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Theocratic Ministry School Review - April 2015

Study information for Theocratic Ministry School Review

The following questions will be considered at the Theocratic Ministry School during the week beginning April 27, 2015. The date when each point is scheduled for discussion is included so that research can be done when preparing for the school each week.

1. What kind of love is loyal love, and in what areas of life is it especially needed? (Ruth 1:16, 17) [Mar. 2, w12 7/1 p. 26 par. 6]

(Ruth 1:16, 17) But Ruth said: “Do not plead with me to abandon you, to turn back from accompanying you; for where you go I will go, and where you spend the night, I will spend the night. Your people will be my people, and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May Jehovah do so to me and add to it if anything but death should separate me from you.”

***w12 7/1 pp. 26-27 “Where You Go I Shall Go”***
There is no shortage of grief in this world. In our own times, which the Bible calls “critical times hard to deal with,” we face all manner of losses as well as grief. (2 Timothy 3:1) So the quality we find in Ruth has become more important than ever. Loyal love—the kind of love that holds on to its object and simply refuses to let go—is a powerful force for good in this darkening world. We need it in marriage, we need it in family relations, we need it in friendships, we need it in the Christian congregation. As we cultivate that kind of love, we are imitating the sterling example of Ruth.

2. How did Ruth acquire the reputation of being “an excellent woman”? (Ruth 3:11) [Mar. 2,w12 10/1 p. 23 par. 1]

(Ruth 3:11) And now, my daughter, have no fear. I will do for you everything that you say, for everyone in the city knows that you are an excellent woman.

***w12 10/1 p. 23 “An Excellent Woman”***
How satisfying it must have been for Ruth to contemplate what Boaz had said—that she was known among all the people as “an excellent woman”! No doubt her eagerness to get to know Jehovah and to serve him had much to do with that reputation. She had also shown great kindness and sensitivity toward Naomi and her people, willingly adapting to ways and customs that were surely unfamiliar to her. If we imitate Ruth’s faith, we will seek to treat others and their ways and customs with deep respect. If we do, we too may find that we develop a reputation for excellence.

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Highlights From the Book of 1 Samuel - Bible Reading

Highlights From the Book of 1 Samuel - Information for personal study

First Samuel Highlights Importance of Obedience

THE importance to Christians of obedience can hardly be overemphasized. In particular is this true as to God’s commands to them. Is not all the trouble in the world due to our first parents’ having disobeyed God’s command forbidding their eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and bad? Yes, those who desire God’s approval must obey him.—Gen. 2:16, 17; 3:1-19.
The book of First Samuel serves very well in stressing the importance of obedience. It not only contains precepts commanding obedience but illustrates the fruits of obedience and the results of disobedience.
Originally this book constituted with Second Samuel one volume (scroll). It covers upward of 100 years of Israel’s history, from shortly before the birth of Samuel, who proved to be the last of the line of judges, to the death of Saul, the first of Israel’s kings. The outstanding historical event it records is Israel’s change from rulership by judges to a monarchy. Three persons are made most prominent, the prophet Samuel, King Saul and David. The book covers in sequence: (1) Samuel and his judgeship; (2) Saul’s early kingship; (3) David’s exploits, Saul’s persecution of David and Saul’s suicide on the field of battle.
There has been much conjecture as to who wrote the book of First Samuel. However, for those with faith in the Bible’s inspiration, 1 Chronicles 29:29 is plain: “As for the affairs of David the king, the first ones and the last, there they are written among the words of Samuel the seer and among the words of Nathan the prophet and among the words of Gad the visionary.” That is, the prophet Samuel wrote all of Samuel until his death, as recorded at 1 Samuel 25:1, Nathan and Gad writing the rest. And that is the view held by ancient Jewish scholars as well as by most of the early Christian scholars.
As to the authenticity or the genuineness of the things recorded in the book: Many of its events are referred to in the book of Psalms and in the Christian Greek Scriptures; there is a straightforwardness and candor that stamps the book as truth. Archaeology also has testified to the accuracy of some of the things that the book records.
Further, the literary quality of the books of Samuel is such, in fact, that it might be said to add weight to its authenticity. Says a noted Hebrew authority: “Samuel contains some of the finest examples of Hebrew prose in the Bible. . . . Like all good Hebrew, it achieves the maximum effect with the greatest economy of words. Its narratives are masterpieces of historical writing.” This is something we would expect from Samuel, as he heard the Scriptures read at the sanctuary from the time he was weaned. The prophets Nathan and Gad may well have attempted to imitate his writing.

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Who was: Esarhaddon | Its Origin and History.

by Joshua J. Mark
Esarhaddon (reigned 681-669 BCE) was the third king of the Sargonid Dynasty of the Neo-Assyrian Empire. He was the youngest son of King Sennacherib (reigned 705-681 BCE), and his mother was not the queen but a concubine named Zakutu (also known as Naqia-Zakutu, c.701-668 BCE). Esarhaddon is mentioned in the Bible in II Kings 19:37, Isaiah 37:38, and Ezra 4:2. He is best known for re-building Babylon (which his father had destroyed) and for his military campaigns in Egypt. An avid follower of astrology, he consulted oracles on a regular basis throughout his reign, far more than any other Assyrian king. He claimed the gods had ordained him to restore Babylon and cleverly omitted from his inscriptions anything that would implicate Sennacherib in the city’s fall. In his other diplomatic letters he seems equally careful and maintained, then enlarged, the empire his father had left to him. He died on campaign in Egypt and left the throne to his son, Ashurbanipal.

Ascent to the Throne

Sennacherib had over eleven sons with his various wives and chose as heir his favorite, Ashur-nadin-shumi, the eldest of those born of his queen. He appointed Ashur-nadin-shumi to rule over Babylon and, while fulfilling his duties, the prince was kidnapped by the Elamites and taken to Elam. Sennacherib mounted an enormous expedition to retrieve his son but was defeated. It is thought that Ashur-nadin-shumi was then killed by his captors sometime around 694 BCE. After the defeat of the Assyrian army by the Elamite coalition, Sennacherib returned to his capital at Nineveh and busied himself with building projects and running his empire. He needed to choose a new heir but seems to have taken his time in deciding who that would be. It could be that, during this time, he was evaluating his sons, or it could simply be that he was still grieving the loss of his favorite and did not wish to replace him. In any case, it was not until 683 BCE that Sennacherib declared Esarhaddon heir.
He rebuilt the entire city: temples, homes, and streets. And to make sure everyone would remember their benefactor, inscribed the bricks and stones with his name. 
His older brothers did not take the news well. In Esarhaddon’s inscriptions he writes:
Of my older brothers, the younger brother was I
But by decree of [the gods] Ashur and Shamash, Bel and Nabu
My father exalted me, amid a gathering of my brothers:
He asked Shamash, “Is this my heir?”
And the gods answered, “He is your second self.”
And then my brothers went mad.
They drew their swords, godlessly, in the middle of Nineveh.
But Ashur, Shamash, Bel, Nabu, Ishtar,
All the gods looked with wrath on the deeds of these scoundrels,
Brought their strength to weakness and humbled them beneath me.
While his inscription tells the basic story, it is not the whole one. It appears that, after Sennacherib announced his choice, the brothers made clear their displeasure and Zakutu sent Esarhaddon into hiding. Exactly where he went is unknown, but it was somewhere in the region formerly held by the Mitanni. In c. 689 BCE Sennacherib had sacked and destroyed the city of Babylon, carrying off the statue of the great god Marduk, and this had not met with the approval of the Assyrian court or the people of the empire. Babylon and Assyria shared many of the same gods, and an affront to Marduk of Babylon was a sacrilege which could not be tolerated. In 681 BCE Sennacherib was assassinated by two of his sons. While they certainly could have been motivated to kill him to take the throne (and so cut Esarhaddon off from his inheritance), they would have required some form of justification, and the destruction of Babylon would have served that purpose well. Their names are not known outside of the biblical versions given in II Kings 19 and Isaiah 37:38 where they are called Adrammelech and Sharezer. Following the assassination, the two princes fled Nineveh and sought refuge with the king of Urartu, Rusas II.
At this point Esarhaddon was re-called from exile and fought his brother’s factions for the throne. After a six-week civil war, he emerged victorious, executed his brother’s families, associates, and all who had joined their cause, and took the throne.

