Babylon Fall In Bible And History Comparing the fall of the Historical Babylon and the Babylon of Revelation To understand the symbolism between the two Babylon’s of the bible, one must first understand the fall of each and how the two compare. There is a lot to be said about the events that took place during fall of the Historical Babylon how these events are related to the fall of the Babylon of Revelation. To begin with I will describe the fall of the Historical Babylon and then relate this to two mainstreams of thought regarding the fall of the Babylon of Revelation. These two ideas are the futuristic and the historical views of Babylons fall. The reason for these two separate views is because there is certainly no book in the Bible that has given more difficulty to interpreters than the book of Revelation.
Many things about it continue to puzzle the serious Bible student, and many points remain obscure.(ref.# 4, p.220) Ancient Babylon Babylon was an enormous city and thought by its inhabitants to be impregnable. Some estimates put the area of the city at as much as 200 square miles, with many fields and orchards within the city walls (ref.# 2, p320). The river Euphrates flowed through the city, entering in under the city walls. The walls of Babylon are believed to have been around 80 feet thick, with some area being over 120 feet thick (ref.# 7, p.68). 100 gates of bronze gave entry to the city.
In 604 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar led an invasion of Jerusalem, taking many Jews captive and beginning the captivity and seven times punishment that had previously been prophesied. At this time Babylon was the greatest empire on earth, but a new force was emerging. The Medes and Persians were becoming a mighty empire. In the time of Belshazzar, grandson of Nebuchadnezzar, war was raging between the two empires.
The Babylonians, which were not caring about the enemy who were even then at the gates of the city, engaged in a huge, drunken party. During this feast the golden vessels, taken from the temple at Jerusalem and reserved for pure service to God, were abused at the command of the king. The judgment of God was revealed by the “writing on the wall”. That night the city was invaded, and the Medes and Persians under Darius and Cyrus were victorious (ref.#1 p.431) During the night of the drunken feast, the river and its tributaries that ran under the city walls were blocked and the water diverted into canals and ponds dug by the Medes and Persians for that purpose. The result was that the army of the Medes and Persians could literally walk in under the wall.
The army entered Babylon at one end and rapidly moved through the city, meeting little resistance from the defenders, who were caught completely off-guard. The city of Babylon was utterly destroyed (ref.#7). Babylon had a warning of their judgment for over 100 years, a warning given by God Himself. The warning was scorned and ignored by a Godless people. This foolish rejection of the Word of God led to total destruction.
The promise of the return of Christ, signaling the end of the world, as we know it, has been scorned by mankind, just as the prophecy of the fall of the Babylonian Empire. This is why the book of Revelation relates the fall of Babylon with the modern day world. Men and women today would rather indulge in a drunken party than seek the Lord. The need to have a spirit-filled-soul, and to remain “in the Spirit” – grows more urgent every day. Jesus said, “Watch, for you know not when your Lord may come!” Babylon of Revelation This Babylon is of course a symbolic figure representing the evil on earth that distracts God’s children from their commitment to Him. Babylon is called the “great harlot” in Revelation.
This indicates a Babylon that allures, tempts, seduces, and draws people away from God. The literal Babylon of Biblical times reminded one of the pleasure-mad, arrogant, anti-God cultures that put pleasure ahead of all else. Babylon of old was described as of the “lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life,” (1 John 2:16). In Revelation 18 John writes, “And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, “Come out of her, my people, that you may not participate in her sins and that you may not receive of her plagues.” Here John is talking about Babylon (see verse 2). Christians are to live in the world, but they are not to be of the world. Paul writes in 2 Cor.
6:17, “Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate,” says the Lord. “and do not touch what is unclean; And I will welcome you.” Babylon is the world, the seduction of the world, at any moment of history, which would draw away a Christian from God. In John’s day Babylon would have been represented by the Roman Empire. Today, it would be represented by all cultures that seek to seduce the Christian away from God. The futuristic view of the fall of Babylon It is the desire of the futuristic interpretation that in context, the fall of Babylon is directly related to an eschatological setting.
Certain passages relate the fall of Babylon to the Day of the Lord. Babylon’s fall and the Day of the Lord. The futuristic interpreters insist that Isaiah 13:6, 9, 13 definitely establishes the setting for the fall of Babylon as the Day of the Lord. To these interpreters the Day of the Lord is always an eschatological event. Since in Isaiah 13:2-16 the terminology “Day of the Lord” appears these verses must have a future fulfillment. But if these verses have a future fulfillment then it would seem to be impossible to interpret verses 17 through 20, which describe the overthrow of Babylon as having been fulfilled in the past.
The conclusion is therefore offered that since the fall of Babylon as prophesied in Scripture is to take place in the setting of the Day of the Lord; and since the Day of the Lord is yet future, then it follows that the destruction of Babylon yet awaits fulfillment. The futuristic interpreters point out that the prophecy of Babylon’s fall not only relates to the Day of the Lord but also to the events that mark the beginning of the Millennium. The passage which most clearly supports this contention is Isaiah 14:1-7. This idea points out that there are at least three things in these verses concerning Israel’s history, which have not come to pass: (1) God has not yet set them in their own land (14:1); (2) Israel does not yet possess the peoples of the earth for servants and handmaids (14:2); (3) Israel has not yet taken them captive whose captives they were, nor ruled over their oppressors (14:2). Thus Scripture makes Babylon’s fall contemporaneous with two concurrent events-the forgiveness of Israel and the coming Day of the Lord.
Even if it could be shown that the desolation of Babylon and its land has reached a point that adequately answers to predictions of Scripture respecting it, a revival of Babylon would still be necessary in order for Scripture to be accomplished. The Historical View of Babylons Fall The Babylon role is played several times in the Scriptures. In Revelation the three angels would begin to fly one after the other. The first angel announced the beginning of the judgment period which precedes the coming of Christ. God called many around the world to begin to study the 2300-day prophecy.
The most prominent of these was a Baptist farmer, William Miller. In 1818 he came to the conclusion that the judgment would begin around 1843 and that Jesus would then return in glory to cleanse the earth by fire. (Of course he was wrong about the return of Jesus.) His public min …