Isaiah 28 - 29
Introduction to the Siege of Jerusalem

Chapters 28 and 29 are linked as to purpose and to time of composition. It is more than possible that they are written at the same time. Chapter 29 is also linked with chapters 30 to 33 in content but was probably written before those chapters. The date for chapters 30 to 33 is given in 32:10 as a year and a few days before the siege of Jerusalem by Sennacherib was begun, But these two chapters (28 - 29) are written as warnings of the coming of the Assyrians and thus both were probably written at the same time before the fall of Samaria in 722 BC. Chapter 28 deals primarily with the reasons for the fall of Samaria and a warning that it is a certainty to happen at the same time that Judah will suffer in the first of the Assyrian invasions but not be destroyed.. Chapter 29 is the warning that punishment by the Assyrians of Jerusalem is also a near future event but that YHWH will intervene and save the city. This is given in outline form and the outline of the events are expanded in chapters 30 - 33.

Isaiah 28

1. Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is as fading flowers, which are on the surface of the fruitful valleys of those who are overcome with wine! 2 Behold, the Lord has a mighty and strong one, who shall cast down to the earth with his hand, as a tempest of hail and a destroying storm, as a flood of mighty overflowing waters: 3 The crown of pride of the drunkards of Ephraim. shall be trodden under foot: 4 And the glorious beauty, which is on the top of the fruitful valley, shall be as a fading flower, and as the early fruit before the summer; which, as though, he who looks at it and sees it eats it up as soon as it is in his hand.

Verse 1- 4: Crown of Ephraim a fading flower: The beauty of Samaria, the capital of what remained of the northern tribes, is here described. The chronology of Isaiah is often difficult because of his "change of scene" which in this case reverts prophetically to describe the actual final fall of Samaria, and the reasons for her fall to Sargon II of Assyria, which took place in the sixth year of Hezekiah--722 BC. The siege of Jerusalem by Sennacherib was later, in approximately 700 BC. [although Sennacherib's initial invasions of Judah began shortly after Hezekiah's 6th year, when he began conquering the defended cities of Judah; the actual siege of Jerusalem did not take place until much later. There is seeming discrepancy between the historical and biblical chronologies at this point and an attempt is made to explain this in the introduction to chapter 36. The description of Samaria before its fall therefore dates this prophecy before 722 BC. Its introduction here is part of Isaiah's style of continuity and because it is linked in everyway with the Assyrian siege of Jerusalem which is introduced in chapter 29 and is the main theme for the next several chapters until chapter 37.. The next chapter will introduce the coming punishment of Judah and the hardships of the siege to come so this chapter introduces that event with the fall of Samaria which just precedes in importance the siege of Jerusalem.
Wealth and beauty The natural beauty and wealth of the region of Ephraim matches the description of Galilee before the destruction wrought by Tiglath Pilezer, nine years before the fall of Samaria to Sargon II. Isaiah 7:21,22 described the natural gifts and beauty of Galilee as providing an easy life with little effort. In the same way the last vestige of the northern kingdom, Ephraim-- in beauty, wealth, and military power-- was going to meet its judgement. Israel was not a materially poor nation when it was lost. It was spiritually impoverished.

5 In that day the LORD of hosts shall be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, to the residue of his people, 6 And for a spirit of judgment to him that sits in judgment, and for strength to them that turn the battle to the gate.

Verse 5: In that day: The "day" spoken of is the time after the fall of Samaria and the deportation of its inhabitants. There is here,-- in the same way as it appears in the other places where the announcement of the destruction of the northern kingdom appears,-- a promise of a faithful remnant to survive and to return to the land and to the true worship of the God. Thus the purpose of God in punishing Israel is revealed. it is to return the indifferent and disobedient to faithfulness. In that day they will recognize and worship God's glory and power. ( see notes under 37:33)

Verse 5: "Residue": "li-she'ar" (to the remnant) The word is the same as that which is consistently used for "the remnant" or true believers who are among the nation which is slated for destruction. The remnant are those who trust their future in Zion in spite of any calamity that can over take them in the "world system." Isaiah's son "She'aryashuv" was born before the prophetic utterances were given to Israel recorded in Isaiah 7:3. His name means "a remnant shall return." The remnant is mentioned many times in Isaiah and refers to the faithful seed among all the tribes who keep their trust in God in every generation. Isaiah 10 has references to the remnant which include the faithful in Israel which will return from captivity after the Assyrian destruction and those in Judah after the Babylonian exile and also the remnant who will return to Zion in the "second time" when the Messiah will call the remnant out of all nations.

