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Back To Babylon
by Wayne Blank
Familiar Warplanes Over Babylon
Two "no-fly zones" over Iraq were imposed by the United States and Britain after the Gulf War of 1991, the northern zone covering about the northern quarter of Iraq, and the southern zone about the southern third of Iraq. While officially justified as a humanitarian effort to protect Shia Muslims in the south and Kurds in the north, those American and British pilots continue to fly over some of the most famous of Bible places, where many of their own ancestors died in exile (before the others migrated to the northwest) and now sleep in the sands below.
In the north of Iraq are major sections of the famous Tigris and Euphrates Rivers (see The Tigris-Euphrates Valley), which have their sources farther north, that includes near Mount Ararat, where Noah's Ark landed after The Flood.
In the southern zone is Ur Of The Chaldees, the birthplace of Abraham, who was the father of Isaac, who was the father of Jacob - who God renamed Israel (see Children of Jacob). Near the extreme southeast of the zone, was the The Garden Of Eden.
In central Iraq were the ancient cities of Nineveh, the capital of the Assyrian Empire (see Ancient Empires - Assyria), and Babylon, the capital of the Babylonian empire (see Ancient Empires - Babylon). It was to Assyria and Babylon that the Israelites were separately exiled after Israel split into two kingdoms, "Israel" and "Judah."
The northern kingdom of "Israel" lasted a little over 200 years before it was gradually conquered by the Assyrians, and by 721 B.C. they had practically all been taken into exile to Assyria (2 Kings 17:1-23). The vast majority of them never returned, and have become known as the "Lost Ten Tribes of Israel."
Then, about 135 years later, in 586 B.C., the southern kingdom of Judah was conquered by the Babylonians (see Why Babylon?), and the people of Judah were taken into captivity to Babylon. The original Temple of God in Jerusalem was destroyed at that time (see Temples and Temple Mount Treasures). The people of the southern kingdom of Judah however did return after the Babylonians fell to the Persians (see Ancient Empires - Persia), and their descendants have become the Jewish people of today.