Is Assyria the same as Syria today?




Is Assyria the same as Syria today?

Assyria was an ancient empire whose capital city was Nineveh (II Kings 19:36). It was primarily located in Mesopotamia, the land between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers on the western end -- roughly where Iraq is currently located.

Syria was kingdom located at the northeast corner of Israel, lying between Israel and the Euphrates river. It's capital city was Damascus (I Kings 15:18).

The similarity of these two nations' names have caused confusion dating back all the way to ancient Greece. Yet, they are distinct nations.

A son of Shem, who in turn was a son of Noah, named Asshur was the founder of Assyria (I Chronicles 1:17). It is from his name that the name Assyria is derived. At times the nation was called Asshur (Numbers 24:22-24). By the way, Israel descends from Asshur's brother, Arphaxad.

The Assyrian nation ended when Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon conquered the empire during his first year of reign.

The Syrian nation descends from Aram, another of Shem's sons. The region that Syria occupies has long been known as Aram (Genesis 25:20) and speak a language called Aramaic, still spoken today.

See also:

Questions and Answers regarding History and Geography of the Bible