Reign & Restoration of Babylon

Among his first decrees was the restoration of Babylon.  In his inscription he writes:
Great king, mighty monarch, lord of all, king of the land of Assur, ruler of Babylon, faithful shepherd, beloved of Marduk, lord of lords, dutiful leader, loved by Marduk’s Consort Zurpanitum, humble, obedient, full of praise for their strength and awestruck from his earliest days in the presence of their divine greatness [am I, Esarhaddon]. When in the reign of an earlier king there were ill omens, the city offended its gods and was destroyed at their command. It was me, Esarhaddon, whom they chose to restore everything to its rightful place, to calm their anger, to assuage their wrath. You, Marduk, entrusted the protection of the land of Assur to me. The Gods of Babylon meanwhile told me to rebuild their shrines and renew the proper religious observances of their palace, Esagila. I called up all my workmen and conscripted all the people of Babylonia. I set them to work, digging up the ground and carrying the earth away in baskets (Kerrigan, 34).
Esarhaddon carefully distanced himself from his father’s reign and, especially, from the destruction of Babylon. Even though he identifies himself as the son of Sennacherib and grandson of Sargon II in other inscriptions, in order to make clear that he is the legitimate king, in his inscriptions concerning Babylon he is simply the king whom the gods have ordained to set things right. Sennacherib is only referenced as “an earlier king” in a former time. The propaganda worked, in that there is no record that he was associated in any way with the destruction of the city, only with the re-building. His inscriptions also claim that he personally participated in the restoration project. The historian Michael Kerrigan comments on this, writing:
Esarhaddon believed in leading from the front, taking a central role in what we nowadays call the `groundbreaking ceremony’ for the new Esagila. Once the damaged temple had been demolished and its site fully cleared, he says, “I poured libations of the finest oil, honey, ghee, red wine, white wine, to instil respect and fear for the power of Marduk in the people. I myself picked up the first basket of earth, raised it on to my head, and carried it” (35).
He rebuilt the entire city, from the temples to the temple complexes to the homes of the people and the streets and, to make sure everyone would remember their benefactor, inscribed the bricks and stones with his name. The historian Susan Wise Bauer writes:
He wrote his own praises into the very roads underfoot: scores of the bricks that paved the approach to the great temple complex of Esagila were stamped, “For the god Marduk, Esarhaddon, king of the world, king of Assyria and Babylon, made the processional way of Esagila and Babylon shine with baked bricks from a ritually pure kiln (401).
Although the prophecies concerning the re-building of Babylon had said that the city would not be restored for 70 years, Esarhaddon manipulated the priests to read the prophecy as eleven years. He did this by having them read the cuneiform number for 70 upside down so that it meant eleven, which was exactly the number of years he had planned for the restoration. Since he maintained a life-long interest in astrology and prophecy, it has seemed strange to some scholars that he would manipulate the priests in this way and discredit the integrity of the oracles. It seems clear, however, that he had a very clear vision for his reign and, even though he did believe in the signs from the gods, he was not going to allow that belief to stand in the way of achieving his objectives.
Sam'al Stele of King Esarhaddon

Military Campaigns

With Babylon restored, Esarhaddon set about expanding and improving upon his empire. The Cimmerians, a nomadic tribe of the north, were threatening his western borders, and the Kingdom of Urartu, which his grandfather had defeated in 714 BCE, had risen again in the north. His two brothers, who had killed their father, were still there under the protection of King Rusas II who, like the Urartu kings before him, had no love for the Assyrians. In order to keep the Cimmerians at bay, Esarhaddon entered into a treaty with the Scythians, another nomadic tribe known for their skill in cavalry warfare. Although he felt he needed their help, he did not trust them as allies. Esarhaddon consulted his oracles regarding Urartu, the Cimmerians, and the Scythians, and his questions are preserved on divination tablets (prayers or requests inscribed on tablets which were then read in the temple in the presence of the god). Two of his tablets read:
Shamash, great lord, will Rusas, king of the Urartu, come with his armies, and the Cimmerians (or any of his allies), and wage war, kill, plunder, and loot?
Shamash, great lord, if I give one of my daughters in marriage to the king of the Scythians, will he speak words of good faith to me, true and honest words of peace? Will he keep my treaty and do whatever is pleasing to me?
While Esarhaddon was consulting the oracles, the Cimmerians invaded from the west in 679 BCE. By 676 BCE they had fought their way further into Assyrian-held lands and conquered Phrygia (roughly modern-day Turkey), destroying the cities and temples. Esarhaddon met the Cimmerians in battle at Cilicia and defeated them. He claims in his inscriptions to have killed their king, Teushpa, with his own sword.
At the same time the Cimmerians had invaded, the city of Sidon in the Levant rebelled against Assyrian rule and Esarhaddon marched down the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, defeated the rebel king, and executed him. He then turned about and marched against the allies of Urartu, the Mannaeans, to the north-east and, by early 673 BCE, was at war with Urartu itself. What happened to his brothers is unknown, but Urartu was again beaten back by the Assyrian army and, if the brothers were still alive when Esarhaddon defeated the Urartu, he would no doubt have had them executed.

The Egyptian Campaigns & Death

Having now secured his borders, Esarhaddon thought to expand them. Egypt had been a problem for the Assyrians in his father’s reign and was still encouraging dissent and revolt in the Assyrian Empire. In 673 BCE Esarhaddon launched his first military campaign against Egypt and, thinking to storm Egypt in one furious push, marched his army at great speed. This proved to be a mistake. When they met the Egyptian forces under the Kushite Pharaoh Tirhakah outside the city of Ashkelon, the Assyrians were exhausted and quickly defeated. Esarhaddon withdrew from the field and his army limped back to Nineveh.
Esarhaddon learned from his mistake and, in 671 BCE, took his time and brought a much larger army slowly down through Assyrian territory and up to the Egyptian borders; then he ordered the attack. The Egyptian cities fell quickly to the Assyrians and Esarhaddon drove the army forward down the Nile Delta and captured the capital city of Memphis. Although Tirhakah escaped, Esarhaddon captured his son, wife, family, and most of the royal court and sent them, along with much of the population of Memphis, back to Assyria. He then placed officials loyal to him in key posts to govern his new territory and returned to Nineveh. His victory is commemorated on his famous Victory Stele of 671 BCE now in the Pergamon Museum of Berlin, Germany. The stele depicts Esarhaddon in his full majesty, holding a war mace, with an attendant king kneeling at his feet and Tirhakah’s son, also kneeling abjectly, with a rope around his neck.
His eldest son and heir, Sin-iddina-apla, had died in 672 BCE, and Esarhaddon now chose his second son, Ashurbanipal, as his successor. He forced his vassal states to swear loyalty in advance to Ashurbanipal in order to avoid any revolts over the future succession. At about this same time, Esarhaddon’s mother Zakutu issued the Loyalty Treaty of Naqia-Zakutu which compelled the Assyrian court and those territories under Assyrian rule to accept and support the reign of Ashurbanipal. In order to avoid the kind of conflict he had gone through with his brothers, Esarhaddon also provided for his youngest son, Shamash-shun-ukin, by decreeing he should be king of Babylon.
Esarhaddon seems to have just finished setting his affairs in order when news reached him that Egypt had rebelled. Many of the trusted officials he had left in charge of cities and provinces had become sympathetic to Egyptian liberation and, no doubt, were profiting handsomely from their positions and were disinclined to send tribute back to Nineveh. In 669 BCE, Esarhaddon mobilized his army and marched again on Egypt; he died before he reached the borders. It would be left to Ashurbanipal to complete his father’s work and conquer Egypt for the Assyrian Empire.
Extracted from the website: Ancient History Encyclopedia under Creative Commons License.

Who was: Ashurnasirpal II | Its Origin and History.

by Joshua J. Mark
Ashurnasirpal II (reigned 884-859 BCE) was the third king of the Neo-Assyrian Empire. His father was Tukulti-Ninurta II (reigned (891-884 BCE) whose military campaigns throughout the region provided his son with a sizeable empire and the resources to equip a formidable army. Ashurnasirpal II is known for his ruthless military conquests and the consolidation of the Assyrian Empire, but he is probably most famous for his grand palace at Kalhu (also known as Caleh and Nimrud in modern-day Iraq), whose wall reliefs depicting his military successes (and many victims) are on display in museums around the world in the modern day. In addition to the palace itself, he is also known for throwing one of the most impressive parties in history to inaugurate his new city of Kalhu: he hosted over 69,000 people during a ten day festival. The menu for this party still survives in the present day. He reigned for 25 years and was succeeded by his son, Shalmaneser III, who reigned from 859-824 BCE.

