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King of Babylon
Reign c. 562 – 560 BC
Predecessor Nebuchadnezzar II
Successor Neriglissar
Born ?
Died c. 560 BC
Father Nebuchadnezzar II

Amel-Marduk (Akkadian: 𒈬𒇽𒀭𒀫𒌓, translit. mAmîl dMaruk, spelled Amēl-Marduk/Amil-Marduk but pronounced Awēl-Marduk/Awîl-Marduk; Template:Hebrew Name; Template:Lang-en), 'man of Marduk'[1][2] (died c. 560 BC) was the son and successor of Nebuchadnezzar II, king of Babylon.


His name, along with the length of his reign, are recorded in the 'Uruk King List' and the Canon of Ptolemy, however no surviving cuneiform document records anything concerning his life or deeds.[1] Berossus writes that he was murdered in a plot orchestrated by Nergal-sharezer, his successor and brother-in-law.[3] Berossus also notes that "he governed public affairs after an illegal and impure manner," possibly an allusion to actions that infuriated the priestly class,[4] including reforms made to the policies of Nebuchadnezzar.[5]

One such reform is recorded in the Hebrew Bible,[6] where Evil-Merodach (Heb.: אֱוִיל מְרֹדַךְ, ˒ĕwı̂l merōdak) is remembered for releasing the Jewish king Jehoiachin from prison after 37 years in captivity.

Later Jewish and Christian texts expand the Biblical account. Josephus and the Avot of Rabbi Natan state that the king believed that Jehoiachin was held by his father without cause, and thus decided to release him upon the latter's death.[1] Originally, Josephus assigned eighteen years to his reign,[7] but in a later work, Josephus states that Berossus assigned a reign of two years.[8] Seder Olam Rabbah assigned twenty-three years to his reign.[9] Leviticus Rabbah 18:2 states that Evil-Merodach was made king while Nebuchadrezzar was still living, and was punished for this act of rebellion by his father, who had him imprisoned.[1] In Esther Rabbah, Evil-Merodach, owing to his father's actions before his death, is heir to a bankrupt treasury.[1]

See also


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  • Hirsch, E.G. et al. Evil-Merodach in Singer, Isidore; Adler, Cyrus; (eds.) et al. (1901–1906) The Jewish Encyclopedia. Funk and Wagnalls, New York. LCCN 16-014703
  • Oded, B. Evil-Merodach in Skolnik, F., & Berenbaum, M. (2007). Encyclopaedia Judaica, vol. 6, Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA in association with the Keter Pub. House.
  • Sack, R.H. Evil-Merodach in Freedman, et al. (1992). Anchor Bible Dictionary, vol. 2, New York: Doubleday.

External links

Preceded by
King of Babylon
562–560 BC
Succeeded by
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  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Sack, 1992.
  2. Me'moires de la mission archeologique de Susiane, by V. Scheil, Paris 1913, vol XIV
  3. Josephus, Apion 1.20
  4. Hirsch 1901-1906
  5. Oded 2007
  6. 2 Kings 25:27, Jeremiah 52:31
  7. Antiquities of the Jews by Flavius Josephus, Book X, chapter 11 pg. 216
  8. Against Apion by Flavius Josephus, Book 1, paragraph 20
  9. Transactions of the Chronological Institute of London, T. Richards 1861, volume II, part 2, page 120-121