Babylon Then and Now

On the eve of the city’s conquest by the “Medes and Persians,” the Babylonian crown prince, Belshazzar, gave a feast “for a thousand of his lords” and “tasted wine” from the sacred vessels that Nebuchadnezzar had looted from the Temple in Jerusalem, thereby disrespecting the God of Israel while also praising the false gods of Babylon.

In Revelation, this incident is behind the image of the “Inhabitants of the Earth” who refused to repent despite enduring the “plagues” unleashed by the first six “Trumpets,” and the overthrow of the old Babylonian Empire by the “Medes and Persians” is echoed by the “Sixth Bowl of Wrath” when the “Kings of the East” were released from beyond the Euphrates River for the final battle on the “great day of God the Almighty.”

Ziggarut of Ur - Photo by حسن on Unsplash
[Photo by حسن on Unsplash]

Ancient Babylon serves as the prototype of End-Time “
Babylon,” the “Great Whore who sat on many waters… and was drunk with the blood of the saints.” God used the “Kings of the East” to annihilate her, and her vassals, the “Kings and Merchants of the Earth,” mourned her destruction.

Belshazzar’s celebration was interrupted when a mysterious hand wrote unknown letters on the wall that none of the Chaldean “wise men” and astrologers could read or interpret. Only Daniel was able to explain them, and he rebuked the Babylonian potentate for his blasphemy and idolatry:

  • (Daniel 5:20-23) – “But against the Lord of the heavens have you uplifted yourself, and the vessels of his house have they brought before you, and you and your nobles, your wives and your concubines have been drinking wine therein, and GODS OF SILVER AND GOLD, OF BRONZE, IRON, WOOD AND STONE, WHICH SEE NOT NOR HEAR NOR KNOW HAST THOU PRAISED, whereas, God in whose hand your breath is and whose are all your ways, HIM HAVE YOU NOT GLORIFIED.

Unlike Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar failed to humble his heart. Instead, he profaned the Lord’s sacred vessels. Rather than honor the “Most-High” as Nebuchadnezzar did, he praised the false gods and idols of Mesopotamia.

The same hardness of heart is reflected in Revelation. The “Sixth Trumpet” released four angels from the Euphrates to rouse a massive army that would slay a “third of humanity.” This was the latest and worst of the series of “plagues” inflicted by the “Seven Trumpets.”

Those who survived the “plagues” refused to acknowledge God. Instead, they paid homage to “the IDOLS OF GOLD AND OF SILVER AND OF COPPER and of stone and of wood, WHICH CAN NEITHER SEE NOR HEAR NOR WALK.” This more than justified God’s “wrath” when the “Seventh Trumpet” sounded, ushering in the time of God’s wrath - (Revelation 9:13-20, 11:15-19).

The “Sixth Trumpet” is linked to the “Sixth Bowl of Wrath” by the “Euphrates River.” Just as the “four angels” were “loosed” from the river, so the emptying of the “Sixth Bowl” dried up the Euphrates for the invasion by the “Kings of the East,” culminating in “Armageddon” and the destruction of “Babylon” - (Revelation 16:12-21).

Likewise, when the “Medes and Persians” captured Ancient Babylon, the attacking force dammed the river so its troops could enter the city along the riverbed. The “great city” was conquered in one night, and Belshazzar was slain – (Daniel 5:24-31, Isaiah 44:27-45:1, Jeremiah 50:38-42).

In Revelation, key events in Daniel become patterns for the final conflict between the “Lamb” and the “Dragon.” The overthrow of the Ancient Empire foreshadowed the destruction of “Babylon” and the “Beast” at the end of the age.

Babylon is more than a great city of the ancient world. The “Great Whore” is a present reality that has opposed God and His people since the founding of human civilization in Mesopotamia when Babel erected a massive Tower to magnify its greatness and wealth. Such presumptuousness and arrogance have characterized all the great empires of History since all of them have embodied Ancient Babylon

  • Empires Rise and Fall - (Imperial arrogance is the legacy of the Tower of Babel, humanity’s first but certainly not last attempt to establish the World Empire)
  • Land of Shinar - (The arrogant acts of Nebuchadnezzar in the Book of Daniel parallel the incident at the Tower of Babel in Genesis)
  • Babylon Rides the Beast - (Babylon has ridden the Beast from the Sea and its Seven Heads and Ten Horns since the Tower of Babel – Revelation 17:7-13)



Second Trumpet

Short Season