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Understanding the language of the Bible is critical. The language of the N.T. is written in the later Greek, and the writers applied the Greek to subjects on which it had never been used by native Greek writers. The things concerning Jewish affairs, their theology, and rituals. I have committed the work of the Greek dictionary found within, to assist in your personal study, and in repelling those who choose to distort the word. Acquaint yourself with the language of the Greek N.T., you will find it to be of an indispensable importance.
The author of these articles and features quotes verses from the King James Version. We investigate the Bible's original text, examine the Greek, Hebrew, text, context, symbols, and terminologies. We will continue to make every effort to aid readers to grow in their individual faith. We will also make every effort to assist, and to support those who have vowed to honor our Lord Jesus Christ, and His finished work.
Scripture represents the “beginning of the kingdom” of Babylon as belonging to the time of Nimrod, the grandson of Ham (Gen.10:6-10.)
Babylon or Babylo’nia was the name given in ancient times to the flat country about the lower course of the Euphrates. In the O.T. it is called Shinar, Babel, and also “land of the Chaldees;” and by the later Greek and Roman writers, Chaldea. During the wider extension of the Babylonian dominion the name comprehended also Assyria and Mesopotamia. The country forms a perfect plain, which is a continuation of that of Assyria. The two rivers, Euphrates and Tigris approach each other until their waters fall into the Persian Gulf.
For centuries the early history of Babylon was doubtful and for the most part, unknown. The only sources were a few incidental mentions in the Bible, and from the writings of Berosus, a Babylonian priest who had translated the annuals of his country into Greek; also the Greek writer Herodotus. As time passed, a multitude of brick tablets, stamped with cuneiform characters were found in the ruins of the great cities that once studded the banks of the Tigris and Euphrates that spoke of events some 3000 years before the Christian era, restoring to us a page of history that had been lost.
Every day archeology is bringing to light new evidence of the influence of the people upon the civilization of the Semitic nations, and through them upon that of Europe. Every large city had its library. In the royal library of a Babylonian monarch, Sargon (about 200 B.C.) every tablet was numbered, so that the reader had only to write down the number of the tablet he wanted, and it would be handed to him by the librarian. Among them there was found the hymns to the gods similar to the Hebrew psalms: and in a long mythological poem there is an episode giving an account of the Deluge somewhat similar with that of Genesis.
The Accadians were great in magic, and the Greek magos, meaning magician is derived from an Accadian word equivalent to “reverend.”
The city of Babylon was not the first seat of power. The records discovered of a monarch whose capital was Ur, the place of Abram’s (Abraham’s) birth, and the source of the monarch’s wealth was found in the ruins of the temple of the sun-god built by him; it is calculated that 30 million bricks must have been used in its construction. Centuries had pasted when an Elamite conqueror, named Cudar-mabug, extended his sovereignty over Israel. Eventually the seat of power was fixed at Babylon, and the Semitic tongue now began to supersede the Accadian.
In time the Northern division of the country was founded by colonists from the south, in time it grew into the independent kingdom of Assyria; and in the 14th century B.C. an Assyrian monarch captured Babylon. From that time the position of the southern state becomes more and more subordinate to the northern, and finally sinks into the province of Babylonia, however, it was not always a submissive vassal.
Under the leadership of Chaldean chiefs many attempts for independence took place. The Chaldeans are first heard of in the ninth century before Christ as a small Accadian tribe on the Persian Gulf; but they became so prominent in these struggles that they latterly gave their name to the whole province of Babylonia that came to be styled Chaldea. The name of one of these Chaldean chiefs, Merodach-Baladan, occurs both in Scripture and in the inscriptions. From the former, we know that this king sent a message to Hezekiah, king of Judah, ostensibly to inquire about his recovery, probably with a view to an alliance against Assyria; and from the latter, Merodach was expelled by Sargon the king of Assyria who made several attempts to recover his throne but was eventually dethroned again by Sennacherib.
The line of Babylonian kings becomes exactly known to us from the year 747 B.C. The “Canon of Ptolemy” gives us the succession of Babylonian monarchs, with the exact length of the reign of each.
