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Chronology of the kings during the 26th generation
Death of King Uzziah of Judah
(3006 AM - 754 BCE)
Isaiah the Prophet
(3006 AM - 754 BCE)
(3016 AM - 744 BCE)
King Ahaz of Judah
The merit of the Patriarchs is exhausted
(3025 AM - 735 BCE)
Deportation of the tribe of Naphtali
(3025 AM - 735 BCE)
King Hezekiah of Judah
(3035 AM - 725 BCE)
Toilet seat of Lachish
The Continental Drift
End of the kingdom of Israel
(3042 AM - 718 BCE)
Deportation of the 10 tribes
King Numa of Rome
(30452 AM - 715 BCE)
Hebrew years 3000 to 3120 (760-640 BCE)
~~~ Part I ~~~ Part II ~~~
The 26th Generation is an important milestone in Jewish History. The number 26 is the numerical value of God's 4-letter name. This 26th Generation bears witness of the divine hand upon His chosen people, after years and generations of deviations from His commandments.
Pekahiah son of Menachem only reigned 2 years in Israel when he was assassinated by Pekah, the son of his army chief Remaliah who was from Gilead. Pekah started to reign in his stead.
In Judah, King Uzziah died of leprosy. In 1931, a tablet was found in a Christian monastery in Jerusalem. It states: To here were brought the bones of Uzziah king of Judah. Do not open.
The Uzziah Tablet (Israel Museum, Jerusalem)
The tablet was inscribed in the period of the Second Temple and it may be possible that it was made when the works on the Second Temple when his tomb was discovered. Why would his tomb discovered and not the tombs of other members of his family or of other kings of Judah? Because, when Uzziah died a leper, they probably buried him in a different location within the City of David:
And the Lord smote the king [Azariah/Uzziah], so that he was a leper unto the day of his death, and dwelt in a house set apart. And Jotham the king's son was over the household, judging the people of the land. Now the rest of the acts of Azariah, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? And Azariah slept with his fathers; and they buried him with his fathers in the city of David; and Jotham his son reigned in his stead. --- II Kings 15:5-7
The Book of Chronicles also bears mention of the burial of Uzziah with a comment, He is a leper, which probably was meant as an explanation about his burial, in a slightly different place than the rest of his family:
So Uzziah slept with his fathers; and they buried him with his fathers in the field of burial which belonged to the kings; for they said: 'He is a leper'; and Jotham his son reigned in his stead. --- II Chronicles 26:23
When the tomb was found at a much later period, they re-buried the bones of Uzziah and, as they knew he died a leper, they added the word of caution: Do not open.
Isaiah son of Amoz had a prophetic vision about Judah and Israel in the year that Uzziah of Judah died:
The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. And it shall come to pass in the end of days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established as the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many peoples shall go and say: 'Come you, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths.' For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. --- Isaiah 2:1-4
Isaiah continued to prophetise in the kingdom of Judah during the reigns of Jotham son of Uzziah, then Ahaz, until Hezekiah (Isaiah 1:1). He promised the divine protection to Ahaz when he was new king over Judah and when both Pekah king of Israel and Rezin king of Aram waged a war against him (Isaiah 7:3-8). Instead God promised to Ahaz that the kingdoms of Aram and Israel will fall under the hand of Assyria, and their people deported (Isaiah 8:4):
O Asshur, the rod of My anger, in whose hand as a staff is My indignation! I do send him against an ungodly nation, and against the people of My wrath do 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. --- Isaiah 10:5
But Redemption will eventually come, as Isaiah had the vision of forthcoming events, the destruction of the Temple, the spoil of Jerusalem but also their rebirth with the help of a king called Cyrus who will be God’s instrument:
That says of Cyrus: 'He is My shepherd, and shall perform all My pleasure'; even saying of Jerusalem: 'She shall be built'; and to the temple: 'My foundation shall be laid.' --- Isaiah 44:28
The Redemption will not be limited to the children of Israel, but also to all aliens who would embrace the word of God:
Also the aliens, that join themselves to the Lord, to minister unto Him, and to love the name of the Lord, to be His servants, every one that keeps the sabbath from profaning it, and holds fast by My covenant: Even them will I bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer; their burnt-offerings and their sacrifices shall be acceptable upon My altar; for My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples. Says the Lord God who gathers the dispersed of Israel: Yet I will gather others to him, beside those of him that are gathered. --- Isaiah 56:6-8
Isaiah the Prophet
Tiglath-Pileser III was the new ruler of the Assyrian empire. He seized power in 745 BCE by killing all members of the previous royal family. To avoid rebellion from various parties, he declared himself as Pulu, meaning "the Heir", claiming that he was another son of Adad-Nirari III and therefore was legitimate to claim the throne. He first called himself Sargon (Isaiah 20:1), which means "the true [or legitimate] king", following the same goal to ascertain his rule. He was a ruthless but successful military commander. He reigned between 745 and 727 BCE and was in fact one of the most successful military commanders of the old ages.
