Nebuzar'adan (Heb. Nebuzaradan', נבוּזִראֲדָן, for signif. see below; Sept. Ναβουζαρδάνv.r. Ναβουζαρδᾶν; Josephus, Ναβουζαρδάνης, Ant. 10:9, 1 and 2; Vulg. Nebuzardan), the Rab-tabbachim, i.e., chief of the slaughterers or executioners (A.V. " captain of the guard"), a high officer in the court of Nebuchadnezzar, apparently (like the Tartan in the Assyrian army) the next to the person of the monarch. He appears not to have been present during the siege of Jerusalem; probably he was occupied in the more important operations at Tyre, but as soon as the city was actually in the hands of the Babylonians he arrived, and from that moment everything was completely directed by him. B.C. 588. It was he who decided, even to the minutest details, of fire-pans and bowls (2Ki 25:15), what should be carried off and what burned, which persons should be taken away to Babylon, and which left behind in the country. One act only is referred directly to Nebuchadnezzar — the appointment of the governor or superintendent of the conquered district. All this Nebuzaradan seems to have carried out with wisdom and moderation. His conduct to Jeremiah, to whom his attention had been directed by his master (Jer 39:11), is marked by even higher qualities than these, and the prophet has preserved (Jer 40:2-5) a speech of Nebuzaradan to him on liberating him from his chains at Ramah, which contains expressions truly remarkable in a heathen. He seems to have left Judaea for this time when he took down the chief people of Jerusalem to his master at Riblah (2Ki 25:18-20). Six years afterwards he again appeared (Jer 52:30). Nebuchadnezzar in his twenty-third year made a descent on the regions east of the Jordan, including the Ammonites and Moabites (Josephus, Ant. 10:9, 7), who escaped when Jerusalem was destroyed. SEE MOAB. Thence he proceeded to Egypt (Joseph. ibid.), and, either on the way thither or on the return. Nebuzaradan again passed through the country and carried off seven hundred and forty-five more captives (Jer 52:30).
The name, like Nebuchadnezzar and Nebu-shasban, contains that of Nebo the Babylonian deity. The other portion of the word is less certain. Gesenius (Thes. page 839 b) translates by Mercurii dux doninus, taking the זִר as שִׂר, "prince," and אֲדָן as אָדוֹן "lord" Furst, on the other hand (Handb. s.v.), treats it as equivalent in meaning to the Hebrew rab- tabbachim, which usually follows it, and sometimes occurs by itself (2Ki 25:18; Jer 40:2,5). To obtain this meaning he treats the first member as = Pers. sar, Sansc. ciro, "chief," as Gesenius; but compares the last member of the name to the Sansc. dana, from de, "to cut off." Gesenius also takes zaradan as identical with the first element in the name of Sardan-apalus. But this latter name is now explained by Sir H. Rawlinson as Assur-dan-i-pal (Rawlinson's Herod. 1:460).