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Monday, February 11 2013
Daniel: The Fall Of Babylon
"Babylon" and "Babel" originated from an ancient word that means confusion i.e. to speak nonsense, to babble. The term began in the time and place of the infamous tower of Babel i.e. the tower of babble. The rebellious people were behaving nonsense ("let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name"), so the LORD gave them a vain vocabulary to match it.
"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.
The uncompleted tower of Babylon was left to crumble to the ground. While some of defiant humanity was scattered away from it, it remained the "home town" for man (the Hebrew word, pronounced aw-dawm, from which the name Adam originated, actually means man as a species, male and female; see also How Did Adam And Eve Sin Differently?). The Garden of Eden (see The Garden In Eden) was in the region, and humanity began again after the Flood in the same region (see also How Did The Flood Happen?).
It was from a native of Babylon that the LORD chose a righteous man to come out of the confusion (the origin of the true meaning of "church" i.e. "called out ones": "18:4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues ... 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" Revelation 18:4-10 KJV) and go to a place that portrayed the Kingdom of God (see Abraham's Journey: When Will He Arrive?). Abram of Babylon, later renamed by the LORD as Abraham (see the complete series of studies for Abraham, beginning with A Biography Of Abraham: The Genealogy Of Abram), was chosen to be the key ancestor of the Messiah, as specified by the genealogies of the Christ i.e. "1:1 The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham." (Matthew 1:1 KJV)
"11:27 Now these are the generations of Terah: Terah begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran begat Lot. 11:28 And Haran died before his father Terah in the land of his nativity, in Ur of the Chaldees. 11:29 And Abram and Nahor took them wives: the name of Abram's wife was Sarai; and the name of Nahor's wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah, and the father of Iscah. 11:30 But Sarai was barren; she had no child. 11:31 And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son's son, and Sarai his daughter in law, his son Abram's wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there." (Genesis 11:27-31 KJV)
Israel's national history began with Abraham's grandson Jacob, who the LORD renamed as "Israel" (see A Biography Of Jacob: When Jacob Became Israel). From the family of Jacob (see A Biography Of Jacob: The Jacobites Of Syria) grew a multitude of people who eventually established a monarchy for themselves under King David (see Israel In History and Prophecy: King David). Due to the idolatry (i.e. the religious confusion, the religious "babylon") of David's son and successor Solomon (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Solomon), the LORD split the united kingdom of Israel into "Israel" and Judah" (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Israel and Judah and Kings of Israel and Judah). Due to the idolatry (i.e. the religious confusion, the religious "babylon") of the kings of "Israel," the LORD had them conquered and taken away to Babylon, which was then ruled by the Assyrian Empire (see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Lost Ten Tribes). Over a century later, due to the idolatry (i.e. the religious confusion, the religious "babylon") of the kings of Judah, the LORD had them conquered and taken away to Babylon (see 2 Chronicles: Judah From Solomon To Babylon and Jeremiah: The Prophet's Conception), which was then ruled by the Babylonian Empire, which had conquered the Assyrian Empire.
Daniel, while a youth, was among the exiles of Judah taken to Babylon.
"1:1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it. 1:2 And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God: which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god.
Daniel soon proved himself to be a principled (e.g. refusing the unhealthy diet and wine of the Babylonian kings, Daniel 1:8-21) and spiritually-enlightened prophet of the LORD. Some of the greatest prophecies of the Holy Scriptures are recorded in the Book of Daniel (see the studies for the Book of Daniel listed below). Among them was the fall of Babylon, both falls - of the original Babylon, and of the future end-time Babylon, as quoted from the Book of Revelation above. The dream given to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, and given by the LORD to interpret by Daniel, prophesied the empires of Babylon, then Persia, then Greece (see A History Of Jerusalem: Greeks, Ptolemies, Seleucids), then Rome (see A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars), then end-time "Rome" (see The Prophet Daniel: Nebuchadnezzar's Image and the studies list below).
"2:36 This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king. 2:37 Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory. 2:38 And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold.
