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Monday, August 8 2011

Nebuchadnezzar's Lesson

Nebuchadnezzar was the king of the Chaldean (also known as the Neo-Babylonian i.e. New Babylonian) Empire (see Ancient Empires - Babylon). He was born about 630 B.C. and died around 562 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar was the most powerful monarch of his dynasty. His capital, the city of Babylon, was one of the most magnificent cities of the ancient world. His vast military conquests engulfed most of the Middle East.

Nebuchadnezzar is known to readers of the Holy Bible (see Holy Bible Reading Plan) for his defeat of The Southern Kingdom of Judah. By 586 B.C., the Babylonian forces conquered the land of Judah, devastated Jerusalem, looted and burned the original Temple (see also Raiders Of The Lost Ark) that had been built by King Solomon and took the people of Judah away into what became known as the Babylonian Exile (see also Jeremiah's Field).

The Babylonian Empire The Babylonian victory over Judah wasn't however simply a typical invasion by a malignant predator nation. The LORD (see 'Before Abraham Was, I AM') permitted the Babylonians to defeat Judah, after Judah had defeated themselves by becoming grossly corrupt, defiantly deaf to the prophets of the LORD (see The Prophets: North and South) just as He had permitted the Assyrians to defeat The Northern Kingdom of Israel over a century earlier when they became morbidly corrupt, blind and deaf to everything but their own let's-play-country adolescent arrogance (see The Galilee Captivity).

"25:1 And it came to pass in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, in the tenth day of the month, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came, he, and all his host, against Jerusalem, and pitched against it: and they built forts against it round about. 25:2 And the city was besieged unto the eleventh year of king Zedekiah [see Zedekiah Of Judah]. 25:3 And on the ninth day of the fourth month the famine prevailed in the city, and there was no bread for the people of the land. 25:4 And the city was broken up, and all the men of war fled by night by the way of the gate between two walls, which is by the king's garden: now the Chaldees were against the city round about: and the king went the way toward the plain. 25:5 And the army of the Chaldees pursued after the king, and overtook him in the plains of Jericho: and all his army were scattered from him. 25:6 So they took the king, and brought him up to the king of Babylon to Riblah; and they gave judgment upon him. 25:7 And they slew the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, and put out the eyes of Zedekiah, and bound him with fetters of brass, and carried him to Babylon.

25:8 And in the fifth month, on the seventh day of the month, which is the nineteenth year of king Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, came Nebuzaradan, captain of the guard, a servant of the king of Babylon, unto Jerusalem: 25:9 And he burnt the house of the LORD, and the king's house, and all the houses of Jerusalem, and every great man's house burnt he with fire [see Jerusalem In Flames]. 25:10 And all the army of the Chaldees, that were with the captain of the guard, brake down the walls of Jerusalem round about." (2 Kings 25:1-10 KJV)

"They shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen"

The story of Nebuchadnezzar does not end with his role in Bible History, or even the Prophecy that was given to him, as recorded by the prophet Daniel (see The Prophets: Daniel). Nebuchadnezzar not only became a believer in the LORD, but Nebuchadnezzar's own testimony of the existence and supreme power (all human "superpowers" eventually learn, most of the time the hard way, Who the only Super Power really is) was recorded in the Holy Scriptures.

Nebuchadnezzar's conversion didn't come easy however. After being warned by the prophet Daniel, the arrogant Babylonian king was struck down with bestial madness, and then restored by the LORD. It was an object lesson of how beastly Nebuchadnezzar's Satanic arrogance had made him.

Nebuchadnezzar The warning that the LORD gave to Nebuchadnezzar came in the form of a dream, of which Daniel was given to declare the meaning.

"4:23 And whereas the king saw a watcher and an holy one coming down from heaven, and saying, Hew the tree down, and destroy it; yet leave the stump of the roots thereof in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts of the field, till seven times pass over him;

4:24 This is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the most High, which is come upon my lord the king: 4:25 That they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and they shall wet thee with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will. 4:26 And whereas they commanded to leave the stump of the tree roots; thy kingdom shall be sure unto thee, after that thou shalt have known that the heavens do rule. 4:27 Wherefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by showing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquillity." (Daniel 4:23-27 KJV)

The dream was then fulfilled. The great king was given to see what his behavior really was, in the eyes of God, and in the eyes of man.

"4:28 All this came upon the king Nebuchadnezzar. 4:29 At the end of twelve months he walked in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon. 4:30 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?

4:31 While the word was in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee. 4:32 And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.

4:33 The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles' feathers, and his nails like birds' claws." (Daniel 4:28-33 KJV)

The wrath upon Nebuchadnezzar was not merely a punishment. It was an opportunity for awakening - that Nebuchadnezzar accepted. That king of Babylon thereafter became a believer in the LORD. His own testimony is recorded in the Holy Scriptures: "Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase."

"4:34 And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honored him that liveth forever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation. 4:35 And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?

4:36 At the same time my reason returned unto me; and for the glory of my kingdom, mine honour and brightness returned unto me; and my counsellors and my lords sought unto me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me. 4:37 Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase." (Daniel 4:34-37 KJV)

Fact Finder: Nebuchadnezzar was the king of the ancient Babylonian Empire. Why did the term "Babylon" come to be used prophetically?
See What And Where Is Babylon Today?

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This Day In History, August 8

1220: The Battle of Lihula. Swedish forces were routed by Estonian tribes.

1306: King Wenceslas of Poland was murdered.

1503: King James IV of Scotland married Margaret Tudor, the daughter of King Henry VII of England.

1570: King Charles IX of France signed the Treaty of St. Germain, ending the third war of religion and giving religious freedom to the Huguenots (French protestants).

1648: Ibrahim (the Muslim form of Abraham; see also 'Raghead' Racism), the sultan of Istanbul, was thrown into prison, and later killed.

1786: The first ascent of Mont Blanc was completed by Dr. Michel-Gabriel Paccard and his porter, Jacques Balmat.

1918: During the First World War (1914-1918), the Battle of Amiens began. Allied forces advanced on a 10-mile front against 20 German divisions and took 16,000 prisoners in 2 hours.

1929: The German airship Graf Zeppelin began a circumnavigation of the earth flight.

1940: The German Luftwaffe attacked Britain for the first time, beginning the Battle of Britain.

1942: During the Second World War, six Germans, who were put ashore on Long Island in June, became the first saboteurs to be executed in the U.S. They were electrocuted in a District of Colombia jail.

1963: Britain's "Great Train Robbery" took place when a gang held up the Glasgow to London mail train and stole 2.6 million pounds.

1974: President Richard Nixon announced that he was resigning for his part in the Watergate crimes, effective at noon the next day. Nixon's successor, Gerald Ford, thereafter took the very unusual step of pardoning Nixon for the crimes that he committed before he was formally charged with them (some legal experts question whether Ford himself committed obstruction of justice by pardoning someone who hadn't yet been convicted of anything).

1988: U.N. Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar announced that a cease-fire in the eight-year-old Gulf war between Iran and Iraq was to begin on August 20.

1988: Russian troops began their retreat out of Afghanistan, 9 years after their unsuccessful invasion to fight the Taliban began.

1994: Israel and Jordan opened their first border crossing, signifying an end to 46 years of hostilities.


Copyright © Wayne Blank