New Living Translation

Nebuchadnezzar or Nebuchadrezzar (king of Babylon)

by Mark D. Taylor, Chairman / CEO, Tyndale House Ministries

Nebuchadnezzar II was king of Babylon for 43 years—from 605 to 562 b.c. He is mentioned in many ancient Babylonian documents, and he played a pivotal role in the fall of the Kingdom of Judah. As described in 2 Kings 24:1—25:26, Nebuchadnezzar invaded Judah three times. The first invasion was in 605 b.c., the first year of his reign. The second was in 597 b.c., in the eighth year of his reign. Finally, he invaded again in 588-586 b.c., when he destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple of the Lord.

The story of Nebuchadnezzar’s impact on the Kingdom of Judah is told in five Old Testament books—2 Kings, 2 Chronicles, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel. His actual name is found 91 times in the Hebrew (or Aramaic) text, but it is spelled two different ways—Nebuchadnezzar (with an “n”) and Nebuchadrezzar (with an “r”). The translators of the King James Version (KJV), Revised Standard Version (RSV), and New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) chose to follow the different Hebrew spellings as they transliterated the name into English. Most English translations, including the NLT, use the more common spelling—Nebuchadnezzar—throughout the text to allay potential confusion on the part of readers. The NLT also provides a textual note for each chapter in which the Hebrew spelling Nebuchadrezzar (with an “r”) is transliterated as Nebuchadnezzar (with an “n”).

This is just one example among many, many ways the NLT translators have worked to make the English text as clear as possible for our readers.

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