Nebuchadnezzar II (Babylonian cuneiform: Nabû-kudurri-uṣur, meaning "Nabu, watch over my heir"), also spelled Nebuchadrezzar II and historically known as Nebuchadnezzar the Great, was the second and greatest king of the Neo-Babylonian Empire, ruling from the death of his father Nabopolassar in 605 BC to his own death in 562 BC.
Nebuchadnezzar I or Nebuchadrezzar I (/ ˌ n ɛ b j ʊ k ə d ˈ n ɛ z ər /), reigned c. 1121–1100 BC, was the fourth king of the Second Dynasty of Isin and Fourth Dynasty of Babylon.He ruled for 22 years according to the Babylonian King List C, and was the most prominent monarch of this dynasty.
- His Rise to Power
- His Relationship with G‑d
- His Immorality
- Conquest of Israel and Judea
- Crushing Response to Rebellion
- The Destruction of The Holy Temple
- Dreams, Idols, and Beasts
- His Death
- "Servant of G‑D"
- The Divine Presence in Exile
Despite being a man shortin height (a “little person”2),Nebuchadnezzar had soaring ambitions; he dreamed of dominating the world3and made no attempt to keep it a secret. As he traveled through towns andstates, he was frequently mocked, “Can a man like this reign over the entireworld?!”4 ButNebuchadnezzar rose to power with the ferocity of a roaring lion5and struck fear into the hearts of men.6As chief military officer for his father, KingNabopolassar, he was no stranger to the art of war and savagery. The Talmudteaches that throughout his reign, “No laughter emerged from the mouth of anycreature.”7In fact, the Talmud notes that Nebuchadnezzar cast such dread upon peopleduring his lifetime, that when he died and appeared in Purgatory, intense fearovercame all who were there, fearing that hehad arrived to assert his rule over them!8 Nebuchadnezzar declaredhimself a deity9(“I will liken myself to the Most High”10),and before long he had become the world superpower (“Moshel b’Kipah”).11...
AlthoughNebuchadnezzar bowed to the sun17and other idols,18he did not deny the existence of G‑d. As he said to Daniel, “Truly, your G‑d is the G‑d of the godsand the Master of the kings.” But he made theclassic error of thinking that G‑d hadabdicated His direct involvement with the universe and delegated it to otherdeities.19Nevertheless, while serving as chief scribe ofthe Babylonian ruler Merodach-Baladan, Nebuchadnezzar took great care to recordthe acknowledgment of G‑d at the opening of the missives he penned.20
Theeffects of circumscribing the One G‑d to a plane divorced from the physicalreality were readily evident in his morally corrupt and contemptible behavior.His sadistic tendencies drove him to bring about the slow, torturous death of Hiram, king of Tyre,21but not before raping his queen (who was his own mother22)before his eyes.23The Talmud reveals that he would cast lotseach day to determine which of his imprisoned kings he would sodomize.24
Babylonhad been engaged in a territorial struggle with the Egyptian Pharaoh Necho forcontrol of Syria,25with Babylon seeking conquest of all lands south of the Euphrates includingEgypt.26Nebuchadnezzar defeated the Egyptian forces at Charchemish27on the Euphrates and pursued Pharaoh’s armies in their retreat through Hamathin central Syria. After returning to Babylon briefly to mourn his father’sdeath, Nebuchadnezzar marched unopposed through Greater Syria, and set hissights on subordinating the Land of Israel. Inhis second28year of reign, Nebuchadnezzar subdued and destroyed the fortified city ofAshkelon, after which he consolidated his rule over the Land of Israel. All the monarchs of Syriaand Israel, including King Jehoiakim of Judah, were compelledto pay tribute to Nebuchadnezzar (an especially bitter pill to swallow for Jehoiakim who was appointed by the Egyptian Pharaoh Necho,29arch-enemy of Nebuchadnezzar). After three years of subordination to Nebuchadnezzar, Jehoiakim attemp...
Nebuchadnezzarhad always been wary of interfering with the Holy Temple and did not believethat G‑d would permit the destruction of Jerusalem. To ascertain the Divine intention, Nebuchadnezzar enlisted the services of asorcerer. Nebuchadnezzar shot several arrows towards various kingdoms, and whenall the arrows broke other than the one he shot toward Jerusalem, heinterpreted it as a sign that he would be victorious.42 The sign notwithstanding, Nebuchadnezzar feared that hewould share the same fate as Sennaccherib43who was miraculously defeated many years earlier, so he set up his headquartersin Riblah (today on the Syrian side of the border with Lebanon) and dispatchedhis chief executioner, Nebuzaradan, to vanquish Judea.44Nebuchadnezzar warned Nebuzaradan that he would risk defeat if he allowed theJews time to repent for their evil ways. “Do not allow them to pray,” heinstructed.45“Drive them out as though they are being pursued by a lion.”46Indeed, their first respite was when they...