Early Reign & Military Campaigns

Ashurnasirpal II’s grandfather was Adad-Nirari II (reigned 912-891 BCE), generally considered the first king of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, who initiated the revitalization of the government and the military. His diplomatic skills, especially his treaty with Babylon, ensured stability in the empire, while his military conquests enriched the treasury and expanded the empire’s borders. His son continued his policies so that, by the time Ashurnasirpal II came to the throne, he had at his disposal a well-equipped fighting force and considerable resources. He put both of these to use almost at once. He was not so much interested in expansion of the empire as in securing it against invasion from without or rebellion from within. He also was required, as an Assyrian king, to combat the forces of chaos and maintain order. The historian Marc Van De Mieroop writes, “The king, as representative of the god Assur, represented order. Wherever he was in control, there was peace, tranquility, and justice, and where he did not rule there was chaos. The king’s duty to bring order to the entire world was the justification for military expansion” (260). While Ashurnasirpal may not have considered expansion a priority, he certainly took order in his realm very seriously and would not tolerate insubordination or revolt.
In the understanding of the people of the Near East at that time, Ashurnasirpal II really was “king of the world”.
His first campaign was in 883 BCE to the city of Suru to put down a rebellion there. He then marched to the north where he put down other rebellions which had broken out when he took the throne. He was not interested in having to expend more time and resources on future rebellions and so made an example of the rebels in the city of Tela. In his inscriptions he writes:
I built a pillar over against the city gate and I flayed all the chiefs who had revolted and I covered the pillar with their skins. Some I impaled upon the pillar on stakes and others I bound to stakes round the pillar. I cut the limbs off the officers who had rebelled. Many captives I burned with fire and many I took as living captives. From some I cut off their noses, their ears, and their fingers, of many I put out their eyes. I made one pillar of the living and another of heads and I bound their heads to tree trunks round about the city. Their young men and maidens I consumed with fire. The rest of their warriors I consumed with thirst in the desert of the Euphrates.
This treatment of defeated cities would become Ashurnasirpal II’s trademark and would include skinning insubordinate officials alive and nailing their flesh to the gates of the city and “dishonoring the maidens and boys” of the conquered cities before setting them on fire. With Tela destroyed, he moved swiftly on to other campaigns. He marched west, fighting his way through other rebel outbreaks and subjugating the cities which opposed him. The historian John Boardman notes that “a major factor behind the increasing resistance was probably the heavy tribute exacted by Ashurnasirpal…one has the impression that a particularly large amount of booty was claimed by this king and that corvee [forced labor] was imposed universally” (259). Ashurnasirpal II led his army on successful campaigns across the Euphrates River and all the way to the Mediterranean Sea, where he washed his weapons as a symbol of his conquests (an act made famous by the inscriptions of Sargon the Great of the earlier Akkadian Empire after he had established his rule). Although some sources claim he then conquered Phoenicia, it seems clear he entered into diplomatic relations with the region, as he did also with the kingdom of Israel. The surviving populaces of the cities and territories he conquered were, as per Assyrian policy, relocated to other regions in the empire in order to distribute skills and talent. Having accomplished what he set out to do on campaign, he turned around and headed back to his capital city of Ashur. If there were any further revolts to be put down on his march back, they are not recorded. It is unlikely that there were more revolts, however, as Ashurnasirpal II had established a reputation for cruelty and ruthlessness which would have been daunting to even the most ardent rebel. The historian Stephen Bertman comments on this, writing:
Ashurnasirpal II set a standard for the future warrior-kings of Assyria. In the words of Georges Roux, he `possessed to the extreme all the qualities and defects of his successors, the ruthless, indefatigable empire-builders: ambition, energy, courage, vanity, cruelty, magnificence’ (Roux 1992:288). His annals were the most extensive of any Assyrian ruler up to his time, detailing the multiple military campaigns he led to secure or enlarge his nation’s territorial dominion. From one raid alone he filled his kingdom’s coffers with 660 pounds of gold an equal measure of silver, and added 460 horses to his stables. The sadistic cruelty he inflicted upon rebel leaders was legendary, skinning them alive and displaying their skin, and cutting off the noses and the ears of their followers or mounting their severed heads on pillars to serve as a warning to others (79-80).
Head of Ashurnasirpal II
Having secured his empire, Ashurnasirpal II turned his attention to his capital at Ashur, which he renovated (as he also did with Nineveh and many other cities during his reign). Ashur was among the most prosperous of the Assyrian cities and had been the capital of the Assyrian Empire since the reign of Adad Nirari I (1307-1275 BCE). Once he had added his own adornments and improvements to the great city, Ashurnasirpal II now felt it was time for a change in its status. The residents of Ashur were proud of their city and of their prestige as citizens of the capital. It has been proposed by a number of scholars that Ashurnasirpal II wanted a completely new city, with a new population, that he could call his own in order to elevate his name above his predecessors and rule over a populace devoted to him, rather than to their city. This is only one theory, however, as it is not clear what exactly motivated him to move the capital from Ashur. No matter the reason, he chose the city of Kalhu and initiated his building project there.

Kalhu & the Grand Palace

Kalhu had been an important trading center since the 1st millennium BCE. It was located directly on a prosperous route between Ashur and Nineveh. The city had been built on the location of an earlier business community under the reign of Shalmaneser I (1274-1245 BCE) but had become dilapidated over the centuries. Ashurnasirpal II ordered the debris removed from the crumbling towers and walls and decreed a completely new city should be built, which would include a royal residence greater than that of any previous king. Ashurnasirpal II’s inscriptions regarding Kalhu read, “The former city of Caleh, which Shalmaneser, king of Assyria, a prince who preceded me, had built, that city had fallen into decay and lay in ruins, it was turned into a mound and ruin heap. That city I built anew. I laid out orchards round about it, fruit and wine I offered unto Assur, my lord, I dug down to the water level. I built the wall thereof; from its foundation unto its top I built and completed it.”
The new city of Kalhu covered 360 hectares (890 acres) with a surrounding wall of 4.6 miles (7.5 kilometers). When it was completed, Ashurnasirpal II re-located an entirely new population (16,000 people) within the city’s walls and took up residence in his new palace. According to the historian Karen Radner:
Kalhu's most impressive building at the time of Ashurnasirpal was certainly his new royal palace. At 200 metres long (656 feet) and 130 metres wide (426 feet), it dominated its surroundings and its position on the citadel mound led to its modern name, the Northwest Palace. It was organised around three courtyards, accommodating the state apartments, the administrative wing and the private quarters which also housed the royal women. Here, several underground tombs were uncovered in 1989, including the last resting place of Ashurnasirpal's queen Mullissu-mukannišat-Ninua, the daughter of the king's cupbearer, one of the foremost officials at court. Her rich burial goods give a vivid impression of the luxury in which the king and his entourage lived (1).
King Ashurnasirpal II
In 879 BCE, when the palace was completed and fully decorated with the reliefs lining the walls of its corridors, Ashurnasirpal II invited the surrounding population and dignitaries from other lands to celebrate. The festival lasted ten days, and his Banquet Stele records that 69,574 people attended. The menu from this celebration included, but was not limited to, 1,000 oxen, 1,000 domestic cattle and sheep, 14,000 imported and fattened sheep, 1,000 lambs, 500 game birds, 500 gazelles, 10,000 fish, 10,000 eggs, 10,000 loaves of bread, 10,000 measures of beer, and 10,000 containers of wine (Bauer, 337). When the celebration was done, he sent his guests home “in peace and joy” after allowing the dignitaries to view the reliefs in his new palace. His famous Standard Inscription told again and again of his triumphs in conquest and vividly depicted the horrible fate of those who rose against him. The inscription also let the dignitaries from his own realm, and others, know precisely who they were dealing with. He claimed the titles “great king, king of the world, the valiant hero who goes forth with the help of Assur; he who has no rival in all four quarters of the world, the exalted shepherd, the powerful torrent that none can withstand, he who has overcome all mankind, whose hand has conquered all lands and taken all the mountain ranges” (Bauer, 337). His empire stretched across the territory which today comprises western Iran, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, and part of Turkey. Through his diplomatic relationships with Babylonia and the Levant, he also had access to the resources of southern Mesopotamia and the sea ports of Phoenicia. In the understanding of the people of the Near East at that time, he really was “king of the world”.

Death & Succession

After a reign of 25 years, during which he completed a number of significant building projects throughout the empire, succeeded in 14 military campaigns, and established depots of food and water reserves for the people, Ashurnasirpal II died.  He was succeeded by his son Shalmaneser III who reigned from 859 to 824 BCE. Shalmaneser III continued and improved upon his father’s policies and expanded the empire through the kinds of military campaigns the Assyrian kings had now become famous for. He was enabled in this by the strength of the empire his father had provided. The historian Wolfram von Soden writes:
The reign of Ashurnasirpal II, marked by brutal but systematic military advances, represented the high point of the first great period of Assyrian expansion. During this king’s tenure, he resettled great portions of those ethnic groups still intent on remaining autonomous, in an intensifying application of the policy the Assyrian kings had employed against rebellious subjects since the thirteenth century (56).
Shalmaneser III inherited a stronger and more capable empire than his father even had and built upon his predecessor’s successes. While Ashurnasirpal II’s policies may have been brutal, they were also effective in maintaining control of the population. Through his ruthless campaigns, the resettlement of populations, and his careful administration, Ashurnasirpal II consolidated the political entity that would become the greatest empire in the ancient Near East and established his name among the most memorable Assyrian kings.
Extracted from the website: Ancient History Encyclopedia under Creative Commons License.

“Watchtower” Study ‒ Week Starting April 20

Preparing the Nations for “the Teaching of Jehovah”: information for personal study


(Matthew 24:14) And this good news of the Kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.
(Matthew 28:19) Go, therefore, and make disciples of people of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit,
- 2 -
(Acts 4:13) Now when they saw the outspokenness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and ordinary men, they were astonished. And they began to realize that they had been with Jesus.
- 3 -
(Luke 21:16, 17) Moreover, you will be handed over even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death, 17 and you will be hated by all people because of my name.
(Matthew 24:10-12) Then, too, many will be stumbled and will betray one another and will hate one another. 11 Many false prophets will arise and mislead many; 12 and because of the increasing of lawlessness, the love of the greater number will grow cold.
(Acts 1:8) But you will receive power when the holy spirit comes upon you, and you will be witnesses of me in Jerusalem, in all Ju•de′a and Sa•mar′i•a, and to the most distant part of the earth.”
- 4 -
(Colossians 1:6) that has come to you. Just as the good news is bearing fruit and increasing in all the world, so it is also doing among you from the day you heard and accurately knew the undeserved kindness of God in truth.
(Colossians 1:23) provided, of course, that you continue in the faith, established on the foundation and steadfast, not being shifted away from the hope of that good news that you heard and that was preached in all creation under heaven. Of this good news I, Paul, became a minister.
(Acts 13:6-12) When they had gone through the whole island as far as Pa′phos, they met up with a Jewish man named Bar-Je′sus, who was a sorcerer and a false prophet. 7 He was with the proconsul Sergius Paulus, an intelligent man. Calling Bar′na•bas and Saul to him, this man was eager to hear the word of God. 8 But El′y•mas the sorcerer (for that is how his name is translated) began opposing them, trying to turn the proconsul away from the faith. 9 Then Saul, also called Paul, becoming filled with holy spirit, looked at him intently 10 and said: “O man full of every sort of fraud and every sort of villainy, you son of the Devil, you enemy of everything righteous, will you not quit distorting the right ways of Jehovah? 11 Look! Jehovah’s hand is upon you, and you will be blind, not seeing the sunlight for a time.” Instantly a thick mist and darkness fell on him, and he went around trying to find someone to lead him by the hand. 12 Then the proconsul, on seeing what had happened, became a believer, for he was astounded at the teaching of Jehovah.
- 5 -
(Matthew 28:20) teaching them to observe all the things I have commanded you. And look! I am with you all the days until the conclusion of the system of things.”
- 7 -
(Matthew 24:6) You are going to hear of wars and reports of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for these things must take place, but the end is not yet.
- 8 -
(Romans 12:18-21) If possible, as far as it depends on you, be peaceable with all men. 19 Do not avenge yourselves, beloved, but yield place to the wrath; for it is written: “‘Vengeance is mine; I will repay,’ says Jehovah.” 20 But “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by doing this you will heap fiery coals on his head.” 21 Do not let yourself be conquered by the evil, but keep conquering the evil with the good.

