From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [1]

In the monuments Nabu-juduri-utsur, the middle syllable being the same as Kudur or Chedor-laomer. Explained by Gesenius "the prince favored by Nebo"; Oppert, "Nebo, Kadr ("power"), and Zar ("prince")"; Rawlinson, "Nebo his protector (participle from Naatsar "protect") against misfortune" ( Kidor "trouble".) His father Nabo-polassar having overthrown Nineveh, Babylon became supreme. Married his father's Median ally, Cyaxares' daughter, Amuhia, at the time of their alliance against Assyria 625 B.C. (Abydenus in Eusebius, Chronicles Can., i. 9). Possibly is the Labynetus (Herodotus i. 74) who led the Babylonian force under Cyaxares in his Lydian war and whose interposition at the eclipse (610 B.C.) concluded the campaign. Sent by Nabopolassar to punish Pharaoh Necho, the conqueror of Josiah at Megiddo. Defeated Necho at Carchemish (605 B.C.) and wrested from him all the territory from Euphrates to Egypt ( Jeremiah 46:2;  Jeremiah 46:12;  2 Kings 24:7) which he had held for three years, so that "he came not again any more out of his land."

Became master of Coelo-Syria, Phoenicia, and Palestine. Took Jerusalem in the third year of Jehoiakim, and "carried into the land of Shinar, to the house of his god (Merodach), part of the vessels of the house of God" ( Daniel 1:1-2;  2 Chronicles 36:6). Daniel and the three children of the royal seed were at that time taken to Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar mounted the throne 604 B.C., having rapidly re-crossed the desert with his light troops and reached Babylon before any disturbance could take place. He brought with him Jehovah's vessels and the Jewish captives. The fourth year of Jehoiakim coincided with the first of Nebuchadnezzar ( Jeremiah 25:1). In the earlier part of the (year Nebuchadnezzar smote Necho at Carchemish,  Jeremiah 46:2). The deportation from Jerusalem was shortly before, namely, in the end of Jehoiakim's third year; with it begins the Babylonian captivity, 605 B.C. ( Jeremiah 29:1-10). Jehoiakim after three years of vassalage revolted, in reliance on Egypt ( 2 Kings 24:1). Nebuchadnezzar sent bands of Chaldees, Syrians, Moabites, and Ammonites against him ( 2 Kings 24:2).

Next, Phoenicia revolted. Then in person Nebuchadnezzar marched against Tyre. In the seventh year of his reign he marched thence against Jerusalem; it surrendered, and Jehoiakim fell, probably in battle. Josephus says Nebuchadnezzar put him to death (Ant. 10:6 section 3). (See Jehoiakim .) Jehoiakim after a three months' reign was carried away to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar with the princes, warriors, and craftsmen, and the palace treasures, and Solomon's gold vessels cut in pieces, at his third advance against Jerusalem ( 2 Kings 24:8-16). Tyre fell 585 B.C., after a 13 years' siege. Meantime Zedekiah, Nebuchadnezzar's sworn vassal, in treaty with Pharaoh Hophra (Apries) revolted ( Ezekiel 17:15). Nebuchadnezzar besieged him 588-586 B.C., and in spite of a temporary raising of the siege through Hophra ( Jeremiah 37:5-8) took and destroyed Jerusalem after an 18 months' siege (2 Kings 25). Zedekiah's eyes were put out after he had seen his sons slain first at Riblah, where Nebuchadnezzar "gave judgment upon him," and was kept a prisoner in Babylon the rest of his life. (See Gedaliah ; Nebuzaradan; Jerusalem )

Phoenicia submitted to him (Ezekiel 26-28; Josephus, Ap. 1:21), and Egypt was punished ( Jeremiah 46:13-26;  Ezekiel 29:2-10, Josephus, Ant. 10:9, section 7). Nebuchadnezzar is most celebrated for his buildings: the temple of Bel Merodach at Babylon (the Kasr), built with his Syrian spoils (Josephus, Ant. 10:11, section 1); the fortifications of Babylon, three lines of walls 80 ft. broad, 300 ft. high, enclosing 130 square miles; a new palace near his father's which he finished in 15 days, attached to it were his "hanging gardens," a square 400 ft. on each side and 75 ft. high, supported on arched galleries increasing in height from the base to the summit; in these were chambers, one containing the engines for raising the water to the mound; immense stones imitated the surface of the Median mountain, to remind his wife of her native land. The standard inscription ("I Completely Made Strong The Defenses Of Babylon, May It Last Forever ... The City Which I Have Glorified," Etc.) accords with Berosus' statement, and nine-tenths of the bricks in situ are stamped with Nebuchadnezzar's name.

Daniel ( Daniel 4:30) also records his boast, "is not this great Babylon which I have built by the might of my power and for the honour of my majesty?" Sir H. Rawlinson (Inscr. Assyr. and Babyl., 76-77) states that the bricks of 100 different towns about Bagdad all bear the one inscription, "Nebuchadnezzar, son of Nabopolassar, king of Babylon." Abydenus states Nebuchadnezzar made the Nahr Malcha , "royal river," a branch from the Euphrates, and the Acracanus; also the reservoir above the city Sippara, 90 miles round and 120 ft. deep, with sluices to irrigate the low land; also a quay on the Persian gulf, and the city Teredon on the Arabian border. The network of irrigation by canals between the Tigris and Euphrates, and on the right bank of the Euphrates to the stony desert, was his work; also the canal still traceable from Hit at the Euphrates, framing 400 miles S.E. to the bay of Grane in the Persian gulf. His system of irrigation made Babylonia a garden, enriching at once the people and himself.

