Continuing our study of the prophetic passages for these last
days found in Chapters 50 & 51 of the Old Testament Book
of Jeremiah, we pick up where we left off at verse 53 of Ch.
In verse 53 God makes it clear that there is absolutely nothing
Babylon can do to stop the plunderers He will send from spoiling
her. He declares that even if she mounted up to the heavens,
which was a boast of the founders of Babylon in Genesis 11:4,
or further fortified herself during her mightiest moment, this
prophecy can never be thwarted.
In verses 54-56 God makes it known that this prophecy is not
just for the city of Babylon alone , but that the entire land
of the Chaldeans, which is modern day Iraq, will cry out from
the destruction befalling them.
God emphasizes that the plunderers He will send against Iraq
are unstoppable because it is in fact His own will that they
are accomplishing. God declares that no matter how loud Babylons
voice is He will surely silence her. Her weapons will be broken
and her strongest warriors will be defeated.
Jeremiah is led by the Spirit to close out verse 56 by reminding
us that this is the long awaited day of God's vengeance against
the descendants of the Babylonian Chaldeans. The prophet declares,
"...for the Lord is the God of recompense, He will surely
In verse 57 God prophesies that He, the King over all, will make
the leaders of Iraq so drunk that they will go to sleep and never
wake up. We could reasonably apply God's reference to the Chaldeans
being made drunk as a metaphor, such as someone who is said to
be "drunk with power."
On the other hand a Dec. 7, 02 Colorado Springs Gazette
article which headlined, "Iraq turns to liquor in time of
crisis" reveals that liquor consumption in Iraq does a matter
of fact surpass that of any other Arab country.
We quote, "Baghdad, Iraq - When Dr. Hussein al-Duremi went
with this friends Friday to the Tiger's Eye liquor store on the
14th of Ramadan Street, they had a good laugh with a fellow Iraqi
customer named Wali about U.N. weapons inspectors who looked
for nuclear weapons this week in three gin factories near Baghdad.
"It's not an atomic bomb they're putting in there, is it,
Wali?" one shopper asked as a $21 bottle of Johnny Walker
Black Label whiskey was slipped into a brown paper bag, the totem
of a liquor trade that thrives in Iraq as in no other Arab country.
Wali, a 24-year-old electrical engineer, chuckled, as have many
Iraqis since learning about the strange business of the nuclear
detectives in the booze plant.
In Iraq, drinking alcohol is about as common as brushing teeth...The
plants were added to the list of inspection sites along with
one presidential palace, which assured Iraq focused on the "indignity"
of the palace search and not the oddity of checking gin plants.
The Tiger's Eye is the Tiffany's of Baghdad liquor stores. The
shop has more than 100 brands of whiskey, more than 50 varieties
of gin and as many of vodka. Racks of wines from France, Italy
Spain, Germany and Bulgaria fill the store."
After the occupation of Baghdad in April of 2003, coalition forces
found staggering amounts of every kind of liquor stockpiled in
various domiciles of Saddam Hussein, his family and his appointed
officials. We can assume with full confidence the leaders of
Iraq are able to get drunk whenever the urge strikes them.
It is a distinct possibility that this urge to imbibe may come
upon them when God sends His plunderers against them from the
In verse 58 of Jer. 51 the Lord makes a promise of destruction
for Babylon that is intriguing to examine. Quoting from this
prophecy we read, "Thus says the Lord of hosts: The broad
walls of Babylon shall be utterly broken, And her high gates
shall be burned with fire; The people will labor in vain, and
the nations, because of the fire; And they shall be weary."
A number of questions need to be asked in order to develop the
insights presented in this prophecy. First, is the fire going
to be burning in the literal modern day geographical city of
Babylon? Secondly, when is this fire to burn Babylon? Then thirdly,
what kind of fire is this that would exhaust the nations as they
vainly labor to extinguish it?
The answer to our first question is an uncompromising yes. Ancient
Babylon was never destroyed by such a fire. There is no historical
record or archaeological evidence to even remotely suggest that
nations banded together in the past in a vain attempt to put
out such a raging inferno at Babylon.
