The nations prepare for war against Babylon (Jer 51:27-51:28)

“Raise a standard

In the land!

Blow the trumpet

Among the nations!

Prepare the nations

For war

Against her!

Summon

Against her

The kingdoms,

Of Ararat,

Of Minni,

Of Ashkenaz!

Appoint a marshal

Against her!

Bring up horses

Like bristling locusts!

Prepare the nations

For war

Against her!

The kings

Of the Medes,

With their governors,

Their deputies,

With every land

Under their dominion

Shall come!”

Yahweh via Jeremiah wants to call various nations to fight against Babylon. The standard and the trumpet of war should sound to prepare nations to attack her. In particular 3 countries are named. Ararat was considered the place where Noah’s ark landed in Genesis, chapter 8. The assumption is that this mountain was in southern Turkey, what today is in Kurdish land, near the Russian and Iranian borders. Minni may be a reference to the Mannaeans who lived in what is now northwestern Iran or Armenia. Ashkenaz was a son of Noah and a land around Asia Minor near Armenia. Jewish people from the Rhineland area were called Ashkenazi, and this term was later adapted for all eastern European Jews. These countries would have joined with the Persians to attack Babylon. They would have so many horses that they would seem like swarms of locusts. Joining them would be the kings of Medes with all their officials and deputies, plus all the people from the land that they dominated. These were the ancient Persian people in what is now northwestern Iran. There was no specific mention of the Persians here.

The death of King Sennacherib (Tob 1:21-1:22)

“But not forty days passed before two of King Sennacherib’s sons killed him. They fled to the mountains of Ararat. Then his son King Esarhaddon reigned in his place. He appointed Ahikar, the son of my brother Hanael, over all the accounts of his kingdom. He had authority over the entire administration. Ahikar interceded for me. Then I returned to Nineveh. Now Ahikar was chief cupbearer, the keeper of the signet. He was in charge of the administration of the accounts under King Sennacherib of Assyria. King Esarhaddon reappointed him. He was my nephew and so a close relative.”

Now we have the revolt of the sons of King Sennacherib as was mentioned in 2 Kings, chapter 19. We have a new player Ahikar, or as he is sometimes called Achiacharus. He is the nephew of Tobit, the son of Tobit’s brother Hanael, who was not mentioned until here. Somehow Ahikar was in charge of the accounts for the deceased King Sennacherib of Assyria. It is not clear how he got that job. With the new King Esarhaddon (681-669 BCE), after the revolution, he was put in charge of the entire administration in Assyria. Now this important nephew pleaded with the king to help Tobit.