Last week it came to light that the term ‘Babylon’ had/has a duel meaning, i.e. it was/is both a geographical location as well as a value system. The system is based on the absence of God in man’s endeavors.
Recall that the geographical location of Babylon was in the land of Shinar in the southeast corner of the Fertile Crescent. Also in the southeast portion of the Crescent were the land of Shinar and the city of Ur of the Chaldeans. That is where God initially spoke to Abram.
“Now the LORD had said to Abram: ‘Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you…’” Genesis 12:1
God told Abram to leave the land of Shinar and travel to the land of present day Israel.
An early indication that Babylon had a duel meaning is found in the writings of the Prophet Isaiah where the description of the King of Babylon includes his satanic influence.
“How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! …you who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: ‘I will…exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will be like the Most High’” Isaiah 14:12-13
“Those who see you will gaze at you…saying ‘Is this the man who made the earth tremble…’” Isaiah 14:16
Such pride elicited God’s rebuke and future judgment.
…For I will rise up…says the LORD of hosts, and cut off from Babylon the name and remnant, and offspring and posterity…” Isaiah 14:22
This final passage states that the prideful king of Babylon energized by Satan will be destroyed never to rise again.
Just as Abram was told to leave his home of Ur in Chaldea, his descendants were also instructed several times to leave ‘Babylon.’
“Move from the midst of Babylon, go out of the land of the Chaldeans…Babylon was a golden cup in the LORD’s hand, that made all the earth drunk…” Jeremiah 50:8, 51:7
Shortly after Jeremiah’s time the Prophet Zechariah shed more light on the future of the land of Shinar.
“Then the angel who talked with me came out and said to me, ‘Lift your eyes now, and see what this is that goes forth.’ So I asked, ‘What is it?’ And he said, ‘It is a basket (ephah, a unit of measure) that is going forth … and this is a woman sitting inside the basket;’ then he said, ‘This is Wickedness!’ And he thrust her down into the basket, and threw the lead cover over its mouth…So I said to the angel who talked with me, ‘where are they carrying the basket?’ And he said to me, ‘to build a house for it in the land of Shinar (Babylon); when it is ready, the basket will be set there on its base.’” Zechariah 5:5-11
The woman in the basket is described in more detail at the end of the Bible. Recall from Jeremiah, ‘Babylon was a golden cup in the LORD’s hand’ and her description in Revelation includes:
“…The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet…having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. And on her forehead a name was written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” Revelation 17:4
Further details are found in the 18thchapter of Revelation concerning the future of materialism, represented by the ephah described in Zechariah’s writings.
“And I heard another voice from heaven saying, ‘Come out of her, my people…The kings of the earth who committed fornication and lived luxuriously with her will weep and lament for her, when they see the smoke of her burning…saying, ‘Alas, alas, that great city Babylon… For in one hour your judgment has come.’” Revelation 18:4, 9-10
As a note of interest the original World Trade Center towers were described as the ‘center of international business’. Those towers reached a reported height of 1368 feet. Presently the world’s tallest building is the Burj Dubai with a height of 2717 feet, nearly twice the height of the original World Trade Center towers. Location? United Arab Emirates.