The third human head was Nebuchadnezzar the Chaldean (see Rev 17:9-11). He was called the HEAD of gold (Daniel 2:37, 38). The people of the third head were the Chaldeans. The Chaldeans were descendants of Arphaxad. Some the descendants of Arphaxad were Israelites, Chaldeans, Ishmaelites, Ammonites, Moabites etc. According to Josephus a first century Jewish historian the Arphaxadites were called Chaldeans (Josephus's Jewish Antiquities 1.6.4).

Original Hebrew: 'arpakhsad ; English translation: arphaxad (Genesis 10:22)
Original Hebrew: kasdiym ; English translation: chaldeans (Genesis 11:28)

The English term 'Chaldea' comes from the term 'Kaldu' the Assyrian Akkadian term used for the territory of Chaldea. The chaldeans are called kasdiym in the original Hebrew text. The term kasdiym (chaldeans) is an abbreviation of the term 'arpakhsadiym (Arphaxadians). Terah a descendent of Arphaxad was born in Ur of the Chaldeans (Gen 11:10-32). "And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son's son, and Sarai his daughter in law, his son Abram's wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there" (Gen 11:31). Later God blessed Abram (Abraham) and Abraham became the father of many nations. The Israelites were the most important people who had descent from Abraham. The Ur of the Chaldeans (Heb kasdiym) not the Ur which archaeologists discovered in southern Iraq. This lower Mesopotamian Ur was originally a Nimrodian Sumerian city. The Sumerians spoke a non-Semitic language called Sumerian. The Sumerians occupied Ur for quite some time after the flood. The phrase 'Ur of the Chaldeans' can be rendered as 'the city of the Chaldeans' or 'Chaldee city'. 'Ur' means city. I believe that the Ur of the Chaldeans was located somewhere in northern Mesopotamia. The northern Ur was called Ur of the Chaldeans to distinguish it from the southern Sumerian Ur. In far northern Mesopotamia a city called 'Ura' on the eastern side of the Euphrates river (Jos 24:2) and just north of Haran has been found. 'Ura' means the city in Aramaic (p49-53 Taylor, p29-30 Gordon). Aramaic was the language of the Chaldeans. This Ura may have been the city of the Chaldeans. In any case I still believe that the Ur of the Chaldeans was located in northern Mesopotamia.

The Chaldeans later spread out in many directions away from their northern Mesopotamian heartland. The Chaldeans were mentioned in the book of Job (Job 1:17). At about 1000 BC many Chaldeans and Arameans migrated to southern Babylonia (p65-69, 89 Saggs). After the Chaldeans established themselves in lower Mesopotamia they became a threat to the Kassite dynasty ruling Babylon and later to Assyria herself. In the 7th century Nabopolassar the chaldean king of Babylon in an alliance destroyed Assyria. In about 604 BC Nebuchadnezzar the son of Nabopolassar became the king of Babylon. Later he defeated Pharoah Necho the king of Egypt near Carchemish (in Syria) (Jeremiah 46:1-12). Nebuchadnezzar then later took all the territory from the river Euphrates to the river of Egypt that pertained to the king of Egypt (2 Kings 24:7).

