Nebuchadrezzar II, more often called Nebuchadnezzar audio2|En-us-Nebuchadnezzar.ogg (c 630-562 BC), was a ruler of
Babylonin the Chaldean Dynasty, who reigned c. 605 BC-562 BC. He is mentioned in the " Book of Daniel," and he constructed the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. He conquered Judah and Jerusalem.
He was traditionally called "Nebuchadnezzar the Great", but his destruction of temples in Jerusalem and the conquest of Judah caused his vilification in the Bible, ("Daniel" 1:1; Prophesied "Jeremiah" 25:11). In contemporary
Iraqand some other parts of the Middle East, he is glorified as a historic leader.
His name in Akkadian, Nabû-kudurri-uṣur, is usually (but mistakenly) interpreted as "O
Nabu, defend my " kudurru" -- Nabu being the Babylonian deity of wisdom who is the son of the god Marduk. A "kudurru" is an inscribed stone deed of property, a clay copy of which served as a boundary marker. In an inscription, he styles himself "Nabu's favourite". Contained in a ruler's title, " kudurru" approximates to "firstborn son" or "oldest son".Due to this, Nabû-kudurri-uṣur actually means "Oh God Nabu, preserve/defend my firstborn son".
The Hebrew form is נְבוּכַדְנֶצַּר ("Nəḇuḵadnəṣar" or simply "Nevuchadnetsar"), but can be also found as נְבוּכַדְנֶאצַּר and נְבוּכַדְרֶאצַּר ("Nəḇuḵadreṣar").
Nebuchadrezzar II was the second son and successor of
Nabopolassar, who delivered Nineveh from its dependence on Assyriaand laid Ninevehin ruins. According to Berossus, he married Amytis of Media, the daughter or granddaughter of Cyaxares, king of the Medes, and thus the Median and Babylonian dynasties were united. Nabopolassarwas intent on conquering from the pharaoh Necho II (who was still hoping to restore Assyrian power) the western provinces of Syria, and to this end dispatched his son with a powerful army westward. In the ensuing Battle of Carchemishin 605 BC, the Egyptian army was defeated and driven back, and Syria and Phoenicia were brought under the sway of Babylon. Nabopolassar died in August of that year, and Nebuchadrezzar returned home to Babylon to ascend to the throne.
After the defeat of the
Cimmeriansand Scythians, all of Nebuchadrezzar's expeditions were directed westwards, although a powerful neighbour lay to the North; the cause of this was that a wise political marriage with Amuhia, the daughter of the Median king, had ensured a lasting peace between the two empires.
Nebuchadrezzar engaged in several military campaigns designed to increase Babylonian influence in Syria and Judah. An attempted invasion of Egypt in 601 BC was met with setbacks, however, leading to numerous rebellions among the states of the Levant, including Judah. Nebuchadrezzar soon dealt with these rebellions, capturing Jerusalem in 597 BC deposing King
Jehoiakim, then in 587 BC due to rebellion, destroying both the city and the Temple and deporting many of the prominent citizens along with a sizable portion of the Jewish population of Judah to Babylon. These events are described in Nevi'imand Ketuvim, sections of Tanakh, and the Hebrew Bible. After the destruction of Jerusalem, Nebuchadrezzar engaged in a thirteen year long siege of Tyre (585-572 BC), which ended in a compromise, with the Tyrians accepting Babylonian authority.
It would appear that following the pacification of Tyre, Nebuchadrezzar turned again to Egypt. A
clay tablet, now in the British Museum, bears the following inscription referring to his wars:
Having completed the subjugation of Phoenicia, and inflicted chastisement on Egypt, Nebuchadrezzar now set himself to rebuild and adorn the city of Babylon, and constructed canals, aqueducts, temples and reservoirs.
Babylonian tradition has it that towards the end of his life, Nebuchadrezzar, inspired from on high, prophesied the impending ruin to the Chaldean Empire (
Berosusand Abydenusin Eusebius, "Praep. Evang.", 9.41). Nebuchadrezzar died in Babylon between the second and sixth months of the forty-third year of his reign.
