REL 394 Babylonian Crisis - Hebrew Prophecy Responds to the...

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1 Hebrew Prophecy Responds to the Babylonian Crisis Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603) Introduction VIDEO: Elizabeth (“Burning Protestant heretics”) 01:12 Name two famous (or not-so-famous) religious conflicts. Which has had the greatest impact on Western history? Are religious conflicts more difficult to resolve than political conflicts? The neo-Babylonian period is perhaps the most difficult in Judah’s history. head2right Ezekiel’s response-- The word of Yhwh came to me: “Son of man, there were two women, daughters of the same mother. They became prostitutes in Egypt, engaging in prostitution from their youth. The older was named Oholah, and her sister was Oholibah. They were mine and gave birth to sons and daughters. Oholah is Samaria, and Oholibah is Jerusalem. (Ezek 23:1-5) head2right Other prophets in this time-period include Jeremiah, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, and Nahum.
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2 Historical Context: The Rise of Babylon In 652, Shamash-shumukin , the Assyrian puppet-king of Babylon, leads a revolt against his brother, Assurbanipal—and vassal kings all over the empire join in (probably also Manasseh of Judah). In 648, after a two-year siege, Assurbanipal recaptures Babylon. Shamash- shumukin commits suicide, but Assyria's days are numbered. Assurbanipal soon dies, and internal strife breaks out between Sin-shar-ishkun and Asshur-etil-elani (627-624?). Eventually Sin-shar-ishkun wins out. Meanwhile, the Medes and Babyonians take advantage of Assyria's internal problems; Nabopolassar (626-605) becomes the founder of the Neo-Babylonian empire. In October, 626, he defeats the Assyrians near Babylon, and Assyria turns to Egypt for help. In 616, Pharaoh Psammetichus sends an army to stop the Babylonians, while the Medes, under Cyaxares , conquer Assur in 614. In 612, the Medes and Babylonians join forces and conquer Nineveh. In 610, Josiah of Judah tries to stop Pharaoh Neco 's northern drive—and dies for trying at Megiddo (2 Kings 23:29). Jehoahaz succeeds him as king of Judah (23:31). In 609, Assur-uballit II tries to retake Haran (with the help of Pharaoh Neco). After finishing off the remains of Assyria at Haran, Neco deposes Jehoahaz and installs Jehoiakim as king of Judah (an Egyptian puppet). Judah becomes an Egyptian vassal-state for several years (609-605). Jehoiakim takes advantage of this situation to make himself rich (i.e., he becomes a war-profiteer, like Oskar Schindler; see Jer 22:13-19). In 605, Nebuchadnezzar defeats the Egyptians at Carchemish (Jer 46:2ff), but in August 605 he goes home to Babylon to assume his father's throne (Nabopolassar, who promptly dies). In 603, Jehoiakim hastily transfers his allegiance to Nebuchadnezzar (2 Kings 24:1). In 601, Babylon fights Egypt to a stalemate, and Jehoiakim decides to rebel. The Babylonians hire mercenaries (Arameans, Moabites, Ammonites [2 Kgs 24:2]) to harrass Judah until they can mount a full attack.
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