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Bible Highlights: 1 Samuel 23-24-25 > Theocratic Ministry School

Study information for Theocratic Ministry School

Bible reading: 1 Samuel 23-25 (8 min.)

1 SAMUEL 23:6

“Now when A•biʹa•thar the son of A•himʹe•lech ran away to David at Keiʹlah, he had an ephʹod with him.”

*** it-1 p. 18 Abiathar ***
Only Abiathar escaped. He fled to David, himself a fugitive, evidently at Keilah, several miles to the SW. David, feeling a certain personal responsibility for the tragedy, told Abiathar: “I well knew on that day, because Doeg the Edomite was there, that he would without fail tell Saul. I personally have wronged every soul of the house of your father. Just dwell with me. Do not be afraid, for whoever looks for my soul looks for your soul, for you are one needing protection with me.”—1Sa 22:12-23; 23:6.
Abiathar now traveled with David during the remainder of his outlawed state and served as priest for David’s forces. First Samuel 23:6 shows that Abiathar had brought with him an ephod, and while the priests in general wore an ephod of linen (1Sa 22:18), verses 9-12 of chapter 23 indicate that this was apparently the ephod of Abiathar’s father, the high priest, containing the Urim and Thummim.

*** it-1 p. 736 Ephod, I ***
The ephod that Abiathar the priest carried from the sanctuary at Nob to David’s camp was likely the ephod of the high priest, since Doeg had killed Abiathar’s father, High Priest Ahimelech, and the underpriests with him. (1Sa 22:16-20; 23:6) David had Abiathar bring the ephod near so that he could inquire of Jehovah as to what course of action to take.—1Sa 23:9-12; 30:7, 8.

1 SAMUEL 23:9

“When David learned that Saul was plotting against him, he said to A•biʹa•thar the priest: “Bring the ephʹod here.””

*** it-2 p. 1143 Urim and Thummim ***
David called upon Abiathar to employ the Urim and the Thummim when Abiathar, after escaping the slaughter of the priests of Nob in which his father died, came to David with the ephod. Apparently this was the ephod of the high priest.—1Sa 22:19, 20; 23:6-15.

1 SAMUEL 23:17

“He said to him: “Do not be afraid, for my father Saul will not find you; you will be king over Israel, and I will become second to you; and my father Saul also knows that.””

*** w93 12/1 p. 24 par. 19 Happy Are the Humble ***
So how did Jonathan respond when, in the course of events, it was apparent that Jehovah was blessing David and that he, not Jonathan, would succeed Saul as king of Israel? Did Jonathan feel jealous or envious? Not at all! Because of his great love for David, he could say, as we read at 1 Samuel 23:17: “Do not be afraid; for the hand of Saul my father will not find you, and you yourself will be king over Israel, and I myself shall become second to you; and Saul my father also has knowledge to that effect.” Jonathan’s great love for David caused him humbly to accept what he perceived to be God’s will as to who was to succeed his father as king of Israel.

1 SAMUEL 23:19

“The men of Ziph later went up to Saul at Gibʹe•ah and said: “Is not David hiding near us in the places difficult to approach at Hoʹresh, on the hill of Hach•iʹlah, which is south of Je•shiʹmon?”

*** it-1 p. 1030 Hand ***
Directions. The Hebrew expressions for “right hand” (Heb., ya•minʹ) and “left hand” (Heb., semoʼlʹ) are also translated “south” and “north,” respectively (Ge 14:15; Ps 89:12), since directions were reckoned from the standpoint of a person facing the E. Hence, S would be to his right.—1Sa 23:19, 24.

1 SAMUEL 23:29

“Then David made his way up from there and stayed in the places difficult to approach at En-gedʹi.”

*** it-1 p. 728 En-gedi ***
Not only this abundant growth but also the inaccessibility of the region made En-gedi an ideal hideout for David when he was being pursued by King Saul. Thus the Bible speaks of certain “places difficult to approach at En-gedi.” (1Sa 23:29) Modern-day visitors have similarly depicted the dangerous and precipitous rocky passes in that area.

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Congregation Bible Study ‒ Week Starting April 20

Study information for the book: Draw Close to Jehovah

cl chap. 23 ¶10-18 (30 min.)


“He First Loved Us”

Divine Love Defined

10. Humans have what need, and what has happened to the meaning of the word “love”?

10 What does this word “love” mean? Love has been described as the greatest need humans have. From the cradle to the grave, people strive after love, thrive in its warmth, even pine away and die for lack of it. Nonetheless, it is surprisingly difficult to define. Of course, people talk a lot about love. There is an endless stream of books, songs, and poems about it. The results do not always clarify the meaning of love. If anything, the word is so overused that its true meaning seems ever more elusive.

11, 12. (a) Where can we learn a great deal about love, and why there? (b) What types of love were specified in the ancient Greek language, and what word for “love” is used most often in the Christian Greek Scriptures? (See also footnote.) (c) What is a•ga′pe?

11 The Bible, however, teaches with clarity about love. Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words notes: “Love can be known only from the actions it prompts.” The Bible record of Jehovah’s actions teaches us a great deal about his love—the benevolent affection he has for his creatures. For example, what could reveal more about this quality than Jehovah’s own supreme act of love described earlier? In the chapters to follow, we will see many other examples of Jehovah’s love in action. Additionally, we can gain some insight from the original words for “love” used in the Bible. In the ancient Greek tongue, there were four words for “love.”* Of these, the one used most often in the Christian Greek Scriptures is a•ga′pe. One Bible dictionary calls this “the most powerful word imaginable for love.” Why?

12 A•ga′pe refers to love that is guided by principle. So it is more than just an emotional response to another person. It is broader in scope, more thoughtful and deliberate in its basis. Above all, a•ga′pe is utterly unselfish. For example, look again at John 3:16. What is “the world” that God loved so much that he gave his only-begotten Son? It is the world of redeemable mankind. That includes many people who are pursuing a sinful course in life. Does Jehovah love each one as a personal friend, the way he loved faithful Abraham? (James 2:23) No, but Jehovah lovingly extends goodness toward all, even at great cost to himself. He wants all to repent and change their ways. (2 Peter 3:9) Many do. These he happily receives as his friends.
par. 12 (John 3:16) “For God loved the world so much that he gave his only-begotten Son, so that everyone exercising faith in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life.
par. 12 (Jas. 2:23) and the scripture was fulfilled that says: “Abraham put faith in Jehovah, and it was counted to him as righteousness,” and he came to be called Jehovah’s friend.
par. 12 (2 Pet. 3:9) Jehovah is not slow concerning his promise, as some people consider slowness, but he is patient with you because he does not desire anyone to be destroyed but desires all to attain to repentance.

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Drunkorexia: stop eating to drink alcohol > Health and Wellness.

The main victims of the drunkorexia are concerned youth for staying thin that they don't want to give up the consumption of alcoholic beverages for fun, the solution: not to eat.
Wanting to have perfect measures attached to the so-called social acceptance which has the teen a drink are the bases on which this new food disorder rests. Also known as alcohorexia or ebriorexia, although less is the name, drunkorexia is a term not official that derives from the English word drunk (drunk or intoxicated) and the Greek suffix -orexia; (appetite).
With the arrival of weekends, holidays or periods of feast, young people leverage to go out and drink alcohol as one form of fun. At this point, some of them (mainly girls) are beginning to worry about his physical and consequences letting them alcohol in your figure. The dilemma posed then is would waive? to drink or I drink while fattening?
Result of unconsciousness and the whim of the age, young people choose something much worse: neither one thing nor the other, are best left to eat to be able to keep drinking. What seems so strange is not it if we extrapolate it to another context. Surely you've heard someone who prefers to eat the least to afford this dessert that both like or decide to skip any food to compensate for a previous meal. It is the same speech, although much more worrying: in this case it has been consumed in excess is not food but alcohol. According to experts, we could be facing a more serious than anorexia case, since is a wasteful consumption of alcohol in a body that is practically malnourished and entails negative consequences for health.

