Judith chapter 1

King Nebuchadnezzar wages war against a local king. Then he threatens the whole region. When they ignore him, he rages out and attacks them all.

 


 

NEBUCHADNEZZAR WAGES WAR WITH ARPHAXAD

 

Verse 1. In the twelfth year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, who reigned over the Assyrians in Nineveh, the great city, in the days of Arphaxad, who reigned over the Medes in Ecbatana,

Nebuchadnezzar. This is probably Nebuchadnezzar II, who reigned from approximately 605 BC to 562 BC. Both the construction of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and the destruction of Jerusalem’s temple are ascribed to him.

Arphaxad. This might be King Phraortes who was the second king of the Median Empire. Or it might be Cyaxares his son.

 

Verse 2. and built around Ecbatana walls of hewn stones three cubits broad and six cubits long, and made the height of the wall seventy cubits, and its breadth fifty cubits;

 

Verse 3. and set its towers at its gates, one hundred cubits high, and its breadth in the foundation was sixty cubits;

 

Verse 4. and made its gates, even gates that were raised to the height of seventy cubits, and their breadth forty cubits, for his mighty army to go out of, and the setting in array of his footmen—

 

Verse 5. even in those days king Nebuchadnezzar made war with king Arphaxad in the great plain. This plain is on the borders of Ragau.

 

Verse 6. There came to meet him all that lived in the hill country, and all that lived by Euphrates, Tigris, and Hydaspes, and in the plain of Arioch the king of the Elymaeans. Many nations of the sons of Chelod assembled themselves to the battle.

 

NEBUCHADNEZZAR THREATENS THE WHOLE REGION

 

Verse 7. And Nebuchadnezzar king of the Assyrians sent to all who lived in Persia, and to all who lived westward, to those who lived in Cilicia, Damascus, Libanus, and Antilibanus, and to all who lived along the sea coast,

 

Verse 8. and to those among the nations that were of Carmel and Gilead, and to the higher Galilee and the great plain of Esdraelon,

 

Verse 9. and to all who were in Samaria and its cities, and beyond Jordan to Jerusalem, Betane, Chellus, Kadesh, the river of Egypt, Tahpanhes, Rameses, and all the land of Goshen,

 

Verse 10. until you come above Tanis and Memphis, and to all that lived in Egypt, until you come to the borders of Ethiopia.

 

Verse 11. All those who lived in all the land made light of the commandment of Nebuchadnezzar king of the Assyrians, and didn’t go with him to the war; for they were not afraid of him, but he was before them as one man. They turned away his messengers from their presence without effect, and with disgrace.

they were not afraid of him. Apparently this is prior to Nebuchadnezzar’s rise to absolute power.

 

NEBUCHADNEZZAR RAGES OUT

 

VerseVerse 12. And Nebuchadnezzar was exceedingly angry with all this land, and he swore by his throne and kingdom, that he would surely be avenged upon all the coasts of Cilicia, Damascus, and Syria, that he would kill with his sword all the inhabitants of the land of Moab, and the children of Ammon, all Judea, and all that were in Egypt, until you come to the borders of the two seas.

Nebuchadnezzar was exceedingly angry. Just because someone is in a leadership role does not mean they are a stable person. Nebuchadnezzar is the most powerful ruler on the planet, and he exhibits unrestrained narcissistic behavior.

 

Verse 13. And he set the battle in array with his army against king Arphaxad in the seventeenth year; and he prevailed in his battle, and turned to flight all the army of Arphaxad, with all his horses and all his chariots.

in the seventeenth year. This chapter began in the twelfth year. Now it is the seventeenth year. We can conclude that it took five years for Nebuchadnezzar to prepare for this giant battle.

 

Verse 14. He became master of his cities, and he came even to Ecbatana, and took the towers, plundered its streets, and turned its beauty into shame.

 

Verse 15. He took Arphaxad in the mountains of Ragau, struck him through with his darts, and utterly destroyed him, to this day.

 

Verse 16. He returned with them to Nineveh, he and all his company of sundry nations, an exceedingly great multitude of men of war, and there he took his ease and banqueted, he and his army, for one hundred twenty days.

his company of sundry nations. That is, “his numerous, motley horde of warriors” (NAB translation).

 


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