Notice how Babylon is singled out for special attention. She gets TWO chapters of destruction.
“1 ¶ Thus saith Jehovah: Behold, I will raise up against Babylon, and against them that dwell in Leb-kamai, a destroying wind.
I’m not sure if it’s relevant here, but the word ‘destroying’ could also be ‘battering’ and ‘wind’ could also be ‘spirit’.
2 And I will send unto Babylon strangers, that shall winnow her; and they shall empty her land: for in the day of trouble they shall be against her round about.
3 Against [him that] bendeth let the archer bend his bow, and against [him that] lifteth himself up in his coat of mail: and spare ye not her young men; destroy ye utterly all her host.
4 And they shall fall down slain in the land of the Chaldeans, and thrust through in her streets.
It was true that America and her allies had Iraq completely surrounded. And, they did destroy her army pretty thoroughly.
But, not completely. Far, from completely.
In fact, a huge portion of the Iraqi army survived the second Gulf War. So much so, that the US had to institute a ‘de-Baathification’ that stripped out the old officer corps, so that someone like Sadam Hussein couldn’t come back, and take over Iraq.
5 For Israel is not forsaken, nor Judah, of his God, of Jehovah of hosts; though their land is full of guilt against the Holy One of Israel.
But, notice here why Iraq is destroyed. Iraq is destroyed because of Israel and Judah.
Yes, I know that we’ve talked about vengeance in chapter 50, but this is far more than that.
Iraq is destroyed because God intends to bring Israel back to her land, and back into relationship with God. THAT is why Iraq is destroyed.
6 Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and save every man his life; be not cut off in her iniquity: for it is the time of Jehovah’s vengeance; he will render unto her a recompense.
7 Babylon hath been a golden cup in Jehovah’s hand, that made all the earth drunken: the nations have drunk of her wine; therefore the nations are mad.
The nations of drunk of her wine?
I confess to being confused by this statement. Could the Lord be referring here to oil? To something else?
8 Babylon is suddenly fallen and destroyed: wail for her; take balm for her pain, if so be she may be healed.
9 We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed: forsake her, and let us go every one into his own country; for her judgment reacheth unto heaven, and is lifted up even to the skies.
The western nations DID try to heal Babylon…
And, when WHOEVER nukes Baghdad, Babylon’s judgment WILL reach up to heaven – and, around the world.
10 Jehovah hath brought forth our righteousness: come, and let us declare in Zion the work of Jehovah our God.
11 Make sharp the arrows; hold firm the shields: Jehovah hath stirred up the spirit of the kings of the Medes; because his purpose is against Babylon, to destroy it: for it is the vengeance of Jehovah, the vengeance of his temple.
Now, HERE is an interesting bit of information. The spirit of the kings of the Medes is stirred up.
I know what you’re thinkin’. This is Darius the Mede, right?
When Darius took Babylon, he did NOT destroy it. In fact, it was a fairly bloodless takeover. After all, Daniel survived.
No, it is clear to me that we are talking about Iran here.
In fact, I think that it’s important that the Lord refers to ‘The Medes’ and not ‘The Persians’. Why do I think that this is significant?
Let me ask you this one: Where did the Medes and the Persians live?
They BOTH lived in what we call Iran, today. The Medes lived in North, right on the southern border of the Caspian Sea, and the Persians lived in the South, below the Medes and on the border of the Indian Ocean.
But, that doesn’t tell us why the reference to the Medes is significant here.
Let me ask you this: we said that the Medes lived in the north of what we now call Iran.
What also exists in the north of Iran?
The capital, Tehran – right, smack-dab in the middle of where the Medes used to live.
So yes, you can say that the spirit of the Kings of the Medes really will be involved.
What follows now is a rather poetic description of just WHAT happens to Iraq.
12 Set up a standard against the walls of Babylon, make the watch strong, set the watchmen, prepare the ambushes; for Jehovah hath both purposed and done that which he spake concerning the inhabitants of Babylon.
13 O thou that dwellest upon many waters, abundant in treasures, thine end is come, the measure of thy covetousness.
14 Jehovah of hosts hath sworn by himself, [saying], Surely I will fill thee with men, as with the canker-worm; and they shall lift up a shout against thee.
