[Editor’s note: the one asking this question did some follow-up research, finding his own really useful additional information on what Nebuchadnezzar did to fulfill the prophecies in Ezekiel and Jeremiah.  His additional information is at the end of my original response.]


I want to ask some things relating to some answers you’ve given on the topic of whether Nebuchadnezzar II conquered Egypt as predicted by Jeremiah 43 and Ezekiel 29.  Firstly, Ezekiel: in 2012 you were asked if Ezekiel’s prophecy of Nebuchadnezzar conquering Egypt was a failed prophecy since we have no evidence that he did that. You answered saying Ezekiel never said he’d conquer Egypt “but that he would “despoil” it and take home plunder from the campaign” and that there is evidence this happened. However you seem to have ignored a point brought up by the questioner, that is Ezekiel says that God will “give the land of Egypt” to Nebuchadnezzar (29:19). ‘Giving’ the land sounds very much like he’d conquer it but one could interpret it to mean ‘the wealth’ of the land. If so are there any other times in scripture where ‘giving land’ meant ONLY the wealth thereof?  Lastly, Jeremiah: About 6 years before the Ezekiel question you answered a similar question but regarding the prophecy from Jeremiah 43, which is more or less the same prediction. In the Ezekiel question you mentioned “we do not know exactly where he [Neb] campaigned”. However, in the Jeremiah question you stated in your answer:

‘According to his own annals, Nebuchadnezzar invaded Egypt, CONQUERING parts of the Nile valley in 567 BC and “dealt a severe blow to its supremacy and power.”’ Is it really true that Neb’s annals states that and if so, could you please send me, if you can, a link so I can see the annual text myself? If not, could you let me know where you got your references from regarding that? You also said that “Jeremiah’s prophecy that Egypt would be conquered by Babylon was also fulfilled” . This is obviously different to what you say 6 years later in your answer to the Ezekiel question. What changed during that time?

If I sound judgmental or antagonistic please forgive me. I am Christian but this prophecy about Nebuchadnezzar conquering Egypt has really got to me! I’d appreciate a reply if/when you can.


It is entirely possible that the two answers I gave are not in perfect agreement, and if so, I apologize.  I get a LOT of questions, making it difficult to do a top notch research on every single question.  I apologize if what I said was only partly correct.  Here is some relevant research:

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Nebuchadnezzar-II  Encyclopedia reports that Nebuchadnezzar campaigned in Egypt in 568/7 BC.
I finally found the original article I used in 2012.  It is in JSTOR   The name of the article is   Nebuchadnezzar the Warrior: Remarks on his Military Achievements

