We encourage every follower of Christ to prayerfully search
and study the Scriptures for themselves. Knowledge is being given
by the Savior to the faithful as He opens His Word to those who
seek His wisdom.
The thought we shared in last week's message abut the taking
of Baghdad perhaps being the trigger point for Saddam Hussein's
moment of panic was an insight shared with us from a fellow believer.
Current events suggest this revelation may prove to be from the
For our condensed verse by verse exposition of the Prophet
Jeremiah's writings found in Chapters 50 & 51 of the Old
Testament book that bears his name, we recommend that a Bible
be kept close at hand. Our preferred Bible translation is the
New King James version.
Starting at verse 1 of Chapter 50 we are told that the ensuing
prophecy is "against Babylon and against the land of the
The city of Babylon has been rebuilt in these last days by
Saddam Hussein and is located apx. 60 miles south of Baghdad.
The land of the Chaldeans is appropriately identified with the
country of modern-day Iraq.
Verse 2 foretells of the day when the false gods of Babylon
will be ashamed and broken in pieces.
Saddam Hussein has reaffirmed ancient rites of idiolatry
in the rebuilt city of Babylon, which has included a tribute
to Ishtar the goddess of love and war on the opening night of
the Babylon festival and the reconstruction of the Ishtar gate.
One of Saddam's deadly missiles has been named after Tammuz,
Babylon's pagan god who is held to be the brother and husband
of Ishtar. The worship of Bel and Merodach has remained active
over the centuries. The eastern side of Babylon is entered through
the gate of Merodach (or Marduk).
Verse 3 reveals that a final devastating assault against Babylon
will come from her north and that one nation in particular will
It is worth considering that this may refer to an eventual
US northern assault or that this will be a European Union member
which just might be the very country which will produce the Anti-Christ.
Verses 4-7 centers on the fact that in the days of this battle,
the children of Judah will come back from wandering the earth
to their promised land and will seek "with continual weeping"
to join themselves "to the Lord in a perpetual covenant
that will not be forgotten."
We are told that they will return after having endured terrible
persecutions wherever they had been found.
This places the timing of this war after Israel returned to
her land in 1948.
The only way that Israel can now come to the Lord is through
accepting Jesus Christ, so we know that this war over Babylon
will be a significant turning point on Israel's last days road
Verses 8 - 10 sounds a warning for the inhabitants to get
out of Babylon and Iraq because an assembly of great nations
from her north are coming to capture her.
We're told that their arrows will consistently hit their mark
and that everyone who plunders her will be satisfied.
The first phase of the Persian Gulf war in 1991, known as
Operation Desert Storm, came mainly from the south.
The start of the present Persian Gulf War dubbed Operation
Iraqi Freedom has also mainly been an invasion from the south,
but without the Arab support provided in 1991.
A northern front against Iraq by supporting nations has been
as yet unattainable.
According to God's word this will change in the final scenario.
It is interesting in the day of laser guided weapons that
the word "arrows' in verse 9 can also be correctly translated
as "missiles" in the modern vernacular.
An April 6, 2003 Denver Post article which headlined, "Precision
weapons leave few foot prints" reported that, "more
than 14,000 precision-guided bombs and missiles have fallen on
Iraq in this war, including more than 700 cruise missiles - about
one-quarter of all Tomahawks ever made...a conventional dumb
bomb outfitted with a $21,000 guidance system - is expected to
land less than 40 feet from its pinpoint target half the time."
When we are told in verse 10 that all who plunder her "shall
be satisfied" we cannot help but have brought to our minds
the staggering oil wealth waiting to be captured and extracted
from under Iraq.
Besides this, there are numerous countries lingering on the
sidelines at present with hopes of someday being compensated
for debts owed to them by Iraq and from the future leaders of
the planned New World Order.
Last, but not least is territory. The Kurds live for the day
that they can fulfill their dream of establishing a nation of
Kurdistan in northern Iraq, while the Russians would be greatly
pleased with access to a warm water port.