God used Nebuchadnezzar the Chaldean to severely punish the kingdom of Judah for her sins. After the demise of Josiah the good king of Judah, the succeeding kings of Judah refused to repent and turn away from their sins. After Josiah died Jehoahaz his son became the king of Judah. His reign only lasted 3 months. After Jehoahaz was deposed Jehoiakim another son of Josiah became the king of Judah. Jehoiakim did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD and reigned for 11 years (2 Kings 23:28-37). "In his days Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up, and Jehoiakim became his servant three years: then he turned and rebelled against him. And the LORD sent against him bands of the Syrians [Arameans], and bands of the Moabites. and bands of the children of Ammon, and sent them against Judah to destroy it, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by his servants the prophets. Surely at the commandment of the LORD came this upon Judah, to remove them out of his sight, for the sins of Manasseh, according to all that he did; and also for the innocent blood that he shed: for he filled Jerusalem with innocent blood; which the LORD would not pardon (2 Kings 24:1-4). "In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it. And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God: which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god. And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king's seed, and of the princes; Children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king's palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans" (Daniel 1:1-4). Daniel was one of the captives taken by Nebuchadnezzar in about the third year of Jehoiakim (Dan 1:6). But Jehoikim still continued on his evil ways. In response the LORD again sent Nebuchadnezzar against him. Nebuchadnezzar in the 11th and last year of Jehoiakim bound Jehoiakim in fetters and had him carried off to Babylon (2 Chron 36:5,6). Jehoiakin was the next king of Judah. He did evil in the sight of the LORD and only reigned three months and ten days. Nebuchadnezzar had Jehoiakin taken to Babylon with vessels of the temple (2 Chron 36:9, 10). Nebuchadnezzar later made Zedekiah the next king of Judah. Zedekiah reigned for 11 years. He also refused to repent and turn away from his sins. Zedekiah was a vassal of Nebuchadnezzar. He had sworn an oath of loyalty to Nebuchadnezzar. During his reign Zedekiah broke his oath and rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar. He even sent ambassadors to Egypt to obtain help against the Chaldeans (Ez 17:15). In response Nebuchadnezzar the king of the Chaldeans besieged Jerusalem The Assyrians and others were also involved in the siege of Jerusalem (Ez 23:4, 22, 23). After of a siege of about 18 months the city was captured. Nebuchadnezzar then spoiled Jerusalem and had her destroyed by fire. Jerusalem's wall was also razed. Many Jews were killed. The great majority of the Jews that were still alive in Judah were taken into captivity to Babylon. One third of the inhabitants of Jerusalem were killed by famine and plague. During the siege there was even cannibalism (Ez 5:10). One third of Jerusalem's inhabitants were killed by the sword (Ez 9:1-11). Another third were deported to Babylon and went into captivity (Ez 5:5,12; 2 Chron 36:20). Later the Jews were scattered into many various places. In Riblah the Chaldeans slew Zedekiah's sons before his eyes and put out Zedekiah's eyes. Zedekiah was then bound in brass fetters and taken to Babylon (2 Kings 24,25; 2 Chron 36). The Chaldeans even raped many of the women of Judah and Jerusalem (Lam 5:11). The house of Judah was taken into captivity to Babylon. In captivity the Jews were placed under a very heavy yoke (Lam 5:13-16). At some later time Nebuchadnezzar invaded Egypt and slew multitudes of Egyptians (Jeremiah 46:13-26; Ez 29:17-20; 30:10-26). The great Egyptian city Memphis (Noph) was laid waste. The inhabitants of Memphis were taken into captivity (Jer 46:14, 19). The Babylonian empire was just a little bit bigger than the Assyrian empire. Nebuchadnezzar controlled a large stretch of territory from northern Egypt to the Persian gulf.

The Chaldeans like the ancient Assyrians were very nasty people. In Habakkuk 1:6 the chaldeans are called a bitter and hasty nation. They were a very impetuous people. The Chaldean horsemen flew like eagles making hast to devour the prey (Hab 1:8) (comp Lam 4:19). Their horses were swifter than leopards (Hab 1:8). They were fiercer than evening wolves (Hab 1:8). The Chaldeans had a very quick and flashy mentality, dashing here and dashing there. They were very very impatient. Today they would make very good racing drivers. They were a very violent people (Hab 1:9). The Chaldeans were a dreadful and terrible people indeed (Hab 1:7). The Chaldeans came "for violence" (Hab 1:9). They killed and murdered countless people. They gathered up "the captivity as the sand" (Hab 1:9). Many people including the Jews went into captivity. The Chaldeans scoffed at kings. The leaders were just a scorn to them. They derided strongholds and built earthen ramps and captured them (Hab 1:10). Sometimes a Chaldean gave wine to a neighbour to make him very drunk so that he might perversely gaze upon his nakedness (Hab 2:15) (comp Gen 9:20-29). The Chaldeans were full of sexual perverseness.

