(8) Nebuchadnezzar I. It was at this time that Nebuchadnezzar I. came to the Babylonian throne and made three wars against the Assyrians. In the last conflict he was defeated, and Tiglath Pileser I. of Assyria completed the conquest of Babylon, marching against Nebuchadnezzar's suc cessor, Marduk-nadin-ahi.
About this time the Jewish nation was rising in the west, but none of the surrounding nations were strong enough to oppose her, after David's defeat of Hadar-czer, King of Zobah. Babylon at this time and until about 730 B. C. was in a perpetual conflict with Assyria, which gradually weakened her power until the Assyrians were absolute masters.
(7) Merodach-Baladan. But Merodach-Bala dan, or Marduk-pal-iddina now began to reign and solicited aid from Hezekiah to oppose Sargon II. of Assyria. Hezekiah, however, did not support the Babylonian monarch, who was defeated to gether with Elamite allies. In 705 B. C. Sennac herib came to the Assyrian throne, who, it will be remembered, beseiged Hezekiah in Jerusalem and captured many of the cities of Judah, sending away 200,15o prisoners into captivity. Under this king and his son, Esar-haddon, B. C. 680, Assyria became complete master of Babylon.
(8) Nabopolassar. About 609 B. C., Nabu-pol usur (Nabopolassar) then king of Babylon made a league with Egypt and Media. After various conflicts they laid seige to Nineveh, captured it and completely sacked it. This was the end of the Assyrian dominion and Babylon again began to assert herself.
It was about this time that Josiah, king of Judah, made his courageous march against Egypt (2 Kings xxiii :29, 3o).
(9) Nebuchadnezzar the Great. In the fourth year of Jehoiakini (Jer. xlvi:2), Nabopolassar of Babylon sent his son Nebuchadnezzar against Egypt ; but news of his father's death brought him back to Babylon to receive the crown. He set at work the captive Jews, Syrians, and Egyptians to build huge walls and palaces. and to make Bahylon the greatest city in the world. Judaea and Phamicia now threw off his yoke. But he marched at once against Tyre and Jerusalem (2 Citron. xxxvi :6; 2 Kings xxiv:t-6). Jeltoiakini, king of Judah, re Iled (2 Kings xxiv :1), but Nebuchadnezzar con quered and bound him and established Jeconiah in his place (2 Chron. xxxvi :6), whom he shortly carried off to Babylon, leaving Zedekiall as king (2 Kings xxiv:11-17). After thirteen years' siege Tyre probably yielded to the iron-willed Nebu chadnezzar, as its downfall was prophesied by Jer. (xxvii:3-6; and Ezek. xxvi). Before this event took place, however. Jerusalem rebelled, relying on Egypt for help (Jer. xxxvii :5-1i;
Fack. xvii:15-2o). Nebuchadnezzar again be seiged Jerusalem (Jer. xxxvii :5), drove off the advancing Egyptians, and after two years took the city (Jer. hi :12). Zedekiab was captured, and after being deprived of his eyes, was carried to Babylon (Ezek. xii:13). Jerusalem was sacked, the temple destroyed and the greater part of the people deported ( Jer. hi :t2-3o; 2 Kings xxv :8 12).
It was this Nebuchadnezzar who threw the three Hebrew children, or youths, into the fiery furnace (Dan. iii;13-25), and who was so kind to the prophet Jeremiah. After having cast the three Hebrew children into the fiery furnace he had a dream in which he saw a vision that greatly troubled him. He called his astrologers and wise men, and asked them for an interpretation, which they were unable to give. Afterward Daniel was summoned into his presence, and was asked to declare the meaning and interpretation of the dream, which he did, showing the king that his dwelling should he with the beasts of the field, and that he should cat grass and be wet with the dew of heaven for seven years till he should know that the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever He will.' This occurred one year after it was prophesied by Daniel. After this he extolled and honored God (Dan. iv). He died after a reign of 43 years.
Under Nebuchadnezzar Babylon reached the summit of her greatness and splendor. She was now the capital of the civilized world, and into her lap flowed, either through conquest or com merce, the wealth of almost all known lands. Justly, therefore, might the prophets call her the great (Dan. iv:3o), the praise of the whole earth (Jer. li:41), the beauty of the Chaldees' excellency (Is. xiii:19), the lady of kingdoms (Is xlvii:5), but also the tender and delicate, and given to pleasures (Is. xlvii:1, 8). Indeed, these last epithets are gentle, in comparison with the real state of the case; [or, in consequence of the opulence and luxury of the inhabitants, the cor ruptness and licentiousness of manners and morals were carried to a frightful extreme. (See 41'ew Licht on the Rib. and Holy Land, Basil 'I'. A. Evetts.) (10) Nabonidus. Amil-Marduk (Evil-Mero dach of the Bible), followed his father, and ahout 556 B. C. Nabonidus came to the throne. lie was the last king of the Babylonian empire. llis son Belshazzar was master of the army ; and he has become confused by writers with his father Nabonidus, because it was natural for foreigners to think that, as master of the army, he was king.