No Dictionary Entry for Medes
International Standard Bible EncyclopediaMEDES
medz (madhi; Assyrian Amada, Mada; Achaem. Persian Mada; Medoi (Genesis 10:2 2 Kings 17:6; 2 Kings 18:11 1 Chronicles 1:5 Ezra 6:2 Esther 1:3, 14, 18, 19; Esther 10:2 Isaiah 13:17; Isaiah 21:2 Jeremiah 25:25; Jeremiah 51:11, 28 Daniel 5:28; Daniel 6:1, 9, 13, 16; 8:20; 9:01; 11:1)): Mentioned as Japhethites in Genesis 10:2, i.e. Aryans, and accordingly they first called themselves Arioi (Herod. vii.62), in Avestic Airya = Skt. Arya, "noble." They were closely allied in descent, language and religion with the Persians, and in secular history preceded their appearance by some centuries. Like most Aryan nations they were at first divided into small village communities each governed by its own chiefs (called in Assyrian chazanati by Assur-bani-pal: compare Herod. i.96). Shalmaneser II mentions them (Nimrod Obelisk, i.121) about 840 B.C. They then inhabited the modern A'zarbaijan (Media Atropatene). Rammanu-nirari III of Assyria (Rawlinson, Western Asiatic Inscriptions, I, 35) declares that he (810-781 B.C.) had conquered "the land of the Medes and the land of Parsua" (Persis), as well as other countries. This probably meant only a plundering expedition, as far as Media was concerned. So also Assur-nirari II (Western Asiastic Inscriptions, II, 52) in 749-748 B.C. overran Namri in Southwest Media. Tiglath-pileser IV (in Babylonian called Pulu, the "Pul" of 2 Kings 15:19) and Sargon also overran parts of Media. Sargon in 716 B.C. conquered Kisheshin, Kharkhar and other parts of the country. Some of the Israelites were by him transplanted to "the cities of the Medes" (2 Kings 17:6; 2 Kings 18:11; the Septuagint reading Ore, cannot be rendered "mountains" of the Medes here) after the fall of Samaria in 722 B.C. It was perhaps owing to the need of being able to resist Assyria that about 720 B.C. the Medes (in part at least) united into a kingdom under Deiokes, according to Herodotus (i.98). Sargon mentions him by the name Dayaukku, and says that he himself captured this prince (715 B.C.) and conquered his territory two years later. After his release, probably, Deiokes fortified Ecbatana (formerly Ellippi) and made it his capital. It has been held by some that Herodotus confounds the Medes here with the Manda (or Umman-Manda, "hosts of the Manda") of the inscriptions; but these were probably Aryan tribes, possibly of Scythian origin, and the names Mada and Manda may be, after all, identical. Esar-haddon in his 2nd year (679-678 B.C.) and Assurbani-pal warred with certain Median tribes, whose power was now growing formidable. They (or the Manda) had conquered Persis and formed a great confederacy. Under Kyaxares (Uvakh-shatara-Deiokes' grandson, according to Herodotus), they besieged Nineveh, but Assur-bani-pal, with the assistance of the Ashguza (? the Ashkenaz of Genesis 10:3), another Aryan tribe, repelled them. The end of the Assyrian empire came, however, in 606 B.C., when the Manda under their king Iriba-tukte, Mamiti-arsu "lord of the city of the Medes," Kastarit of the Armenian district of Kar-kassi, the Kimmerians (Gimirra = Gomer) under Teushpa (Teispes, Chaishpish), the Minni (Manna; compare Jeremiah 51:27), and the Babylonians under Nabu-pal-ucsur, stormed and destroyed Nineveh, as Nabu-nahid informs us. The last king of Assyria, Sin-sar-iskun (Sarakos), perished with his people.