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Jerusalem, Destruction of

The destruction of Jerusalem that was done by King Nebuchadnezzar is recorded on the Bible Timeline Poster with World History around 600 BC. This started with King Jehoiakim of Judah who decided to rebel after three years of paying tribute to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar assembled his army and raided Judah as punishment for Jehoiakim’s rebellion. Egypt was also subdued at this point and this expansion of territory made Babylon the greatest empire during this period (2 Kings 24:1-7).

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Jehoiakim’s son Jehoiachin succeeded his father as king of Judah and was taken as a prisoner by Nebuchadnezzar to Babylon during the first stage of exile. Nebuchadnezzar also deported Jehoiachin’s wives, mother, officials, troops, craftsmen, artisans, and other members of Jerusalem’s nobles. He stripped the temple of Jerusalem of its treasures and carried them away to Babylon.

“Nabuchodonosor Has Zedekiah’s Children Killed before his Eyes”

The second phase of exile was during the reign of Zedekiah whom Nebuchadnezzar himself appointed to rule the province of Judah. Zedekiah rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar and because of this the Babylonian king led a siege of Jerusalem for two years. The siege was followed by severe famine, and soon the defenses of the city failed. The king’s soldiers fled, and Zedekiah made an attempt to escape the city. But the Babylonians caught up with him on the plains of Jericho. He was brought to Nebuchadnezzar, who then killed his sons, blinded him, and carried him off to Babylon as punishment for his rebellion.

Nebuchadnezzar commanded his captain of the guards to spare nothing and set all of Jerusalem on fire in the nineteenth year of his reign. The royal palace and temple of the Lord were destroyed. The walls of Jerusalem were also torn down under his supervision and the rest of the people (except those who tended the fields) were exiled to Babylon (2 Kings 25:8-12).

Before the complete destruction of the temple of Jerusalem, Nebuzaradan broke up the bronze pillars of the temple and took away the bronze, gold, as well as silver articles. The remaining people including the high priest, an officer of the Judean army, the king’s personal advisers, and others were put to death at Riblah before Nebuchadnezzar.

Nebuchadnezzar appointed Gedaliah as governor of Judah, but he was killed in Mizpah along with other Babylonians and Judeans by a member of the royal family called Ishmael. The people of Judah remained captives in Babylon for seventy years until the rise of King Cyrus of Persia (Jeremiah 25:1-14 and 29:10).

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