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(nĕb'əkədnĕz`ər), d. 562 B.C., king of Babylonia (c.605–562 B.C.), son and successor of Nabopolassar. In his father's reign he was sent to oppose the Egyptians, who were occupying W Syria and Palestine. At Carchemish he met and defeated (605 B.C.) Pharaoh NechoNecho
, 609–593 B.C., king of ancient Egypt, 2d ruler of the XXVI dynasty, the son and successor of Psamtik and grandson of Necho, lord of Saïs. Necho took advantage of the confusion that followed the fall of Nineveh (612) to invade Palestine and Syria, both of which
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, thus becoming the undisputed master of Western Asia. The sudden death of his father caused Nebuchadnezzar to return home to safeguard his inheritance, permitting Necho to escape to Egypt with part of his army. Three years later (601 B.C.) Necho defeated Nebuchadnezzar in battle. This event may have encouraged the revolt of JudahJudah,
in the Bible, the southern of the two kingdoms remaining after the division of the kingdom of the Jews that occurred under Rehoboam. The northern kingdom, Israel, was continually at war with Judah.
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 under JehoiakimJehoiakim
, in the Bible, king of Judah, son of Josiah. On Josiah's death his son Jehoahaz became king. However, Pharaoh Neco II dethroned him and set up another of Josiah's sons, Eliakim, who took the name Jehoiakim.
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. Jehoiakim died shortly after the siege began and was succeeded by his son, Jehoiachin. In Mar., 597 B.C., Nebuchadnezzar crushed the revolt and carried off the young Jehoiachin and many of his nobles to Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar then placed the puppet king ZedekiahZedekiah
, in the Bible. 1 Last king of Judah. He was the third son of Josiah to occupy the throne, the others being Jehoahaz and Jehoiakim. Zedekiah, whose name was originally Mattaniah, succeeded Jehoiachin.
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 on the throne of Judah. A new revolt occurred (588–587 B.C.) in Judah. After a siege of about a year, Jerusalem was finally destroyed in 586 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar was a splendid builder, and BabylonBabylon
, ancient city of Mesopotamia. One of the most important cities of the ancient Middle East, it was on the Euphrates River and was north of the cities that flourished in S Mesopotamia in the 3d millennium B.C.
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 with its hanging gardens was then the greatest city of the ancient world. However, Babylon was shortly to fall under conquest when NabonidusNabonidus
, d. 538? B.C., last king of the Chaldaean dynasty of Babylonia. He was not of Nebuchadnezzar's family, and it is possible that he usurped the throne. He was absorbed in antiquarian and religious speculations, and he built temples while the state was left undefended.
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 was king. The book of Daniel depicts Nebuchadnezzar as a conceited and domineering king and tells of his going mad and eating grass. He is also called Nebuchadrezzar or Nebuchodonosor.


See G. R. Tabouis, Nebuchadnezzar (1977).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(Nabu-kudurri-usur). In Babylon:

Nebuchadnezzar I. King from 1124 to 1103 B.C.

Near the city of Der, Nebuchadnezzar I won a major victory over the Elamites, who had been carrying out raids on Babylon. Babylon flourished for a short time during his reign.

Nebuchadnezzar II. King from 605 to 562 B.C. Son of Nabopolassar.

Nebuchadnezzar II took command of Babylon’s army in 607. After ascending the throne in 605, he soundly defeated the Egyptians near Carchemish (Syria), capturing Syria and Palestine. In 601 he led his forces to the borders of Egypt, and in the ensuing battle both sides suffered heavy losses. In 599 he reorganized the army, and in 598 led a campaign into northern Arabia. In 597 he seized Jerusalem and took more than 3,000 Jewish captives. In 587 (or according to other sources, 586) he again seized and destroyed Jerusalem, which had revolted; he abolished the Kingdom of Judah, which he turned into a Babylonian province, and took more than 9,000 of the country’s inhabitants into captivity.

Babylon flourished economically and culturally during the reign of Nebuchadnezzar II. There was a good deal of construction (including, in particular, the Tower of Babel and the famous Hanging Gardens of Babylon), and strong fortifications were erected around the city.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


(d. 562 B.C.) subjugated Jews, initiating Babylonian captivity (597–5 B.C.). [O.T.: Daniel 1:1–2]


Babylonian king, plunders Jerusalem; carries people into exile. [O.T.: II Kings 24:10–16]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


, Nebuchadrezzar
Old Testament a king of Babylon, 605--562 bc, who conquered and destroyed Jerusalem and exiled the Jews to Babylon (II Kings 24--25)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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