The long list of various officers in  Daniel 3:1-3;  Daniel 3:27, also of diviners forming a hierarchy ( Daniel 2:48), shows the extent of the organization of the empire, so that the emblem of so vast a polity is "a tree ... the height reaching unto heaven, and the sight to the end of all the earth ... in which was meat for all, under which the beasts ... had shadow and the fowls dwelt in the boughs and all flesh was fed of it" ( Daniel 4:10-12). In  Daniel 2:37 he is called "king of kings," i.e. of the various kingdoms wheresoever he turned his arms, Egypt, Nineveh, Arabia, Phoenicia, Tyre. Isaiah's patriotism was shown in counseling resistance to Assyria; Jeremiah's (Jeremiah 27) in urging submission to Babylon as the only safety; for God promised Judah's deliverance from the former, but "gave all the lands into Nebuchadnezzar's hands, and the beasts of the field also, to serve him and his son and his son's son."

The kingdom originally given to Adam ( Genesis 1:28;  Genesis 2:19-20), forfeited by sin, God temporarily delegated to Nebuchadnezzar, the "head of gold," the first of the four great world powers (Daniel 2 and Daniel 7). As Nebuchadnezzar and the other three abused the trust, for self not, for God, the Son of Man, the Fifth, to whom of right it belongs, shall wrest it from them and restore to man his lost inheritance, ruling with the saints for God's glory and man's blessedness ( Psalms 8:4-6;  Revelation 11:15-18;  Daniel 2:34-35;  Daniel 2:44-45;  Daniel 7:13-27). Nebuchadnezzar was punished with the form of insanity called Lycanthropy (Fancying Himself To Be A Beast And Living In Their Haunts) for pride generated by his great conquest and buildings (Daniel 4). When man would be as God, like Adam and Nebuchadnezzar he sinks from lordship over creation to the brute level and loses his true manhood, which is likeness to God ( Genesis 1:27;  Genesis 2:19;  Genesis 3:5;  Psalms 49:6;  Psalms 49:10-12;  Psalms 82:6-7); a key to the symbolism which represents the mighty world kingdoms as "beasts" (Daniel 7).

Angel "watchers" demand that every mortal be humbled whosoever would obscure God's glory. Abydenus (268 B.C.) states: "Nebuchadnezzar having ascended upon his palace roof predicted the Persian conquest of Babylon (Which He Knew From  Daniel 2:39 ) , praying that the conqueror might be borne where there is no path of men and where the wild beasts graze"; a corruption of the true story and confirming it. The panorama of the world's glory that overcame Nebuchadnezzar through the lust of the eye, as he stood on his palace roof, Satan tried upon Jesus in vain ( Matthew 4:8-10). In the standard inscription Nebuchadnezzar says, "for four years in Babylon buildings for the honour of my kingdom I did not lay out. In the worship of Merodach my lord I did not sing his praises, I did not furnish his altar with victims, nor clear out the canals" (Rawlinson, Herodotus, ii. 586). It was "while the word was in the king's mouth there fell a voice from heaven ... thy kingdom is departed from thee" (compare Herod,  Acts 12:19-20).

His nobles cooperated in his being "driven from men" ( Daniel 4:33); these same "counselors and lords sought unto him," weary of anarchy after the "seven times," i.e. a complete sacred cycle of time, a week of years, had passed over him, and with the glimmer of reason left he "lifted up his eyes unto heaven," instead of beast like turning his eyes downward (compare  Jonah 2:1-2;  Jonah 2:4), and turned to Him that smote him ( Isaiah 9:13), and "honoured Him" whom before he had robbed of His due honour.  Psalms 116:12;  Psalms 116:14;  Mark 5:15;  Mark 5:18-19; compare on the spiritual lesson  Job 33:17-18;  1 Samuel 2:8;  Proverbs 16:18. Messiah's kingdom alone will be the "tree" under whose shadow all nations, and even the dumb creatures, shall dwell in blissful harmony ( Ezekiel 17:23;  Matthew 13:32;  Isaiah 11:6-9). Nitocris was probably his second queen, an Egyptian (For This Ancient Name Was Revived About This Time, As The Egyptian Monuments Prove) , for he lived 60 years after his marriage to his first queen Amuhia (625 B.C.).

Herodotus ascribes to Nitocris many of the works assigned by Berosus to Nebuchadnezzar. On his recovery, according to the standard inscription, which confirms Scripture, he added "wonders" in old age to those of his earlier reign. He died 561 B.C., 83 or 84 years old, after reigning 43 years. Devotion to the gods, especially Bel Merodach, from whom he named his son and successor Evil Merodach, and the desire to rest his fame on his great works and the arts of peace rather than his warlike deeds, are his favorable characteristics in the monuments. Pride, violence and fury, and cruel sternness, were Nebuchadnezzar's faults ( Daniel 2:12;  Daniel 3:19;  2 Kings 25:7;  2 Kings 24:8). Not to Daniel but to Nebuchadnezzar, the first representative head of the world power who overcame the theocracy, the dreams were given announcing its doom.

The dream was the appropriate form for one outside the kingdom of God, as Nebuchadnezzar and Pharaoh (Genesis 41). But an Israelite must interpret it; and Nebuchadnezzar worshipped Daniel, an earnest of the future prostration of the world power before Christ and the church ( Revelation 3:9;  1 Corinthians 14:25;  Philippians 2:10;  1 Corinthians 6:2;  Luke 19:17). The image set up by Nebuchadnezzar represented himself the head of the first world power, of whom Daniel had said "thou art this head of gold." Daniel was regarded by Nebuchadnezzar as divine, and so was not asked to worship it ( Daniel 2:46). The 60 cubits' height includes together the image, 27 cubits (40 1/2 ft.), and the pedestal, 33 cubits (50 ft.). Herodotus, i. 183, similarly mentions Belus' image in the temple at Babylon as 40 ft. high. Oppert found in the Dura (Dowair) plain the pedestal of what must have been a colossal statue. Nebuchadnezzar is the forerunner of antichrist, to whose "image" whosoever will not offer worship shall be killed ( Revelation 13:14).

