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International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

ka'-la (kalach; Chalach, also Chalak or Kalach; in Assyrian Kalhu, Kalha, Kalhi, Kalah): The name of one of the great cities of Nimrod (Genesis 10:11), or rather, Asshur (text), which formed, with Nineveh, Resen between Calah and Nineveh, and Rehoboth-Ir (probably lying more to the North), Asshur's great fourfold capital. The meaning of the name is unknown, but if a Sumerian etymology be accepted, some such signification as "Holy Gate" (Ka-lah) or the like-a parallel to Ka-dingira = Bab-ili, "Gate of God" (see BABEL, BABYLON)-might be regarded as possible.

1. Date of the City's Foundation:

As Nineveh is mentioned by Hammurabi, who reigned about 2000 B.C., it is clear that that city was already, in his time, an important place; and the passage in Genesis 10:11 implies, though it does not actually prove, that Calah was of about the same period.

2. Early References to the City:

The Assyrian king Assur-nacir-apli (circa 885 B.C.) states that Calah was made (probably = founded) by Shalmaneser (I) circa 1300 B.C., but this is possibly simply an indication that he rebuilt it. Later on, the site seems to have become neglected, for Assur-nacir-apli states that, the city having fallen into ruin, he rebuilt it, and it thereafter became practically the capital of the country, for he not only reerected or restored its shrines and temples-the temple of Ninip, with the god's image; the temple of "the Lady of the Land," and the temples of Sin, Gula, and Enlil-but he also received tribute there. Among his other works may be mentioned the water-channel Pati-chengala, and the plantations, whose fruits, apparently, he offered to the god Assur (Asshur), and the temples of the city. It also became a favorite place of residence for the later kings of Assyria,' who built palaces, and restored the city's temples from time to time.

3. Its Position:

Calah occupied the roughly triangular tract formed by the junction of the Greater Zab with the Tigris, which latter stream in ancient times flowed rather closer to the western wall than it does now, and would seem to have separated the small town represented by Selamiyeh from the extensive ruins of Calah, which now bear the name of Nimroud. The main ruins are situated on a large, rectangular platform on the bank of the old bed of the Tigris.

4. The Temple-Tower:

The most prominent edifice was the great Temple-tower at the Northwest corner-a step-pyramid (ziq-qurat) like the Bah towers, constructed of brick faced with stone, and rising, in stages, to a height of circa 126 ft., probably with a sanctuary at the top (see BABEL, TOWER OF). A long vault occupies the basement-stage of this structure, and caused Sir A. H. Layard, its discoverer, to regard it as the probable traditional tomb of Ninus, under whose shadow the tragedy of Pyramis and Thisbe took place. Ovid (Metam. iv.98) describes the tomb of Ninus as having been situated "at the entrance of Nineveh," and, if this be correct, Calah must have been regarded as the southern portion of that great city, which, on a preaching journey, may well have taken three days (Jonah 3:3) to traverse, provided Khorsabad was in reality its northern extremity.

5. The Temples and Palaces:

The platform upon which the temple-tower of Calah was situated measures circa 700 x 400 yds., and the portion not occupied by that erection afforded space for temples and palaces. In the center of the East side of this platform lie the remains of the palace of Assur-nacir-apli, the chambers and halls of which were paneled with sculptured and inscribed slabs, the principal doorways being flanked with finely carved winged and human-headed lions and bulls. In the Southeast corner are the remains of the palace of Esarhaddon, built, at least in part, with material taken from the palace of Tiglath-pileser IV, which was situated in the South portion of the platform. The remains of this last are, as a result of this spoliation, exceedingly meager. The Southwest corner of the platform contains the remains of the last palace built on the site-a very inferior erection constructed for Assur-etil-ilani (circa 626 B.C.).

6. The Temple of Ninip:

One of the temples on this platform was that dedicated to Ninip, situated at the Southwest corner of the temple-tower. The left-hand entrance was flanked by man-headed lions, while the sides of the right-hand entrance were decorated with slabs showing the expulsion of the evil spirit from the temple-a spirited sculpture now in the Nimroud Gallery of the British Museum. On the right-hand side of the entrance was an arch-headed slab with a representation of King Assur-nacir-apli in low relief, standing in the usual conventional attitude. Before it stood a stone tripod altar, implying that Divine honors were paid to this king. (Both these are now in the British Museum.) The remains of another temple were found to the East of this, and there are traces of further buildings at other points of the platform.

7. The Sculptures of Assur-nacir-apli:

The slabs from Assur-nacir-apli's palace show this king's warlike expeditions, but as descriptive lettering is wanting, the campaigns cannot be identified. Notwithstanding this disadvantage, however, they are of considerable importance, showing, as they do, incidents of his various campaigns-the crossing of rivers, the march of his armies, the besieging of cities, the reception of tribute, the life of the camp and hunting the lion and the wild bull. The reliefs from the temples, which are much larger and finer, show the king engaged in various religious ceremonies and ritual acts, and are among the most striking examples of Assyrian of sculpture. When looking at these works of art, the student's thoughts go back with thankfulness to those Assyrians who, through the generations, cared for and preserved these monuments, though the vandalism of Esarhaddon in dressing off the slabs of Tiglath-pileser IV to carve his own bas-reliefs thereon will ever be regretted.

