The modern nation called Iraq is said to lie in the very cradle of civilization. Mesopotamia, “the land between two rivers”, the Tigris and Euphrates features prominently in the prophetic record.
Biblically it is reffered to as Assyria, Shinar, and Babylon. Assyria, which is Northern Iraq and Eastern Syria has a bright future, for eventually Egypt, Northern Iraq and Israel will be bound together by a common faith, (Christianity) and by a highway for trade! God is good!
In that day shall there be a highway out of Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian shall come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians shall serve with the Assyrians. In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land: Whom the LORD of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance.(Isaiah 19:23-25)
Just as the Egyptians , the northern Iraqi’s will also shed the bondage of Islam all together, and embrace the Gospel. Together with Israel, and Egypt and they shall be saved and go into the Millenium as brothers, friends and partners.
Southern Iraq, ie Babylon, doesn’t have such a rosy outlook. Parts of Southern Iraq will be rendered uninhabitable by all but evil spirits even into the millennium.
Babylon has almost as much significance as Jerusalem does, in the scriptures. The Significance of Babylon lies on several levels.
Historically Babylon is significant because it is the sight of the Tower of Babel, and the place where human culture became diverse, due to God’s Judgment in the confusion of languages. This is why Babylon is considered the oldest civilization, because it was from there that all other human civilizations emerged. All false religion can also be traced back to Babylon.
Babylon has yet to be punished for the destruction of the Temple of Solomon, an event that is commemorated yearly on Tishba’Av, as a national calamity for Israel.God ordained that the Babylonians be the ones to execute His judgment on His people, but remembers her sins as well.
Geographically Babylon is significant, because much of the Biblical narrative takes place there. God allowed Nebuchadnessar the Babylonian King to be raised up as “his anointed” to judge Israel, destroying the Temple in which they vainly trusted, and bringing the cream of the nation into captivity. Daniel and Ezekiel were written from Babylon.
Spiritually, Babylon represents the “city of man” , man’s proud attempt at replacing God as center, building a tower that would “reach up unto heaven”. Babylon the great, is ever set against Jerusalem. Proud humanism, independent of God versus humble worship, and reliance upon the Creator, and the acknowledgement of the need for a Saviour.
There is an economic Babylon slated for destruction, as represented in Revelation chapter 18, a world merchant mart, in which everything a person could lust after can be bought and sold up to and including the very souls of men and women!
There is also a religious Babylon, a gaudy Harlot, an obscene parody of the Bride of Christ. She is drunk on the blood of the true saints, and clothed in the finest of luxuries, but she too is slated for Destruction, as “the mother of all harlots and abominations”.
Zechariah Five also indicates that Babylon will again be a center of world evil in the last days.
….And, behold, there was lifted up a talent of lead: and this is a woman that sitteth in the midst of the ephah. And he said, This is wickedness. And he cast it into the midst of the ephah; and he cast the weight of lead upon the mouth thereof. Then lifted I up mine eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came out two women, and the wind was in their wings; for they had wings like the wings of a stork: and they lifted up the ephah between the earth and the heaven.Then said I to the angel that talked with me, Whither do these bear the ephah? And he said unto me, To build it an house in the land of Shinar: and it shall be established, and set there upon her own base.”(Zechariah 5:6-11)
Of course there is a political Babylon, a renewed Tower of Babel, in which humanistic men, ”the Kings of the earth and their rulers” seek to overthrow the verdict of the most High, and to unite the world in spite of the Babel judgment. This Babylon also is doomed to a devastating judgment, as Psalm 2 and Revelation 19 warn us.
But we are concerned here with the prophecies directed to geographical Babylon. Many would say that these prophecies have already been fulfilled in history , and indeed many of them have come to pass, but certainly not all of them.
For example Isaiah 13 is a prophecy that predicts Babylon being attacked by an international coalition, to destroy the whole land of Babylon,
The burden of Babylon, which Isaiah the son of Amoz did see.
Lift ye up a banner upon the high mountain, exalt the voice unto them, shake the hand, that they may go into the gates of the nobles.
I have commanded my sanctified ones, I have also called my mighty ones for mine anger, even them that rejoice in my highness.
The noise of a multitude in the mountains, like as of a great people; a tumultuous noise of the kingdoms of nations gathered together: the LORD of hosts mustereth the host of the battle.
They come from a far country, from the end of heaven, even the LORD, and the weapons of his indignation, to destroy the whole land.(Isaiah 13:1-5)
How much destruction do they wreak? The land is to be rendered uninhabitable….
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.(vs 19-20)
Jeremiah 50-51 also echo the prediction that Babylon would be invaded by a multi nation confederation, and rendered uninhabitable by men.
Therefore the wild beasts of the desert with the wild beasts of the islands shall dwell there, and the owls shall dwell therein: and it shall be no more inhabited for ever; neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation.
As God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighbour cities thereof, saith the LORD; so shall no man abide there, neither shall any son of man dwell therein.
41Behold, a people shall come from the north, and a great nation, and many kings shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth.(Jeremiah 50:39-41)
Ancient Babylon wasn’t destroyed as Sodom and Gommorah, it just fell into decay, and the land around it is still inhabited. These scriptures are yet to be fulfilled. Babylon, which is southern Iraq is headed for Judgment, which is final and irreversible.
Jeremiah the Prophet , after his prophetic warning of end times judgment on Egypt, Gaza, Jordan, Arabia, Syria ,Persia , Syria, Gaza, and the Philistines, and ending in Iraq, ie Babylon, instructed his scribe Seruiah,
…When thou comest to Babylon, and shalt see, and shalt read all these words;Then shalt thou say, O LORD, thou hast spoken against this place, to cut it off, that none shall remain in it, neither man nor beast, but that it shall be desolate for ever.And it shall be, when thou hast made an end of reading this book, that thou shalt bind a stone to it, and cast it into the midst of Euphrates: And thou shalt say, Thus shall Babylon sink, and shall not rise from the evil that I will bring upon her: and they shall be weary. Thus far are the words of Jeremiah. (Jeremiah 51 61-64)
Such is the fate of southern Iraq, bitter enemy of Israel, persecutor of Christians, one time destroyer of the Temple, worshipper of false Gods such as Allah. This hasn’t occurred yet but it is sure to, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken it.
Like the Scroll tied to a stone and thrown in the Euphrates, so shall Babylon fall and rise no more.
And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.
And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee;
And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.
And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.(Revelation 18:21-24)