15 He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and by his understanding hath he stretched out the heavens:
16 when he uttereth his voice, there is a tumult of waters in the heavens, and he causeth the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings for the rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of his treasuries.
17 Every man is become brutish [and is] without knowledge; every goldsmith is put to shame by his image; for his molten image is falsehood, and there is no breath in them.
18 They are vanity, a work of delusion: in the time of their visitation they shall perish.
Now, notice an interesting description of Israel:
19 The portion of Jacob is not like these; for he is the former of all things; and [Israel] is the tribe of his inheritance: Jehovah of hosts is his name.
20 Thou art my battle-axe and weapons of war: and with thee will I break in pieces the nations; and with thee will I destroy kingdoms;
21 and with thee will I break in pieces the horse and his rider;
22 and with thee will I break in pieces the chariot and him that rideth therein; and with thee will I break in pieces man and woman; and with thee will I break in pieces the old man and the youth; and with thee will I break in pieces the young man and the virgin;
23 and with thee will I break in pieces the shepherd and his flock; and with thee will I break in pieces the husbandman and his yoke [of oxen]; and with thee will I break in pieces governors and deputies.
Notice that God uses Israel to destroy.
Not that Israel DOES the destroying. It’s clear that someone else does that. But, what if Israel is part of the reason why this great army comes from the North and destroys Iraq?
What if, somehow, Israel is some kind of casus belli. What if this army from the north gets dragged into this war because of Israel?
Interesting, don’t you think?
Could this army be Gog and Magog?
Maybe they destroy Iraq, and THEN turn their sights on Israel?
24 And I will render unto Babylon and to all the inhabitants of Chaldea all their evil that they have done in Zion in your sight, saith Jehovah.
25 Behold, I am against thee, O destroying mountain, saith Jehovah, which destroyest all the earth; and I will stretch out my hand upon thee, and roll thee down from the rocks, and will make thee a burnt mountain.
26 And they shall not take of thee a stone for a corner, nor a stone for foundations; but thou shalt be desolate for ever, saith Jehovah.
This is significant imagery here. There has never been a time when one civilization hasn’t built on top of the previous one. One civilization falls, and the next one takes the rubble, the stones, of the previous to build their own.
What God is saying here that the destruction will be so bad, so thorough that the resulting rubble will be useless to future generations.
Because maybe these stones are radioactive?
It’s the only thing that I can think of.
27 Set ye up a standard in the land, blow the trumpet among the nations, prepare the nations against her, call together against her the kingdoms of Ararat, Minni, and Ashkenaz: appoint a marshal against her; cause the horses to come up as the rough canker-worm.
That sounds an awful lot like Turkey and some other central Asian republics. (Which also sounds like the army that comes against Israel in Ezekiel 36-39)
28 Prepare against her the nations, the kings of the Medes, the governors thereof, and all the deputies thereof, and all the land of their dominion.
That sounds like Iran.
The deputies, could be Hezbollah, or the Shiites that live in Iraq right now – like this ‘Sadr Army’ that’s still running aound.
29 And the land trembleth and is in pain; for the purposes of Jehovah against Babylon do stand, to make the land of Babylon a desolation, without inhabitant.
30 The mighty men of Babylon have forborne to fight, they remain in their strongholds; their might hath failed; they are become as women: her dwelling-places are set on fire; her bars are broken.
31 One post shall run to meet another, and one messenger to meet another, to show the king of Babylon that his city is taken on every quarter:
32 and the passages are seized, and the reeds they have burned with fire, and the men of war are affrighted.
33 For thus saith Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel: The daughter of Babylon is like a threshing-floor at the time when it is trodden; yet a little while, and the time of harvest shall come for her.
34 Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon hath devoured me, he hath crushed me, he hath made me an empty vessel, he hath, like a monster, swallowed me up, he hath filled his maw with my delicacies; he hath cast me out.
35 The violence done to me and to my flesh be upon Babylon, shall the inhabitant of Zion say; and, My blood be upon the inhabitants of Chaldea, shall Jerusalem say.
36 Therefore thus saith Jehovah: Behold, I will plead thy cause, and take vengeance for thee; and I will dry up her sea, and make her fountain dry.
37 And Babylon shall become heaps, a dwelling-place for jackals, an astonishment, and a hissing, without inhabitant.
38 They shall roar together like young lions; they shall growl as lions’ whelps.
39 When they are heated, I will make their feast, and I will make them drunken, that they may rejoice, and sleep a perpetual sleep, and not wake, saith Jehovah.
