Babylon – Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

     Several millennia ago nestled in the rich Euphrates and Tigris River valley was an area called the land of Shinar.  Much of that land is now known as Iraq.  The land of Shinar was part of the ‘Fertile Crescent’ or ‘Cradle of Civilization’.  Present countries which are part of the Fertile Crescent include Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Kuwait, portions of Northern Africa (such as Egypt, Libya, and Ethiopia), portions of Southeast Turkey, portions of Western Iran, the Sinai Peninsula, and of course Israel is at the center.  Located in the Eastern section of the Fertile Crescent was Mesopotamia and in Southern Mesopotamia was the land of the Chaldeans and within Chaldea was a city named Ur.  Also located in Mesopotamia were the city of Babylon and the Tower of Babel.
     This area was where man’s journey began and according to the Bible this is the same geographic area of focus for the return of Christ.  It is noted that the Garden of Eden was watered by four rivers, two of which were the Euphrates and Tigris.  As previously mentioned the Euphrates River will play a major role near the end of the great tribulation period.
      The name ‘Babylon’ in the Bible became synonymous with a place or system that was and still is void of God’s word or will.  It represents man’s best attempts to make it on his own.  Numerous times in the Bible God warns His people to flee from Babylon.
       Many descendents of Noah occupied areas of the Fertile Crescent and surrounding areas.  For example, sons of Japheth included Gomer, Tubal and Meshech who migrated northward into what is presently Turkey.  One of Gomer’s sons named Togarmah also settled in present day Turkey.
     Another of Japheth’s sons named Madai settled in ancient Persia, or present day Iran.  Japheth’s son Magog settled in an area east of present day Turkey and northwest Iran.
     Noah’s son Ham also had offspring including Put, Cush, Mizraim and Cannan.  Put is the present day Libya, Cush is the present day Ethiopia, Mizraim is the present day Egypt, and Canaan is present day Israel.
     Now Cush also had sons, one of which was named Nimrod.  The Bible reveals that Nimrod’s kingdom included Babel…in the land of Shinar.  Nimrod and other of Noah’s descendants planned to use their combined knowledge and technology to make a name for themselves without God.
     “And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there…They had brick for stone, and…asphalt for mortar.  And they said, ‘Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves…’”  Genesis 11:2-4
     Notice also from the above that the land contained asphalt (slime).  Other Biblical terms for this substance include pitchand bitumen.  Today we simply call it oil.
     Near the end of the future tribulation period God will gather Israel’s enemies together and bring them to Jerusalem, the heart of the Fertile Crescent, for a great battle.
     “Behold the day of the LORD is coming, and your spoil will be divided in your midst.  For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem…”  Zechariah 14:1-2
     Israel’s enemies will be the ten horns of the kingdom prevailing at the time of Christ’s return and the toes of Nebuchadnezzar’s beast.
     “…And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns…”  Revelation 13:1
     “… as the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly fragile.”  Daniel 2:41-42
     The prophet Ezekiel identifies Israel’s enemies who will participate in the great future battle.
     “Now the word of the LORD came to me, saying…set your face against…the land of Magog…Meshech, and Tubal (all areas of Turkey)…Persia (Iran), Cush (Ethiopia), and Put (Libya) are with them…Gomer and Togarmah (areas of Turkey) from the far north…”  Ezekiel 38:1-6
     Thus the land of Shinar within the Fertile Crescent is where history began for man, and it will be in the same area where God’s chosen people will be restored and their adversaries destroyed.

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