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Morrish Bible Dictionary

Chaldeans, Chaldees

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After the mention of Ur of the Chaldees in Genesis 11:28,31 ; Genesis 15:7 ; and the Chaldeans who fell upon Job's camels (Job 1:17 ) we do not read of them for some fifteen hundred years, when God sent them to punish Judah. 2 Kings 24:2 . Then, however, they cannot be distinguished from the Babylonians. Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon was called a Chaldean, Ezra 5:12 , and on the taking of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar it was the Chaldeans who destroyed the city, 2 Kings 25 ; and in 2 Chronicles 36:17 Nebuchadnezzar is called 'the king of the Chaldees.' It is evident therefore that the Babylonians are called Chaldees; and at one time the Assyrians were associated with the Babylonians. We read "Behold the land of the Chaldeans; this people was not, till the Assyrian founded it for them that dwell in the wilderness." Isaiah 23:13 . This passage has been variously interpreted. The meaning appears to be that it was the Chaldeans that were going to destroy Tyre. They were a people that had not been reckoned among the nations until the Assyrians, consolidated them into a nation. They had formerly dwelt in the wilderness (as when they fell upon Job's camels, Job 1:17 ). This was the people that would bring Tyre to ruin. Lowth translates the verse thus: "Behold the land of the Chaldeans; this people was of no account; (the Assyrian founded it for the inhabitants of the desert; they raised the watch towers, they set up the palaces thereof): this people hath reduced her to a ruin." Herodotus says "the Assyrians built the towers and temples of Babylon." Isaiah 48:14,20 ; Jeremiah 21:4,9,10 ; Ezekiel 23:14 ; Daniel 5:30 ; Daniel 9:1 .

It has been judged that the Hebrew word Kasdim, translated 'Chaldeans,' is from the Assyrian word Kasadu , 'to conquer,' and is applied to those who 'conquered' the Chaldean plain. The earlier inhabitants had an agglutinative language, such as the descendants of Cush would have: whereas the Chaldeans spoken of in the O.T. were a Semitic race, who then possessed the land. At first they were a number of tribes in South Babylonia, but were afterwards united and increased. They became merged by the mixing of races, intercourse, etc., so as not to be distinguishable from the Babylonians.


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Bibliography Information
Morrish, George. Entry for 'Chaldeans, Chaldees '. Morrish Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/mbd/c/chaldeans--chaldees.html. 1897.

Lectionary Calendar
Monday, December 9th, 2019
the Second Week of Advent
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