An examination of the history of Babylon the Great from its inception with Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon through Rome and the latter day revival of the Holy Roman Empire system.
Please note: Also see the articles in the Coming World Events category.
The book of Daniel is primarily about the Babylonian Empire system, recording certain ancient events as lessons for us today; and giving a series of prophecies concerning that system throughout history until the coming of Messiah the Christ.
Daniel 1 introduces the first great king of Babylonian Empire, Nebuchadnezzar.
In 605 BC Nebuchadnezzar II, king of Babylon defeated Pharaoh Necho at the Battle of Carchemish, and subsequently invaded Judah. To avoid the destruction of Jerusalem, King Jehoiakim of Jerusalem, in his third year, changed allegiances from Egypt to Babylon.
Judah then made an alliance with Babylon and paid tribute from the treasury in Jerusalem, giving Babylon some temple artifacts, and sent some of the royal family and nobility to Babylon.
The King of Babylon sought out the skilled and wise men to teach them the language of Babylon, so that they might provide wise advice in running the kingdom and help the Chaldeans in their massive building projects in Babylon.
Nebuchadnezzar took Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah and other prominent citizens and craftsmen, along with about 10,000 Master Craftsmen for the great Babylonian construction projects.
Some years later king Jehoiachim died and the regents of the new young king Jeconiah (about eight years old) rebelled against Babylon.
Nebuchadnezzar captured Jerusalem the first time on 2 Adar (16 March) 597 B.C. and took Ezekiel and the new young king Jeconiah to Babylon. Dates in the book of Ezekiel are given according to the year of captivity of Jeconiah (i.e. the first fall of Jerusalem, 597 B.C.).
Following the siege of 597 B.C., Nebuchadnezzar installed Zedekiah as tributary king of Judah at the age of twenty-one. However, Zedekiah also revolted against Babylon, and entered into an alliance with Pharaoh Hophra, king of Egypt.
Nebuchadnezzar responded by invading Judah and began a siege of Jerusalem in January 589 BC. During this siege, which lasted about thirty months, “every worst woe befell the city, which drank the cup of God’s fury to the dregs.”
In 587 BC, the eleventh year of Zedekiah’s reign, Nebuchadnezzar broke through Jerusalem’s walls, conquering the city. Zedekiah and his followers attempted to escape, but were captured on the plains of Jericho and taken to Riblah. There, after seeing his sons killed, Zedekiah was blinded, bound, and taken captive to Babylon, where he remained a prisoner until his death.
After the fall of Jerusalem, the Babylonian general Nebuzaraddan was sent to complete its destruction. Jerusalem was plundered and Solomon’s Temple was destroyed. Most of the elite were taken into captivity in Babylon. The city was razed to the ground.
Daniel and his friends were taken to Babylon about eighteen years before the final fall of Jerusalem and the Babylonian Captivity of Judah.
In Daniel 2 Daniel records that king Nebuchadnezzar had an impressive dream,and the king deeply distressed and forgetting the dream’s detail sought for the detail to be restored and for an explanation of the meaning.
After every effort was made and the wise men of the Babylonian religion could not reveal the dream’s details or its meaning, God revealed the matter to Daniel because he was zealous to live by every Word of God. This indicates that God can and will on occasion inspire dreams for the unconverted, but the understanding is a gift of God to his faithful.
Daniel gave the details and the meaning to king Nebuchadnezzar informing the king from God that he had dreamed about a great statue of a man with a head of gold, shoulders and chest of silver a belly of brass and legs of iron with ten toes of iron mixed with clay. See our Daniel 2 study.
Daniel then explained that the head of gold was the king Nebuchadnezzar himself and that his dynasty would be supplanted by the Medes and Persians, the shoulders and breast of silver.
The entire statue represented the Babylonian Empire and the various parts indicate that over history different peoples would take over and carry on the same Babylonian Empire system, which was [is] a political system inspired by and largely following the leadership of a religious order.
Now, just as the head controls the entire body, so the head of gold, or Nebuchadnezzar; was the head of this statue and the founding head of this system.
2:37 Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory.
2:38 And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold.
The breast of silver was the empire of the Medes and Persians which was dominated by the Medes with the advent of king Darius. The Medes and Persians took over the Babylonian empire (539 B.C.) but maintained the same Babylonian church state governance system intact. The people changed, and the system remained the same; therefore the different kingdoms were each still a part of the same Babylonian system like the different metals were still a past of the same statue.
The third kingdom of brass was the same Babylonian system; now taken over from the Medes and Persians by the Greeks.
2:39 And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth.
The fourth part of the image was of iron, but still the same statue; the Babylonian Mysteries church state system. The iron represents Rome and its powerful military.
2:40 And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise.
The feet and toes of the statue of Babylon, picture the church state Holy Roman Empire with its own seven revivals (Rev 17), the final revival consisting of ten nations working together like the ten toes of the statue.
The whole statue was of the Babylonian system and each succeeding empire although led by a different people maintained the same Babylonian Mysteries church state system.
This system is called Babylon the Great, and a final revival of the church state Holy Roman Empire [regardless of what it is named] will be a New European federal system including ten nations which will soon rise up and come back to life for the final time only to be destroyed and replaced by the coming Messiah the Christ.
2:41 And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay.
2:42 And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken [weak].
The strength of some nations will be mingled with weaker peoples in the coming final revival.
2:43 And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.
The ten toes represent ten rulers who will form this final Babylon system by giving their authority to one leader. Messiah the Christ will come to destroy the Babylonian Mysteries System that the statue represents; and he will set up the kingdom of God.
Revelation 17:12 And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings [rulers], which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour [a short time, 42 months, Rev 11] with the beast. 17:13 These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast. 17:14 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.
Daniel 2:44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.
The Chief Corner Stone [Messiah the Christ] will come down from the mountain of the government of God the Father in heaven.
2:45 Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands , and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.
The king then makes an image of the dream statue and demands that all people worship it (Daniel 3).
Daniel 8 [link to the Dan 8 study] explains that the empire of the Greeks begun by Alexander would eventually be divided into four parts and from the time of that division Messiah the Christ would come 2300 years later to cleanse the Temple Mount and build the Ezekiel Temple.
The sanctuary will be cleansed at the coming of Christ; therefore to have a good idea of when Christ will come, we must date the division of Alexander’s empire into four parts and the beginning of the king of the North and then count forward 2,300 years; a day for a year.
The history of the successors of Alexander is very complex and extremely difficult, yet as we get closer and closer to the time; God is keeping his promise to Daniel and increasing knowledge and understanding day by day.
Historically, the first king of a united Greece was Alexander, who died in 323 B.C. after conquering the Medo-Persian Empire.
After his death, many men tried to assume his mantle as ruler of the lands that he had conquered.
In 304 B.C. Antigonus declared himself king and demanded that all the others submit to him. They did not agree and also declared themselves to be kings over their own lands.
In 301 B.C. Antigonus 1 was defeated and killed. Meanwhile, the son of Antigonus, Demetrius, was able to flee the field and continued as king of various areas in his father’s place, thus keeping six kings.
In 297 B.C. Cassander died and was succeeded by his eldest son Philip, who in turn died the next year (296 B.C.). In 295 B.C., the widow of Cassander, Thessalonice; divided the kingdom of Macedonia between her two remaining sons, Antipater and Alexander. They took to quarreling and Antipater murdered his mother and attacked his brother Alexander. Alexander called for help from Demetrius, who came and murdered the young man, seizing his kingdom.
Demetrius then attacked Alexander’s brother, Antipater, who fled to his uncle Lysimachis. Lysimachis had the lad executed for the murder of his sister, the boy’s mother, in 294 B.C. These events brought to an end the family of Cassander. Extinguishing Cassander, his wife and his three sons.
To further complicate things a number of the possessions of Demetrius declared their independence while these struggles were going on.
After Demetrius took the necessary time to secure Macedonia he proceeded to retake Thessaly and Boeotia in 291 B.C., completing the job in 290 BC.
Then in 288 B.C. Pyrrhus, Lysmachis and Ptolemy united against Demetrius and defeated him, making joint war against him and forcing him to abandon his kingdom of Macedonia.
