287 BABYLONIA-CIVIL AND MILITARY ANNALS,
ally was left to his fate. He made his submission to Nebuchadnezzar, who deliberately put
him to death, and he was "buried with the burial of an ass, drawn and cast forth beyond
the gates of Jerusalem." For the time being, the Babylonian king conferred the crown of
Judah upon Jehoiakim, son of the recent ruler; but he soon fell under suspicion of
treachery, was deposed, and taken a captive to Babylon, thus making way for Zedekiah, who
Was put upon the Jewish throne.
Meanwhile, the siege of Tyre continued. The island city seemed invincible before the
clumsy methods of the Babylonians, but the latter hung to the task with vindictive energy.
Year after year went by, and the city must soon have fallen but for a second revolt on the
part of the Jews. For some reason these people had come to prefer Egyptian to Babylonian
masters. Perhaps they even hoped" ultimately to throw off all mastery and become
independent, as in the days of David. . At any rate, Zedekiah, after having kept his faith
with Nebuchadnezzar for eight years, became at heart disloyal, and entered into an
intrigue with Egypt against the Babylonians.
Pharaoh Apries was now the Egyptian ruler, a youth whose ambition overleaped his prudence.
He and Zedekiah took counsel together against the mighty, and it was agreed that the
Jewish king should revolt and that the Egyptian should come to his support. Accordingly,
in B. C.588, Zedekiah threw off his allegiance and gathered an army for defense. This was
the fourth insurrection which had occurred since Palestine became a Babylonian dependency.
Nebuchadnezzar was enraged. He marched with his host against the city of the Jews,
desolating the country as he came. Jerusalem was at once invested. Mounds were built
against the walls, and the place was already reduced to straits when Apries came up from
Egypt to succor his friend. Nebuchadnezzar, for the time, gave up the siege, turned upon
the Egyptians, whom he routed in battle and drove precipitately into their own country.
Zedekiah was thus left to his fate. The investment of the city was renewed, and after
eighteen months Jerusalem fell. Zedekiah attempted to escape with a remnant of his troops,
but was captured near Jericho. His sons were slaughtered before his face; his eyes were
put out, and he was sent in chains to Babylon. The state of Judah was extinguished, and
the seventy years* captivity of the Jews began. Gedaliah was appointed by Nebuchadnezzar
to rule over the ruins of Palestine, among which Jeremiah sat weeping.
It is appropriate in this connection to recount in a few paragraphs the history of the
people of Israel. Their career as a tribe from the days of Abraham to the time of the
Exodus has already been sketched in the First Book.^ After their escape from the
Egyptians, the crossing of the Gulf of Suez, and aconflict with the Amalekites, MOSES led
the people to Sinai, where the Law was given and the Jewish economy instituted. The
Leviteswere set apart to have exclusive jurisdiction over the national worship. In his
progress from Sinai to Canaan-a desert march from station to station through a period of
forty years-Moses avoided the lands of the Edomites, the Moabites, and the Ammonites, but
proceeded boldly against Sihon, king of the Amorites, and Og, king of Bashan. Both of
these chieftains lived cast of the Jordan. They were dispossessed of their lands, which
were bestowed on the tribes of Reuben and Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh. Moses died
on Mount Nebo, and was succeeded in authority by JOSHUA, of the tribe of Ephraim.
He proved himself to bean able and resolute general. He led the tribes of Israel across
the Jordan into Canaan, or the Holy Land, and there began a war of extermination upon the
native inhabitants. A predatory life of forty years in the desert had converted the brick-
makers of Egypt into a hardy soldiery, and the Canaanites were driven back before them.
All were exterminated except the Gibeonites, who secured their safety by a stratagem, and
became a dependent or servile class among the Hebrews. The other Canaanitish kings were
enraged at this immunity of the Gibeonites, I See Book First, pp. 64-66.