by the arrival of an army from Kushite Egypt--an army, that is, made up of black Africans. These Kushites figured in historical texts, Aubin continues, until the late 19th century, when racist scholars expunged them from the record--a process that, Aubin observes, coincided with the European conquest and colonization of Africa. The Kushite intervention assured the survival of the Hebrew people, Aubin asserts, and it deserves to be acknowledged anew. Well-written and carefully developed, Aubin's argument will doubtless excite discussion.

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From the Publisher:

The bible as history: how africans preserved monotheism.

In the summer of 701 B.C. Jerusalem faced a siege from Assyrian forces that had razed countless walled cities, pillaging and looting them, dispersing the defeated populations to distant places, and torturing the leaders to death. Had the city perished, the small and fragile Hebrew society would have been severely damaged and the world denied its seminal influence. Judaism's principal offshoots, Christianity and Islam, would not have arisen.

Only one monarch responded to Jerusalem's plea for help -- Shebitku, the Kushite who ruled Egypt as pharaoh of the twenty-fifth dynasty. He dispatched an army of Kushites, black Africans of the sub-Sahara, to challenge the invaders and save the Hebrew capital.

Henry T. Aubin graduated from Harvard and studied history at the University of Strassburg, Germany. He covered Washington for the Philadelphia Bulletin and The Washington Post before joining the Montreal Gazette.

About the Author:

Henry T. Aubin graduated from Harvard and studied history at the University of Strassburg, Germany. He covered Washington for the Philadelphia Bulletin and The Washington Post before joining the Montreal Gazette.

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