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by Wayne Blank
"I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven"
Nebuchadnezzar was the pagan king of the Chaldean (also known as the Neo-Babylonian) Empire (see Ancient Empires - Babylon). He was born about 630 B.C. and died around 562 B.C. at age 68. He was the most powerful monarch of his dynasty and is best known for the magnificence of his capital, Babylon, his vast military conquests and his role in Bible History and Prophecy.
Nebuchadnezzar is known to students of the Bible for his defeat of the southern kingdom of Judah (the northern kingdom of Israel was by then long gone, having been conquered and deported over a century earlier by the Assyrians - see The Galilee Captivity). By 586 B.C., the Babylonian forces conquered the land of Judah, devastated Jerusalem, looted and burned the original Temple that had been built by Solomon (see also Raiders Of The Lost Ark) and took the people of Judah away into what became known as the "Babylonian Exile." (2 Kings 25:1-17). The Babylonian victory over Judah wasn't somehow a defeat for God because God not only allowed it, He brought it about - see Why Babylon?.
But what many people are very surprised to discover about Nebuchadnezzar is that not only did God convert him into a believer and worshipper of the only true God, Nebuchadnezzar's own testimony is a part of the Holy Scriptures, as shown in Daniel 4:1-3 quoted above.
Nebuchadnezzar's conversion didn't come easy, to say the least. After being warned by the prophet Daniel, the Babylonian king was struck down with bestial madness and then restored after The Lord's supreme power was made wholly evident to him. Nebuchadnezzar went from an arrogant "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" to humble "I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven."
"All this came upon the king Nebuchadnezzar. At the end of twelve months he walked in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon. The king spake, and said, 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?"
Fact Finder: What prophecy that was given to King Nebuchadnezzar (which was interpreted by God through the prophet Daniel) involves the return of Jesus Christ?