8620Re: [ANE-2] Re: nebuchadrezzar
- Jul 2, 2008Hi Frank:
After defeating the Egyptian army at Carchemish on the Euphrates, Nebuchadnezzar chased the remainder and caught up with them in Hamath. Then Chronicle 5 says he "conquered all of Ha[ma]th" (obv. line 8). It does not say exactly where he was when he received word about his father's death, but apparently he was far to the south of Carchemish at the time. And of course, II Kings 24:7 states that he took "from the river of Egypt unto the river Euphrates all that pertained to the king of Egypt."
Berossus knew some of the events this year as well: "Nabouchodonosoros learned of his father's death shortly thereafter. After he arranged affairs in Egypt [at the border of Egypt?] and the remaining territory, he ordered some of his friends to bring Jewish, Phoenician, Syrian, and Egyptian prisoners together with the bulk of the army and the rest of the booty to Babylonia. He himself set out with a few companions and reached Babylon BY CROSSING THE DESERT" (FGrH 2a). So Berossus would put Neb somewhere in the southern Levant at the time of his father's death on 8 Ab (16-Aug, 605). It would have taken a week or so for this news to reach him by fast mounted couriers, and this makes the desert crossing the only route short enough to get him back to Babylon the day of his coronation on 1 Elul (7-Sep, 605).
AFAIK, there was no intercalary month xii (Addaru) at the end of the Babylonian year 598/597. There was an additional month vi (Elul) added in 598 and beginning on 21-Sep (Julian); see Parker & Dubberstein _Babylonian Chronology 626 B.C-A.D. 75_ (1956) 27. I also have never heard of the entire intercalary month being treated as a holiday, but that would be some party!
It is I believe still the conventional view that Jehoiachin was the king mentioned in the Babylonian Chronicle as being captured on or after 2 Addaru (16-Mar, 597), but I do think his father is the one meant. The chronology of Late Judah is still problematic. If you think Neb never ever ever skipped a new year festival at the capital, what was Nabonidus' precedent or did he not have one?
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