| Nebuchadnezzar was a Chaldean
king who was born 630 BCE and
died in 562BCE. His father, Nabopolassar, was king before him and in 605
BCE sent him to Egypt where he defeated the Pharaoh Necho at Carchemish.
Necho occupied Syria and Palestine at the time. Because of Nebuchadnezzar’s
triumph over Necho he became the undisputed master of Western Asia.
But because of the sudden death of his father he had to return home to safeguard
his inheritance, thus allowing Necho to return to Egypt with some of his
army. Three years later in 601 BCE Necho defeats Nebuchadnezzar in
a battle which encouraged the Judaean revolt under Jehoiakim. But Jehoiakim
died shortly after the siege began and was succeeded by his son, Jehoiachin.
In March of 597 BCE Nebuchadnezzar crushed the Judaean revolt and carried
off Jehoiachin and many of his nobles to Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar then
placed Zedekiah, who was only Nebuchadnezzar’s puppet, on the throne of
Judaea. . A new revolt occurred (588-587
BC) in Judaea. After a siege of about a year, Jerusalem was finally destroyed
in 586 BC. Nebuchadnezzar was also a splendid builder, and Babylon with
its hanging gardens, which is one of the seven wonders of the ancient world,
was then the greatest city of its time. However, Babylon was shortly to fall
under conquest when Nabonidus was king. At the end of his reign, the book
of Daniel depicts him as a very conceited miser who goes insane and eats
grass. But we will never know… unless we build a time machine, but
other than that we will never know.