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The Babylonian Empire
 Map of the Babylonian Empire (606-535 BC.)
(Enlarge) (PDF for Print) (Freely Distributed)

Map of the Neo Babylonian Empire at its Greatest Extant (580 BC.)

This map reveals the Babylonian Empire in 580 BC under its greatest ruler Nebuchadnezzar II. The kings of the Neo-Babylonian Empire were Nabu-apla-usur, Nabu-kudurri-usur II (Nebuchadnezzar II), Amel-Marduk, Neriglissar, Labaši-Marduk, Nabonidus.  Babylon was finally captured by the Medes and Persians under Cyrus as predicted by the prophet Daniel, and the Babylonian Empire came to an end in 536 BC.

The Empire of Babylon (The Largest Boundaries)

When Assyria was overthrown by the Babylonians and the Medes in 625 BC, Nabopolassar, who had joined with the Medes, received a worthy spoil for his share the glorious possession of Babylonia undisputed. The later kingdom of Babylon lasted for 87 years (625-538 B.C.), until it was finally overthrown by the new conquering power of Persia. Nabopolassar, the first king of the new Babylonian Kingdom, was succeeded by his son Nebuchadnezzar, and it was under Nebuchadnezzar that the Babylonian empire reached its height of glory.

Under Nebuchadnezzar (669-627 BC) the boundaries of the Babylonian Empire reached as far as Cilicia in the north to Egypt and Arabia in the south, and from Cyprus and the Mediterranean coastal cities in the west to Media and Persia in the east.

The largest boundaries of the Empire of Babylon around 580 BC were as follows:

1. The Northern Boundary were Carchemish and Cilicia in the northwest.

2. The Western Boundary was the Mediterranean Sea with its cities all the way to Cyprus. In the south the western boundary extended to Egypt.

3. The Eastern Boundary were the cities of the Medes and the Persians.

4. The Southern Boundary went all the way to Arabia and westward to Egypt.

History of the Babylonian Empire

The Babylonian Empire came to power in 625 after the fall of Assyria. Babylon continued its reign until 536 BC. During this period Babylon, located along the Euphrates River, was the metropolis of the East and called in the Bible the "city of Gold". It was made great and world renown by Nebuchadnezzar, its greatest king, who reigned in the days of Daniel and the Captivity of the Jews who were taken to Babylon after the fall of Jerusalem. Babylon was finally captured by the Medes and Persians under Cyrus as predicted by the prophet Daniel, and the Babylonian Empire came to an end in 536 BC.

Babylonian Timeline
B.C.
612 Babylonians and Medes conquer Assyria
605 Babylonians battle Egyptians at Carchemish
605 Nebuchadnezzar becomes king of Babylon
605 The Babylonians invade Judah
605 First wave of deportation of Jews to Babylon
605 Daniel is taken captive and begins to prophesy
601 Babylonians battle Egypt, both sides suffer losses
601 Judah decides to realign itself with Egypt, Jeremiah warns
597 Jehoachin becomes king of Judah
597 Babylonians capture Jerusalem
597 Second wave of deportation to Babylon from Judah.
597 Ezekiel is taken captive to Babylon
597 Zedekiah becomes king of Judah
593 Ezekiel begins to prophesy
586 The Babylonians destroy Jerusalem and the Temple (9th of Av)
586 Jerusalem’s walls and gates are burned with fire
586 Third wave of Jews deported to Babylon
586 Babylonian Exile (Galut Bavel) begins
586 End of Biblical (First Temple) Period
586 The end of the monarchy in Judah
539 The Fall of Babylon
539 Beginning of the Persian Period to 332
539 The Decree of Cyrus II allowing Jews to return
516 The Jews rebuild their Temple (70 years)

Kings of Babylon

(From 626-539 BC)

Nabu-apla-usur 626-605 BC
Nabu-kudurri-usur II 605-562 BC. Also known as Nebuchadnezzar II.
Amel-Marduk 562-560 BC
Neriglissar 560-556 BC
Labaši-Marduk 556 BC
Nabonidus 556-539 BC


Some Scriptures Mentioning Babylon

2 Kings 24:7 - And the king of Egypt came not again any more out of his land: for the king of Babylon had taken from the river of Egypt unto the river Euphrates all that pertained to the king of Egypt.

