Isaiah13:1 NASB The oracle concerning Babylon which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw.
I recently attended a prophecy conference where both Dr. Mark Hitchcock and Dr. Andy Wood spoke. Both of these men have books about Babylon and take a position that says Babylon is a literal place that will be rebuilt. Dr. Mark Hitchcock has a book entitled The Second Coming of Babylon, but he did not speak on the subject during the conference; however, Dr. Andy Wood did.
I might be the only one that feels this way, but I have a tendency to listen to someone with the title Doctor in front of their name and wonder, is it appropriate that my heart and mind disagree with what they are saying.
The conference ended, and only days later, I started looking in my book collection, and there found Mark Hitchcock’s book on Babylon. As I began to reread the book, I paid particular attention to the statement that he also believes that Babylon, in some way, will be rebuilt.
Sorry, I just can’t see it, and I feel a need to ask why they do?
I heard Dr. Andy Wood at the conference speak expressly about Babylon. He reasoned that Babylon must be rebuilt, but like most other university lectures I have attended, I find it impossible to absorb the information given in such a short time and at such a rapid pace. Home, sometime later, and I have my E sword bible application active on my computer, and I just happened to have Smith’s Bible Dictionary opened. It says,
“Babylon, in the Apocalypse, is the symbolical name by which Rome is denoted. (Revelation 14:8; Revelation 17:18.)”
If I hold to the thought that Babylon is symbolic, my life will be more at ease, as neither one of these passages above, no matter the translation, speak of Rome.
So the idea that Babylon refers to Rome must come from some other source.
The common assertion is that the legs of iron, and the feet of iron mixed with clay, in Nebuchadnezzar’s statue dream somehow identify the fourth empire as the Roman empire. If that is the case, then why doesn’t scripture tell us, a little more directly, that we should be looking for Rome to fulfill the prophecies of the Revelation when Babylon and the Medo-Persian empires are clearly defined.
The Grecian empire takes a little more work. Biblical scholars and historians have concluded that the third empire was the Grecian empire under Alexander. Fortunately, Joel Richardson, in his book, The Islamic Antichrist, gives an in-depth explanation as to why we are NOT dealing with Rome when we look at the legs of iron and the feet mixed with clay. We do, however, have every reason to consider the Assyrians and those related to that empire.
By the way, one of the names of the Antichrist is the Assyrian, and the prophet Micah is one of our primary resources to support this statement.
Micah 5:5a. NASB When the Assyrian invades our land, …
Another prophetic writer that adds their voice in accord with Micah is Isaiah.
Isaiah 10:24b. NASB …My people who dwell in Zion, do not fear the Assyrian who strikes you with the rod and lifts up his staff against you, the way Egypt did.
Isaiah 14:25 NLT I will break the Assyrians when they are in Israel; I will trample them on my mountains. My people will no longer be their slaves nor bow down under their heavy loads.
And finally, Isaiah 31:8b NASB where it says,
“And the Assyrian will fall by a sword, not of man,”
What does it mean a sword, not of man?
The answer is relatively obvious if you have read the Revelation.
Revelation 19:15 NASB From His mouth (Jesus) comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the winepress of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. Emphasis mine.
I do not want to take up space and time here, developing Daniel’s explanation to Nebuchadnezzar entirely because history and other sources define the statue dream, but I will give you a taste. Daniel tells Nebuchadnezzar that he is the head of gold. Under Belshazzar’s rule, we know that the Medo-Persian empire conquered Babylon; and the third empire was the Grecian under Alexander’s reign.
Ah, but what happened at the death of Alexander?
You have to study Daniel 11:3-45 to find the answer to this question. This section of scripture is filled with all the intrigue of a television soap opera, and fast forwards to the Antichrist and his power play. The two final, major kingdoms, signified by the legs of iron, were both initially ruled by two of Alexander’s former generals. By the time we get to the feet, neither of the empires remained true to their Grecian blood. The Seleucid empire in the north, which engulfed Jerusalem, became primarily Assyrian – the descendants of the Babylonian empire…
If you look up the word mixed, which you find in Daniel’s explanation to Nebuchadnezzar of the toes, you will find the word Arab.
Rome comes into the picture only because:
First, Rome conquered Jerusalem; Secondly, Herod’s temple was destroyed in 70 A.D. under the Roman rule of Titus. Sadly, few take this study of the destruction of the temple to the next step, as that is where we find Josephus and Tacitus. Both of these historians recorded that the destruction of the temple can be directly attributed to Assyrian conscript troops, who refused to follow orders to quench the fires that they had started because they had an open hatred of the Jews. Since we choose to read Daniel 9:26, where it says, the people of the prince that is to come, as Titus – the Roman, instead of what the historians provided – Assyrians. With such skewed information, we only have one logical conclusion, we must be looking for the Catholic Pope as the Antichrist, and that does not work.
Our entire concept of Babylon is then tainted by the false narrative of a final, Roman, world leader/Antichrist.