Nebuchadrezzar seems to have prided himself on his constructions more than on his victories. During the last century of
Niniveh's existence, Babylon had been greatly devastated, not only at the hands of Sennacheriband Assurbanipal, but also as a result of her ever renewed rebellions. Nebuchadrezzar, continuing his father's work of reconstruction, aimed at making his capital one of the world's wonders. Old temples were restored; new edifices of incredible magnificence were erected to the many gods of the Babylonian pantheon ( Diodorus of Sicily, 2.95; Herodotus, 1.183) to complete the royal palace begun by Nabopolassar, nothing was spared, neither "cedar-wood, nor bronze, gold, silver, rare and precious stones"; an underground passage and a stone bridge connected the two parts of the city separated by the Euphrates; the city itself was rendered impregnable by the construction of a triple line of walls. The bridge across the Euphrates is of particular interest, in that it was supported on asphalt covered brick piers that were streamlined to reduce the upstream resistance to flow, and the downstream turbulence that would otherwise undermine the foundations. Nor was Nebuchadrezzar's activity confined to the capital; he is credited with the restoration of the Lake of Sippar, the opening of a port on the Persian Gulf, and the building of the Mede wallbetween the Tigris and the Euphrates to protect the country against incursions from the North. In fact, there is scarcely a place around Babylon where his name does not appear and where traces of his activity are not found. These gigantic undertakings required an innumerable host of workmen; from the inscription of the great temple of Marduk, we may infer that most probably captives brought from various parts of Western Asia made up a large part of the labouring force used in all his public works. Nebuchadrezzar made the hanging gardens for his wife Amyitis (or Amytis) to remind her of her homeland, Medis (or Media).cite conference| first =Karen Polinger| last =Foster| authorlink =| title =Gardens of Eden: Flora and Fauna in the Ancient Near East| booktitle =Transformations of Middle Eastern Natural Environments: Legacies and Lessons| pages =320-329| year=1998| publisher = Yale University| location = New Haven| url =http://environment.yale.edu/documents/downloads/0-9/103foster.pdf| accessdate =2007-08-11 ] She was the daughter (or granddaughter) of King Cyaxaresthe Mede.
Portrayal in the Books of Daniel and Jeremiah
Nebuchadnezzar is most widely known through his portrayal in the Bible, especially the
Book of Danielas נְבוּכַדְנֶאצַּר. This book discusses several events of his reign, in addition to his conquest of Jerusalem.
In the second year of his reign (evidently counting from his conquest of the Jews), Nebuchadnezzar dreams of a huge image made of various materials (gold, silver, bronze, iron, etc). The prophet
Danieltells him God's interpretation, that it stands for the rise and fall of world powers. ("Daniel" Chapter 2)
During another incident, Nebuchadnezzar erects a large idol for worship during a public ceremony on the plain of Dura. When three Jews, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah (respectively renamed
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednegoby their captors, to facilitate their assimilation into Babylonian culture), refuse to take part, he has them cast into a fiery furnace. They are protected by an angel [Daniel 3:25, KJV] , and emerge unscathed without even the smell of smoke. ("Daniel" Chapter 3)
Another dream, this time of an immense tree, is interpreted by Daniel the prophet. ("Daniel" Chapter 4)Chapter 4 is also written by Nebuchadrezzar (Nebuchadnezzar the king, unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you. I thought it good to shew the signs and wonders that the high God hath wrought toward me.) DAN4:1-2
While boasting over his achievements, Nebuchadrezzar is humbled by
God. The king loses his sanity and lives in the wild like an animal for seven years (by some considered as an attack of the madness called clinical boanthropyor alternately porphyria). After this, his sanity and position are restored and he praised and honored God.
A clay tablet in the British Museum (BM34113) describes Nebuchadnezzar's behaviour during his insanity: "His life appeared of no value to him... then he gives an entirely different order... he does not show love to son or daughter... family and clan does not exist. [Kendall K. Down, Daniel: Hostage in Babylon, p.30] There is also a notable absence of any record of acts or decrees by the king during 582 to 575 BC. [Gleason Archer, Vol 7 Expositor's Bible Commentary.]
Some scholars think that Nebuchadrezzar's portrayal by Daniel is a mixture of traditions about Nebuchadrezzar — he was indeed the one who conquered Jerusalem — and about
Nabonidus("Nabuna'id"). For example, Nabonidus was the natural, or paternal father of Belshazzar, and the seven years of insanity could be related to Nabonidus' sojourn in Taymain the desert. Evidence for this view was actually found on some fragments from the Dead Sea Scrollsthat reference Nabonidus (N-b-n-y) being smitten by God with a fever for seven years of his reign while his son Belshazzarwas regent.
Book of Jeremiah" contains a prophecy about the arising of a "destroyer of nations", commonly regarded as a reference to Nebuchadnezzar ("Jer." 4:7), as well as an account of Nebuchadnezzar's siege of Jerusalem and looting and destruction of the temple ("Jer." 52).
