Phenomenon of Amazing Detail

Nebuchadnezzar and his grandson

Jeremiah 27 talks about contending with the false prophets in the region, to the extent of rebuking the false prophets of the neighboring countries. In verses 6 and 7 the fate of Babylon was prophesied.

6 "Now I have given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, My servant, and I have given him also the wild animals of the field to serve him. 7 "All the nations shall serve him and his son and his grandson until the time of his own land comes; then many nations and great kings will make him their servant.

Were these prohecies fullfiled? The Kings of Babylon were also mentioned in the book of Daniel. Does Jeremiah’s prophecies harmonized with Daniel especially in Chapter 5 of the book?

Jeremiah’s prophecy that many nations (including Judah) and great kings (including Jehoiachin) would serve Nebuchadnezzar and “his son and his grandson." Thus Babylon was predicted to end with Nebuchadnezzar’s grandson. Indeed it ended 60 years later with Belshazzar, the son of a state noble Nabonidus who was a usurper to the throne, nonetheless not in the blood line of Nebuchadnezzar. There are now however, good evidence that Nabonidus married Nitrocis, Nebuchadnezzar’s daughter, thus making him son-in-law to Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar, Nebuchadnezzar's grandson.

Belshazzar appeared as the key figure in Daniel 5 and the pivotal figure in the prophesy in Jeremiah 27. The Encyclopedia Britannica pointed out that “Belshazzar had been known only from the biblical Book of Daniel (chapters 5, 7–8 such as: “Belshazzar the king made a great feast for a thousand of his lords, and drank wine in the presence of the thousand.” “That very night Belshazzar, king of the Babylonians, was slain…. Daniel 5:1, 30) and from the Xenophon’s Cyropaedia until 1854, when references to him were found in Babylonian cuneiform inscriptions.”

Nebuchadnezzar, the son of Nabopolassar, became king after his father died in 605 BC. Amel-Marduk, son of Nebuchadnezzar, was king after his father died in 562 BC. Amel-Marduk was murdered in a plot by his brother-in-law Neriglissar. Neriglissar died four years later and his young son Labashi-Marduk became king, but was then quickly overthrown by Nabonidus. Basing on numerous other evidence found in various ‘Nabonidus chronicles,’ it would seem that Belshazzar was the actual ruler that most people in Babylon knew on a daily basis as Nabonidus lived hundreds of miles away (at a place called Tama) and rarely returned to Babylon. Belshazzar had co-ruled the country with his father Nibonidus from 556-539 BC. It was also not uncommon in ancient times to refer to a grandfather, or a great-grandfather as ‘father’ as appeared in Daniel 5.

More recent archeological finds confirmed that Belshazzar was indeed Nabonidus's son. British archaeologist John Taylor worked in Iraq in the middle of the 19th century on behalf of the British Museum. He discovered cuneiform clay cylinders at the ancient ruins of a ziggurat at Tell el-Muqayyar (Ur). Nabonidus mentioned his son Belshazzar by name on the cylinder:

“As for me, Nabonidus, king of Babylon, save me from sinning against your great godhead and grant me as a present a life long of days, and as for Belshazzar, the eldest son -my offspring- instill reverence for your great godhead in his heart and may he not commit any cultic mistake, may he be sated with a life of plenitude.”

the Nabonidus cylinder

Then what about the woman called Nitocris?

This is notable from the Brooklyn Museum archive, NYC.:
"Nitocris, queen of Babylon in the sixth century B.C.E., was the daughter of the famed King Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon, whose son (after Nebuchadnezzar’s death) was overthrown by Nergal-sharezer, Nitocris’ husband. After Nergal-sharezer’s death, she married Nabonidus, the last king of Babylon, helping him to oust her unpopular young son and take the throne. Throughout each reign, she seems to have been influential, counseling her father and continuing some of his building projects after his death."

It is quite amazing to have seen Jeremiah's prophecies accurately fulfilled to the letter. Babylon was predicted to end with Nebuchadnezzar’s grandson. Bible scholars interpreted that the word grandson could have meant the sons of the sons (in plurals). But indeed the reign of Babylon ended 60 years later with Belshazzar, Nebuchadnezzar’s grandson.

Jeremiah was right, verifying again that God had indeed spoken.