The prophet Isaiah predicted the fall of Babylon and that it shall not be inhabited. “And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees’ excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. 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 13:19, 20). A century after Isaiah, Jeremiah uttered a similar prediction. “And Babylon shall become heaps, a dwelling place for dragons, an astonishment, and an hissing, without an inhabitant” (Jeremiah 51:37).
The invasions of the Assyrian, Medes and Persians
During the lifetime of Isaiah, the city of Babylon was utterly destroyed by Sennacherib of Assyria in the year 689 (Isaiah 13:17). And when Babylon fell into the hands of Cyrus in 539, the Medes united with the Persians in bringing about its collapse. In the final struggle, Darius the Mede played an important role (Daniel 5:31). Isaiah also foretold the part that Cyrus was to play in the fight against Babylon (Isaiah 44:27, 28; 45:1–3). However, the final destruction of Babylon took place centuries later.
The complete ruin
Babylon lost its place of importance in the reign of Seleucus Nicator in 312–280 b.c. (Daniel 7:6). About 305, this king established a new capital on the Tigris 34 mi. (54 km). By the time of Strabo, about 20 b.c., the greater part of the city had become a vast desolation (Strabo xvi. 1. 5). And finally, in the reign of Trajan (98–117 a.d.), Babylon was a complete ruin.
Since the desolation of Babylon in ancient times (Isaiah 13:19), the site has not been inhabited. The centuries testify to the accuracy of Isaiah and Jeremiah’s prediction. For nothing today remains of that ancient civilization except ruins (Ezekiel 26:14).
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