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [2]

Called in Jeremiah Nebuchadnezzar, the son and successor of Nabopolassar, succeeded to the kingdom of Chaldea about 600 B. C. He had been some time before associated in the kingdom, and sent to recover Carchemish, which had been wrested from the empire by Necho king of Egypt. Having been successful, he marched against the governor of Phoenicia, and Jehoiakim king of Judah, tributary of Necho king of Egypt. He took Jehoiakim, and put him in chains to carry him captive to Babylon; but afterwards he left him in Judea, on condition of his paying a large annual tribute. He took away several persons from Jerusalem; among others, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, all of the royal family, whom the king of Babylon caused to be carefully educated in the language and learning of the Chaldeans, that they might be employed at court,  2 Kings 24:1   2 Chronicles 36:6   Daniel 1:1 .

Nabopolassar dying, Nebuchadnezzar, who was then either in Egypt or in Judea, hastened to Babylon, leaving to his generals the care of bringing to Chaldea the captives taken in Syria, Judea, Phoenicia, and Egypt; for according to Berosus, he had subdued all these countries. He distributed these captives into several colonies, and in the temple of Belus he deposited the sacred vessels of the temple of Jerusalem, and other rich spoils. Jehoiakim king of Judah continued three years in fealty to Nebuchadnezzar, and then revolted; but after three or four years, he was besieged and taken in Jerusalem, put to death, and his body thrown to the birds of the air according to the predictions of Jeremiah,  Jeremiah 22:1-30 .

His successor, Jehoiachin, or Jeconiah, king of Judah, having revolted against Nebuchadnezzar, was besieged in Jerusalem, forced to surrender, and taken, with his chief officers, captive to Babylon; also his mother, his wives, and the best workmen of Jerusalem, to the number of ten thousand men. Among the captives were Mordecai, the uncle of Esther, and Ezekiel the prophet,  Esther 2:6 . Nebuchadnezzar also took all the vessels of gold, which Solomon made for the temple and the king's treasury, and set up Mattaniah, Jeconiah's uncle by the father's side, whom he named Zedekiah. Zedekiah continued faithful to Nebuchadnezzar nine years, at the end of which time he rebelled, and confederated with the neighboring princes. The king of Babylon came into Judea, reduced the chief places of the country, and besieged Jerusalem; but Pharaoh Hophra coming out of Egypt to assist Zedekiah, Nebuchadnezzar went to meet him, and forced him to retire to his own country. This done, he resumed the siege of Jerusalem, and was three hundred and ninety days before the place. In the eleventh year of Zedekiah, B. C. 588, the city was taken and Zedekiah, being seized, was brought to Nebuchadnezzar, who was then at Riblah in Syria. The king of Babylon condemned him to die, caused his children to be put to death in his presence, and then bored out his eyes, loaded him with chains, and sent him to Babylon,  2 Kings 24:1-25:30   2 Chronicles 36:1-23 .

During the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, the city of Babylon and the kingdom of Babylonia attained their highest pitch of splendor. He took great pains in adorning Babylon; and this was one great object of his pride. "Is not this," said he, "great Babylon that I have built for the house of my kingdom, by the might of my power, and for the honor of my majesty?" But God vanquished his pride, and he was reduced for a time to the condition of a brute, according to the predictions of Daniel. See  Daniel 1.1-4.37 . An inscription found among the ruins on the Tigris, and now in the East India House at London, gives an account of the various works of Nebuchadnezzar at Babylon and Borsippa. Abruptly breaking off, the record says the king's heart was hardened against the Chaldee astrologers. "He would grant no benefactions for religious purposes. He intermitted the worship of Merodach, and put an end to the sacrifice of victims. He labored under the effects of enchantment." Nebuchadnezzar is supposed to have died B. C. 562, after a reign of about forty years.

One of the famous structures ascribed to Nebuchadnezzar, and in which no doubt he took much pride, was the famous "hanging gardens," which he is said to have erected to gratify the wish of his queen Amytis for elevated groves such as she was accustomed to in her native Media. This could only be done in a country so level as Babylonia, by constructing an artificial mountain; and accordingly the king caused on e to be made, four hundred feet square and over three hundred feet high. The successive terraces were supported on ranges of regular piers, covered by large stones, on which were placed thick layers of matting and of bitumen and two courses of stones, which were again covered, with a solid coating of lead. On such a platform another similar, but smaller, was built, etc. The various terraces were then covered with earth, and furnished with trees, shrubbery, and flowers. The whole was watered from the Euphrates, which flowed at its base, by machinery within the mound. These gardens occupied but a small portion of the prodigious area of the palace, the wall inclosing the whole being six miles in circumference. Within this were two other walls and a great tower, besides the palace buildings, courts, gardens, etc. Al the gates were of brass, which agrees with the language used by Isaiah in predicting the capture of Babylon by Cyrus,  Isaiah 45:25 . The ruins of the hanging gardens are believed to be found in the vast irregular mound called Kasr, on the East Side of the Euphrates, eight hundred yards by six hundred at its base. The bricks taken from this mound are of fine quality, and are all stamped with the name of Nebuchadnezzar.

Another labor of this monarch was that the ruins of which are now called Birs, Nimroud, about eight miles southwest of the above structure. See Babel . The researches of Sir Henry Rawlinson have shown that this was built by Nebuchadnezzar, on the platform of a ruinous edifice of more ancient days. It consisted of six distinct terraces, each twenty feet high, and forty-two feet less horizontally than the one below it. On the top was the sanctum and observatory of the temple, now a vitrified mass. Each story was dedicated to a different planet, and stained with the color appropriated to that planet in their astrological system. The lowest, in honor of Saturn, was black; that of Jupiter was orange; that of Mars red, that of the sun yellow, that of Venus green, and that of Mercury blue. The temple was white, probably for the moon. In the corners of this longruined edifice, recently explored were found cylinders with arrowhead inscriptions, in the name of Nebuchadnezzar, which inform us that the building was named "The Stages of the Seven Spheres of Borsippa;" that it had been in a dilapidated condition; and that, moved by Merodach his god, he had reconstructed it with bricks enriched with lapis lazuli, "without changing its site or destroying its foundation platform." This restoration is also stated to have taken place five hundred and four years after its first erection in that form by Tiglath Pileser I., 1100 B. C. If not actually on the site of the tower of Babel mentioned in the Bible, and the temple of Belus described by Herodotus, this building would seem to have been erected on the same general plan. Every brick yet taken from it bears the impress of Nebuchadnezzar. Borsippa would seem to have been a suburb of ancient Babylon.

