Coachlight Bible Study – Revelation Chapter 18

The Things Which Shall Be Hereafter – Part XVI

The Destruction Of Babylon The Great

 

Luke 17:26 And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.

Luke 17:27 They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.

Luke 17:28 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded;

Luke 17:29 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.

Luke 17:30 Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.

 

Both chapters seventeen and eighteen mention the city of Babylon.  At first it might seem that the Bible is talking about exactly the same thing in both chapters.

Chapter seventeen speaks, not about the literal city of Babylon to be rebuilt, but the moral or lack of moral system of Babylon the Great.  This is actually Babylonianism, not the literal city.  The kings of the earth hate Babylonianism, and destroy her and her temples at the half point of this 7 year period.

This chapter is the story of the destruction of commercial Babylon, the literal city to be rebuilt, before or during the tribulation period.  Before her destruction, however, God gets His righteous people out first.  We have seen this same action by God before: at the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, the Flood, and just before the coming Tribulation period with the Rapture of the Church.  In chapter 18, God will call His righteous out of the city before destroying her.  At her destruction, the kings of the earth lament Babylon’s destruction, because they have been made rich in this wicked city.

Some don’t think Babylon will be rebuilt, and that references to literal Babylon are figurative and Babylon has already been destroyed.  We will show some of Isaiah’s and Jeremiah’s prophecies concerning Babylon that have yet to be fulfilled, demonstrating the literal view is the correct one.

 

Revelation 18:1 ¶ And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.

Revelation 18:2 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.

Revelation 18:3 For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.

 

I. Babylon Is Destroyed In Both Chapters

A. Chapter 17 – Mystery Babylon Or Babylonianism is destroyed

1. The Events Of It’s Destruction Announced By A Vial Angel

2. It Is Described As A Whore Riding On A Crownless Beast

3. The Kings Support Her For The First 3 ˝ years

4. Then The Kings Hate Her

B. Chapter 18 – The Literal City Or Commercial Babylon Is Destroyed

1. Begins with: “After these things” – What things?

a. After The Events Of Chapter 17

b. After The Destruction Of The Mystery Religions Of Babylon

2. The Events Of It’s Destruction Announced By “Another Angel”

a. Probably The Angel Anticipating It’s Destruction In Revelation 14:8

b. He Had Great Power

c. The Earth Was Full Of Light From His Glory

3. It Is Described As A Habitation Of Devils

a. The Hold Of Every Foul Spirit

b. The Cage Of Every Hateful Bird

4. All The Kings Of The Earth Will Be Made Rich In The City

5. Because Of This They Will Lament Her Destruction

 

Revelation 18:4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

Revelation 18:5 For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.

Revelation 18:6 Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double.

 

II. Before Her Destruction – God Gets His Righteous People Out

A. God Is The Righteous Judge Of All The Earth

B. God Delivered The Righteous Lot Before Destroying Sodom – II Peter 2:7

C. God Delivered Righteous Noah & Family Before Destroying Mankind

D. God Will Deliver His Righteous Church Before The Tribulation Period

E. God Will Call Out His Righteous From Babylon Before It’s Destruction

 

III. Ancient Babylonian History - Most Magnificent City Ever Seen

A. The founder of Babylon was Nimrod – (Genesis 10:8-10)

1. The great-grandson of Noah

2. Over 2000 years before Christ

3. Nimrod was a Hamite

B. The founder of Nineveh was Asshur

1.  A son of Shem – (Genesis 10:11, 22)

2. Nineveh became the capital of Assyria

a. BC 1270 - Assyrian kings became masters of Chaldea, or Babylonia

b. Babylon was the capital

c. Several centuries - history of Babylon overshadowed by Nineveh’s

C. Nabonassar ascended the throne of Babylon

1. In BC 747

2. In the time of Tiglath-pileser of Assyria

D. Berodach-baladan became king of Babylon

1.  About BC 720

2. Sent ambassadors to Hezekiah (II Kings 20:12-18, Isaiah 39:1-7)

E. Sargon - a Few Years Later

1. King of Assyria

2. Sacked & Deported Israel to Ninevah – BC 721

3. Defeated and dethroned Berodach-baladan

F. Sennacherib - A few years later

1. Completed the subjection of Babylon

2. Annexed Babylon to the Assyrian Empire BC 690

G. Cyaxeres the Mede & his ally Nabopolassar - Rebellious governor of Babylon

1. Overthrew Nineveh and took over the Assyrian Empire

2. Effected about B C 625 founded the Babylonian Empire

3. Reigned from B. C. 625 to B. C. 605.

H. Nabopolassar succeeded by his more famous son Nebuchadnezzar

1. Greatest king of ancient times

2. Rebuilt and beautified the city of Babylon

 

