Judah during Neo-Babylonian Empire
and Israel's Exile 627-540 BCE

Last updated: March 30, 2014






Seraiah son of Neriah, Jer 51:59

Malchiah the son of the king Jer 38:6

Hananiah the son of Azariah (Azzur) Jeremiah 28


Jeremiah 627-580s

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Seal of Baruch (Berekyahu) son of Neriah the scribe = Jeremiah's secretary

Ketef Hinnom Silver Scroll with Aaronic benediction (ca. 600) COS 2.83, p. 221

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Explanation of this inscription

Neo-Babylonian Empire 626-539

Babylon:  Nabopolassar 625-605  ANET 303-305; COS 2.121, p.307-308
Nabopolassar ascends throne (Nabopolassar Chronicle);
Reference to Nabopolassar-Nebuchadnezzar succession in Babylonian Chronicle

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Babylonian Empire

Records Nabopolassar's repair of the
city wall of Babylon

Cyaxeres united Medes and Persians 625.  He destroyed Ashur and in alliance with Nabopolassar he destroyed Nineveh in 612.


Discovery of Book of the Law (Deuteronomy) 622


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Mesad Hashavyahu letter 7 c ANET 568; ANEP 808; COS 3.41, pp.  77-78 asks district governor to reverse a sentence

Mesad Hashavyahu--Yavneh Yam Ostracon

Seal of Azariah the son of Hilkiah [the high priest?] 2 Kgs 22:4-14; 23:4; 1 Chr 5:39 (6:13); 9:11; Ezra 7:1

Seal of Hanan the son of Hilkiah the priest


Sin-sharra-ishkun Assyrian king

Cyrus I, king of Persia 620-590

Egypt and Assyria unsuccessfully attack Babylon 616

Ashur sacked 614 by Medes under Cyaxeres (625-585). Cyaxeres forms alliance with Nabopolassar (Nabopolassar Chronicle)

Nineveh fell to Median-Babylonian coalition 612

Babylonian Chronicle describes fall of Nineveh

Fall of Nineveh Chronicle

Belonging to Azariah (the son of) Hilkiah

Neco II 610-595  killed Josiah when he met him at Megiddo. Tried to prop up Assyrian empire as buffer against Babylon. He developed Egypt's navy.

Death of Josiah at Megiddo 609

Jehoahaz (or Shallum; son of Josiah) 609 2 Kgs 23:31-34//2 Chr 36:1-4; deposed by Egyptians

Jehoahaz the son of the king

Jehoiakim (son of Josiah) 609-598 2 Kgs 23:35-24:7//2 Chr 36:5-8; paid heavy tribute to Egypt

Tablet confirming existence of
(Samgar-Nebo) Sarsechim, the Rab-saris Jer 39:3
Nabu-sharrussu-ukin, the chief eunuch

Ashur-uballit II 612-609 (A) tried to establish exile government at Harran (Nabopolassar Chronicle)

Haran destroyed by Median and Babylonian foreces 610

Babylonian Chronicle:  reference to Ashur-uballit


Babylonian Chronicle






Letter of Adon king of Ekron in 604 to Pharaoh about Nebuchadrezzar's invasion COS 3.54, pp. 132-134 discovered in Saqqarah (now redated by some to the reign of Esarhaddon and located in Syria)

Battle of Carchemish 605--Babylon, under Nebuchadnezzar, defeated Egypt and Neco II (Babylonian Chronicle)

Babylonian Chronicle COS 1.137, pp.  467-468; ANET 301-307

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Gemariah son of Shaphan, who
urged Jehoiakim not to burn the scroll Jer 36:10-12

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Jerahmeel son of the king,
who arrested Jeremiah Jer 36:26

Elishama servant of the king, who may be the same as Elishama the secretary Jer 36:12

Nebuchadrezzar campaigns in Syria and Ashkelon; Judah pays tribute 2 Kgs 24:1; Jer 36:9 604  Babylonian Chronicle


Indecisive campaign of Nebuchadrezzar against Egypt; Judah revolts 601. Nebuchadnezzar's campaigns to Palestine in 4th-7th years (Babylonian Chronicle)


Ophel ostracon COS 3.86, pp. 203-204:  lists of names; administrative purpose

Nebuchadnezzar describes building of three palaces

Nebuchadrezzar II 605-562 ANET 307-308; COS 2.122, pp. 308-310
Nebuchadnezzar succeeds his father (Berossus, in Josephus)

Ishtar Gate Inscription

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Ishtar gate--Pergamon Museum Berlin

Nebuchadnezzar's capture of Jerusalem

Nebuchadnezzar's campaigns to Palestine in 4th-7th years (Babylonian Chronicle)

Deportation of Jehoiachin in Babylonian Chronicle

Neo-Babylonian Laws, COS 2.133, pp.  360-361 ANET 197-198s


Psammetichus II 595-589 involved in disputes of Palestinian kingdoms

Psammetichus II

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Seriah the son of Neriah, who carried
Jeremiah's letter to Babylon 51:29

his daughter Ankhesneferibre controlled Thebes for family.






Jehucal son of Shelemiah son of Shavi
Jer 37:3; 38:1

Gedaliah son of Pashhur Jer 38:1




Apries (Hophra) 589-570 intervened on behalf of Judah 2 Kgs 24:7; killed in battle vs. a general Amasis.  

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Jehoiakim died during Babylonian siege of Jerusalem

Jehoiachin (son of Jehoiakim)  598 2 Kgs 24:8-16//2 Chr 36:9-10a ANET 308; ruled for three months 

Edomite letter from Horvat Uza:  "I bless you by Qaus."

