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Aramaic and the Babylonian Empire

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In previous lessons, we have examined the early history of Aramaic, Aramaic in the pages of the Old Testament, and Aramaic in the Assyrian Empire - the first major world empire of interest to Bible students.

In this lesson, we look at the next major world empire of Biblical interest - the Babylonian Empire. Both the Assyrian and Babylonian Empires go back to ancient times, to the Fertile Crescent, the very cradle of civilization.

The Babylonian Empire has a fascinating history, and is intimately associated with the Biblical books of 2 Kings and 2 Chronicles, as well as the prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah and Daniel. Its most famous king, Nebuchadnezzar, is well known from history, from the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. And his amazing dream is a prophecy of empires to come, leading to the return of Jesus to this earth to establish God's kingdom.

Babylon's last king, Belshazzar, is also famous from history from the Writing on the Wall, where part of a hand appeared, to write a prophecy about the imminent fall of the Babylonian Empire.

And naturally, in all these events, in both the Assyrian and Babylonian Empires, we find Aramaic at the very heart of these Empires. Aramaic was the official language of both empires, as well as the spoken language of the ordinary people.

In the next lesson, we will look at the Babylonian exile, before continuing our journey through time by looking at Aramaic and its use in the Medo-Persian Empire, the Greek Empire and the Roman Empire.

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