IV. Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylon - The City Plans

 

A. Babylon was built a square with each side 15 miles – 60 mile perimeter

B. Surrounded by a brick wall

1. 87 feet thick – On top 6 chariots could drive along side of each other

2. 350 feet high

C. The walls contained 250 towers

D. Outside this wall was a vast ditch or moat surrounding the city

1. Kept filled with water from the river Euphrates

2. Crossed by draw-bridges in front of the gates.

E. Inside the wall was a narrower wall extending around the city

F. 50 Magnificent Avenues Crossed inside the walls

1. 25 avenues, 150 feet wide, ran across the city from north to south

2. 25 avenues crossed them at right angles from east to west

3. They made 676 great squares, each nearly 3/5  mile on a side

G. Another wide avenue also ran around the city

1. Inside the walls, and close to them

2. The cross avenues emptied into them

H. 2 leafed Gates of Brass built into the walls

1. At the ends of the cross avenues

2. Would shine when opened or closed

a. With the rising or setting sun

b. Shine like leaves of flame.

I. The Euphrates River flowed Diagonally across Babylon

1. Divided into two equal parts

2. The river’s banks were walled and pierced with the gates at the main avenues. 

a. Wharves lined the river on each side in the city & between the walls

b. Ferry boats crossed the river at each of the main avenues

c. A Spectacular bridge spanned the river at the central avenue

J. A Palace at the each end of the bridge

1. Connected by a subterranean passageway, or "tube," underneath the river

2. Banquet rooms of brass at different points

K. The Chapel located near one of the Palaces – 660 Feet High

1. Made up of 8 towers

2. Each 75 feet high, rising one upon the other

3. With an outside winding stairway to the top

4. Had the most expensive furniture of any place of worship in the world.

a. One "Golden Image" alone, 45 feet high

b. Was valued at $17,500,000

c. The religious paraphernalia thought to be worth $200,000,000

 

V. The Hanging Gardens – From A Distance Had The Appearance of Forrest Covered Mountains Seen Nowhere else in Around

 

A. One of the "Seven Wonders" of the ancient world

B. 400 feet square - Raised in terraces one above the other

1. To the height of 350 feet

2. Reached by stairways ten feet wide

C. Top of each terrace was covered with large stone slabs

1. A bed of rushes on top

2. Then a thick layer of asphalt

3. Next two courses of brick cemented together

4. Finally plates of lead to prevent leakage

5. The whole thing was covered with earth

a. Planted with shrubbery

b. Planted with large trees

D. Built by Nebuchadnezzar to please his wife

1. Amyitis – Cyaxeres’ Daughter -  king of the mountain country of Media

2. She was more contented with her surroundings

 

VI. The Rest Of The City - In Its Glory And Magnificence, In Keeping With These Palaces, Towers, And "Hanging Gardens"

 

A. Contained many parks

B. There was much unoccupied land that could be tilled

C. This helped support  the over 1,000,000 population

D. Isaiah calls it:

 

Isaiah 13:19 ¶ And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees’ excellency…

 

VII. Babylon Will Be Rebuilt

A. Biggest Objection To This Interpretation – Some Don’t Think So

1. The Belief That Isaiah’s & Jeremiah’s Prophecies Of Babylon Is Fulfilled

2. Therefore They Take Babylon As Symbolic

3. We Will Show Many Of These Prophecies Have Not Yet Been Fulfilled

B. The Prophecies Are Found In Isaiah 13-14 & Jeremiah 50 & 51

 

VIII. The Inhabitants Of Babylon

 

