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Wednesday, July 1 2015

Isaiah 13: The Medes And Chaldees Prophecies

"Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them ... And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees' excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah"

The Medes were an ancient people who inhabited the region, then known as Media, that corresponds today to northwestern Iran and southeast Turkey. As shown in the maps below, Persia, a nation of related people, was immediately to the south of Media. In the sixth century BC, Cyrus the Great, the king of Persia, achieved a military victory over his grandfather King Astyages of Media. The result was the birth of the Medo-Persian Empire, commonly known simply as the Persian Empire. Cyrus was prophesied by the LORD, before he was even born, to be the king that would facilitate the return of the people of Judah from their Babylonian exile (see The Prophecies Of Cyrus of Persia).

The Chaldeans were an ancient people that inhabited the Tigris-Euphrates valley region of "Mesopotamia" - a later Greek term for the area that meant between the rivers i.e. between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. Notice on the first map below that the area between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers is labeled as "Chaldea," while the second map below it labels it as "Mesopotamia." The Chaldeans were a major population within what became known as Babylon, and then the Babylonian Empire.

Bible history and prophecy were recorded in the contemporary terms of the time in which something happened. Hence the famous "hand writing on the wall" incident (see The Prophet Daniel: The Hand Writing On The Wall) that marked the prophesied fall of Babylon to Persia used the terms "Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans" for King Belshazzar of Babylon and "Darius the Median" for King Darius of Persia.

"5:30 In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain. 5:31 And Darius the Median took the kingdom, being about threescore and two years old." (Daniel 5:30-31 KJV)

The full context of that "hand writing on the wall incident" is quoted below. Note the direct connection between "Darius the Median" (see The Decree Of Darius) and Cyrus of Persia (see the link for Cyrus above) in their LORD-declared restoration of the people of Judah to Jerusalem.

Chaldea

"5:1 Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and drank wine before the thousand. 5:2 Belshazzar, whiles he tasted the wine, commanded to bring the golden and silver vessels which his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the temple which was in Jerusalem; that the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, might drink therein. 5:3 Then they brought the golden vessels that were taken out of the temple of the house of God which was at Jerusalem; and the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, drank in them. 5:4 They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone.

5:5 In the same hour came forth fingers of a man's hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaister of the wall of the king's palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote. 5:6 Then the king's countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another.

5:7 The king cried aloud to bring in the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers. And the king spake, and said to the wise men of Babylon, Whosoever shall read this writing, and shew me the interpretation thereof, shall be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about his neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.

5:8 Then came in all the king's wise men: but they could not read the writing, nor make known to the king the interpretation thereof. 5:9 Then was king Belshazzar greatly troubled, and his countenance was changed in him, and his lords were astonied.

5:10 Now the queen, by reason of the words of the king and his lords, came into the banquet house: and the queen spake and said, O king, live for ever: let not thy thoughts trouble thee, nor let thy countenance be changed: 5:11 There is a man in thy kingdom, in whom is the spirit of the holy gods; and in the days of thy father light and understanding and wisdom, like the wisdom of the gods, was found in him; whom the king Nebuchadnezzar thy father, the king, I say, thy father, made master of the magicians, astrologers, Chaldeans, and soothsayers; 5:12 Forasmuch as an excellent spirit, and knowledge, and understanding, interpreting of dreams, and shewing of hard sentences, and dissolving of doubts, were found in the same Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar: now let Daniel be called, and he will shew the interpretation.

5:13 Then was Daniel brought in before the king. And the king spake and said unto Daniel, Art thou that Daniel, which art of the children of the captivity of Judah, whom the king my father brought out of Jewry? 5:14 I have even heard of thee, that the spirit of the gods is in thee, and that light and understanding and excellent wisdom is found in thee. 5:15 And now the wise men, the astrologers, have been brought in before me, that they should read this writing, and make known unto me the interpretation thereof: but they could not shew the interpretation of the thing: 5:16 And I have heard of thee, that thou canst make interpretations, and dissolve doubts: now if thou canst read the writing, and make known to me the interpretation thereof, thou shalt be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about thy neck, and shalt be the third ruler in the kingdom.

5:17 Then Daniel answered and said before the king, Let thy gifts be to thyself, and give thy rewards to another; yet I will read the writing unto the king, and make known to him the interpretation.

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.

5:22 And thou his son, O Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this; 5:23 But hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of his house before thee, and thou, and thy lords, thy wives, and thy concubines, have drunk wine in them; and thou hast praised the gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know: and the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified: 5:24 Then was the part of the hand sent from him; and this writing was written.

5:25 And this is the writing that was written, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN. 5:26 This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it. 5:27 TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting. 5:28 PERES; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.

5:29 Then commanded Belshazzar, and they clothed Daniel with scarlet, and put a chain of gold about his neck, and made a proclamation concerning him, that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom.

5:30 In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain. 5:31 And Darius the Median took the kingdom, being about threescore and two years old." (Daniel 5:1-31 KJV)

Oriental Empires

Isaiah lived and worked in the time before the fall of Judah to Babylon - and even longer before Babylon fell to Persia. But Isaiah recorded exactly what happened in prophecy. The Book of Isaiah is very much a history book before the events of history happened i..e "The burden of Babylon, which Isaiah the son of Amoz did see ... I will stir up the Medes against them ... And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees' excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah."

