Nebuchadrezzar (neb′ u-kad-rĕz′ zar), the most illustrious of Babylonian kings, was the son of Nabopolassar, the general of the Babylonian garrison at the time the Assyrian empire fell to pieces after the death of Assur-bani-pal. The Babylonians then threw off the hated yoke of Assyria, and Nabopolassar was proclaimed king of Babylonia in 625 B. C. Nebuchadrezzar succeeded him in 604, reigning 43 years, and was one of the greatest sovereigns who ever ruled over an ancient empire. He recovered the long-lost provinces, rebuilt palaces and temples as well as the city of Babylon, and captured and destroyed Jerusalem, taking the Jews into captivity. (The Assyrians had previously taken the 10 northern tribes into captivity.) It is an astonishing fact that not a single mound has been opened by explorers in Babylonia, which did not contain bricks, cylinders and tablets inscribed with his name.