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[219] NOW when king Nebuchadnezzar had reigned forty-three years, 1 he ended his life. He was an active man, and more fortunate than the kings that were before him. Now Berosus makes mention of his actions in the third book of his Chaldaic History, where he says thus: "When his father Nebuchodonosor [Nabopollassar] heard that the governor whom he had set over Egypt, and the places about Coelesyria and Phoenicia, had revolted from him, while he was not himself able any longer to undergo the hardships [of war], he committed to his son Nebuchadnezzar, who was still but a youth, some parts of his army, and sent them against him. So when Nebuchadnezzar had given battle, and fought with the rebel, he beat him, and reduced the country from under his subjection, and made it a branch of his own kingdom; but about that time it happened that his father Nebuchodonosor [Nabopollassar] fell ill, and ended his life in the city Babylon, when he had reigned twenty-one years; 2 and when he was made sensible, as he was in a little time, that his father Nebuchodonosor [Nabopollassar] was dead, and having settled the affairs of Egypt, and the other countries, as also those that concerned the captive Jews, and Phoenicians, and Syrians, and those of the Egyptian nations; and having committed the conveyance of them to Babylon to certain of his friends, together with the gross of his army, and the rest of their ammunition and provisions, he went himself hastily, accompanied with a few others, over the desert, and came to Babylon. So he took upon him the management of public affairs, and of the kingdom which had been kept for him by one that was the principal of the Chaldeans, and he received the entire dominions of his father, and appointed, that when the captives came, they should be placed as colonies, in the most proper places of Babylonia; but then he adorned the temple of Belus, and the rest of the temples, in a magnificent manner, with the spoils he had taken in the war. He also added another city to that which was there of old, and rebuilt it, that such as would besiege it hereafter might no more turn the course of the river, and thereby attack the city itself. He therefore built three walls round about the inner city, and three others about that which was the outer, and this he did with burnt brick. And after he had, after a becoming manner, walled the city, and adorned its gates gloriously, he built another palace before his father's palace, but so that they joined to it; to describe whose vast height and immense riches it would perhaps be too much for me to attempt; yet as large and lofty as they were, they were completed in fifteen days. 3 He also erected elevated places for walking, of stone, and made it resemble mountains, and built it so that it might be planted with all sorts of trees. He also erected what was called a pensile paradise, because his wife was desirous to have things like her own country, she having been bred up in the palaces of Media." Megasthenes also, in his fourth book of his Accounts of India, makes mention. of these things, and thereby endeavors to show that this king [Nebuchadnezzar] exceeded Hercules in fortitude, and in the greatness of his actions; for he saith that he conquered a great part of Libya and Iberia. Diocles also, in the second book of his Accounts of Persia, mentions this king; as does Philostrates in his Accounts both of India and of Phoenicia, say, that this king besieged Tyre thirteen years, while at the same time Ethbaal reigned at Tyre. These are all the histories that I have met with concerning this king.

1 These forty-three years for the duration of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar are, as I have just now observed, the very same number in Ptolemy's canon. Moses Chorenensis does also confirm this captivity of the Jews under Nebuchadnezzar, and adds, what is very remarkable, that sale of those Jews that were carried by him into captivity got away into Armenia, and raised the great family of the Bagratide there.

2 These twenty-one years here ascribed to one named Naboulassar, in the first book against Apion, or to Nabopollassar, the father of the great Nebuchadnezzar, are also the very same with those given him in Ptolemy's canon. And note here, that what Dr. Prideaux says, at the year, that Nebuchadnezzar must have been a common name of other kings of Babylon, besides the great Nebuchadnezzar himself is a groundless mistake of some modern chronologers rely, and destitute of all proper original authority.

3 These fifteen days for finishing such vast buildings at Babylon, in Josephus's copy of Berosus, would seem too absurd to be supposed to be the true number, were it not for the same testimony extant also in the first book against Apion, sect. 19, with the same number. It thence indeed appears that Josephus's copy of Berosus had this small number, but that it is the true number I still doubt. Josephus assures us, that the walls of so much a smaller city as Jerusalem were two years and four months in building by Nehemiah, who yet hastened the work all he could, Antiq. B. XI. ch. 5. sect. 8. I should think one hundred and fifteen days, or a year and fifteen days, much more proportionable to so great a work.

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