Under Sennacherib, “the roads … became unsafe”. Tobit 1:15.

Tobit, in 1:13-15, contrasts his career opportunities during the reigns, respectively, of Shalmaneser and Sennacherib, kings of Assyria:

“Because I was mindful of God with all my heart, the Most High granted me favor and status with Shalmaneser, so that I became purchasing agent for all his needs. Until he died, I would go to Media to buy goods for him there. I also deposited pouches of silver worth ten talents in trust with my kinsman Gabael, son of Gabri, who lived at Rages, in the land of Media. When Shalmaneser died and his son Sennacherib came to rule in his stead, the roads to Media became unsafe, so I could no longer go to Media”.

For “Media”, substitute “Midian”, according to my:

A Common Sense Geography of the Book of Tobit

and for the “Ecbatana” in the Book of Tobit, one ought to read “Bathania”, that is, Bashan.

Now Isaiah, also at the time of Sennacherib, appears to be talking about the same dire and unsafe travelling situation, with Bashan again included (Isaiah 33:7-9):

Look, their brave men cry aloud in the streets;

    the envoys of peace weep bitterly.

The highways are deserted,

    no travelers are on the roads.

The treaty is broken,

    its witnesses are despised,

    no one is respected.

The land dries up and wastes away,

    Lebanon is ashamed and withers;

Sharon is like the Arabah,

    and Bashan and Carmel drop their leaves.


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