THE RELIGION OF BABEL/BABYLON
Let us now listen to what the Bible has to say ‘spiritually’ about ‘Babel-Babylon’. To make the character of ‘Babylon’ clear from the outset: Jeremiah 51:7 says: “…Babylon was a gold cup in the LORD’s hand; she made the whole earth drunk. The nations drank her wine; therefore they have now gone mad…”
I read in Rev. Alexander Hislop’s book ‘The Two Babylons’:
The quotation from Jeremiah [in the Bible] referred to makes it clear that Babel/Babylon was the source from which all the systems of idolatry stemmed. Learned historians reach the same conclusion on purely historical grounds. In the works of Zonaras we find that the general feeling of historians in ancient times concurred with this point of view even then. Moreover, talking of arithmetic and astrology for example, he says: ‘It is said that both came from the Chaldeans (Babylonians) to the Egyptians and from there to the Greeks.’ Well, if the Egyptians and Greeks got their arithmetic and astrology from Chaldea [Babylonia], and they saw that they were sacred sciences in Chaldea, dominated by the priests there, that is surely sufficient reason to suppose that they must have also derived their religion from the same quarter.
Bunsen and Layard come to the same conclusion. Bunsen says that the religious system of Egypt came from Asia, and from the ancient Babylonian Empire. Layard says he is convinced of the very old origin of this primitive Chaldean [Babylonian] religion, and that there is convincing evidence from profane and religious history that the [religious system of Egypt] originated with the inhabitants of the Assyrian plains. It bore the title ‘perfect’ and was considered to be the oldest of all religious systems, preceding that of the Egyptians.
Porphyries and Clemens postulate that the identity of the Assyrian religious doctrines corresponds with those of Egypt, and he ends by saying that Birch – on the basis of Babylonian clay cylinders and monuments – has established that the signs of the zodiac unambiguously show that the Greeks had adopted their explanations and arrangement of the zodiac (star symbols) from the Chaldeans and mixed them with their own mythology afterwards. (Extract from Alexander Hislop’s book).
Babel as the source of all religions and all scientific activity is quite something!
What typifies Babel/Babylon? When do we come across Babel in the Bible for the first time? We read in Genesis 10:8: “…Cush was the father of Nimrod, who became a mighty warrior on the earth …” The Luther Translation says: “…der war der erste, der Macht gewann auf Erden…“ Might typify Babel – human might, a kingdom in the name of mankind and his natural capabilities.
And there is also an inherent form of religion alongside ‘might’. In Genesis 11:4 we read: “…Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth…”
The tower was probably a therefore ziggurat – a Babylonian astronomical observatory. Its top did not reach heaven (the Babylonians were not that stupid!), but it was a square tower with heaven on top. It had steps according to the number of planets then known, and, on the square top, the signs of the zodiac, the firmament mapped out so that the future could be predicted by reading the stars. There was also a cult of the mother goddess, the primeval cult of all the mother goddess worship that came later. Nimrod and Semiramis are the origin and the symbol of all the idolatry on earth. Nature/creation is deified and man turns his back on the Creator.
Babel is the city of man, with its own religion of man. Man is fallen man, however, with sin in his blood. And he is a puppet of the forces of darkness. He has chosen for Satan – the liar from the beginning and the murderer from the beginning. We read more about Nimrod in Genesis 10: that the beginning of his kingdom was Babel…Akkad…in the land of Shinar. From that land he went to Assyria and built Nineveh…
Nineveh is the city of godlessness, upon which the prophet Jonah later pronounces judgement. And indeed, although Nineveh was initially converted under Jonah’s preaching, and the Lord postponed judgement, the city was later totally destroyed. Later on, under king Tiglath-Pileser III 745-727 B.C. and king Sargon II 721-705 B.C., Assyria and the Assyrians, carried off the 10-tribe kingdom of Israel into exile – see 2 Kings 15:29, 1 Chronicles 5:6 and 6:26 and Isaiah 8:23; also 2 Kings 17:6 and 18:11. And Babel and the Babylonians, under king Nebuchadnezzar II, carried off the 2-tribe kingdom of Judah into exile after completely destroying Jerusalem and the Temple – see 2 Kings 24:10-16, Jeremiah 52:28 and 2 Kings 25:11, Jeremiah 52:29. Before that, King Sennacherib – on his own admission – had already carried off 200,150 people from the large and small cities of Judah during his campaign against King Hezekiah in 701 B.C.
In short, godlessness originates from the descendents of Nimrod-Semiramis, who were full of hatred of God’s people Israel and turned against God’s city, Jerusalem. ‘Babylon’ will finally be destroyed, however, and ‘Jerusalem’ will be victorious, Revelation 14:8 and chapter 17-19!
A genealogy and a list of nations can be found in Genesis 10. There, in verses 8-12, it is said of Nimrod: “…Cush was the father of Nimrod, who became a mighty warrior on the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the LORD; that is why it is said, “Like Nimrod, a mighty hunter before the LORD.” The first centres of his kingdom were Babylon, Uruk, Akkad and Kalneh, in Shinar. From that land he went to Assyria, where he built Nineveh, Rehoboth Ir, Calah and Resen, which is between Nineveh and Calah – which is the great city…”