The Fall of Babylon
With all the different religious and philosophical books out there, how do we know that the Bible can be trusted above the rest? The answer can be seen in three undeniable points: prophecy, archaeology, and cohesive unity. In this article we will discuss some facts, not opinions, which prove the reliability and accuracy of the Bible. This is the first article in a series of articles covering these very subjects. Be sure to check back for the continuation of this series.
Let us begin with prophecy. By definition prophecy is “the foretelling or prediction of what is to come” (www.dictionary.reference.com). In fact, the reason God gave us prophecy is so we would believe that Jesus is who He says He is (John 13:19). Other writings such as the writings of Confucius, Buddha, or the Quran contain absolutely no predictive prophecy. Yet a full 30% of the Bible is prophecy.
Now, for someone to be able to declare the future they must first know the future. Other books do not contain prophecies regarding the future because they do not know the future. Before we go any further, rather than you take my work for it, let us investigate some of the amazing prophecies from the Bible.
1 – The fall of Babylon:
Isaiah 13:19-20 sates the following:
And Babylon, the glory of the kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldee’s excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation: neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there; neither shall the shepherds make their fold there.
Babylon, once a world power, has been reduced to rubble. From the time of Isaiah’s prophecy there have been several battles and numerous attempts to rebuild. Was this prophecy fulfilled? Isaiah’s prophecy began to come true in the year 689 B.C., within 60 years of his prophecy.
Sennacherib, king of the Assyrians, destroyed the city of Babylon so that it could never rebel again. In fact, Sennacherib made this inscription:
“I made its destruction more complete than by a flood. That in days to come the site of that city, and (its) temples and gods, might not be remembered, I completely blotted it out with (floods) of water and made it like a meadow” (Daniel D. Luckenbill, Ancient Records of Assyria and Babylonia, 1926-1927, Vol. 2, p. 152).
This, however did not mark complete fulfillment of the prophecy. Although Babylon was destroyed, it was rebuilt. Let us take a look into more of the prophecy. In Isaiah 13:17-18 there is more to our puzzle:
Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them, which shall not regard silver; and as for gold, they shall not delight in it.
Their bows also shall dash the young men to pieces; and they shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb; their eye shall not spare children.
Here, the prophecy is partially fulfilled in the conquest of the Medes and the Persians. Sennacherib thought that he had destroyed the city once and for all. However, after his death, his son began to rebuild Babylon. Soon Babylon became a world contender once again.
The Medes, a weak people at the time of Isaiah’s prophecy, were becoming powerful. Babylon, once a destroyed city, became even more powerful than it was at the time of Isaiah’s prophecy.
Now we have two strong empires Babylon and the Medio-Persian Empire, as by the year 550 B.C. the Medes and Persians had linked hands.
Let us now take a look at even more specifics of this part of the prophecy. For this we must go to Isaiah 45:1:
Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut…
The Destruction of Babylon Part 2
It was prophesied that Cyrus, king of the Medes and Persians, would conquer Babylon. Not only that but this prophecy identified Cyrus by name 150 years before his birth and 180 years before he overthrew Babylon.
Babylon was a well-fortified city. They had a 20 year food supply and were watered by the great Euphrates River that ran through it. They could simply out last any army that would attempt to breach their impenetrable walls.
Cyrus was camped outside the city with his army and dug trenches to divert water from the Euphrates River. This lowered the level of the river. This event took place on night when the king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar’s grandson Belshazzar, was having a great drunken feast.
In the Middle of this feast, a bloodless severed hand appeared on the wall and wrote the mysterious words MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN. This mysterious writing was translated by the prophet Daniel who translated it as “God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it…Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting…Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.” (Daniel 5:24-31).
On this night Cyrus’ army marched under the gate of the city (fulfilling prophecy) and went into the feast and took the kingdom from Babylon in one night, without battle.
After a few more rebellions on the part of Babylon, in about 482 B.C Xerxes the king of Persia sent his army to capture the city of Babylon. The army destroyed the temples and took away the idol of the Babylonian god Marduk.
After this punishment the city began to decline in importance. Alexander the Great conquered the Persians years later and much of Babylon was still destroyed. Though Alexander attempted to rebuild Babylon he died before he could accomplish the task.
Gradually Babylon became totally abandoned and desolate. In 1978 the president of Iraq, Saddam Hussein began to rebuild some of the ancient buildings of ancient Babylon. He became obsessed with seeing the city become great once again. However, Bible prophecy holds true. Saddam Hussein never accomplished his task.
The Bible said Babylon would be destroyed and never inhabited and this has been a specific and accurate prediction from a loving God who knows the future.
If God can know the end from the beginning of the kingdoms of this world, then he can know what we go through on a day to day basis. God loves you and wants to be a part of your life.
Please continue to check back for the continuation of this series Can the Bible Be Trusted?
Feb. 03, 2016