Ancient Babylonia - Nabonidus Stele



Nabonidus Stele

Nabonidus was known to be the king on the throne at the time of the Medo-Persian conquest of Babylon. However, in 1854 archaeologist Sir Henry Rawlinson found an inscription, while excavating at ancient Ur, which stated that Nabonidus associated with him on his throne his eldest son, "Bel-shar-usur", and allowed him the royal title.

Nebuchadnezzar’s Successors

Nebuchadnezzar died in Babylon between the second and sixth month of the fortythird year of his reign. The succession after the death of Nebuchadnezzar in 562 BC was a muddled affair. His son Amel-Marduk (called Evil-Merodach in the Bible) ruled for only two years from 561 to 560 BC, and was succeeded by his brother-in-law, Nergal-shar-usur (Neriglissar) in 559 BC. He had married a daughter of Nebuchadnezzar and had been present at the destruction of Jerusalem. He ruled for three years (559-556 BC) and was succeeded by his young son, Labashi-Marduk, who was murdered in June 556 BC after only two months on the throne. The conspirators then selected a commoner called Nabonidus to be King of Babylon.

Nabonidus appears to have been mentally unstable. He went into a self imposed exile in the Oasis of Temâ in the Arabian desert and was absent from the City of Babylon for a period of seven to ten years. He made his oldest son, Belshazzar, the co-regent of Babylon and put him in charge of his officials and army. Nabonidus ignored the god Marduk and during his absence from Babylon he failed to observe the important religious new year festivals. He attempted to restore the primacy of a religion based on the worship of the moon god Sin and thus became very unpopular with the priests and court of Babylon.

According to the Bible (Daniel 5:1-4) and confirmed by the Greek historian, Herodotus, in October of 539 BC Belshazzar hosted a great feast inside Babylon, wining and dining a thousand exalted guests.

Babylonia Scroll

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




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


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


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


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


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



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