The origin of Babylon is well documented in Genesis 10:10, and was originally called "Babel" (in the Semitic = "Bab-ili" = "the gate of the god"; Comp. Bible).
In Genesis 11:2 onwards, is given the account of the building of Bab-ili "in the land of Shinar", and in v6 the consternation of the Godhead regarding the speed of progress of the people in intellectual and physical development; because of their condition "as gods", which was due to Satan's successful assault on Eve and Adam in Genesis 3, and its results regarding their knowledge of “good and evil”, up to that point in Shinar!
The fact of their common language allowed very quick communication and development of ideas, which, had it been allowed to continue, would have thwarted the Plan of God embodied in Genesis 3:15; the Promise of Messiah, to save the human race from the clutches and destruction of Satan!
The Plan of God had to be allowed to develop to the stage we are at now, with Israel the focal point of all the world's conflict and antipathy, yet to be resolved at Armageddon!
Satan's object was to do just that, and to thwart the birth of Messiah, and ultimately the Salvation of some of the human race.
To that end, The Godhead descended to Earth (Gen. 11:7) and dispersed the human race together with their language, to enable the timespan that God has ordained should transpire in His Plan of Salvation; and His dealing with "the Mystery of Iniquity" (2Thess. 2:7).
It is interesting to note that in Gen. 11:7 is the second reference to the Godhead plural!
In the dispersion of those early humans after the flood, God shows His oversight on Earth of His Salvation Plan, which despite the efforts of Satan to undo (see Job), must reach the ordained timespan within the rules of engagement between God and Satan. (See: "Satan's Contest with God").
It is interesting to note now the level of mental and physical development on Earth, with the very easy and quick communications prevalent, which have enabled unprecedented technology and invention; which as God has allowed this stage to be reached, must auger prophetic fulfilment regarding Israel and the Second Advent of Christ Jesus very soon!
These brief comments on the origin of the city of Babylon, are to introduce an opinion regarding Babylonian prophecy, which is contrary to many commentators. In the main they consider that Babylon the city must be rebuilt from its current ruined state, and that it must be destroyed again in the wrath of God on the Nations, as described in Jeremiah 51 and Revelation, during "the Day of Jehovah Zebaoth" see: [Rev. 1:10 and many places in the Old Testament (OT)].
Bearing in mind that this is our opinion, and that the physical Ancient Babylon may yet be rebuilt and again destroyed, the following are comments that reason for the view that "Mystery Babylon" is an evil spirit entity, which has never yet been destroyed and must be, together with the "binding of Satan" (Rev. 20:1-3).
Remembering the original name of Bab-ili means "the gate of the god"; that clearly means the gate of the god Satan, who is the god of this world (Jhn. 12:31, 14:30, 16:11 and Eph. 2:2). A little more of the history of Babylon helps to illuminate the point.
Babylon as is well known was founded by Nimrod, whose father was Cush and Grandfather Ham! Nimrod was "great in rebellion against God" Gen. 10:9, (the standard translation in the AV is "a mighty hunter before the Lord", but on remembering their role in Babylon and the tower of Babel, the favourable AV translation does not fit the context of his life, and Dr. Bullinger and others translate "before" as "in defiance" which is certainly correct). Babylon became the fountainhead of Satanic opposition to Jehovah God, until its destruction, and the removal of its priests to Pergamos (Anatolia; modern day Turkey).
Canaan was the son of Ham and uncle to Nimrod [Gen. 10:6], and his purpose was to thwart the Messiah line from Genesis (Gen. 3:15).
Historians date early Babylon as approx. 23 centuries BC; which corresponds with the Bible approx. dating's, (Gen. 10:8-9 and 1Chron. 1:10).
The city was destroyed in approx. 689BC, in one of its many conflicts. It was rebuilt shortly afterwards, and by the time of Nebuchadnezzar was at its Zenith (604-561BC); and that was due to Jehovah God's permit for His purposes with His people Israel (Dan. 2:37 and Deut. 32:8). That period was to include the "Hanging Gardens, and the Ishar Gate", which Saddam Hussein failed to rebuild!
Cyrus' decree (2Chron 36:23, Isa. 44:28 & 45:13) allowed Jews back to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple.
In 539BC, it lost its independence to Cyrus/Darius of Persia, who invaded Babylon successfully via the "water gates", after lowering the river water. This is recorded in Dan. 5, during "Belshazzar's feast"!
The Persians ruled until 331BC at the invasion of Alexander the Great; but by 141BC the city of Babylon was completely desolate; and has remained so since, (Jer. 51:37-64)!