According to the Babylonian records, he started to campaign in the Levant around 740 BCE and his general policy on conquered territories was to cause massive deportations of population in order to avoid future rebellion from these lands.
Tiglath-Pileser III - from the Central Palace of Nimrud
In one relief found in Nimrud, the name of one of the conquered city is Astartu, which was a city located in Moab territory. It is mentioned in the Bible, when the Hebrews approached Canaan, as the capital of Og king of Bashan (Deuteronomy 1:4). After the conquest by Joshua, this territory was part of Gilead and was given to the sons of Gershom from the tribe of Manasseh.
Prisoners from Astartu being deported by the Assyrians - from the Central Palace of Nimrud
The succession of fateful events that would bring down the kingdom of Israel started with the aggression they did against the kingdom of Judah:
Then Rezin king of Aram and Pekah son of Remaliah king of Israel came up to Jerusalem to war; and they besieged Ahaz, but could not overcome him. At that time Rezin king of Aram recovered Elath to Aram, and drove the Jews from Elath; and the Edomites came to Elath, and dwelt there, unto this day. --- II Kings 16:5-6
Ahaz started to reign in Judah after his father Jotham, son of Uzziah, died. But he worshipped idols and, worse, adopted the abominable pagan customs of human sacrifice because he made his son to pass through the fire (II Kings 16:3). God punished him by raising a war against Judah in which Pekah allied with Rezin king of Aram. But despite their success in parts of the kingdom, they could not take the city of Jerusalem from Ahaz. This is when Ahaz made a big mistake: he pledged allegiance to Tiglath-Pileser in order to get his military support against Israel and Aram. Piglath-Pileser did not need further reason to order another campaign in the Levant:
So Ahaz sent messengers to Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, saying: 'I am your servant and your son; come up, and save me out of the hand of the king of Aram, and out of the hand of the king of Israel, who rise up against me.' And Ahaz took the silver and gold that was found in the house of the Lord, and in the treasures of the king's house, and sent it for a present to the king of Assyria. And the king of Assyria hearkened unto him; and the king of Assyria went up against Damascus, and took it, and carried the people of it captive to Kir, and slew Rezin. --- II Kings 16:7-9
Tiglath-Pileser besieging a city (British Museum)
In the Hebrew year 3025, 1000 years had been accomplished since God spoke to Abraham to ask him to settle in the land He had designated. The Israelites did not walk in the path of God as their ancestors did and yet God protected His people all the time, because of the merit of these Patriarchs. Now, after 1000 years, this merit had faded away. For the first time, God will let events to unfold against His people and would no longer intervene as directly as He had often done before.
