An Attempted Chronology of the Conquests and Destructions of Nebuchadnezzar

In 604 BC, all the kings of Palestine and Phoenicia except Ashkelon (Gaza refused at first, but apparently paid after Ashkelon’s destruction) paid tribute to Nebuchadnezzar II. Ashkelon was totally ruined in the same year by the forces of Nebuchadnezzar (see Babylonian Chronicle).

In Winter 601/600 BC, Gaza was conquered by Necho II of Egypt after a devastating defeat of the forces of Nebuchadnezzar II, king of Babylon, at the city of Migdol (Tell Kedua) in Egypt. Judah rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar. According to 2 Kings 24:7, this is the last time Necho campaigns outside of Africa.

In 598 BC, Tyre, Gaza Sidon, Arvad, Ashdod (Yam, not mainland), (apparently) Samsimuruna (apparently modern Kaslik, Lebanon), and a city-name not preserved, possibly Ekron or Byblos, paid tribute to Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon.

In 597 BC, Jerusalem was besieged by the Chaldeans. Its king was replaced.

In 593 BC, Edom, Moab, Ammon, Tyre, and Sidon attempt to establish a pact with Judah to rebel against Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. The coalition does not come to fruition.

In 589 BC, Zedekiah rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. This is most likely done as part of a coalition of the kingdoms of Ammon, Moab, Tyre, Sidon, Gaza, Ashdod, and Ekron, but not Edom, and was most likely done under Hophra’s  pressure (it is probably during this time he attacked Tyre and Sidon). Damascus, Samsimuruna, and Byblos, may have also rebelled. An army is sent to quell the rebellion, Nebuchadnezzar establishing his quarters at Riblah, a town on the Orontes, 34°27’37″N, 36°32’21″E (Jeremiah 39:5).

In January 588 BC (2 Kings 25:1), Jerusalem, Azekah, and Lachish were besieged. Since an Egyptian army came to help in this year (Jeremiah 37:5), and Gaza was destroyed sometime in the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, and the Saqqara Papyrus mentions the need for an Egyptian force to help out Ekron, it seems likely all these events took place in this year (except for the destructions of Gaza and Ekron, which might have taken place a year later, though not the beginning of the siege, which did take place this year). The sieges of Samsimuruna and Byblos might have also begun this year.

In July 586 BC (2 Kings 25:3), Jerusalem was burned to the ground. Mizpah was declared the new capital.

In 585 BC, the sieges of Tyre (and, likely, Sidon) began.

In 582/1 BC, Ammon and Moab were conquered. Their capitals were likely destroyed. According to Jeremiah 52:30, a revolt also broke out in Judah.

In 580/79 BC (or, perhaps, earlier), Sidon was conquered. Its inhabitants were exiled to Uruk.

In 572 BC, Tyre was conquered.

Author: pithom

An atheist with an interest in the history of the ancient Near East. Author of the Against Jebel al-Lawz Wordpress blog.

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