As mentioned above, many respected Bible commentators and students, are of the firm opinion that physical Babylon is to be rebuilt!
Most use Zech. 5 as evidence, as well as Isa. 13 & 14, and many other references from Scripture. However, to the writers these argue for destruction not the opposite! This must be a matter of individual interpretation, at different stages of history, with as open a mind as possible; prayerfully considered.
The main argument by those that propose the rebuilding of Ancient Babylon the city; are the many references to its destruction in the O.T. by Jehovah God, "In the Day of the Lord". It is our contention that Babylon the city, is confused with Babylon the Land, as in Scripture the land is referred to as Babylon, instead of "Babylonia" (i.e. modern Iraq & Syria). This view is supported by such references as Jer. 51:43, referring to "the cities" (plural). Also Jer. 51:29 and elsewhere "the land of Babylon"!
A further supporting comment is that even if Babylon the city was to be rebuilt, as such a small entity, it would not easily encompass the whole Earth in its influence as the narrative of the following extracts from Revelation show; (www.revelationsmessage.co.uk).
Rev. 17:5 (a)And upon her forehead a name written, (b)Mystery Babylon the Great, The Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the Earth.
(a) Dr. Bullinger translates; "and upon her forehead she had a name written a secret symbol, (see 13:18 b), BABYLON THE GREAT, the mother of harlots, (see notes (a) V.1) and of the abominations of the Earth", (Comp.). The name of the woman is therefore a secret sign or symbol of "that great city" which she personifies (see V.18).
(b) The word "Mystery" is disputed by different translations. NIV notes that the word should possibly be excluded, but offers "this mysterious title written". Interlinear has "mystery". Darby has "mystery". RSV has "a name of mystery". Moffatt, "by way of symbol". Matt. Henry "Mystery Babylon". NKJV "Mystery Babylon". ESV. "a name of Mystery". Youngs Literal Version "Secret Mystery".
What is reasonably clear, is that Satan has successfully tricked the world's population into believing the opposite of the truth! As the physical Babylon was destroyed and never revived, (Jer. 51), so here, the dealing is with its spiritual equivalent; which here is beginning its defeat at the hands of God; and the "stone not cut by human hand", (Dan. 2:34 and 45).
The spiritual Babylon, equivalent and greater than the Ancient physical Babylon, has/is having the effect worldwide that Ancient Babylon had under its founder Nimrod, and his mother. They succeeded in turning people from the True God (Elohim) to many and varied pagan gods and practices, which have spread worldwide. Their main enemy and object was the God of the Hebrews (His chosen people) Jehovah; and Jerusalem His chosen Dwelling Place! Their assault continued throughout the O.T.; and since Acts 28:28, is also focused on all Christ-ones worldwide. The warfare with Satan and his spirits (demons) is now spiritual as well as physical, and is confirmed in the following references, and many others in Scripture: Eph. 6:10-18, 1John 4:1 to 5:8 & John 4:24!
The reference to "Mystery Babylon" (Rev. 17:5), begins the possibly true understanding of Satan's consort, and the great anti-thesis to that required by God Almighty of His Created beings. Had Israel remained faithful to their divine task of evangelising for the one True God, the True consort of Jehovah God would have emerged in the faithful wife Israel. However, as is now joyfully the case, Christ Jesus achieved the beginning of the same effect on the Calvary Cross, the completion of which is shown in the New Heaven and New Earth situation at the end of Revelation.
The dealings of God with this entity described as "Mystery Babylon" (17:5), has many commentators giving many differing views, and ours is maybe different again, but is worthy of consideration. It is notable that after Noah, Babylon quickly emerges as the prime City of the Biblical description, and was following the ways of Satan (prince of the world Jn. 12:31, 14:30, 16:11 and Eph. 2:2). In Dan. 2 is the description and interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar's dream of the "image" (2:31), the head of which Daniel showed was Nebuchadnezzar's Kingdom. His, and all the described Kingdoms that followed are the Satan system and have left their mark on the world's systems, and the ones yet to be will do the same; all in the power and effort of Satan. This we contend is "Mystery Babylon", and chimes with the fact that Babylon’s original name Bab-ili means "Gate of the god"; i.e. Satan!
This will be destroyed without trace (Dan. 2:35) by the "stone" (cut without hands, Christ Jesus, Dan. 2:34). The description of the destruction of this Satanic world system is just prior to Satan's "binding", for the duration of the "Kingdom of God on Earth" (the Lord's prayer), which is also known by many Christians as "the Millennial".