Ezra 6:5 - And also let the golden and silver vessels of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took forth out of the temple which [is] at Jerusalem, and brought unto Babylon, be restored, and brought again unto the temple which [is] at Jerusalem, [every one] to his place, and place [them] in the house of God.

2 Kings 25:27 - And it came to pass in the seven and thirtieth year of the captivity of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, on the seven and twentieth [day] of the month, [that] Evilmerodach king of Babylon in the year that he began to reign did lift up the head of Jehoiachin king of Judah out of prison;

Jeremiah 52:31 - And it came to pass in the seven and thirtieth year of the captivity of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, in the five and twentieth [day] of the month, [that] Evilmerodach king of Babylon in the [first] year of his reign lifted up the head of Jehoiachin king of Judah, and brought him forth out of prison,

Jeremiah 21:7 - And afterward, saith the LORD, I will deliver Zedekiah king of Judah, and his servants, and the people, and such as are left in this city from the pestilence, from the sword, and from the famine, into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, and into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of those that seek their life: and he shall smite them with the edge of the sword; he shall not spare them, neither have pity, nor have mercy.

Jeremiah 50:2 - Declare ye among the nations, and publish, and set up a standard; publish, [and] conceal not: say, Babylon is taken, Bel is confounded, Merodach is broken in pieces; her idols are confounded, her images are broken in pieces.

Jeremiah 44:30 - Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will give Pharaohhophra king of Egypt into the hand of his enemies, and into the hand of them that seek his life; as I gave Zedekiah king of Judah into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, his enemy, and that sought his life.

Micah 4:10 - Be in pain, and labour to bring forth, O daughter of Zion, like a woman in travail: for now shalt thou go forth out of the city, and thou shalt dwell in the field, and thou shalt go [even] to Babylon; there shalt thou be delivered; there the LORD shall redeem thee from the hand of thine enemies.

Jeremiah 32:4 - And Zedekiah king of Judah shall not escape out of the hand of the Chaldeans, but shall surely be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon, and shall speak with him mouth to mouth, and his eyes shall behold his eyes;

Jeremiah 20:6 - And thou, Pashur, and all that dwell in thine house shall go into captivity: and thou shalt come to Babylon, and there thou shalt die, and shalt be buried there, thou, and all thy friends, to whom thou hast prophesied lies.

Jeremiah 38:23 - So they shall bring out all thy wives and thy children to the Chaldeans: and thou shalt not escape out of their hand, but shalt be taken by the hand of the king of Babylon: and thou shalt cause this city to be burned with fire.

Jeremiah 36:29 - And thou shalt say to Jehoiakim king of Judah, Thus saith the LORD; Thou hast burned this roll, saying, Why hast thou written therein, saying, The king of Babylon shall certainly come and destroy this land, and shall cause to cease from thence man and beast?

Ezra 5:17 - Now therefore, if [it seem] good to the king, let there be search made in the king's treasure house, which [is] there at Babylon, whether it be [so], that a decree was made of Cyrus the king to build this house of God at Jerusalem, and let the king send his pleasure to us concerning this matter.

Jeremiah 52:17 - Also the pillars of brass that [were] in the house of the LORD, and the bases, and the brasen sea that [was] in the house of the LORD, the Chaldeans brake, and carried all the brass of them to Babylon.

2 Kings 25:13 - And the pillars of brass that [were] in the house of the LORD, and the bases, and the brasen sea that [was] in the house of the LORD, did the Chaldees break in pieces, and carried the brass of them to Babylon.

Jeremiah 25:1 - The word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the people of Judah in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, that [was] the first year of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon;

Jeremiah 35:11 - But it came to pass, when Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon came up into the land, that we said, Come, and let us go to Jerusalem for fear of the army of the Chaldeans, and for fear of the army of the Syrians: so we dwell at Jerusalem.

