Highlights of Nebuchadnezzar II
|Occupation||King of Babylon|
|Born||c. 634 BC in Babylon|
|Died||c. 562 BC in Babylon|
|Reign||c. 605 – 562 BC,|
|known for||Building Hanging Gardens of Babylon and conquering the Jews|
The greatest ruler of the Neo-Babylonian Empire was Nebuchadnezzar II. He is credited with rebuilding most of ancient Babylon and bringing it back to its former splendor. Additionally, he constructed the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World.
Around 634 BC, Nebuchadnezzar was born in the city of Babylon. The king of Babylon, Nabopolassar, was his father. Nebuchadnezzar was brought up as the country’s crown prince. He gained knowledge of the gods of Babylon, its laws, and army leadership and combat techniques.
When Nebuchadnezzar was born, the Assyrian Empire ruled over Babylon. But even as a little child, his father staged a rebellion against the Assyrians. In 612 BC, he joined forces with the Medes to combat the Assyrians who were sabotaging the city of Nineveh.
Entering a War
Nebuchadnezzar increased his responsibility as he became older. He rose to command his father’s army. He marched against the armies of Egypt and Assyria in 605 BC with a sizable army. At the Battle of Carchemish, where he defeated them, he faced forth against the last Middle Eastern opponent of the Babylonian Empire.
Becoming the King
While Nebuchadnezzar was out at war, his father passed away. He promptly took his crown and went back to Babylon. He had just taken over as emperor of Babylon.
Bringing back Babylon
Once his adversaries were vanquished, Nebuchadnezzar set about rebuilding Babylon. He renovated and reconstructed a lot of the gods’ temples. As one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the renowned Hanging Gardens of Babylon were built as part of a massive palace that he also constructed.
A massive double wall that encircled Babylon for 10 miles was another way that Nebuchadnezzar strengthened its defenses.
The Babylonian Empire’s sphere of influence and power grew under Nebuchadnezzar. He seized control of Jerusalem and led a large number of the Hebrews into exile in Babylon. He also subdued the Scythians and the Cimmerians.
Nebuchadnezzar II in the Bible
A significant figure in the Bible, particularly the Book of Daniel, was Nebuchadnezzar. When no one else can, he asks Daniel to interpret his dreams in the book. In a miraculous turn of events, he also tries to burn Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the blazing furnace for refusing to bow down to him.
The text explains how God humbles Nebuchadnezzar as punishment for boasting. He suffers from insanity for seven years while living like an animal.
Around 562 BC, Nebuchadnezzar passed away. His son Amel-Marduk took his place as successor.
Facts about Nebuchadnezzar II that are interesting:
The meaning of his name is “Oh god Nabu, protect my firstborn son.”
The Hanging Gardens may be a myth or they may have actually existed, according to archaeologists.
In order to forge an alliance with them, he married the king of Media’s daughter.
He allegedly constructed the Hanging Gardens for his wife, who was homesick.
Saddam Hussein, the former ruler of Iraq, believed that he was a reincarnation of Nebuchadnezzar.