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Babylon

The Bible

Bible Usage:

Dictionaries:

  • Included in Eastons: Yes
  • Included in Hitchcocks: Yes
  • Included in Naves: Yes
  • Included in Smiths: Yes
  • Included in Websters: No
  • Included in Strongs: Yes
  • Included in Thayers: Yes
  • Included in BDB: Yes

Strongs Concordance:

Easton's Bible Dictionary
Babylon

The Greek form of BABEL; Semitic form Babilu, meaning "The Gate of God." In the Assyrian tablets it means "The city of the dispersion of the tribes." The monumental list of its kings reaches back to B.C. 2300, and includes Khammurabi, or Amraphel (q.v.), the contemporary of Abraham. It stood on the Euphrates, about 200 miles above its junction with the Tigris, which flowed through its midst and divided it into two almost equal parts. The Elamites invaded Chaldea (i.e., Lower Mesopotamia, or Shinar, and Upper Mesopotamia, or Accad, now combined into one) and held it in subjection. At length Khammu-rabi delivered it from the foreign yoke, and founded the new empire of Chaldea (q.v.), making Babylon the capital of the united kingdom. This city gradually grew in extent and grandeur, but in process of time it became subject to Assyria. On the fall of Nineveh (B.C. 606) it threw off the Assyrian yoke, and became the capital of the growing Babylonian empire. Under Nebuchadnezzar it became one of the most splendid cities of the ancient world.

After passing through various vicissitudes the city was occupied by Cyrus, "king of Elam," B.C. 538, who issued a decree permitting the Jews to return to their own land (Ezra 1). It then ceased to be the capital of an empire. It was again and again visited by hostile armies, till its inhabitants were all driven from their homes, and the city became a complete desolation, its very site being forgotten from among men.

On the west bank of the Euphrates, about 50 miles south of Bagdad, there is found a series of artificial mounds of vast extent. These are the ruins of this once famous proud city. These ruins are principally (1) the great mound called Babil by the Arabs. This was probably the noted Temple of Belus, which was a pyramid about 480 feet high. (2) The Kasr (i.e., "the palace"). This was the great palace of Nebuchadnezzar. It is almost a square, each side of which is about 700 feet long. The little town of Hillah, near the site of Babylon, is built almost wholly of bricks taken from this single mound. (3) A lofty mound, on the summit of which stands a modern tomb called Amran ibn-Ali. This is probably the most ancient portion of the remains of the city, and represents the ruins of the famous hanging-gardens, or perhaps of some royal palace. The utter desolation of the city once called "The glory of kingdoms" (Isaiah 13:19) was foretold by the prophets (Isaiah 13:4-22; Jeremiah 25:12; 50:2, 3; Daniel 2:31-38).

The Babylon mentioned in 1 Peter 5:13 was not Rome, as some have thought, but the literal city of Babylon, which was inhabited by many Jews at the time Peter wrote.

In Revelation 14:8; 16:19; 17:5; and 18:2, "Babylon" is supposed to mean Rome, not considered as pagan, but as the prolongation of the ancient power in the papal form. Rome, pagan and papal, is regarded as one power. "The literal Babylon was the beginner and supporter of tyranny and idolatry...This city and its whole empire were taken by the Persians under Cyrus; the Persians were subdued by the Macedonians, and the Macedonians by the Romans; so that Rome succeeded to the power of old Babylon. And it was her method to adopt the worship of the false deities she had conquered; so that by her own act she became the heiress and successor of all the Babylonian idolatry, and of all that was introduced into it by the immediate successors of Babylon, and consequently of all the idolatry of the earth." Rome, or "mystical Babylon," is "that great city which reigneth over the kings of the earth" (17:18).