Ezekiel 29:18 - Son of man, Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon caused his army to serve a great service against Tyrus: every head [was] made bald, and every shoulder [was] peeled: yet had he no wages, nor his army, for Tyrus, for the service that he had served against it:

Esther 2:6 - Who had been carried away from Jerusalem with the captivity which had been carried away with Jeconiah king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away.

Jeremiah 39:9 - Then Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried away captive into Babylon the remnant of the people that remained in the city, and those that fell away, that fell to him, with the rest of the people that remained.

Jeremiah 34:2 - Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel; Go and speak to Zedekiah king of Judah, and tell him, Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire:

Matthew 1:12 - And after they were brought to Babylon, Jechonias begat Salathiel; and Salathiel begat Zorobabel;

Jeremiah 46:2 - Against Egypt, against the army of Pharaohnecho king of Egypt, which was by the river Euphrates in Carchemish, which Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon smote in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah.

Jeremiah 51:34 - Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon hath devoured me, he hath crushed me, he hath made me an empty vessel, he hath swallowed me up like a dragon, he hath filled his belly with my delicates, he hath cast me out.

Jeremiah 27:18 - But if they [be] prophets, and if the word of the LORD be with them, let them now make intercession to the LORD of hosts, that the vessels which are left in the house of the LORD, and [in] the house of the king of Judah, and at Jerusalem, go not to Babylon.

Daniel 5:7 - The king cried aloud to bring in the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers. [And] the king spake, and said to the wise [men] of Babylon, Whosoever shall read this writing, and shew me the interpretation thereof, shall be clothed with scarlet, and [have] a chain of gold about his neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.

Isaiah 14:22 - For I will rise up against them, saith the LORD of hosts, and cut off from Babylon the name, and remnant, and son, and nephew, saith the LORD.

Daniel 3:12 - There are certain Jews whom thou hast set over the affairs of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; these men, O king, have not regarded thee: they serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

Jeremiah 40:5 - Now while he was not yet gone back, [he said], Go back also to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan, whom the king of Babylon hath made governor over the cities of Judah, and dwell with him among the people: or go wheresoever it seemeth convenient unto thee to go. So the captain of the guard gave him victuals and a reward, and let him go.

Jeremiah 51:11 - Make bright the arrows; gather the shields: the LORD hath raised up the spirit of the kings of the Medes: for his device [is] against Babylon, to destroy it; because it [is] the vengeance of the LORD, the vengeance of his temple.
 

Ancient Babylon


Map of Ancient Nineveh


Babylon in Easton's Bible Dictionary the Greek form of BABEL; Semitic form Babilu, meaning "The Gate of God." In the Assyrian tablets it means "The city of the dispersion of the tribes." The monumental list of its kings reaches back to B.C. 2300, and includes Khammurabi, or Amraphel (q.v.), the contemporary of Abraham. It stood on the Euphrates, about 200 miles above its junction with the Tigris, which flowed through its midst and divided it into two almost equal parts. The Elamites invaded Chaldea (i.e., Lower Mesopotamia, or Shinar, and Upper Mesopotamia, or Accad, now combined into one) and held it in subjection. At length Khammu-rabi delivered it from the foreign yoke, and founded the new empire of Chaldea (q.v.), making Babylon the capital of the united kingdom. This city gradually grew in extent and grandeur, but in process of time it became subject to Assyria. On the fall of Nineveh (B.C. 606) it threw off the Assyrian yoke, and became the capital of the growing Babylonian empire. Under Nebuchadnezzar it became one of the most splendid cities of the ancient world. After passing through various vicissitudes the city was occupied by Cyrus, "king of Elam," B.C. 538, who issued a decree permitting the Jews to return to their own land (Ezra 1). It then ceased to be the capital of an empire. It was again and again visited by hostile armies, till its inhabitants were all driven from their homes, and the city became a complete desolation, its very site being forgotten from among men. On the west bank of the Euphrates, about 50 miles south of Bagdad, there is found a series of artificial mounds of vast extent. These are the ruins of this once famous proud city. These ruins are principally (1) the great mound called Babil by the Arabs. This was probably the noted Temple of Belus, which was a pyramid about 480 feet high. (2) The Kasr (i.e., "the palace"). This was the great palace of Nebuchadnezzar. It is almost a square, each side of which is about 700 feet long. The little town of Hillah, near the site of Babylon, is built almost wholly of bricks taken from this single mound. (3) A lofty mound, on the summit of which stands a modern tomb called Amran ibn-Ali. This is probably the most ancient portion of the remains of the city, and represents the ruins of the famous hanging-gardens, or perhaps of some royal palace. The utter desolation of the city once called "The glory of kingdoms" (Isa.13:19) was foretold by the prophets (Isa.13:4- 22; Jer. 25:12; 50:2, 3; Dan. 2:31-38). The Babylon mentioned in 1 Pet. 5:13 was not Rome, as some have thought, but the literal city of Babylon, which was inhabited by many Jews at the time Peter wrote. In Rev. 14:8; 16:19; 17:5; and 18:2, "Babylon" is supposed to mean Rome, not considered as pagan, but as the prolongation of the ancient power in the papal form. Rome, pagan and papal, is regarded as one power. "The literal Babylon was the beginner and supporter of tyranny and idolatry...This city and its whole empire were taken by the Persians under Cyrus; the Persians were subdued by the Macedonians, and the Macedonians by the Romans; so that Rome succeeded to the power of old Babylon. And it was her method to adopt the worship of the false deities she had conquered; so that by her own act she became the heiress and successor of all the Babylonian idolatry, and of all that was introduced into it by the immediate successors of Babylon, and consequently of all the idolatry of the earth." Rome, or "mystical Babylon," is "that great city which reigneth over the kings of the earth" (17:18).

