Merodach Baladan

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Merodach Baladan [1]

From the idol Merodach and Baladan ("Bel is his lord"). Read in the Assyrian inscriptions Mardoc Erapad, or Empalin Ptolemy's canon, Merodach Baldan in Polyhistor (Eusebius, Chron. Can. 1; 5:1). Reigned twice in Babylon with an interval between. Warred with Sargon and Sennacherib successively, having thrown off allegiance to them; so naturally drawn to Hezekiah who also had cast off the Assyrian yoke. Inquiry about the astronomical wonder, the recession of the dial shadow, was the pretext; an alliance between Egypt ( Isaiah 20:1; Isaiah 20:1-6), Babylon, and Judaea was the motive of the embassy ( 2 Chronicles 32:31). Hezekiah's display was to show his ability to support a war. G. Rawlinson (Hist. Illustr. Old Testament) thinks his embassy after Hezekiah's sickness, if in 713 B.C. as the Hebrew numbers make it (the 14th year of Hezekiah;  Isaiah 38:5;  2 Kings 18:13), was in his first reign (721-709 B.C.) contemporary with Sargon.

His second reign was in 703 B.C., lasting six months and followed by Belibus in 702 B.C. It is an undesigned coincidence confirming Scripture that precisely at the time that Babylon revolted, though before and afterwards subject to Assyria, it mentions Merodach Baladan. (See Babel; Babylon; Hezekiah.) Sargon in the inscriptions says that in the 12th year of his reign he drove Merodach Baladan from Babylon after ruling 12 years. Sennacherib says in his first year he drove him out (Merodach Baladan fleeing to Nagitiraggus, an island in the sea:  Isaiah 20:6) , setting up Belib. Merodach Baladan it seems headed the popular party in seeking national independence. Baladan was his ancestor; but his father according to the inscriptions was Yagin or Jugaeus in Ptolemy's canon.

His sons, supported by the king of Elam, continued the struggle against Assyria under Esarhaddon, Sennacherib's son, and his grandsons against Asshur-bani-pal, Esarhaddon's son. Inscriptions say that Merodach Baladan, having been conquered in battle by Sargon, and Babylonia having been ravaged, fled to "the islands at the mouth of the Euphrates." Belib put him to death (Polyhistor, Eusebius Chron. Can. 1:5). Hincks suggests reasonably that "Sennacherib" should be omitted after "king of Assyria" ( 2 Kings 18:13), Sargon reigning "in the 14th year of Hezekiah." Thus, Hezekiah's sickness and the embassy of Merodach Baladan would be at this time, in the first reign of Merodach Baladan.