The Talmud had reflected on this question of merit and when it was exhausted. Several opinions were expressed, but all agreed that it happened during this period of the kingdoms:
And since when has the merit of the Patriarchs been exhausted? — Rab said, Since the days of Hosea the son of Beeri, for it is written, "[And now] will I discover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers, and none shall deliver her out of my hand." [Hosea 2:12] Samuel said. Since the days of Hazael, for it is said, "And Hazael king of Syria oppressed Israel all the days of Jehoahaz;" [II Kings 13:22] and it is written, "But the Lord was gracious unto them, and had compassion upon them, and had respect unto them, because of the covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and would not destroy them, neither cast he them from his presence until now." [II Kings 13:23] R. Joshua b. Levi said: Since the days of Elijah, for it is said, "And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening oblation, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, O Lord, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that You are God in Israel, and that I am Your servant, and that I have done all these things at Your word."[I Kings 18:36] R. Johanan said: Since the days of Hezekiah, for it is said, "Of the increase of his government and of peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to establish it, and to uphold it with judgement and with righteousness for henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts shall perform this." [Isaiah 9:6] --- Talmud, Shabbat, 55a
After conquering Aram, Tiglath-Pileser turned his army against the kingdom of Israel. It happened in the 20th year since Pekah had seized power:
In the days of Pekah king of Israel came Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria, and took Ijon, and Abel-beth-maacah, and Janoah, and Kedesh, and Hazor, and Gilead, and Galilee, all the land of Naphtali; and he carried them captive to Assyria. And Hoshea the son of Elah made a conspiracy against Pekah the son of Remaliah, and smote him, and slew him, and reigned in his stead, in the twentieth year of Jotham the son of Uzziah. --- II Kings 15:29-30
This was the first of a series of disasters that struck the kingdom of Israel: the deportation of some of the tribes, those on the eastern side of the Jordan River and those in the northern part of the land, such as the tribe of Naphtali. This catastrophe had cost Pekah his throne and his life. He had reigned for 20 years before being assassinated by Hosea son of Elah.
Hoshea inherited a country devastated by war and with a population depleted and reduced in size. He tried to rebuild a kingdom and crowned himself king a few years later, only when the news of the death of Pigath-Pileser reached the region, in the 12th year of the reign of Ahaz. Hoshea probably thought that, this powerful king of Assyria being dead, his empire would collapse under internal political dispute. But this didn’t happen: his son Shalmanezer V rose to power over Assyria and forced his regions, including the kingdom of Israel, to submit to his rule and to pay tribute.
Ahaz was succeeded on the throne of Judah by his son Hezekiah who was 25 years old. He was influenced not by his pagan father but by his mother who was the daughter of the Prophet Zechariah. And he restored the divine service in Jerusalem:
Now it came to pass in the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, that Hezekiah the son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign. Twenty and five years old was he when he began to reign; and he reigned twenty and nine years in Jerusalem; and his mother's name was Abi the daughter of Zechariah. And he did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord, according to all that David his father had done.
--- II Kings 18:1-3
Hezekiah also imposed religious reform in the way that he concentrated all the cult onto the Temple in Jerusalem. Indeed, in many cities of Judeah, people had built their own replica of a temple, which was not necessarily "kosher", as there was often a mix of pagan rite under the cover of Jewish rite:
He removed the high places, and broke the pillars, and cut down the Asherah; and he broke in pieces the brazen serpent that Moses had made; for unto those days the children of Israel did offer to it; and it was called Nehushtan. He trusted in the Lord, the God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor among them that were before him. --- II Kings 18:4-5
One example of this reform can be seen today in the ruins of Tel Arad fortress in the Negev desert. There visitors can see the same layout as in the Temple of Jerusalem, divided in three sections: the main hall where a 'high place' is located for the sacrifices, then the entrance to the 'echal' (the Holy), and that one leading to the 'devir' (the Holy of Holies). When excavations were carried out there, they found that the stones were taken down, by human hands but not a a result of destruction, thus proving that the temple of Tel Arad was decommissioned and not destroyed. This happened indeed at the time of the religious reforms led by King Hezekiah.
