For many years I have been looking for a very specific inscription of Nebuchadnezzar. I knew it was at a place called Nahr el Kelb. “The river of the dog.”
I found inscriptions of Assyrian kings like Esarhaddon and Egyptian kings like Tutmosis III but could not find one of my favourate heros, Nebuchadnezzar.
And then one year with the help of a brilliant archaeologist from the Middle East University in Beirut and a very clever tour guide Francaise, I found it.
It was quite a job for my friends to lower me down from a bridge to the place where the incriptions were. But I made it. They say: Perseverance is the master of defeat.
It was one of the great moments in my life when a looked at the cuneiform inscriptions left by this great monarch of ancient Babylon.
I had this tremendous urge to walk in the footsteps of this exceptional man of whom the Bible speaks. I like to discover facts about people mentioned in the Bible in order to strengthen my faith in the word of God.
The prophets Daniel and Jeremiah predicted that Nebuchadnezzar would be become ruler of the world. He did and history attests the fact.
When I walked on the partially restored procession road in Babylon, I thought of the boasting words of the man who ruled the ancient world:
Daniel 4:30 The king spoke, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honor of my majesty?
I went in search for inscriptions that would confirm the boastful nature of Nebuchadnezzar’s speech. I did not find in at Nineveh where he and his father and Cyares king of the Medes destroyed the city in 612 BC.
I thought I would find it at Carchemish in Syria next to Euphrates River where he defeated Pharaoh Necho II of Egypt. No luck.
We succeeded at Wadi Briza in Lebanon. What an excitement to look at two huge panels full of cuneiform writing from the time of Nebuchadnezzar.
While I studied his lengthy message about his military successes in the Middle East, I thought of his boastful words in Daniel chapter 4.
Let me read you just a few lines from this inscription:
“I have made the…the city of Babylon to the foremost among all the countries and every human habitation; its name I have made (elevated) to the (most worthy of) praise among the sacred cities.” Anet 307
It is quite an experience to visit the foundations of the once mighty Tower of Babel, the Etemenanki. There used be many beautiful shrines and tempels in this area.
Listen to Nebuchadnezzar’s prayer to his god Marduk:
“O Marduk, my lord, do remember my deeds favourably as good (deeds), may (these) my good deeds be always before your mind (so that) my walking in Esgila and Ezida – which I love – may last to old age.” Anet 307.
While I read Nebuchadnezzar’s boastful claims in his restored palace in ancient Babylon, I thought of God’s way of saving people. He never gives up on us.
The mighty king became insane and at grass for seven years. The something interesting happened one day. Let him tell us about this event in his own words:
Daniel 4:34 At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes towards heaven, and my sanity was restored.
He was restored to his throne. This time as a converted man. Listen to his words:
Daniel 4:34 Then I praised the Most High; I honoured and gloriefied him who lives for ever.
May God help us to look up Him so that we too may receive new mental health and praise Him for being a saving, forgiving and loving God.