Smith's Bible Dictionary [3]

Nebuchadnez'zar. (May Nebo Protect The Crown). Nebuchadnezzar was the greatest and most powerful of the Babylonian kings. His name is explained to mean, "Nebo Is The Protector Against Misfortune". He was the son and successor of Nabopolassar, the founder of the Babylonian empire. In the lifetime of his father, Nebuchadnezzar led an army against Pharaoh-necho, king of Egypt, defeated him at Carchemish, B.C. 605, in a great battle,  Jeremiah 46:2-12, recovered Coele-Syria, Phoenicia and Palestine, took Jerusalem,  Daniel 1:1-2, pressed forward to Egypt, and was engaged in that country, or upon its borders, when intelligence arrived, which recalled him hastily to Babylon.

Nabopolassar, after reigning twenty-one years, had died and the throne was vacant. In alarm about the succession, Nebuchadnezzar returned to the capital, accompanied only by his light troops; and crossing the desert, probably, by way of Tadmor or Palmyra, reached Babylon, before any disturbance had arisen, and entered peaceably on his kingdom, B.C. 604.

Within three years of Nebuchadnezzar's first expedition into Syria and Palestine, disaffection again showed itself in those countries. Jehoiakim, who, although threatened at first with captivity,  2 Chronicles 36:6, had been finally maintained on the throne, as a Babylonian vassal, after three years of service, "turned and rebelled," against his suzerain , probably trusting, to be supported by Egypt.  2 Kings 24:1.

Not long afterward, Phoenicia seems to have broken into revolt, and the Chaldean monarch once more took the field in person, and marched first of all, against Tyre. Having invested that city, and left a portion of his army there to continue the siege, he proceeded against Jerusalem, which submitted without a struggle.

According to Josephus, who is here our chief authority, Nebuchadnezzar punished Jehoiakim with death, compare  Jeremiah 23:18-19 and  Jeremiah 36:30, but placed his son, Jehoiachin, upon the throne. Jehoiachin reigned only three months; for, on his showing symptoms of disaffection, Nebuchadnezzar came up against Jerusalem for the third time, deposed the son's prince, whom he carried to Babylon, together with a large portion of the population of the city, and the chief of the Temple treasures, and made his uncle, Zedekiah, king in his room.

Tyre still held out; and it was not till the thirteenth year, from the time of its first investment, that the city of merchants fell, B.C. 585. Ere this happened, Jerusalem had been totally destroyed. Nebuchadnezzar had commenced the final siege of Jerusalem, in the ninth year of Zedekiah - his own seventeenth year, (B.C. 588) - and took it two years later, B.C. 586.

Zedekiah escaped from the city, but was captured near Jericho,  Jeremiah 39:5, and brought to Nebuchadnezzar at Riblah, in the territory of Hamath, where his eyes were put out by the king's order, while his sons and his chief nobles were slain. Nebuchadnezzar then returned to Babylon with Zedekiah, whom he imprisoned for the remainder of his life.

The military successes of Nebuchadnezzar cannot be traced minutely beyond this point. It may be gathered from the prophetical Scriptures, and from Josephus, that the conquest of Jerusalem was rapidly followed by the fall of Tyre, and the complete submission of Phoenicia, Ezekiel 26-28, after which the Babylonians carried their arms into Egypt, and inflicted severe injuries on that fertile country.  Jeremiah 46:13-26;  Ezekiel 23:2-20.

We are told that the first care of Nebuchadnezzar, on obtaining quiet possession of his kingdom, after the first Syrian expedition, was to rebuild the temple of Bel, ( Bel-Merodach ), at Babylon, out of the spoils of the Syrian war. The next, proceeded to strengthen and beautify the city, which he renovated throughout and surrounded, with several lines of fortifications, himself adding one entirely new quarter.

Having finished the walls and adorned the gates magnificently, he constructed a new palace. In the grounds of this palace, he formed the celebrated "hanging garden," which the Greeks placed among the seven wonders of the world.

But he did not confine his efforts to the ornamentation and improvement of his capital. Throughout the empire at Borsippa, Sippara, Cutha, Chilmad, Duraba, Teredon, and a multitude of other places, he built or rebuilt cities, repaired temples, constructed quays, reservoirs, canals and aqueducts, on a scale of grandeur and magnificence surpassing everything of the kind recorded in history unless it be the constructions of one or two of the greatest Egyptian monarchs.

The wealth, greatness and general prosperity of Nebuchadnezzar are strikingly placed before us in the book of Daniel. Toward the close of his reign, the glory of Nebuchadnezzar suffered a temporary eclipse. As a punishment for his pride and vanity, that strange form of madness was sent upon him , which the Greeks called Lycanthropy , wherein, the sufferer imagines himself a beast, and, quitting the haunts of men, insists on leading the life of a beast.  Daniel 4:33.

(This strange malady is thought by some to receive illustration from an inscription; and historians place, at this period, the reign of a queen, to whom are ascribed the works, which, by others, are declared to be Nebuchadnezzar's. Probably, his favorite wife was practically at the head of affairs, during the malady of her husband. Other historians, Eusebius and Berosus also confirm the account. See Rawlinson'S "Historical Illustrations." - Editor).