Babylon in Naves Topical Bible 1. CITY OF Built by Nimrod Ge 10:10 In the land of Shinar Ge 10:10; 11:2 Tower of Ge 11:1-9 Capital of the kingdom of Babylon Da 4:30; 2Ki 25:13; 2Ch 36:6,7,10,18,20 Gates of Isa 45:1,2; Jer 51:58 Walled Jer 51:44,58 Splendor of Isa 14:4 Peter writes from 1Pe 5:13 Prophecies concerning Ps 87:4; 137:8,9; Isa 13; 14:4-26; 21:1-10; 46:1,2; 47; 48:14,20; Jer 21:4-10; 25:12-14; 27:1-11; 28:14; 32:28; 34:2,3; 42:11,12; 43; 46:13-26; 49:28-30; 50; 51; Eze 21:19; 26; 29:17-20; 30:10; 32:11; Da 2:21-38; 4:10- 26; 5:25-29; 7; Hab 1:5-11; Zec 2:7-9 -FIGURATIVE Re 14:8; 16:19; 17; 18 -2. EMPIRE OF Founded by Nimrod Ge 10:10 Called LAND OF SHINAR Ge 10:10; 11:2; 14:1,9; Isa 11:11; Da 1:2; Zec 5:11 SHESHACH Jer 25:26; 51:41 MERATHAIM Jer 50:21 Called also CHALDEA, which see Divisions of 2Ki 17:24; 24:7; Isa 23:12,13; Da 3:1; Ac 7:4 Extent of, at the time of Nebuchadnezzar Da 2:37,38; 4:1; 6:1 At the time of Ahasuerus Es 1:1; 8:9; 9:30 Armies of, invade ancient Canaan Ge 14 Samaria 2Ki 17:5-24 Judah 2Ki 24:1-16 Jews carried to 2Ki 25; 1Ch 9:1; 2Ch 33:11; 36:17-21; Jer 32:2; 39; 52 Colonists from, sent to Samaria Ezr 4:9,10; with 2Ki 17:29-32 Conquest of Egypt by 2Ki 24:7 Prophecies of conquests by 2Ki 20:16-19; Jer 20:4-7; 21; 22; 25:1-11; 27; 28; 29; 32:28,29; 34; 36:29; 38:17,18; 43:8-13; 46:13-26; Eze 12; 17; 19; 21; 24; 26; 29:18-20; 30; 32 Prophetic denunciations against Ps 137:8,9; Isa 13; 14:21; 43:14-17; 47; Jer 50; 51 GOVERNMENT OF A limited monarchy Es 1:13-19; 8:8; Da 6:8,14,17 Tyrannical Es 3:7-15; Da 3

