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The Bible is a Book of history. The study of ancient manners and customs will greatly add to your understanding of the Bible.

Welcome to the Looking Backwards study section. Looking Backwards is a Bible teaching ministry with devotionals that help provide inquisitive minds with factual and historical insights along with graphics and illustrations.

Looking Backwards
                     By Rusty Russell

"Babylonian Chronicle"

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This clay tablet is a Babylonian chronicle recording events from 605-594BC. It was first translated in 1956 and is now in the British Museum. The cuneiform text on this clay tablet tells, among other things, 3 main events:

1. The Battle of Carchemish (famous battle for world supremacy where Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon defeated Pharoah Necho of Egypt, 605 BC.),

2. The accession to the throne of Nebuchadnezzar II, the Chaldean, and

3. The capture of Jerusalem on the 16th of March, 598 BC.

We are going to compare the record of this Babylonian clay tablet, as translated into English by scholars, with the account recorded in the Bible. About the capture of Jerusalem the clay tablet reads:

"In the seventh month (of Nebuchadnezzar-599 BC.) in the month Chislev (Nov/Dec) the king of Babylon assembled his army, and after he had invaded the land of Hatti (Syria/Palestine) he laid seige to the city of Judah. On the second day of the month of Adara ( 16th of March) he conquered the city and took the king (Jehoiachin) prisoner. He installed in his place a king (Zedekiah) of his own choice, and after he had received rich tribute, he sent (them) forth to Babylon."

And now we will look at the record of the Babylonian invasion in the Book of II Kings and compare the two:

II Kings 24:7-17 And the king of Egypt did not come out of his land anymore, for the king of Babylon had taken all that belonged to the king of Egypt from the Brook ofEgypt to the River Euphrates. Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months. His mother's name was Nehushtathe daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem. And he did evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father had done. At that time the servants of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up against Jerusalem, and the city was besieged. And Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came against the city, as his servants were besieging it.

Then Jehoiachin king of Judah, his mother, his servants, his princes, and his officers went out to the king of Babylon; and the king of Babylon, in the eighth year of his reign, took him prisoner. And he 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.

And he carried Jehoiachin captive to Babylon. The king's mother, the king's wives, his officers, and the mighty of the land he carried into captivity from Jerusalem to Babylon. All the valiant men, seven thousand, and craftsmen and smiths, one thousand, all who were strong and fit for war, these the king of Babylon brought captive to Babylon. Then the king of Babylon made Mattaniah, Jehoiachin's uncle, king in his place, and changed his name to Zedekiah.

May we as believers in Jesus Christ give Him praise for His marvelous revelation in the Scriptures. The Bible is a Book that compels us to stand in awe of the wonderful works of an Almighty Creator. The Bible is God's great creation and is to be treasured above all, as men of God testified throughout the Scriptures:

Ps 119:24 "Your words also are my delight and my counselors."

Job 23:12 I have not departed from the commandment of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.

Ps 119:103 How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

A Word of encouragement.

What is the passion of your life? What do you think about most? What do you tie the tether of your life to? Your career, a hobby, a relationship, your family, your body, your new car, your ministry? All these things are important and of course God wants us to enjoy life and to be filled with the best, but He is number one. He is number one. There's no real security in any thing in this world, everything is temporary and fleeting, but God can make all those things fulfilling and rewarding if we would only desire Him the most, seek after Him the most, want to hear from Him the most.

I ask you again, What is the passion of your life? The Lord wants to reveal His beauty to you today. This of course goes for me too. We all need to be refilled and refreshed daily in His Presence. The Bible reveals Jesus as the Rose of Sharon. The Rose of Sharon to a Jew was to be in the presence of the most wonderful of aroma's. It was a fragrance that was not in any way displeasing but in every way enjoyable. Is that how Jesus Christ is to you?

Father, may these words be taken as encouragement because I know that everything you say to us gives us strength and hope. Because I know that everything you say to us are Words of praise that help us to see the value of who we are because you love us so much. Help me Lord to receive Your love and may You be my esteem. Help me to understand the Words, "Seek first the kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you."

Look for new studies at least once a week.

If you would like you can send a message through email to Rusty Russell

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Last Update: Thursday, September 29, 2005