7 But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment. 8 For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean. 9. To whom shall he teach knowledge? and to whom shall he make understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts? (That should not be.) 10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:

Verses 10-13: "precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little;" Hypocritical formalism is condemned: This passage is often accommodated to show that we should learn each precept of the Bible clearly and repeatedly. However, without inner conversion, this produces a dead formalism and this method rather than being suggested, rote learning of the precepts of religious truth is ridiculed here rather than urged. This is made clearer in the next chapter in the following verse: "29:13 Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honor me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: "

11 For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. 12 To whom he said, Look. This is the comfort which you may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear. 13 But the word of the LORD was to them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.

Verse 13: precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; The repetition of this phrase is in a context of ridicule. The outward performance of ritual learning does little to change the heart. It is not that they did not know the scriptures and the cardinal doctrines of the Torah,--on the contrary they had learned them by heart but they did not know the truth nor experience a sense of obedience to YHWH.

14. Wherefore hear the word of the LORD, you scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem. 15 Because you have said, We have made a covenant with death, and we are in agreement with Sheol; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come to us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:

Verse 15: Covenant with Death: Isaiah makes it clear that Israel's disobedience and corrupt drunken flight after the things of this world are actually a covenant with their own death and destruction. In spite of this God is not finished with them yet as the next verses show.

16 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation, a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believes shall not be hasty. 17 Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place. 18 And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with Sheol shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then you shall be trodden down by it.

Verse 16: Lay in Zion: This verse is quoted in 1 Pet. 2:6 as being fulfilled in the coming of Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah. The context here is correct since this is part of the conclusion of what has preceded, that is, that God is not through with Israel yet and will in later years bring back a faithful remnant of these same tribes in whom he will fulfill his purpose when the covenant they have made with death is abolished.

19 From the time that it passes over it shall take you: for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night: and only terror shall come from understanding the report. 20 For the bed has been cut shorter than that a man can stretch himself on it: and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it. 21 For the LORD shall rise up as in mount Perazim, he shall be full of wrath as in the valley of Gibeon, that he may do his work, his strange work; and bring to pass his service, his foreign service.

Verses 19 -21: The current punishment is sure and it will last a long time but God will do as he has said and return the remnant to faithfulness although it would be fruitless to try to guess what God's strange and foreign work actually would be even though it is revealed here in this chapter and those that follow in great detail,--including events that are soon to happen as well as those that will happen in the distant future. This is an oft repeated theme in Isaiah..

22 Now therefore do not be mockers, lest your bands be made strong: for I have heard a predetermined completion, from the Lord GOD of hosts, upon the whole earth.

Verse 22 Do not harden yourself against God's will. The final outcome, which is already predetermined, will come to pass.

23. Give ear, and hear my voice; listen, and hear my speech. 24 Does the plowman plow all day to sow? does he open and break the clods of his ground? [yes.] 25 When he has made plain the face thereof, does he not cast abroad the fitches, and scatter the cummin, and cast in the principal wheat and the appointed barley and the rye in their place? 26 For his God does instruct him to discretion, and teaches him. 27 For as the fitches are not threshed with a threshing instrument, nor is a cart wheel turned about upon the cummin; but fitches are beaten out with a staff, and cummin with a rod. 28 and bread corn is crushed; so that he will not constantly be threshing it, he breaks it with the wheel of his cart, his horsemen do not crush it. 29 This also comes forth from the LORD of hosts, which is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working.

Verses 23 - 29: These verses are used by Isaiah to indicate that the plan of God is underway. It has already been predetermined how it will turn out and Israel will play a part in the final outcome. Each kind of work takes time and some events will require special care and some future events will require groundwork to be laid first. Thus there is a systematic plan that will be fulfilled in God's own time. Be patient and wait for it.