Babylon in Smiths Bible Dictionary in the Apocalypse, is the symbolical name by which Rome is denoted. Re 14:8; 17:18 The power of Rome was regarded by the later Jews as was that of Babylon by their forefathers. Comp. Jer 51:7 with Reve 14:8 The occurrence of this name in 1Pe 5:13 has given rise to a variety of conjectures, many giving it the same meaning as in the Apocalypse; others refer it to Babylon in Asia, and others still to Babylon in Egypt. The most natural supposition of all is that by Babylon is intended the old Babylon of Assyria, which was largely inhabited by Jews at the time in question.

Babel in Fausset's Bible Dictionary Babel (Hebrew) means Babylon; so that "the tower" should be designated "the tower of Babel." Capital of the country Shinar (Genesis), Chaldea (later Scriptures). The name as given by Nimrod (Genesis 10:10), the founder, means (Bab- il), "the gate of the god Il," or simply "of God." Afterward the name was attached to it in another sense (Providence having ordered it so that a name should be given originally, susceptible of another sense, signifying the subsequent divine judgment), Genesis 11:9; Babel from baalal, "to confound; .... because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth," in order to counteract their attempt by a central city and tower to defeat God's purpose of the several tribes of mankind being "scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth," and to constrain them, as no longer "understand one another's speech," to dispel The Talmud says, the site of tower of Babel is Borsippa, the Bits Nimrud, 7 1/2 miles from Hillah, and 11 from the northern ruins of Babylon. The French expedition found at Borsippa a clay cake, dated the 30th day of the 6th month of the 16th year of Nabonid. Borsippa (the Tongue Tower) was a suburb of Babylon, when the old Babel was restricted to the northern ruins. Nebuchadnezzar included it in the great circumvallation of 480 stadia. When the outer wall was destroyed by Darius Borsippa became independent of Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar's temple or tower of Nebo stood on the basement of the old tower of Babel. He says in the inscription, "the house of the earth's base (the basement substructure), the most ancient monument of Babylon I built and finished; I exalted its head with bricks covered with copper ... the house of the seven lights (the seven planets); a former king 42 ages ago built, but did not complete its head. Since a remote time people had abandoned it, without order expressing their words; the earthquake and thunder had split and dispersed its sun-dried clay." The substructure had a temple sacred to Sin, god of the mouth (Oppert). The substructure is 600 Babylonian ft. broad, 75 high; on it Nebuchadnezzar built seven other stages. God had infatuated His will that "the earth should be divided," the several tribes taking different routes, in the days of Peleg ("division"), born 100 years after the flood (Genesis 10:25; Genesis 10:32; Deuteronomy 32:8). Another object the Babel builders sought was to "make themselves a name"; self-relying pride setting up its own will against the will of God, and dreaming of ability to defeat God's purpose, was their snare. Also their "tower, whose top (pointed toward, or else reached) unto heaven," was designed as a self-deifying, God-defying boast. Compare Isaiah 14:13; God alone has the right to "make Himself a name" (Isaiah 63:12; Isaiah 63:14; Jeremiah 32:20). They desired to establish a grand central point of unity. They tacitly acknowledge they have lost the inward spiritual bond of unity, love to God uniting them in love to one another. They will make up for it by an outward forced unity; the true unity by loving obedience to God they might have had, though dispersed. Their tower toward heaven may have marked its religious dedication to the heavens (sabeanism, worship of the tsaba, the hosts of heaven), the first era in idolatry; as also the first effort after that universal united empire on earth which is to be realized not by man's ambition, but by the manifestation of Messiah, whose right the kingdom is (Ezekiel 21:27). "The Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded," i.e. (in condescension to human language), Jehovah took judicial cognizance of their act: their "go to, let us," etc. (Genesis 11:3-4), Jehovah with stern irony meets with His "Go to, let us," etc....

Babel in Hitchcock's Bible Names confusion; mixture

 

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