Bible Prophecy As Written
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But [Jesus] answered and said, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'"  Matthew 4:4

NOTES: the Desolation of Babylon

back to Babylon To Be Rebuilt

 But she will be completely desolate...
Jeremiah 50:13

But you will be desolate forever," declares the LORD...
...To make the land of Babylon A desolation without inhabitants.
Jeremiah 51:26, 29

Her cities have become an object of horror, A parched land and a desert..
Jeremiah 51:43

there will be nothing dwelling in it, whether man or beast, but it will be a perpetual desolation.'
Jeremiah 51:62


Trees and Fertile Land at Babylon, 1914
(the actual photo-documentation below)

Date taken: March - April 1914  
Photographer: Gertrude Bell ["Queen Of The Desert"]
Location: Babylon - Iraq
Modern location: Babylon
Description: Plantation of palm trees

CONSIDER Jeremiah 51:62 (below--one verse, three unfulfilled prophecies)
...and say, 'Thou, O LORD, hast promised concerning this place to cut it off, so that there will be nothing dwelling in it, whether

man (See the "Babylon Timeline Of Inhabitants")

or beast, ("I was so excited on one trip there [Charles Pack made 3 trips to Babylon] as I was chasing dogs and cats and donkeys and taking their pictures. People thought, 'This crazy American! Don't they have animals like that over there?' But you see, I was in Babylon. The Bible says when it is destroyed there will not be any beasts there. I have seen all kinds of beasts--cats, dogs, donkeys--inside the old city of Babylon."
Charles Pack, Understanding Revelation, Book 11, Thy Kingdom Come Telecast, Tulsa, OK, 1980, p.27.)

but it will be a perpetual desolation.' (", and gardens, are found still on the very site of ancient Babylon....The gardens...on both sides the river are very extensive, so that the town itself from a little distance, appears embosomed in a wood of date trees, The air is salubrious, and the soil extremely fertile, producing great quantities of rice, dates, and grain of different kinds....luxuriant cultivation."
Benjamin Wills Newton, Babylon: Its Revival And Final Desolation, Houlston & Wright, 1859, p. 39-41.)

Since central Babylon has never been deep-plowed for farming, undisturbed archaeological deposits are often at or near the surface. [But even the pictures of the surroundings of the central-Babylon archaeological site show dense and rich vegetation, see below]

damage assessments carried out between 2004 and 2009

BELOW: The trees and growth immediately surrounding the focal archaeological research grounds of today's Babylon.

Thus a town of considerable population, villages, date-groves, and gardens, are found still on the very site of ancient Babylon. Is this the "utter desolation" of which the Prophets speak? Can it be said that "her LAND has been made desolate, and none shall dwell therein; they shall remove, they shall depart, both man and beast"? Can this be said to be fulfilled, when not only the Land, but even the site of the city itself is still occupied?
The denunciations against the LAND of Babylon, it must be remembered, are as severe as those against the city. (Jer. 1:1; 25:12;51:2; 51:29; 51:43).
Benjamin Wills Newton, Babylon: Its Revival And Final Desolation, Houlston & Wright, 1859, p. 39-40.

General Chesney adds, "There is a fine farm just beyond the great ruins. This is tilled by people from Hillah, and a part of it is, I think, within the most extended limits of the ancient city, north-east of Hillah. There is also cultivation about the same distance on the eastern side of the river."
Benjamin Wills Newton, Babylon: Its Revival And Final Desolation, Houlston & Wright, 1859, p. 42.

"...the buildings of Babylon...together with several gardens and date plantation within the limits of the ruins..."
Benjamin Wills Newton, (quoting a letter to the author from a man from India who had visited Babylon) in Babylon: Its Revival And Final Desolation, Houlston & Wright, 1859, p. 44-45.

The following quotes are from the on-site exploration of Babylon by the great Assyrian-ruins archaeologist Austen Henry Layard, circa 1853...
Title: Discoveries among the Ruins of Nineveh and Babylon
Author: Austen H. Layard
NEW-YORK:  G. P. PUTNAM & CO., 10 PARK PLACE. 1853.  

A few black tents and flocks of sheep and camels were scattered over the yellow plain. They belonged chiefly to the Zobeide, an ancient tribe, renowned in the history of the conquering Arabs under their first caliphs, and now pasturing their flocks in the wilds of Babylonia. From Amran, the last of the great mounds, a broad and well-trodden track winds through thick groves of palms. (p. 390-91

Hillah  ["Amidst the heaps that marked the site of Babylon herself there rose the small town of Hillah", Layard's journal, 1853, p.428] may contain about eight or nine thousand inhabitants. The Euphrates flows through the town, and is about two hundred yards wide and fifteen feet deep... Around the town, and above and below it for some miles, are groves of palm trees, forming a broad belt on both sides of the river. In the plain beyond them a few canals bear water to plots cultivated with wheat, barley and rice. (p. 395

...a line of earthen ramparts, which are generally believed to be the most northern remains of the ancient city of Babylon. From their summit the traveller scans a boundless plain, through which winds the Euphrates, with its dark belt of evergreen palms. Rising in the distance... is the first great ruin to the east of the river, and the Arab, as I have said, names it “Babel.” (p. 397

[Ancient] Babylon was was the center of an urbanized, agriculture-based state whose rulers diverted the Euphrates River into a network of man-made canals to maximize cultivation of the rich alluvial plain. Farming, using these traditional irrigation techniques, remains a principal occupation of the area.
Site Management Plan, Babylon Cultural Landscape and Archaeological City, Executive Summary, World Monuments Fund, 2015, New York, NY, p.10.