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Babylon in Old Testament prophecy

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posted on May, 5 2017 @ 05:01 PM
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The power of Babylon is the subject of many of the Old Testament prophecies.
The key to understanding them is to realise that Biblical prophets, in the first instance, are always writing for, and addressing the concerns of, the people of their own time.

So the prophecies about Babylon are not spread over many books, because the Babylonian impact on Israel’s history covered a comparatively short period of time.
The Babylonians appear first as God’s instrument in the destruction of Assyria.
They must be providing the unnamed army (“the shatterer”) which comes up against Nineveh in Nahum ch2.
In so doing, they are fulfilling God’s warning to Ninevah; “Behold, I am against you, says the Lord of hosts” (ch3 v5)
I believe the same thing is happening in Habakkuk.
The prophet complains about the injustice of the world;
“Destruction and violence are before me, strife and contention arise.
So the law is slacked and justice never goes forth” (Habakkuk ch1 vv3-4).
God’s response is “I am arousing the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation” (v6).
It seems to me that the unrighteous city in the next chapter is another picture of Nineveh.
“His greed is as wide as Sheol; like death, he never has enough.
He gathers for himself all nations, and collects as his own all peoples” (ch2 v5).
Though an alternative explanation of the book, sometimes preferred, is that God is first arousing the Chaldeans against the injustice of Jerusalem. Then the second chapter is the prophet’s complaint that the behaviour of the Chaldeans themselves is even worse.


When the Assyrian empire is destroyed by the Chaldeans and others, the king of Babylon asserts his own sovereignty over many of the former vassals (2 Kings ch24 v1).
So the next moment of impact is the crisis of Judah’s rebellion against Babylon.
Isaiah is said to have warned Hezekiah about this, on the day when the king showed the emissaries of Merodach around his treasure-chamber (Isaiah ch39)
Ezekiel is one of the exiles in Babylon at the time of the final siege, but he sees nothing in it except the action of God’s judgment against Jerusalem;
“Because the land is full of bloody crimes and the city is full of violence, I will bring the worst of the nations to take possession of their houses” (ch7 vv23-24).
In fact he treats the rebellion against Babylon as a rebellion against God, because the relationship was established by covenant;
“The king of Babylon came to Jerusalem… and he took one of the seed royal [Zedekiah] and made a covenant with him, putting him under oath… But [Zedekiah] rebelled against him by sending ambassadors to Egypt… Will he succeed? Can a man escape who does such things? Can he break the covenant and yet escape?”
Three times over the next few verses the prophet repeats that the king has despised the oath and broken the covenant.
“Therefore thus says the Lord God; As I live, surely my oath which he despised and my covenant which he broke, I will requite upon his head… I will bring him to Babylon and enter into judgement there for the treason he has committed against me” (ch17 vv11-20).
The prophet also authorises Babylon to be God’s instrument of judgement against Tyre and Egypt;
“I will bring upon Tyre from the north Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, with horses and chariots and with horsemen and a host of many soldiers (ch26 v7).
“I will give the land of land of Egypt to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and he shall carry off its wealth” (ch29 v19).

Jeremiah’s approach is more ambiguous.
Yes, he agrees that Judah, and the surrounding nations, should put themselves “under the yoke” of the king of Babylon;
“Now I have given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, my servant… All the nations shall serve him and his son and his grandson” (Jeremiah ch27 vv6-7).
If the people of Judah had taken heed of this, they could have remained in the land subject only to the obligation to pay tribute.
Yes, he agrees that Babylon is acting as the instrument of God’s judgement against Judah;
“You have neither listened nor inclined your hearts to hear… Because you have not obeyed my words, behold I will send for all the tribes of the north, says the Lord, and for Nebuchadnezzar my servant, and I will bring them against this land and its inhabitants” (ch25 vv4-9).
Yet he also declares that after seventy years have passed, the Babylonians themselves will be punished for their iniquity; “I will recompense them for their deeds and the work of their hands” (vv12-14).
The prophet illustrates the sequence by taking a notional drinking cup from the Lord’s hand, containing the ingredients of confusion and self-destruction, and making all the kings of the region drink from it.
The cup is first given to the king of Judah, but the final drinker is the king of Babylon himself (vv17-26).

The Babylonians may have been doing God’s work, but in their own minds they were acting only for themselves.
Therefore they were exceeding their commission;
“ I was angry with my people, I profaned my heritage;
I gave them into your hand, you showed no mercy;
On the aged you made your yoke exceedingly heavy
You said ‘I shall be mistress for ever’, so that you did not lay these things to heart or remember their end” (Isaiah ch47 vvv6-7).

