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Babylon 1867 BC- 700 AD. Background for the Short Story, “By the Waters of Babylon” By Steven Vincent Benet. Historical Background. Babylon was a city-state (founded in 1867 BC) of ancient Mesopotamia, R emains are found in present-day Iraq , about 55 miles south of Baghdad.

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Babylon 1867 BC- 700 AD

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babylon 1867 bc 700 ad

Babylon 1867 BC- 700 AD

Background for the Short Story, “By the Waters of Babylon”

By Steven Vincent Benet

historical background
Historical Background

Babylon was a city-state (founded in 1867 BC) of ancient Mesopotamia,

Remains are found in present-day Iraq, about 55 miles south of Baghdad.

It was built upon the Euphrates.

Babylon eclipsed Nippur as the "holy city" of Mesopotamia.

After the fall of Babylon, it came under the rule of other empires.

It was dissolved as a province after the Arab Islamic conquest of the 7th century AD.

biblical background
Biblical Background

Founded by Nimrod more than 2000 years before Christ, the city was the wonder of the ancient world for more than a millennium. It was here that an attempt was made to build a tower to reach into heaven (Tower of Babel) (Gen 11:4).

Babylon was a royal city. Its fortified brick wall was 100km long, extending more than 10m underground, over 100m high, and nearly 30m thick.

Magnificent buildings adorned Babylon, among them Nebuchadnezzar's palace, the Temple of Marduk, and the hanging gardens.

The city of Babylon had an amazing system of reservoirs and canals.

biblical background cont
Biblical Background, cont.
  • Details of Babylon's demise are foreseen in Jeremiah Chapter 51 of the Bible,.
    • The kings of the Medes to attack Babylon. This would be God's "vengeance for his temple" (v.11)
    • The Babylonian army would surrender without a fight (v.30)
    • The city's river would be dried up (v.36)
    • Babylon would never again be inhabited except by wild animals (v.37)
    • The princes of Babylon would be drunk (v.57) —as they were in Balshazzar's feast (Dan 5) .
    • Babylon's walls would be destroyed and her gates burned (v.58).
bible continued
Bible Continued

Babylon was an idolatrous city. Archeologists have uncovered many temples and altars to false gods. Some believe that Nimrod was one of the founders of paganism, so the city may have been a seat of false religion since long, long ago.

It was mainly because of this idolatry that God decreed its destruction. It fell to the Medes and the Persians (Daniel 2).

Babylon was rebellious and history tells us that, not many years later, the ancient and glorious city was beseiged, attacked, and completely destroyed.

the fall of babylon
The Fall of Babylon

Babylon is one of the most often named cities in the Bible.

Because of its arrogance and evil, so strongly denounced by the Old Testament prophets, it was to be destroyed completely and permanently.

This was "the plan of the Lord which he has planned against Babylon, and his purposes which he has purposed against the land of the Chaldeans" (Jer 50:45)

Of course, Babylon is not the only city and kingdom to be destroyed by God.

The prophets compare the destruction of Babylon "as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah" (Jer 50:40)

In the book of Revelation, Rome is called Babylon, and the fall of Rome is predicted just as was the fall of Babylon.