The negative effects of alcohol

As he showed a study published by the medical journal The Lancet earlier this year, alcohol is a substance addictive and harmful than heroin and crack, if it is considered in a combined way the damage that causes to the consumer and the people who surround him. The authors of the study emphasized that the alcohol, as well as being more harmful drugs in general terms, is almost three times more harmful than cocaine and tobacco.
The alcoholic drinks are a source of empty calories, this is lacking micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) that are beneficial to the body. In terms of its nutritional value, one gram of alcohol brings to the Agency 7.1 calories, more than one gram of sugar (4 calories), so a can of beer (350 ml) brings to the Agency about 110 calories, a glass of wine, about 80, and mix any drink distilled with a soda exceeds the 200. Therefore, simply provide us some energy, which will be offset by the depressant effect on the central nervous system by reducing the ability to speak, think, walk, etc.
In addition, alcohol consumption has a major impact in terms of health. The World Health Organization has warned of the magnitude of the public health problems associated with alcohol consumption: short-term, interfere in the processes of use of nutrients and causes a decrease in appetite, which helps the drunkorexia behavior become serious. And taken unlawfully and regular, are clearly related to the development of: obesity, hypertension, hypertriglyceridemia, liver disease, pancreatitis, gastritis, stomach and esophagus and cancer, in another order of things, the risk of traffic accidents.
These effects are even higher in women, since they metabolize alcohol faster with damage affecting more quickly to their vital organs, especially heart disease is concerned.
Therefore, the best thing is consuming alcohol only sporadically and with control or directly not to do so.

How to treat the drunkorexia?

The question arises when a friend or close family member think it is drunkorexico. What do we do if we know someone with this pattern? Eugenia Moreno, a psychologist and Director of the clinical disorders food in Valencia, advises looking closely at the eating habits of our young people and, if we recognize this type of pattern, not ignore it: "talk to the person involved and know their level of awareness on the issue; If still remain drunkorexia behaviors, you should then seek professional advice. In addition, you should investigate the possibility of an addiction to alcohol".
In the treatment of the drunkorexia must intervene a multidisciplinary team, that is, at least one psychologist (used to treat addiction, associated problems, and the acquired erroneous pattern), a nutritionist to restore the lost nutritional balance and a primary care physician.
Your family, your environment, your intimate circle of friends are the other pillar of the treatment, of them dependent on largely make her understand affected or impacted drunkorexia which beauty is not the thinness of a person - or at least that there are other healthier ways to achieve a stylized figure of healthy-looking. In this sense, reinforcement of the self-esteem of the patient is essential also to understand that you have other tools inside that will make you attractive and interesting face to others without drinking alcohol or stop eating for this.
Published for educational purposes
Health and Wellness

Bulimia: Eating behavior disorder > Health and Wellness.

What is bulimia?

Bulimia nervosa is a disorder of eating behavior that consists of a lack of control over the food, with an intake of large amounts of food in a short period of time, accompanied by compensatory behaviors such as excessive consumption of self induced vomiting or laxatives. The patient keeps these behaviors in secret, so it is sometimes difficult people in your environment to detect the problem.
Along with anorexia nervosa, bulimia are eating disorders (TCA) fastest growing young population, characterized by a set of behaviors to achieve or maintain what the patient considered as acceptable weight, following a diet totally unreasonable and with an anguished fear of weight gain.
It occurs in 90% of cases in women; They can also suffer men, although their proportion is about ten times less. It is common in adolescents and in the beginning of adulthood.
Causes of bulimia
He has not been to find an organic cause, arising from this (TCA) eating disorder, but it is believed that there are several sequential factors that can trigger bulimia nervosa. Low self-esteem can lead to an excessive concern for the physical aspect, which leads to restrictive diets, that does not always produce the desired results, alternating with episodes of uncontrolled consumption of food, causing an metabolic imbalance. The patient has feelings of guilt as a result of the binge, and his concern about weight gain generates other behaviors such as self-induced vomiting and abuse of laxatives.
The patient can also feel pressured by the beautiful patterns considered lideales by the society, and the need to be slim and sexy to feel accepted. Experiences of social rejection or a sentimental failure can make you believe that losing weight is a prerequisite for success.
Another cause, present also in the disorder of anorexia, is a false perception of body image: the sick man looks fat even if your weight is normal for their age and Constitution.

Symptoms of bulimia

The patient with bulimia hides their binge-eating and vomiting, and unlike the anorexic weight not is usually too, so it is difficult, that people in your environment will realize his problem. However, there are certain signs that can alert of the presence of the disease:

The person with bulimia symptoms

  • The person with bulimina has a continuous concern for food and feel uncontrollable desire to eat, especially foods with high calories (carbohydrates, sweets...). Consuming large amounts of food in a short period of time (every two hours or even less).
  • To counteract weight gain, the patient may cause vomiting, abusing laxatives, consume drugs that reduce appetite or diuretics. There, nothing, suspect, when a person holds in the bathroom after a meal.
  • In the same way, other symptoms of bulimia may be fasting for long periods of time, follow very restrictive diet and intense exercise.
  • The subject expresses a strong fear to gain weight, setting as a goal their optimal weight, underweight.
  • Bulimia usually occurs in patients with a previous history of anorexia nervosa, and the range between the two conditions of several months or years.
  • Patients with bulimia manifest apathy, fatigue, irritability and changes in the rhythm of sleep, resulting in a loss of work or school performance, and the abandonment of personal care.
  • Other symptoms that can be seen in a medical examination: a slight abdominal distention with presence of constipation, hypertrophy of glands Parotid, loss of tooth enamel, lesions in the throat, electrolyte imbalance, edema in limbs and abrasions on the back of the hands; all this is due to the induction of vomiting. The use of laxatives and diuretics also imbalance of fluids and electrolytes.
  • The bulimic endocrine alterations; presents, in addition, the emergence of irregularities in the menstrual cycle or amenorrhea is common in women.

Complications of bulimia

The bulimic behaviors tend to have little impact on the weight of those affected. However, the alternation of binge eating and vomiting, along with the abuse of laxatives, causes other detrimental health effects:
  • Dehydration and electrolyte imbalance.
  • Gastrointestinal disorders, which may lead to irritable bowel, gastroesophageal reflux, hiatal hernia, pancreatitis, break esophageal...
  • Injuries to the throat and esophagus.
  • Deterioration of tooth enamel.
  • Anxiety and depression.
  • Alterations in metabolism (reduction in the levels of glucose, chlorine, calcium and potassium in the blood).
  • Heart disorders (arrhythmia, hypotension, mitral valve prolapse).
  • Decalcification and osteoporosis.
  • Menstrual irregularities.
  • Kidney problems.
  • Loss of libido and lack of interest in social relationships.
  • High risk of suicide.

Risk factors of bulimia

It bulimia nervosa is a serious public health problem, because it affects more than 2% of girls aged between 14 and 18 years, and males at a rate about ten times less, and several studies suggest that the disease continues to grow today. It tends to underestimate the problem, since patients tend to hide the symptoms and not seek help, by which many sufferers have not been diagnosed.
Among the risk factors for developing bulimia include:
  • Dieting. In some cases, failure to eat carbohydrates, the person are deprived of an important suppressant of appetite, which makes you feel an uncontrollable desire to eat. In addition, strict diets can affect certain brain neurotransmitters such as serotonin, which predisposes to bulimia.
  • Social influence. Film, television, advertising, fashion... constantly transmit messages that indicate that it is necessary to be thin to be happy and succeed. To achieve to be accepted socially, increasingly younger try to modify their appearance, using methods that endanger their health.
  • The incorporation of women into the world of work involves a change in eating habits of families, in the absence of a person who set meal times and monitor their compliance. In this way, teens are less controlled and eaten, or stop eating, without the knowledge of their parents.
  • In the most vulnerable, emotional problems as the divorce of the parents, the death of a loved one, family over-protection, or a history of depression and other mental disorders in the family, may be triggering factors of a food disorder.
  • On the other hand, extreme concern about the figure and the weight can be a trigger for bulimia, as well as low self-esteem and perfectionism.

Treatment of bulimia

It is necessary to employ a multidisciplinary treatment to cover all the physical and psychological complications of bulimiapatients have. The goal of treatment is that improve self-esteem a person and accept herself, to restore your emotional balance and that is able to adopt a healthy lifestyle.
During the last decades we have developed a large number of therapeutic for this type of disorder strategies. More applied therapies are individual, group, or family psychotherapy, self-help groups, and drug treatment.
The method used most often in the treatment of this disease is the combination of antidepressant therapy cognitive-behavioral (CBT).
Antidepressants serotonin inhibitors are efficacious in reducing the frequency of episodes in which the patient eats wildly during short periods of time, and self induced vomiting, influencing the improvement of anxiety, depression and global decline, although it does not help to solve the problem of background about the overvaluation of the weight and the body figure. For this reason, often relapse in the long run.
Therapy cognitive-behavioural, for its part, is the most effective way and that better results achieved in the treatment of bulimia. Therapy cognitive-behavioral, as well as improving symptoms, also modifies the tendency to perform extreme diets and influences attitudes towards weight and figure, as well as other symptoms of psychopathology such as depression, low self-esteem, the deterioration of the social relations of the patient, etc); in this way, the results are long-term.

