Bible Prophecy As Written
P.O. Box 14575
Tulsa, OK 74159
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 Destruction of Babylon

back to Babylon To Be Rebuilt 

"The LORD has opened His armory
And  has brought forth the weapons of His indignation, For it is a work of the Lord GOD of hosts
In the land of the Chaldeans...utterly destroy her,
Let nothing be left to her."
Jeremiah 50:25-26

"...and say, 'Just so shall Babylon sink down and not rise again..."
 Jeremiah 51:64

These prophecies have never been fulfilled!



1. NABONIDUS CHRONICLE (part of Babylonian Chronicles)



[Part of Babylonian Chronicles]

On the sixteenth day, Ugbaru, governor of Gutium, and the army of Cyrus, without battle they entered Babylon. Afterwards, after Nabonidus retreated, he was captured in Babylon. Until the end of the month, the shield-(bearing troops) from Gutium surrounded the gates of Esagil. (But) interruption (of rites) in Esagil or the (other) temples there was not, and no date (for a performance) was missed. On the third day of the month Arahsamna, Cyrus entered Babylon.
The harû-vessels were filled before him. There was peace in the city while Cyrus, (his) greeting to Babylon in its entirety spoke.

The British Museum, Collection online, The Cyrus Cylinder, 90920
The following translation (by Michalowski) is given by Chavalas (ed.) 2006.

Marduk, the great lord, leader of his people, looked happily at the good deeds and steadfast mind of Cyrus and ordered him to march to his own city Babylon, set him on the road to Babylon, ... allowed him to enter Babylon without battle or fight, sparing his own city of Babylon from hardship, and delivered Nabonidus, who had not worshipped him, into his hands.
    All the people of Babylon, the entire land of Sumer and Akkad, rulers and princes, bowed down to him, kissed his feet, and rejoiced at his rule, filled with delight. They happily greeted him as the lord,... they praised his name.
    I am Cyrus, king of the world, great king, mighty king, king of Babylon, ...
    After entering Babylon in peace, amidst joy and jubilation ... My teeming army paraded about Babylon in peace, and I did not allow any trouble in all ... I took great care to peacefully (protect) the city of Babylon and its cult places. (And) as for the citizens of Babylon … ... I released them from their weariness and loosened their burden.

Herodotus in The History of the Persian Wars 430  BCE.  (I.191)

" …the Persians came upon them by surprise and so took the city. Owing to the vast size of the place, the inhabitants of the central parts (as the residents at Babylon declare) long after the outer portions of the town were taken knew nothing of what had [happened], but as they were engaged in a festival, continued dancing and reveling until they [learned of the capture with certainty]. Such, then, were the circumstances of the first taking of Babylon.”

By 539 BC, however, the Babylonians were defeated by the armies of Cyrus the Great, king of the Persians and Medes. The city of Babylon itself was not destroyed on that occasion in 539 BC, and in fact it continued to thrive and remain a key city of the Persian Empire for many years. It even became the richest satrapy in the empire and was regarded by Herodotus as the world's most splendid city.  
Dr. J. Paul Tanner, Daniel: Introduction Archaeol. Rediscovery of Babylon
May 14, 2002 App. P.1, Ancient Babylon: From Gradual Demise To Archaeological Rediscovery,

Daniel was reading Jeremiah (Dan 9:1-2). But he did not come out of Babylon as commanded in Jer 51:6, 45; thus, this was NOT the LAST FALL OF BABYLON, for Daniel is noted in the Bible as one of God's most obedient servants ( Eze 14:14; 14:20; 28:3, i.e., "Noah, Daniel, and Job their righteousness.")

Cyrus marched his troops into Babylon...absorb[ing] the Chaldean empire with little struggle.
World History To 1648, Harper-Collins College Outline Series, p.41

"Babylon, indeed, will be permanently destroyed...but this has not happened yet...This, however, will require that Babylon somehow be restored to its former magnificence and prominence...[Babylon] has never actually died, even in a physical sense, and the great prophecies of her utter desolation in Isaiah and Jeremiah have never yet been really fulfilled. But they will be!"
Henry Morris, The Revelation Record, Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton, IL, 1983, p.332, 340.

[Cyrus, on the Cyrus Cylinder] adds that he entered Babylon "as a friend," that his "numerous troops walked peace," and liberated the people of Babylon from servitude.
Gonzalo Baez-Camargo, Archaeological Commentary On The Bible, 1984, Doubleday & Company, Garden City, NY, p. 128.

