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Three Kings and Some Land

Recently, my Bible reading brought me across a most interesting passage. In Jeremiah 27:6-7, the Lord declared that He has given the land of Judah and the surrounding countries to Nebechadnezzar. "And all nations shall serve him, and his son, and his son's son, until the very time of the land come" (v.7). This is known as the Babylonian Captivity but what do these details mean?

I remembered that Daniel, chapter five, refers to Belshazzar as the son of Nebuchadnezzar and that the kingdom of Babylon fell under him and the Babylonians lost their rule over the nations. This became a point of criticism a number of years ago by the scholars when it was discovered that Belshazzar was the grandson of Nebuchadnezzar and the the son was a man named Nabonidus. Of course, in the Bible, the word "son" can refer to a son, a grandson, or even a distant descendant (Jesus being the son of David). Therefore, the Bible record in not at all wrong. The historical accounts just filled in some of the extra details.

But now I see that the Bible record anticipated this discovery all along--and not just in history, but in prophecy told before it happened. Jeremiah told us that all nations would serve Nebuchadnezzar, his son, and his son's son. This specific language would require a son and grandson to rule after Nebuchadnezzar before the fall of Babylon. And, although this fulfillment is not recorded in specific details in scripture, it is still exactly what happened. This family would rule in Babylon "until the very time of the land come" (Jeremiah 27:7). This phrase probably refers to the fact that Babylon would rule the nations until the time came for the land of Israel to be restored to the Jewish people. This also happened not long into the rule of the Persians when Cyrus made a decree for the restoration of Jerusalem and Judah to the Jews (Ezra 1:1-4). God certainly has an amazing eye for detail in prophecy and its fulfillment.