Formerly at eye level, these are now above the right wall, near paintings depicting what an aerial view of Babylon might have been.
These glazed lions were part of the Ishtar Gate. Babylon, at the time of the fall of the Southern Kingdom of Judaea had about 200,000 inhabitants, joined by 10,000 Jewish captives. 2 Kings 24:10-16 tells about Nebuchadnezzar’s siege of Jerusalem. “And he carried away all Jerusalem, and all the princes, and all the mighty men of valour, even ten thousand captives, and all the craftsmen and smiths: none remained, save the poorest sort of the people of the land. “
The ten thousand captives would have joined the 200,000 people of Babylon in 600 BC.
Psalm 137: 1,8,9 By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. …O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed; happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us. 9 Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.
Daniel and his three friends would have been marched as captives through the impressive Ishtar gates.
Daniel 1:1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it. 3 And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king’s seed, and of the princes; 6 Now among these were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: