Israel and Judah feared Assyria because it was the great regional power to their north. Israel attempted to repel the Assyrian army and, as a result, was totally destroyed in 722 BCE. Judah, at first willing to fight, eventually became a vassal state of Assyria. The Chaldeans did not come to power in Babylon until long after the total destruction of Israel, so the Israelites never knew of the Chaldeans. Judah feared the Chaldeans, but perhaps not quite enough, because they failed to accept Babylon’s new role in the Near East, resulting in the defeat of Jerusalem and the Babylonian Exile.

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