Semitic tribesmen migrated from the Levant to a marshy region in modern Iraq during the 10th
century BC. In 721 BC, King Merodach-Baladan
allied with Elam and native Babylonians to seize
Babylonia from Shalmaneser V.
In 700 BC, he fled from Sargon II to his homeland of Bit-Yâkin.
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This also was called the Neo-Babylonian Empire
(626-539 BC) under King Nabopolassar, who revolted against Assyria after the
death of Ashurbanipal. In alliance with the
Medes, Nabopolassar's army sacked Nineveh
in 612 BC. His other allies included: Elamites; Persians;
and Scythians. Nabopolassar also restored Akkadian as the state
language and revived much of the ancient Sumerian-Akkadian culture.
Nabopolassar's son, Nebuchadnezzar II (604-562 BC), ruled after his
father died. He rebuilt Babylon and other cities. Chaldea and
Egypt often fought over control of the near east. King
Jeconiah (aka Jehoicachin) of Judah
foolishly relied upon Egypt and revolted against Nebuchadnezzar. After an 18-month siege in 597 BC,
Jerusalem fell and three thousand
captives were taken to Babylon. Chaldean troops also destroyed the famous
Temple of Solomon. Nebuchadnezzar brought the empire to its zenith.