A. Ancient Babylon Captured By Cyrus – B.C. 541

1. Cyrus Was Mentioned By Name 125 Years Before He Was Born – B.C. 712

2. Passages – Isaiah 44:28 & Isaiah 45:1-4

3. Babylon Taken Quick & Quiet At Belshazzar’s Feast – Not Destroyed

a. They Drained The Euphrates

b. They Entered The City Under The Gates

c. Some Babylonians Didn’t Realize The Take-over For 3 Days

B. Babylon Revolts Against Darius Some Years Later

1. 20 Year Long Siege Was Fruitless

2. BC 516 Taken By Strategy

C. BC 478 – Xerxes Plundered Babylon

1. Xerxes Was On A Return Trip From Greece

2. Xerxes Injured & Maybe Destroyed The Temple Of Bel

D. BC 331 – Alexander The Great Entered Babylon

1. Alexander Sacrified To Bel

2. Alexander Purposed To Rebuild The Temple Of Bel

3. Alexander Set Aside 10,000 Men For The Task

4. Alexander Died Shorly Of Marsh Fever & Alcohol – 33 Years Old

E. Babylon Suffered Much With Wars Between Alexander’s Generals

1. Babylon Became Under The Power Of The Seleucus

2. Seleucus Wanted A Capital – Founded Seleucia – BC 293

a. The New Capital Drew Away Many Of  Babylon’s Inhabitants

b. Strabo – AD 25 – “To a great extent deserted”

3. Jews Left From Babylonian Captivity Remained In Large Numbers

a. AD 60 – Apostle Peter Worked Amoung Them

b. I Peter Written In Babylon – I Peter 5:13

F. Theodoret Speaks About Babylon – Middle Of 5th Century

1. Inhabited Mostly By Jews

2. Jews Still Had 3 Universities There

3. Jews Issued The “Babylonian Talmud” – End Of 5th Century

G. AD 1100 – Babylon Known As The “Two Mosques”

1. Inhabited Mostly By Jews

2. Shortly Afterwards It Was Enlarged & Fortified

a.  Now Named Hillah, or “Rest”

b. In 1898 - Hillah Had 10,000 Residents

1. It Had Much Fertile Land

2. It Had Many Date Groves Along The Euphrates

3. Hillah’s Houses Largely Built Of Babylon’s Bricks

H. We Certainly Heard Of Hussein’s Desire Before The Iraq War

1. He Was Rebuilding Babylon

2. Inscribed His Name Next To Nebuchadnezzar’s Name

 

VIII. We See Prophecy About Babylon Still Unfulfilled

 

A. We Can Not Say That No Arabian Has Pitched His Tent In Babylon

 

Isaiah 13:19 ¶ And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees’ excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.

Isaiah 13:20 It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation: neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there; neither shall the shepherds make their fold there.

Isaiah 13:21 But wild beasts of the desert shall lie there; and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures; and owls shall dwell there, and satyrs shall dance there.

Isaiah 13:22 And the wild beasts of the islands shall cry in their desolate houses, and dragons in their pleasant palaces: and her time is near to come, and her days shall not be prolonged.

 

B. We Can Not Say Yet That Babylon Is A Desolation

 

Jeremiah 51:42 The sea is come up upon Babylon: she is covered with the multitude of the waves thereof.

Jeremiah 51:43 Her cities are a desolation, a dry land, and a wilderness, a land wherein no man dwelleth, neither doth any son of man pass thereby.

Jeremiah 51:44 And I will punish Bel in Babylon, and I will bring forth out of his mouth that which he hath swallowed up: and the nations shall not flow together any more unto him: yea, the wall of Babylon shall fall.

Jeremiah 51:45 My people, go ye out of the midst of her, and deliver ye every man his soul from the fierce anger of the LORD.

 

C. We Can Not Say They Will Not Take Stones From Babylon

 

Jeremiah 51:24 And I will render unto Babylon and to all the inhabitants of Chaldea all their evil that they have done in Zion in your sight, saith the LORD.

Jeremiah 51:25 Behold, I am against thee, O destroying mountain, saith the LORD, which destroyest all the earth: and I will stretch out mine hand upon thee, and roll thee down from the rocks, and will make thee a burnt mountain.

Jeremiah 51:26 And they shall not take of thee a stone for a corner, nor a stone for foundations; but thou shalt be desolate for ever, saith the LORD.

 

1. Many Of Towns Around Babylon Built With Babylon’s Bricks

2. Hillah – Babylonian Stamped Bricks Frequenly Noticed

 

D. Isaiah Tells Us The Time Frame Of Babylon’s Destruction – Day Of The Lord

 

Isaiah 13:1 ¶  The burden of Babylon, which Isaiah the son of Amoz did see.

Isaiah 13:2 Lift ye up a banner upon the high mountain, exalt the voice unto them, shake the hand, that they may go into the gates of the nobles.

Isaiah 13:3 I have commanded my sanctified ones, I have also called my mighty ones for mine anger, even them that rejoice in my highness.

