Daniel chapter 1 starts out making the following statement:
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. (Daniel 1:1-2)
There are a couple of problems with this statement. Jehoiakim reigned from 609 to 598 BCE. Jerusalem was besieged in 598 BCE, after Jehoiakim dies. 1 So we have this reference in Daniel that has the date wrong, as well as the wrong king on the throne at the time of the siege of Jerusalem. Also, if it was in “the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim,” it would have been 606-605, so this statement is off by 7 years.
When did Nebuchadnezzar lay siege to Jerusalem?
According to the Babylonian Chronicles, 2 Jerusalem fell on 2 Adar (16 March) 597 BC. The Chronicles state:
The seventh year (of Nebuchadnezzar-598 BC.) in the month Chislev (Nov/Dec) the king of Babylon assembled his army, and after he had invaded the land of Hatti (Syria/Palestine) he laid siege to the city of Judah. On the second day of the month of Adar (16 March) he conquered the city and took the king (Jeconiah) prisoner. He installed in his place a king (Zedekiah) of his own choice, and after he had received rich tribute, he sent (them) forth to Babylon. 3
- Aaron P. Schade, “The Kingdom of Judah: Politics, Prophets, and Scribes in the Late Preexilic Period,” in Glimpses of Lehi’s Jerusalem, ed. John W. Welch, David Rolph Seely, and Jo Ann H. Seely. (Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship, Brigham Young University, 2004.
- Geoffrey Wigoder, The Illustrated Dictionary & Concordance of the Bible by Sterling Publishing Company, Inc. (2006)
- No 24 WA21946, The Babylonian Chronicles, The British Museum.