Prevention of bulimia

We talk about eating, that both young people and adults should avoid a dangerous disorder. These tips should be taken into account by anyone who wants to prevent the bulimia:
  • See what you like about your body, remember it, and power that appeal with clothing that best suits your physique. You can also hide the negative aspects. It is normal that certain parts of the body does not like you, and want to improve or hide those defects is not bad, provided that it does not become an obsession.
  • You do not compare with others. The physicist is, above all, a matter of genes, and although you can improve practicing sport and with a balanced diet, bone structure and stature cannot be modified. Learn to feel comfortable with your physique because this security is transmitted and resultarás more attractive.
  • Knows and values your qualities, and show them when you meet new people. When someone is friendly, witty, kind, says interesting things and knows how to listen, the physicist is in the background.
  • Do not criticize the appearance of others. Value them for their qualities and their character, aside from its beauty.
  • If you are wrong with your body, don't start a diet on your own without first consulting a professional. You do not isolate, talk to your family and friends. There are always alternatives to improve without falling into bed
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Health and Wellness

Who were: Patrician | Its Origin and History.

Definition: Patrician

by Donald L. Wasson
The 4th century BCE Greek philosopher Aristotle once wrote in his essay Politics, “If liberty and equality…are chiefly to be found in democracy, they will be best attained when all persons alike share in the government to the utmost.” Regrettably for Rome, when the Etruscan king was finally ousted in 509 BCE, the aristocratic families of the city - the patricians - seized control of the government and created a republic, but a republic in name only. The noble patricians considered themselves privileged and better capable of ruling; certain people were born to lead and others were destined to follow. The majority of the citizens, the plebians, were denied any part in how, or by whom, they were ruled.
During the rule of the Etruscan kings, the patricians (the word comes from the Latin patres meaning “fathers”) owned most of the land, and while there were many wealthy plebians (a word meaning “the many”), a handful of patrician families rose to become advisors and warlords to the king, although some historians argue that even the king may not have always been a patrician. For decades to come, all patrician families could trace their ancestry to these original clans. Among these were the Claudii, the Julii or the Cornelii. This natural born right, the right to govern, became hereditary and thereby allowed the patricians to distinguish themselves from those they considered a lower class. With the advent of the republic, the patricians sought to maintain this hold on governmental power.
The patricians realized they needed the plebians more than the plebians need them and decided to relinquish some, but not all, authority. 
This new government was truly unique and, in all appearances, representative. There was a centuriate assembly or Comitia Centuriate, a Senate, and two co-consuls. The latter were elected by the assembly for a one-year term but had the power of a king. All of this was open only to the patricians and only concerned their welfare. This extreme authority allowed them to sustain both their economic and political status, but this was not the only method used to suppress the plebians. Another way was through the priesthood - something they would control for years to come. Religion had always been an integral part of a Roman citizen’s life, and one method of suppressing any possible rebellion among the plebians was for the patricians to maintain their role as the “gatekeepers to the gods.” They dominated both the college of priests and the position of pontifex maximus. The patricians simply claimed to have special knowledge of the gods and therefore served as custodians of religious law with authority to punish offenders.
Unfortunately for the patricians, this dominance would and could not last. There had always been little, if any, relationship between the two classes - by law they were even forbidden to intermarry. The patricians gradually began to lose control when many of the more wealthy plebians wished to secure some voice in the government, threatening, more than once, to leave Rome. As the majority of the Roman citizenry, the plebians were a diverse group. They were the urban poor, wealthy farmers, tradesmen, as well as the core of the Republican army. The menial positions of tradesman or craftsman were never considered a job for a patrician; he believed he was better suited for leadership positions in politics, law, or the army. However, the patricians realized they needed the plebians more than the plebians need them and decided to relinquish some, but not all, authority. Unfortunately, this battle between the two classes would continue for decades to come. 
This threat to abandon the city eventually brought about a compromise: the Conflict or Struggle of Orders, an agreement between the two classes that allowed the plebians to have a voice in government. The Concilium Plebis or Council of the Plebs, a legislative assembly that would make laws relative to the concerns of the plebians, was created in 494 BCE. Over two centuries later, in 287 BCE, the Lex Hortensia was passed, making all laws enacted by the plebian assembly binding to all citizens, patricians included. Initially, two officials or tribunes were elected by the Council to act on behalf of the plebians, but this number was later increased to ten. However, the creation of the Council was not enough. Without any law code in place, the plebians feared possible abuses by the patricians, so a series of laws, the Twelve Tables, was enacted in 450 BCE. These laws proved to be the foundation for Roman justice; one law that remained,  and was later discarded, was the prohibition against intermarriage between the two classes.
The Roman author and historian Livy wrote in his History of Rome of the patricians’ concern for maintaining the purity of their class:
… a tribune of the plebs, introduced a law with regard to the intermarriage of patricians and plebeians. The patricians considered that their blood would be contaminated by it and the special rights of the houses thrown into confusion. Then the plebeians … brought in a measure empowering the people to elect consuls from the plebeians or the patricians as they chose. The patricians believed that, if this were carried, the supreme power would not only be degraded … but would entirely pass away from the chief men in the State into the hands of the plebs. 
This latter concern was not so easily dismissed by either side. Gradually, as time passed, laws were relaxed, allowing plebians to become consuls, the first one elected in 367 BCE.
As the plebians began to obtain more and more control of their own government, several of them rose to the level of a dictator, a position that allowed an individual to assume supreme power in times of an emergency. Tiberius Gracchus, a 2nd century BCE tribune whose mother was a patrician, proposed land should be given freely to the poor and unemployed farmers, an idea not widely popular to many of the wealthy patricians in the Senate. Tiberius was killed, along with 300 of his followers. His brother Gaius would fair no better. In 81 BCE, Sulla, another tribune, rose to power, also assuming the title of dictator. One of his first moves was to eliminate all opposition, executing over 1500 patricians, although some chose to commit suicide in order to allow their families to keep their wealth; an executed individual would have relinquished all wealth to Sulla.
As time passed the patrician class still maintained some influence within the government, largely due to their wealth and land ownership. Unfortunately, the old idea of birthright changed; identity with the old clans was no longer valid. Julius Caesar established new patricians from the plebian class in order to strengthen his power. Emperor Augustus also named new patrician families in an attempt to create a revitalized sense of morality within the empire, along with loyalty to the state cults. He reestablished the old priestly colleges (naming himself pontifex maximus) and rebuilt old temples and shrines. And, while the patrician class would exist long into the Byzantine Empire, it was not the same as the small group of families who established the Republic. Emperor Constantine would use the term “patrician” only as a title. The original patricians’ attempt at controlling the power within the Republic had been short-lived, for the plebians chose to rise up and demand a voice. As Aristotle stated, a democracy or a republic can only truly exist when all people participate.
Extracted from the website: Ancient History Encyclopedia under Creative Commons License.

The Greatest Party Ever Thrown: Ashurnasirpal II’s Kalhu Festival | Its Origin and History.

