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UNESCO is Rebuilding Babylon

from the April 10, 2007 eNews issue
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In 1985 Saddam Hussein began the arduous task of restoring the ancient city of Bablyon. He spent over 500 million dollars to reconstruct the city and build a modern residence on the ruins of Nebuchadnezzar's palace. It is said that Saddam believed himself to be something of a reincarnated King Nebuchadnezzar. The Iraqi dictator imitated the ancient ruler by having his name inscribed on the bricks used to rebuild the city. He even went so far as to mint coins that emphasized the connection between himself and Nebuchadnezzar. Unfortunately for Saddam, his grand plans for the city of Babylon were interrupted by the US invasion of Iraq. However despite Saddam's removal from power and subsequent execution, the work to rebuild Babylon has continued.

Today the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is pumping millions of dollars into Babylon and several other historical sites in Iraq. With the help of private donors the UN is hoping to turn Babylon in to a thriving center of tourism and commerce. If everything goes according to plan, Babylon will be a cultural center complete with shopping malls, hotels, and maybe even a theme park.

A Destiny Unfulfilled

Babylon was founded by the first world dictator, Nimrod, and it may well be destined to be the capital of the final world dictator, commonly called the Antichrist. It is mentioned over 300 times in the Bible - and many of the prophecies concerning this fascinating city have yet to be fulfilled.

Don't be misled by confusing the Fall of Babylon in history with the Destruction of Babylon, as prophesied in the Bible. Many Bible handbooks, dictionaries, and commentaries give you the impression that Babylon was "destroyed" in 539 BC. But it is important to realize that when Cyrus the Great captured Babylon he was able to take it over without a battle. In fact, this feat is celebrated in the famed Cylinder of Cyrus that is featured in the British Museum in London. Babylon served as a secondary capital of the Persian Empire for two centuries until Alexander the Great conquered the Persians in 325 BC. He made it his capital; in fact, he died there. Four of his generals then divided up the empire, and subsequently Babylon gradually atrophied over the centuries.

The prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah each spend two chapters detailing the catastrophic destruction that awaits this fabled city. The result of this final devastation will leave it uninhabitable; even the building materials will never be reused. This clearly has never happened in its history.

Clearly Babylon, as a literal city on banks of the Euphrates, has a climactic destiny yet ahead of it. The destruction described in both the Old and New Testaments has never happened, and if we take the Bible seriously then Babylon is destined to rise again to power to receive the judgment that Isaiah, Jeremiah, and the Apostle John have described.

Examining the Controversy

It is important to note that there is a great deal of debate among Bible scholars on the subject of Babylon. Are the prophetic references to "Babylon" to be taken literally or metaphorically? Is the Bible really referring to an actual city on the banks of the Euphrates? There are many good scholars on both sides of this debate. It may well be that both views are true. To learn more, check out our topical Bible study titled The Mystery of Babylon: An Alternative View (this week's special offer).


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Related Links:

  •   Unesco Puts the Magic back in Babylon - NYT
  •   Saddam's Monument to Self - Metropolis Mag
  •   The Mystery Of Babylon: An Alternate View - DVD - Koinonia House
  •   The Mystery Of Babylon: An Alternate View - MP3 Download - Koinonia House