Daniel 1:2 Index
"And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God: which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god."

"the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand" (Deuteronomy 28:49-52; Jeremiah 17:24-27; 25:8-11; Ezekiel 12:13; Daniel 2:37 & Daniel 2:38; Daniel 5:18)

  • ...on more than one occasion, Jeremiah called King Nebuchadnezzar the Lord's servant (Jeremiah 25:9; 27:6). This fact explains why Daniel, when describing Babylon's capture of Jerusalem, says that "the Lord gave" the king and the people of Judah into Nebuchadnezzar's hand.... [Daniel] says that "the Lord gave" the king of Judah along with the temple articles into the hands of the Babylonians. To the faithful, this bold statement of trust says that God was still in control and was a source of strength and courage. After all, had not God, through the prophet Jeremiah, called King Nebuchadnezzar "my servant" (Jeremiah 27:6)? Had he not put a time limit to the period of the exile in Babylon (Jeremiah 29:10)? That same "Lord gave" Judah's king, the captives, and the holy objects into the enemy's hands. Because King Jehoiakim had surrendered to the Babylonians, he was not taken to Babylon but eventually died in the land of Judah (2 Kings 24:6). The destiny of the captives and the temple vessels was very different, since they were "carried into" Babylonia.... King Nebuchadnezzar defeated Jerusalem and its people, but he was able to do so only because the Lord allowed it to happen. Through the prophet Isaiah, he had [foretold] long before, in the time of King Hezekiah, that these holy vessels would some day be carried to Babylon (Isaiah 39:6). This same God was still in control of the events in the world. In fact, he had set the limits to the power of the Neo-Babylonian Empire. (ZS)
  • ...The overthrow of Jerusalem recorded here was predicted by Jeremiah, and was accomplished in 605 B.C., Jeremiah places this captivity in the fourth year of Jehoiakim, Daniel in the third. This seeming discrepancy is explained by the fact that Nebuchadnezzar set out on his expedition near the close of the third year of Jehoiakim, form which point Daniel reckons. But the king did not accomplish the subjugation of Jerusalem until about the ninth month of the year following, from which year Jeremiah reckons. Jehoiakim, though bound for the purpose of being taken to Babylon, humbled himself and was permitted to remain as ruler of Jerusalem, tributary to the king of Babylon.... This was the first time Jerusalem was taken by Nebuchadnezzar. Twice subsequently the city revolted, but was recaptured by the same king, and more severely dealt with each succeeding time. The second overthrow was during the time of Jehoiachin (593 B.C.), son of Jehoiakim, when the sacred vessels were either taken or destroyed, and the best of the inhabitants were led with the king into captivity. The third was under Zedekiah (586 B.C.), when the city endured a formidable siege. During its continuance for a year and a half, the inhabitants of the city suffered all the horrors of extreme famine. At length the garrison and the king attempted to escape from the city, but they were captured by the Chaldeans. The sons of the king were slain before his face. His eyes were put out, and he was taken to Babylon. Thus was fulfilled the prediction of Ezekiel that he should be carried to Babylon, and die there, yet he should not see the place. (Ezekiel 12:13). The city and temple were at this time utterly destroyed, and the entire population of the country, with the exception of a few husbandmen, were carried captive to Babylon, in 586 B.C. ...Such was God's passing testimony against sin -- not that the Chaldeans were the favorites of Heaven, but that God made use of them to punish the iniquities of His people. Had the Israelites been faithful to God, and kept His Sabbath, Jerusalem would have stood forever. (Jeremiah 17:24-27). But they departed from Him, and He abandoned them. They profaned the sacred vessels by bringing idols into the temple; therefore God allowed these vessels to be further profaned by letting them go as trophies to heathen shrines abroad. (US)
  • Jerusalem was not captured and plundered on the occasion of Nebuchadnezzar's first visit, because Jehoiakim and the city submitted and purchased their ransom by surrendering "part of the vessels of the house of God,"-- the temple built by Solomon. Jehoiakim was allowed to remain on his throne. Three times Nebuchadnezzar came to Jerusalem and each time he dealt more severely with rebellious Judah's city, nation and king. Three years later, Jehoiakim, against the counsels of Jeremiah, rebelled against Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar could not leave his capital at once but in 593 B.C., he led an army into Judea and captured Jerusalem from Jehoiachin, the son of Jehoiakim, who had just become king. This time Nebuchadnezzar plundered the temple and took away all the sacred vessels which he did not destroy. Ten thousand of the best people of the land were carried captive to Babylon. (2 Kings 24).... Three times Nebuchadnezzar captured Jerusalem and three times he carried captives to Babylon. (TGB 7)
