I found something a little bit confusing over the two ways in which the name of the king of Babylon was rendered in the book of Jeremiah.

For example, Jeremiah 28:11 renders it as Nebuchadnezzar:

And Hananiah spoke in the presence of all the people, saying, “Thus says the Lord: Even so will I break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon from the neck of all the nations within two years.” But Jeremiah the prophet went his way. (Jere 28:11 KJV)

Somewhere around chapter 32:28 onwards in the King James Version, the name is rendered Nebuchadrezzar:

Therefore thus saith the Lord; Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the Chaldeans, and into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, and he shall take it: (Jere 32:28 KJV)

Whereas ESV renders it as “Nebuchadnezzar”:

Therefore, thus says the Lord: (A)Behold, I am giving this city into the hands of the Chaldeans and into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and he shall capture it. (Jere 32:28 ESV)

Is it Nebuchadnezzar or Nebuchadrezzar? Why is the name rendered in two different ways in KJV?

  • 3
    The Bible often has various spelling for different names. This is not unusual.
    – Dottard
    Jan 15 at 20:41
  • 5
    not entirely relevant to the question, but whilst Nebuchadnezzar has generally become the more common form of the name in English, Nebuchadrezzar is closer to the actual Babylonian form of the name which was Nabûkudurriuṣur. There is a suggestion that the form with the n may be an insulting nickname from a form like Nabûkūdanuuṣur, meaning "Nabu protect the mule!" rather than the "Nabu protect my heir!" that appears in Babylonian records. There's no direct evidence of the existence of this nickname though
    – Tristan
    Jan 16 at 10:04
  • Maybe one is simply a misspelling Jan 17 at 18:59

2 Answers 2


The King James Version translators were careful to translate as near as possible to the original.

In this case, the Hebrew spellings are different. In Jeremiah 32:28, "Nebuchadrezzar" is spelled as "נְבֽוּכַדְרֶאצַּ֥ר"---transliterated as "Nəbūḵaḏreṣṣar" (ISO) or "Nĕbûḵaḏreṣar" (SBL). However, in Jeremiah 28:11, the word is "נְבֻֽכַדְנֶאצַּ֣ר", i.e. "Nəbūḵaḏneṣṣar" (ISO) or "Nĕbûḵaḏneṣar" (SBL). The first vowel on both spellings is a sheva, so should be short and indistinctly pronounced. The "ḵ" is a guttural sound like the "ch" in German "Bach", definitely not to be pronounced like the "ch" in "church", but is often transliterated as "ch" in traditional systems of Romanization.

Some versions will prefer to unify spellings of names, perhaps even doing so for the Greek spellings of Hebrew names, but the KJV tried to get it right in most cases (there are places where they diverge unnecessarily, too). The two names do represent the same king. I have heard that Shakespeare himself spelled his own name in seven different ways. Apparently, spelling has not always been of the highest priority.

  • this is a good answer. I've submitted an edit switching to SBL romanisation rather than the ad hoc one here. IMO it's generally the clearest, although the fact they don't recommend marking dageshim on non-begedkefet letters is a little frustrating
    – Tristan
    Jan 16 at 10:00
  • @Tristan Some portions of your edit are good, but I don't like the fact that the "e" in the name is not rendered as a schwa, the nearest English equivalent of the pronounced Hebrew sheva. It's not really a short "e" as the marks indicate. Because of this, I still prefer to stick with the explanation I gave. If I were to use a phonetic representation of the vowel, I would put a schwa there. I'm not yet savvy regarding edits--how may I accept just a part of it?
    – Biblasia
    Jan 16 at 16:36
  • probably easiest to accept and then do an additional edit yourself. ISO 259 Romanisation would render them Nəbūḵaḏreṣṣar & Nəbūḵaḏneṣṣar, and as that marks the gemination of the tzade explicitly it's probably better in this case (I usually prefer SBL because of its marking of the plene vowels, but its issues with not marking gemination and not distinguishing sheva and hataf segol are problematic, especially when the Masoretes appear to consider sheva na' to sound identical to hataf patach instead)
    – Tristan
    Jan 16 at 16:56
  • @Tristan. Thank you, I'll try that. As for the Masoretes, if it weren't for them, we wouldn't have any of these vowels :wink:.
    – Biblasia
    Jan 16 at 18:19

Jeremiah 50:17

Israel is a scattered sheep; the lions have driven him away: first the king of Assyria hath devoured him; and last this Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon hath broken his bones.

Nebucha(n)ezzar: Original king of Babylon (died) and Nebucha(r)ezzar: Antichrist king (is this the wounded king that is "resurrected"?)

Ezekiel 26:7

For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will bring upon Tyrus Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, a king of kings, from the north, with horses, and with chariots, and with horsemen, and companies, and much people.

Tyrus is Mystery Babylon's false church, the great whore that sitteth on many waters.

Ezra 7:12

Artaxerxes, king of kings, unto Ezra the priest, a scribe of the law of the God of heaven, perfect peace, and at such a time.

Scribes were condemned along with the Pharisees in Jesus's ministry. Artaxerxes, of Persia, conquered Babylon while the Jews were still in exile. Cyrus restored them.

Four Kingdoms of Daniel 7:

  1. Assyria
  2. Media - Persia
  3. Grecia/Greece
  4. Revived Babylon (Mystery Babylon)
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  • Hello and welcome to the site. Most of this isn't really relevant to the question. Only the second paragraph is actually about the question, and it really needs supporting evidence. How do you know the different spellings refer to those different individuals?
    – curiousdannii
    Dec 4 at 0:07

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