40 I will bring them down like lambs to the slaughter, like rams with he-goats.
41 How is Sheshach taken! and the praise of the whole earth seized! how is Babylon become a desolation among the nations!
42 The sea is come up upon Babylon; she is covered with the multitude of the waves thereof.
43 Her cities are become a desolation, a dry land, and a desert, a land wherein no man dwelleth, neither doth any son of man pass thereby.
44 And I will execute judgment upon Bel in Babylon, and I will bring forth out of his mouth that which he hath swallowed up; and the nations shall not flow any more unto him: yea, the wall of Babylon shall fall.
45 My people, go ye out of the midst of her, and save yourselves every man from the fierce anger of Jehovah.
God yet again issues His warning to His people to flee from Iraq.
46 And let not your heart faint, neither fear ye for the tidings that shall be heard in the land; for tidings shall come one year, and after that in another year [shall come] tidings, and violence in the land, ruler against ruler.
Could it be that the destruction of Iraq happens in stages?
We had Gulf War 1
We then had Gulf War 2.
But, neither of those wars completely destroyed Iraq.
The final war will certainly destroy Iraq completely.
47 Therefore, behold, the days come, that I will execute judgment upon the graven images of Babylon; and her whole land shall be confounded; and all her slain shall fall in the midst of her.
48 Then the heavens and the earth, and all that is therein, shall sing for joy over Babylon; for the destroyers shall come unto her from the north, saith Jehovah.
49 As Babylon hath caused the slain of Israel to fall, so at Babylon shall fall the slain of all the land.
50 Ye that have escaped the sword, go ye, stand not still; remember Jehovah from afar, and let Jerusalem come into your mind.
51 We are confounded, because we have heard reproach; confusion hath covered our faces: for strangers are come into the sanctuaries of Jehovah’s house.
52 Wherefore, behold, the days come, saith Jehovah, that I will execute judgment upon her graven images; and through all her land the wounded shall groan.
53 Though Babylon should mount up to heaven, and though she should fortify the height of her strength, yet from me shall destroyers come unto her, saith Jehovah.
54 The sound of a cry from Babylon, and of great destruction from the land of the Chaldeans!
55 For Jehovah layeth Babylon waste, and destroyeth out of her the great voice; and their waves roar like many waters; the noise of their voice is uttered:
56 for the destroyer is come upon her, even upon Babylon, and her mighty men are taken, their bows are broken in pieces; for Jehovah is a God of recompenses, he will surely requite.
57 And I will make drunk her princes and her wise men, her governors and her deputies, and her mighty men; and they shall sleep a perpetual sleep, and not wake, saith the King, whose name is Jehovah of hosts.
58 Thus saith Jehovah of hosts: The broad walls of Babylon shall be utterly overthrown, and her high gates shall be burned with fire; and the peoples shall labor for vanity, and the nations for the fire; and they shall be weary.”
And, the world will try to save Iraq from destruction, but will be unable to.
It’s pretty clear that the world tried very hard to save Iraq from destroying itself, but it doesn’t appear that the world has been very effective.
And, when Iraq is finally destroyed, the world will be powerless to do anything.
(Especially, if a financial catastrophe has made support for the military impossible. If there’s no money for weapons and soldiers, there’s nothing that they’ll be able to do.)
“59 ¶ The word which Jeremiah the prophet commanded Seraiah the son of Neriah, the son of Mahseiah, when he went with Zedekiah the king of Judah to Babylon in the fourth year of his reign. Now Seraiah was chief chamberlain.
60 And Jeremiah wrote in a book all the evil that should come upon Babylon, even all these words that are written concerning Babylon.
61 And Jeremiah said to Seraiah, When thou comest to Babylon, then see that thou read all these words,
62 and say, O Jehovah, thou hast spoken concerning this place, to cut it off, that none shall dwell therein, neither man nor beast, but that it shall be desolate for ever.
63 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 the Euphrates:
64 and thou shalt say, Thus shall Babylon sink, and shall not rise again because of the evil that I will bring upon her; and they shall be weary. Thus far are the words of Jeremiah.” (Jer 51:1-64 ASV)