Named after Nebuchadnezzar
* There is a type of
daylilynamed "Nebuchadnezzar's Furnace".
* A bottle of champagne filled with the volume equivalent of 20 standard bottles (15 litres) is called a Nebuchadnezzar.
* In the popular "
The Matrix" film trilogy, the hovercraft captained by Morpheus is named the "Nebuchadnezzar".
* The opera "
Nabucco" by Giuseppe Verdi
Saddam Husseinnamed one of his Republican Guards divisions after Nebuchadnezzar.Fact|date=October 2007
* A Legend card in the "" card game is named Nebuchadnezzar.
VeggieTalescharacter Nebby K. Nezzer is a play off of Nebuchadnezzar.
* "Neb" in "
Castaways of the Flying Dutchman."
* The Time Traveler in
H. G. Wells' novel The Time Machineis said to have " Nebuchadnezzarphases"
* A Canadian heavy metal band is named "Nebucadnezzer"
Notes and references
* Chapter 23, "The Chaldaean Kings" in Georges Roux, "Ancient Iraq" (3rd ed.). London: Penguin Books, 1992. ISBN 0-14-012523-X
* [http://www.livius.org/cg-cm/chronicles/abc5/jerusalem.html "ABC" 5] : Chronicle Concerning the Early Years of Nebuchadnezzar
* [http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10666c.htm Nabuchodonosor] on the
* "Nos ancêtres de l'Antiquité", 1991,
Christian Settipani, p.
* [http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/10887 Inscription of Nabuchadnezzar. "Babylonian and Assyrian Literature"] - old translation
* [http://www.kchanson.com/ANCDOCS/meso/meso.html Nabuchadnezzar Ishtar gate Inscription]
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Look at other dictionaries:
Nebuchadrezzar I — Nebuchadrezzar I, more commonly known as Nebuchadnezzar I (Akkadian: Nabu kudurri usur , meaning Nebo, protect my eldest son or Nebo, protect the border ), was the king of the Babylonian Empire from about 1125 BC to 1103 BC. He is considered to… … Wikipedia
Nebuchadrezzar II — or Nebuchadnezzar born с 630 died с 561BC Second and greatest king of the Chaldean dynasty of Babylonia. He began his military career as an administrator (с 610 BC) and ascended the throne on his father s death, just after winning Syria from the… … Universalium
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Nebuchadrezzar I — ▪ king of Babylonia flourished 12th century BC most famous Babylonian king (reigned c. 1119–c. 1098 BC) of the 2nd dynasty of the Isin. In revenge for earlier humiliating conquests and defeats that the Elamites (Elam) had inflicted on … Universalium
NEBUCHADREZZAR I — (NABU KUDURRU USUR in babylonian; reigned 1126–1105 B.C.) Babylonian king of the Second Dynasty of Isin. He secured his place in the Babylonian historical tradition by a decisive victory over Elam, which had been a major threat to Babylonia… … Historical Dictionary of Mesopotamia
NEBUCHADREZZAR II — (NABU KUDURRU USUR in babylonian; reigned 605–562 B.C.) Babylonian king, son of Nabopolassar. Before his father’s death, he had managed to defeat the Egyptians at Charchemish. He went to Babylon to be crowned but quickly returned to Syria. He… … Historical Dictionary of Mesopotamia
Nebuchadrezzar — noun (Old Testament) king of Chaldea who captured and destroyed Jerusalem and exiled the Israelites to Babylonia (630? 562 BC) • Syn: ↑Nebuchadnezzar, ↑Nebuchadnezzar II, ↑Nebuchadrezzar II • Topics: ↑Old Testament • … Useful english dictionary
Nebuchadrezzar II — noun (Old Testament) king of Chaldea who captured and destroyed Jerusalem and exiled the Israelites to Babylonia (630? 562 BC) • Syn: ↑Nebuchadnezzar, ↑Nebuchadnezzar II, ↑Nebuchadrezzar • Topics: ↑Old Testament • Insta … Useful english dictionary
Nebuchadrezzar II — or Nebuchadnezzar biographical name circa 630 562 B.C. Chaldean king of Babylon (605 562) … New Collegiate Dictionary
Nebuchadrezzar — =Nebuchadnezzar (Jer. 21:2, 7; 22:25; 24:1, etc.), a nearer approach to the correct spelling of the word … Easton's Bible Dictionary