Another prophetically highlighted event in the Bible, that is often overlooked, is the rebirth of a literal Babylon (formerly called Babel, Genesis 10:10) foretold to be involved in one of the leading roles in the end-time fulfillment of Bible prophecy (Rev. 14:8; 16:19; 17- 18).
The Scriptures speak of two Babylons: Ancient Babylon and Mystery Babylon. The ancient city of Babylon began shortly after the Flood, as a direct act of rebellion against God. The city of Babylon has sunk beneath the sands of time during the past seventeen hundred years, but never has it been subject to catastrophic destruction. However, Jeremiah chapters 50 and 51, and Revelation chapters 17 and 18, both deal with the destruction of Babylon, and in order to be the city those prophecies require, it must be rebuilt on a grand scale like in the days of Nebuchadnezzar.
The prophecy of Mystery Babylon, found in Revelation 17:3-5, must be referring to a future Babylon! A mystery is something secret or hidden— a thing that some understand while others do not. There are five prophecies concerning the destruction of Babylon that are yet to be fulfilled, confirming the identity of Mystery Babylon as a future Babylon:
1. The destruction will "...utterly destroy her" (Jer. 50:26). This has not yet been fulfilled because the Persians took ancient Babylon in a relatively peaceful conquest. Babylon was not "utterly destroyed."
2. "...it will never again be inhabited" (Jer. 50:39). This has not yet been fulfilled because history records the city has never been without some degree of habitation.
3. "...Nor will the Arab pitch his tent there..." (Isaiah 13:20). This has not yet been fulfilled because Arab villages have been documented at Babylon.
4. "And they will not take from you even a stone for a corner Nor a stone for foundations, But you will be desolate forever," (Jeremiah 51:26). This has not yet been fulfilled because history records Babylon's ancient stones have been reused for centuries.
5. "The oracle concerning Babylon... nations gathered together... the farthest horizons ...for the day of the Lord is near..." (Isaiah 13). Isaiah 13 clearly tells that Babylon will be destroyed in "the day of the Lord".
Not one of these prophecies have ever been fulfilled. Therefore, Mystery Babylon is a future Babylon that must be rebuilt.
The Bible not only shows that a literal Babylon will exist at the end of our age, but it will be resurrected in the same location as its ancient predecessor in the Middle East:
"And he said to me, "To build a house for it in the land of Shinar; when it is ready, the basket will be set there on its base." (Zechariah 5:11)
It is going to reemerge in the land of Shinar known today as Iraq (Zechariah 5:11; Isaiah 13). The city of Babylon is in the country of Iraq.
Up until now, any talk of a literal Babylon being rebuilt has been met with mostly sarcasm or cries of ignorance. Why? Simply because, for nearly two thousand years, Babylon and Iraq have always been sparsely inhabited regions mainly recognized for the enormous deserts that take up few fertile areas. For this, and other reasons, it has been looked upon by most people as a complete impossibility for these areas to ever come back into world power. However, this seems no longer to be the case. Plans for the rebuilding of the City of Babylon have been in the making for over 200 years! Look at what has happened in the last few years.
In 1971, UNESCO declared to assist Iraq in fully rebuilding the ancient city of Babylon. Saddam Hussein, former President of Iraq, was required to supervise the reconstruction. In 1978, there was a vast highway, within Babylon, consisting of numerous brick factories along it forming bricks for this enormous reconstruction project. Interestingly, one end of the brick showed the name Nebuchadnezzar, while Saddam Hussein's name was on the opposite end. Saddam Hussein, back then, actually envisioned himself as a modern Nebuchadnezzar (and he still did until he died), to restore the glory that was once Babylon's.
In total, Saddam Hussein spent over 20 years rebuilding the city of Babylon, and probably got about half of it rebuilt before he was taken out in the war with Iraq. There are continuing efforts to rebuild the ruins of Nebuchadnezzar's palace complex, headed up by The World Monuments Fund. Today, with Saddam's regime overthrown, the international community is discussing how to rebuild Iraq...
The enormous amounts of petroleum that interlace the whole region around Babylon, including the whole eastern part of the Middle East, make them one of the largest oil suppliers in the world, and Iran has it in abundance. In 1974, Iran, and other countries of the Middle East, practically caused the big world powers, America and Europe (the rest of the world), to get on their knees when those countries exported their oil. It has even been said that the Middle East may well control much of the economics of the world in the years ahead. The government of Iraq has already made plans to rebuild the city to its ancient splendor, and funds from America are said to be used to accomplish it. The United Nations have already discussed moving their headquarters to Babylon:
"Triggered by the Iraq War, informed sources say that the international Quartet of world powers (the US, UN, European Union and Russia) has drafted a proposal to transfer the seat of the United Nations to Baghdad (ancient Babel or Babylon)! The move would relieve the space constraints of the New York headquarters while also freeing it from the physical jurisdiction of the US. Though it's only a draft of the Quartet, plans appear to be in the works to establish a third and perhaps final worldwide organization." (Israel Today, December 2003) (Pre-Trib Perspectives, March 2004)
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