Friday, October 06, 2006

The final outcome: complete desolation

So what is the prophecy of Jeremiah 50-51 concerning the land of the Chaldeans, all her cities and environs? It begins and ends with this: "[T]here will be no inhabitant in it..." (Jer 50:3). This climactic finale is repeated throughout the two chapters: "She will be the least of the nations, a wilderness, a parched land, and a desert. Because of the indignation of the LORD she will not be inhabited, but she will be completely desolate..." (Jer 50:13). And again: "It will never again be inhabited or dwelt in from generation to generation, as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah with its neighbors... No man will live there, nor will any son of man reside in it" (Jer 50:39-40). And again: "[T]he purposes of the LORD against Babylon stand. To make the land of Babylon a desolation without inhabitants... And Babylon will become a heap of ruins, a haunt of jackals, an object of horror and hissing, without inhabitants" (Jer 51:29, 37).

Chapter 51 ends with one final decree of calamity upon Babylon: "So Jeremiah wrote in a single scroll all the calamity which would come upon Babylon, that is, all these words which have been written concerning Babylon... 'Thou, O LORD, hast promised concerning this place to cut it off so that there will be nothing dwelling in it, whether man or beast, but it will be perpetual desolation'" (Jer 51:60,62).

That total desolation so that the "land of Babylon" -- modern day Iraq -- is "without inhabitants" has never in all of history ever happened. That land has always had thriving populations. That is why I take the futurist view that it is yet to happen, and that with the U.S.-led invasion, the prophetic events described in the rest of the prophecy are already well under way.



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