Unfulfilled prophecies about Babylon in the Old Testament must yet be fulfilled. To be fulfilled, Babylon must rise up again, just as Israel rose up again to fulfill the prophecies of the Jewish return to that land in the Last Days.
This booklet about "OBJECTIONS" to the Literal return of Jews to their historical homeland (Israel) was written by theologian Edward Swain in 1828.
Because of the drift of current world events and headlines, he could not see that ever happening.
Therefore, taking the already (and still reigning) path of "replacement", he sought to symbolize the multitude of Scriptures declaring that the Jews would one day return and be restored land, and replace "Israel" with "Church" in those many prophecies.
I have no doubt that Edward Swain was a saved child of God because of the nature of his writings. But on this now popular REPLACEMENT THEOLOGY, he was in grave --and since proven-- deep error!
In keeping up with the growing Muslim wave sweeping across the world, Joel Richardson has authored a number of books, including his recent MYSTERY BABYLON, which casts Bible prophecies in the genre of those events.
In so doing, he has "replaced" Babylon of Iraq with more contemporary "Babylons". The prevailing World event-"winds" blow interpretation in the direction of these Replacement-Babylons, and the Literal morphs to the Allegorical.
This 'Bible-research' follows the same disregard for the Literal reading of the Bible in favor of the "replacement" path of REPLACEMENT THEOLOGY, and in following that same path, ends up with Babylon no longer meaning Babylon.
BELOW: Both of these books are directly quoted in the following graph.
BELOW: Read numbers (1-4) below in correlation with the same numbers on the graph. Follow the path of the arrows, and the quotes, showing the replacement of the Literal by the Symbolic. The Replacement path for Israel is on the left (red), while the Replacement path for Babylon is on the right (blue). The quotations reveal the same rationale for both paths to Replacement Theology.
1. The Literal reading of Bible prophecy showed Jews would be returned to the Land of Israel in the last days. But the news of world events made that event a "difficulty" to believe.
Likewise, a Literal reading of Bible prophecy showed that Babylon would be restored in the last days. But the news of world events made that event "seem really difficult to believe."NOTICE: In #1 the Literal reading of the Bible is overcome by a focus on world events.
2. Therefore, a Literal understanding of Bible prophecy must be rejected because the return of Israel to the Land of Israel was "an event too improbable to be expected" in light of current world conditions.
Likewise, a Literal understanding of Bible prophecy must be rejected because the restoration of Babylon "has little to possibility of taking place" in light of current world conditions.
NOTICE: In #2 the Literal reading of the Bible is circumvented in favor of world events.
3. The Literal understanding of Bible prophecy must be replaced by a symbolic understanding because the rebirth of Israel is more "easily explicable" as the birth of the Church.
Likewise, The Literal understanding of Bible prophecy must be replaced by a symbolic understanding because the restoration of Babylon seems more likely to "exists in the [rise] of the city of Mecca."NOTICE: In #3 the Literal reading of the Bible is replaced, in light of world events, by a symbolic reading.
4. The result is that "Israel" is symbolic for "Church", and thus the Church REPLACES Israel in Bible Prophecy.
Likewise, this results in "Babylon" being symbolic for "Mecca", and thus Mecca REPLACES Babylon in Bible Prophecy.NOTICE: In #4 that when world events replace the Literal reading of the Bible the end result in both paths is the same--REPLACEMENT THEOLOGY.
Israel is no longer Israel and Babylon is no longer Babylon.
That is how "Babylon" becomes "Mecca", "Rome", "New York" or "America", etc.
BELOW: Replacement? In the case of Israel, here's what actually happened. The Literal prophecies of the Return of Israel to the Land of Israel came Literally true with the rebirth of the Nation of Israel in 1948. (This was followed by Israel's recapture of Jerusalem in 1967, another Literal fulfillment of prophecy)
Shouldn't we expect the same Literal fulfillment of prophecy by Babylon arising again as Babylon!
CHART BELOW: The left hand column shows some of the various lands which were
considered over a hundred years agos for the establishment of a "Refuge Land" for the Jews (Israel). Israel had been scattered and persecuted among the nations of the world for almost 2,000 years. They needed a land of safety; a homeland of their own. A literal reading of Bible prophecy showed that they would one day be returned to their ancient homeland of Israel. Few, except for staunch Bible believers, believed it. The signs of the times and events of the day--in the minds of men--made the idea of Israel returning to Israel after 1800-plus years seem irrational. So various organizations arose to look outside of God's Word to find a 'Jewish land' themselves. But as long foretold by Bible prophecy, where did scattered Israel go? Israel returned to Israel.
Just as the restoration of Israel to Israel seemed irrational then, to many the restoration of Babylon at Babylon seems irrational today. Note the many proposed replacement sites for the prophesied reappearance of Babylon in these last days. Miracles happen when God sets his Mind to it--Israel to Israel, Babylon at Babylon.SEE: "Chart Notes" at end of "NOTES" section below.