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Rations for Jehoiachin

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Rations for Jehoiachin
and his children in Babylon
Rations for Jehoiachin, ANET 308

Pedaiah the son of the king 1 Chr 3:18

Arad Ostraca ANET 568-569; COS 3.43A-43L, pp.  81-85

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"The house of Yahweh is well[ in Jerusalem]" Arad #18 Or:  "Everything is fine now; he is staying in the temple of Yahweh"

First capture of Jerusalem March 16, 597 ANET 563-564

Mattaniah/Zedekiah (son of Josiah) 597-586 2 Kgs 24:17-25:7//2 Chr 36:10b-21


Coalition in Jerusalem against Babylon (Jeremiah 27) 594

Ezekiel 593-571

Lachish Letters 589 BCE; ANET 321-322; COS 3.42A-F, pp.  78-81

Final siege of Jerusalem begins 588

Baal II, king of Tyre, 587-572

Fall of Jerusalem July 19, 586 ANET 563-564 Babylonian Chronicle

Zedekiah blinded and taken to Babylon

Defensive tower at Jerusalem during Babylonian attack

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Babylonian exile

"The king of Akkad moved his army into Hatti land, laid siege to the city of Judah and the king took the city on the second day of the month Addaru [March 16, 597 BCE].  He appointed a new king of his liking, took heavy booty from it and brought it to Babylon." ANET 564


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Map of Babylon 7/6 c

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Tell Siran Bottle Ammonite 7/6 c  COS 2.25, pp. 139-140 Amminadab king of the Ammonites

585-572 Babylonian siege of Tyre (Ezek 26:7-28:18; 29:17-18)

Ammonite ostraca COS 3.84-85, pp.  202-203


Ruins of e-temen-anki, Ziggurat completed at Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar

Esagila left and Etemenank right





Lachish Letter # 3 Hoshiah defends himself against the charge that he cannot read

Lachish Letter 4

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We are watching the fire-signals of Lachish...because we cannot see Azekah

Arad letter 24:  Reinforcements are being sent to Ramoth-Negeb to fight off the Edomites.

Gemariah son of Shaphan


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Seal of Baalis (Jer 40:14), Ammonite king involved
in murder of Gedaliah

Milkomor the servant of Baalishas

Gedaliah governor; assassinated by Ishmael;  seal below and on left is of Baalis, Ammonite king, who was responsible for Gedaliah's murder:

Baalyisha king of the [Ammonites]

Gedaliah, who is over the house (Lachish), and Gedaliah, servant of the king

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Jaazniah servant of the king--found at Mizpah.  Cf. Jaazaniah son of the Maachite 2 Kgs 25:23

Deportation by Nebuzaradan 582 (Jer 52:30)

Astyages, king of Medes 585-550 His daughter Mandane, was married to Cambyses I. Their son was Cyrus II.

Cambyses I, Achaemenid king, 585-559

Amasis  (Ahmose II) 570-526 Philhellenic policy (Herodotus). 

Shabti of Ahmose II

Release of Jehoiachin from prison by Amel-Marduk in 561, but Amel-Marduk ruled for only two years. 

Deuteronomistic History


Amel-Marduk (Evil-Merodach in Jer 52:31; 2 Kgs 25:27) 562-560

Neriglissar (Nergal-sharezer in Jer 39:3, 13) 560-556 deposed his predecessor, Amel-Marduk, who was his brother-in-law.  Neriglissar was married to Kashaya, daughter of Nebuchadnezzar

Labashi-Marduk, son of Neriglissar,  556 killed, after two months, by a group of conspirators in league with Belshazzar.

Hecataeus of Miletus 550-476 Greek geographer

Map of Hecataeus


Second Isaiah

Priestly Writer


Nabonidus stela


Cyrus II 559-530 Persian COS 2.124; pp.  314-316; ANET 315-316.  Cyrus was son of Cambyses I, the grandson of Astyages, and great-grandson of the Lydian Alyattes. Defeated Croesus in 547 BCE

Nabonidus 556-539 Last Neo-Babylonian King.  Unrelated to the royal house; seized throne as an older man.  Elevated Sin, the moon god. Rebuilt Ehulhul temple at Haran. Stayed ten years in Tema during which New Year's festival could not be celebrated. His stay at Tema may be the story behind the exile of  Nebuchadrezzar in Dan 4:28-37.  His mother was a devotee of the moon god Sin in Harran

Nabonidus Chronicle ANET 305-307 1st through 17th year, includes stay in Tema and fall of Babylon

Nabonidus Chronicle above and text
Text of Chronicle of Nabonidus

Nabonidus' Rise to Power, ANET 308-311 "I am the real executor of the wills of Nebuchadnezzar and Neriglissar"

Memorial for the Mother or Grandmother of Nabonidus, ANET 311-312 Nabonidus, the king of Babylon, the son of my womb.  Cf. Mother of Nabonidus, ANET 560-562 =  The Adad-Guppi Autobiography COS 1.147, pp. 477-478

Verse Account of Nabonidus, ANET 312-315:  an arrogant, unjust king, who had neglected the chief cults of Babylon.  The king was in Teama; the crown prince was in Akkad.  Cyrus restored the rites of the Babylonian gods

Nabonidus and his god, ANET 562-563  Sin called me to kingship

The Sippar Cylinder of Nabonidus COS 2.123A, pp. 310-313 describes restoration of three temples

Nabonidus' Rebuilding of the Ziggurat of Ur 
COS 2.123B, pp.  313-314

Uruk King List ANET 566 Nabonidus ruled x + 15 years

Babylonian Chronicle COS 1.137, p. 468 Nabonidus fled when Babylon fell

Prayer of Nabonidus from Qumran COS 1.89, pp. 285-286   Prayer of Nabonidus

Belshazzar become regent in the third year of Nabonidus

Feast of Belshazzar by Rembrandt