The campaign against King Arphaxad (Jdt 1:13-1:16)

“In the seventeenth year, King Nebuchadnezzar led his forces against King Arphaxad. He defeated him in battle. He overthrew the whole army of King Arphaxad, all his cavalry, and all his chariots. Thus he took possession of his towns. He came to Ecbatana. He captured its towers, plundered its markets, and turned its glory into disgrace. He captured King Arphaxad in the mountains of Ragau. He struck him down with his spears. He destroyed him, once and for all. Then he and all his combined forces, a vast body of troops, returned to Nineveh. There he and his forces rested and feasted for one hundred twenty days.”

5 years later, around 588 BCE, King Nebuchadnezzar led his troops against King Arphaxad as he defeated him. He took all their possessions, and destroyed the town of Ecbatana. He captured King Arphaxad in the mountains of Ragau, and killed him. Then he returned to Nineveh and rested for 4 months.

King Nebuchadnezzar’s army (Jdt 1:5-1:6)

“Then King Nebuchadnezzar made war against King Arphaxad in the great plain that is on the borders of Ragau. There rallied to him all the people of the hill country. All those who lived along the Euphrates and the Tigris River were with him. The people along the Hydaspes River and on the plain were with him also. Arioch, the king of the Elymaeans was on his side. Thus many nations joined the forces of the Chaldeans.”

King Nebuchadnezzar was not alone. He had a lot of allies. The battle was to be on the plains next to Ragau, a city in northeastern Media, about 5 miles southeast of Teheran, near the Caspian Sea, about 200 miles northeast of Ecbatana. The Hydaspes River is either near the Tigris and Euphrates or somewhere in India. The Elymaeans may refer to the people of Elam or the Elamites. They could be from Elam also, near the Persian Gulf or part of Media. Obviously, King Nebuchadnezzar had a lot of people on his side.