"13:1 The burden of Babylon, which Isaiah the son of Amoz did see.

13:2 Lift ye up a banner upon the high mountain, exalt the voice unto them, shake the hand, that they may go into the gates of the nobles. 13:3 I have commanded my sanctified ones, I have also called my mighty ones for mine anger, even them that rejoice in my highness.

13:4 The noise of a multitude in the mountains, like as of a great people; a tumultuous noise of the kingdoms of nations gathered together: the LORD of hosts mustereth the host of the battle. 13:5 They come from a far country, from the end of heaven, even the LORD, and the weapons of his indignation, to destroy the whole land.

13:6 Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty. 13:7 Therefore shall all hands be faint, and every man's heart shall melt: 13:8 And they shall be afraid: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth: they shall be amazed one at another; their faces shall be as flames.

13:9 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. 13:10 For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine. 13:11 And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible. 13:12 I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir. 13:13 Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger.

13:14 And it shall be as the chased roe, and as a sheep that no man taketh up: they shall every man turn to his own people, and flee every one into his own land. 13:15 Every one that is found shall be thrust through; and every one that is joined unto them shall fall by the sword. 13:16 Their children also shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses shall be spoiled, and their wives ravished.

13:17 Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them, which shall not regard silver; and as for gold, they shall not delight in it. 13:18 Their bows also shall dash the young men to pieces; and they shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb; their eye shall not spare children. 13:19 And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees' excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. 13:20 It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation: neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there; neither shall the shepherds make their fold there. 13:21 But wild beasts of the desert shall lie there; and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures; and owls shall dwell there, and satyrs shall dance there. 13:22 And the wild beasts of the islands shall cry in their desolate houses, and dragons in their pleasant palaces: and her time is near to come, and her days shall not be prolonged." (Isaiah 13:1-22 KJV)

Fact Finder: How did the LORD (see The LORD God Our Saviour) provide King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon with the knowledge that the Babylonian Empire would fall to subsequent empires - that would continue right to the day of the Messiah's return to establish the Kingdom of God on Earth?
See The Prophet Daniel: Nebuchadnezzar's Image and What Gospel Did Jesus Preach?


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This Day In History, July 1

69: The accession of Vespasian, the 9th Roman emperor (see A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars). He reigned 69-79 AD, during the time that Jerusalem was destroyed, as prophesied by Jesus Christ (see What Did Jesus Christ Say About Those Stones? and A History Of Jerusalem: Titus And The Zealots).

552: The Battle of Taginae in Italy. Byzantine forces under Narses defeated the Ostrogoths.

1097: The Crusaders defeated the Ottoman Turks at Dorylaeum in the First Crusade (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy).

1535: Sir Thomas More went on trial in England for treason.

1543: England and Scotland signed the Peace of Greenwich, providing for the marriage of Prince Edward Tudor and Mary, Queen of Scots.

1569: The Union of Lublin merged Poland and Lithuania.

1596: An English fleet captured and sacked Cadiz, Spain.

1690: England's Protestant King William III defeated Roman Catholic King James II in Battle of the Boyne in Ireland.

1690: French forces defeated the forces of the Grand Alliance at Fleurus in the Netherlands.

1770: Lexell's Comet missed the Earth by less distance than any other comet in recorded, a distance of 0.0146 astronomical unit (i.e. an astronomical unit is the distance between the earth and the sun).

1782: U.S. pirates attacked and looted Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.

1798: Napoleon took Alexandria, Egypt.

1810: Louis, king of Holland, abdicated after pressure from Napoleon.

1867: The British North America Act of 1867 created the Canadian Confederation. John A. Macdonald was sworn in as the first Prime Minister of Canada. July 1 has since then been Canada's National Holiday.

Canada Confederation
1878: The Albanian League was formed at Prizren, Serbia. The Albanian nationalist organization, initially supported by the Ottoman Turks, tried to prevent the Congress of Berlin, which was formulating a peace settlement following the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878, from partitioning Albania (then part of the Ottoman empire) and transferring some of its districts to Montenegro, Serbia and Greece (listen to our Sermons The Ottoman Empire and The European World Wars).

1881: The world's first international telephone call was connected, from St. Stephen, New Brunswick, Canada to Calais, Maine.

1899: The Gideon Society (famous for placing Bibles in hotel rooms) was established in Wisconsin by 3 traveling businessmen.

1908: SOS was adopted as an international distress signal.

1919: The German Weimar Republic was proclaimed.

1942: During the Second World War, first Battle of El Alamein began in Egypt between British and Commonwealth forces and Hitler's Nazi Panzerarmee Afrika.

1958: The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) began nationwide television broadcasting across Canada by means of microwave relay.

1962: Algerian independence was granted after a referendum in France and Algeria. Of the 210,000 Muslim Algerians who had served in the French army, only a minority took refuge in France. Estimates vary between 30,000 and 150,000 of those who stayed behind were executed or murdered.

1982: The new Canadian Constitution was signed in Ottawa by Queen Elizabeth II.

1990: The West-German Deutschmark became the official currency of the new united Germany.

2002: The International Criminal Court was established to prosecute individuals for "genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression." The Court remains mostly impotent because most of the world's worst war criminals are found in nations that also have the largest military forces that refuse to prosecute their troops who commit rape and murder.

2007: Smoking was banned in all public indoor spaces in England.


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