(Neb·uʹzar·adʹan) [from Babylonian, meaning “Nebo Has Given Offspring”].
Chief of the bodyguard and principal figure in Nebuchadnezzar’s forces at the actual destruction of Jerusalem in 607 B.C.E. It does not appear that Nebuzaradan was present during the initial siege and breakthrough of Jerusalem, for it was about a month later that he “came to Jerusalem,” after King Zedekiah had been brought to Nebuchadnezzar and blinded.—2Ki 25:2-8; Jer 39:2, 3; 52:6-11.
From outside the city, Nebuzaradan directed the Babylonian operations of destroying the city, which began “on the seventh day of the month” (the fifth month, Ab), and which included looting the temple treasures, wrecking the wall, dealing with the captives, and allowing some of the lowly ones to remain. (2Ki 25:8-20; Jer 39:8-10; 43:5, 6; 52:12-26) Three days later, on the tenth day of the month, it appears that Nebuzaradan “came into Jerusalem” (“entered Jerusalem,” RS, JB) and, after an inspection, put a torch to the house of Jehovah and reduced the city to ashes. (Jer 52:12, 13) Josephus observed that it was on the very same day, the tenth day of the fifth month, when Solomon’s temple was burned, that the temple rebuilt by Herod was also burned, in 70 C.E.—The Jewish War, VI, 250 (iv, 5); VI, 268 (iv, 8); see AB.
Nebuzaradan, under orders from Nebuchadnezzar, released Jeremiah and spoke to him kindly, letting him choose what he would do, offering to look after him and granting him some supplies. Nebuzaradan was also spokesman for the king of Babylon in appointing Gedaliah governor over those remaining. (2Ki 25:22; Jer 39:11-14; 40:1-7; 41:10) About five years later, 602 B.C.E., Nebuzaradan took other Jews into exile, apparently those who had fled to surrounding territories.—Jer 52:30.