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Sunday, August 7 2011
The Babylon Exodus And Exile
Abraham was born in the area that became known as Babylon (a Hebrew word that means confusion). Abraham's family there were idol worshippers.
"24:2 And Joshua said unto all the people, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood [note: the actual Hebrew word in that verse means river; the RSV correctly translates it as "Your fathers lived of old beyond the Euphrates"] in old time, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor: and they served other gods. 24:3 And I took your father Abraham from the other side of the flood [i.e. "river"], and led him throughout all the land of Canaan, and multiplied his seed, and gave him Isaac." (Joshua 24:2-3 KJV)
Abraham obediently responded to the call of the LORD and came out of Babylon, geographically, but also as a matter of how he lived his life thereafter. Abraham was declared righteous by the LORD because Abraham obeyed the commands of the LORD. As such, Abraham became not only a key ancestor of the Israelites (while not being an Israelite himself - see Abraham Wasn't A Jew), but a key ancestor of all people who truly repent of the heathen world and follow Christ, as Abraham himself followed Christ (e.g. see The LORD And The Two Angels).
"3:6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. 3:7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham." (Galatians 3:6-7 KJV)
Babylon itself became an expression of not only a place, but a state of unrepentant mind. It has existed right from before the time of Abraham to the present day - and will not end until Jesus Christ returns (see the Fact Finder question below).
"18:2 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.
"They mocked the messengers of God, and despised His words, and misused His prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against His people"
When one understands the Biblical reality, as explained by the verses themselves quoted above, it becomes obvious why Israel (see The Northern Kingdom) and Judah (see The Southern Kingdom), after they became corrupt, were sent back to geographic Babylon where their ancestor Abraham had been called out - as a state of mind, the Israelites of that time had already returned there. They were therefore exiled back to the heathen place where Abraham began his exodus to the promised land (see also Milk and Honey).
First, the northern kingdom of Israel (see The Galilee Captivity) was taken into exile in Babylon by the Assyrians by 721 BC.
"17:5 Then the king of Assyria came up throughout all the land, and went up to Samaria [see Baal's Samaria], and besieged it three years. 17:6 In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away into Assyria, and placed them in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.
Then, over a century later, the southern kingdom of Judah ("Jew" is an abbreviation of Judah) was taken into exile in Babylon, by the Babylonians, by 586 BC.
"36:15 And the LORD God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers [see The Prophets: North and South], rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place: 36:16 But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, till there was no remedy. 36:17 Therefore he brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion upon young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for age: he gave them all into his hand. 36:18 And all the vessels of the house of God, great and small, and the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king, and of his princes; all these he brought to Babylon. 36:19 And they burnt the house of God, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem, and burnt all the palaces thereof with fire [see Jerusalem In Flames], and destroyed all the goodly vessels thereof.
Fact Finder: Where is "Babylon" today?
This Day In History, August 7
322 BC: The Battle of Crannon between the forces of Athens and Macedon.
936: Otto I became king of Germany (see The Holy Roman Empire).
1409: The Council of Pisa ended. Convened to end the Great Schism (1378-1417) caused by two rival popes, the Council solved the problem by electing a third pope, Alexander V, to reign at the same times as the other two (see The Struggle For The Papacy).
1560: Ratification of the Scots Confession by the Scottish Parliament marked the triumph of the Reformation in Scotland, under the leadership of John Knox. In 1647, the Scots Confession was superseded by the Westminster Confession.
1858: Ottawa was chosen as the new capital of Canada. The other choice, Kingston, also in Ontario, was regarded as too vulnerable to U.S. attack due to its position on the north shore of Lake Ontario.
1916: During the First World War (1914-1918), Persia (known today as Iran) formed an alliance with Britain and Russia.
1927: The Peace Bridge between Fort Erie, Ontario, and Buffalo, New York, was officially dedicated.
1973: During the War in Vietnam, a stray U.S. warplane bombed a village across the border in Cambodia, killing 400 civilians.
1974: French aerialist Philippe Petit completed a tightrope walk between the twin towers of New York's World Trade Center.
1987: Marathon-swimmer Vicki Keith, a swimming instructor from Kingston, Ontario, completed the first double-crossing of Lake Ontario. Keith, 26, estimated that she lost 40 pounds during the 56-hour swim, which included battling waves up to 3 meters high.
1998: 200 people were killed and 5,000 injured in 2 separate terrorist bomb attacks with minutes of each other on U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.