CHART BELOW: Why do we expect a Literal fulfillment of the Babylon Prophecies?
Because Bible Prophecy has been fulfilled LITERALLY in the restoration of both the Land of Israel (1948) and the City of Jerusalem (1967) to the Jews. Let us not fall into the "Replacement" system that replaced the Literal with the Symbolic.SEE: "Chart Notes" at end of "NOTES" section below.
LITERAL FULFILLMENT Chart
ISRAEL was Restored in…
Argentina, Brazil, Canada, America
Jewish Colonization Association, created in 1891
Uganda (modern Kenya)
British offer to World Zionist Organization, 1903
"Ararat" Jewish refuge Niagara, NY; Galveston, TX 1820
A Jewish State “Anywhere”—Africa, Asia, Australia
Jewish Territorialist Organization, 1905
The “Replacement” Church
Israel has ceased to be. Now replaced by the Church
Jewish Autonomous Oblast in 1934
Ecuador, Australia, Surinam
Freeland League, 1935
ISRAEL 1948 (actual event)--LITERAL FULFILLMENT
'I will also bring them back to the land that I gave to their forefathers
and they shall possess it.” Jer 30:3
BABYLON to be Restored in...?
F. F. Bruce, 1979, The International Bible Commentary
J. Barton Payne, 1973, Encyclopedia of Biblical Prophecy
Albert Barnes,1884, in Revelation, Four Views
Adam Clarke, 1825, in Jamieson, Fausset, Brown Commentary
Andrew Fausset, 1870, in Jamieson, Fausset, Brown Commentary
Seductive World System
William Hendriksen, 1939, in Revelation, Four Views
Bill Perkins, 2013, Compass International,
New York City, etc…. typical Internet plethora speculation, Whatever the current news-breakers of the day are
OR BABYLON below: LITERAL FULFILLMENT...?
Literal Terms in futuristic portions of Jer 50-51
“land of the Chaldeans” 50:1
” Babylon…inhabitants of Chaldea” 51:35(mentioned in same verse as “Jerusalem…inhabitants of Zion”, i.e., literal terms)“Euphrates River” 51:63
“In those days and at that time," …the sons of Israel … will come that they may join themselves to the LORD in an everlasting covenant that will not be forgotten.” (this event occurs at the 2nd Coming of Christ)
TWO PREDICTIONS / WHAT HAPPENED Chart
Jeremiah 30:3“ …days are coming,' declares the LORD, 'when I will restore the fortunes of My people Israel and Judah… 'I will also bring them back to the land that I gave to their forefathers, and they shall possess it."
Replacement View Says
Literal-Israel was REPLACED by the Church 1932—
“It is very doubtful…whether Scripture warrants the expectation that Israel will finally be re-established as a nation…”
Louis Berkhof WRITTEN originally 1932, Systematic Theology, 1949, p.699, quoted in Paul Lee Tan, The Interpretation Of Bible Prophecy, p.228.
1948— Israel returned to their ancient land as a nation after being exiled and scattered among nations for 1878 years.
A LITERAL FULFILLMENT of PROPHECY
"Therefore when you see the 'abomination of desolation…in the holy place" [Temple in old city of Jerusalem]…then let those who are in Judea [Jews] flee…”
(The Jews will be in control of Jerusalem where the Temple will be)
Replacement View Says
Literal-Jerusalem was REPLACED by the New Jerusalem (the Church)
1825—“The Gentiles who were now chosen …in place of the rebellious…Jews.
[Jerusalem] has never since been in the possession of the Jews… her government, consequence, and influence are gone.”
Adam Clarke, WRITTEN around 1825, in The Bethany Parallel Commentary on the New Testament, 1983, p.323, 1487.
1967— Israel reclaimed the old city of Jerusalem, and the Temple Mount, after it had been under the control of various empires for 1897 years.
A LITERAL FULFILLMENT of PROPHECY
Revelation 18:10, 21
“…that great city Babylon, that mighty city! For in one hour your judgment has come…with violence the great city Babylon shall be thrown down…and shall not be found anymore.”
Literal-Babylon to be REPLACED by Symbolic Babylon—a city or nation or System
1870—Babylon “is the apostate church…[a ‘spiritual’ city]—Rome, if one literal city be meant.”
Andrew Fausset, WRITTEN about 1870 in The Bethany Parallel Commentary on the New Testament, 1983, p. 1481.
1825—“Jerusalem [or]…Rome pagan [or] Rome papal.”
Adam Clarke, WRITTEN around 1825, in The Bethany Parallel Commentary on the New Testament, 1983, p. 1487.
—will the City of Babylon be Rome, New York, some kind of Spiritual System, etc.?
A LITERAL FULFILLMENT of PROPHECY...?
The Babylon mentioned in 1Pe 5:13 was not Rome, as some have thought, but the literal city of Babylon, which was inhabited by many Jews at the time Peter wrote. Easton's Bible Dictionary, Thomas Nelson Publishing, 1897, "Babylon."