Supporting the above idea, is the fact of anti-Christ's number (666);
V.18 of Rev. Chapter 13 (www.revelationsmessage.co.uk), which in Greek gematria is "SSS", the Ancient Babylonian secret symbol of the "Old Mysteries" which are in part all the pagan anti-God religions and practices of Nimrod and Babylon origin. This link with anti-Christ seems conclusively to point to "Spiritual Babylon", see (Chapter 13:18), as does the reference in Zech. 2:6-8!
A further point for these tentative conclusions, is that as per Rev. Chap. 2:13, the "seat of Satan" after his ejection from Heaven with his angels, is Pergamum, in modern day Turkey (Ancient Greece). Had Babylon been in existence in that future day, Satan would undoubtedly have taken up residence there, as it is his capital of evil power, in opposition to Jerusalem and Jehovah Zebaoth! Some might argue that Satan would rebuild Babylon from Pergamum, but he only has an extremely short time after his expulsion from Heaven (Rev. 12:9), to his demise and binding (Rev. 20:1-3)! It is not without reason that his priests moved to Pergamum after the demise of Babylon pre. AD, as there must be a spiritual alliance between the two locations; (See: Rev. Chapter 2 :12(a)).
It is not without meaning that Adolf Hitler had the ‘Throne of Satan’ removed from Pergamum; and reconstructed in Berlin!
He held his most numerous rallies there and he received massive adoration and praise from his people, with all the meaning leaning towards Messiah type worship!
As is well known, he planned to eliminate the Jewish race completely, and without “Divine Intervention”, would have succeeded!
It is clear to right thinking people that Hitler was a ‘pre-curser’ to the main event in the future; when Anti-Christ is active, and Satan is seated in Pergamum!
Satan will preside over “Jacob’s Trouble” and pursue the same object as Hitler; the elimination of the Jewish people; and the subjection of all the “remaining” people on Earth: see “ Satan's Motivation: ”
The following is extracted from www.revelationsmessage.co.uk
The fact the Bible in Revelation 2:13 places Satan's Throne at this site is of great future significance. It is also of great significance that the priesthood of Babylon relocated to Pergamum historically! They are the servants of Satan historically, and all pagan worship originates from Babylon, and has spread to all points of the compass in various guises. Notably Buddhism, Islam, Sun and Star Worship in various forms from Egypt, Asia and South America, etc., and many of these religions are now substantially under the heading of the New Age Movement.
There is considerable concern among Christians who can discern, regarding the Ecumenical Movement. The major problem is that of the slow acceptance by previously Christian groups and Denominations of Christ's true position as depicted in Acts 4:12, being avoided or even overtly eliminated "so as not to rock the boat".
It is our view that as Rome carefully orchestrates the Ecumenical Movement, that at the appearance in the future of the Antichrist he will be accepted as the True Christ in His Second coming by Christians, the Hidden Imam (the Mahdi) for Islam, the Messiah for the Jews, the 5th Buddha for the Buddhists, and for the New Agers, Maitreya.
All pagan worship is of Satan, and has only one purpose which is rebellion against the One True God, the Almighty. Its aim is to ensnare all mankind, to elevate Satan against the Almighty, and attempt to bring to nothing the great and loving work of our Saviour, Christ Jesus. As Satan has yet to be ejected from the Heavens, he has yet to take up his Earthly throne at Pergamum.
When Satan sets up his throne in this Ancient Greek site, he will be at the epi-centre of his spiritual stronghold, which is why in the period after Christ's Ascension, so much effort was expended by Paul etc., "in taking the battle to the Enemy", at his main location.
That area will again be central in the yet future (Zech. 9:13).
Prior to his defeat, the Antichrist will hold sway in Jerusalem, with Satan probably simultaneously in Pergamum. Satan cannot be enthroned in Jerusalem, unless he brings to naught the promises of Jehovah, which would now entail the complete destruction of all Israel. His emissary will attempt just that, i.e."70th week of years", Daniel 9.
Satan must continue his efforts to undermine God's Salvation Plans, and as the physical effort seems to have failed, as evidenced by ruined Babylon, the spiritual action from him continues in the form of the great deceiver, in many guises!
Satan is "the father of lies", (John 8:44), see: Father of Lies, John 8:44 and has sought from Eden, since the "foundation/overthrow" of the world, starting with Eve, to pervert and thwart the Loving purpose of Jehovah God. That purpose is to Redeem mankind, whom He loves (John 3:16), to establish Israel (The Bride), to conquer and destroy Satan and his demons, (see: Angels and Demons!) and to eventually usher in the perfect state, (see: notes on Rev. Chapter 11 and Rev. Chapter 12).
