Isaiah 13: 19-20. “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.”
Based on the findings of archaeology and written descriptions of the city at its most splendid, this artist’s rendering of ancient Babylon is pretty impressive. It was vast. It was well-organized. it had access to water. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, once one of the seven wonders of the world, defy imagination.
Today, there is a lot of talk about restoring ancient Babylon. Work has, in fact, been planned and some has begun. It is a monumental undertaking. I browsed for pictures of Babylon today and decided there were just too many, so I want to encourage you, if you have the same interest that I do, to do some searching.
The passage we’ve begun to look at today has two more verses. In the four verses, there is a tenfold final desolation of this ancient city. Not all of those ten things have been fulfilled yet, but even way back in 20 b.c., the historian Strabo described Babylon as “a vast desolation.” Yet the destruction is not yet complete.
God has not visited the same destruction on Babylon that he did on Sodom and Gomorrha, but that time is coming. Nothing has lived in those two cities since God dealt with them. We’ll learn more about the rebuilding and final destruction of Babylon in Chapter 14.
What we see in today’s two verses is pretty bleak. Babylon, which was once the glory of its builders and those who lived there, will indeed be a God-forsaken place.