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Kingdom of Babylon
This was called “the land of the Chaldeans” (Jeremiah 24:5; Ezek, 12:13) and was an extensive province in Central Asia along the valley of the Tigris from the Persian Gulf northward for some 300 miles. It was famed for its fertility and its riches. Its capital was the city of Babylon, a great commercial center (Ezek. 17:4; Isaiah 43:14).
The salt-marshes at the mouths of the Euphrates and Tigris were called Marratu, “the bitter” or “salt”, the Merathaim of Jeremiah 50:21. They were the original home of the Kalda, or Chaldeans.
Babylonia was divided into the two districts of Accad in the north, and Summer (Sumer) (probably the Shinar of the Old Testament) in the south.
Among its cities were…
- Ur (later called Mugheir or Mugayyar), on the western bank of the Euphrates
- Uruk, or Erech (Genesis 10:10) (later called Warka), between Ur and Babylon
- Larsa (later called Senkereh), the Ellasar of Genesis 14:1, a little to the east of Erech
- Nipur (now later called Niffer), southeast of Babylon
- Sepharvaim (2 Kings 17:24), “the two Sipparas” (now Abu-Habba), considerably to the north of Babylon
- Eridu, “the good city” (later called Abu-Shahrein), which originally lay on the shore of the Persian Gulf, but is now, owing to the silting up of the sand, about 100 miles distant from it.
- Kulunu, or Calneh (Genesis 10:10).
TIGLATH-PILESER III—In B.C. 729, Babylonia was conquered by the Assyrian king Tiglath-pileser III
- SHALMANESER IV—on the death of Shalmaneser IV, it was seized by the Kalda or “Chaldean” prince Merodach-baladan (2 Kings 20:12-19)
MERODACH-BALADAN (aka Berodach-baladan)—held monarchy until 709 B.C. He was driven out by Sargon. He was the son of Baladan.
SARGON and NARAM-SIN—The most famous of the early kings of Babylonia were Sargon of Accad (B.C.3800) and his son, Naram-Sin, who conquered a large part of Western Asia, establishing their power in Canaan, and even carrying their arms to the Sinai peninsula.
A great Babylonian library was founded in the reign of Sargon.
ELAM and KHAMMU-RABI (AMRAPHEL)—Babylonia was subsequently again broken up into more than one state, and at one time fell under the domination of Elam. This was put an end to by Khammu-rabi (Amraphel), who drove the Elamites out of the country, and overcame Arioch, the son of an Elamite prince. From this time forward Babylonia was a united monarchy.
In the time of Khammu-rabi, Syria and Canaan were subject to Babylonia and its Elamite suzerain; and after the overthrow of the Elamite supremacy, the Babylonian kings continued to exercise their influence and power in what was called “the land of the Amorites.”
KASSITE DYNASTY—About B.C. 1750 it was conquered by the Kassi, or Kosseans, from the mountains of Elam, and a Kassite dynasty ruled over it for 576 years and 9 months.
In the epoch of the Kassite dynasty, Canaan passed into the hands of Egypt.
SENNACHERIB—Under Sennacherib, Babylonia revolted from Assyria several times, with the help of the Elamites, and after one of these revolts Babylon was destroyed by Sennacherib, B.C. 689.
Babylon was rebuilt by Esarhaddon, who made it his residence during part of the year, and it was to Babylon that Manasseh was brought a prisoner (2 Chronicles 33:11). After the death of Esarhaddon, Saul-sumyukin, the viceroy of Babylonia, revolted against his brother the Assyrian king, and the revolt was suppressed with difficulty.
NABOPOLASSAR—When Nineveh was destroyed, B.C. 606, Nabopolassar, the viceroy of Babylonia, who seems to have been of Chaldean descent, made himself independent. His son Nebuchadrezzar (Nabu-kudur-uzur), after defeating the Egyptians at Carchemish, succeeded him as king, B.C. 604, and founded the Babylonian empire.
NEBUCHADREZZAR (Nabu-kudur-uzur)—He strongly fortified Babylon, and adorned it with palaces and other buildings.
EVIL-MERODACH—Nebuchadrezzar’s son, Evil-merodach, who succeeded him in B.C. 561, was murdered after a reign of two years.
NABONIDUS (Nabu-nahid)—The last monarch of the Babylonian empire was Nabonidus (Nabu-nahid), B.C. 555-538, whose eldest son, Belshazzar (Bilu-sar-uzur), is mentioned in several inscriptions. Babylon was captured by Cyrus, B.C. 538, and though it revolted more than once in later years, it never succeeded in maintaining its independence.
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- Tower of Babel
- Babylonish garment
- Rivers of Babylon
- Archaeology and the Bible
- Assyria (enemy and sometimes part of Babylonia)
- Canaan, the language of
- Chronicles, books of
- congregation, mount of the
- Cyrus (conquered Babylon)
- Daniel, Book of
- doleful creatures
- dove (placed on the standards of the Babylonians)
- hammer (Hebrew: pattish)
- Hebrew language (in relation to Babylon)
- Isaiah, the Book of
- Israel, kingdom of
- Jehoiachin, King (carried captive to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar)
- Jehoiakim, King (carried captive to Babylon)
- Jehozadak (son of the high priest / carried into captivity by Nebuchadnezzar)
- Koa (place in the Babylonian empire)
- liver (the king of Babylon “looked upon the liver”)
- Lucifer (title given to a king of Babylon)
- Madmen (city threatened by Babylon)
- Manasseh, tribe of (Esarhaddon took them captive)
- Media (monarch entered alliance with the Babylonian king)
- melzar (title of an officer at the Babylonian court)
- Merathaim (probably a symbolical name given to Babylon)
- Meshach (a title)
- Mishael (Hebrew youth trained in Babylon)
- mount of the congregation (mythic mountain of the Babylonians)
- Nebushasban (chief chamberlain of Babylon court)
- Nergal-sharezer (two Babylonian princes)
- Pekod (probably a place in Babylonia)
- Peter (worked in Babylon)
- Samaritans (brought from Babylon, etc.)
- Samgar-nebo (title of prince)
- sapphire (brought from Babylon)
- Seraiah (chief priest executed in Babylon)
- Shadrach (Hebrew youth trained in Babylon)
- Sheshach (supposed to be equivalent to Babel/Babylon)
- Shinar, the land of
- synagogue (during Captivity)
- temple, Solomon’s
- Temple, The Second (pillaged and destroyed by Babylon’s King Nebuchadnezzar)
- thyine wood
- tongues, confusion of
- Zedekiah, King (rebelled against Babylon)