In an inscription concerning his seizure of Babylon, Cyrus says: "When I entered Babylon as a friend and (when) I established the seat of the government in the palace of the ruler under jubilation and rejoicing, Marduk [Babylonian god]... [induced] the magnamimous inhabitants of Babylon [to love me]...My numerous troops walked around in Babylon in peace, I did not allow anybody to terrorize...I strove for peace in Babylon and in all his other sacred cities." He adds that he abolished the yoke of the Babylonians and put an end to their complaints.
Gonzalo Baez-Camargo, Archaeological Commentary On The Bible, 1984, Doubleday & Company, Garden City, NY, p. 163.

Babylon fell without a fight before the military genius of the Achaemenid Persian king Cyrus the Great...
The Random House Encyclopedia, Mitchell & Stein, eds., 1983, Random House, NY, p. 959.

...Cyrus was determined to be a benevolent, rather than a heavy-handed, ruler: He pointed out that after his conquest of Babylon he did not allow his troops to terrorize the city. Cyrus's record fully substantiates this generous and tolerant stance. He returned stolen images to their sanctuaries and, in his own words, "gathered all their inhavitants and returned (to them) their dwellings."
Archaeological Study Bible, 2005, Zondervan Corporation, Grand Rapids, MI, p. 679.

According to the Babylonian Chronicle, Cyrus's army entered Babylon without a battle on October 12, 539 B.C. Cyrus himself entered the city 17 days later...he now controlled the entirety of Mesopotamia...
Archaeological Study Bible, 2005, Zondervan Corporation, Grand Rapids, MI, p. 669.

In 539 .BC., after defeating the Babylonians at the northern defense wall [ 20 miles north of Babylon, p. 1077] , Cyrus the Great and his Medo-Persian army entered Babylon without a contest. The Babylonian Chronicle describes the fall of Babylon to Cyrus.
Archaeological Study Bible, 2005, Zondervan Corporation, Grand Rapids, MI, p. 1077.

...the Babylonian regime was unpopular, and the people seem to have welcomed Cyrus as a liberator...It is certain, however, that Babylon fell suddenly. Herodotus is correct in stating that the Euphrates bisected the city, and the Nabonidus Chronicle confirms that it fell without a battle. Thus the account [by Herodotus] about diverting the Euphrates may be true. Both Daniel 5 and Herodotus indicate that Babylon fell during a rowdy festival. Herodotus stated: "Owing to the sheer size of the city, so say the inhabitants, those in the outlying areas were captured without those in the center knowing about it."
Archaeological Study Bible, 2005, Zondervan Corporation, Grand Rapids, MI, p. 1283.

"...Babylon was taken, again without putting up any resistance...Cyrus himself entered the city of Babylon about a fornight after it had been taken. There was no looting, nothing was destroyed, and the temples, the gods, private property and the palace were all respected."
Anton Gill, The Rise And Fall Of Babylon, Gateway Of The Gods, 2008, Metro Books, New York, NY,  p. 173.

[According to the Babylonian Chronicles] Nabonidus Chronicle: (539 B.C.E.) the Persians inflicted a defeat on the Babylonians at the city of Opis, captured Sippar and then occupied Babylon without a battle and took Nabonidus prisoner (Grayson, pp. 109 f., col. III, lines 5-15). The chronicle goes on to state that there was no interruption of the rites in Babylonian temples and that when Cyrus entered Babylon he pronounced words of greeting to all inhabitants of the city.
Encyclopaedia Iranica [spelling theirs]

So quietly and quickly was the city taken on the night of Belshazzar's Feast by draining the riber that flowed through the city, and entering by the riber bed, and the gates that wurmounted its baks, that the Babylonian guards had forgotten to lock that night, that some of the inhabitants did not know until the "third" day that the king had been slain and the city taken. There was no destruction of the city at that time.
Clarence Larkin, Dispensational Truth, 1918, Rev. Clarence Larkin Est., Glenside, PA, p. 142.

Singularly analogous is Aristotle's 'fact' (Politics 3.1276a, 28-30) that when Babylon was conquered by the Persians, part of the city had still not heard even a rumour of this after three days.
Mario Liverani, Imagining Babylon, 2016, Walter de Gruyter Inc., Boston/Berlin, sec. 1.1.