After an interval of four, or perhaps seven years,  Daniel 4:16, Nebuchadnezzar's malady left him. We are told that, "his reason returned, and for the glory of his kingdom, his honor and brightness returned;" and he "was established in his kingdom, and excellent majesty was added to him."  Daniel 4:36. He died in the year B.C. 561, at an advanced age, (eighty-three or eighty-four), having reigned forty-three years. A son, Evilmerodach , succeeded him.

Easton's Bible Dictionary [4]

Necho II., the king of Egypt, gained a victory over the Assyrians at Carchemish. (See Josiah; Megiddo .) This secured to Egypt the possession of the Syrian provinces of Assyria, including Palestine. The remaining provinces of the Assyrian empire were divided between Babylonia and Media. But Nabopolassar was ambitious of reconquering from Necho the western provinces of Syria, and for this purpose he sent his son with a powerful army westward ( Daniel 1:1 ). The Egyptians met him at Carchemish, where a furious battle was fought, resulting in the complete rout of the Egyptians, who were driven back ( Jeremiah 46:2-12 ), and Syria and Phoenicia brought under the sway of Babylon (B.C. 606). From that time "the king of Egypt came not again any more out of his land" ( 2 Kings 24:7 ). Nebuchadnezzar also subdued the whole of Palestine, and took Jerusalem, carrying away captive a great multitude of the Jews, among whom were Daniel and his companions ( Daniel 1:1,2;  Jeremiah 27:19;  40:1 ).

Three years after this, Jehoiakim, who had reigned in Jerusalem as a Babylonian vassal, rebelled against the oppressor, trusting to help from Egypt ( 2 Kings 24:1 ). This led Nebuchadnezzar to march an army again to the conquest of Jerusalem, which at once yielded to him (B.C. 598). A third time he came against it, and deposed Jehoiachin, whom he carried into Babylon, with a large portion of the population of the city, and the sacred vessels of the temple, placing Zedekiah on the throne of Judah in his stead. He also, heedless of the warnings of the prophet, entered into an alliance with Egypt, and rebelled against Babylon. This brought about the final siege of the city, which was at length taken and utterly destroyed (B.C. 586). Zedekiah was taken captive, and had his eyes put out by order of the king of Babylon, who made him a prisoner for the remainder of his life.

An onyx cameo, now in the museum of Florence, bears on it an arrow-headed inscription, which is certainly ancient and genuine. The helmeted profile is said (Schrader) to be genuine also, but it is more probable that it is the portrait of a usurper in the time of Darius (Hystaspes), called Nidinta-Bel, who took the name of "Nebuchadrezzar." The inscription has been thus translated:, "In honour of Merodach, his lord, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, in his lifetime had this made."

A clay tablet, now in the British Museum, bears the following inscription, the only one as yet found which refers to his wars: "In the thirty-seventh year of Nebuchadnezzar, king of the country of Babylon, he went to Egypt [Misr] to make war. Amasis, king of Egypt, collected [his army], and marched and spread abroad." Thus were fulfilled the words of the prophet ( Jeremiah 46:13-26;  Ezekiel 29:2-20 ). Having completed the subjugation of Phoenicia, and inflicted chastisement on Egypt, Nebuchadnezzar now set himself to rebuild and adorn the city of Babylon ( Daniel 4:30 ), and to add to the greatness and prosperity of his kingdom by constructing canals and aqueducts and reservoirs surpassing in grandeur and magnificence everything of the kind mentioned in history ( Daniel 2:37 ). He is represented as a "king of kings," ruling over a vast kingdom of many provinces, with a long list of officers and rulers under him, "princes, governors, captains," etc. (3:2,3,27). He may, indeed, be said to have created the mighty empire over which he ruled.

"Modern research has shown that Nebuchadnezzar was the greatest monarch that Babylon, or perhaps the East generally, ever produced. He must have possessed an enormous command of human labour, nine-tenths of Babylon itself, and nineteen-twentieths of all the other ruins that in almost countless profusion cover the land, are composed of bricks stamped with his name. He appears to have built or restored almost every city and temple in the whole country. His inscriptions give an elaborate account of the immense works which he constructed in and about Babylon itself, abundantly illustrating the boast, 'Is not this great Babylon which I have build?'" Rawlinson, Hist. Illustrations.

After the incident of the "burning fiery furnace" ( Daniel 3 ) into which the three Hebrew confessors were cast, Nebuchadnezzar was afflicted with some peculiar mental aberration as a punishment for his pride and vanity, probably the form of madness known as lycanthropy (i.e, "the change of a man into a wolf"). A remarkable confirmation of the Scripture narrative is afforded by the recent discovery of a bronze door-step, which bears an inscription to the effect that it was presented by Nebuchadnezzar to the great temple at Borsippa as a votive offering on account of his recovery from a terrible illness. (See Daniel .)

He survived his recovery for some years, and died B.C. 562, in the eighty-third or eighty-fourth year of his age, after a reign of forty-three years, and was succeeded by his son Evil-merodach, who, after a reign of two years, was succeeded by Neriglissar (559-555), who was succeeded by Nabonadius (555-538), at the close of whose reign (less than a quarter of a century after the death of Nebuchadnezzar) Babylon fell under Cyrus at the head of the combined armies of Media and Persia.

"I have examined," says Sir H. Rawlinson, "the bricks belonging perhaps to a hundred different towns and cities in the neighbourhood of Baghdad, and I never found any other legend than that of Nebuchadnezzar, son of Nabopolassar, king of Babylon." Nine-tenths of all the bricks amid the ruins of Babylon are stamped with his name.