With his God-given abilities made undeniable evident, Nebuchadnezzar made Daniel the Prime Minister of Babylon.
"2:46 Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face, and worshipped Daniel, and commanded that they should offer an oblation and sweet odours unto him. 2:47 The king answered unto Daniel, and said, Of a truth it is, that your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou couldest reveal this secret.
Daniel personally witnessed the fall of the original Babylonian Empire to the Persian Empire. The famous handwriting on the wall (actually, a hand writing on the wall; see The Prophet Daniel: The Hand Writing On The Wall) prophesied it.
"5:18 O thou king, the most high God gave Nebuchadnezzar thy father a kingdom, and majesty, and glory, and honour: 5:19 And for the majesty that he gave him, all people, nations, and languages, trembled and feared before him: whom he would he slew; and whom he would he kept alive; and whom he would he set up; and whom he would he put down. 5:20 But when his heart was lifted up, and his mind hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him: 5:21 And he was driven from the sons of men; and his heart was made like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild asses: they fed him with grass like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven; till he knew that the most high God ruled in the kingdom of men, and that he appointeth over it whomsoever he will.
Daniel fared just as well under the Persians. After the famous "Daniel in the lion's den" incident, "Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian."
"6:25 Then king Darius wrote unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth;
Studies For The Book Of Daniel
Fact Finder: What did Jesus Christ warn His people to do when they see (i.e. in the time just before Christ's return) what was given to the prophet Daniel to see?
This Day In History, February 11
660 BC: The traditional date for the founding of Japan by Emperor Jimmu Tenno.
55: Britannicus, a son of Roman emperor Claudius, was poisoned. It paved the way for Nero to become emperor (see also Nero's Torches).
1531: King Henry VIII appointed himself supreme head of his new Church of England after the Church of Rome refused to permit the king's adulterous re-marriages.
1554: Lady Jane Grey, who was Queen of England for 9 days, was beheaded for treason along with her husband Lord Dudley.
1573: English explorer and naval hero (i.e. in the battles against the Spanish Armada) Francis Drake sighted the Pacific Ocean.
1703: Godard van Reede-Ginkel, 1st earl of Athlone, died at age 59. The Dutch soldier, while in English service, completed the conquest of Ireland for Prince William of Orange (King William III of England) against the forces of the deposed King James II after the Revolution of 1688.
1790: The Religious Society of Friends, known as the Quakers, petitioned the new U.S. Congress for abolition of slavery in "the land of the free." The request was denied (George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and many of the signers of the Declaration of Independence remained slave holders for their entire lives).
1812: Massachusetts governor Elbridge Gerry signed a law changing the state's electoral boundaries to ensure a Republican victory. The manipulation gave rise to the term "gerrymandering."
1858: Bernadette Soubirous, 14, began 5 months during which she claimed to have 18 visions of Mary at Lourdes (if the girl saw anything at all, it wasn't Mary - Mary is dead, awaiting her resurrection like everyone else; see The Sleep Of Death).
1873: King Amadeo of Spain abdicated. It led to the proclamation of the first Spanish republic.
1919: Friedrich Ebert was elected the first President of the German republic. He helped to bring about the Weimar constitution that tried to unite Germany after the First World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars).
1922: The discovery of insulin by Frederick Banting and Charles Best was announced in Toronto.
1929: In the Lateran Palace in Rome, Benito Mussolini (representing the Italian king) and Cardinal Gasparri (representing Pope Pius) signed 3 historic documents (1) The Lateran Treaty gave the pope full sovereignty and temporal power over the 110-acre Vatican City. (2) a financial agreement compensated the Vatican for its surrender of claims to the old Papal States. (3) a concordat established Roman Catholicism as the official religion of Italy.
1945: The Yalta Conference of Winston Churchill of Britain, Franklin Roosevelt of the U.S. and Joseph Stalin of Russia ended.
1970: Japan became the 4th country to put a satellite into orbit.
1975: Margaret Thatcher became the first woman leader of a British political party when she was elected leader of the Conservatives.
1990: Nelson Mandela released from a South Africa prison after 27 years on charges of treason.