The PURE TRUTH
Vol. 1, No. 2
published as: "Nebuchadnezzar's Seven-Year
7-Year Interregnum In History?
Is It Historical? in The PURE TRUTH
magazine, No. 15, March-April 1995)
reveals that king Nebuchadnezzar of ancient Babylon
went insane for seven years -- leaving his throne to others
-- but was reinstated as monarch after the seven years had
passed and his sanity restored. Why is there no
historical record of this amazing event? Or is
The problem with many historians is
that they cannot see the evidence of past scriptural events
because generally they are too close to the facts and mainly
because they have a decidedly secular bias or prejudice,
even those whose background is supposedly religious.
The trouble with seminaries or
religious colleges has always been that they cannot impart
spiritual insights they do not have, regardless of how many
years the student devotes to his training or how erudite in
their teachings he becomes.
This is true because, despite the
presumptions of "inspiration," they really have no better
knowledge of truth, or historical facts, than uneducated lay
people; perhaps less!
Here then, from an Ambassador College
and university "dropout," is the real truth about
Nebuchadnezzar's Interregnum, along with the historical
facts which utterly prove it and are known to all scholars,
yet have never -- until now, that is -- been
correctly understood in the light of what scripture reveals
to be the historic reality!
The following is the supposed
"history" of ancient Babylon, according to Merrill F. Unger
and other past religious historians, in the articles:
"Babylon" and "Chronology" in Unger's Bible
"The city of Babylon did not reach
the height of its glory, however, until the reign of
Nebuchadnezzar II, (B.C. [sic]
"He was succeeded on the throne by
Amel-Marduk (562-560), the Evil-Merodach of II Kings 25:27.
This man was murdered by his brother-in-law, Nergal-sharusur
(560-556) whose son ruled only a few months and was
succeeded by one of the conspirators, who made away with
him. A noble named Nabunaid, or Nabonidus, then ruled,
together with his son Belshazzar (556-539; see Dan. 5);
Nabonidus was the last king of the neo-Babylonian
In 539, Babylon fell to Cyrus of
Persia, thus ending the greatness of the ancient city-state
known as Babylon.
According to the article:
"Nebuchadnezzar," we are told by Unger's that this
same Nebuchadnezzar II -- son of Nabopolassar -- as a young
general, inherited his father's empire of Babylon in 605 by
defeating Egypt's King Necho II at Carchemish on the
Euphrates and pursued the defeated Necho to the borders of
Egypt when, in 604, Nebuchadnezzar's father died abruptly at
Babylon, forcing Nebuchadnezzar to abandon his planned
invasion of Egypt and return post haste to take over the
government at Babylon.
However, according to another
Unger's article, "Chronology:" "Necho
[was] defeated by [the] Chaldeans
at Haran in c. 609 B.C. [sic] and at
Carchemish c. 605 B.C. [sic]" and:
"The Chaldean Period c. 612-539 defeat of Assyria
and Egypt under Necho at Haran c. 609 B.C.
So Nebuchadnezzar actually began his
conquest of Assyria and Egypt, which brought Babylon to its
ascendancy, as early as 609 B.C.E. (Before Common Era) and
this empire lasted through 538.
The full significance of these dates
will be explained shortly.
Missing the Boat
Again, continuing in
Unger's: "After a prosperous and eventful reign of
forty-three years (604-562 B.C. [sic])
Nebuchadnezzar died and was succeeded by his son,
Interestingly, though Daniel is quoted
in both this article and again in the article "Babylon" with
the comments: "Archaeology has shown the complete
suitability of Nebuchadnezzar's words recorded in Dan. 4:30,
'Is not this great Babylon which I have built for the royal
dwelling-place by the might of my power and for the glory of
my majesty?'" and: "How well the words of Dan. 4:30
fit this ambitious builder.
," nowhere do we read
in Unger's about the seven-year insanity interregnum
of this king, as recorded in the remainder of the very same
fourth chapter of Daniel!