  • Nebuchadnezzar placed Zedekiah on the throne of Judah and he reigned 11 years and then rebelled. Again Nebuchadnezzar came and besieged Jerusalem. This was the most terrible siege [in] the history of the city except that by Tibus in A.D. 70. The siege lasted two years and produced a terrible famine. The king and his sons attempted to escape but were captured. The sons of Zedekiah were slain before his eyes and then his eyes were put out and he was taken to Babylon where he died in exile. All this was predicted by Ezekiel the prophet. (Ezekiel 12:1-12). Then Jerusalem was finally captured it was plundered and laid in ruins by the angry Babylonian king. The temple was sacked of all its valuables and then destroyed. Everything of value was carried to Babylon including the two great pillars of brass supporting the temple, each 30 feet in length. Nebuchadnezzar also carried to Babylon most of the inhabitants of the city and nation, leaving only the poorest in their native land. According to Jeremiah 27:5-11 the Lord gave Nebuchadnezzar the power to conquer and rule the world. This is also made plan in Daniel 2:37,38. The Lord used a heathen king to punish His own people and designated him "My servant." (TGB)
  • The fall of Jerusalem and the captivity of its inhabitants was a heaven-sent punishment because of their sins and apostasies. The Lord used a heathen king as His instrument to chastise His own people and designates him "My servant." (Jeremiah 27:6-8). The Jews lost the sacred vessels out of their temple because they had permitted the spiritual treasure to leak out of their soul-temples. "When the spiritual treasure of true religion is lost, the loss of its material treasure may follow as a wholesome chastisement." (Pulpit Commentary, Prof. Adeney). The Lord may also have to use wicked men to teach us lessons of trust and obedience when all other efforts fail. "When thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness." (Isaiah 26:9). (TGB 7)
  • ...how could God give an Israelite king into the power of a heathen imperialist?...by the time of the Exodus from Egypt... dated [about] 1445 B.C. God had selected the Israelites to be..."His people" (Acts 13:47, 48)... not... to be nice to the Israelites... but in order to bring salvation... to all people.... most of the Israelites chose not to love and obey God... Around 931 B.C., after the reign of King Solomon, they divided into two separate and quarreling nations -- the kingdom of Judah in the south and in the north, the kingdom of Israel... the northern kingdom, officially adopted a kind of paganism... God... sent prophet after prophet... to plead with the nation and to offer complete pardon if the people would repent.... Meanwhile the empire of Assyria arose on the horizon, conquering every nation it attacked... In 722 B.C.... God gave... Israel to the Assyrians.... Prophet after prophet appealed to the southern kingdom of Judah... offered pardon in exchange for repentance.... "And the LORD God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on His people, and on His dwelling place. But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised His words, and misused His prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against His people, till there was no remedy. Therefore He brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion upon young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for age: He gave them all into his hand." (2 Chronicles 36:15-17).... When God "gave" Jehoiakim and the kingdom of Judah into the hands of their enemy, He did so only after first trying very hard to save them.... "But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear." (Isaiah 59:2) ... Sinners are at odds with God and with one another... (CMM 19-22)
  • Even though God "gave" the kingdom of Judah [into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar] He stood beside Daniel as an individual. And He did so even though Daniel was a citizen of a conquered race, a member of an ethnic minority, and only a teenager.... "...God... brought Daniel into favour and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs." (Daniel 1:9). "God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom..." (Daniel 1:17). God was with them... in spite of the collapse of their own kingdom they ended up helping to rule a much greater kingdom! This [sets up another illustration in] the book of Daniel. [After all the kingdoms of earth have been destroyed] "the God of heaven [will] set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed." (Daniel 2:44). And it "shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High." (Daniel 7:27). Daniel 1 is a short chapter, but... it reveals God's concern for (His people). (CMM 25)