8. The City Walls:

The site is described as being 14 miles South of Kouyunjik (Nineveh) and consists of an enclosure formed of narrow mounds still having the appearance of walls. Traces of no less than 108 towers, the city's ancient defenses, are said to be visible even now on the North and East, where the walls were further protected by moats. The area which the walls enclose-about 2,331 x 2,095 yards-would contain about 1,000 acres.

Layard, Nineveh and Its Remains, and Nineveh and Babylon, still remain the standard works upon the subject, and his Monuments of Nineveh gives the most complete collection of the sculptures found. See also George Smith, Assyrian Discoveries, and Rassam, Asshur and the Land of Nimrod.

T. G. Pinches

Strong's Hebrew
5541. calah -- to make light of, toss aside
... 5540, 5541. calah. 5541a . to make light of, toss aside. Transliteration: calah
Phonetic Spelling: (saw-law') Short Definition: reject. ... calah. 5541a . ...
/hebrew/5541.htm - 5k

3625. Kelach -- a city in Assyr.
... a city in Assyr. Transliteration: Kelach Phonetic Spelling: (keh'-lakh) Short
Definition: Calah. ... NASB Word Usage Calah (2). Kelach, a place in Assyria. ...
/hebrew/3625.htm - 6k

5543. Calluw -- an Israelite priest
... Or Calluw; {sal-loo'}; or Caluw {sal-loo'}; or Callay {sal-lah'-ee}; from calah;
weighed; Sallu or Sallai, the name of two Israelites -- Sallai, Sallu, Salu. ...
/hebrew/5543.htm - 5k

5542. selah -- to lift up, exalt
... 74). Selah. From calah; suspension (of music), ie Pause -- Selah. see HEBREW
calah. 5541b, 5542. selah. 5543 . Strong's Numbers.
/hebrew/5542.htm - 6k

5552. salsillah -- probably a branch
... branches (1). basket. From calah; a twig (as pendulous) -- basket. see HEBREW
calah. 5551, 5552. salsillah. 5553 . Strong's Numbers.
/hebrew/5552.htm - 6k

5544. sillon -- a briar
... brier, thorn. Or callown {sal-one'}; from calah; a prickle (as if pendulous); brier,
thorn. see HEBREW calah. 5543c, 5544. sillon or sallon. 5545 . ...
/hebrew/5544.htm - 6k


The History after the Flood.
... And Nimrod built the cities Nineveh and Rehoboth, and Calah, and Resen, between
Nineveh and Calah; and Nineveh became a very great city. ...
/.../theophilus/theophilus to autolycus/chapter xxxi the history after the.htm

Of the Generations of the Three Sons of Noah.
... Out of that land went forth Assur, and built Nineveh, and the city Rehoboth, and
Calah, and Resen between Nineveh and Calah: this was a great city." Now this ...
/.../augustine/city of god/chapter 3 of the generations of.htm

Chapter x
... From that region he went forth to Assyria and built Nineveh and Rehoboth-ir, and
Calah and Resen, between Nineveh and Calah"this is that great city. ...
// of genesis volume 1/chapter x.htm

History Of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, V 7
... The empire after the wars of Assur-nazir-pal -- Building of the palace at Calah:
Assyrian architecture and sculpture in the IXth century -- The tunnel of Negub ...
/.../history of egypt chaldaea syria babylonia and assyria v 7/title page.htm

Babylonia and Assyria
... the kingdom of Assyria, which soon extended northward into the angle formed by the
Tigris and Upper Zab, where the cities of Nineveh and Calah afterwards arose ...
/.../early israel and the surrounding nations/chapter vi babylonia and assyria.htm

"In the Volume of the Book it is Written of Me" (Heb. . .
... the Antichrist (Isa.14:4). In the verses which follow in Gen.10 we read, "He went
out into Assyria and builded Ninevah, and the city Rehoboth, and Calah," etc. ...
// antichrist/in the volume of the.htm

Sennacherib (705-681 BC )
... and Sargon; it would entail permanent hostilities on the Tigris and the Zab, and
perhaps the appearance of barbarian troops under the walls of Calah or of ...
/.../chapter isennacherib 705-681 b c.htm

... son cir 1400 Bel-nirari, his son 1380 Pudilu (Pedael), his son 1360 Rimmon-nirari
I., his son 1340 Shalmaneser I., his son (the builder of Calah) 1320 Tiglath ...
/.../sayce/early israel and the surrounding nations/appendices.htm

Sargon of Assyria (722-705 BC )
... upon his imagination; he returned to it twice in the space of two years to "take
the hands of Bel," and Shalmaneser V. much preferred it to Calah or Nineveh as ...
/.../chapter iiisargon of assyria 722-705.htm

The Medes and the Second Chaldaean Empire
... The southern point of this triangle was defended by Calah from the attacks of Chaldoa
or from foes coming down from Media by Iiolwan and Suleimanyeh, while ...
/.../chapter iiithe medes and the.htm

Hitchcock's Bible Names Dictionary

favorable; opportunity

Smith's Bible Dictionary

(completion, old age), one of the most ancient cities of Assyria. (Genesis 10:11) The site of Calah is probably market by the Nimrud ruins. If this be regarded as ascertained, Calah must be considered to have been at one time (about B.C. 930-720) the capital of the empire.

