posted on Jul, 19 2009 @ 11:18 PM
'Babylon, the jewel of kingdoms, the glory of the Babylonians pride, will be overthrown by God like Sodom and Gomorrah. She will never be inhabited
or lived in through all generations; no Arab will pitch his tent there, no shepherd will rest his flocks there. But desert creatures will lie there,
.. I will turn her into a place for owls and into a swampland; I will sweep her with the broom of destruction,' declares the Lord Almighty... (Isaiah
13:19-21, 23 NASB)
The prophet Jeremiah (sixth century BC) wrote extensively of Babylon's coming destruction and adds detail:
'Flee out of Babylon; leave the land of the Babylonians, and be like the goats that lead the flock. For I will stir up and bring against Babylon an
alliance of great nations from the land of the north. They will take up their positions against her, and from the north she will be captured... So
Babylonia will be plundered;... Like a lion coming up from Jordan's thickets to a rich pastureland, I will chase Babylon from its land in an
instant... Babylon will suddenly fall and be broken... I will fill you with men, as with a swarm of locusts, and they will shout in triumph over
you... No rock will be taken from you for a cornerstone, nor any stone for a foundation, for you will be desolate forever,' declares the Lord.
The sea will rise over Babylon; its roaring waves will cover her. Her towns will be desolate, a dry and desert land, a land where no one lives... I
will make her officials and wise men drunk,... they will sleep forever and not awake... Babylon's thick walls will be leveled... When you finish
reading this scroll, tie a stone to it and throw it into the Euphrates. Then say, 'So will Babylon sink to rise no more...' (from Jeremiah chapters
50 and 51 NASB)
In 539 BC, Cyrus the Great, of Persia, circumvented Babylon's impenetrable walls and gates by cleverly redirecting the Euphrates River with deep
trenches. Culminating on October 13, Persian troops then marched out of the north along the shallow riverbed beneath Babylon's walls and secured the
city in a single night. The night of the attack caught the Babylonians by surprise as it corresponded with an annual festival they were celebrating.
From this point in history, Babylon only declined.
Xerxes, grandson of Cyrus, plundered the city of much of its treasures during his reign of 485-465 BC. Alexander the Great, conqueror of the Persian
Empire, decided in 323 BC that he would rebuild the city to become his worldwide capital. However, he died a few days after work had begun.
Immediately, Alexander's generals struggled for portions of the empire and the great Babylon found itself to be the unlikely battleground for the
bloody contest of the Persian Empire's new successor. By the time the Seleucids finally took possession of Babylon, the city and fortifications had
been sufficiently wracked by destruction and plundering that it was abandoned for a new city being built forty miles to the north. Though this ended
Babylon as a city-state, its protective walls remained sufficiently intact to allow armies to safely inhabit its enclosure.
Babylon was not utterly destroyed until some 600 years later during the reign of Julian the Apostate; the Emperor of Rome who sought to rid the Roman
Empire of Christianity. While battling the Persian army in AD 363, he ordered that the remaining walls of the former city be destroyed so as to never
again afford the Persian army shelter.
Since the fourth century, the prophecies for the destruction of Babylon have appeared to be almost completely fulfilled. Even the paradox that Babylon
would both be covered by waves and be a dry and desert land seems to be true. Ruins on the original site are largely below a barren and sand swept
surface that is occasionally flooded by the Euphrates. Meanwhile, the Encyclopedia Britannica observes that,
A large part of the old city buried under a deep bed of silt remains to be found, and the Babylon of Hammurabi, of which only the slenderest traces
have been detected, now lies beneath the water table. 1
Literally and figuratively concerning this part of the city, "So will Babylon sink to rise no more...".
The latest development concerning Babylon has actually occurred within the last decade. U.S. News and World Report has cited Iraq's designs for
reconstructing parts of Babylon for the sake of family-oriented tourism. However, evidence of state sponsored genocide, terrorism, routine torture of
its citizenry, and frequent calls for Muslims worldwide to destroy the West seem to present formidable obstacles for Iraq to successfully host any
kind of Middle East Disneyland.
Though Iraq's plans appear improbable for the near future, some kind of effort has reportedly begun. Given the apparent success with which heavenly
forces have had in continually returning Babylon to ruins, however, potential visitors to any recreated Babylon would do well to remember the biblical
prophecies rate of success so far.
The biblical writers had foretold Babylon's destiny long before it came to be. Even at the close of the Old Testament and later during the time of
Christ, Babylon was still a substantial city. By that time, much of what had been foretold of Babylon's decline, had come true, but some prophecies
had not yet been fulfilled. Its last destruction was brought about, not by zealous followers trying to fulfill Scripture, but by antagonists one
thousand years later who were out to destroy Christianity.
The prophecies of Babylon were clearly not written after the fact nor did they simply predict generalized and highly likely events. Remember that the
Babylon of which Isaiah and Jeremiah spoke was the equivalent to an England or Germany of today. Babylon's location on a major waterway was, and
still is, ideal for commerce. Yet it remains desolate while many obviously lesser cities in the surrounding Middle East have been destroyed and
rebuilt many times over. The fall of Babylon was completely outside the capabilities of the biblical prophets to estimate or to bring about.
How did those prophets know what would happen? It was their claim that God revealed these things to them. The fact that these prophecies and every
other biblical prophecy of old has been fulfilled, save for Christ's return, gives great support to that claim.