Nebuchadnezzarlaid siege to Jerusalem for two years, and finally penetrated its walls onTammuz 9.48 He hadoutfitted Nebuzaradan with 300 mules ladenwith iron axes that could cut iron. All but one were broken in the attempt to breach one of Jerusalem’s gates. Afterinitially considering retreat, Nebuzaradan heeded a Heavenly voice thatencouraged him to make one final attempt. With the remaining ax, it gave way.49 Heproceeded to destroy the Holy Temple, the king’s palace, and all its residencesby fire.50The day he entered51the Sanctuary, say the Sages, was the day his rival, Darius, was born.52 AlthoughZedekiah initially managed to flee through an underground passageway leading toJericho, he was captured and hauled off to appear before Nebuchadnezzar.53While there, Nebuchadnezzar slaughtered Zedekiah’s sons in his presence,blinded him, bound him in chains, and sent him to Babylon.54According to the Midrash, Nebuchadnezzar confiscated King Solomon’sthrone55 and attempted to preside over...
Thenarratives surrounding Nebuchadnezzar’s attempts to ensnare the Jews in the practice of idolatry, the insanitythat plagued him for seven years, his charitable deeds towards the Jewish poor,and other stories, have been chronicled in a parallel article on the life of Daniel.
Nebuchadnezzardied in the year 3364 (397 BCE) and was succeeded by his son Evil [pronounced Eh-vil] Merodach whose reign extended for 23 years. He wasfollowed by King Belshazzar who ascended the throne in 3387 (374 BCE). Afterhis demise and burial, Nebuchadnezzar’s corpse was exhumed and pierced by hisenemies’ swords,60fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah, “You were . . of those pierced by the sword,who descend to the stones of the pit, like a trampled corpse.”61
Inthe prophecies of Jeremiah, Nebuchadnezzar is referred to as “My Servant” (“Avdi”),62implying that he acted on G‑d’s behalf.63 Addressingthe problem of referring to Nebuchadnezzar as “My Servant,” the Talmud teachesthat G‑d wished to preempt the error the Jews would make, thinking that theyhad been “sold”by G‑d to the nations of the earth, and that G‑d had abandoned them.“Therefore, the Holy One, Blessed be He,” says the Talmud, “preemptively calledNebuchadnezzar His slave. With regard to the halakha concerning a slave who acquires property, to whom does theslave belong and to whom does the property belong? They both belong to themaster, in this case, the Holy One, Blessed be He.”64
TheSages of the Talmud teach that even when the Jewish people are exiled, G‑densures that they are subjugated by a nation of prominence, “so that the nations do not say, ‘G‑d has delivered His people into the hands of a lowly nation.’”65Thus, prior to their exile, the enemy nation rises to prominence, as the versestates,66“Her adversaries have become the head.”67 Chassidicteachings explain the inner dimension of this phenomenon. A nation rises tobecome a superpower when the Divine Presence manifests itself in its midst.Inasmuch as the Divine Presence accompanies the Jewish people while they are inexile, and by Divine design the Jews were destined to be exiled by Babylon,Nebuchadnezzar ascended to the height of power so that the Jews, and byextension, the Divine Presence, could beexiled by a superpower rather than a lowlypeople.68
Nebuchadnezzar, or Nebuchadrezzar. ( may Nebo protect the crown ), was the greatest and most powerful of the Babylonian kings. His name is explained to mean "Nebo is the protector against misfortune." He was the son and successor of Nabopolassar, the founder of the Babylonian empire.
Apr 26, 2021 · Nebuchadnezzar II, sometimes alternately spelled Nebuchadrezzar, was king of Babylonia from approximately 605 BC until approximately 562 BC. He is considered the greatest king of the Babylonian Empire and is credited with the construction of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar is mentioned by name around 90 times in the Bible, in ...
Nebuchadnezzar II, second and greatest king of the Chaldean dynasty of Babylonia (reigned c. 605–c. 561 BCE). He was known for his military might, the splendor of his capital, Babylon, and his important part in Jewish history. Learn more about his life and accomplishments in this article.
Nov 07, 2018 · Nebuchadnezzar II (r. 605/604-562 BCE) was the greatest King of ancient Babylon during the period of the Neo-Babylonian Empire (626-539 BCE), succeeding its founder, his father, Nabopolassar (r. 626-605 BCE). Nabopolassar had defeated the Assyrians with the help of the Medes and liberated Babylonia from Assyrian rule.
- Joshua J. Mark
Jan 08, 2020 · Nebuchadnezzar (also called Nebuchadrezzar) was king of Babylon from around 605 BC to 562 BC. He was the most important ruler of the Neo-Babylonian Empire and a renowned builder. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, which he constructed for his wife, was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.
King Nebuchadnezzar was the greatest and most powerful of all the Babylonia kings. His name means “Oh Nabu (a Babylonian god), protect my son (or my boundary), according to the New International Encyclopedia of Bible Characters. The great and powerful king wrestled with his own sovereignty compared to the God of Israel through a series of dreams. He went from crown prince to king in ...
Jul 14, 2020 · The Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar II is one of the greatest villains of the Hebrew Bible (known to Christians as the Old Testament). In the biblical book 2 Kings, Nebuchadnezzar and his army lay siege to Jerusalem, loot gold and other treasures from the temple, abduct the Judean king and his court, and carry off 10,000 officers, artisans and skilled workers into exile in Babylon.
- Dave Roos