June 26, 2007

Today in Jewish History - Tammuz 10

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In 423 BCE, King Tzidkiyahu was captured by Babylonian troops in the plains of Jericho, as recorded in Jeremiah ch. 39. The evil Nebuchadnezzar forced Tzidkiyahu to witness the slaughter of his sons, and then Tzidkiyahu's eyes were gouged out. Till today, Tzidkiyahu is remembered as a righteous man, while Nebuchadnezzar -- like a long list of tyrants who sought to oppress the Jewish people -- was degraded and reduced to the dustbin of history. The biblical Book of Daniel (4:30) describes how Nebuchadnezzar "was driven from mankind; he ate grass like oxen, and his body was washed by the dew of heaven, until his hair grew like eagles' feathers and his nails were like birds' claws." (Nebuchadnezzar later regained his sanity and returned to rule.)