However, the lie goes on. It has continued from Eve in various forms, and usually men and women find the lie attractive in the form it is presented in their own life time. Instead of trusting, studying and teaching the Truth as God the Holy Spirit gives in the Bible, it is perverted, modified etc., to suit the feelings, dogmas, motives and perversions of fallen mankind. The most prevalent currently is "there are many ways to God". This one appeases the world religions (all of Babylon), and even the pastors, preachers, vicars etc. in the Western world are now exhorted by their colleges, seminaries etc., "not to create waves", by preaching Christ crucified, and the only way of Salvation, (Acts 4:12 and elsewhere).
Rev. 14:8 And there followed another angel, saying, "(b)Babylon is fallen, the great (d)because she made all Nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication".
(b) "Babylon"; see Isa. 21:9 & Rev. 18:2. As mentioned earlier, Babylon is the source of all pagan religions. That progressed strongly under Nimrod and his mother. Their work has spread worldwide, and their pagan heritage is in all countries, and as well as religions, is showing in all human activity. As mentioned above, all religions or human activity which does not acknowledge Acts. 4:12, is of Babylon! In V.8 we are told that Babylon is fallen! When that happens, all the world's systems, Governments, institutions, trade and commerce, religions and beliefs, ideas and opinions etc., will be brought to nothing, and will stand helpless before Almighty Jehovah Zebaoth!
(d) "Because etc."; here is the simply stated fact that Satan has used all the human Babylonian endeavours to usurp God Almighty, and enslave and control human beings for his purpose. The words "made all Nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication"; gives the meaning to the methods of Satan's controls, using all human weaknesses.
The original sin of Satan was rebellion against God; and his intention is to turn all people on Earth, and all spiritual creation to worship anything but the True God; Jehovah Zebaoth! This is the origin of the word "fornication"!
Rev. 16:19 And the (a)great city was divided into three parts, and the (b)cities of the Nation's fell; and (c)great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath.
(a) "The great city"; Jerusalem.
(b) "Cities of the Nation's fell"; unimaginable devastation as New York, Toronto, Boston, London, Sydney, Tokyo & Dubai etc., world wide, the skyscrapers falling, the panic, the destruction, the desolation.
(c) "Great Babylon"; the source of all the world's pagan religions and Satanic systems, (see Dan. 4:30), (Gen. 10:10) and (Gen. 11:9). See also earlier notes.
The above shows the progression from the physical Babylon to that of the spiritual, which we postulate is the reality of the present day, and which is to be destroyed by Christ Jesus at His return to Earth; quite possibly in the near future. When taking into account the current events worldwide, but particularly the events affecting Israel and her Arab neighbours, there is an urgency to the whole subject.
The above is not meant to imply that it is absolutely correct in its interpretation; but to be taken into account, and to encourage study by those who read it!
An interesting thought is that as Satan has fooled the world into thinking that he does not exist and by extension God, "Mystery Babylon" is his ploy in that endeavour! Almighty God (Jehovah Zebaoth) has an equivalent for this "Age time"; that of the "Mystery Church", and the mystery of His dealings with and for Israel (Mk. 4:11, Rom. 11:25, 16:25, Eph. 1:9, 3:3-4, 3:9, 5:32, 6:19, Col. 1:26-27, 2:2 & 4:3).
This great mystery is finally brought to climax and fulfilment by God's release of the seventh angel's efforts (Rev. 10:7 and 16:17), and the destruction of "Mystery Babylon the Great" Rev. 17 and 18.
See also: www.revelationsmessage.co.uk. Rev. Chapter 17 and Rev. Chapter 18.
(Note May 2015)
The recent rise of ISIL; and its apparent intention of conquering and establishing itself in Old Babylonia; may be the beginning of a new entity in the prophecies for the area. However, from news reports, the ISIL fighters all seem to be "militant Islamic"; and are populated by people (male and female) from Islamic groups in many parts of the world; but the people in the main seem to be of Arab or Middle Eastern origin, even when they join from Western Countries.
This new element, which has developed/followed on from the "Arab Spring" of 2011; if established in "Old Babylonia" may well rebuild the ruined city of Babylon as its headquarters; and have international appeal/context by worldwide Islamic establishment!
This hypothesis would knit together "Old Babylonia", Babylon the Ancient city, and world influence; but there is still the 3rd element "the Prince of the Power of the Air"; who ultimately would be its head!
However, time will show the true interpretations of these possibilities!
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