The complete subjection of Babylon to Assyria at this time 680 B.C. is proved also from the Scripture account, which states that Esarhaddon, son of Sennacherib, reigned in Babylon. About 50 years after, Nabopolassar, governor of Babylon for the Assyrian king, proved faithless to his trust, and entered into an alliance with the Median king, Cyaxares, for the overthrow of the ruling state. This undertaking was successful, and Babylon now in 625 B.C. became for a short time an independent and conquering power. The son of Nabopolassar, Nebuchadnezzar 2ed, defeated the Egyptian king, Necho at the battle of Carchemish annihilating the Egyptian dominion in Asia, compare 2 K. 24:7
Upon the death of Nebuchadnezzar’s father he was acknowledged king in 604 B.C. He than subdued Jehoiakim, king of Judah; and in consequence of repeated revolts, destroyed Jerusalem and put an end to the kingdom of Judah under Zedekiah in 588 B.C. carrying the inhabitants captive to Babylon. He died in 561 B.C. having reigned for 43 years, and was succeeded by Evil-Merodach who was murdered after two years of holding the crown by Neriglissar, who was his brother-in-law. Evil-Merodach, Neriglissar – the Nerigassolassar of the Scriptures is (apparently identical with the “Nergal-shar-ezer, Rab-Mag” of Jer.34:3, 13.
Neriglissar built the palace at Babylon, which seems to have been built originally on the right bank of the river. Neriglissar reigned four years and left the crown to his son Laborosoarchod, who reigned for 9 months, than became a victim of a conspiracy. Nabonidus one of the conspirators, succeeded in the year 555 B.C. Nabonidus being head of his army, left his son Belshazzar to command the city.
Belshazzar guarded the city, but during a festival allowed the enemy to enter the town by the channel of the river. Belshazzar was defeated and forced to shut himself up in Borippas till the fall of Babylon. Babylon was thus taken by a surprise, as Jeremiah had prophesied Jer.51:31 by an army of Medes and Persians, as written 170 years earlier by Isa.21:1-9, and in Jer.51:39. In the carnage which ensued upon the taking of the city, Belshazzar was slain Dan.5:30. According to the book of Daniel, it would seem as if Babylon was taken, not by Cyrus, king of Persia, but by a Median king, named Darius Dan.5:31. But it is indicated that “Darius the Mede” was not the real conqueror, but a monarch with a certain delegated authority Dan.5:31, 9:1. With the conquest by Cyrus commenced the decay and rule of Babylon, though it continued a royal residence through the entire period of the Persian Empire.
After the death of Alexander the Great who died in that city in 323 B.C., the removal of the seat of empire to Antioch under the Seleucidae gave the finishing blow to the prosperity of the place. It came into the hands of the Romans only temporarily, first under Trajan 114 B.C. under Septimius Severus in 199 A.D. and again , under Julian 363 A.D. When in 650 A.D. the successors of Mohammed put an end to the new Persian monarchy of the Sassanides, the province of Babylon where Bagdad was built in 762-766 became the seat of the califs till 1258. In 1638 the Turks, for the second time took it from the Persians, it having been under the dominion of Turkey, divided into the pachalics (meaning it had been turned over to a Turkish viceroy, governor or commander) of Bagdad and Basra.
War and turmoil have fallen upon this place unto this day 2014 A.D. This great city, the beauty of the Chaldees’ Excellency and had emphatically “become heaps Jer.51:37. Her walls have altogether disappeared – they have “fallen” Jer.51:44. Been “thrown down” Jer.50:15, been “utterly broken” Jer.51:58. “A drought is upon her waters: Jer.50:39; for the system of irrigation, on which, in Babylonia, fertility depended had been laid aside; “her cities” are everywhere “a desolation” Jer.51:43; her “land a wilderness;” “wild beasts of the desert” (Jackals) “lie there;” and “owls dwell there” It was regarded by the native people as a site haunted, and neither did the “Arab pitch tent, not the shepherd fold sheep there:” Isa.13:20.
“O Lord, thou hast spoken against this place, to cut it off, that none shall remain in it, neither man nor beast, but that it shall be desolate for ever. And it shall be, when thou hast made an end of reading this book, that thou shalt bind a stone to it, and cast it into the midst of Euphrates: And thou shalt say, Thus shall Babylon sink, and shall not rise from the evil that I will bring upon her: and they shall be weary, Thus far are the words of Jeremiah.”
Phil LaSpino www.seekfirstwisdom.com
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