In Daniel chapter 2 Nebuchadnezzar the Chaldean king of Babylon manifested the typical Chaldean traits of hast, impetuousness and impatience. The whole of Daniel chapter 2 is quoted below. "And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, wherewith his spirit was troubled, and his sleep was troubled, and his sleep brake from him. Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the astrologers, and the Chaldeans, for to shew the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king. And the king said unto them, I have dreamed a dream, and my spirit was troubled to know the dream. Then spake the Chaldeans to the king in Syriack, O king, live for ever: tell thy servants the dream, and we will shew the interpretation. The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, The thing is gone from me: if ye will not make known unto me the dream, with the interpretation thereof, ye shall be cut in pieces, and your houses shall be made a dunghill. But if ye shew the dream, and the interpretation thereof, ye shall receive of me gifts and rewards and great honour: therefore shew me the dream, and the interpretation thereof. They answered again and said, Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will shew the interpretation of it. The king answered and said, I know of certainty that ye would gain time, because ye see the thing is gone from me. But if ye will not make known unto me the dream, there is but one decree for you: for ye have prepared lying and corrupt words to speak before me, till the time be changed: therefore tell me the dream, and I shall know that ye can shew me the interpretation thereof. The Chaldeans answered before the king, and said, There is not a man upon the earth that can shew the king's matter: therefore there is no king, lord nor ruler, that asked such things at any magician, or astrologer, or Chaldean. And it is a rare thing that the king requireth, and there is none other that can shew it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh. For this cause the king was angry and very furious, and commanded to destroy all the wise men of Babylon" (Dan 2:1-12). Nebuchadnezzar was very impatient. He then wanted to straight away tell him the dream and the interpretation and was not prepared to wait. He did not trust the wise men. He thought that if he gave them time they would speak corrupt lying words before him. In response Nebuchadnezzar hastily decreed that all the wise were to be slain (Dan 2:12, 15). "And the decree went forth that the wise men should be slain; and they sought Daniel and his fellows to be slain. Then Daniel answered with counsel and wisdom to Arioch the captain of the king's guard, which was gone forth to slay the wise men of Babylon: He answered and said to Arioch the king's captain, Why is the decree so hasty from the king? Then Arioch made the thing known to Daniel. Then Daniel went in, and desired of the king that he would give him time, and that he would shew the king the interpretation. Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions: That they would desire mercies of the God of heaven concerning this secret; that Daniel and fellows should not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven. Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: And he changed the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding: He revealeth the deep and secret things; he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him. I thank thee, and praise thee, O thou God of my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might, and hast made known unto me now what we desired of thee: for thou hast now made known unto us the king's matter. Therefore Daniel went in unto Arioch, whom the king had ordained to destroy the wise men of Babylon: bring me in before the king, and I will shew unto the king the interpretation. Then Arioch brought in Daniel before the king in haste, and said thus unto him, I have found a man of the captives of Judah, that will make known unto the king the interpretation. The king answered and said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, Art thou able to make known unto me the dream which I have seen, and the interpretation thereof? Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, shew unto the king; But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these; As for thee, O king, thy thoughts came into thy mind upon thy bed, what should come to pass hereafter; and he that revealeth secrets maketh known to thee what shall come to pass. But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living, but for their sakes that shall make known the interpretation to the king, and that thou mightest know the thoughts of thy heart.

Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible. This image's head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pierces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing-floors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them; and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.

This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king. Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory. And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold. And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth. And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise. And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters' clay and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold: the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure. Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face, and worshipped Daniel, and commanded that they should offer an oblation and sweet odours unto him. The king answered unto Daniel, and said, Of a truth it is, that your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou couldest reveal this secret. Then the king made Daniel a great man, and gave him many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief of the governors over all the wise men of Babylon. Then Daniel requested of the king, and he set Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, over the affairs of the province of Babylon: but Daniel sat in the gate of the king (Dan 2:13-49). Later the Chaldean empire was taken by the Persians. God's judgement fell on the terrible Chaldeans. Where are the Chaldean peoples today?


Gordon, C. H.; "Abraham and the Merchants of Ura", Journal of Near Eastern Studies 17, p29-30; The University of Chicago Press, 1958
Josephus; The Works of Josephus; Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., 1987
Taylor, Charles; Rewriting Bible History; The House of Tabor, South Australia, 1983


In Brief

The Chaldeans

Celtic-Israelite Commonalities

The Origin of the Nations of S.E. Asia

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