So the religious
historians and archaeologists have treated this scriptural
account of history as so much "mythological fiction."
However their very own history, when
combined with scriptural accounts, proves Daniel recorded
actual history, and modern so-called "historical" accounts
are so much intellectual gibberish by comparison!
In order to understand the historic
truth, and distinguish it from well-intended but false
nonsense history, let's begin with a closer examination of
yet another historical personage, as recorded in
Unger's article: "Nabonidus."
According to this article, Nabonidus
was: "the last ruler of the neo-Babylonian Empire
(556-539 B.C. [sic]). He is called Nabunaid
in the cuneiform records. His son Belshazzar, who
figures so prominently in Dan. 5, was associated with him
legally from his third regnal year to the capture of Babylon
by Cyrus the Great, founder of the Persian Empire (539
document actually affirms that Nabunaid's son Belshazzar was
present at the fall of Babylon, yet there is no positive
evidence against his participation in these events."
Now stop and ask yourself, WHY
would this "religious historian" bother to even bring up
this point? Could it be because he is automatically
questioning the historical truth of the scriptural account,
while taking no issue with his own grasp of the facts?
However, since Babylon ceased to exist
as an independent world power when it was conquered by Cyrus
of Persia in 539, no Babylonian document would
therefore exist giving the details of that battle!
It should go without saying (but for
the general ignorance and arrogance of these supposed
historians) that this would be the prerogative of the
victor, or independent historian such as Daniel, to
70 Years Determined
History does record the
seven-year period of Nebuchadnezzar's insanity, believe it
or not. You just have to know where to look for
Yet historians have completely missed
the boat here because of their ingrained bias and prejudice
against scripture as a historical source.
Seventeen years ago I was inspired by
the Creator Yahveh to understand the truth on this subject,
which has baffled and confused the best minds of Christian
and secular historians and the would-be teachers of the
so-called "Plain Truth."
I have this understanding by the
merciful grace of Almighty Yahveh, to whom belongs all
credit for its discovery -- since He alone reveals true
history to His servants and prophets -- not because I have
any kind of superior intellect or am a "great thinker,"
compared to those who have failed to understand this and
many other scriptural truths only now being revealed by the
restoration of all things!
Several scriptural keys reveal the
truth, once they are put together properly with the
historical facts known to the secular and so-called
religious historians and archaeologists.
According to II
Chronicles 36:21, the Babylonian captivity of Yasrael
was: "To fulfill the words of Yahveh by the mouth of
YermiYahv ["Jeremiah"], until the land had
enjoyed its sabbaths: for as long as it lay desolate it kept
sabbath, to fulfill seventy years."
The Worldwide Church and others have
taught that this was a 70 year captivity, because the
land rested for 70 years, according to this verse of
But if you read it again more
carefully you will see that this is not what it says.
The NIV translates this verse as follows:
"The land enjoyed its sabbath
rests; all the time of its desolation it rested, until the
seventy years were completed in fulfillment of the word of
Yahveh spoken to YermiYahv." (Correct name
transliterations restored to the text throughout.)
The scripture in question, referred to
in this verse, is Jeremiah
25:11-12, which reveals exactly which period of time
this 70 years was intended to cover:
"'This whole nation [of
Yasrael] will become a desolate wasteland, and
THESE NATIONS will serve the king of Babylon
seventy years. But when the seventy years
are fulfilled, I will punish the King of Babylon
and his nation, the land of the Babylonians, for
their guilt,' declares Yahveh, 'and will make it desolate
Clearly, the seventy years was
determined not for the total length of Yasrael's
captivity, but rather for the nation and king of
The King James translation muddles
this truth in Jeremiah
29:10 with the mistranslation "at Babylon," but
the NIV corrects this mistake with the following
"This is what Yahveh says: 'When
seventy years are completed FOR
BABYLON, I will come to you and fulfill my
gracious promise to bring you back to this place."