Isaiah 29

Chapters 29-35 are a unit of warning and description of the Assyrian siege of Jerusalem under Sennacherib. The chapters are placed here as preliminary predictions of what is then historically described of what actually happened which is contained in chapters 36-37. These chapters (28 to 37) need to be read with the central theme of the Assyrian siege of Jerusalem, as impending and going on, in mind. The purpose for God allowing the siege is detailed and carried through to the end that God has in view. That is, a purging of the unfaithful, the strengthening of the "faithful dweller in Zion" among those who inhabit Jerusalem, the use of Assyria as God's agent for punishment, and the punishment and downfall of Assyria, the justification for those who trust in his purposes with future blessings for the faithful, and the final messianic age being the end result. The mention of Assyria by name in 30:31 and 31:8 as the main player in the description of the siege and whose destruction is promised to be by divine intervention gives meaning to the rest of the detailed mixture of prophetic warnings, as well as actual events of the siege, the participants, the emotions of the besieged, the failure to ask for God's help, much less to rely on him while seeking help from Egypt in a less than vain attempt to stem the Assyrian forces. Chapter 29 begins with a description of a city which falsely prides itself in its military defenses and a warning of what is coming.

Chapter 29

1. Woe to Ariel, to Ariel, the city where David dwelt: add year to year; let the festivals roll on.

Verse 1. Ariel: Heb. Lion of God.

2 Yet I will distress Ariel, and there shall be heaviness and sorrow: and it shall be to me as Ariel. 3 And I will camp against you round about, and will lay siege against you with a palisade, and I will raise forts against you.

Verses 2-3: I will distress and lay siege: This is an announcement of the coming of the siege of Jerusalem to be raised by Sennacherib. It has been previously noted that this chapter and the last are probably written at the same time. Thus the announcement of the coming siege of Jerusalem is at least 15 to 20 years prior to the event. The next chapters (30 to 33) give vivid detail of what will happen in the siege which is barely outlined here (verse 6 below) and these chapters are written when the raising of the siege was imminent and there was already much destruction in the land by the Assyrians. However this chapter is a warning that the siege is coming and was delivered before the fall of Samaria.

.4 And you shall be brought down, and shall speak out of the ground, and your speech shall be low out of the dust, and your voice shall be, as a psychic, out of the ground, and your speech shall whisper out of the dust.

. Verse 4: you shall be brought down: The reason for God allowing the extremity which the city experienced is explained in the next few chapters. YHWH could have saved the city at the beginning of the siege but he allowed the unfaithful to show themselves when they abandoned hope and fled the city. The humiliation and fear of the faithful was real however and they are pictured as being in great fear and distress,-- so fearful that they could barely whisper.

5 Moreover the multitude of your foreigners shall be like fine powder, and the multitude of terrorists shall be like wind borne chaff: yes, it shall happen suddenly in an instant.

Verse 5: the enemies will be disposed of suddenly: In fact it happened in one night.

6 You shall be visited by the LORD of hosts with thunder, and with earthquake, and great noise, with storm and tempest, and a devouring flame fire.

Verse 6: Thunder earthquake etc.: The natural phenomena that was to happen during the siege (and particularly at the end when YHWH visited the Assyrians with a plague that would kill 185,000) are enlarged on in the next 3 chapters. Beside the storm, thunder, earthquake and devouring flame amid great noise there would also be hail (mentioned in chapters 30 and 32) as well as undulating and pulsating lights with audible eerie music like sounds and much more. Here the the castrophe to come is only outlined. In the following chapters the phenomena are described in detail. The frightening visitation was visible and audible and filled those experiencing it with terror,-- even those who were delivered by it.

7 And the multitude of all the nations that fight against and distress Ariel shall be like a night vision in a dream, even all that fight against her and her fortresses.

Verse 7: Multitude of nations: There are other prophecies in which the gathering of nations to fight against Jerusalem is mentioned. For instance Ezek 38 and 39. These do not speak of the same event as mentioned here. The context is the siege of Jerusalem by Sennacherib circa 700 BC. Many nations being led by the Assyrians against Jerusalem is consistent with the history and methods of the Assyrians. Beside relocating captive nations in new areas to keep them under control and lessen the possibility of revolt, it was also their policy to absorb the captive nations fighting forces into their army. These potential world conquerors used these methods as did those who followed. It might be valuable for the reader to read the portions of Herodotus where he describes the international make up of the armies of Cyrus, Darius I, and of Xerxes the Great. From the multitude of nations that were in the armies of these conquerors it would be easy to extrapolate a list of nations in the armies of Sennacherib that he brought against Jerusalem. We add the description of Xerxes land forces at the bottom of this section for your comparison. Then you might read the rest of the national make up of the armies of Cyrus and Darius which are similar.

