Following The Evidence #37

Nebuchadnezzar II (r. 605-562 BCE) built three walls around Babylon at heights of 18mtrs and so broad at the top that chariots could race around them. The Ishtar Gate in the wall of Nebuchadnezzar II’s Babylon was claimed by some to be greater than any of the listed Wonders of the Ancient World. The Greek historian Herodotus claimed that “Babylon surpasses in wonder any city in the known world” and specifically praised the walls which he said were 90 kilometres long, 24 metres thick, and 97 metres high. There was also a 10mtr moat around the walls. Although it is generally believed that Herodotus exaggerated the majesty of Babylon, other ancient writers have also noted the magnificence of the walls. The city was considered to be impenetrable. As the largest city in the then known world it covered 900 hectares (2,200 acres) which is about half the size of Newcastle NSW. (NSW’s second largest city.)

Isaiah was a prophet who began to prophesy the year that King Uzziah of Judah died, which was around 740 B.C. (Isaiah 6:1, 8). One of his predictions was about the city Babylon. Several copies of Isaiah’s book were found in the Dead Sea Scrolls which are dated to the second century BC.
In the Bible, Isaiah 13:1 says, “The burden against Babylon which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw.” At the time of Isaiah’s prediction, Babylon was one of the largest and most important cities in the world. However, when Isaiah wrote his prophecy Assyria was the dominant world power. This is what God told Isaiah would happen to Babylon:

Isaiah’s prophecy about the fall of Babylon is very specific.
Babylon, the most glorious of kingdoms,
the flower of Chaldean pride,
will be devastated like Sodom and Gomorrah
when God destroyed them.
20 Babylon will never be inhabited again.
It will remain empty for generation after generation.
Nomads will refuse to camp there,
and shepherds will not bed down their sheep.
21 Desert animals will move into the ruined city,
and the houses will be haunted by howling creatures.
Owls will live among the ruins,
and wild goats will go there to dance.
22 Hyenas will howl in its fortresses,
and jackals will make dens in its luxurious palaces.
Babylon’s days are numbered;
its time of destruction will soon arrive. Isaiah 13:19-22 NLT

Isaiah 41:1 even names (200yrs in advance) who would conquer Babylon

200 years before the fall of Babylon, Isaiah claimed that God told him that Babylon would be completely destroyed by the Medes.
When Isaiah wrote his prediction, the Medes were weak. Most of the Medes were ruled by other nations, and the remaining Medes were not unified. It would have been impossible for them to capture or destroy the strong city of Babylon. Isaiah’s prediction appeared to be wrong. When the Assyrians destroyed Babylon in 689 B.C., Isaiah’s prediction appeared to be completely impossible. The Medes could not fight against a city that was gone! But Babylon was rebuilt and became an important city in the Assyrian Empire. In 626 B.C., Babylon rebelled against Assyria again. This time the Babylonians were successful. A local leader, Nabopolassar, became the king. He was able to establish Babylonia as a separate kingdom and Babylon began to grow in strength.

The Medes were also growing in strength at this time. Media managed to become independent from Assyria and expel the armies of the Scythians that had invaded their country. In 612 B.C. the king of Media and the king of Babylon formed an alliance and fought together against Nineveh, the last capital city of Assyria. They captured the city and burned it. Within a few years the Babylonians and Medes had completely destroyed the Assyrian Empire. The Babylonians took most of the former Assyrian lands, and the Medes took what remained. TBC

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