The key to the problem is Babylonian pride. They are known for their pride, as the Assyrians had been known for their rapacity.
“You felt secure in your wickedness, you said ‘No one sees me’;
Your wisdom and your knowledge led you astray, and you said in your heart ‘I am, and there is no one besides me” (Isaiah ch47 v10).
In other words, Babylon mounts a challenge to the Creator God, who has been making the same claim.
The multiplicity of religion in Babylon, with its “enchantments and many sorceries”, already appals the Jewish observer. The man-made idols and their devotees were mocked in the previous chapter.
However, the crowning offence is the perception that Babylon is putting herself on such a pedestal.

The pride of Babylon is also accused in another well-known passage;
“How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn!
How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low!” (Isaiah ch14 v12).
The king of Babylon said “I will ascend to heaven, above the stars of God”, but he will be “brought down to Sheol, to the depths of the Pit”.
Even there he will find himself in disgrace, kept away from the kings of the other nations, “because you have destroyed your land, you have slain your people” (vv13-20).
(Perhaps we may recognise in the phrase translated “Day Star” an allusion to Venus and hence to the city’s goddess Ishtar, who made her own visit to the underworld)

Therefore, God says, “I am stirring up the Medes against them” (ch13 v17).
It becomes the turn of Cyrus to be praised as God’s instrument (ch45 v1).
Similarly Jeremiah devotes his three last chapters of prophecy to the downfall of Babylon;
“For Israel and Judah have not been forsaken by their God, the Lord of hosts, but the land of the Chaldeans is full of guilt against the Holy One of Israel” (Jeremiah ch51 v5).
For this reason, the prophet adds the warning “Come out of her my people” (v45).
And of course the original site of Babylon has been deserted ever since, just as he predicted.

The main value of these prophecies for believers living in our own time is the testimony they provide of God’s determination to protect his people against their adversaries.




posted on May, 5 2017 @ 05:02 PM
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Anyone who studies the prophecies of the Old Testament should be careful to keep an eye on the relationship between the prophets and the history of their times.
This thread will assist;
Timeline; The kings and prophets of Israel

Once the kingdom of Babylon disappears from the scene, the interest of the prophets can only be retrospective.
In the story of the tower of Babel, the “ascending to the heavens” pride of Babylon is projected back into primitive history.
The iconic image of the winged lion identifies Babylon as the first of the “beasts” which emerge from the sea in Daniel ch7, dominating the known world.
While the previous chapters of Daniel take the kings of Babylon as a model for the kind of kingly pride which sets itself on a level with the Creator God. Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, his great image of gold, his boastful words, and Belshazzar’s arrogant feast- they all illustrate the same point. My previous threads on these chapters can be found at this location…
www.abovetopsecret.com...
The use of Babylon’s name in the New Testament has the same effect, combined with an allusion to the multiplicity of religions. The great Harlot of Revelation dominates the world and persecutes God’s people, just like the original city, but she will be brought down to destruction in the same way.
Babylon’s Wake



posted on May, 5 2017 @ 07:07 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI
Maybe this video will help because then you can send your room to hell and understand the religion from a different perspective. SEND YOUR ROOM TO HELL



posted on May, 5 2017 @ 07:09 PM
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a reply to: icanseeyouhoo
I don't watch videos. I only read things, and I suspect that your information will be off-topic.




edit on 5-5-2017 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 5 2017 @ 07:57 PM
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originally posted by: DISRAELI
“Therefore thus says the Lord God; As I live, surely my oath which he despised and my covenant which he broke, I will requite upon his head… I will bring him to Babylon and enter into judgement there for the treason he has committed against me”


I would rather die on my feet than be slave on my knees to a sadistic monarchy God.

My faith is in an all-powerful all-loving God who will use his infinite powers of forgiveness to allow everyone through the gates of heaven to experience eternal heavenly bliss regardless of our earthy sins. My faith is not in divine monarchy in any form. A God of love is egalitarian with his blessings. There are no kings. There is no monarchy. There's just God's infinite love.

The stories in the Bible are designed to enslave everyone into being a slave for monarchy.



posted on May, 5 2017 @ 08:02 PM
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there's a theory that Saddam Hussein's rebuilt Babylon will be host of a regional government and/or religious organization.