8 It shall even be as when an hungry man dreams, and, behold, he eats; but he awakes, and his soul is empty: or as when a thirsty man dreams, and, behold, he drinks; but he awakes, and, behold, he is faint, and his soul is yearning: so shall the multitude of all the nations be, that fight against mount Zion.

Verse 8: it shall even be as: Frustration and confusion is the lot of the nation or individual who sets himself against God. But as the following verses show, the faithful, are hardly better off through indifference and lack of knowledge.

9. Stay yourselves, and wonder; cry out, and say: they are drunk, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink. 10 For the LORD has poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and has closed your eyes the prophets, and your leaders the seers, has he covered. 11 And the vision of all is become to you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray you: and he says, I cannot, for it is sealed: 12 And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray you: and he says, I am not learned.

Verses 9 - 12: Stay yourselves and wonder: The Bible might as well be a sealed book, it is read and not understood as if the reader was illiterate. The faithful are also among the sleepers.

13 Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honor me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:

Verse 13: Precept: This is further warning against rote learning of religious ritual and dead formalism without a fervent inner love of God that is real in ones heart. See above in 29:10-13.

14 Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvelous work among this people, even a marvelous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.

Verse 14: a marvelous work: The work referred to is the coming deliverance of the city of Jerusalem that is described prophetically in chapters 30 to 33 and historically in chapters 36 and 37. It is indeed a marvelous wonder and had received the space in scripture that such an event is worthy of. It is recorded in many places in Isaiah as those mentioned here as well as chapters 10 and 22 and in 2 Kings 18:9 to 19:37 and 2 Chronicles 32:1-23 where great space is given to the miracle. God indeed directly intervened in historical time with a great wonder. It is we believers who do not see it in the proportion of the wonder that it was.

15 Woe to them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the LORD, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who sees us? and who knows us? 16 Surely your turning things upside down shall be likened to the potter's clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding? 17. Is it not yet a very little while, and Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field, and the fruitful field shall be esteemed as a forest? 18 And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness. 19 The meek also shall increase their joy in the LORD, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. 20 For the terrible one is brought to naught, and the scorner is consumed, and all that watch for iniquity are cut off: 21 Those who make man an offender for a word, and lay a snare for him who rightly reproves in the gate, and turn aside the just for a thing of naught. 22 Therefore thus says the LORD, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob, Jacob shall not now be ashamed, neither shall his face now wax pale. 23 But when he sees his children, the work of my hands, in the midst of him, they shall sanctify my name, and sanctify the Holy One of Jacob, and shall fear the God of Israel. 24 They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding, and they that murmured shall learn doctrine.

Verses 15 - 24: The conclusion: The coming siege of Jerusalem will result in a revival of knowledge of God and in the faith in the purpose of God. The same thing happens in all God's dealings with men. They are not able to hide their unbelief. In spite of them there are days of blessings coming in the future that God has promised. Evil men just as Sennacherib will disappear and their hopes will have been frustrated. The innocent who now suffer will have their faith in God justified and just as God led and blessed Abraham so will he now deliver the house of Israel from the hands of the Assyrians. When those who have endured this siege see the next generation they will remember God's goodness and even the doubters will come to faith and study to know more about God.

Nations in the Land Army of Xerxes: quoted from Herodotus

Sennacherib is said to have brought many nations in his army against Jerusalem. It might be argued by some that the many nations assaulting Jerusalem is an end time prophecy, so myopic are the futurists. That land armies were composed of many nations led by ancient leaders is illustrated here by those who followed Assyria in time and in scope of conquest. Thus we include this ancient description of Xerxes army about 400 BC from which we can surmise much about the make up of Sennacherib's armies. If you would like to read the following description in context in Herodotus click here.

