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WHO ARE THE CHALDEANS?

Due to the significance of this question, we publish here an extract from the following article
CONTEMPORARY CHALDEANS AND ASSYRIANS
ONE PRIMORDIAL NATION
ONE ORIGINAL CHURCH

 

By: Mar Sarhad Jammo, Ph.D.

Bishop of the Western United States in Detroit, Michigan, USA. 

Origin of the name: The name “Chaldea, Kaldu, Chaldean, Chaldeans” appeared in history documents around 900 B.C. Then, we find the Chaldeans first as Aramean tribes in the neighborhood of Babylon, later they conquered Babylon itself in 625 B.C. establishing a splendid empire, until its collapse in 539 B.C. at the hand of Cyrus the Persian. The Chaldean empire was the last and most glorious expression of national identity for the people of ancient Mesopotamia that is before falling under the rule of foreign Powers.

The fact of having Aramaic speaking peoples in North Mesopotamia and Syria, on the one hand, and in South Mesopotamia, on the other, shows that the Aramaic language originated in the northwestern bank of Euphrates in parallel to the Akkadian language that originated in the southeastern bank of Euphrates. In fact, the Chaldeans are mentioned in the book of Job (1, 17) as somewhere close to the residence of Job himself in 'Aws.

In 627 B.C., Nabupalassar with the help of Chaldean tribes became king of Babylon, declared independence from Assyria, and allied himself with the Medees, causing the collapse of the Assyrian empire and the fall of Nineveh in 612 B.C., and then he expanded the rule of Babylon over all of Mesopotamia and beyond.

Nabu-kadh-nassar (604-562 B.C.). The son of Nabupallasar became Chaldean King of Babylon. with him Mesopotamia:
1) Reached the peak of its greatness and glory; Babylon, its capital was recognized as “the pearl of kingdoms. The jewel and boast of Chaldeans" (Isaia, 13, 19), and was proclaimed as "a golden cup in the Lord's hand that made all the earth drunken. The nations have drunken of her wine; therefore the nations are mad" (Jeremiah 51,7).
2) The Chaldeans, being an Aramaic people, became a major factor for the spread of Aramaic language and its Alphabet among the peoples of Near East, including their Hebrew captives from Judea.

About the Author: Bishop Sarhad Jammo was born in Baghdad in 1941. He was ordained a priest in Rome in 1964. He was the Rector of the Patriarchal Seminary in Baghdad from 1974-1977. Bishop Jammo has served the Chaldean catholic community in Michigan since 1977. In 1983, he was assigned to be pastor of St. Joseph Chaldeans catholic Church in Troy, Michigan.  Bishop Jammo has served as Vicar General of the Chaldean Diocese in the USA from 1991 till  in Detroit, Michigan on July 18, 2002.  In 1993 he was appointed Professor of Eastern Liturgies at the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome.