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The Mother of All Cities

May 26, 2018
Daily Devotional
Average reading time is about 6 minutes
AN AMAZING FACT:  Aside from Israel, Iraq is the land most often mentioned in the Bible. Some familiar Bible names for this historic region are Eden, Shinar, Babylon, Assyria, Mesopotamia, Nineveh, and parts of ancient Persia. It is sometimes known as the Fertile Crescent and cradle of civilization. The adventures of Bible characters like Esther, Jonah, Daniel, and Ezekiel all took place in this historic land. On two occasions the people of God have been carried off to the land of Iraq. The ten tribes were carried off into Assyria in 721 B.C. Then Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem in 587 B.C. and drove its inhabitants of Judah into 70 years of captivity. This is one reason Saddam Hussein revered King Nebuchadnezzar as his hero. Hussein longed to duplicate the feat of conquering Israel and ruling the Arab nations!

In fact, Saddam once had himself photographed in a replica of the war chariot of Nebuchadnezzar, and tried to convince people he was the reincarnation of the ancient king of Babylon. (The Bible also tells us that Nebuchadnezzar went insane for seven years.) History records Babylon was conquered by the Persians and then the Greeks. After the death of Alexander the Great the city of Babylon began to fade. Ultimately, the once great city ceased to be inhabited and the ruins were swallowed by the Euphrates River and shifting sand of the Iraqi desert.

Many Christians firmly believe that Babylon must be rebuilt before the last events of prophecy can be fulfilled. But the prophet Isaiah clearly promised, “It will never be inhabited … But wild beasts of the desert will lie there, and their houses will be full of owls …” (Isaiah 13:20, 21). Saddam Hussein desperately wanted to prove the Jewish prophet wrong and vainly spent millions trying to rebuild the ruins of ancient Babylon in an effort to restore it to a thriving metropolis. Saddam’s grand plans to restore Babylon have been repeatedly thwarted by war, and now he is gone.

If the Bible says Babylon will never be rebuilt, then what is the lastday Babylon spoken of in the book of Revelation? Revelation 17:5 speaks of Babylon as “the mother of harlots and of the abominations of the earth.” If Christ’s church is represented as a pure woman (see Revelation 12:1), then what else could Babylon represent but fallen apostate churches?

KEY BIBLE TEXTS
And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees' excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. 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. Isaiah 13:19-20




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