Now these were the nations that took part in this expedition. The Persians, who wore on their heads the soft hat called the tiara, and about their bodies, tunics with sleeves of divers colors, having iron scales upon them like the scales of a fish. Their legs were protected by trousers; and they bore wicker shields for bucklers; their quivers hanging at their backs, and their arms being a short spear, a bow of uncommon size, and arrows of reed. They had likewise daggers suspended from their girdles along their right thighs. Otanes, the father of Xerxes' wife, Amestris, was their leader. This people was known to the Greeks in ancient times by the name of Cephenians; but they called themselves and were called by their neighbors, Artaeans. It was not till Perseus, the son of Jove and Danae, visited Cepheus the son of Belus, and, marrying his daughter Andromeda, had by her a son called Perses (whom he left behind him in the country because Cepheus had no male offspring), that the nation took from this Perses the name of Persians.
The Medes had exactly the same equipment as the Persians; and indeed the dress common to both is not so much Persian as Median. They had for commander Tigranes, of the race of the Achaemenids. These Medes were called anciently by all people Arians; but when Media, the Colchian, came to them from Athens, they changed their name. Such is the account which they themselves give.
The Cissians were equipped in the Persian fashion, except in one respect:- they wore on their heads, instead of hats, fillets. Anaphes, the son of Otanes, commanded them.
The Hyrcanians were likewise armed in the same way as the Persians. Their leader was Megapanus, the same who was afterwards satrap of Babylon.
The Assyrians went to the war with helmets upon their heads made of brass, and plaited in a strange fashion which it is not easy to describe. They carried shields, lances, and daggers very like the Egyptian; but in addition, they had wooden clubs knotted with iron, and linen corselets. This people, whom the Greeks call Syrians, are called Assyrians by the barbarians. The Chaldaeans served in their ranks, and they had for commander Otaspes, the son of Artachaeus.
The Bactrians went to the war wearing a head-dress very like the Median, but armed with bows of cane, after the custom of their country, and with short spears.
The Sacae, or Scyths, were clad in trousers, and had on their heads tall stiff caps rising to a point. They bore the bow of their country and the dagger; besides which they carried the battle-axe, or sagaris. They were in truth Amyrgian Scythians, but the Persians called them Sacae, since that is the name which they give to all Scythians. The Bactrians and the Sacae had for leader Hystaspes, the son of Darius and of Atossa, the daughter of Cyrus.
The Indians wore cotton dresses, and carried bows of cane, and arrows also of cane with iron at the point. Such was the equipment of the Indians, and they marched under the command of Pharnazathres the son of Artabates.
The Arians carried Median bows, but in other respects were equipped like the Bactrians. Their commander was Sisamnes the son of Hydarnes.
The Parthians and Chorasmians, with the Sogdians, the Gandarians, and the Dadicae, had the Bactrian equipment in all respects. The Parthians and Chorasmians were commanded by Artabazus the son of Pharnaces, the Sogdians by Azanes the son of Artaeus, and the Gandarians and Dadicae by Artyphius the son of Artabanus.
The Caspians were clad in cloaks of skin, and carried the cane bow of their country and the scymitar. So equipped they went to the war; and they had for commander Ariomardus the brother of Artyphius.
The Sarangians had dyed garments which showed brightly, and buskins which reached to the knee: they bore Median bows, and lances. Their leader was Pherendates, the son of Megabazus.
The Pactyans wore cloaks of skin, and carried the bow of their country and the dagger. Their commander was Artyntes, the son of Ithamatres.
The Utians, the Mycians, and the Paricanians were all equipped like the Pactyans. They had for leaders, Arsamenes, the son of Darius, who commanded the Utians and Mycians; and Siromitres, the son of Oeobazus, who commanded the Paricanians.
The Arabians wore the zeira, or long cloak, fastened about them with a girdle; and carried at their right side long bows, which when unstrung bent backwards.
The Ethiopians were clothed in the skins of leopards and lions, and had long bows made of the stem of the palm-leaf, not less than four cubits in length. On these they laid short arrows made of reed, and armed at the tip, not with iron, but with a piece of stone, sharpened to a point, of the kind used in engraving seals. They carried likewise spears, the head of which was the sharpened horn of an antelope; and in addition they had knotted clubs. When they went into battle they painted their bodies, half with chalk, and half with vermilion. The Arabians, and the Ethiopians who came from the region above Egypt, were commanded by Arsames, the son of Darius and of Artystone daughter of Cyrus. This Artystone was the best-beloved of all the wives of Darius; and it was she whose statue he caused to be made of gold wrought with the hammer. Her son Arsames commanded these two nations.
The eastern Ethiopians- for two nations of this name served in the army- were marshalled with the Indians. They differed in nothing from the other Ethiopians, save in their language, and the character of their hair. For the eastern Ethiopians have straight hair, while they of Libya are more woolly-haired than any other people in the world. Their equipment was in most points like that of the Indians; but they wore upon their heads the scalps of horses, with the ears and mane attached; the ears were made to stand upright, and the mane served as a crest. For shields this people made use of the skins of cranes.
The Libyans wore a dress of leather, and carried javelins made hard in the fire. They had for commander Massages, the son of Oarizus.
The Paphlagonians went to the war with plaited helmets upon their heads, and carrying small shields and spears of no great size. They had also javelins and daggers, and wore on their feet the buskin of their country, which reached half way up the shank. In the same fashion were equipped the Ligyans, the Matienians, the Mariandynians, and the Syrians (or Cappadocians, as they are called by the Persians). The Paphlagonians and Matienians were under the command of Dotus the son of Megasidrus; while the Mariandynians, the Ligyans, and the Syrians had for leader Gobryas, the son of Darius and Artystone.
The dress of the Phrygians closely resembled the Paphlagonian, only in a very few points differing from it. According to the Macedonian account, the Phrygians, during the time that they had their abode in Europe and dwelt with them in Macedonia, bore the name of Brigians; but on their removal to Asia they changed their designation at the same time with their dwelling-place.
The Armenians, who are Phrygian colonists, were armed in the Phrygian fashion. Both nations were under the command of Artochmes, who was married to one of the daughters of Darius.
The Lydians were armed very nearly in the Grecian manner. These Lydians in ancient times were called Maeonians, but changed their name, and took their present title from Lydus the son of Atys.
The Mysians wore upon their heads a helmet made after the fashion of their country, and carried a small buckler; they used as javelins staves with one end hardened in the fire. The Mysians are Lydian colonists, and from the mountain-chain of Olympus, are called Olympieni. Both the Lydians and the Mysians were under the command of Artaphernes, the son of that Artaphernes who, with Datis, made the landing at Marathon. The Thracians went to the war wearing the skins of foxes upon their heads, and about their bodies tunics, over which was thrown a long cloak of many colours. Their legs and feet were clad in buskins made from the skins of fawns; and they had for arms javelins, with light targes, and short dirks. This people, after crossing into Asia, took the name of Bithynians; before, they had been called Strymonians, while they dwelt upon the Strymon; whence, according to their own account, they had been driven out by the Mysians and Teucrians. The commander of these Asiatic Thracians was Bassaces the son of Artabanus.
*(Name lost)... had made small shields made of the hide of the ox, and carried each of them two spears such as are used in wolf-hunting. Brazen helmets protected their heads; and above these they wore the ears and horns of an ox fashioned in brass. They had also crests on their helms; and their legs were bound round with purple bands. There is an oracle of Mars in the country of this people.
The Cabalians, who are Maeonians, but are called Lasonians, had the same equipment as the Cilicians- an equipment which I shall describe when I come in due course to the Cilician contingent.
The Milyans bore short spears, and had their garments fastened with buckles. Some of their number carried Lycian bows. They wore about their heads skull-caps made of leather. Badres the son of Hystanes led both nations to battle.
The Moschians wore helmets made of wood, and carried shields and spears of a small size: their spear-heads, however, were long. The Moschian equipment was that likewise of the Tibarenians, the Macronians, and the Mosynoecians. The leaders of these nations were the following: the Moschians and Tibarenians were under the command of Ariomardus, who was the son of Darius and of Parmys, daughter of Smerdis son of Cyrus; while the Macronians and Mosynoecians. had for leader Artayctes, the son of Cherasmis, the governor of Sestos upon the Hellespont.
The Mares wore on their heads the plaited helmet peculiar to their country, and used small leathern bucklers, and javelins.
The Colchians wore wooden helmets, and carried small shields of raw hide, and short spears; besides which they had swords. Both Mares and Colchians were under the command of Pharandates, the son of Teaspes.
The Alarodians and Saspirians were armed like the Colchians; their leader was Masistes, the son of Siromitras.
The Islanders who came from the Erythraean Sea, where they inhabited the islands to which the king sends those whom he banishes, wore a dress and arms almost exactly like the Median. Their leader was Mardontes the son of Bagaeus, who the year after perished in the battle of Mycale, where he was one of the captains.
Such were the nations who fought upon the dry land, and made up the infantry of the Persians
Previous to Xerxes, His father, Darius I, had organized over 20 areas of government called Satrapies which contained even more nations. If you are interested in seeing the large number of nations under the control of Persian kings, who as the Babylonians had inherited from The Assyrians as recorded in Herodotus. click here. Note that the first three Satrapies are all composed of Greek nations.

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