  • --Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, Zedekiah-- all these Jewish kings were in turn to become vassals of the Babylonian ruler, and all in turn were to rebel. Severer and yet more severe chastisements were to be inflicted upon the rebellious nation, until at last the entire land was to become a desolation, Jerusalem was to be laid waste and burned with fire, the temple that Solomon had build was to be destroyed, and the kingdom of Judah was to fall, never again to occupy its former position among the nations of earth. (PK 422-423)
  • ...Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, came unto Jerusalem and besieged it; that in the siege, Jehoiakim was given by the Lord into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar, but allowed to remain on the throne in Jerusalem, yet Nebuchadnezzar carried with him to Babylon, as tribute, a part of the vessels of the house of God, and as hostages, some of the members of the royal household.... This act... was but the culmination of events which began years before. In order to appreciate this climax, it is essential that we study the causes which led to it. Since the captivity of Judah is an object lesson to people of the last generation, it is doubly necessary that we trace the relationship between certain causes and results. God had an object in calling the Jewish nation to separate themselves from other nations of the world. It was that His people might stand before the world as light-bearers. As a beacon set on a hill, Israel was to send beams of light to the world. The plan of education made known to Israel through her prophets was the means of keeping that light burning. When this God-given plan was neglected, the light, as a candle deprived of the life-giving oxygen, burned dim. Then it was that the nation was pressed upon all sides by [its foes]. There is a Hebrew maxim which says that "Jerusalem was destroyed because the education of her children was neglected." The prophecies of Daniel and the connected history prove the truth of this maxim.... Just about one hundred years before the days of Daniel, Hezekiah was king of Judah. After a reign of thirteen years, he was on his deathbed, but he pleaded with God to lengthen his life. This was done, and fifteen years were added. On the king's recovery he was visited by ambassadors from Babylon, to whom he showed all his treasures. They came to hear of the might God, that could heal the sick: but he showed them only earthly treasure. He lost the opportunity to give them of the treasure of heaven. Then came a message from God by the hand of the prophet Isaiah, saying, "Behold, the days shall come, that all that is in thine house... shall be carried into Babylon; nothing shall be left." (Isaiah 39:6, 7). He was also at the same time told that his descendants should be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.... Here was portrayed the future captivity of the Hebrew race. The prophecy was placed on record, and repeated again and again.... Three years after his life had been saved, a son was born to Hezekiah. Not withstanding the recent prophecy, Hezekiah and his wife, Hephzibah, failed to teach the young Manasseh in the way of truth. He was but twelve years of age when he came to the throne, but [chose] the worship of the heathen [gods].... Manasseh decided in favor of the heathen deities; did evil in the sight of God; and "for the sins of Manasseh" (2 Kings 24:3) came the captivity of Judah.... The long reign of Manasseh passed, and the prophecy sent to Hezekiah was not yet fulfilled. Men began to wonder if it ever would come to pass. "Since the fathers fell asleep," said they, "all things continue as they were." (2 Peter 3:3, 4).... It was in the days of Josiah, the grandson of Manasseh, that Jeremiah prophesied. Through this prophet, God pleaded with Jerusalem to return to Him. "Lo, I will bring a nation upon you from afar, O house of Israel, saith the Lord: it is a mighty nation, it is an ancient nation, a nation whose language thou knowest not." (Jeremiah 5:15). Thus was Babylon described, and Jerusalem's impending doom portrayed.... Josiah was spared the sight of the complete destruction of Jerusalem because of the reforms [he instituted]. (2 Kings:19-20; 2 Chronicles 34:27-28).... Josiah had three sons and one grandson, who were in turn [to] seat on the throne at Jerusalem. Each... refused to take God at His word... hastened the final overthrow [of Jerusalem]. (SH 16-20)
  • God had pleaded with Judah not to provoke Him to anger, but they had hearkened not. Finally sentence was pronounced against them. They were to be led away captive to Babylon. The Chaldeans were to be used as the instrument by which God would chastise His disobedient people. The sufferings of the men of Judah were to be in proportion to the light they had had and to the warnings they had despised and rejected. Long had God delayed His judgments, but now He would visit His displeasure upon them as a last effort to check them in their evil course. (PK 425)
