ASHURBANIPAL (ă-shĕr-bă'nĕ-păl, Ashur creates a son). King of Assyria. He was grandson of the famous Sennacherib and son of Esarhaddon. Ashurbanipal, or, as he was known to the Greeks, Sardanapalus, reigned from 668 to 626 b.c. and therefore was contemporary with Manasseh, Jotham, and Josiah of Judah. Modern scholars have reason to be grateful to Ashurbanipal because he was a lover of learning and collected a great library of cuneiform tablets (over 22,000 in number) that have given to us most of what we know of Babylonian and Assyrian literature. In Ezra.4.10, his name is also rendered “Asnapper” (kjv, mlb, neb) and Osnapper (nasb, rsv); see NIV footnote to this passage.