Nation in southern Mesopotamia that conquered the southern kingdom of Judah.

Babylonia is a region in southern Mesopotamia. Its name is taken from the capital city of Babylon, which was located on the Euphrates River. The height of the Babylonian empire extended from their victory over the Assyrians in 609 B.C. until they were defeated by the Persians in 539 B.C.
Ornamental Bull

Ornamental Bull from the Gate at
Babylon 6th cent. B.C.

The story of the tower of Babel, where God confused people's speech, is set in Babylonia (Gen 11:1-9). Babylonia Abraham migrated from Ur in this region to Haran and later to Canaan (Gen 11:31). In the eighth century B.C., King Hezekiah of Judah began to establish friendly relations with Babylonia in the hope gaining support against the threat of Assyrian expansion. In 609 B.C. King Josiah joined the Babylonians in rebelling against Assyria. Josiah was killed, but the Babylonians prevailed and made Assyria a part of their empire. Judah was a vassal of the Babylonians for a time. Some Judeans were deported in 597 and in 587 the Babylonians conquered Jerusalem, destroyed the Temple, and exiled many of the people to Babylonia. After the Persians conquered Babylon in 539 B.C., the Persian king Cyrus allowed Jewish exiles to return to Jerusalem, although a significant Jewish population remained in Babylonia for centuries.


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