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also known as: Sephar-vaim

This is a Babylonian city taken by King Sargon II of Assyria (2 Kings 17:24; 18:34; 19:13; Isaiah 37:13)

It was a double city, and received the common name Sepharvaim, i.e., “the two Sipparas,” or “the two booktowns.” The Sippara on the east bank of the Euphrates is now called Tell Abu Habbah (Tall Abū Ḩabābah and Abu-Habba) in Iraq; that on the other bank was Accad, the old capital of Sargon I, where he established a great library.

The twin cities are Sippar Yahrurum and Sippar Amnanum.

Cuneiform inscriptions were found at Tel el-Amarna in Egypt, consisting of official despatches to Pharaoh Amenophis IV and his predecessor from their agents in Israel, proves that in the century before the Exodus an active literary intercourse was carried on between these nations.

Sippar is the place where archaeologists discovered a clay tablet called the Babylonian Map of the World (Imago Mundi) with text written in Akkadian. It is now in the British Museum. The excavation was done by Hormuzd Rassam. The map is centered on the Euphrates, flowing from the north (top) to the south (bottom), with its mouth labelled “swamp” and “outflow”. The city of Babylon is shown on the Euphrates, in the northern half of the map. Susa, the capital of Elam, is shown to the south, Urartu to the northeast, and Habban, the capital of the Kassites, is shown (incorrectly) to the northwest. Mesopotamia is surrounded by a circular “bitter river” or Ocean, and seven or eight foreign regions are depicted as triangular sections beyond the Ocean.

This idolatrous city had a pyramid (ziggurat) and was a center of worship of the false god Adrammelech.

Tall Abū Ḩabābah. Over the centuries, the Euphrates River has moved away from it. The ruins measure over 1 square kilometer and were first excavated by Hormuzd Rassam between 1880 and 1881 for the British Museum in a dig that lasted 18 months. Tens of thousands of ancient tablets were discovered. —satellite view

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Article Version: June 11, 2024