  • ...we witness the fulfillment of the prophecies uttered by the ancient prophets of Israel as both a warning and a call for repentance. (Isaiah 39:1-7; Jeremiah 20:5) (JBD 16)
  • ...the author used this name of God to show that God was in charge of the events that were taking place. The Lord is greater than a mere local deity. In addition to being the patron of Israel, He is the Lord of all the earth. This statement also contains the first of the three occurrences of the verb... "to give" in this chapter. The other two occurrences are in Daniel 1:9 and Daniel 1:17. Its use in this verse shows that the Lord was in full control when the leaders of Jerusalem surrendered to the Babylonian army. (ZS 46-48)
  • Why did Israel's God make such a gift? Obviously to punish His people for their continued blasphemous iniquity. But there was an even deeper purpose. God delivered Israel from Egyptian slavery and placed them in Canaan that they might be His light bearers to the world (Isaiah 42:1). But Israel never measured up to that responsibility. Instead, they hedged themselves about in the Land of Promise, caring little about the surrounding nations who, in their darkness and superstition, continued their idolatrous worship. (RAA 41)
  • When Israel failed to carry out its God-given responsibility, the Lord permitted a heathen monarch to invade Jerusalem and take His people captive. Seeing the finest of Judah's youth... wrenched from their homes and taken as slaves into Babylon was a terrible shock to the Jews. Doubtless many asked if God had forgotten His promise. No, He had not forgotten, but He had to adapt His plan so as to carry out His original purpose. (RAA 41)
  • To bring the Gospel to Babylon God turned the shadow on the Sun-dial. God wanted to give them Bread, but Israel gave a stone. Finally Jerusalem, thinking as Babylon was sent into Babylon. (GB 25)
  • But Israel remained unrepented and the Lord saw that they must be punished for their sin, so he instructed Jeremiah to make yokes and bonds and place them upon his neck, and send them to the king of Edom, the king of Moab, of the Ammonites, of Tyrus and Zidon, commanding the messengers to say that God had given all these lands to Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon. That all these nations should serve him and his descendants for a certain time, till God should deliver them. They were to declare that if those nations refused to serve the king of Babylon they should be punished with the famine, with the sword, and pestilence, till they should be consumed. “Therefore,” said the Lord, “Hearken not ye to your prophets, nor to your diviners, nor to your dreamers, nor to your enchanters, nor to your sorcerers, which speak unto you, saying, Ye shall not serve the king of Babylon; for they prophesy a lie unto you to remove you far from your land; and that I should drive you out, and ye should perish. But the nations that bring their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him, those will I let remain still in their own land, saith the Lord; and they shall till it, and dwell therein” (Jeremiah 27:9-11). (The Signs of the Times article "The Great Controversy" February 12, 1880)
  • Nebuchadnezzar was the greatest ruler of the age in which he lived. Ezekiel spoke of him as “a king of kings” (Ezekiel 26:7) and prophesied that God would allow him to complete the destruction of Jerusalem, and that because the inhabitants of “the renowned city” of Tyre (Ezekiel 26:17) would say against Jerusalem “Aha, she is broken that was the gates of the people: she is turned unto me: I shall be replenished, now she is laid waste,” (Ezekiel 26:2) God would “bring upon Tyrus Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon” (Ezekiel 26:7), “the terrible of the nations” (Ezekiel 28:7) who would make this place “in the midst of the seas” (Ezekiel 26:5) “a desolate city” (Ezekiel 26:19) that should be “built no more” (Ezekiel 26:14). The prophet further declared: “Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon caused his army to serve a great service against Tyrus: ... yet he had no wages, nor his army; ... therefore thus saith the Lord God: ... I have given him the land of Egypt for his labor wherewith he served against it, because they wrought for me” (Ezekiel 29:18-19).... The capital of Nebuchadnezzar's world-empire is spoken of by Isaiah as “Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldee's excellency” (Isaiah 13:19), “the golden city” (Isaiah 14:4); “the lady of the kingdoms” “that dwellest upon many waters, abundant in treasures” (Jeremiah 51:13); and by Jeremiah as “the praise of the whole earth” (Jeremiah 51:41). Jeremiah also speaks of “the broad walls of Babylon ... and her high gates” (Jeremiah 51:58); Isaiah, of her “gates of brass” (Isaiah 54:2).... Habakkuk describes the Babylonians as “that bitter and hasty nation (Habakuk 1:6), ... terrible and dreadful (Habakuk 1:7).... Their horses also are swifter than leopards, and are more fierce than the evening wolves (Habakuk 1:8).” Jeremiah writes in regard to “the “mighty men of Babylon (Jeremiah 51:30).” ...Nebuchadnezzar was an instrument of God's judgments. “Thus saith the Lord: ... I have made the earth, the man and the beast that are upon the ground, by my great power and by my outstretched arm, and have given it unto whom it seemed meet unto me. And now have I given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant; and the beasts of the field have I given him also to serve him.... And it shall come to pass, that the nation and kingdom which will not serve the same Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, and that will not put their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, that nation will I punish, saith the Lord, with the sword, and with the famine, and with the pestilence, until I have consumed them by his hand. Therefore harken not ye to your prophets, nor to your diviners, nor to your dreamers, nor to your enchanters, nor to your sorcerers, which speak unto you, saying, Ye shall not serve the king of Babylon: for they prophesy a lie unto you, to remove you far from your land; and that I should drive you out, and ye should perish. But the nations that bring their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him, those will I let remain still in their own land, saith the Lord; and they shall till it, and dwell therein (Jeremiah 27:4-11).” ...The vision of the great image, in which Babylon was represented as the head of gold, was given Nebuchadnezzar in order that he might have a clear understanding in regard to the end of all things earthly, and also in regard to the setting up of God's everlasting kingdom. Although in the interpretation he was declared to be “a king of kings (Daniel 2:37),” this was because “the God of heaven” (Daniel 2:37) had given him “a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory (Daniel 2:37).” His kingdom was universal, extending “wheresoever the children of men dwell (Daniel 2:38),” yet it was to be followed by three other universal kingdoms, after which “the God of heaven” (Daniel 2:44) would “set up a kingdom” (Daniel 2:44) which should “never be destroyed (Daniel 2:44).” ...In the providence of God, Nebuchadnezzar was given ample opportunity to ascribe to the Lord the glory for the splendor of his reign. And for a time after the vision of the great image, he acknowledged God as supreme. Falling back into idolatrous habits, he was again, by the miraculous deliverance of the three Hebrews from the fiery furnace, led to acknowledge that God's “kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion is from generation to generation (Daniel 4:3).” But once more the king perverted the warnings God had given him, and turned aside from the path of humility to follow the imaginations of his naturally proud heart. Thinking that his kingdom should be more extensive and powerful than any that would follow, he made great additions to the city of Babylon, and gave himself up to a life of pleasure and self-glorification. Of this time he himself says: “I Nebuchadnezzar was at rest in mine house, and flourishing in my palace (Daniel 4:4).” (The Youth's Instructor article "The Power and Splendor of Babylon During Nebuchadnezzar's Reign" October 11, 1904)

"part of the vessels" (2 Chronicles 36:7)

  • Nebuchadnezzar doubtlessly took the most valuable and finest Temple vessels to display in the temple of his god Marduk. There were three occasions on which the Chaldeans carried away sacred vessels to Babylon: 1) in the campaign recorded in this passage in 605 B.C., 2) when Jerusalem was taken at the close of Jehoiachin's reign in 597 B.C. (2 Kings 24:13) , and 3) at the end of the reign of Zedekiah, when, in 586 B.C. after a long siege (2 Kings 25:8-15). The spoiling of Jerusalem's treasures by the Babylonians forces was the fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy pronounced almost a century earlier (Isaiah 39:6). (4BC)
  • Mention of the temple articles in the beginning of Daniel's book also prepares the reader for the story of Belshazzar's feast (Daniel 5), which is placed in the context of Babylon's fall. (ZS)
  • When Nebuchadnezzar removed (the) sacred utensils from the "house of God" in Jerusalem and placed them... in the Esagila -- the main temple of his god Marduk in Babylon -- he naturally supposed that his god had triumphed over the God of the Jews.... But... just as God "gave" His kingdom of Judah into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar, so the says He "gave" him the vessels of His temple, and for the same reasons.... Nebuchadnezzar made two further trips to Jerusalem until he had acquired a collection (of all) 5,469 (vessels). (CMM 2, 23)