Hitchcock's Names Dictionary
Babylon

same as Babel


Naves Topical Index
Babylon

1. City of:

Built by Nimrod
Genesis 10:10

In the land of Shinar
Genesis 10:10; Genesis 11:2

Tower of
Genesis 11:1-9

Capital of the kingdom of Babylon
Daniel 4:30; 2 Kings 25:13; 2 Chronicles 36:6-7; 2 Chronicles 36:10; 2 Chronicles 36:18; 2 Chronicles 36:20

Gates of
Isaiah 45:1-2; Jeremiah 51:58

Walled
Jeremiah 51:44; Jeremiah 51:58

Splendor of
Isaiah 14:4

Peter writes from
1 Peter 5:13

Prophecies concerning
Psalms 87:4; Psalms 137:8-9; Psalms 23:13; Isaiah 14:4-26; Isaiah 21:1-10; Isaiah 46:1-2; Isaiah 47:1-15; Isaiah 48:14; Isaiah 48:20; Jeremiah 21:4-10; Jeremiah 25:12-14; Jeremiah 27:1-11; Jeremiah 28:14; Jeremiah 32:28; Jeremiah 34:2-3; Jeremiah 42:11-12; Jeremiah 43:1-13; Jeremiah 46:13-26; Jeremiah 49:28-30; Jeremiah 24:50; Ezekiel 21:19; Ezekiel 26:26; Ezekiel 29:17-20; Ezekiel 30:10; Ezekiel 32:11; Daniel 2:21-38; Daniel 4:10-26; Daniel 5:25-29; Daniel 27:7; Habakkuk 1:5-11; Zech 2:7-9

Figurative
Revelation 14:8; Revelation 16:19; Revelation 66:17

2. Empire of Assyria; Chaldea; Persia
Assyria; Chaldea; Persia

Founded by Nimrod
Genesis 10:10

Called land of:

Shinar
Genesis 10:10; Genesis 11:2; Genesis 14:1; Genesis 14:9; Isaiah 11:11; Daniel 1:2; Zech 5:11


Sheshach
Jeremiah 25:26; Jeremiah 24:51; Jeremiah 24:41


Merathaim
Jeremiah 50:21
Chaldea


Divisions of
2 Kings 17:24; 2 Kings 24:7; Isaiah 23:12-13; Daniel 3:1; Acts 7:4

Extent of, at the time of:

Nebuchadnezzar
Daniel 2:37-38; Daniel 4:1; Daniel 6:1


Ahasuerus
Esther 1:1; Esther 8:9; Esther 9:30


Armies of, invade:

Ancient Canaan
Esther 1:14


Samaria
2 Kings 17:5-24


Judah
2 Kings 24:1-16


Jews carried to
2 Kings 12:25; 1 Chronicles 9:1; 2 Chronicles 33:11; 2 Chronicles 36:17-21; Jeremiah 32:2; Jeremiah 24:39; Jeremiah 24:52

Colonists from, sent to Samaria
Ezra 4:9-10; 2 Kings 17:29-32

Conquest of Egypt by
2 Kings 24:7

Prophecies of conquests by
2 Kings 20:16-19; Jeremiah 20:4-7; Jeremiah 24:21; Jeremiah 25:1-11; Jeremiah 24:27; Jeremiah 32:28-29; Jeremiah 24:34; Jeremiah 36:29; Jeremiah 38:17-18; Jeremiah 43:8-13; Jeremiah 46:13-26; Jeremiah 26:12; Jeremiah 26:17; Ezekiel 19:1-14; Ezekiel 26:21; Ezekiel 26:24; Ezekiel 26:26; Ezekiel 29:18-20; Ezekiel 26:30; Ezekiel 26:32

Prophetic denunciations against
Psalms 137:8-9; Psalms 23:13; Isaiah 14:21; Isaiah 43:14-17; Isaiah 47:1-15; Isaiah 24:50

Government of:

A limited monarchy
Esther 1:13-19; Esther 8:8; Daniel 6:8; Daniel 6:14; Daniel 6:17


Tyrannical
Esther 3:7-15; Esther 27:3


Sovereigns of
Belshazzar; Cyrus; Darius; Evil-Merodach; Nebuchadnezzar


Smith's Bible Dictionary
Babylon

in the Apocalypse, is the symbolical name by which Rome is denoted. (Revelation 14:8; 17:18) The power of Rome was regarded by the later Jews as was that of Babylon by their forefathers. Comp. (Jeremiah 51:7) with Rev. 14:8 The occurrence of this name in (1 Peter 5:13) has given rise to a variety of conjectures, many giving it the same meaning as in the Apocalypse; others refer it to Babylon in Asia, and others still to Babylon in Egypt. The most natural supposition of all is that by Babylon is intended the old Babylon of Assyria, which was largely inhabited by Jews at the time in question.


