<<OT city>>

A city in Iraq, 85 kms south of modern day Baghdad that existed from about 2300-539 BC.  After the flood Babylon was a rallying point of rebellion against God and it was here the tower of Babel began to be erected (Gen 11:1-11). Initially a minor settlement it had a checkered history but grew to be the political and religious capital of the Babylonian empire, one of the ancient world powers, who competed for dominance along with Assyria. Because of their continual sin, Israel came under the control of King Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylonian army with Jerusalem being progressively destroyed. There were three invasions (605, 597 and 586 BC) with the strongest and skilled captives taken to Babylon.

However, in 539 BC as prophesied, Babylon in turn was destroyed and is still in ruins, although attempts are being made to restore it to its former splendor focusing on human physical achievement (Isa 13:20, 47:1-15). While God had used Babylon to punish His sinful people, He then used the Medes and Persians to destroy Babylon and set His people free. The new conquering world leader, Cyrus was just and favorable to the Jews and granted them release from exile, with the opportunity to return to their homeland of Israel and rebuild Jerusalem and the Temple. This was completed in 516 BC some 70 years after being destroyed (2 Kgs 25:1,8-21; Jer 25:11-14, 29:10). This period is known as the Babylonian exile.

Several Jews, among them Daniel and Esther, rose to prominent positions within that powerful nation.

Babylon the Great. The Bible depicts Babylon (an example of the flesh) in the last days being in conflict with Jerusalem (the spiritual). It is unclear whether this is the reconstructed literal city or a ‘Babylonian system’ of evil (a symbol of the Antichrist's evil

All sin is eventually judged

world system of sin and depravity) bringing in a one-world government and one-world religion characterised by depraved world commerce, oppression and anti-God activity. However, it is certain because of its wickedness and opposition to God, its final destruction is coming (Rev 14:8, 16:17-19:21). The downfall of Babylon although lamented by the ungodly, is the cause of rejoicing by the saints.

See also: Assyria, Babel, end times, nations, Nebuchadnezzar, rebellion.