People's Dictionary of the Bible [5]

Nebuchadnezzar ( Nĕb'U-Kad-Nĕz'Zar ), May Nebo Protect The Crown or, more correctly, Nebuchadrezzar, the son and successor of Nabopolassar, the founder of the Babylonish monarchy, was the most illustrious of these kings.  2 Kings 24:1; Dan. chaps. 1-4 We know of him through the book of Daniel. In the Berlin Museum there is a black cameo with his head upon it, cut by his order, with the inscription: "In honor of Merodach, his lord, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, in bis lifetime had this made." Nebuchadnezzar was intrusted by his father with repelling Pharaoh-necho, and succeeded in defeating him at Carchemish, on the Euphrates, b.c. 605,  Jeremiah 46:2, taking Jerusalem and carrying off a portion of the inhabitants as prisoners, including Daniel and his companions.  Daniel 1:1-4. Having learned that his father had died, Nebuchadnezzar hastened back to Babylon. Thus the remark, "In his days Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, came up, and Jehoiakim became his servant three years,"  2 Kings 24:1, is easily explained. The title is given by anticipation, and the "three years" are to be reckoned from 605 to 603 inclusive. The rebellion of Jehoiakim, entered upon, probably, because Nebuchadnezzar was carrying on wars in other parts of Asia, took place b.c. 602, and was punished by the irruption of Chaldæans, Syrians, Moabites, and Ammonites, incited, perhaps, by Nebuchadnezzar, who, as soon as possible, sent his troops against Jerusalem, and had him taken prisoner, but ultimately released him.  2 Kings 24:2. After his death his son Jehoiachin reigned, and against him Nebuchadnezzar, for the third time, invaded Palestine and besieged Jerusalem, and all the principal inhabitants were carried to Babylon.  2 Kings 24:12-16. Mattaniah, whose name was changed to Zedekiah, after a reign of nearly ten years, rebelled, and was punished by Nebuchadnezzar, who went up against Jerusalem and reduced the city to the horrors of famine before taking it. Zedekiah's two sons were killed before his eyes, and then his eyes put out, and he, as a captive, was carried to Babylon, b.c. 588.  2 Kings 25:7. On Nebuchadnezzar's order, Jeremiah was kindly treated.  Jeremiah 39:11-14. The words, "The king spake and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of my kingdom, by the might of my power, and for the honor of my majesty?"  Daniel 4:30, are proved to be characteristic by those on an inscription: "I say it, I have built the great house which is the centre of Babylon for the seat of my rule in Babylon." of the king's madness there is, of course, no direct mention. There is an inscription which is read by Sir H. Rawlinson in a manner which finds its readiest explanation in the fact stated in  Daniel 4:33 : "For four years the residence of my kingdom did not delight my heart: in no one of my possessions did I erect any important building by my might. I did not put up buildings in Babylon for myself and for the honor of my name. In the worship of Merodach, my god, I did not sing his praise, nor did I provide his altar with sacrifices, nor clean the canals." Nebuchadnezzar is denominated "king of kings" by  Daniel 2:37, and ruler of a "kingdom with power and strength and glory." He built the hanging-gardens of Babylon on a large and artificial mound, terraced up to look like a hill. This great work was called by the ancients one of the seven wonders of the world. An idea of the extent of this monarch's building enterprises may be drawn from the fact that nine-tenths of the bricks found amongst the ruins of the ancient capital are inscribed with his name. He is said to have worshipped the "King of heaven,"  Daniel 4:37, but it may be questioned whether he did not conceive of the Jehovah of the Hebrews to be only one of many gods. He died about b.c. 561, after a reign of 44 years.

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary [6]

Towards the end of the seventh century BC, the ancient nation Babylon rose again to international prominence, largely through the new dynasty that had been established by Nabopolassar. The greatest king of this dynasty was Nabopolassar’s son and successor, Nebuchadnezzar (or Nebuchadrezzar).

Nebuchadnezzar became king soon after he led Babylonian forces to victory over Egypt at the Battle of Carchemish in 605 BC ( 2 Kings 24:7;  Jeremiah 46:2). One outcome of this was that Judah fell under Babylonian power. After a series of Babylonian attacks over several years, Jerusalem was finally destroyed and its people taken captive to Babylon (587 BC). Nebuchadnezzar was the Babylonian king throughout this time, and the books of 2 Kings, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel mention him by name repeatedly. (For details of his dealings with Judah and his military successes among the nations of the region see Babylon .)

Through his contact with Jews at his court in Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar learnt about the Jews’ God, Yahweh. Upon seeing how this God revealed mysteries and miraculously saved people from death, he concluded that Yahweh must have been the greatest of all the gods ( Daniel 2:47;  Daniel 3:29). However, he was a proud man, whose empire-building achievements led him to believe that he could ignore God and take no notice of the warnings given him by God’s messenger Daniel. The result was that God punished Nebuchadnezzar with a disease of temporary madness, till he learnt that God was the sovereign ruler over the kingdoms of the world ( Daniel 4:27-33).

The Bible gives no clear indication whether Nebuchadnezzar’s acknowledgment of the sovereign rule of God had any lasting effect on his behaviour. Babylon proved to be an arrogant nation, and God’s prophet saw all its pride and evil embodied in its king ( Isaiah 14:4-11). There is no certainty that the prophet had Nebuchadnezzar or any other king specifically in mind, but his warning has a timeless relevance. Those who ambitiously desire the highest place, the greatest honour and supreme power are in danger of being brought down to the lowest place, the greatest shame and complete weakness ( Isaiah 14:12-20).

Nebuchadnezzar was undoubtedly the greatest king of this period of Babylonian supremacy. He reigned more than forty years and died in 562 BC. He was succeeded by his son Evil-merodach ( Jeremiah 52:31).

Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary [7]

King of Babylon. We have much said in Scripture concerning this monarch, in the book of Daniel. His name is formed from several words not of Hebrew, but of the Chaldean. The idol name of Nebo forms apart in it, for the Babylonians were much disposed to this. Various have been the opinions of men concerning the wonderful change wrought upon Nebuchadnezzar, as related  Daniel 4:28; Dan 4:33; but, after all that hath been said on this subject, the matter stands just where the Scriptures have left it. And those who do not desire to be wise above what is written, will do well to accept of this and all the other parts of sacred Scripture in the Lord's own way, referring all into his sovereign decree, "who worketh all things according to the purpose of his own will." My counsel (saith he) shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure. ( Isaiah 46:10) Let the reader read the close of  Isaiah 44:1-28, and form his conclusions accordingly.

Holman Bible Dictionary [8]

[[History And Religion Of Babylon]]

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [9]

NEBUCHADNEZZAR. See next article.

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [10]

Nebuchadnez´zar (Kings, Chronicles, and Daniel; Jeremiah 27; Jeremiah 28;;;; and; written also Nebuchadrezzar, generally in Jeremiah, and in ) was the name of the Chaldean monarch of Babylon by whom Judah was conquered, and the Jews led into their seventy years' captivity. The name of this monarch has been commonly explained to signify the treasure of Nebo, but according to some it signifies Nebo the prince of gods.

The only notices which we have of this monarch in the canonical writings are found in the books of Kings, Chronicles, Daniel, and Ezra, and in the allusions of the prophets Jeremiah and Ezekiel.

From , and , we gather that in the reign of Josiah (B.C. 610), Pharaoh Necho, king of Egypt, having approached by sea the coast of Syria, made a friendly application to King Josiah to be allowed a passage through his territories to the dominions of the Assyrian monarch, with whom he was then at war . The design of Pharaoh-Necho was to seize upon Carchemish (Circesium or Cercusium), a strong post on the Euphrates; but Josiah, who was tributary to the Babylonian monarch, opposed his progress at Megiddo, where he was defeated and mortally wounded [JOSIAH]. Necho marched upon Jerusalem when the Jews became tributary to the king of Egypt. Upon this, Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon (; , where this monarch's name is for the first time introduced), invaded Judah, retook Carchemish, with the territory which had been wrested from him by Necho, seized upon Jehoiakim, the vassal of Pharaoh-Necho, and reduced him to submission (B.C. 607). Jehoiachim was at first loaded with chains, in order to be led captive to Babylon, but was eventually restored by Nebuchadnezzar to his throne, on condition of paying an annual tribute. Nebuchadnezzar carried off part of the ornaments of the Temple, together with several hostages of distinguished rank, among whom were the youths Daniel and his three friends Hananiah, Azariah, and Mishael (Daniel 1). These were educated at court in the language and sciences of the Chaldeans, where they subsequently filled offices of distinction. The sacred vessels were transferred by Nebuchadnezzar to his temple at Babylon (Isaiah 39; ) [BABYLON].

After the conquest of Judea, Nebuchadnezzar turned his attention towards the Egyptians, whom he drove out of Syria, taking possession of all the land between the Euphrates and the river : which some suppose to mean the Nile, but others a small river in the desert, which was reckoned the boundary between Palestine and Egypt.

The fate of Jerusalem was now rapidly approaching its consummation. After three years of fidelity, Jehoiachim renounced his allegiance to Babylon, and renewed his alliance with Necho, when Nebuchadnezzar sent incursions of Ammonites, Moabites, and Syrians, together with Chaldeans, to harass him. At length, in the eleventh year of his reign, he was made prisoner, and slain (Jeremiah 22) [JEHOIAKIM]. He was succeeded by his son Jehoiachin, who, after three months' reign, surrendered himself with his family to Nebuchadnezzar, who had come in person to besiege Jerusalem, in the eighth year of his reign [JEHOIACHIN]. Upon this occasion all the most distinguished inhabitants, including the artificers, were led captive [CAPTIVITIES]. Among the captives, who amounted to no less than 50,000, were Ezekiel and Mordecai [ESTHER]. The golden vessels of Solomon were now removed, with the royal treasures, and Mattaniah, the brother of Jehoiachin, placed on the throne by Nebuchadnezzar, who gave him the name of Zedekiah, and bound him by an oath not to enter into an alliance with Egypt. Zedekiah, however, in the ninth year of his reign, formed an alliance with Pharaoh-Hophra, the successor of Necho. Hophra, coming to the assistance of Zedekiah, was driven back into Egypt by Nebuchadnezzar, who finally captured Jerusalem in the eleventh year of Zedekiah's reign (B.C. 588) [ZEDEKIAH]. The Temple, and the whole city, with its towers and walls, were all razed to the ground by Nebuzaradan, Nebuchadnezzar's lieutenant, and the principal remaining inhabitants put to death by Nebuchadnezzar at Riblah. Jeremiah was, however, spared; and Gedaliah appointed governor. He was shortly after murdered by Ishmael, a member of the royal family, who was himself soon obliged to take refuge among the Ammonites. Many of the remaining Jews fled into Egypt, accompanied by Jeremiah; those who remained were soon after expatriated by Nebuchadnezzar, who depopulated the whole country.

He next undertook the siege of Tyre, and after its destruction proceeded to Egypt, now distracted by internal commotions, and devastated or made himself master of the whole country from Migdol to Syene (according to the reading of the Seventy,; ), transferring many of the inhabitants to the territory beyond the Euphrates.

