Michael Totten, a "foreign correspondent and foreign policy analyst", writes a blog about his travels in the Middle East. He recently (July 8th, 2009) posted an article describing a walk-about he took in Baghdad, Iraq with several U.S. soldiers, prior to the troop withdrawal from Iraqi cities. One of the soldiers made the statement, "When we pull out of this country, this place is going to burn." Totten was less pessimistic.
And so I wrote a comment to his article on his blog site:
Staff Sergeant Christianson said, "When we pull out of this country, this
place is going to burn." But you weren't so sure: "No one can know if it really
will burn," you said.
But Jeremiah the prophet saw it burning 2,600 years ago: "Summon the
(hordes) against Babylon,... encamp against her on every side, let there be no
escape... For your day has come, the time when I shall punish you... I shall set
fire to (the) cities, and it will devour all (the) environs" (Jer. 50:29-32).
Then an Iraqi stopped you: "Please don't hand us over to the Iraqi Army,"
he said. "Look," your escort lieutenant said, "We aren't just going to abandon
Unfortunately, the Lieutenant doesn't know the rest of Jeremiah's prophecy,
for after the cities burn, the occupiers are most certainly going to abandon
Iraq -- "(Babylon's) high gates will be set on fire, so the peoples will toil
for nothing... 'We applied healing to Babylon, but she was not healed; forsake
her and let us each go to his own country, for her judgment has reached to
heaven'" (Jer. 51:58,9).
It is fated by the Prophet!
Totten replied to me by e-mail, stating, "I don't think biblical prophecy about a dead city called Babylon has anything to do with the modern city in the same location. " (Bold emphasis mine.)
So I wrote back: "The Jeremiah 50-51 prophecy is not about any one city, dead or modern. Never was. It is about the land. The 'land of the Chaldeans.' The nation."
Totten's reply exemplifies how pervasive the totally erroneous viewpoint has become, that Jeremiah's prophecy against "Babylon" -- as found in chapters 50 through 51 in the bible -- deals narrowly with a single city once also called "Babylon."
But the words of Jeremiah's prophecy themselves define what is "Babylon", the subject of the prediction of doom -- "The word which the LORD spoke concerning Babylon, the land of the Chaldeans, through Jeremiah the prophet" (Jer. 50:1). Babylon, the Babylon of Jeremiah's prophecy in these two chapters in the bible, is defined right there in the prophecy itself -- "Chaldea will become plunder" (Jer. 50:10), not just some one city also called at one time 'Babylon'.
According to James E. Smith of Florida Christian College, Chaldea is synonymous with the Babylonian empire:
In Jeremiah's day Chaldea was synonymous with Babylonia.
Forty-six references are made to this land and people in Jeremiah. 
According to history-world.com, Babylonia was the "ancient country of Mesopotamia... lying between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers."
So when Jeremiah writes of "Babylon", he is not just speaking of some "dead city" once the capital of ancient Babylonia, he is speaking of the "land" of Babylon, the nation, the "country", that aligns with the region once populated (and still is) by the peoples known as the "Chaldeans" --
"Behold, (Chaldea) will be the least of the nations, a wilderness, a parched land, and a desert" (Jer. 50:12).
"I am going to punish the king of Babylon AND HIS LAND" (Jer. 50:18).
"It is a work of the Lord GOD of hosts in the LAND OF THE CHALDEANS... There is a sound of fugitives and refugees from the LAND OF BABYLON" (Jer. 50:25,28).
It is not just against one "dead city", it is against the "cities", plural -- "I shall set fire to his cities" (Jer. 50:32), "her cities have become an object of horror" (Jer. 51:43).
It is against "the whole land" -- "And her whole land shall be put to shame, and all her slain will fall in her midst" (Jer. 51:47).
Jeremiah's prophecy of doom on Babylon is not about some one time dead city of long ago, it is about the land, the nation, the country, that resides over the region of the land of the Chaldeans, between the Tigris and the Euphrates. It is about the present-day country called Iraq.
Iraq is Babylon of Jeremiah 50-51.
Labels: Not about dead city Babylon