At one time a very mighty empire. It was overthrown by the Babylonians and Medes about 600 B. C., after it had been in existence for some 1,200 years. Nineveh was the capital of ancient Assyria. At the time of its greatest power, Assyria included many of the countries that we read about in the Bible: Babylonia, Media, Chaldea, Armenia, Syria, Palestine, Phoenicia, Idumea, and others, besides Assyria proper (Gen. 25:18; II Kings 17:3-6; Zeph. 2:13).
Meta. The reasonings, philosophical and psychical, that do not recognize the spiritual Head of the universe, but are based upon sense observation, upon the formed instead of the formless. Such thoughts are destructive and undisciplined. If man keeps his attention fixed on Spirit he is protected from the materialism that is constantly encroaching upon his consciousness; but if he worships the mysterious and the occult, or if he reasons wholly from the appearances of the senses or outer world, he defeats the protective action of the higher law and falls into the hands of the Assyrians. To pay tribute to the Assyrians (II Kings 15:19, 20) is to make concessions to the unregenerate, material realm of consciousness in us that they represent. When spiritual understanding predominates in one, the mental realm that Assyria signifies is redeemed. (See ASSHUR.)