Smith's Bible DictionaryMerodachbaladan
(worshipper of Baal) is mentioned as king of Babylon in the days of Hezekiah both in the second hook of Kings, ch. (2 Kings 20:12) and in Isaiah. ch. (Isaiah 39:1) In the former place he is called Berodach-baladan. The name of Merodach-baladan has been recognized in the Assyrian inscriptions. It appears there were two reigns of this king, the first from B.C. 721 to B.C. 709, when he was deposed; and the second after his recovery of the throne in B.C. 702, which lasted only half a year. There is some doubt as to the time at which he went his ambassadors to Hezekiah, for the purpose of inquiring as to the astronomical marvel of which Judea had been the scene, (2 Chronicles 32:31) but it appears to have been B.C. 713.
International Standard Bible EncyclopediaMERODACH-BALADAN
me-ro'-dak-bal'-a-dan, mer'-o-dak-b. (mero'dhakh bal'adhan; Marodach Baladan): The son of Baladan, is mentioned in Isaiah 39:1, as a king of Babylon who sent an embassy to Hezekiah, king of Judah, apparently shortly after the latter's illness, in order to congratulate him on his recovery of health, and to make with him an offensive and defensive alliance. This Merodach-baladan was a king of the Chaldeans of the house of Yakin, and was the most dangerous and inveterate foe of Sargon and his son Sennacherib, kings of Assyria, with whom he long and bitterly contested the possession of Babylon and the surrounding provinces. Merodach-Baladan seems to have seized Babylon immediately after the death of Shalmaneser in 721 B.C.; and it was not till the 12th year of his reign that Sargon succeeded in ousting him. From that time down to the 8th campaign of Sennacherib, Sargon and his son pursued with relentless animosity Merodach-Baladan and his family until at last his son Nabushumishkun was captured and the whole family of Merodach-Baladan was apparently destroyed. According to the monuments, therefore, it was from a worldly point of view good politics for Hezekiah and his western allies to come to an understanding with Merodach-Baladan and the Arameans, Elamites, and others, who were confederated with him. From a strategical point of view, the weakness of the allied powers consisted in the fact that the Arabian desert lay between the eastern and western members of the confederacy, so that the Assyrian kings were able to attack their enemies when they pleased and to defeat them in detail.
R. Dick Wilson
Easton's Bible Dictionary
Merodach has given a son, (Isaiah 39:1
), "the hereditary chief of the Chaldeans, a small tribe at that time settled in the marshes at the mouth of the Euphrates, but in consequence of his conquest of Babylon afterwards, they became the dominant caste in Babylonia itself." One bearing this name sent ambassadors to Hezekiah (B.C. 721). He is also called Berodach-baladan (2 Kings 20:12
; 2 Chronicles 20:31
). (see HEZEKIAH