The Hittites were an ancient empire that are mentioned frequently in the Bible, in fact, more than 50 times. But nothing was known of them from secular records until the late 19th century.
So, who were the Hittites? And where did they come from? Now we know that after the great biblical flood that covered the earth, there was only Noah, his wife and his three sons and their wives left to populate the earth again.
So where did the Hittites in the Bible come from? Did they come from one of Noah’s sons? Well, according to the Bible book of Genesis chapter 10, ‘They were the descendants of Heth, son of Canaan, who was the son of Ham, born of Noah’ (Genesis 10: 1-6). So Heth, the father of the Hittites was the grandson of Ham, one of the sons of Noah who built the ark.
Well, Heth and his family settled in central Anatolia or modern-day Turkey during the 2nd millennium BC. The Hittites were known as one of the powerful warlike neighbours of the early Israelites, who had descended from Noah’s son, Shem. So, interestingly, Shem and Ham were both sons of Noah, and so were brothers….. were brothers.
The Hittites were renowned for their skill in building chariots and also for being the pioneers of using iron instead of bronze in their battles and warfare with the Israelites. Now, what is really surprising is that one of the trusted and elite soldiers of King David of Israel is a man called Uriah the Hittite.
So, what is a known Hittite soldier, of an enemy nation, doing fighting in the king’s army. It is believed that Uriah was one of the Hittite minority that had chosen to stay in “the Land of Canaan”, when the Israelites conquered the land.
Many of the non-Israelite peoples living in Israel assimilated into the society and followed the Jewish religion and became accepted by the Israelites. It is likely this included Uriah, as his name in Hebrew means “Yahweh is my light”.
In addition, his status as an officer in the army and as one of David’s “mighty men” would indicate his total acceptance within the community and his loyalty to the king. Now Uriah’s story is one of the most famous references to a Hittite in the Bible, and it’s found in 2 Samuel 11.
It is recorded that while Uriah was away fighting in the king’s army, King David sees Uriah’s wife, Bathsheba, and desires her. So, after their dalliance, King David deliberately has Uriah placed at the front of the battle where he’s certain to be killed. After Uriah the Hittite’s death, King David marries his widow Bathsheba.
Now, the Hittites were famous as warriors. By 1300BC the Hittite Empire had expanded, and both the Hittites and the Egyptians vied for control of wealthy cities on the Mediterranean coast. This led to the famous Battle of Kadesh in Syria in 1274 BC when 2,500 Hittite chariots fought against Rameses II, the Pharoah of Egypt.
And then came the Assyrians, their cruel attacks brought an end to the last of the Hittites at the end of the 8th century BC. Historians still do not know exactly what happened to the Hittite nation and brought about their demise, but we do know that the Hittites have completely disappeared.
Until recently many doubted that the Hittite nation ever really existed as there was no mention of them outside of the Bible records. Well, that was until the hieroglyphics in Egypt were deciphered by Champollion.
On one of the walls of the great Karnak Temple in Luxor, a relief or a set of inscriptions was discovered that told the story of the famous Hittite chariot battle against the Egyptian army led by Rameses II.
This amazing relief verified the Bible records and proved that the Hittites had indeed been a warrior nation during the time of the early Israelites.
If you would like to find out more about the story of the Hittites, then I’d like to recommend our free Bible Reading Guide. This guide is our gift to you and is absolutely free. I guarantee there are no costs or obligations whatsoever. Just click on the QR code on your screen or go to our Incredible Journey website to receive your free gift now.