Demetrius, left with only his possessions outside of Macedonia; tried to attack Seleucus and move into Asia with his army, but was finally taken prisoner in 285 BC after his army fell apart. His kingdom was then taken over by his son Antigonus 2 Gonatas
“In 285 B.C., Demetrius, worn down by his fruitless campaign, surrendered to Seleucus.” In 283 B.C., at the age of 55, Demetrius died in captivity in Syria and was succeeded by his son Antigonus 2 Gonatas who continued to rule the kingdom of his father Demetrius.
Soon Lysimachus made the fatal mistake of having his son Agathocles murdered at the say-so of his second wife, Arsinoe (282 B.C.) who wanted her own son to become king.
The murdered Agathocles’s widow, Lysandra, fled to Seleucus, who now made war upon Lysimachus.
Seleucus, after appointing his son Antiochus ruler of his Asian territories, defeated and killed Lysimachus at the Battle of Corupedium in Lydia in 281 B.C. Then in 281 B.C. Seleucus was assassinated as he tried to invade Macedonia and Thrace.
Then certain Syrian officers of Seleucus rejected Antiochus from becoming their king in 280 B.C.; seeking to take over the kingdom for themselves. Antiochus then invaded Syria from his own possessions to put down the pretenders to his father’s throne, and became sole ruler of all his father’s possessions in c spring 280 B.C. However taking advantage of the troubles of Antiochus, Nicomedes murdered his brothers and sought to become an independent king of Bythnia.
Antiochus then proceeded to advance on Nicomedes I king of Bythnia and the army of Gauls he had called to help him and Nicomedes of Bythnia bowed to Antiochus without a serious fight in 278 B.C. Nicomedes then continued to rule Bythnia but accepted the dominance of Antiochus king of Babyon [Seleucid Syria].
In 278 B.C. the remnants of the empire of Alexander were reduced to four parts fulfilling the prophecy that finally there would be only four divisions of Alexander’s empire. Which four parts were established in c 278 B.C. with Babylon, Greece, Asia Minor and Egypt Palestine.
The four parts: Yellow, Ptolemaic; Blue, Babylon [Seleucid Syria]; Green, Lysmachis; Brown, Greece Macedon.
I do want to caution that even though this looks and may be correct; we must still be alert to watch events and WAIT FOR THE SIGNS. This history is incredibly complex and there is the matter of the ancient Greek city state calendars as related to our common calendar today. This could possibly be out by a few years.
Nevertheless these things would be meaningless if we were to die tonight; it is imperative that we seek to be as close to God as possible. None of us is secure from sudden tragedy; therefore let us always put our trust in the only one who can save!
The Greek empire was divided into four parts of which two parts are prophetically significant; the kingdom of Babylon also called Seleucid Syria prophetically the King of the North which was heir to the Babylonian Empire; and the Ptolemaic kingdom of Egypt Palestine prophetically called the King of the South
Returning to Daniel 2:40 we see that the Greek version of the Babylonian Empire was prophesied to be replaced by the Romans. This happened in 133 B.C. when king Attalus died leaving his kingdom of Babylon, then based in Pergamos, to Rome.
From that time the Roman Empire continued until it was replaced by the Holy Roman Empire with the proclamation of Justinian. Revelation 17 [link to the Rev 17 study] tells us that there would be seven revivals of the Holy Roman Empire system which is in reality the Roman phase of the Babylonian Empire system of Daniel 2.
The list of seven Holy Roman Empire revivals includes: Justinian, Otto the Great, Charlemagne, Napoleon, The Hapsburg’s and Mussolini; with one more to come.
Historians regard Charlemagne as the first Holy Roman Emperor, however the church state scarlet beast system that is ridden by the papacy is what I am referring to, not some historian’s label. In fact it was Justinian who elevated the Catholic Church above the state to maintain order because of the fall of Rome to the barbarians.
There is one more and final revival of the Babylonian Empire system remaining.
This final revival will come when a miracle working Roman Pontiff calls for the nations of Europe to come together in a New Federal Europe, and ten nations [represented by the ten toes of Daniel 2] will join that New Federal Europe which will [regardless of what it names itself] be the final revival of the Holy Roman Empire phase of the Babylonian Empire.
This now rising New Europe will quickly dominate the world for about two years before clashing with the rising power of Asia, just before the coming of Christ. See our daily News and Prophecy Blog.