1.2.2. Babylon’s Predicted Destruction

History records that although Babylon “fell” numerous times at the hands of different invaders, it never suffered anything like a complete destruction. Instead, it continued to be inhabited hundreds of years after its initial fall to Persia and eventually, through neglect more than anything else, became insignificant on the stage of world history. Yet the prophecies of Isaiah, Jeremiah, and John indicate a completely different scenario for her destruction. One that is sudden, swift, and absolutely catastrophic. We have gathered a number of these predictions together below so the reader may see for himself what the Holy Word of God predicts concerning the severity and permanence of her destruction:

And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldean’s pride, will be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. It will never be inhabited, nor will it be settled from generation to generation; nor will the Arabian pitch tents there, nor will the shepherds make their sheepfolds there. (Isa. Isa. 13:19-20)

“And look, here comes a chariot of men with a pair of horsemen!” Then he answered and said, “Babylon is fallen, is fallen! And all the carved images of her gods He has broken to the ground.” Oh, my threshing and the grain of my floor! That which I have heard from the LORD of hosts, The God of Israel, I have declared to you. (Isa. Isa. 21:9-10)

Therefore evil shall come upon you; you shall not know from where it arises. And trouble shall fall upon you; you will not be able to put it off. And desolation shall come upon you suddenly, which you shall not know. (Isa. Isa. 47:11)

Because of the wrath of the Lord she shall not be inhabited, but she shall be wholly desolate. Everyone who goes by Babylon shall be horrified and hiss at all her plagues. (Jer. Jer. 50:13)

Come against her from the farthest border; open her storehouses; cast her up as heaps of ruins, and destroy her utterly; let nothing of her be left. (Jer. Jer. 50:26)

“Therefore the wild desert beasts shall dwell there with the jackals, and the ostriches shall dwell in it. It shall be inhabited no more forever, nor shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation. As God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighbors,” says the Lord, “So no one shall reside there, nor son of man dwell in it.” (Jer. Jer. 50:39-40)

“They shall not take from you a stone for a corner nor a stone for a foundation, but you shall be desolate forever,” says the LORD. (Jer. Jer. 51:26)

And the land will tremble and sorrow; for every purpose of the LORD shall be performed against Babylon, to make the land of Babylon a desolation without inhabitant. (Jer. Jer. 51:29)

Her cities are a desolation, a dry land and a wilderness, a land where no one dwells, through which no son of man passes. (Jer. Jer. 51:43)

Thus says the Lord of hosts: “The broad walls of Babylon shall be utterly broken, and her high gates shall be burned with fire; the people will labor in vain, and the nations, because of the fire; and they shall be weary.” (Jer. Jer. 51:58)

And Jeremiah said to Seraiah, “When you arrive in Babylon and see it, and read all these words, then you shall say, ‘O LORD, You have spoken against this place to cut it off, so that none shall remain in it, neither man nor beast, but it shall be desolate forever.’ ” (Jer. Jer. 51:61-62)

And the ten horns which you saw on the beast, these will hate the harlot, make her desolate and naked, eat her flesh and burn her with fire. (Rev. Rev. 17:16+)

And he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird!” (Rev. Rev. 18:2+)

Therefore her plagues will come in one day-death and mourning and famine. And she will be utterly burned with fire, for strong is the Lord God who judges her. 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, standing at a distance for fear of her torment, saying, “Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! For in one hour your judgment has come.” (Rev. Rev. 18:8-10+)

For in one hour such great riches came to nothing. Every shipmaster, all who travel by ship, sailors, and as many as trade on the sea, stood at a distance and cried out when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, “What is like this great city?” They threw dust on their heads and cried out, weeping and wailing, and saying, “Alas, alas, that great city, in which all who had ships on the sea became rich by her wealth! For in one hour she is made desolate.” (Rev. Rev. 18:17-19+)

Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, “Thus with violence the great city Babylon shall be thrown down, and shall not be found anymore.” (Rev. Rev. 18:21+)

Again they said, “Alleluia! Her smoke rises up forever and ever!” (Rev. Rev. 19:3+)

Her destruction is said to be literal and catastrophic like that of Sodom and Gomorrah. Her walls will be completely destroyed and her gates burned with fire. There will be nothing left of her, no person shall ever reside there, nor will any building material be taken from her ruins. This destruction will be sudden, complete, and permanent. It seems clear that Babylon has yet to suffer in the way which God has so extensively foretold. Not only are the OT prophecies of Isaiah and Jeremiah unfulfilled in the history of Babylon, but John’s vision recorded in approximately 95 A.D. reiterates and even extends these predictions. Either God is a God of wholesale and extensive exaggeration or a literal destruction remains pending. It is impossible, unscriptural, and irreverent to believe that such an extensive portion of God’s word is to be spiritualized or taken as hyperbole.