Babylon

Isaiah 13:19-21 in Bible Prophecy

Babylon was one of the greatest cities of all time. It had many modern characteristics, such as an elaborate irrigation and canal system, paved streets, apartment houses, street lights and running water. Encircling the city was a wall wide enough to drive three chariots side by side along the top. The hanging gardens of Babylon are well known as one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

But because of Babylon's idolatry and also because it would invade Israel and persecute God's people, God pronounced Babylon's doom through the prophet Isaiah (ISAIAH 13:19-21) in 700 B.C. One hundred years later, the prophet Jeremiah predicted the imminent fall of Israel, saying that she would serve the king of Babylon for 70 years (JEREMIAH 25:11-14).

Just as Isaiah had predicted, the Medes led by Cyrus attacked Babylon in 539 B.C. and destroyed most of the city. It was also later plundered by Xerxes (Cyrus' son-in-law) and Alexander the Great, who tried to restore the city but gave it up as a hopeless task.

Interestingly, Babylon's ruins created a chemical reaction in the soil, and the once fertile land was turned into an arid waste, exactly as God had predicted in Isaiah 13. By the 1st century A.D., Babylon was a foul-smelling, decaying ruin, inhabited only by wild animals. By 1200 A.D., the ruins of the original city palace were impossible to reach because there were too many poisonous snakes and scorpions in the area.

The prophecy has been fulfilled even to the exact detail that "... neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there ...". Dr. C. Hamlin, an American missionary in Constantinople, tells of this incident: "The ruins of Babylon abound in game, and I once engaged a sheikh and his group to take me there for a week's shooting. At sundown the Arabs began to strike their tents ready to leave. I went to the Sheikh and protested, but nothing I could say had any effect."

"It is not safe" he said, "No Arab has ever seen the sun go down on Babylon!"

EVEN ARCHAEOLOGY CONFIRMS THE BIBLE as the infallible Word of God!

NOTE: In the literature (e.g. Encyclopedias) one will also find the name 'Xerxes' for Ahasveros.

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