We have referred to the captivity of the prophet Daniel, and have to turn to the book which bears his name for the history of this prophet, who, from an exile, was destined to become the great protector of his nation. In the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel, who was found superior in wisdom to the Chaldean magi, was enabled not only to interpret, but to reveal a dream of Nebuchadnezzar's, the very subject of which that monarch had forgotten [DREAMS]. This was the dream of the statue consisting of four different metals, which Daniel interpreted of four successive monarchies, the last of which was to be the reign of the Messiah. Daniel was elevated to be first minister of state, and his three friends were made governors of provinces. The history of these events is written in the Chaldee language, together with the narrative which immediately follows (Daniel 3), of the golden statue erected by Nebuchadnezzar in the plan of Dura, for refusing to worship which, Daniel's three friends were thrown into a furnace, but miraculously preserved. Daniel 4, also written in Chaldee, contains the singular history of the judgment inflicted on Nebuchadnezzar as a punishment for his pride, and which is narrated in the form of a royal proclamation from the monarch himself giving an account to his people of his affliction and recovery. This affliction had been, by the monarch's account, predicted by Daniel a year before, in the interpretation of his fearful dream of the tree in the midst of the earth. While walking in his palace, and admiring his magnificent works, he uttered, in the plenitude of his pride, the remarkable words recorded in , 'Is not this great Babylon that I have built for the house of the kingdom, by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?' He had scarce uttered the words, when a voice from heaven proclaimed to him that his kingdom was departed from him; that he should be for seven times (generally supposed to mean years, although some reduce the period to fourteen months) driven from the habitations of men to dwell among the beasts of the field, and made to eat grass as an ox, until he learned 'that the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.' The sentence was immediately fulfilled, and Nebuchadnezzar continued in this melancholy state during the predicted period, at the end of which he was restored to the use of his understanding . We have no account in Scripture of any of the actions of this monarch's life after the period of his recovery, but the first year of the reign of his successor Evil-merodach is represented as having taken place in the thirty-seventh year of Jehoiachin, answering to B.C. 562 .

The difficulties attending the nature of the disease and recovery of Nebuchadnezzar have not escaped the notice of commentators in ancient as well as modern times. Origen supposed that the account of Nebuchadnezzar's metamorphosis was merely a representation of the fall of Lucifer. Bodin maintains that Nebuchadnezzar underwent an actual metamorphosis of soul and body, a similar instance of which is given by Cluvier on the testimony of an eye witness. Tertullian confines the transformation to the body only, but without loss of reason, of which kind of metamorphosis St. Augustine reports some instances said to have taken place in Italy, to which he himself attaches little credit; but Gaspard Peucer asserts that the transformation of men into wolves was very common in Livonia. Some Jewish Rabbins have asserted that the soul of Nebuchadnezzar, by a real transmigration, changed places with that of an ox; while others have supposed not a real, but an apparent or docetic change, of which there is a case recorded in the life of St. Macarius, the parents of a young woman having been persuaded that their daughter had been transformed into a mare. The most generally received opinion, however, is, that Nebuchadnezzar labored under that species of hypochondriacal monomania which leads the patient to fancy himself changed into an animal or other substance, the habits of which he adopts. To this disease of the imagination physicians have given the name of Lycanthropy, Zoanthropy, or Insania Canina [[[Diseases Of The Jews]]]

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [11]

6. One other point in the life of Nebuchadnezzar, connecting it with Scripture, may be glanced at. In the Book of Daniel (chapter 3) there is abruptly introduced an account of a golden image which Nebuchadnezzar set up in the plain of Dura, its inauguration being heralded in solemn pomp to all parts of the kingdom. The image was probably one of his patron-god, Bel-Merodach; and the dedication of such a statue is in perfect keeping with his intense religiousness, which is apparent from his numerous and cordial inscriptions of thanks and homage to the same divinity, after whom also he named his son and successor. The adoration paid to the image was a test of loyalty. To worship the king's god simply at the king's command was such a spectacle of national conformity as an Oriental despot would naturally delight in. Some have supposed that the image represented the king himself, who, in this way, claimed divine honors an insanity found in Persian, Egyptian, and Seleucid monarchs in the Grecian Alexander and the Roman Caligula. This is not a likely conjecture. The Jews as a body, it would seem, were not invited to the festival, being aliens and captives. But it is said that the image itself was out of all shape-sixty cubits high, and only six cubits broad that is, in the proportion of ten to one. Now it is evident from the story that its height was for the sake of its being visible to an immense concourse gathered on a plain, and it is therefore probable that a tall pedestal is included in the measurement; or it may have been an obelisk with a bust on the summit of it (Minter, Relig. d. Bab. page 59; Hengstenberg, On Daniel). Diodorus Siculus (lib. 2) informs us that one of the images of massy gold found by Xerxes in the temple of Bel measured forty feet in height, which would have been fairly proportioned to a breadth of six feet, measured at the shoulders. Prideaux supposes that this may have been the identical statue erected by Nebuchadnezzar, which, however, Jahn conceives was more probably only gilt, as a statue of gold could scarcely have been safe from robbers in the plain of Dura; but this conjecture of Jahn seems by no means necessary. Dur-Dura signifies a plain, and in such a plain, yet vulgarly called Dowair, to the south-east of Babylon, M. Oppert found the pedestal of what must have been a colossal statue. There is no hint that the image was of solid gold, as some objectors imagine. Anything plated with gold was, in popular phrase, called golden (comp.  Exodus 30:1-3;  Exodus 39:8, etc.). The description of the process of forging idols in  Isaiah 40:19 shows us the plating of the figures. Herodotus mentions a large golden statue of Bel, and then refers to

7. Literature . See Schroder, Nebuchadn. Chaldacor. Rex (Marb. 1719); Schroer, Imper. Babyl. page 260 sq.; Lochner, De Nino Nebuchadnezare (Stadse, 1736) Maier, Statua Nebuchadnezaris (Jen. 1693); Miller De Nebuchadnezaris Μεταρμορφ . (Lips. 1747); Offerhaus, De Rebus Sub Nebuchadnezare Gestis (Groning. 1734); Seelen, De Stipendiariis Nebuchadnezaris (Lubeck, 1737); Jour. Sac. Lit. April 1853, page 32; Rawlinson, Evidences, pages 127, 133; Ancient Monarchies, 2:50 sq. (See Babylonia).

Copyright Statement These files are public domain.

Bibliography Information McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Nebuchadnezzar'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.