- Sea Of Galilee #38by Brett Matthew West
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First Babylonian Empire
Sea Of Galilee
: Sea Of Galilee #38 by Brett Matthew West
Book of the Month contest entry
Artwork by lynnkah at

Isn't it amazing the deeper you dive into researching a topic the clearer the picture becomes? This series has actually clued me in on several areas I thought I had at least a little understanding of and did not grasp the way I thought things were before doing the research.

Someone asked me in a PM how long I planned to pen this book. Not sure. Sort of letting it write itself. Suppose I will stop when the spirit moves me.


The First Babylonian Empire was dated about 1894BC to about 1595BC. Located in the Tigris and Euphrates valleys, the First Babylonian Empire, also known as the Old Babylonian Empire, came after the end of the Sumerian civilization. This was the earliest known civilization in the region of Southern Mesopotamia {Modern Day south-central Iraq} and one of the world's first civilizations.

Babylon rose to power after the destruction of the Third Dynasty of Ur and the short-lived Isin-Larsa Period. Babylon has produced few archaeological materials. This makes dating its origins hard to pinpoint. Some materials have survived though. These include royal inscriptions, written records, literary texts, and lists of year-names.

Little is known about the Babylonian kings from Sumu-Abum, he was the first Amorite king of the First Babylon Dynasty and reigned about 1830BC to about 1817BC, to Sin-Muballit. He reigned about 1813BC to about 1792BC. At that time, Babylon was not much more than a minimal administrative center.

These kings added little size to the Babylonian territory. It was not until Hammurabi, who reigned about 1792BC to about 1750BC, and his military victories, that Babylon's size increased.

One of the oldest written laws in history is called the Code of Hammurabi. These 4130 lines of cuneiform text are the longest, best-organized and best-preserved legal text from the Ancient Near East. A relief portrait of Hammurabi hangs over the doors to the House Chamber of the US Capitol building.

Babylonian kings held three distinct titles. They were:

-Viceroy, or Governor, of Babylon - this implied the political dominion of Babylon. Marduk, Babylon's national patron diety, was considered the true king of Babylon from about the 2nd Millennial BC on. Marduk became the most prestigious god of the Mesopotamian partheon. He was worshipped in the Esagila Temple, which may possibly be the model for the Tower of Babel.

Depicted as a human carrying a snake-dragon and a spade, Marduk presided over justice, compassion, healing, regeneration, magic, fairness, storms, and agriculture. His divine weapon was a wind weapon known as an imhulla. This was used to savage the water goddess Tiamat, the goddess of the sea and the symbol of primordial creation in the Mesopotamian story of creation, known as Enuma Elis.

Discovered in 1849 by the English Archaeologist Austen Henry Layard who excavated Ninevah, the Enuma Elis contains approximately 1000 lines recorded in Akkadian on seven clay tablets. The myth describes the creation of the world, a battle between gods that focused on Marduk's supremacy, the creation of man to serve the Mesopotamian dieties, and contained a lengthy passage praising Marduk.

-King of Karduniash - a Kassites name for Babylon. The Kassites were the third dynasty to rule Old Babylon and were primarily responsible for establishing the Second Babylonian Dynasty. The horse and chariot first came into use in Babylon during their reign.

The name was used until about 900BC to 880BC, after the Kassites lost control of Babylon under Nabu-shuma-ukin I, in the Early Iron Age. This name was also used from about 681BC to about 667BC by the Neo-Assyrian king Esarhaddon, who conquered Egypt in 671BC, and made his empire the largest the world had ever seen. He also rebuilt Babylon, which his father had destroyed.

The arrival of the Kassites to Babylon has been connected to the Proto-Indo-European peoples. They were a Prehistoric Bronze Age population, probably Euroasian clans and tribes from Present Day Eastern Ukraine, Southern Siberia, and Southern Russia, of about the 4th Millennium BC.

-King of Sumer and Akkad - this name referred to the whole of Southern Mesopotamia. Used to connect the Babylonian kings to the culture and legacy of the Sumerian and Akkadian civilizations, the title was originally used by the Third Dynasty of Ur, about 2112BC to about 2004BC. Babylonian kings used the name until the end of the Neo-Babylonian Empire, about 539BC.

Babylon had 14 Dynasties. They were:

-Dynasty I (Amorite) from about 1894BC to about 1595BC
-Dynasty II (1st Sealand) from about 1732BC to about 1475BC and independent of the Amorite kings
-Dynasty III (Kassites) from about 1729BC to about 1155BC
-Dynasty IV (2nd Isin) from about 1153BC to about 1022BC.
-Dynasty V (2nd Sealand) from about 1021BC to about 1001BC
-Dynasty VI (Bazi) from about 1000BC to about 981BC
-Dynasty VII (Elamite) from about 980BC to about 975BC
-Dynasty VIII (E) from about 974BC to about 732BC
-Dynasty IX (Assyrian) from about 732BC to about 626BC
-Dynasty X (Chaldean) from about 626BC to about 539BC
-Dynasty XI (Achaemenid) from about 539BC to about 331BC
-Dynasty XII (Argead) from about 331BC to about 310BC
-Dynasty XIII (Seleucid) from about 305BC to about 141BC
-Dynasty XIV (Arsacid) from about 141BC to about 224AD

Dynasty XIV ended the BabylonIan kings. The last one was Artabanus of the Partheon Empire.

The son of Nabopalassar, the founder of the Chaldean Dynasty, Nebuchadnezzar came from Dynasty X. He reigned about 605BC to about 562BC. Nebuchadnezzar conquered what became Modern Day Syria and Palestine. He destroyed Jerusalem in 587BC and besieged the city again in 586BC, when he destroyed Solomon's Temple. Allied with the Medes, Persians, and Scythians, Nebuchadnezzar defeated Egypt at the Battle of Carchemish.

2 Kings, 2 Chronicles 35:20, Ezekial 30, and Jeremiah 46:2 all talk about Nebuchednezzar. He created the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the recognized 7 wonders of the ancient world, and ate grass like an insane cow for 7 years for his deeds in Jerusalem (Daniel 4:33).



Next Time: Sea Of Galilee #39: Old Babylon

Author Notes
Drauge, by lynnkah, selected to complement my posting.


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