Modern day Babylon in Iraq has been rebuilt at its original location
by Saddam Hussein. Her broad walls and high gates stand ready
and waiting for the prophesied day of her destruction. As will
be verified in the upcoming verses of Jer. 51 there remains no
room for doubt that this prophecy is for modern day Babylon,
The reasonable answer to our second question in my opinion is
that the time of the burning of Babylon will take place sometime
before the start of the final 7 year Tribulation Period.
The period, which is prophesied of in Daniel 9:27, is often referred
to as Daniel's 70th week or the covenant with Death and Hell.
As was pointed out in our previous answer, ancient Babylon is
eliminated for the fulfillment of this fire. The 2 symbolic Tribulation
Period aspects of Babylon, which can be defined as the religious
one of Revelation 17 and the economic governmental one of Rev.
18, like geographical Babylon, are also prophesied to both eventually
be destroyed by fire. When reading of the incredible far reaching
influence of these two visages of Babylon it is noticeable that
neither of these could very likely be one in the same as the
geographical Babylon of Iraq. There is no mention of the nations
trying to extinguish the fires consuming the Babylons of Rev.
17 & 18 and there is no indication that God will send plunderers
to strip them of their treasures as is prophesied for the Babylon
of Jer. 50 & 51.
During the Tribulation Period Israel will be on the brink of
annihilation according to prophecies such as Zechariah 13:7-9
& Jeremiah 9:25-26. In contrast, during the destruction of
the Babylon of Jer. 50 & 51 we are shown in Jer. 51:19-23
that Israel will be a mighty power to be reckoned with and feared.
In our opinion the answer to the question of what kind of fire
could cause the nations to labor in vain in their efforts to
put it out would have to include the use of a nuclear device.
The late Dr. Charles Taylor reported that when excavation took
place in the rebuilding of Babylon, work was often made difficult
because of asphalt deposits. This report harmonizes with the
Scripture found in Genesis 11:3 where we are told that the founders
of Babylon used this pitch as a substitute for mortar between
the bricks used for construction.
Combine with this fact a report from the European newspaper the
"Bild," that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction hidden
under rebuilt Babylon in secret catacombs, we have the potential
ingredients for a horrendous nuclear ignited fire.
According to a May 7, 03 Colo. Spgs. Gazette article which
headlined, "Team digs up Iraqi secrets" radioactive
materials could be among the items stored under Babylon.
We quote, "Baghdad, Iraq - U.S. troops unearthed a trove
of Iraqi intelligence documents and maps relating to Israel on
Tuesday, as well as offers of sales of uranium and other nuclear
material to Iraq.
In the flooded basement of secret police headquarters, U.S. soldiers
from MET Alpha, the "mobile exploitation team searching
for nuclear, biological and chemical weapons in Iraq for three
months, found maps featuring terrorist strikes against Israel
dating to 1991...Team members also collected a satellite picture
of Dimona, Israel's nuclear complex...Of greater interest to
MET Alpha was a "top secret" intelligence memo found
on another floor.
Written in Arabic and dated May 20, 2001, the Iraqi intelligence
station chief in an African country described an offer by a "holy
warrior" to sell uranium and other nuclear material.
The bid was rejected, the memo said, because of the U.N. sanctions
situation." But the station chief wrote the source was eager
to provide similar help at a more convenient time."
When considering that a nuclear bomb might be used to reach Saddam's
buried weapons of mass destruction under the sands of Babylon,
then a fire of the magnitude described in Jer. 51:58 becomes
viable. Between burning pitch, molten sand and ignited weapons
of every description the nations could very well grow weary as
they labor in vain to douse raging flames blackening the land.
The flooding of the region between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers
where Babylon is located, by opening the great dams of Turkey,
would be a desperate but logical decision when faced with such
a monumental disaster.
Some may ask why I refuse to waiver from my position that Jer.