Secular history verifies these facts,
for the Babylonian captivity began, according to
Unger's article "Nebuchadnezzar," in 587 when
Yaravsalem ("Jerusalem") fell finally to Nebuchadnezzar
after being besieged for a year and a half.
From 587 until Cyrus' decree mandating
the end of that captivity in 538 is, counting inclusively, a
period of only 50 years.
Religious historians have argued back
and forth, and confused the "70 years" as the length of the
captivity itself, for many generations. According to
Unger's article "Captivity:"
Jeremiah (25:12; 29:10) predicted that the captivity
should last for seventy years, and this prediction has
aroused much discussion. The
best explanation of the chronological
problem involved is that there were two, if not
more, coordinate modes of computing the period in question,
used by the sacred writers, one civil,
and extending from the first invasion by Nebuchadnezzar to
the decree of Cyrus, B.C. [sic] 606-538; and
the other ecclesiastical, from the
burning of the temple to its reconstruction, B.C.
Yet this very same article immediately
goes on to frankly admit: "The Babylonian captivity was
brought to a close by the decree (Ezra 1:2) of Cyrus, B.C.
[sic] 538, and the return of a portion of the
nation under Sheshbazzar or Zerubbabel, B.C.
[sic] 535; Ezra, B.C. [sic] 458,
and Nehemiah, B.C. [sic] 445."
Notice how the so-called "civil"
period, from 606-538, is at best, counting inclusively,
only 69 years and not 70, while the period
from 587-517 is, counting inclusively once again, 71
years, rather than 70!
So actually none of these attempted
explanations of the 70-year period are accurate, much less
fit the scriptural facts which reveal this was not a
seventy-year captivity but was instead the total time
that Nebuchadnezzar would rule over the nations surrounding
Babylon, from Babylon's ascendancy until its final
A more recent attempt at explaining
away the general ignorance of what these scriptures actually
say is found in the NIV footnote to Jeremiah
25:11-12, where we are told:
years. See 29:10. This
round number (as in Ps 90:10; Isa
23:15) probably represents the period from 605 (see notes on
v. 1; Da 1:1) to 538 B.C. [sic], which marked
the beginning of Judah's return from exile (see 2 Ch
36:20-23; see also notes on Da 9:1-2). The
70 years of Zec 1:12 are not necessarily the same as those
here and in [Jeremiah]
29:10. They probably represent the
period from 586 (when Solomon's temple was destroyed) to 516
(when Zerubbabel's temple was completed). See note on
Notice how they have fudged the year
for the destruction of Solomon's temple, pushing it forward
one year, in the false attempt to force history to fit their
In fact, the NIV footnote to this
verse in Zechariah says:
seventy years. See 1:12 and note. Since these
fasts commemorated events related to the destruction of
Jerusalem and the temple (see note on 8:19), the 70 years
here are to be reckoned from 586 B.C. [sic]
Strictly speaking, 68 years had
transpired; 70 is thus a round number."
For seventy years Yahveh was angry
with Yavdea and Yaravsalem. (According to Zechariah
This was not the total period
of their captivity in Babylon, but represented instead the
beginning of the siege of Yaravsalem by Nebuchadnezzar
beginning in 589 (One and a half years before it fell,
remember) until the building of the temple of Zeravbabel in
520, according to Unger's article: "Temple.
4. The Temple of Zerubbabel," quoting Smith's Bible
Dictionary on this subject as follows:
"'We have very few particulars
regarding the temple
erected after their return from
the captivity (about 520 B.C.
1:16 reveals that the end of the seventy years of
Yahveh's anger toward Yaravsalem (verse
12) would end with the rebuilding of His temple!
The only "fly in the ointment" of this
explanation appears to be Daniel
9:1-2, which says: "In the first
year of Darius.