I tend to think secular from the traders that lament 'alas Babylon' for commercial reasons.

pan-Islamic state? regional capital of the New World Order?

as I unnerstand it, Rastafarianism sees the world divided in two, one side being righteous (Zion) and the other evil, corrupt and materialistic (Babylon). Lots of Marley's music reflects this.



posted on May, 6 2017 @ 02:21 AM
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a reply to: ElGoobero
In my view, New Testament references to "Babylon" are about a place equivalent to Babylon in political power and behaviour, so that it would be a mistake to look for prophecy fulfilments in the geographical location of Babylon.
(Or, for that matter, in the geographical location of Rome, for the same reason)




edit on 6-5-2017 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 6 2017 @ 03:07 AM
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Babylon was the name of the town I grew up in .

www.bing.com...

I thought they put Babylon in Iraq didn't they?



posted on May, 6 2017 @ 03:36 AM
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a reply to: Sillyolme
Yes, Iraq covers what used to be Babylonia. The local centre of power has shifted across to Baghdad on the other river.



posted on May, 6 2017 @ 03:46 AM
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Hey. Good post.
edit on 6-5-2017 by ofnoaccount because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 6 2017 @ 03:52 AM
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a reply to: ofnoaccount
Thank you. Nothing's there yet; I think you need to have made twenty posts before you can send messages successfully.



posted on May, 6 2017 @ 09:56 AM
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make note that 'the Land-of-Shinar' was the area of the World in which Babylon developed & grew to infamy


Shinar was not locked in with the bad reputation that was Babylons' own
Sumer & Akkadia, Syria were neighboring lands in both time and geography but only Babylon became the focus point...


Why...?

because Babylon... way before 2300 bce was chosen to be the Place where the Prophetic Time-line for both Gentiles & the 12 tribes of Israel & Judah would begin


Babylon is one of the book-ends of the Prophetic Timeline...perhaps even the 6,000 year period where Jerusalem is trodden-by-Gentiles... the Pagan gods/towers-to-heaven/Nimrod & Nebuchadnezzar, et al are mere color background which is secondary to the hidden-in-plain-sight "Key or Code" of the Start of the Prophetic Start Time & count-down to the end-of-Age


of course there are plenty of intertwined morality points involved with Babylon itself, & the growth into a gathering point of human activity/civilization/ mass organization/ knowledge center/ dictatorial communism first appearance/ the priestly class power & privilege & access to occult secrets



posted on May, 6 2017 @ 10:07 AM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

Nothing but mythery and fables!




Excellent work as always DIS



a reply to: dfnj2015

Maybe you just don't know the subject that well.



The stories in the Bible are designed to enslave everyone into being a slave for monarchy.


If not a monarchy then what? Anarchy thru out the cosmos right? Are you an anarchist?
edit on Ram50617v27201700000015 by randyvs because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 6 2017 @ 10:24 AM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

I see humanity moving back to the days of Nimrod where all were of one mind, building a humanistic utopia. We seem to be headed the same way now just with different tools.

It's funny how the leaps in recent technologies all revolve around communication and manipulating the masses. There is a reason we still travel with 50 year old technologies. We also see an OCD kind of sorting from media and government trying to get everyone into thier little boxes.

I agree Babylon will not necessary be known by a geographic location but we will be able to recognize it based on what the bible alludes to in the Old and New Testaments.



posted on May, 6 2017 @ 10:25 AM
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originally posted by: St Udio
Sumer & Akkadia, Syria were neighboring lands in both time and geography but only Babylon became the focus point...
Why...?

Because Mesopotamia, controlled by Babylon, was a larger reservoir of population than Syria, and that means economic and military power.
It was for exactly the same reasons that the later Abbasid Caliphs moved the centre of their caliphate from Antioch to Baghdad.



posted on May, 6 2017 @ 10:29 AM
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originally posted by: Observationalist
I agree Babylon will not necessary be known by a geographic location but we will be able to recognize it based on what the bible alludes to in the Old and New Testaments.

Yes, "Babylon" is a world-dominating power devoted to idolatry and intent on snuffing out the worship of the Creator God. We should be able to recognise that when we see it.



posted on May, 6 2017 @ 10:38 AM
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I hope you don't mind? But this passage:


The prophet illustrates the sequence by taking a notional drinking cup from the Lord’s hand, containing the ingredients of confusion and self-destruction, and making all the kings of the region drink from it.


Reminds me of this.




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