Nebuchadnezzar

Nebuchadnezzar (also known as Nebuchadrezzar) was the son of Nabopolassar and King of Babylon from 605 to 562 BC. The name means "Nabu, protect my boundary". Nebuchadnezzar expanded the neo-Babylonian empire so that it extended from Egypt in the west to Elam in the east. He rebuilt temples and public buildings throughout Babylonia. He laid siege to Jerusalem twice. In 586 BC, the city fell, the Temple was destroyed, and a large part of Judah's population was exiled to Babylonia.

After long talks with Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar put Daniel on his regular staff of advisors. Daniel interprets King Nebuchadnezzar's dream of the statue of a man with the head of gold, chest and arms of silver, belly and thighs of brass, and legs of iron (Dan 2:31-45). King Nebuchadnezzar built a golden statue 90-feet high and 9-feet wide, and had the people worship the statue.

But when three of Daniel's friends, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego did not bow before the statue, the King threw them into a furnace, in which they survived by a miracle from God.

Daniel interprets another dream for the king, in which the king will be forced out of his palace to live with the animals in the fields and eat grass like a cow for seven years, until he finally realizes that God is the ultimate authority.

Twelve months after the dream, Nebuchadnezzar through his pride, was commending himself on how he by his own power built the beautiful city of Babylon. While he was speaking these words, the Lord struck him down to live like an animal in the fields. At the end of seven years his sanity returned, and he praised and worshiped God. When his mind returned, so did his honor, and his kingdom, with even greater honor than before. Then Nebuchadnezzar praised and glorified and honored the King of Heaven. (Daniel, chapter 4).

The story of Nebuchadnezzar is found in the Bible's book of Daniel, chapters 1-4, and in various chapters of 2 Kings, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, and Jeremiah.


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