In the first year of his reign,
I Daniel understood by books the number of the years,
whereof the word of Yahveh came to YermiYahv the prophet,
that He would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of
The NIV translates the last verse as
follows: "I, Daniel, understood from the Scriptures,
according to the word of Yahveh given to YermiYahv the
prophet, that the desolation of Yaravsalem would last
Even though this translation follows
the Masoretic Hebrew fairly accurately, can this one
scripture contradict both history and all the other
scriptures? The obvious answer is "NO!"
So either of two possibilities exist
which explain this apparent contradiction. The first,
and least probable, is that an early copyist of Daniel
mistook the name of ZechariYahv for YermiYahv.
The second, and more likely,
possibility is that this verse has been misconstrued through
transcription. Lancelot Brenton's English translation
of the Greek Septuagint, itself an early translation from
the original Hebrew scriptures, bears out this truth,
both in the context of Jeremiah
25:8-12 and Daniel
9:1-2, as follows:
"I Daniel understood by books the
number of the years which was the word of Yahveh to
YermiYahv, seventy years for the
accomplishment of the destruction of
Notice this does not say, as
the Masoretic Hebrew does, that the length of Yaravsalem's
destruction -- according to YermiYahv -- would last seventy
years, but rather that the accomplishment of the seventy
years prophesied by YermiYahv against Babylon would
end with the return from exile of the Yasraelites to
As history proves, the total length of
Yaravsalem's desolation was -- at most -- only 50 years; far
short of the full seventy years determined against
The seventy years was a judgment
against both Babylon and its king! (Jeremiah
Nebuchadnezzar ruled as co-regent with
his father from 609 through 605, and as sole regent from 604
until -- so we are told by historians -- 562; just 43 years.
(Or 48 years total, including the period of co-regency with
Closely examining the rulers that
succeeded Nebuchadnezzar, we find that from 562 until the
rule of Nabonidus beginning in 556, counting inclusively,
there are exactly seven years!
Is this merely a coincidence?
Hardly. But Unger's passes over some other
important scriptural evidence, with little or no
understanding, such as the article "Belshazzar" which has
was the eldest son
and co-regent of Nabonidus (B.C. [sic] 539),
the last sovereign of the Neo-Babylonian Empire. The
following passage [Babylonian archives]
explicitly states that before Nabonidus started on his
expedition to Tema in Arabia he entrusted actual kingship to
Belshazzar: 'He entrusted a campaign to his eldest,
firstborn son; the troops of the land he sent with him.
He freed his hand, he entrusted the kingship to him.
Then he himself [Nabonidus] undertook
a distant campaign. The power of the land of Akkad
advanced [together] with him; towards Tema in
the midst of the Westland he set his face.
himself established his dwelling in Tema.
city he made glorious.
They made it like a
palace of Babylon
'" (Ellipses theirs.)
Notice how Belsazzar was first made a
general and then co-regent just as Nebuchadnezzar was.
So while Belsazzar ruled from Babylon, his co-regent
father Nabonidus settled in Tema in Arabia. Continuing:
"The Babylonian records indicate
that Belshazzar became co-regent in the third year of
Nabonidus' reign (B.C. [sic] 553)
and continued in that capacity until the fall of
Babylon (B.C. [sic] 539).
During Nabonidus' absence in Tema, the Nabunaid
Chronicle explicitly indicates that the New Year's Festival
was not celebrated but that it was observed in the 17th year
upon the king's return home. Accordingly, it is
evident that Belshazzar actually exercised the co-regency in
The 17th year would place this "New
Year's Festival" celebration in 539, or the very time of
Babylon's destruction by Cyrus of Persia! (Actually
at the end of 538!)
This could well be the very banquet
described in Daniel 5, which resulted in the final judgment
upon Babylon! Continuing:
"The book of Daniel is thus not in
error [Who thought it was?] in representing
Belshazzar as the last king of Babylon
nor can it be
said to be wrong in calling Belshazzar 'the son of
Nebuchadnezzar' (Dan. 5:1). Even if Belshazzar were
not lineally related to Nebuchadnezzar, which is
the usage 'son of,' being equivalent in
Semitic usage to 'successor of,' in the case of royalty
would in this case still not be inaccurate."