The 'Holy of Holies' in Tel Arad
More recently in 2016, excavations at Lachish, which was the second most important city of the kingdom of Judah, unveiled remains of one of such "high place" where the altar has been deliberatly damaged. But, interestingly, they also found in this high place a toilet seat ! Why? This was a way to defile what used to be a cultic place. We know that such way was used in these times because a Biblical text explicitely mentions this, for a high place that was destroyed by Jehu in the kingdom of Israel. This is to say it was the common practice to obtain the desired result. And in Lachish was found the archaeological evidence of this Biblical passage:
And they brought forth the pillars that were in the house of Baal, and burned them. And they broke down the pillar of Baal, and broke down the house of Baal, and made it a latrine unto this day. Thus Jehu destroyed Baal out of [the kingdom of] Israel. --- II Kings 10:26-28
Excavations in Lachich found a toilet seat in where was a cultic high place
(courtesy: Igor Kreimerman and article from Walla)
Hezekiah had no doubt that the Assyrian army would eventually come back to attack his kingdom. So, although he trusted God for protection, he took the important steps to improve the defences of the city of Jerusalem. In order to guarantee its supply of water in case of lengthy siege, he arranged to conceal the access of a natural spring, the Gihon Spring, located outside the city walls and to dig a secret underground tunnel to divert its waters towards inside the city walls. The waters, until today, arrive in the so-called Pool of Siloam. The secret tunnel had been discovered in 1834 and a plaque was later found carved there on the rock, whereas Hezekiah probably wanted to commemorate this great work for the city. The passage reads:
... the tunnel ... and this is the story of the tunnel while ... the axes were against each other and while three cubits were left to cut? ... the voice of a man ... called to his counterpart, (for) there was echo in the rock, on the right ... and on the day of the tunnel (being finished) the stonecutters struck each man towards his counterpart, axe against axe and flowed water from the source to the pool for 1200 cubits. and 100? cubits was the height over the head of the stonecutters ... --- Transcription (source Wikipedia)
The Shiloah plaque (Istanbul Museum)
There is some debate among some archaeologists about the king who directed the work of this water tunnel, although the Biblical text is very clear about it stating that it was indeed King Hezekiah:
Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah, and all his might, and how he made the pool, and the conduit, and brought water into the city, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?--- II Kings 20:20During the reign of Hezekiah, and probably because of the threats that were upon the kingdom of Israel, the Israelites who wanted to return to the faith were allowed to do the pilgrimage to Jerusalem for the first time since the interdiction that Jeroboam had imposed:
Ulla said: It is the day [the 15th of Av] on which Hosea the son of Elah removed the guards which Jeroboam the son of Nebat had placed on the roads to prevent Israel from going [up to Jerusalem] on pilgrimage, and he proclaimed: 'Let them go up to whichever shrine they desire.' --- Talmud, Taanith, 30b
In fact, many of these people sought to find protection in the kingdom of Judeah in order to avoid deportation. King Hezekiah encouraged all the people, from the two kingdoms, to make repentance by coming to Jerusalem:
So they established a decree to make proclamation throughout all Israel, from Beer-sheba even to Dan, that they should come to keep the passover unto the Lord, the God of Israel, at Jerusalem; for they had not kept it in great numbers according as it is written. So the posts went with the letters from the king and his princes throughout all Israel and Judah, and according to the commandment of the king, saying: 'You children of Israel, turn back unto the Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, that He may return to the remnant that are escaped of you out of the hand of the kings of Assyria. And be not you like your fathers, and like your brethren, who acted treacherously against the Lord, the God of their fathers, so that He delivered them to be an astonishment, as you see. Now be you not stiffnecked, as your fathers were; but yield yourselves unto the Lord, and enter into His sanctuary, which He hath sanctified for ever, and serve the Lord your God, that His fierce anger may turn away from you. For if you turn back unto the Lord, your brethren and your children shall find compassion before them that led them captive, and shall come back into this land; for the Lord your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away His face from you, if you return unto Him.' So the posts passed from city to city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh, even unto Zebulun; but they were some who laughed them to scorn, and mocked them. Nevertheless people of Asher and Manasseh and of Zebulun humbled themselves, and came to Jerusalem. Also in Judah was the hand of God to give them one heart, to do the commandment of the king and of the princes by the word of the Lord. And there assembled at Jerusalem much people to keep the feast of unleavened bread in the second month, a very great congregation.--- II Chronicles 30:5-13
As a result, the city of Jerusalem witnessed a huge increase of its population. Many of the newcomers settled in the close vicinity of the city walls. So King Hezekiah also expanded the city walls to include these new communities inside the walls.
Jerusalem after Hezekiah's extensions
In red the minimalist theory - In orange the commonly accepted theory
(source: Bahat, Dan, "The Illustrated Atlas of Jerusalem", Carta Jerusalem, 1996)
Jewish Tradition has also granted King Hezekiah as having been a great scholar of the Scriptures and even as the compiler of the Book of Proverbs and the Song of Songs. He knew that the Earth was composed of seven continents, but that it was initially composed of one. This notion of an unique initial continent only became clear in the 20th century, in 1921 when the German scientist Alfred Weneger proved it and explained that the existence of several continents today was caused by the so-called Continental Drift. This movement of tectonic plaques is indirectly stated in two verses of the Jewish Scriptures, which could only be fully understood in the past 100 years, or by those like King Hezekiah in his days who could analyse the meaning behind the lines.
