1.2.3. The Timing of Babylon’s Destruction

Having seen the severe manner in which Babylon is to be destroyed, we now examine the timing of Babylon’s destruction. When are these prophecies of her destruction to take place? The most obvious starting point is to understand that her destruction is future to John’s day, for the book of Revelation contains an extensive prediction of her destruction. This places her destruction sometime after 95 A.D. (See Date.) Yet we saw that Babylon’s Historic Fall was actually a relatively slow demise because she continued to be inhabited for several decades after the writing of the book of Revelation before fading into obscurity. Within not many years after John’s dramatic predictions there was no significant city of Babylon left to be destroyed. If Babylon is to be destroyed as predicted by the prophetic word, and she is not a spiritual symbol representing a non-literal city or movement, then she must be reconstructed prior to the time of the end. And this we expect. (See Babylon is Babylon!) From God’s word, we know that her prophesied destruction comes in The Day of the Lord . One of the most significant passages describing that day is found in Isaiah Isa. 13:1, “ground zero” of an extensive passage concerning Babylon:

Wail, for the day of the LORD is at hand! It will come as destruction from the Almighty. Therefore all hands will be limp, every man’s heart will melt, and they will be afraid. Pangs and sorrows will take hold of them; they will be in pain as a woman in childbirth; they will be amazed at one another; their faces will be like flames. Behold, the day of the LORD comes, cruel, with both wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate; and He will destroy its sinners from it. For the stars of heaven and their constellations will not give their light; the sun will be darkened in its going forth, and the moon will not cause its light to shine. I will punish the world for its evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; I will halt the arrogance of the proud, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible. I will make a mortal more rare than fine gold, a man more than the golden wedge of Ophir. Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth will move out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts and in the day of His fierce anger. (Isa. Isa. 13:6-13)

In another key passage concerning the destruction of Babylon, Jeremiah relates that the time is to be connected with the national regeneration of Israel: “ ‘In those days and in that time,’ says the LORD, ‘The iniquity of Israel shall be sought, but there shall be none; And the sins of Judah, but they shall not be found; For I will pardon those whom I preserve’ ” (Jer. Jer. 50:20). This is the time when the Deliverer comes out of Zion and turns ungodliness from Jacob (who is Israel, Rom. Rom. 11:26-27), as prefigured in Ezekiel’s vision of the dry bones (Eze. Eze. 37:1). This connects the destruction of Babylon with the time of Jacob’s trouble—the Tribulation which precedes the Millennial Kingdom. This is confirmed by the book of Revelation where the destruction of Babylon is found under the very last judgment, the seventh bowl of God’s wrath (Rev. Rev. 16:19+).