TEL ASSAR (tĕl ăs'ẽr, Heb. tela’ssār). A place mentioned as being inhabited by the people of Eden, whose gods could not deliver them from the Assyrian kings (
TELASSAR tĭ lăs’ ər (תְלַאשָּֽׂר ; LXX Θάλασσαρ). The town of the “children of Eden” listed by Sennacherib as one of the many overrun and obliterated by the aggressive hosts of Assyria. The name occurs twice (
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)
1. The Name and Its Meaning:
This city, which is referred to by Sennacherib’s messengers to Hezekiah, is stated by them to have been inhabited by the "children of Eden." It had been captured by the Assyrian king’s forefathers, from whose hands its gods had been unable to save it. Notwithstanding the vocalization, the name is generally rendered "Hill of Asshur," the chief god of the Assyrians, but "Hill of Assar," or Asari (a name of the Babylonian Merodach), would probably be better.
2. Suggestions as to the Geographical Position:
As Telassar was inhabited by the "children of Eden," and is mentioned with Gozan, Haran, and Rezeph, in Western Mesopotamia, it has been suggested that it lay in Bit Adini, "the House of Adinu," or Betheden, in the same direction, between the Euphrates and the Belikh. A place named Til-Assuri, however, is twice mentioned by Tiglath-pileser IV (Ann., 176; Slab-Inscr., II, 23), and from these passages it would seem to have lain near enough to the Assyrian border to be annexed. The king states that he made there holy sacrifices to Merodach, whose seat it was. It was inhabited by Babylonians (whose home was the Edinu or "plain"; see Eden). Esarhaddon, Sennacherib’s son, who likewise conquered the place, writes the name Til-Asurri, and states that the people of Mihranu called it Pitanu. Its inhabitants, he says, were people of Barnaku. If this be Bit Burnaki in Elam, extending from the boundary of Rasu (see Rosh), which was ravaged by Sennacherib (Babylonians Chronicles, III, 10 ff), Til-Assuri probably lay near the western border of Elam. Should this identification be the true one, the Hebrew form telassar would seem to be more correct than the Assyrian Til-Assuri (-Asurri), which latter may have been due to the popular idea that the second element was the name of the national god Assur. See French Delitzsch, Wo lag das Paradies? 264.