The name of the journal is  Israel Exploration Journal

Vol. 53, No. 2 (2003), pp. 178-191 (14 pages)
In this article, the authors tell us that Nebuchadnezzar campaigned in Egypt in the 37th year of his reign.  Nebuchadnezzar entered Egypt, but appears to have not established hegemony over Egypt.     The data is found in “a fragmentary Babylonian inscription BM 33014”
Ancient historical records do not tell us everything that happened in the past.  We do not have a detailed account of Nebuchadnezzar’s campaign in Egypt, but we can be confident that the campaign did in fact happen.
I do not believe that we can prove exactly what happened, but the data we do have is consistent with Nebuchadnezzar campaigning in Egypt, carrying off its wealth.  The exact meaning of the word “give” in Ezekiel 29:19,20 is debatable.  I would say that, on balance, the data from BM 33014 supports but does not prove that Ezekiel’s prophecy was completely fulfilled.
By the way, I cannot send a link because I get access to the JSTOR journals as a student at Rochester University.
Jeremiah has a similar prophecy in Jeremiah 43:8-13.  In this prophecy we learn that Nebuchadnezzar will “attach Egypt, bringing death to those destined to death.  He will set fire to the temples of the gods of Egypt, burn their temples and take their gods captive.  Here is what Jeremiah tells us:  Nebuchadnezzar will “pick Egypt clear and depart.”  Again, as above, this information is consistent with the record in BM 33014, which tells us that Nebuchadnezzar campaigned in Egypt but did not occupy the land.
The historical record supports but does not prove that Nebuchadnezzar did what was prophesied by Jeremiah and Ezekiel.  Many have said publicly that this campaign never happened and the prophecies were never fulfilled.  Those who say this are either completely wrong or are at least guilty of overstating their case, as we know that Nebuchadnezzar did in fact campaign in Egypt near the end of his reign.
I believe that one of my statements in the first Q & A was somewhat overstated.  When I said “conquering” part of the Nile valley, that was too strong, given the evidence.  Better would have been to say “occupying” or even better, “plundering.”  I apologize for this overstatement..
As to whether there is another example of God using “taking the land” meaning only attacking and taking off the wealth, I will let you do your own research there.  I do know that there are many examples in Judges of Israel’s enemies attacking the land of the Jews, carrying off their wealth without permanently occupying the land.  An example is Judges 10:6-10.  Israel was looted and “oppressed” by the Philistines and Amorites for 18 years, but it does not appear that they were ever conquered.  I am not sure that is a close enough analogy for you.
I hope this is enough.
John Oakes
[Editor’s note: Her is the additional information from the one who asked the original question.]
I feel that I have found as much as I can considering my limited resources. I came across an essay which states that according to the Elephantine Stela of Amasis (which I think documents a rebellion and rise of Amasis against Apries – ‘Hophra’ in the Jeremiah 44 – and involves Nebuchadnezza’s invasion of Egypt) Nebuchadnezzar never intended to conquer but “ invaded Egypt in order to defeat Amasis and to support Apries” (https://istina.msu.ru/media/publications/article/1e3/4f2/2758543/The_Elephantine_Stela_of_Amasis_Endl.pdf). This may strengthen the possibility that Ezekiel and Jeremiah weren’t prophesying a conquest considering the notion that the prophecies were directed at Nebuchadnezzar who obviously had his own intention to make war but not conquer.
Regarding Ezekiel 29: 19, I looked through the Bible to find any part where the notion of “giving” land was not related to possessing or conquering land. So far all I can come across is, coincidentally, a verse by the same prophet, Ezekiel 11:17. The context of the prophecy is (depending on interpretation) the exiles returning to the land of Israel after the Persian conquest of Babylon. In this verse God says to the exiles that He’ll “give” them the land of Israel. This “giving” clearly doesn’t mean they’ll be ruling the land because when the exiles returned the land was still part of the Persian empire. Therefore, the conclusion is that God is saying He’ll give the exiles the ‘usage’ of the land i.e homes to live, crops, potential for prosperity etc. I believe this conclusion can only be so if the prophecy is interpreted to be regarding the exiles in 6th century and not the establishment of Israel in 1948 (unless one can say that this is a double-fulfilment prophecy). If this conclusion is right then we can be assured that the “giving of land” in Ezekiel 29: 19 is regards the wealth of the land rather than the occupation – especially when cross referenced with the phrase “array with the land” in Jeremiah 43: 12.
The biggest problem I have with the 2 prophecies is Jeremiah 43: 9-10 where Jeremiah says Neb will place his throne on the hidden stones in Tahpanhes. However, looking at this it seems there is some mystery. Is God saying Neb will be ruling Tahpanhes? If so why does he say Neb will set his throne on the hidden stones? The “throne” seems figurative for his rule. Is God saying he’ll
Tahpanhes or just the hidden stones? Why are the stones hidden? It has occurred to me that maybe what God is saying is that Neb will have ‘hidden’ i.e unofficial influence over Tahpanhes or even Egypt. I have no evidence of this but I read somewhere (I can’t find the source now) that Neb (I think) made an alliance with Egypt towards the end of his reign. If this is true then it’s possible that he would’ve had indirect influence over Egypt since a lower country will try to please a more powerful ally. This could explain the metaphorical throne on the hidden stones outside pharaoh’s palace in Tahpanhes. It’s only a theory and I don’t have the resources to dig deeper but maybe something worth looking into unless you have discovered something else regarding that passage.
Best wishes,

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