  • When Nebuchadnezzar removed sacred utensils from the "house of God" in Jerusalem and placed them... in the temple of his god Marduk in Babylon -- he naturally supposed that his god had triumphed over the God of the Jews.... From history of Berosus who was a priest of the Bel temple in Babylon (300 - 250 B.C.): "His father Nabopolassar, hearing of the defection of the satrap in charge of Egypt, Coele-Syria, and Phoenicia, and being himself unequal to the fatigues of a campaign, committed part of his army to his son Nabuchodonosor, still in the prime of life, and sent him against the rebel. Nabuchodonosor engaged and defeated the latter in a pitched battle [at Carchemish] and replaced the district under Babylonian rule. Meanwhile, as it happened, his father Nabopolassar sickened and died in the city of Babylon.... Being informed ere long of his father's death, Nabuchodonosor settled the affairs of Egypt and the other countries. The prisoners - Jews, Phoenicians, Syrians, and those of Egyptian nationality - were consigned to some of his friends with orders to conduct them to Babylonia, along with the heavy troops and the rest of the spoils; while he himself, with a small escort, pushed across the desert to Babylon. (Jesophus, Against Apion, 1:134-137. Text and trans. by H. St. J. Thackeray, Ralph Marcus, and Louis H. Feldman, Josephus: With an English Translation, 9 vols., Loeb Classical Library (London: William Heinemann, 1956-1965), 1:216, 217.).... From a cuneiform tablet called the Babylonian Chronicle kept in the British Museum (B.M. 21946): Nebuchadrezzar,... the crown prince, mustered (the Babylonian army) and... marched to Carchemish which is on the bank of the Euphrates, and crossed the river (to go) against the Egyptian army which lay in Carchemish... He accomplished their defeat... At that time Nebuchadrezzar conquered the whole area of the Hatti-country [Syria-Palestine]. For twenty-one years Nabopolassar had been king of Babylon. On the 8th of the month of Ab [August 15, 605 B.C.]... he died; in the month of Elul Nebuchadrezzar returned to Babylon and on the first day of the month of Elul [September 7] he sat on the royal throne of Babylon. (D.J. Wiseman, Chronicles of Chaldean Kings (625-556 B.C.) in the British Museum (London: The Trustees of the British Museum, 1956), pp. 67-69.) (CMM 22)
  • The fact that these men, worshipers of Jehovah, were captives in Babylon, and that the vessels of God's house had been placed in the Temple of the Babylonish gods, was boastfully cited by the victors as evidence that their religion and customs were superior to the religion and customs of the Hebrews. Yet through the very humiliations that Israel's departure from Him had invited, God gave Babylon evidence of His supremacy, of the holiness of His requirements, and of the sure results of obedience. And this testimony He gave, as alone it could be given, through those who were loyal to Him. (PK 479-480)
  • After the (siege), the winning army would carry the book back to their land. The trophies included some sacred temple objects... to show the superiority of their gods over those of the defeated nation.... The articles that were taken from the temple in Jerusalem were the only surviving material like between the first and the second temple. Nebuchadnezzar treated the sacred vessels with respect. (ZS 46)
  • Solomon's temple, was the most costly and beautiful building on earth. In 1940, it was estimated by architects that it would have cost $87,000,000,000 to replace it. (In 2017 dollars the amount is 17x more or approximately $1,550,476,000,000,000.) (GB 14)

"land of Shinar" (Genesis 11:2; Zechariah 5:11)

  • In most of the OT references Shinar is simply a term for Babylonia. (4BC)
  • The intentional use of the archaic "Shinar" for Babylon takes the reader back to the story recorded in Genesis 11 in which the human race tries to defy God's plan by building an imposing city-tower intended to be the capital of the world.... the story reports that the project was in the end aborted, resulting in an a new - taunting - name given to the place: Babel, or "confusion." In ... Genesis 12, God called Abraham to leave this place of rebellion and confusion to go to a land that he promised to give to Abram's descendants so that "all peoples on earth will be blessed through you" (Genesis 12:3).... (ZS)
  • Chained and uprooted, the Judeans have lost everything. Their past, their hope, their identities, their values, all is compromised. In exile it is easy to forget one's homeland. In fact, the strategy behind deportation is to exile the inhabitants in order to subjugate them better. (JBD)
  • Shinar was one of the ancient names for Chaldea or Babylonia. (Genesis 11:2). The ancient kings had no banks in which to deposit treasure so they used the temples of their gods for that purpose. They believed that their gods would protect their wealth. (TGB 6)
  • ...alludes to the story of the building of the city and the Tower of Babel.... Abraham's descendents, the Israelite captives, are pictured as reversing their ancestor's experience... they were actually backtracking Abraham's journey of faith. (ZS 48)

