Mesopotamia is derived from the combination of the Greek mesos, meaning middle, and potamos, meaning river. Mesopotamia originally was used to designate the area between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, however it later included a more extensive area, roughly corresponding to modern Iraq, and beyond.
- After The Flood, the region was first ruled and developed by Nimrod, "the mighty hunter before The Lord" (Genesis 10:8-12). Among the numerous cities of his kingdom were Nineveh and Babylon, two names that would be prominent in Bible History.
- The Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9) was constructed in the region - Babel takes its name from Babylon.
- Abraham was born and lived much of his life in Ur Of The Chaldees (Genesis 11:28), which was located near the Euphrates River approximately 200 miles (320 kilometers) southeast of the Iraq's modern capital city of Baghdad.
- Nineveh, located on the Tigris River, was the capital of the Assyrian empire (see Ancient Empires - Assyria). The Assyrians conquered the northern kingdom of Israel, and transported the "Lost Ten Tribes" (see Children of Jacob and The Tribes Of Israel) into exile, never to return (2 Kings 17:21-23).
- Babylon, located on the Euphrates River, was the capital of the Babylonian empire. The Babylonians conquered the southern kingdom of Judah, destroyed the original Temple at Jerusalem, and carried the people of Judah away into the Babylonian exile (2 Chronicles 36:15-20) (see Ancient Empires - Babylon and Why Babylon? and Temples and Temple Mount Treasures). They remained there until the Babylonian empire fell to the Persians (see Ancient Empires - Persia and Daniel's Statue), who allowed The Chosen People to return to the land of Israel (2 Chronicles 36:20-23)
Fact Finder: What was the name of the last King of Judah when Jerusalem fell to the Babylonians? What was the name of the Babylonian king who conquered Judah and destroyed the first Temple?
2 Kings 25:1
See also Kings of Israel and Judah and King Nebuchadnezzar
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