Sounds like a reasonable explanation,
doesn't it? However, there is one great difficulty
with this last argument.
The Hebrew does not say, in
5:1 or 18,
that Belsazzar was "the son of Nebuchadnezzar."
(It does use this phrase, however, in Daniel
5:22.) Instead, it says: "Nebuchadnezzar
his [your] father."
Some have even argued (The Worldwide
Church among them) that this phrase in Hebrew can also mean
"grandfather," but that is not what Daniel said or
The fact is, Nabonidus and
Nebuchadnezzar were both the father of Belsazzar,
according to Babylonian and scriptural records. And
this can only mean one thing:
Nabonidus WAS Nebuchadnezzar,
under a new and different name, which he obviously assumed
following his seven-year insanity interregnum!
Semitic custom often called for a
change of name when a major change of character had taken
place, such as: Abram to Abraham (Genesis
9:7), Sarai to Sarah (Genesis
17:15), and Ya'acob to Yasrael. (Genesis
The evidence all clearly supports this
amazing conclusion: Daniel was named "Beltashazzar" by
Nebuchadnezzar before his seven-year interregnum
and Belsazzar was the name given to the last co-regent of
Babylon by his father Nebuchadnezzar! (Daniel
5:1-2, 18, 22.)
Not only is there a unique similarity
between these two names, revealing the fact they both came
from the same mind, but notice also the similarity between
the name Nabonidus, as post-interregnum Nebuchadnezzar was
called in the Babylonian Chronicles, and Nabopolassar his
In fact, another way to spell Nebu,
the first part of Nebuchadnezzar's name, is "Nabo,"
"Nebu," or "Nebo," according to the phonetic spelling from
Unger's article "Nebuchadnezzar:"
Nebo, defend the boundary)."
These English variations in spelling
the very same Akkadian word have confused the issue, but
once this is recognized the truth literally leaps out at
The historians have Nebuchadnezzar as
having died at the beginning of the seven years of
insanity, during which time Daniel plainly reveals -- in
Nebuchadnezzar's own words no less -- that others ruled in
his stead, but that his throne was restored to him when his
sanity returned after the seven years had passed!
4:25-26, 31-34, 36.)
Nabonidus' change of name from
Nebuchadnezzar reflected his newfound humility and change of
character, brought about by the experience of his seven
years of insanity, when he lived like a beast in the fields.
Now notice the angel's message to
Belsazzar, when the time had arrived for Babylon's end:
"Mene; Yahveh has
numbered the days of your reign and
brought it to an end." (Daniel
Clearly, this is a heavenly reference
to the 70 years that were determined against both Babylon
and its king Nebuchadnezzar, from beginning to end,
from the co-regency with his father to the co-regency with
his son, Belsazzar.
Assuming, as some historians have,
that Nebuchadnezzar was a young general of about 18 years
old when he defeated Assyria and Necho of Egypt the first
time in 609 B.C.E., he would have been approximately 88
years old at the fall of Babylon.
This means that he would have been
about 70 years old when his sanity and the kingdom were
restored, and approximately 63 when he lost his mind and
kingdom due to his pride, ego and vanity.
He would have been about 23 when he
became the sole regent over Babylon, at the death of his
This, then, is the ultimate and
sole historical truth concerning the Babylonian regent
Nebuchadnezzar/Nabonidus, and the seventy years determined
against his rulership over the surrounding nations through
his pagan city/state of Babylon.
The Source of ALL
Scholars, historians and
archaeologists, secular and religious alike, have missed
this singular truth because they, like Nebuchadnezzar, have
been given over to a form of insanity -- the inability to
recognize and understand historical truths as revealed in
scripture -- due to pride and vanity in their own human
accomplishments and supposed erudition!
Instead, Yahveh has revealed these
secrets to His servants the prophets and teachers, those who
serve Him meekly and honor Him alone as the author of
all truth and the revealer of all His secrets of the past,
present and future!
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