Isaiah 13:4 The noise of a multitude in the mountains, like as of a great people; a tumultuous noise of the kingdoms of nations gathered together: the LORD of hosts mustereth the host of the battle.

Isaiah 13:5 They come from a far country, from the end of heaven, even the LORD, and the weapons of his indignation, to destroy the whole land.

Isaiah 13:6 ¶ Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty.

Isaiah 13:7 Therefore shall all hands be faint, and every man’s heart shall melt:

Isaiah 13:8 And they shall be afraid: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth: they shall be amazed one at another; their faces shall be as flames.

Isaiah 13:9 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.

Isaiah 13:10 For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.

Isaiah 13:11 And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.

 

1. Isaiah States Babylon’s Destruction In The Day Of The Lord

2. Isaiah Pin Points The Time When The Millennium Is Being Ussered In

3. Surely nothing like this happened when Babylon was taken by Cyrus.

 

E. Isaiah Tells Us Babylon Will Be Made Desolate

 

1. Revelation 18:10 – Babylon’s Judgement Will Come In 1 Hour

2. Revelation 18:19 – Babylon Will Be Made Desolate In 1 Hour

3. Revelation 18:21 – Mighty Angel Cast A Millstone In The Sea

a. Demonstrates The Suddenness Of Her Destruction

b. Demonstrates The Completeness Of Her Destruction

4. Revelation 18:8,9 & 18 – Babylon Destroyed By Fire

 

Isaiah 13:19 ¶ And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees’ excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.

 

          5. And The Prophet Jeremiah Makes The Same Statement.

 

Jeremiah 50:40 As God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighbour cities thereof, saith the LORD; so shall no man abide there, neither shall any son of man dwell therein.

 

The Prophe­cies Of Isaiah And Jeremiah Cannot Be Fulfilled Unless There Is To Be A Future Babylon That Shall Be Thus Destroyed.

 

Revelation 18:7 How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.

Revelation 18:8 Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.

Revelation 18:9 ¶ And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning,

Revelation 18:10 Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.

Revelation 18:11 And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more:

Revelation 18:12  The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble,

Revelation 18:13 And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men.

Revelation 18:14  And the fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee, and all things which were dainty and goodly are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all.

Revelation 18:15 The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing,

Revelation 18:16 And saying, Alas, alas, that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls!

Revelation 18:17 For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off,

Revelation 18:18 And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city!

Revelation 18:19 And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas, that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate.

 

IX. The Ephah Of Commerce – Zechariah’s Prophecy

 

Zechariah 5:5 ¶  Then the angel that talked with me went forth, and said unto me, Lift up now thine eyes, and see what is this that goeth forth.

Zechariah 5:6 And I said, What is it? And he said, This is an ephah that goeth forth. He said moreover, This is their resemblance through all the earth.

 

Zechariah 5:7 And, behold, there was lifted up a talent of lead: and this is a woman that sitteth in the midst of the ephah.

Zechariah 5:8 And he said, This is wickedness. And he cast it into the midst of the ephah; and he cast the weight of lead upon the mouth thereof.

Zechariah 5:9 Then lifted I up mine eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came out two women, and the wind was in their wings; for they had wings like the wings of a stork: and they lifted up the ephah between the earth and the heaven.

Zechariah 5:10 Then said I to the angel that talked with me, Whither do these bear the ephah?

Zechariah 5:11 And he said unto me, To build it an house in the land of Shinar: and it shall be established, and set there upon her own base.

 

A. The Ephah – Largest Of Jewish Dry Measures

1. The Ephah Often Symbolic Of Commerce

2. The Meaning Here Is Universal Commercialism

a. A Woman Sat On The Ephah

b. The Woman Was Called Wickedness

c. The Woman Wanted To Rise

1. The Angel Pushed Her Back

2. The Angel Shut The Lid Made Of A Talent Of Lead

B. Two Women  Having Wings Like A Stork

1. 2 Women Carried The Ephah Through The Air To Shinar

2. They Want To Build A House For The Ephah

3. The Land Of Shinar Is Where The Tower Of Babel Was Built

a. The First Universal Rebellion Towards God

b. The Beginning Of Mystery Religions

4. Further Proof That Babylon Will Be Rebuilt

 

X. Many Righteous Will Rejoice At Babylon’s Destruction

 

Revelation 18:20  Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.

Revelation 18:21 And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.

Revelation 18:22  And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee;

Revelation 18:23  And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.

Revelation 18:24 And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.