Studying Chaldea to Learn Lessons from the Past
We study history in order to learn from the past to help us today. In the case of Chaldea, even in times of war and conflict, the city of Babylon was built to be a center of art and culture. Beautiful buildings and other pieces of infrastructure were erected within the city for practical, religious, and social purposes. Because of these accomplishments, such as the Hanging Gardens, the Great Ziggurat, the Ishtar Gate, the walls of Babylon, and many more, the city of Babylon was renowned during its time and still is today for the architectural feat it was during its time. We can learn from this that when a city has strong culture, the entire civilization prospers. Chaldea was an extremely successful empire during the time of its architectural and cultural revolution under Nebuchadnezzar, and their two qualities of the empire at the time clearly correlate. The Chaldeans had widespread effects on the region and the world around them, in military conquests and also astrological advancements, having this science at a level that was revolutionary for their time. This culturally strong city contributed to an extremely influential and successful civilization. We learn from this how beneficial and important culture is to a people, which teaches us the value of culture. Culture must be appreciated and valued and we must make sure it advances in our communities and countries.
Understanding Chaldean History to Understand Our Own
One reason we study history is because we are a part of ongoing history and it is important to understand our past so we can understand our future. Because we are Jews, a lot of our history takes place in Israel, specifically Jerusalem. The Chaldeans were known for their wars with Egypt and Jerusalem. Jerusalem was a central place and many people wanted to have that space of land. It was good for trade and as a war area because of the terrain and the location. Chaldea ended up besieging Jerusalem many times over the years that the civilization thrived. The first time happened after Necho (king of Egypt), tried to overthrow Nebuchadnezzar and then encouraged the king of Judah to revolt. It was in 597 BCE and Nebuchadnezzar besieged Jerusalem in response to the revolt. Again in 587 BCE Nebuchadnezzar returned to Jerusalem to besiege the city after the city again revolts. The Chaldeans then exiled the Judeans after they surrender. This is important because as Jews we need to know that for a period of time we were in exile from Jerusalem and not in control of our homeland. To know all of our history will help with the future because as we know “history tends to repeat itself.” Also, because we know so much about the Judaism side to the story, it is helpful to then hear the other side so we can learn from both angles.
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