SPECIAL TOPIC: CHALDEANS (BDB 505, KB 501)
I. First mentioned as the Semitic group that controlled "Ur" in the second millennium b.c. (cf. Gen. 11:28,31; 15:7; Acts 7:4). There were many Semitic groups migrating southward and southwestward through the ANE during this time frame.
II. Isaiah 23:13 refers to the destruction of the nation of Babylon (not Neo-Babylon) by Assyria (cf. Isaiah 13-14). There are two "Babylons" mentioned in the Hebrew Prophets.
A. small semi-autonomous region close to the mouth of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers that rebelled against Assyria and was invaded and their capital "Babylon" destroyed by Sargon II (722-705 b.c.), who took the Babylonian throne name "King of Babylon." Then it would refer to the Babylonian kings
1. Merodach-baladan, reigned 721-710 and again 703-702 b.c. (he sent messengers to Hezekiah in 712 b.c., cf. 2 Kgs. 20:12-21; Isaiah 39)
2. Shamash-shum-ukim, son of Esarhaddon, 681-669 b.c. and rival brother to Ashurbanipal [669-633 b.c.] who was made king of Assyria
B. a new (i.e., "neo") Babylon appeared on the scene in 626 b.c. with the rise of Nabopolassor (626-605 b.c.), the father of Nebuchadnezzar II (605-562 b.c.). Nabopolassor was instrumental in the fall of Asshur (one Assyrian capital) in 614 b.c. and Nineveh (the main Assyrian capital) in 612 b.c. (see Special Topic: Powers of Mesopotamia).
II. A class of counselors in Daniel 9
Herodotus (450 b.c.), Hist. I:181, uses this term to refer to an ethnic group (cf. 2 Kgs. 24:1-4; Dan. 5:30) as well as a priestly class (cf. Dan. 2:2; 3:8; 4:7; 5:7,11) whose usage goes back to Cyrus II. Even before this Assyrian records used the term (BDB 505) in an ethnic sense (cf. R. K. Harrison, Introduction to the Old Testament, p. 1113). Also read the good discussion of the possibility of a confusion of two similar terms (i.e., Kal-du vs. Kasdu) in The Expositors Bible Commentary, vol. 7, pp. 14-15 or Robert Dick Wilson, Studies in the Book of Daniel, series 1.
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