The first verse refers to the creation of the initial sole continent:
And God said: 'Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land (הַיַּבָּשָׁה) appear.' And it was so.--- Genesis 1:9
The use of singular form for the dry land implicates one continent. Then the second verse was introduced by King Hezekiah in the Proverbs, seemingly as a mirror to Genesis 1:9 as it is found in Proverbs 9:1:
Wisdom has built her house (בֵיתָהּ), she has hewn out her seven pillars.--- Proverbs 9:1
The great commentator Rashi explained the word "her house" as being the world for the living creatures, because it is with Wisdom that God created the world. This was the world of the Creation, the one mentioned in Genesis 1:9 as being "the dry land". And this one-continent world (the "house") then split itself as it "has hewn seven pillars". What pillars? This refers to the seven continents, derived from the single initial continent/world that God made to appear. From geologists, the seven continents (which are different from political continents) are: North America, South America, Asia/Europe, Africa, India, Australia and Antartica.
The formation of seven continents from the continental drift
Another passage in the Biblical text refers to four rivers that came out from the Garden of Eden:
And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became four heads. The name of the first is Pishon; that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; and the gold of that land is good; there is bdellium and the onyx stone. And the name of the second river is Gihon; the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Cush. And the name of the third river is Tigris; that is it which goeth toward the east of Asshur. And the fourth river is the Euphrates. --- Genesis 2:10-14
Two rivers are easy to identify: Tigris and Euphrates. Pishon could be the Amazon in South America where gold and onyx stone used to be found abundantly (before the Conquistadors came to steal it). Gihon refers to the Nile River that crosses the land of Cush (Ethiopia). Regardless of what these rivers really were, they all came out of Eden, according to the Biblical text, at the time of Adam. How could this be possible when we look at the position of all these possible rivers today? The only explanation is that there was a time when the continents were one, and these rivers could then be in locations that made the configuration described in the Bible as true. The explanation is in the Continental Drift.
While paying tribute to Shalmanezer, Hoshea sought to build an alliance with the king of Egypt, called So in the Biblical text: he was probably Osorkon IV, the last Pharaoh of the 22nd Dynasty so-called Tanite. The call for help was however intercepted by Shalmanezer agents who decided to punish Hoshea for his duplicity:
Against him [Hoshea] came up Shalmanezer king of Assyria; and Hoshea became his servant, and brought him presents. And the king of Assyria found conspiracy in Hoshea; for he had sent messengers to So king of Egypt, and offered no present to the king of Assyria, as he had done year by year; therefore the king of Assyria shut him up, and bound him in prison. --- II Kings 17:3-4
The Israelite king was taken captive in the 6th year of his reign. But the capital city of Samaria continued the struggle for the 3 following years:
Then the king of Assyria came up throughout all the land, and went up to Samaria, and besieged it three years. In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away unto Assyria, and placed them in Halah, and in Habor, on the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes. --- II Kings 17:5-6
Shalmanezer V died soon after having conquered Samaria. Maybe he was even murdered by his successor, Sargon II, who campaigned in the Levant as well. This new ruler applied the same policy of “ethnic cleansing” by displacing populations from one place of the empire to another.
Sargon II (British Museum)
After he took away the Israelites out of the kingdom of Israel, he moved in other populations and ordered to rebuild the city of Samaria: for this reason, these people would become known as the Samaritans (II Kings 17:24-29).
The deportation of the 10 tribes of Israel (Source Wikipedia)
There are historians who believe that Sargon II and Sennacherib were the same person, whereas Sargon II was a name that Sennacherib adopted later in his reign. History has not decided yet whether this king was the actual son of his predecessor or an usurper who killed Shalmanezer on his return from the campaign against Israel.
According to the Bible, there were 10 years difference between the campaigns of Shalmanezer and of Sennacherib, because the first one took place in the 4th year of the reign of Hezekiah king of Judah and the second one took place in the 14th year (II Kings 18:9 and 18:13).
