Thursday, May 26 2011
What And Where Is Babylon Today?
The ancient Hebrew word, pronounced baw-lawl, means to mix. It was from that root word that the later Hebrew word, pronounced baw-bale, rendered into English as "Babel," originated. It is first found in the Holy Scriptures in the time of Nimrod, for "the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar."
"10:8 And Cush begat Nimrod [see also The Family Of Ham]: he began to be a mighty one in the earth. 10:9 He was a mighty hunter before the LORD: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD. 10:10 And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar." (Genesis 10:8-10 KJV)
It was later, at the time of the tower of Babel, that the LORD gave "Babel" the meaning of confusion (the English word "babble" and "baby" are derived directly from that word i.e. a baby means to babble). By all historical accounts, Babylon was a beautiful city - but it quickly became very "mixed up" (not a pun - Babylon actually became babble on) beginning with, and caused by, their arrogant defiance toward the LORD.
"11:1 And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. 11:2 And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there.
Although "Babylon" is found about 260 times in the translated Hebrew Scriptures, and "Babel" only twice, the actual Hebrew word is the same i.e. baw-bale, meaning confusion, is the only word actually used throughout the entire Bible.
"11:9 Therefore is the name of it called Babel [i.e. baw-bale, meaning confusion]; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth." (Genesis 11:9 KJV)
"The kings of the earth" ... "The merchants of the earth" .. "The Mother of Harlots"
As stated above, "Babylon" was built by Nimrod, "a mighty one in the earth." Some historians regard Nimrod as the world's first emperor (a later Roman term for a king who rules not only over his own nation, but the nations of other people) - the reason that he was called "a mighty one in the earth." Centuries later, the Babylonian Empire reached its peak of military and religious power under King Nebuchadnezzar - who was given a prophecy of how, although the original "Babylon" would fade as an empire, the imperialism that Babylon created would continue "Babylon" on through many centuries, through 3 more empires (Babylon, then Persia, then Greece, then Rome), right up to the time of the yet-future return of Jesus Christ.
The prophet Daniel (see The Prophets: Daniel) was given, by the LORD, to reveal to Nebuchadnezzar the meaning of the prophecy:
"2:31 Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible. 2:32 This image's head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, 2:33 His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. 2:34 Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. 2:35 Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors [see also Moriah: Separating The Wheat From The Chaff]; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.
Exactly as prophesied (as any secular historian can verify), Babylon was followed by Persia, Greece and Rome, but at the same time, they continued "Babylon" (the point of the single body of the "great image" prophecy given to the Babylonian king) in their military/economic imperialism (most wars are started to rob another country of something that it has, and/or by a government that is controlled by those in the business of war - for them, any excuse will do) and their religious confusion (those who obey the Ten Commandments don't covet and murder, the "inspiration" for wars of aggression i.e. "4:1 From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? 4:2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. 4:3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God" James 4:1-4 KJV). That goes all the way back to Nimrod's original Babylon.
The Romans were religious heathens. They adopted and perpetuated the Babylonian "mystery religions," including such things as the pagan Ishtar festival (from which the Church of Rome's "Easter" later originated) and the Babylonian sun worship (from which the Church of Rome's "sun day" later originated; see also Why Observe The True Sabbath?). But the "church" of Rome was a creation of the Roman empire (listen to our Sermon Constantine's Papacy); "Babylon" merely included religion in the politics, economics and militarism that already existed (creating a religion happens when people think that they have the self-righteous power to demand that God obey them, no matter what they do; see Is Your Religion Your Religion?). The "Protestant" religions are merely the Church of Rome under other names; their doctrines are the same (the reason that they are called the "daughters" of the great "harlot").
"Babylon" today is composed of all of those things together, as is plainly stated in the Holy Scriptures i.e. "the kings of the earth" and "the merchants of the earth" are all parts of it. That's the reason that the "mark of the beast" will be something economic, that will be enforced by civil governments: "13:16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: 13:17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name" (Revelation 13:16-17 KJV).
When Christ comes and destroys "Babylon," the "kings" and the "merchants" will grieve just as much as the religionists because they are the same people who hadn't yet come out of "Babylon" and truly obeyed the Word of God.
"18:9 And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning, 18:10 Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.
Notice carefully who isn't in "Babylon" - "they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus" (see Friends Of Jesus).
"17:1 And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will show unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: 17:2 With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.
The "mark of the beast" will be economic and political, as much as religious i.e. your "patriotism," and your ability to function economically in society, will be determined by whether or not you observe the official state religion. It's that "Babylon" that will face the wrath of the Christ.
"14:6 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, 14:7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
When Christ returns, the whole world will attempt to make war against Him ("the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army") because the whole world is today "Babylon."
"19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. 19:12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. 19:13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 19:14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 19:15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 19:16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
Fact Finder: Is being a true Christian about doing as one pleases, or about doing what pleases God?
This Day In History, May 26
17: The Roman general Germanicus made his triumphant return to Rome after victories over some of the German tribes (that wasn't always the case; see Hermann).
735: The English historian and monk known as the Venerable Bede died.
946: King Edmund I of England died at age 25.
1135: Alfonso VII of Leon and Castile was crowned the Imperator totius Hispaniae ("Emperor of all of Spain").
1232: Pope Gregory IX sent the first Inquisition "investigators" to Aragon in Spain.
1293: An earthquake in Japan killed about 30,000 people.
1328: William of Ockham was forced to flee from Avignon by Pope John XXII.
1521: The Edict of Worms (i.e. Worms is the English rendering of Vorms, a city in Germany) banned Martin Luther following his Papal excommunication in April.
1647: Alse Young was hanged in Hartford, Connecticut; she was the first woman to be executed as a witch in the "new world."
1670: A treaty was signed in secret in Dover, England, between Charles II and Louis XIV ending the hostilities between them.
1691: Jacob Leiser, leader of the popular uprising in support of William and Mary’s accession to the throne, was executed for treason.
1805: Napoleon Bonaparte was declared the King of Italy.
1879: Britain and Russia signed the Treaty of Gandamak; it established Afghanistan as an "independent" state (Russia invaded Afghanistan in the 1980s, Britain took part in the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001).
1896: The last czar of Russia, Nicholas II, was crowned.
1940: During the Second World War, the 10-day evacuation of Dunkirk began. It saved 300,000 allied soldiers from the German advance.
1970: The Russian Tupolev Tu-144 became the first commercial transport to exceed Mach 2 (twice the speed of sound).
1983: A magnitude 7.7 earthquake struck Japan; a tsunami followed, killing over 100 people and injuring thousands.
1986: The European Community adopted the European flag (gold stars on a blue background).
2004: U.S. Army veteran Terry Nichols was found guilty for his part of the bombing of the Federal Building in Oklahoma City that killed 161 people (it was the deadliest act of terrorism in the U.S. prior to the 9-11 attacks in New York and Washington).
2006: An earthquake in Java killed over 5,700 people; 200,000 people were left homeless.