"to the house of his god"

  • The chief god of the Babylonians was Marduk, who, since the time of the First Dynasty, more than a thousand years earlier, had popularly been called Bel, 'lord." His main temple , called Esagila, in the court of which stood the great temple tower, Elemenanki, was in the heart of Babylon. (4BC)
  • The original Hebrew says... "the house of his god(s)," and it contrasts with the previously given expression "the temple of God." The articles were deposited in Esagila, the temple in Babylon built in honor of the city's patron god, Marduk, whose popular name was Bel, "lord" (Isaiah 46:1). Since King Nebuchadnezzar worshiped this god (Daniel 4:8), he named his eldest son, the crown prince, Amel-Marduk, after him (Evil-Merodach in 2 kings 25:27; Jeremiah 52:31). Ezra 1:7 and Ezra 5:14 specify that the vessels were "placed in the temple of his [the king's] god(s)" and remained there during the whole period of the exile. It is significant that the expression "his god" is given twice in this verse, most likely for emphasis. (ZS)
  • Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians worshipped many gods "of gold, and of silver, of brass, or iron, of wood, and of stone." (Daniel 5:4). There were thirteen great gods besides lesser gods without number. Why then does not the record say "his gods" rather than "his god"? Because Nebuchadnezzar believed that he was controlled by and under the protection of one certain god who was his special friend and benefactor. This god was Marduk or Bel Merodach. After this god he named his first born son who became king after his death. "Evil-Merodach" he was called. (TGB 6)
  • Jeremiah declared that they were to wear the yoke of servitude for seventy years, and the captives that were already in the hands of the king of Babylon, and the vessels of the Lord's house which had been taken, were also to remain in Babylon till that time had elapsed. But at the end of the seventy years God would deliver them from their captivity, and would punish their oppressors, and bring into subjection the proud king of Babylon.... Jeremiah, in the presence of all the priests and the people, said that it was the earnest wish of his heart that God would so favor his people that the vessels of the Lord's house might be returned and the captives brought back from Babylon. But this could only be done on condition that the people repented and turned from their evil way to the obedience of God's law. Jeremiah loved his country and ardently wished that the desolation predicted might be averted by the humiliation of the people; but he knew the wish was vain. He hoped the punishment of Israel would be as light as possible; therefore he earnestly entreated them to submit to the king of Babylon for the time that the Lord specified. (Signs of the Times, Feb 12, 1880)

"treasure house"

  • Babylonian cuneiform documents frequently mention the treasures of Esagila, the great temple of Marduk. Which of the many auxiliary buildings belonging to that temple complex might have housed these treasures is not known. However, a treasure house of a secular nature has been excavated within the palace compound. Excavators have called this building the Palace Museum because they found there many sculptures and inscriptions collected from conquered cities. As in a modern museum, objects from different parts of the empire were also exhibited. Though the building was open to the public, admission was prohibited to "evil people," according to a contemporary inscription. It is not impossible that many treasures from Jerusalem, especially such as came from the royal treasury, were housed in this Palace Museum and were viewed by the many visitors. (4BC)
  • The ordeal, however, involves a wider scope than the personal discomfort of an exiled minority: the end of Judah means the disappearance of the last sons of Jacob. It is a fate that concerns the chosen people, hence its spiritual and cosmic connotation. The removal of the last witness of God jeopardizes the survival of the world. Babylon has replaced Jerusalem, and one cannot ignore the religious implications of such a usurpation. Significantly, the text underlines three times Nebuchadnezzar's appropriation of the utensils of God's Temple for his own temple use.... [Marduk] has replaced the God of Judah. Worse yet, the event itself is a judgment by God: "The Lord gave... into his hand." As a result, we witness the fulfillment of the prophecies uttered by the ancient prophets of Israel as both a warning and a call for repentance. (Isaiah 39:5-7 and Jeremiah 20:5). (JBD 16)
  • At this time the temple was the treasure house for most nations. The rulers believed that the safest place for their wealth was in their temples because their gods were greatly revered. No doubt Nebuchadnezzar carried off the finest and most valuable temple vessels. (KC 24)