Chronology of the kings - until end of Israel
Not all the Israelites chose to become slave and be deported to Assyria. When all hope was lost, many escaped, along with their Phoenician neighbours who also wanted to avoid death or deportation, to cities where they had already established maritime settlements in the Mediterranean basin. One of the destinations was Rome which, we would recall, was originally an establishment of Benjamite Jews who escaped from the civil war at the time of the Judges.
At the time a king called Numa Pompilius reigned in Rome. According to the Roman historian Plutarch (46-120 CE), he was a Sabine, and the Sabines were themselves originally Lacedaemonians (Spartans), thus of Hebrew origin as all classic historians knew this as a fact. The Sabines were those who welcomed the Benjamite rescapees from the civil war at the time of the Judges.
Numa will acquire a legendary status in Roman history because of his unique character with an aura for wisdom and piety. Most of his story may be legend but some of it may not be totally unfounded. For example, Numa was said to have authored "sacred books" and asked to be buried with them.[4a] Did he author them or were they brought to him by Jewish refugees who may have held documents they saved from their country and containing the psalms of David or some wisdom teachings from Solomon? Numa also established the function of a "high priest", pontifex maximus in Latin, in charge of some "religious vessels". Further, he suddenly changed the calendar with the introduction of new months to accomodate solar and lunar years. Last, Numa imposed that the Roman religion would be "imageless" thus only spiritual.[4b] This custom of Ancient Rome persisted for the next 170 years according to Plutarch, before Rome started to introduce statues in their temples. Plutarch took this information from Marcus Verentius Varro who wrote a chronology of Rome about 50 BCE. Augustine of Hippo (354-430 CE), a Father of the Church, confirmed it some 300 years after Plutarch, where Varro’s works were still existing (they have been lost since):
He [Varro] says, also, that the ancient Romans, for more than a hundred and seventy years, worshipped the gods without an image. And if this custom, he says, could have remained till now, the gods would have been more purely worshipped. In favor of this opinion, he cites as a witness among others the Jewish nation; nor does he hesitate to conclude that passage by saying of those who first consecrated images for the people, that they have both taken awayreligious fear from their fellow citizens, and increased error, wisely thinking that the gods easily fall intocontempt when exhibited under the stolidity of images. --- Augustine, The City of God, book IV, chapter 31
All these reforms established by Numa and history of Ancient Rome cannot be fully understood without the help of "foreign" influence. It is well assumed that Rome was founded by Greeks. But was it really so? It rather seems that it was founded or greatly influenced by Hebrews first and Israelites later, before eventually been indeed absorbed by Greek culture, some centuries later. This fact was probably known in ancient times but lost today. The Roman historian and Bishop of Caesarea, Eusebius, repeated Plutarch when he wrote:
But Numa the king of the Romans, though he was a Pythagorean,[4c] received benefit from the teaching of Moses, and forbade the Romans to make an image of God in the shape of man or any animal. So, in the first hundred and seventy years [of Rome], though they built themselves temples, they made no image, neither in sculpture nor yet in painting. For Numa used to teach them in secret, that it was not possible for the Perfect Good to be reached by language, but only by the mind. --- Eusebius of Caesarea, Preparation for the Gospel, Book 9, chapter VI, translated by E.H. Gifford, 1903
Eusebius used the writings of Clement of Alexandria as a source.
Numa was a peaceful and wise king. But, after his death in 673 BCE, Rome will start turning into the military power that they became known for. And many years later, the Roman Senate would order that the sacred books of Numa be burned and eradicated from public knowledge.
Numa Pompilius (source: blog The Pines of Rome)
 See Sargon of Akkad, the founder of this dynasty, in the 16th Generation
 The Babylonian records give a date of this conquest around 740 or 733 BCE, while the Hebrew calendar placed around year 3004, equivalent to 756 BCE, which is close enough considering the margin of error for old sources
 His conquest of the Philistine city of Ashdod, c. 711 BCE, is mentioned in Isaiah
[4a] Plutarch, The Parallel lives, Numa Pompilius, chapter XXII
[4b] In an interview, Italian archaelogist Dr. Clementina Panella mentioned that Numa did so because he thought "it was impious to represent things Divine by what is perishable" ; to see article online, click here
[4c] The Greek philosopher Pythagoras lived a couple of centuries after Numa, so Numa could not have possibly been "a Pythagorean"; but this anachronic mention was probably to mean that Numa followed philosophical principles and lived the way Pythagoras did
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