Is it a title?

And why is merodach written with a lower case "m"?

PS: I came across this name from Jeremiah 52:31 of an NLT Bible


The King James Version and the English Standard Version use the name Evil-merodach, as does the New Living Translation. Clearly, using lower-case m is not a typographical error! However, as to why the second part of the name does not have a capital letter M, there is no explanation.

The New International Version uses the name Evil-Merodach and notes he was also called Amel-Marduk. He was Nebuchadnezzar's successor.

History records that Nebuchadnezzar was a follower of the Babylonian gods Nabu and Marduk.

The 'Enuma Elish' describes a great clash between various gods of the Babylonian pantheon:

The two most important characters are the god Marduk and the goddess Tiamat. After Tiamat prepares many monsters and lesser gods to destroy the remainder of the pantheon, and a few younger gods have already failed at challenging her, Marduk offers to destroy Tiamat in return for being made highest among the gods. The other gods readily accept this offer, and Marduk becomes locked in mortal combat with Tiamat. After killing Tiamat, Marduk splits her body in two, making one half the sky and one half the earth. He makes humans from his own flesh and bone and brings order to the universe. Source: http://www.sacred-texts.com/ane/stc/index.htm

The Enuma Elish is one of the oldest creation records ever discovered, likely dating to 1100 BC (Genesis, which is older, was written around 1400 BC).

As to why older Bible translations record the king's name as Evil-merodach, no explanation is given. But Ken Graham's fulsome answer sheds light on his character, which may account for the prefix of Evil.


Who is Evil-Merodach?

In Jeremiah 52:31, we read the following:

Now it came to pass in the thirty-seventh year of the captivity of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, on the twenty-fifth day of the month, that Evil-Merodach king of Babylon, in the first year of his reign, ylifted 8up the head of Jehoiachin king of Judah and brought him out of prison. - (Jeremiah 52:31)

The Jewish Encyclopedia has this to say about Evil- Merodach:

Son of Nebuchadnezzar, and third ruler of the New Babylonian empire; reigned from 561 to 560 B.C. His name in Babylonian is "Amil-Marduk" or "Avel-Marduk"= "man," or "servant, of Marduk." No personal or historical inscriptions of his reign have been discovered, and there are only two sources of information concerning him—the Hebrew Scriptures and Berosus. According to the Bible (Jer. lii. 31; II Kings xxv. 27 et seq.), he released in the year of his accession, the imprisoned king Jehoiachin, invited him to his table, clothed him with royal raiment, and elevated him above all other captive kings that were in Babylon. Tiele, Cheyne, and Hommel are of the opinion that perhaps Neriglissar, Evil-merodach's brother-in-law, who is praised for his benevolence, was instrumental in the freeing of the Judean king. Grätz, on the other hand, conjectures the influence of the Jewish eunuchs (referring to Jer. xxxix. 7 and Daniel).

Berosus, however, says that Evil-merodach ruled "unjustly and lewdly." Possibly his treatment of the exiled king was held by the priestly, or national, party to have been unlawful; or it may be that the memory of some injury rankled in the mind of the priestly writer, or writers, of his history (Winckler, "Gesch. Babyloniens und Assyriens," p. 314). Evilmerodach was unable to counteract the danger arising from Median immigration. The party opposed to him soon succeeded in dethroning him, and he was assassinated by order of Neriglissar, who succeeded him. - Evil-Merodach (Jewish Encyclopedia)

Wikipedia has very little to offer us about Evil-Merodach:

Amel-Marduk (Hebrew: אֱוִיל מְרֹדַךְ, Modern: 'Evīl Mərōdaḵ, Tiberian: 'Éwīl Merōḏaḵ; English: Evil-Merodach), 'man of Marduk' (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. Berossus writes that he was murdered in a plot orchestrated by Nergal-sharezer, his successor and brother-in-law. Berossus also notes that "he governed public affairs after an illegal and impure manner," possibly an allusion to actions that infuriated the priestly class, including reforms made to the policies of Nebuchadnezzar.

One such reform is recorded in the Hebrew Bible, 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. Originally, Josephus assigned eighteen years to his reign, but in a later work, Josephus states that Berossus assigned a reign of two years. Seder Olam Rabbah assigned twenty-three years to his reign. Leviticus Rabbah 18:2 states that Evil-Merodach was made king while Nebuchadnezzar was still living, and was punished for this act of rebellion by his father, who had him imprisoned. In Esther Rabbah, Evil-Merodach, owing to his father's actions before his death, is heir to a bankrupt treasury. - Amel-Marduk (Wikipedia)


It’s a slight. Like said above the God Marduk of Babylon was a rival god to Israel and YHWH. The king in question, named Evilmerodach in the KJV, to make the man evil unconsciously; Auyl-Mrdk in Hebrew, Fool Marduk; and Amēl Marduk in Akkadian, The Man Of Marduk. The Bible actually does this quite well and frequently. The rhyming of words to rhyme/match other Hebrew words is astute and enjoyable. This one just isn’t esoteric so everyone gets some amusement.

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