by Joshua J. Mark
The kings of the Neo-Assyrian Empire have long been considered some of the most ruthless monarchs in ancient history. However, at the same time they were sacking cities and slaughtering those who rebelled against them or resisted conquest, they often pursued gentler interests. Sennacherib (reigned 705-681 BCE) enjoyed gardening and loved flowers. His son, Esarhaddon (reigned 681-669 BCE) was more interested in building projects than military conquest, even though he decimated Egypt. His son and successor Ashurbanipal (reigned 668-627 BCE) is better known for his library than for any of his military campaigns. This same pattern can be seen in earlier kings of the empire as well and is epitomized in an event which might be the greatest party ever thrown.
Head of Lamassu from Ashurnasirpal II palace
In the year 879 BCE, the Assyrian king Ashurnasirpal II (reigned 884-859 BCE) organized a festival to celebrate the completion of his new city, Kalhu, and the inauguration of his grand new palace. He invited the whole country to attend and 69, 574 people accepted, including the 16,000 new citizens of Kalhu and 5,000 dignitaries from his own territories and foreign lands. While scholars have suggested that the festival may have served the king as a public relations gesture, he certainly did not need to go to the trouble. By the time Kalhu was built and Ashurnasirpal II had moved into his grand palace, his reputation as a monarch not to be trifled with had been firmly established. This, after all, was the king who wrote of his conquest of the rebel city of Tela in c. 883 BCE:
I built a pillar over against the city gate and I flayed all the chiefs who had revolted and I covered the pillar with their skins. Some I impaled upon the pillar on stakes and others I bound to stakes round the pillar. I cut the limbs off the officers who had rebelled. Many captives I burned with fire and many I took as living captives. From some I cut off their noses, their ears, and their fingers, of many I put out their eyes. I made one pillar of the living and another of heads and I bound their heads to tree trunks round about the city. Their young men and maidens I consumed with fire. The rest of their warriors I consumed with thirst in the desert of the Euphrates.
Like King Tiglath Pileser I before him (reigned 1115-1076 BCE), Ashurnasirpal II did not care if people hated him, so long as they feared and obeyed him. A public relations event such as the Kalhu festival would have been considered unnecessary by a monarch who had already gone to great lengths to make sure his name was synonymous with terror. It could be, then, that Ashurnasirpal II threw his great party simply because he wanted to show off his new city and palace. Reasons for the actions of Assyrian kings are not often made clear in their inscriptions (unless they are justifying the sacking of cities) as historian Marc Van de Mieroop notes:
It seems safe to say that the building of new cities was a complex enterprise. If this conclusion is correct, we would expect the kings who undertook the work to elaborate on their activities in their building inscriptions. Yet, when we study these texts, we find a lack of information on certain aspects of the undertaking. First, the kings must have had a motivation for the building of these vast cities but, when we look at their records, no reason for the work is declared. Ashurnasirpal’s justification for the work on Kalhu is merely a statement that the city built by his predecessor Shalmaneser had become dilapidated (The Ancient Mesopotamian City, 55).
In the same way that the kings felt no need to justify the building of their cities, Ashurnasirpal II seems to have felt no need to elaborate on his reasons behind throwing his party. In his inscriptions he writes:
When I consecrated the palace of Kalhu, 47,074 men and women, who were invited from every part of my land, 5000 dignitaries and envoys of the people of the lands Suhu, Hindanu, Patinu, Hatti, Tyre, Sidon, Gurgumu, Malidu, Hubushku, Gilsanu, Kummu, And Musasiru, 16,000 people from Kalhu, and 1500 palace officials, all of them – altogether 69,574 including those summoned from all the lands and the people of Kalhu – for ten days I gave them food, I gave them drink, I had them bathed, I had them anointed. Thus I did honor to them and send them back to their lands in peace and joy.
The menu from the great feast has been preserved; his Banquet Stele records that this celebration included, but was not limited to, 1,000 oxen, 1,000 domestic cattle and sheep, 14,000 imported and fattened sheep, 1,000 lambs, 500 game birds, 500 gazelles, 10,000 fish, 10,000 eggs, 10,000 loaves of bread, 10,000 measures of beer, and 10,000 containers of wine (Bauer, 337). Ingredients, spices, and other edibles included sesame, grains, grapes, onions, garlic, honey, mustard, milk, nuts, cheese, olives, dates, ghee, and turnips. As Marc Van de Mieroop writes, “This was a special banquet, and worthy of boasting” (155). Scholars continue to speculate, however, on why the king would throw such an elaborate festival for the people when he did not have to do so.
Standard Inscription of king Ashurnasirpal II
There is no other reason given for the party than simply that the king felt like it. Kalhu had been an old trading center which had fallen into ruin over the years and was completely re-built by Ashurnasirpal II. His greatest pride was his new palace, and it seems a simple enough explanation that the king just wanted to show off what he had accomplished – off the battlefield – to as many admirers as he could gather. This does not mean, of course, that he did not wish to impress upon them his military victories. Although it is thought that few of the guests would have been invited into the palace, the dignitaries who are mentioned in the inscription may well have been. There they would have seen the massive reliefs lining the walls depicting the king slaying lions with his bare hands and toppling city walls and massacring those who opposed him. Along with the pictures, they would have read the king’s words, repeated over and over on the reliefs, the so-called Standard Inscription. Historian Jonathan Taylor describes the inscription in this passage:
The Standard Inscription is, as its name suggests, a single, standardised text which recounts the victories of Ashurnasirpal. The first five lines assert the king's credentials:
Palace of Ashurnasirpal, vice-regent of Ashur, chosen one of the gods Enlil and Ninurta, beloved of the gods Anu and Dagan, destructive weapon of the great gods, strong king, king of the universe, king of Assyria, son of Tukulti-Ninurta, great king, strong king, king of the universe, king of Assyria, son of Adad-nirari, great king, strong king, king of the universe, king of Assyria; valiant man who acts with the support of Ashur, his lord, and has no rival among the princes of the four quarters, marvellous shepherd, fearless in battle, unopposable mighty floodtide, king who subdues those insubordinate to him, he who rules all peoples, strong male who treads upon the necks of his foes, trampler of all enemies, he who smashes the forces of the rebellious, king who acts with the support of the great gods, his lords, and has conquered all lands, gained dominion over all the highlands and received their tribute, capturer of hostages, he who is victorious over all countries ...
The next nine lines report the extent of his victories, stretching from Mount Lebanon in the west to Armenia in the east, and encroaching south into Babylonian territory. The last eight lines tell how he rebuilt the city of Nimrud [Kalhu] and made it his capital and settled there people from his newly conquered territories. He built a great palace, decorated with the finest woods and metals, and stone statues of the beasts of the mountains and the seas; then he filled it with booty (1).
Head of Ashurnasirpal II
The dignitaries would no doubt have been impressed by the size and scope of the new palace and the city but, perhaps equally or even more so, by the images and inscriptions of the feats of the king – and the unspoken threat of what would happen to them if they decided to oppose the power of Assyria. This, of course, is only a theory proposed by historians (although it seems in keeping with Ashurnasirpal II’s personality), and it could be that the reliefs should simply be taken at face value - as a record of the king’s personal and professional triumphs preserved for posterity on the walls of his palace. As there is no other record of the Kalhu festival, it is not known how well the guests enjoyed themselves or whether any dignitaries were cowed by palace reliefs and the Standard Inscription. All that is known is that, once upon a time, King Ashurnasirpal II of Assyria hosted the greatest party ever thrown and, through his inscriptions, wanted to make sure that future generations would know of it.
Extracted from the website: Ancient History Encyclopedia under Creative Commons License.

Anorexia > Health and Wellness.

What is anorexia?

Anorexia nervosa is a set of serious disorders of eating that includes periods of deprivation of food (anorexia), alternate times with compulsive periods of food intake and purging (bulimia), associated both periods to other unspecified eating disorders.
Diagnosed persons of anorexia nervosa have a rate much lower than those corresponding to their age, height and sex (BMI) body mass and body weight (under 18-19 is considered underweight and 17 severe underweight). Low body weight is caused in more than 50% of the patients, in addition to by food deprivation, by the abuse of laxatives or diuretics, uncontrolled generation of self-induced vomiting, and strenuous exercise session in order to lose weight.
In all cases the patients they are not usually able to recognize his problem of extreme thinness, given that are not aware of their status, categorically denying their status, and even isolated from nearby people because they believe that they want to make them "more bloat", and that the problem of vision of reality has its environment and not them.
This disease is very rare appearance before puberty and usually affect a greater percentage to the girls, although increasingly it is more anticipating the age of onset and comparing the percentage of cases among both sexes. On average, is considered that anorexia nervosa appears around the age of 17. The more early is the age of onset and more early detection and treatment, better prognosis of healing there. Over the 40 years it is uncommon. Its prevalence has been established in one case per 100 to 250 people.

Types of anorexia

Differentiate two types of anorexia, observed in both groups of patients a small percentage who has a single isolated episode, one much higher percentage adopts an alternative and fluctuating pattern of weight gain and relapse, and a last group does not exceed the first episode and develops chronic deterioration over the years.
Regardless of the type of anorexia nervosa developed, various studies have shown that these patients usually present patterns of depression and anxiety prior to the development of the disorder, which remain or even increase, throughout the illness, and persist in a significant percentage, once overcome anorexia, especially depression.

Restrictive anorexia nervosa

It's a clinical picture where patients achieves a low weight through very restrictive diets, very prolonged fasting, and abundant high intensity exercise. These patients do not resort to compulsive binge eating and subsequent purges.

Anorexia nervosa purgative/compulsive

They are patients who turn in a timely or systematic way to bingeing or purging (vomiting, laxatives, diuretics...). There is a sub-group that binge eating but yes they resort to the purge in a systematic way. Due to the loss of control of the impulses of this group, these individuals are more susceptible to suffer greater emotional variability, and to succumb to the consumption of addictive substances (alcohol, tobacco, etc).

Causes and risk factors for anorexia

It is extremely difficult to establish common parameters responsible of this eating disorder due to its psychological component and the great variation of signs and symptoms among some patients and others.
Developed studies have tried to determine the pathogenesis (origin of Pathology) disease have not been conclusive, pointing as the sum of some of these risk factors:

Individual factors

He has spoken of a possible genetic component linked to the presence of the 5HT-2A gene, found in a large number of patients diagnosed with this disorder activated by situations of malnutrition and food. Various twin concordance studies support this possible genetic component.
Detected an increase in the activity serotoninergic which seems to be closely linked to the decrease of food intake and changes in behavior. Also observed, through Imaging tests, anatomical and metabolic alterations in patients with anorexia, which could be linked to the presence of the disease.
Finally, the presence of this disease with such as major depression or obsessive-compulsive disorder-psychiatric disorders has been associated predominantly.

Family factors

Presence of alcohol or psychiatric disorders in relatives of the first degree (parents and siblings).

Cultural factors

Unattainable standards of beauty imposed by society and an excessive cult of the body.
In addition to these factors, the onset of restrictive diets is a precipitating factor in the disease.

