By Eric Teitelman, House of David Ministries—-
We read in Jeremiah: “Flee from the midst of Babylon, and every one save his life! Do not be cut off in her iniquity, for this is the time of the Lord’s vengeance; He shall recompense her” (Jeremiah 51:6, NKJV).
There are varying theological opinions about this verse. Some believe that ancient Babylonia (/ˌbæbɪˈloʊniə/) will be reconstructed in the end-times while others consider the United States to be the revived modern-day Babylon. So, let us explore the scriptures and discover the mystery of Babylon. The answer will surprise you.
The Babylonian archeological site is in modern-day Iraq. Excavated at the end of the nineteenth century by German Architect Robert Koldeway, it is one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Quite a bit of construction occurred at the site during Saddam Hussein’s reign, including an opulent palace built on a hill overlooking the excavated city.
The city of Hillah functions as the capital of the Babylonian province today. It is in central Iraq on a branch of the Euphrates River about 100 km south of Baghdad, near the ancient cities of Borsippa and Kish. Jeremiah prophesied that “Babylon shall become a heap, A dwelling place for jackals, An astonishment and a hissing, Without an inhabitant” (Jeremiah 51:37). With an estimated population of over two million people today, Babylon is far from desolate, affirming this judgment is for a time to come.
The first Babylonian dynasty (1894-1595 BC) extended from the Persian Gulf (modern-day southern Iraq and Kuwait) northwestward into modern-day Syria, the Mesopotamia region (Figure 1). This fertile valley along the Euphrates and Tigris rivers has a rich Biblical history that can be traced back to the Tower of Babel and the birthplace of the Patriarch, Abraham. Some scholars even believe it was the location of the Garden of Eden.
The first Babylonian dynasty began to decline around 1749 BC. It later transitioned to the Kassite dynasty (1595-1155 BC) and then to the Second Isin Dynasty (1155-1026 BC). It then fell into a period of chaos (1026-911 BC). During this time, nomadic Semitic groups migrated into Babylon from the Levant (/ləˈvænt/) region of Assyria. The earliest waves consisted of Suteans and Arameans, followed by the Kaldu a century later (940–860 BC). The Kaldu became known as the Chaldeans or the Chaldees.
By this time, the population of Babylonia had grown to a diverse mix of people that included native Babylonians, along with Persians, Chaldeans, Arabs, Medes, Elamites, Arameans, Suteans, Canaanites, Scythians, Cimmerians, and Sagartians. This diversity of Babylon’s population is an important detail, as we affirm that Bible references to Babylon are not congruent to one homogeneous ethnos.
The Chaldeans settled in the far southeast part of the Babylonian kingdom (southern modern- Iraq) and took control of the kingdom for twenty-three years. King Nabonassar (Nabû-nāṣir) then overthrew the Chaldeans in 748 BC and successfully reestablished Babylonia under native rule for a season.
The Babylonian kingdom fell to the Assyrians (Figure 2) for more than a century (911-619 BC) until another king, Nabopolassar (Nabû-apla-uṣur), seized control with the aid of Medes (Persians). Nabopolassar destroyed the Assyrian Empire, capturing much of their land, and successfully reestablished the Babylonian empire as the center of the civilized world, one-thousand years after the first dynasty.
This short-lived period is called the Neo-Babylonian or Second Babylonian Empire, also the Chaldean Dynasty. The last of the Mesopotamian empires to be ruled by native kings, conquered less than a century later in 539 BC by the Persian Achaemenid Empire.
Nabopolassar was succeeded by his son, king Nebuchadnezzar II (605–562 BCE). In 605 BC, Nebuchadnezzar defeated Pharaoh Necho (Nəkō) at the Battle of Carchemish, and immediately invaded Judah. He laid siege to Jerusalem in 589 BC and destroyed the city and the Temple two years later. Continue Reading….