ATS Bible Dictionary

A city of Assyria, built by Ashur or by Nimrod, Genesis 10:11,12. It was at some distance from Nineveh, and Resen lay between them. It is thought to have been near the river Lycus, the great Zab, which empties into the Tigris.

Easton's Bible Dictionary
One of the most ancient cities of Assyria. "Out of that land he [i.e., Nimrod] went forth into Assyria, and built Nineveh, Rehoboth-Ir, and Calah, and Resen" (Genesis 10:11, R.V.). Its site is now Marked probably by the Nimrud ruins on the left bank of the Tigris. These cover an area of about 1,000 acres, and are second only in size and importance to the mass of ruins opposite Mosul. This city was at one time the capital of the empire, and was the residence of Sardanapalus and his successors down to the time of Sargon, who built a new capital, the modern Khorsabad. It has been conjectured that these four cities mentioned in Genesis 10:11 were afterwards all united into one and called Nineveh (q.v.).
Calah (2 Occurrences)
... "Out of that land he [ie, Nimrod] went forth into Assyria, and built Nineveh,
Rehoboth-Ir, and Calah, and Resen" (Genesis 10:11, RV). ...CALAH. ...
/c/calah.htm - 14k

Resen (1 Occurrence)
... Head of the stream; bridle, one of Nimrod's cities (Genesis 10:12), "between Nineveh
and Calah." It has been supposed that the four cities named in this verse ...
/r/resen.htm - 9k

Nin'eveh (18 Occurrences)
... here! (See RSV). Genesis 10:11 Out of that land went forth Asshur, and builded
Nineveh, and Rehoboth-ir, and Calah, (See RSV). Genesis ...
/n/nin'eveh.htm - 10k

Asshur (133 Occurrences)
... (see CALAH; NINEVEH.). Int. ... Genesis 10:11 Out of that land went forth Asshur, and
builded Nineveh, and the city Rehoboth, and Calah, (KJV JPS DBY YLT). ...
/a/asshur.htm - 46k

Nineveh (23 Occurrences)
... AND ITS SURROUNDINGS 1. Its Walls 2. Principal Mounds and Gateways 3. Extent and
Population within the Walls 4. Extent outside the Walls 5. Calah, Resen and ...
/n/nineveh.htm - 52k

Calamities (16 Occurrences)

/c/calamities.htm - 11k

Nebo (13 Occurrences)
... Birs Nimrud. A statue of Nebo found at Calah, where it was set up by Pul,
king of Assyria, is now in the British Museum. (2.) A ...
/n/nebo.htm - 17k

Ir (4 Occurrences)
... Ir (4 Occurrences). Genesis 10:11 Out of that land he went forth into Assyria, and
built Nineveh, Rehoboth Ir, Calah, (WEB JPS ASV DBY NAS RSV NIV). ...
/i/ir.htm - 7k

Forgiveness (124 Occurrences)
... Kaphar (Deuteronomy 21:8 Psalm 78:38 Jeremiah 18:23) and calah (Numbers 30:5, 8,
12; 1 Kings 30, 34, 36, 39, 50, etc.) are used only of Divine forgiveness ...
/f/forgiveness.htm - 68k

Rehoboth (4 Occurrences)
... Rehoboth (4 Occurrences). Genesis 10:11 Out of that land he went forth into Assyria,
and built Nineveh, Rehoboth Ir, Calah, (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS NAS NIV). ...
/r/rehoboth.htm - 10k

Bible Concordance
Calah (2 Occurrences)

Genesis 10:11 Out of that land he went forth into Assyria, and built Nineveh, Rehoboth Ir, Calah,

Genesis 10:12 and Resen between Nineveh and Calah (the same is the great city).



Calah: An Ancient City of Assyria

Related Terms

Resen (1 Occurrence)

Nin'eveh (18 Occurrences)

Asshur (133 Occurrences)

Nineveh (23 Occurrences)

Calamities (16 Occurrences)

Nebo (13 Occurrences)

Ir (4 Occurrences)

Forgiveness (124 Occurrences)

Rehoboth (4 Occurrences)

Reho'both-ir (1 Occurrence)

Rehoboth-ir (1 Occurrence)

Buildeth (73 Occurrences)

Builded (65 Occurrences)

Ashur (6 Occurrences)

Assur (2 Occurrences)


Streets (83 Occurrences)

Broad (113 Occurrences)

Wide (206 Occurrences)

Halah (4 Occurrences)

Cakes (65 Occurrences)

Built (299 Occurrences)

Assyria (124 Occurrences)

Tower (74 Occurrences)

Places (610 Occurrences)

Building (249 Occurrences)

Babel (3 Occurrences)

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