Jeremiah 38:23 - So they shall bring out all thy wives and thy children to the Chaldeans: and thou shalt not escape out of their hand, but shalt be taken by the hand of the king of Babylon: and thou shalt cause this city to be burned with fire.
Jeremiah 36:29 - And thou shalt say to Jehoiakim king of Judah, Thus saith the LORD; Thou hast burned this roll, saying, Why hast thou written therein, saying, The king of Babylon shall certainly come and destroy this land, and shall cause to cease from thence man and beast?
The Old Testament - A Brief Overview
"babilu" (gate of god). An ancient city in the plain of shinar on the Euphrates River, about 50 miles south of Modern Baghdad. Babylon was founded by Nimrod of Gen. 10, who developed the world's first organized system of idolatry which God condemned, ie. Gen. 11. It later became the capital of Babylonia and the Babylonian Empire. It was of overwhelming size and appearance.
Artists Reconstruction of Ancient Babylon
Nebuchadnezzar (Nabu-kudurri-usur II) was the real genius and builder of Babylon. Of its 70 years in existence he ruled 43 years. As the commander of Nabopalassar’s armies he was unstoppable. He broke the power of Egypt at the battle of Carcemish and proved to be one of the mightiest monarchs of all time. Among the cities he invaded and plundered were Tyre, Moab, Ammon, Edom, and Jerusalem.
Inscriptions, documents and letters written during the 43 years of his reign (604-562 BC.) give an idea of the power and wealth of Babylon. Here are some interesting facts according to the historian Herodotus (Bk 1, 178-186) about Nebuchadnezzar's Babylon:
- The city was in the form of a square, 14 miles on each side, and of enormous magnitude.
- The brick wall was 56 miles long, 300 feet high, 25 feet thick with another wall 75 feet behind the first wall, and the wall extended 35 feet below the ground.
- There were 250 towers that were 450 feet high.
- A wide and deep moat encircled the city.
- The Euphrates River also flowed through the middle of the city. Ferry boats and a 1/2 mi. long bridge with drawbridges closed at night.
- The "Hanging Gardens" built by Nebuchadnezzar for his Median queen were considered one of the wonders of the ancient world. Water was raised from the river by hydraulic pumps.
- There were 8 massive gates that led to the inner city and 100 brass gates.
- The streets were paved with stone slabs 3 feet square.
- There was "the great Tower" (Ziggurat) and 53 temples including the "GreatTemple of Marduk," and 180 altars to Ishtar.
-In Nebuchadnezzar's palace were the Golden image of Baal together with the Golden Table (both weighing over 50,000 lbs of solid gold), also 2 golden lions and a solid gold human figure (18 feet high).
-Nebuchadnezzar’s palace was considered to be the most magnificant building ever erected on earth.
In 539 B.C. Cyrus led the Persian army into victory over Babylon by diverting the Euphrates River during a Feast. Nothing remains today of Babylon except a series of widely scattered mounds to study. (See Isaiah 13-14)