Verses 11-13 describes the utter destruction of Babylon and
gives us our first clue as to why God is set on destroying Babylon.
We are told that it is because of some past transgression against
His heritage. Joel 3:2 reveals to us that His heritage is Israel.
Of special significance is that in verse 12 this particular
Babylon, which is the least of the nations by God's appraisal,
is told that her mother shall be ashamed of her.
This intimates to us that this is not the original Babylon,
but an offspring.
Going to verse 42 of this chapter of Jeremiah we find further
confirmation of this when the Babylon being addressed in 2003
is called by God, the "daughter of Babylon."
Returning to verse 14, where we left off, the nations are
told that all who bend the bow against Babylon should not spare
their arrows because "she has sinned against the Lord."
Again we are told that this judgment upon Babylon is being
brought on her because of some particular offence against God.
Of added interest is that just as the word "arrows"
can be interchanged with the modern vernacular for "missiles,"
so too can the word "bow' be employed to mean "launcher."
Verses 15 & 16 again speaks of the utter destruction which
will befall Babylon and also once more the nations are instructed
to repay her for her crimes because it is the day of God's vengeance.
Verse 17 opens up a fascinating study on predestination.
In this verse we are given our second glimpse in this chapter
as to the unforgotten offence committed by Babylon against God.
In verse 11 we are told of it being connected to Babylon having
brought destruction upon His heritage, Israel.
In verse 14 God again speaks of this affliction of Israel,
but also includes the fact that it was initiated under the hand
of the ancient king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar.
In verse 44 of this chapter God asks a question in four different
ways as to who He should appoint as a deserving king over this
daughter of Babylon in this final day of her destruction.
Verse 18 follows through in a steady flow from the reference
to Nebuchadnezzar of the past in verse 17 to the final destruction
of the land of Chaldea (Iraq) in these last days under her appointed
Verses 19 & 20 verify this close of the age time line
as we pointed out in our introductory message to this study,
"Just a few miles from Babylon."
With this in mind we can see how God has interwoven the past
with the present so as to have a second Nebuchadnezzar-like ruler
in power at this time of His vengeance upon Babylon.
Saddam Hussein perceives Iraq and himself as nothing less
than a continuation of Nebuchadnezzar's Babylonian Empire.
This statement is not a fabrication or even a slight exaggeration.
Saddam had linked his name to Nebuchadnezzar's in a publicity
campaign which was designed to reach every resident or visitor
to Iraq and to the international community at large.
First, in the reconstruction of Babylon's buildings, Saddam
Hussein had his name baked into every 12th brick used for construction
alongside the name of Nebuchadnezzar.
The original Nebuchadnezzar did likewise on many of the bricks
he used in ancient Babylon.Saddam had coins minted with the image
of Nebuchadnezzar's profile overlayed by the profile of his own
face so as to emphasize their similarities both in appearance
When Saddam Hussein held the Babylon International Festival
from Sept. 22 through Oct. 22 in 1987, posters and other literature
displayed pictures of this same overlay of profiles as the official
seal and bore the banner of words "from Nabukhadnezzar
to Saddam Hussein."
One of Saddam's prize possessions is his rebuilt southern
palace of King Nebuchadnezzar in Babylon.
On April 1, 2003 a Denver Post article which headlined, "Fortified
divisions clash with tip of U.S. Invasion" reported that,
"U.S. soldiers...fought the first close up skirmishes with
Saddam Hussein's Republican Guard elite divisions."
The article went on to reveal the name of these elite divisions
of Saddam when it reported that, "the clash involved elements
of the U.S. 3rd Infantry Division...and units from the Nebuchadnezzar
Division in Hindiyah."
These are the last days that Jesus and the prophets warned
would surely come. Today is the day to put your faith in Jesus
Christ for the forgiveness of your sins and to receive the gift
of eternal life.
Don't put if off. One day very soon your fate of Heaven or
Hell will be judged solely on your decision to accept or reject
the only begotten Son of God, Jesus.