Babylon of the past is a shadow of the Babylon to come in the seven-year Tribulation period. Babylon was an empire—also called Chaldea for the influential southern portion of the Babylonian Empire. One of the empire’s major cities was called Babylon. Before being destroyed, Babylon was a provincial capital city of the great Chaldean, or Babylonian Empire. In the future, Babylon is the name given for the capital of the one-world government of which the Antichrist will endeavor to rule (Daniel 11:41; Revelation 13:7).
The beginning of the kingdom of Bābel (Hebrew for Babylon) traces back to three generations after Noah circa 1246-1206 BC. Noah begot Ham, then Ham begot Cush, and Cush begot Nimrod (Genesis 10:1-8):
Cush begot Nimrod; he began to be a mighty one on the earth.
Nimrod [a name meaning “rebel”] became the ruler of the kingdom of Bābel.
And the beginning of his kingdom was Bābel, Ērech, Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shīinar.
Quoting Warren Henderson’s commentary Seeds of Destiny:
“One particular ancient legend records that Nimrod was conceived by a sunbeam, and therefore was obliged to marry his mother. It is from Nimrod that false religion and pagan worship can be traced. Even the 1st century BC Jewish Historian Josephus regarded Nimrod as the father of heathenism. He is accredited with being the father of Babylonian and Assyrian pagan cultures which began to oppose God in Genesis 10 and will continue to do so through Revelation 18 when Babylon—the mother of harlots—is finally destroyed. This is the great day for which all the hallelujahs in heaven have been reserved according to Revelation 19:1-6. For it is upon this day that all anti-God humanistic agendas will be eradicated. Nimrod foreshadows the last great world ruler—the anti-Christ who during the Tribulation Period leads the world in vehement rebellion against God. Yet, the Lord Jesus at His Second Advent to the earth will destroy this vicious enemy of humanity and of God personally (Revelation 17:14, 19:20).”
The “father of Babylonian and Assyrian pagan cultures” takes us ahead from the ancient time of Nimrod to 722 BC when the Assyrians exiled the Northern Kingdom of Israel. Then in 587 BC the Babylonians destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem and exiled the Southern Kingdom of Judah. It should be noted that the early capital city of Assyria was Cālah—which was founded by Nimrod circa 883-859 BC:
11From that land [Bābel] he [Nimrod] went to Assyria and built Nineveh, Rehōboth Ir, Cālah, 12and Rēsen between Nineveh and Cālah (that is the principal city).
Only a few years earlier, circa 800, Nineveh flourished until 612 BC and had become “the greatest” of the capitals of the ancient Assyrian Empire. The Assyrians had forgotten what Jonah had finally brought to them. A hundred years after their “revival” Nahum prophesied their downfall. The Ninevites returned to their practices of hostility, idol worship, and arrogance. In fact, the Babylonians came to Nineveh and totally destroyed the city so thoroughly that no trace of it would remain. It was located in northern Assyria, near today’s Iraq city of Mosul, just off the SE border of Turkey.
Nahum 2:8-10; 3:7
2:8Though Nineveh of old was like a pool of water, now they flee away. “Halt! Halt!” they cry; but no one turns back. 9Take spoil of silver! Take spoil of gold! There is no end of treasure, or wealth of every desirable prize. 10She [Nineveh] is empty, desolate, and waste! The heart melts, and the knees shake; much pain is in every side, and all their faces are drained of color. …
3:7It shall come to pass that all who look upon you will flee from you, and say, Nineveh is laid waste! Who will bemoan her? Where shall I seek comforters for you?
The Babylonian Empire began in 605 BC but fell to the Persian Empire 75 years later in 530 BC. The Persian Empire fell to the Greeks in 334 BC; then the monstrous Roman Empire ruled “the world” from 27 BC until AD 428. During those years, people were not allowed into market places if they did not worship the emperor. By AD 200 the great Persian provincial capital of Babylon had been deserted and completely destroyed. In looking back, the metropolis of Babylon, akin to the Tower of Bābel, symbolizes the irreverence and worshiping of false gods which to the true God is adulterous harlotry.
All the great, thriving cities founded by Nimrod, the father of Babylonian and Assyrian pagan cultures, have fallen and suffered God’s judgment of man’s depravity and wickedness. God’s Word does not give the modern name of the future Babylon of the Tribulation period, but is given the name Babylon due to practicing the same ungodly habits as those in past times. There are many speculations as to where the upcoming Babylon will be: Some say it is New York City, others say Moscow, and the list goes on. But the Bible points out the most probable place to be Rome, the place of the Vatican which is located across the Tiber River from the Seven Hills of Rome. Rome is also known in modern times as “Caput Mundi”—Latin for “Capital of the World.”
Revelation 14:8; 16:19; 17:5, 9; 18:2
14:8And another angel followed, saying, “Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.” …
16:19Now the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. And great Babylon was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath. …
17:5And on her forehead a name was written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. …
17:9“Here is the mind which has wisdom: The seven mountains on which the woman sits.” [Rome is the most famous of many cities with seven hills]
18:2And he [an angel] cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird!
When Peter the apostle penned the First Epistle bearing his name, he referred to Babylon in his next to last sentence of the Letter. Much of Peter’s writing spoke of suffering for having exalting the Name of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 4:12-16). Most of the suffering at the time of this writing, circa AD 64-65, was being dealt out from the Roman Emperor, Nero:
1 Peter 5:13
She who is in Babylon, elect together with you, greets you; and so does Mark my son.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.