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ASENAPPER (Heb. אָסְנַפַּר), Mesopotamian king who deported several peoples – Babylonians, Elamites, and others – to Samaria, and elsewhere in Palestine-Syria (Ezra 4:10). Asenapper is commonly identified with Ashurbanipal, king of Assyria (668–c. 627 b.c.e.). Although there is no direct evidence that Ashurbanipal deported peoples to Palestine-Syria, it is plausible that he did – and actually from the very localities named in the text, since he crushed a revolt of southern Mesopotamia and liquidated the kingdom of Elam, which abetted the former. Furthermore, the name Asenapper can hardly be reconciled with that of any other king. The distortion of the name may have taken place with a supposed original Asurbanipal becoming Asurbanipar (l > r is a common phonetic shift), which then was abbreviated to As[ ]nipar, either through pronunciation or textual corruption. Some such process, if not precisely that one, must have led to the form Asenapper.


M. Streck, Assurbanipal, 1 (Ger., 1916), ccclxiv ff.; B. Meisler (Mazar), in: em, 1 (1965), 480–1 (incl. bibl.); Commentaries to Ezra 4:10.

[Jeffrey Howard Tigay]