Was Babylon, Iraq, "Utterly Destroyed"?
DID THAT HAPPEN?
Further BELOW: Read the historical accounts
TOP LEFT: Babylon of Chaldea (Iraq) today.
TOP RIGHT: The general site of Sodom and Gomorrah today.Associates For Biblical Research
QUESTION: Does Babylon, which is prophesied to be destroyed in the same
manner as Sodom and Gomorrah,
LOOK LIKE SODOM AND GOMORRAH?
Babylon will be destroyed...
"As when God overthrew Sodom And Gomorrah with its neighbors" Jeremiah 50:40
THERE ARE 4 HISTORICAL RECORDS OF FALL OF BABYLON...
1. The BIBLE
(part of Babylonian Chronicles)
4. CYRUS CYLINDER
These 4 Historical Records are ALL in AGREEMENT... Here's what they say in their own words...
1. BIBLE (Book of Daniel)
The fall of Babylon is recorded in Daniel chapter 5. It correlates well with
the three secular sources below. But the fact that Daniel was well read in
the prophecies of Jeremiah (Daniel 9:2), and therefore the Jeremiah
prophecies about Babylon where Daniel lived, then he would have
known of God's command to flee Babylon at her FINAL destruction
(Jer 50:8; 51:6-9). Daniel was an obedient servant of the Lord and
held high in the eyes of the Lord (Dan 10:11; Eze 14:14, 20), yet
why didn't Daniel flee Babylon as commanded by the Lord?
The simple answer: The Babylon of Daniel's day-- Babylon of Chaldea (Iraq)--
did not meet its Final Destruction at that time, and Daniel KNEW IT!
2. ACTUAL TEXT TRANSLATION OF NABONIDUS CHRONICLE
[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.
3. ACTUAL TEXT TRANSLATION OF CYRUS CYLINDER
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
4. ACTUAL TEXT TRANSLATION OF HERODUTUS
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, http://paultanner.org/English%20Docs/Daniel/
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 ...by their righteousness.")
Cyrus marched his troops into Babylon...absorb[ing] the Chaldean empire with
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 around...in 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 magnanimous 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
ndicate 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
Encyclopaedia Iranica [spelling theirs]
So quietly and quickly was the city taken on the night of Belshazzar's Feast
by draining the river that flowed through the city, and entering by the river
bed, and the gates that were mounted on its banks, 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.
Babylon became a desolate place, though not immediately. When Cyrus arrived in 539 BC,
the city capitulated without resistance, and was not destroyed. But the last mention of Babylon
as a city comes from 10 BC, by which time it had become a ruin, and it has remained so.
Apologetics Study Bible, Holman Bible Publishers, Nashville, TN, 2007, Jer 50.3 note.
RIGHT: The Persians took ancient Babylon in a relatively peaceful conquest. Babylon was not "utterly destroyed."
[Babylon] "In the land of the Chaldeans...utterly destroy her,
Let nothing be left to her."
RIGHT: The Greek historian, Herodotus, recounts it in more detail
RIGHT: What is predicted as the fate of Babylon, and what actually happened at the Fall of Babylon in 539 BC. Obviously, the prophecy (prediction) of Babylon's Final Fall is still to come.
History is of one voice on the "peaceful" conquest of ancient Babylon.
Yet The FINAL FALL will be Suddenly, Violently, Totally...
That DID NOT HAPPEN...therefore,
This is still to happen in a rebuilt Babylon because the Persians took Babylon peacefully.
"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."
"...and say, 'Just so shall Babylon sink down and not rise again..."
...as we can see, The BIBLE SPEAKS FOR ITSELF !