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Book of the Ages

Scripture: Isaiah 13:19-20, Jeremiah 51:58, Ezekiel 29:15
There is no other book like the Bible. It is the Word of God that is trustworthy and reliable. The prediction of Babylon never being inhabited has held true through the centuries. So also does the great kingdom of Egypt and its gold astonish archaeologists throughout the world. The Bible's descriptions are accurate.
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This is the great plain of Shinar, where the people refused to believe God, and where the tower of Babel was built. You remember how God confused their languages and ruined the tower so they had to discontinue their project. It was here that Nimrod built the City of Babylon and introduced sun worship, Satan's counterfeit system of worship. But now there is nothing left of that wonderful city of Babylon but ruins. Why was this city so completely destroyed, never to be rebuilt again? Because they did introduce this abominable sun worship to the world.

The train coming up from the Persian Gulf to Bagdad used to stop at Babylon, a little siding with the name on a sign board, but it does not stop there anymore. There is nothing worth photographing, only a few excavations of the hanging gardens, and the ruins of Nebuchadnezzar's palace, with an occasional image. There are also Babylonian lions on some of the ruins. You remember that Daniel in vision saw a lion representing Babylon. As you wander about, you find thousands of bricks with the name of Nebuchadnezzar on them.

But there is still more to the prophecy. In Isaiah 13:20 we read, "...neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there; neither shall the shepherds make their fold there..." The Arabs were a nomad people at the height of Babylonian glories, and they still wander about with their camels just as they did then. The Babylonians are gone, you will never meet one. How did God know that today there would not be a Babylonian in existence, but that the Arabs would still be there? As you drive along from Bagdad to Babylon, it is flat in all directions, and you can see Arab tents scattered here and there, but Babylon is a pile of rubbish.

In Jeremiah 51:58, we read, "Thus saith the Lord; the broad walls of Babylon shall be utterly broken..." For centuries after this prophecy was written the walls of Babylon were among the seven wonders of the world. They were built to stand forever, and those architects really knew their business. How could the prophet have known that those walls would be completely demolished, for the Great Wall of China is still standing and it is much older? It was God who revealed this to His prophet.

In Jeremiah 51:26 it says, "...THOU SHALT BE DESOLATE FOREVER, SAITH THE LORD." Four hundred years after Christ the historian Orosius wrote: "This very city, Babylon, which was the greatest and first of all cities, is now the least and most desolate."

God says in Jeremiah 50:10,26,37 "And Chaldee shall be a spoil... OPEN HER STOREHOUSES: cast her up as heaps...a sword is upon her treasures; and THEY SHALL BE ROBBED." Other cities were captured and looted, but once; however this implies that Babylon would suffer from repeated vandalism. Nothing like this was ever said of Tyre or Ninevah. Cyrus took huge treasures when he captured Babylon. Xerxes is said to have taken 150 million dollars in gold alone. Alexander gave $50 to every one of his soldiers from those Babylonian ruins.

Just take a look at Jerusalem, stuck away up there on a rocky ridge. You would not give $5.00 for ten acres of such land, and yet it has been overthrown and rebuilt over and over again. Now how does it happen that the city of Babylon, located in a fertile plain with an abundance of water, has never been rebuilt? Why did the whole country around the ruin of Babylon become a howling wilderness, and remain so through the ages? Only wild beasts inhabit her and the Arabs will not remain there when night falls. There is absolutely no reason except that God said it would be this way.

Let us consider another great nation. The glories of the ancient kingdom of Egypt can best be imagined by a look at the tremendous wealth in gold and jewels found in the tomb of King Tut, 700 miles up the Nile River. After viewing all this glittering gold, one can realize what is meant by the "treasures of Egypt" which were voluntarily left by Moses when he led the Israelites out of bondage. The four chariots from Tut's tomb were completely covered with gold, the three shrines were also covered with gold, and over the face of the mummy was a mask of solid gold. All this was buried with just one king.

Years ago, skeptics, trying to discredit the Bible, claimed that the account of the building of the sanctuary in the wilderness could not possibly be true, for, said they, there was not so much gold in the whole world at that time, as is said to have been put into the sanctuary. They argued that there were no gold mines in Egypt and gold was practically unknown at that time. However, just one tomb of an Egyptian king contained enough gold to astonish the whole world. Think of the many pharaohs whose tombs have been robbed during the ages and you have some idea of the wealth and importance of this Egyptian nation.

As you travel through Egypt today and look at the overwhelming grandeur of the departed glory that was hers, these enormous relics of a dead past, although cold, massive and forbidding, tell a story. Truth outlives empires, and there is much buried evidence in Egypt that the Bible is true. Seventy-seven pyramids lift up their heads above the desert wastes. One of these required two and a half million blocks of stone in its construction, and one hundred thousand slaves working steadily for twenty years to complete it. All tell of the might and grandeur of ancient Egypt, an amazing evidence of the inspiration of the Bible.

In Ezekiel 29:15 God tells us, "And I will bring again the captivity of Egypt...It shall be the BASEST OF THE KINGDOMS: neither shall it exalt itself any more above the nations; for I WILL DIMINISH THEM, that they shall no more rule over the nations." Let us not forget that Ezekiel lived at a time when Egypt was a mighty power. She had a line of kings such as no other nation, and it seemed she would last forever. In 600 B.C. when this prophecy was written, Egypt was eminent in science, art, luxury and magnificence. Her prosperity seemed unending.

Again in Ezekiel 20:12,13, God says , "And I will... sell the land into the hand of the wicked; and I will make the land waste, and all that is therein, BY THE HAND OF STRANGERS... and there shall be no more prince in the land of Egypt." Six hundred years after these prophecies were uttered, Egypt was still a very powerful nation. And for six hundred years more Alexandria was the first city of the world in rank of commerce and prosperity. When Rome was founded, Egypt was already 2,000 years old. Finally Rome was conquered by barbarian hosts, but Egypt still continued a great nation.

But Egypt began her decline, and though gradual, it has been continuous. The historian, Volney, says, "Deprived two thousand three hundred years ago of her natural proprietors, she has seen her fertile fields successively a prey to the Persians, the Macedonians, the Romans, the Greeks, the Arabs, the Georgians, and at length the race of Tartars distinguished by the name of Ottoman Turks." The country has been condemned to perpetual servitude, under the arbitrary dominion of strangers. During these hundreds of years Egypt has had no prince of her own. It has always been ruled by strangers. Today's ruler is of Arab descent.

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