THIS WEEK’S study in the book of Daniel gives us a window into the polytheistic world of ancient Mesopotamia.
Nebuchadnezzar, the Chaldean king of Babylon, had personal encounters with Yahweh, the God of Israel. He witnessed the power of God as He saved Shadrach, Meshech, and Abednego from the fiery furnace. We explain why the giant golden statue was probably an image of Marduk, the chief god of Babylon, and how an archaeologist 150 years ago found what may have been the platform on which the statue stood. Continue reading
Not ancient astronauts
EZEKIEL DID not see a spacecraft. Those who think he did are mistaken.
We conclude our study of the Book of Lamentations, which describes the desperate conditions of those in Jerusalem at the time of its destruction by Babylon. We note the parallel between “kings of the earth” in Lamentations 4:12 and Canaanite texts that refer to the “Rephaim of the earth” (i.e., a possible reference by Jeremiah to spirits of the evil dead).
THE LAST king of Judah, Zedekiah, was obviously more afraid of his countrymen than he was of Nebuchadnezzar — or God, for that matter.
This week’s study covers the last couple years of the kingdom of Judah before Nebuchadnezzar lost patience and destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple altogether. Zedekiah appears to have been sympathetic to Jeremiah, but he was intimidated by nationalist Judeans into continuing their rebellion against Babylon against the warnings of God through His prophet, Jeremiah.
For reference, here is the timeline of the events we’ve been discussing in our last few studies: