Ancient Babylonia - Temples and Rituals

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BAB9.gif The care and feeding of the gods in the great temples was a matter of daily concern. Elaborate rituals requiring the participation and support of numbers of temple personnel evolved around the daily presentation of offerings, the cleaning of the divine statues' garments, and the purification of the temples. Offerings were provided from the temple's land holdings, endowments by royal and wealthy people, and from occasional gifts such as war booty.

The temple personnel consumed the offerings. Special festivals were celebrated by every cult, the chief being the Akitu or New Year's Festival of the god Marduk at Babylon. This stretched over a number of days and included a stately procession of neighboring gods, such as Nabu to Babylon, and a formal parade of Marduk escorted by the king from his temple to the New Year's house outside the city wall. Failure to celebrate the festival because of political turmoil or other causes was a grave matter and, whenever this happened, it was recorded with great concern in the native histories.

See The Ziggurats

Walled Cities and Temples

Hammurapi's Code reveals that the Babylonians were the creators of the first great "business civilization." Walled Cities were the centers of Babylonian activities. Each city had its own god and its terraced temple. The temple owned land, slaves, animals, and precious stones.

The Temple Bank

The Temple also served as a bank of deposit for the collective savings (the surplus production) of the people. The priest of the temple thus became a businessman and a banker.

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Ancient Babylonia
Ancient Babylonia
by R. Russell

2 Kin 24:13-14 "And Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon carried out from there all the treasures of the house of the LORD and the treasures of the king's house, and he cut in pieces all the articles of gold which Solomon king of Israel had made in the temple of the LORD, as the LORD had said. Also he carried into captivity all Jerusalem: all the captains and all the mighty men of valor, ten thousand captives, and all the craftsmen and smiths. None remained except the poorest people of the land."

Also see: Ancient Babylonia Map

Fall of Babylon Heart Message

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Glossary

Introduction

History of Babylonia

Old Babylonian Period (2000 - 1595 BC)

The Amorites, Isin and Larsa, Hammurapi of Babylon, Classical Period, The Language, Religion Law Science and the Arts, Babylon, The KassitesThe People of the Sealand, The Hittite Kingdom

Middle Babylonian Period (1595 - 1000 BC)

The Kassite Dynasty, Kadashman-Enlil I and Burnaburiash II, Kurigalzu II, Elam and Assyria, Dur Kurigalzu a New Capital, The Kudurru, Nebuchadnezzar I, The Aramaeans, The Culture

Neo Babylonian Period (1000 - 539 BC)

Assyria, Nabu-nasir, Tiglath pileser III, The Babylonian Chronicles, The Chaldeans, Sennacherib, Ashurbanipal, Nabopolassar, Nebuchadnezzar II, The Fall of Babylon

Literature

Sumerian Origins, Schools of Scribes, Numbering Tablets, Aramaic and Greek, Poetry, Music, Myths, The Gilgamesh Epic, The Babylonian Flood Myth, Biblical Flood, Prayers and Hymns, Wisdom Literature, Prophecy, Cuneiform

Religion

Marduk and his son Nabu, Babylonian Gods, Temples and Rituals, Priests, Personal Idols, Divination, Astrology, Extispicy, The New Year's Festival, Morality, Prayers and Hymns, Prophecy

Law and Justice

Shamash the Sun God, Civil Law, Law Codes, Hammurapi and Retaliation, Code of Hammurapi Text, Legal Disputes, Labor, Criminal Law, Prisons Slaves and Women, Legal Documents

King and State

Monarchy, The King's Palace, The King's Harem, Communication, Roads, Scribes, Nebuchadnezzar II

Economy and Social Structure

Houses and Farms, Irrigation, Artisans, Manufacturing, Trade, Social Hierarchy, Family and Tribe, Domestic Relations, Schools

Science

Scientific Knowledge, Astronomy, The Calendar, Mathematics, Medicine, Nature

Archaeology

Gilgamesh Tablet, The Hammurapi Stele, Ancient Map, Clay Model of a Sheep's Liver, Mathematics Tablet, Sheeps Liver Cuneiform, Seal Impression, Israelite Seal to Pedaiah, Clay Cylinder of Nabopolassar, The Striding Lion, The Ishtar Gate, The Dragon of Marduk, Nebuchadnezzar's Babylon, The Babylonian Chronicles, Basalt Block Inscription, The Ziggurats, Nabonidus Stele, Cyrus Cylinder

Biblical History

David Anoints Solomon, Solomon's Choice, Solomon's Temple, God's Ideal King, The Divided Kingdom, The Northern Kingdom Israel, The Southern Kingdom Judah, Judah's Kings, Hezekiah, The Destruction of Jerusalem, The Babylonian Captivity, Daniel and the Prophets, Nebuchadnezzar, The Return from Babylon

Questions about Babylon Answered in the Bible

Maps

Timelines


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Ancient Babylonia

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