- Jul 2, 2008Dear Tony - sorry - my mistake. You are correct - 9th month - I was
thinking about the time he had to reach Jerusalem and erred. I
assume he took the city on the same day that he reached Jerusalem
although there may have been one or two days of negotiations. I
doubt that there was any resistence. Probably Jehoiachin and his
court had sent messages when they learned the Babylonians were coming
begging for forgiveness for causing problems and so on.
Inter-calary days - I was under the impression that several days were
added at the end of the year to keep the Calendar up to date. These
often were treated as a holiday. I should assume the king was here.
The idea that a king would not be at his home city for the new year
festival would be very odd. It is clear that neither he nor his
father missed the new year in Babylon so this would be a major
exception. Also, the festival was an important ideological display -
the King and the prosperity of the kingdom as one.
In 605, when he heard his father died, he was at Carchemish and he
was able to dash down the Euphrates - not a problem. However, I
think he heard the news in August ( or sometime close to August) so
the routes would be dry, the rivers would be low for crossing at
various fords etc. However, in 598-7, it was the winter and spring
months, the routes would not be dry and the Euphrates River and other
rivers would have high water.
If you are correct, and the capture of the city was perhaps a week
later than the 2nd day of the last month, then the time line shrinks
even more. I was trying to give him as much time as possible.
Your point about hard riding on horseback is a good one. Would the
direct route east through the desert from Jordan to Babylon have
horses ready for him and his personal guard along that route? I
think not. It is a long way to go north to Palmyra and then east to
the Euphrates and south to Babylon. My joints hurt just thinking
about it - not to mention my backside!
So I was wondering if anyone calculated the time necessary to travel
from Jerusalem to Babylon on horseback using various routes.
The reason I am asking is this - I think it was Jehoiachin who was
the rebel and not his father. The Babylonian king made an unusual
military foray so late in the year and risked not being at the new
year festival. In addition, it seems he did not take the full army.
This suggests he received news of a possible problem, decided to stop
it before it spread and dashed off to Jerusalem. This would mean, of
course, that Jehoiachin was on the throne for much longer than 3
Thanks for your response.
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