About 630 years before Christ, the Empire and City of Babylon were conquered by Nebuchadnezzar, the King of the Chaldeans, a nomadic race, who, descending from their homes in the Caucasian Mountains, had overwhelmed the countries of Southern Asia. Nebuchadnezzar was engaged during his whole reign in wars of conquest. Among other nations which fell beneath his victorious arms was Judea, whose King, Jehoiakim, was slain by Nebuchadnezzar, and his son, Jehoichin, ascended the Jewish throne. After a reign of three years, he was deposed by Nebuchadnezzar, and his kingdom given to his uncle, Zedekiah, a monarch distinguished for his vices. Having repeatedly rebelled against the Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar repaired to Jerusalem, and, after a siege of eighteen months, reduced it. The city was leveled with the ground, the Temple pillaged and burned, and the inhabitants carried captive to Babylon. These events are commemorated in the first section of the English and American Royal Arch system.
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