Symptoms of anorexia

There are certain signs and symptoms that make you suspect that a person may be suffering from anorexia nervosa, however, diagnosis, treatment and follow-up always must be done by a health practitioner. These signs are:
Signs of anorexia
  • Excessive weight loss in a short space of time.
  • Constant feeling of obesity not founded and strong desire to continue slimming, with active control (repeatedly take a look in the mirror, weigh yourself several times a day, count calories...).
  • Retardation of growth and development (in children and adolescents).
  • Disorders of menstruation or absence of this.
  • Realization of constant and excessive exercise.
  • Employment of loose clothing, mainly pants.
  • Avoiding meals in the company.
  • Escape from the table after eating.
  • Hide the food to not eat it (splitting into small pieces and spread it by the dish, throw it down, hide it...).
  • Progressive isolation and loss of social ties.
  • Mood disorders with a tendency to depression and anxiety.
  • Obsession with the caloric content of everything it consumes, taking only foods low in calories.
  • Employment not controlled diuretics and laxatives.
  • Low self-esteem.
Symptoms of anorexia
In a clinical setting the main symptoms of anorexia nervosa are:
  • Dryness of the skin, with the possibility of cracks.
  • Appearance of fine hair (lanugo) on cheeks, back, thighs and forearms.
  • Yellow pigmentation in the skin, mainly in the soles of the feet and the palms of the hands. This is because an increase of carotene in blood (precursor of vitamin A) by a disorder in your metabolism.
  • Cold extremities.
  • Brittle nails and hair loss.
  • Hypertrophy of glands salivary glands Parotid and submandibular glands.
  • Dental alterations, prone to corrosion in the presence of caries and dental enamel. This is especially evident in patients who are purged through the induction of vomiting.
  • Gastrointestinal disorders: flatulence, bloating, abdominal pain and constipation (except if laxatives that can cause diarrhoea that alter the electrolyte balance are used).
  • Cardiovascular disorders: low pressure (hypotension), lowering of the heart rate (bradycardia), changes in heart rhythm (arrhythmias), etc.
  • Kidney disorders: indicative of malfunction. You can find potassium levels low (hypokalemia), elevated levels of compounds derived from nitrogen (azotemia), and elevation of serum creatinine levels.
  • Blood count: low levels of red blood cells (anemia) and white blood cells (leukopenia).
  • Biochemical levels: low levels of glucose (hypoglycaemia), increased triglyceride, transaminase and general proteinogram and cholesterol (hypercholesterolemia). If the patient, often also use laxatives, enemas, or is autoinduce vomiting, there are other specific parameters altered.

Diagnosis of anorexia

Diagnosis of anorexia

The diagnosis of this disease is based on:
  • An interview with the patient and their closest family environment, and review your medical history and family history.
  • A physical examination and evaluation of heart rate, blood pressure and respiratory rate.
  • Additional clinical tests: complete blood count, biochemistry, etc.
According to the diagnostic and Statistical Manual of mental disorders (DSM-IV) of the American Psychiatric society, the four leading from the anorexia nervosa diagnostic criteria are:
  • Emphatic rejection to achieve and maintain a body weight equal to or greater than the normal minimum value considered according to age and size. In general, the weight is less than 85% of the minimum corresponding to age and size.
  • Pathological terror to the weight gain and the conversion in an obese person.
  • Alteration of the self-perception of weight and body silhouette, with exaggeration of its importance on the ability of self-assessment, and denial of the risks posed by a low body weight maintained.
  • Amenorrhea in women pospuberales (disappearance of at least three menstrual cycles).

Key in the diagnosis of anorexia

The 10th version of the international statistical classification of diseases and other problems of health (ICD-10) remains approximately the same criteria of diagnosis of anorexia, although a little more expanded, indicating:
  • Significant weight loss achieved through avoidance of foods "that get fatter", and two or more of the following symptoms: self induced vomiting, use of laxatives, excessive exercise, use of diuretics or appetite suppressants.
  • Specific psychopathology with idea overrated and obsessive horror towards fatness or sagging, which implies that the patient is impose a threshold of low weight not justified.
  • The presence of disorders in the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonadal axis that are manifested in the male as a lack of interest in sex and impotence and, in women, such as amenorrhea. There may be high levels of GH and cortisol, abnormalities in the secretion of insulin, and changes in the peripheral metabolism of thyroid hormone.
  • In the case of prepubertal onset, growth is interrupted, with lack or total absence of the development of breasts and appearance of primary amenorrhoea in girls and, in the case of children, the genitals remain juvenile.
With recovery, these symptoms are reversed and continue with the normal pubertal development, except for delayed menarche.

Treatment of anorexia

Once evaluated the diagnostic parameters previously described, and discarded other psychiatric and organic pathologies, we proceed to treatment and patient follow-up. The process of treatment of anorexia nervosa is multidisciplinary, specifying a coordinated action of the doctor's family, psychiatrist, psychologist, endocrine and gynecologist. The main points of the treatment are:
  • Modification of eating habits of the patient: you need a "re-education" of the patient in their eating habits. Therefore begins with a diet relatively low in calories (1,000-1,500 calories per day) is increasing progressively to achieve the caloric needs of the patient, respecting personal space for not pressing him, but not allowing that you eat alone, and watching do the five fundamental daily meals.
  • Regular weight control: increases weekly 250-500 grams must be detected despite the naked person or in underwear (avoiding the tare weight of the garments and possible deceptions of the patient).
  • Restriction of physical exercise: initially removed completely and re-injected very gradually.
  • Regular analytical controls to prevent organic complications.
  • Drug therapy: focuses mainly on the depressive or anxious anorexia component. It is a treatment individualised and constrained to the requirements and the psychological status of the patient.
  • Psychotherapy: is used either isolated or combined, behavioral therapy, Psychoanalytical, interpersonal and group.
The monitoring of treatment may be combined between the treating physician and mental health unit. In the event that ambulatory monitoring has failed, and provided that the patient has a good family support, good predisposition toward treatment and tolerate therapy in group, you can try therapy in day hospitals, being a completely contraindicated option if the patient shows tendency to suicide, substance abuse or severe medical complications.
The patient may be hospitalised in case of manifest risk to his life, very serious psychological disturbance (suicide, other psychiatric disorders, etc.), or if the family situation is very unfavorable. Once started the treatment the prognosis is very variable, but they are considered indicative of good prognosis capacity of early acceptance of disease by the patient, the appearance and diagnosis for short-term disease, a good family support, and the absence of psychiatric antecedents in the family.

Prevention of anorexia

Early detection and put in the hands of specialists to follow an appropriate treatment are the best weapons to combat anorexia, once the disease is established. However, it is best to prevent its emergence with the broadcasting of programmes of prevention and promotion of health in the family, educational and social fields that would reduce the number of people who develop eating disorders whose consequences can impact your health irreversibly.

Prevent anorexia from childhood

Here are some clues that will help you prevent anorexia on your children or relatives of young:
  • Teach children from small, both at home and at school, the importance of correct eating habits.
  • Eating family whenever possible, making the time of food in a pleasant meeting in which are exchanged the experiences of the day.
  • Menus should be varied and include all types of food needed for proper nutrition.
  • Unless there are health reasons, the child's diet foods, not should be excluded because all are necessary in its fair measure, though Yes you should limit consumption of sweets and desserts industrial, replacing them, to the extent possible, with other acts at home.
  • Try different vegetables and fruits until you find which you like the most. Even if you don't like cauliflower, maybe they love you spinach.
  • Establish regular meal hours. Better if the food is distributed in four or five shots throughout the day (breakfast, lunch, lunch, snack and dinner).
  • Fostering self-esteem. It is important that you know your capabilities and limitations, and learn to feel at ease with itself. This will prevent future complex.
  • Reinforce their autonomy and encourage you to have their own opinions and be less vulnerable to the messages from the media and advertising that convey the idea that having a perfect body is synonymous with success and happiness, forgetting the values of people.
  • Discuss with the child these messages about aesthetics and power broadcasting media, reasoning what is true and what not, and taught to value health above aesthetic constraints.
  • Not propose goals, neither academic nor sporting, exceeding their capacities, to avoid frustration.
  • Encourage you to exercise regularly. It is good for your health and help you to keep in shape.
  • Facilitate their social relations and participation in extracurricular activities, excursions, cultural visits scheduled by the school, etc. If you feel socially integrated, it is difficult to grow up thinking that you will be rejected for failing to meet a few specific canons of beauty.
  • Establish good communication within the family environment, to make the child feel more secure, and be able to seek the advice and assistance of their own family when faced with situations that are difficult or stressful.

Prevention of anorexia in adolescence

  • The majority of the cases of anorexia occur in women aged between 14 and 18 years of age. Young people who have received a false message that exalts thinness as the representation of the success, happiness, right and natural. The desire to change the physical appearance does not mean that you suffer a mental illness, but yes increases the chances of developing an eating disorder when it becomes an obsession and misconduct are adopted. Adolescence is a particularly vulnerable phase because the personality is not enough formed, hence the importance of establishing anorexia prevention programmes, to prevent the development of this and other eating disorders.
  • Educators in touch with teens play a very important role in the early detection of eating disorders, and must notify relatives if you look emotional disturbances or changes in behavior or appearance of the young.
  • If the young person needs to lose weight for health reasons, you should always do so under medical supervision and with the knowledge of the parents. If they observed that the desire to lose weight is unjustified or that the young man begins to reduce the amount of food without reason, they should immediately consult a specialist.
  • Family members should avoid making derogatory comments about the physical appearance of others. You can criticize a bad action or the bad character of someone, but not mocking ugliness or fatness.
  • In this same line, you must teach adolescent to appreciate the virtues of others instead of judging them by their appearance.
  • Promote the integration and coexistence among people from different social and cultural fields, helps adolescents understand that being different does not mean to be worse or better.
  • Enhance your self-esteem that you assess their qualities and capabilities and not be ashamed of its limitations.
  • A positive family environment, without falling into the overprotection, will provide teen safety and support necessary to overcome its problems.

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