50 & 51 prophesies the destruction of modern day Babylon
I believe that ample evidence has been shown over this study
to show that I am not just indulging in some far out unsupported
theory nor do I believe I have over extrapolated or ignored Scripture
to the benefit of my view.
No other opposing examination I have come across regarding Jer.
50 & 51, whether a symbolic interpretation or a distorted
historical application, hold up under the facts and disclosures
one uncovers with honest and considered inquiry.
The closing 5 verses of our study in Jeremiah Chapters 50 &
51 have been what I might call the foundation we have stood grounded
on in our position at Rapture Watch regarding this detailed prophecy.
We can find no acceptable alternative then to receive what is
to us the unmistakable revelation of God Almighty on this matter
as He had the prophet record for us in verses 59-64 of Jeremiah
In verse 59 the Prophet Jeremiah tells of a command he gave to
a man named Seraiah.
In verse 60 we are told how Jeremiah had wrote down in a book
all the evil that was prophesied to befall Babylon.
In verse 61 we find the concrete immovable Word of God declaring
that the prophecy Seraiah is to pronounce is for the physical,
literal place of Babylon he had arrived in and had seen in this
We quote, "Then you shall say, "O Lord, You have spoken
against this place to cut it off, so that none shall remain in
it, neither man, nor beast, but it shall be desolate forever."
God made absolutely sure that we living at the time of Babylon's
destruction would know with all certainty that His prophecy of
doom was for the literal geographical Babylon. The same exact
place Seraiah arrived in and saw. God said that His prophecy
was for that very place, which is located in modern day Iraq.
There is not the slightest suggestion in this verse that God
might have been speaking of a symbolic Babylon that Seraiah never
arrived in or saw.
Also in verse 62 God effectively eliminates all the failed history
teachers who try to convince people that the prophecies of Jeremiah's
Chapters 50 & 51 have already been fulfilled in the past.
Not only has such destruction never taken place at Babylon, but
to this very day it stands in its original place that Seraiah
saw as living evidence that this prophecy of everlasting desolation
waits to be fulfilled.
The only alternative teaching about Jer. 50 & 51 that has
some degree of merit in my view is that Babylon, Iraq will undergo
further development and will be destroyed at some later point.
I myself reject this idea for numerous reasons, but am encouraged
by its adherence to the literal truth of God's Word for the destruction
of present day Babylon, Iraq. I personally hold no stock in the
theory Babylon, Iraq will be occupied by the Anti-Christ as is
often taught and that he will build up Babylon to become the
leading economic and political center of the earth. I do not
believe a foreign leader will ever be accepted as a ruler out
of Babylon by the Iraqis. Neither do I believe there is time
left, nor will there be the inclination of the Anti-Christ to
make Babylon the awesome world marvel that some predict.
We could continue on citing other issues which detract from this
idea, such as the incompatible prophecy of Israel playing a major
role in the destruction of this Babylonian nation in contrast
to her fearful situation in face of the Anti-Christ's Babylon
of the Tribulation Period (Jer. 51:19-24), but as I have stated
before, we believe what has been presented in this series of
studies provides sufficient information to prove this interpretation
of Jeremiah 50 & 51 the most probable.
Verses 63 & 64 of Jeremiah 51 then closes the chapter with
the final instructions given to Seraiah. He is told, "Now
it shall be, when you have finished reading this book, that you
shall tie a stone to it and throw it out into the Euphrates.
Then you shall say, Thus Babylon shall sink and not rise
from the catastrophe that I will bring upon her. And they shall
The recorded Word of God contains the truths of eternity and
we are told in its pages that Jesus Christ died for the sins
of the world. The same God who has foreseen the heartbreaking
fate of the wicked has made provision for eternal life to anyone
who will come to His only begotten Son with faith. The total
forgiveness of every sin is promised to all who have put their
trust in the sacrifice Jesus offered of His own precious blood
almost 2,000 years ago on the cross at Calvary. Don't put it
off, the day of the Lord is near at hand.