Ancient Babylonia - Nebuchadnezzar II


BAB9.gif Nebuchadnezzar II marched back to Babylon and was crowned king, which inaugurated one of the most powerful periods in Babylonian history. Nebuchadnezzar continued his brilliant campaigns focusing his military maneuvers on the west, which he effectively brought under his control. It was the kingdom of Judah who had called upon Egypt to assist them against the Babylonians. King Nebuchadnezzar continued his attacks and on his second conquest the conquered Jerusalem in 586 BC taking the survivors as prisoners back to Babylon. This was known in Jewish history has "the Babylonian captivity" and "the exile". After he destroyed Jerusalem, Nebuchadnezzar focused his attacks upon Egypt and he conquered it in 568 BC though there has been no detailed account of this invasion ever discovered, it remains a tremendous success for the king of Babylon and the first time any Chaldean king had ever conquered Egypt.

After Nebuchadnezzar's death his successors remained obscure until Nabonidus (555-539 BC), the last of the dynasty, ascended the throne. According to history Nabonidus, for some reason, lived throughout 10 of the 17 years that he ruled, at an Arab desert oasis called Tema, which was a vast distance from Babylon. In Babylon he left his son Belshazzar, to rule on his behalf. Nabonidus and his mother were from Harran and claimed to have been a loyal subject to the last of the Assyrian kings. Both he and his mother were zealous worshipers of the moon-god Sin, the tutelary deity of Harran, but when Nabonidus tried to promote this cult in Babylonia, the native priests, especially those who followed Marduk, became enraged. This religious controversy split Babylonia in two. Some of this literary propaganda of the time has been recovered.

Babylonian culture flourished during the pax Assyriaca of the 7th century BC and again under the Chaldean dynasty of the sixth century BC. Their god Nabu, son of Marduk and god of writing and learning became very popular throughout that period. The practice of astrology permeated the Babylonian society to the point that there were nightly watches by the astrologers throughout the kingdom. Archeologists have recently recovered massive detailed records of the movements of heavenly bodies. Literature was copied and studied and many new compositions were created. In art and architecture the most impressive remains that have been unearthed by archeologists are in Nebuchadnezzar's Babylon. The city apparently had not changed much when the Greek historian Herodotus wrote about it less than a century later and called its Hanging Gardens one of the 7 wonders of the world. In 539 BC Cyrus the Great of Persia conquered Babylon.

See Nebuchadnezzar's Babylon

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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Ancient Babylonia

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