The Devastation of Babylon

According to the Divine Purpose of God

50: 39-46

DIG: Does Babylon stand for anything else in this prophecy (Revelation Chapters 17-18)? If so, to what future event might these chapters point? What feelings and actions do you think God wanted these chapters to inspire in the Jews who were in exile? How can we know for sure that this prophecy is in the far eschatological future?

REFLECT: What feelings and actions does He want to inspire in you? If God “did to you as you have done to others,” what would be your fate? Do you sense a basic fairness in life? Or does life seem unfair and unpredictable?

These prophecies were made in 594-593 BC during the eleven-year reign of Zedekiah

This is the word ADONAI spoke through Yirmeyahu the prophet concerning far eschatological Babylon and the land of the Babylonians (50:1):

So desert creatures (Hebrew: siyyim) and hyenas (Hebrew: ’iyyim) will live there. Neither humans nor animals will live there. Therefore, these cannot be literal animals. They are demons with animal-like features. And the owl will dwell (see Ad – The Owl as a Symbol of Judgment). It will never again be inhabited or lived in from generation to generation (50:39). During the messianic Kingdom there will be four uninhabitable places: Edom (see the commentary on Isaiah Gi – Edom’s Streams Will Be Turned into Pitch); Kedar and Hazor (see Dp – A Message Concerning Kedar and Hazor); and Babylon (see the commentary on Isaiah Dk – Babylon, the Jewel of Kingdom, Will Be Overthrown).

While the rest of the world enjoys the blessings of Messiah reigning and ruling from the Temple in Jerusalem, the dragon, that ancient serpent who is the devil, will be bound and thrown into the abyss for a thousand years (Revelation 20:1-4) and the demons who posed as human men before the flood (see the commentary on Genesis Ca – The Sons of God Married the Daughters of Men) will be imprisoned in tartarus (see the commentary on Jude Ak – The Angels Did Not Keep Their Positions of Authority). The remaining demons will be confined to one of these four burning pits of sulfur for a thousand years. As I overthrow Sodom and Gomorrah along with their neighboring towns, declares the LORD, so no one will live there; no people will dwell in it (50:40). This did not happen after King Darius captured Babylon in 539 BC (see Ez – A Message Against Babylon).

Look into the far eschatological future! An army made up of many nations is coming from the north. The roles are now reversed. Earlier, Babylon was the invading army from the north (6:22). Now what Babylon herself once did to Jerusalem will be done to Babylon in the future. Whereas one nation will come against Yerushalayim, many nations will come against Babylon. There will be a great lead nation (see 51:11 and 28), but many [leaders] are being stirred up from the ends of the earth (50:41). These will be the sheep Gentiles of the world (see the commentary on Revelation Fc – The Sheep and the Goats).

They are armed with bows and spears; they are cruel and without mercy (not needed by Cyrus in 539 BC because his takeover was bloodless). There are so many soldiers attacking Babylon that they sound like the roaring sea as they ride on their horses. The transliteration horses (Hebrew: cuwc) comes from an unusual root, meaning simply to skip.The prophets would be unfamiliar with modern military warfare and described what they saw from their own frame of reference. Yochanan, for example, saw a demonic infestation that flew like locusts, ran like horses and stung like scorpions. He had a difficult time identifying just exactly what they were, so he named them something he was familiar with (see the commentary on Revelation Da – The Fifth Trumpet: Locusts Came Down Upon the Earth and Were Given Power Like That of Scorpions). They come like men in battle formation to attack you, Daughter Babylon. Once again, this is not what happened with Cyrus. In 539 the victim was Daughter Zion (6:22-23), but at the end of the Great Tribulation the victim will be Daughter Babylon (50:42). She now becomes the helpless, vulnerable flock. So the last will be first, and the first will be last (Matthew 20:16 and 19:30).

The king of Babylon, the antichrist, has heard reports about them, and his hands hang limp. Anguish has gripped him, pain like that of a woman in labor. This attack will be sudden, like a lion coming up from Judah’s thickets to a rich pastureland, I will chase Babylon from its land in an instant (see the commentary on Revelation Ep – Woe! Woe, O Great City, In One Hour She Has Been Brought to Ruin). Who has chosen one I will appoint for this? Who is like Me and who can challenge Me? Therefore, hear what ADONAI has planned against Babylon, what He has purposed against the land of the Babylonians: The young of the flock will be dragged away; their pasture will be appalled at their fate. Again, this did not happen in 539 BC. At the sound of Babylon’s capture the earth will tremble; its cry will resound among the nations (50:43-46).

 

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