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Old Testament

Historical Books

Why was Babylon so important in the ancient Near East?

Babylon emerged as a state around 2000 B.C.E., roughly the same time of the Hebrew patriarchs. The Babylonians conquered many peoples and took their lands, thereby turning Babylon into an empire. The Babylonian Empire flourished under the rule of King Nebuchadnezzar. It was a model of opulent city life. It was during his reign that the famous Hanging Gardens of Babylon were built. Nebuchadnezzar built the lush gardens with imported plants to please his wife. The Gardens are known as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The Babylonian Empire ended in 539 B.C.E. when Cyrus the Great of Persia conquered it.



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