Nebuchadnezzar goes to war against Arphaxad

It was the twelfth year of the rule of Nebuchadnezzar, who ruled the Assyrians in the great city of Nineveh. In those days, Arphaxad ruled the Medes in Ecbatana. Arphaxad built walls around Ecbatana from cut stones that measured four and a half feet wide and nine feet long. The walls he built were one hundred five feet high and seventy-five feet wide. He built towers at the gates one hundred fifty feet high, with foundations that were ninety feet wide. He made its gates one hundred five feet high and sixty feet wide so that his mighty armies could march out in formation. In those days King Nebuchadnezzar fought against King Arphaxad in the great plain that is on the border with Ragau. And many people joined him—everyone who lived in the highlands, everyone who lived along the Euphrates, the Tigris, the Hydaspes, and on the plain of Arioch, king of the Elymeans. Many nations joined forces with the Assyrians.[a]

Nebuchadnezzar’s ultimatum

King Nebuchadnezzar of the Assyrians sent a message to everyone who lived in Persia, to everyone who lived in the west—those who lived in Cilicia, Damascus, Lebanon, and Anti-Lebanon, and everyone who lived along the seashore, and those among the nations of Carmel and Gilead, and upper Galilee and the great plain of Esdraelon, and everyone in Samaria and its cities, and beyond the Jordan as far as Jerusalem and Bethany and Chelous and Kadesh, and the river of Egypt, and Tahpanhes and Raamses, and all the land of Goshen, 10 even beyond Tanis and Memphis, and everyone who lived in Egypt as far away as the border of Ethiopia. 11 But the people who lived in all those lands ignored the orders of King Nebuchadnezzar of the Assyrians. They didn’t join him in the war because they weren’t afraid of him and considered him to be nothing more than one man. So they sent away his messengers empty-handed and in disgrace.

Arphaxad defeated

12 Nebuchadnezzar was very angry with the whole region. He swore by his throne and his kingdom that he would get revenge upon the entire region of Cilicia, Damascus, and Syria. He would kill them with his sword, as well as everyone living in Moab, including the children of Ammon, all of Judea, and everyone in Egypt, as far as the shores of the two seas. 13 In the seventeenth year of his rule he marched his armies against King Arphaxad and defeated him in battle. He overpowered all of Arphaxad’s armies, all of his cavalry, and all of his chariots. 14 He gained control of Arphaxad’s cities, marched as far as Ecbatana, captured its towers, looted the marketplace, and turned its glory into disgrace. 15 He captured Arphaxad in the mountains of Ragau and stabbed him with spears, putting an end to him forever. 16 Then he returned to Nineveh with all of his combined forces, a very large group of fighting men, where he and his army rested and feasted for one hundred twenty days.


  1. Judith 1:6 Or Chaldeans