Easton's Bible Dictionary
Babylon, Kingdom of

Called "the land of the Chaldeans" (Jeremiah 24:5; Ezek, 12:13), was an extensive province in Central Asia along the valley of the Tigris from the Persian Gulf northward for some 300 miles. It was famed for its fertility and its riches. Its capital was the city of Babylon, a great commercial centre (Ezekiel 17:4; Isaiah 43:14). Babylonia was divided into the two districts of Accad in the north, and Summer (probably the Shinar of the Old Testament) in the south. Among its chief cities may be mentioned Ur (now Mugheir or Mugayyar), on the western bank of the Euphrates; Uruk, or Erech (Genesis 10:10) (now Warka), between Ur and Babylon; Larsa (now Senkereh), the Ellasar of Genesis 14:1, a little to the east of Erech; Nipur (now Niffer), south-east of Babylon; Sepharvaim (2 Kings 17:24), "the two Sipparas" (now Abu-Habba), considerably to the north of Babylon; and Eridu, "the good city" (now Abu-Shahrein), which lay originally on the shore of the Persian Gulf, but is now, owing to the silting up of the sand, about 100 miles distant from it. Another city was Kulunu, or Calneh (Genesis 10:10).

The salt-marshes at the mouths of the Euphrates and Tigris were called Marratu, "the bitter" or "salt", the Merathaim of Jeremiah 50:21. They were the original home of the Kalda, or Chaldeans.

The most famous of the early kings of Babylonia were Sargon of Accad (B.C. 3800) and his son, Naram-Sin, who conquered a large part of Western Asia, establishing their power in Palestine, and even carrying their arms to the Sinaitic peninsula. A great Babylonian library was founded in the reign of Sargon. Babylonia was subsequently again broken up into more than one state, and at one time fell under the domination of Elam. This was put an end to by Khammu-rabi (Amraphel), who drove the Elamites out of the country, and overcame Arioch, the son of an Elamite prince. From this time forward Babylonia was a united monarchy. About B.C. 1750 it was conquered by the Kassi, or Kosseans, from the mountains of Elam, and a Kassite dynasty ruled over it for 576 years and 9 months.

In the time of Khammu-rabi, Syria and Palestine were subject to Babylonia and its Elamite suzerain; and after the overthrow of the Elamite supremacy, the Babylonian kings continued to exercise their influence and power in what was called "the land of the Amorites." In the epoch of the Kassite dynasty, however, Canaan passed into the hands of Egypt.

In B.C. 729, Babylonia was conquered by the Assyrian king Tiglath-pileser III.; but on the death of Shalmaneser IV. it was seized by the Kalda or "Chaldean" prince Merodach-baladan (2 Kings 20:12-19), who held it till B.C. 709, when he was driven out by Sargon.

Under Sennacherib, Babylonia revolted from Assyria several times, with the help of the Elamites, and after one of these revolts Babylon was destroyed by Sennacherib, B.C. 689. It was rebuilt by Esarhaddon, who made it his residence during part of the year, and it was to Babylon that Manasseh was brought a prisoner (2 Chronicles 33:11). After the death of Esarhaddon, Saul-sumyukin, the viceroy of Babylonia, revolted against his brother the Assyrian king, and the revolt was suppressed with difficulty.

When Nineveh was destroyed, B.C. 606, Nabopolassar, the viceroy of Babylonia, who seems to have been of Chaldean descent, made himself independent. His son Nebuchadrezzar (Nabu-kudur-uzur), after defeating the Egyptians at Carchemish, succeeded him as king, B.C. 604, and founded the Babylonian empire. He strongly fortified Babylon, and adorned it with palaces and other buildings. His son, Evil-merodach, who succeeded him in B.C. 561, was murdered after a reign of two years. The last monarch of the Babylonian empire was Nabonidus (Nabu-nahid), B.C. 555-538, whose eldest son, Belshazzar (Bilu-sar-uzur), is mentioned in several inscriptions. Babylon was captured by Cyrus, B.C. 538, and though it revolted more than once in later years, it never succeeded in maintaining its independence.


Webster's 1828 Dictionary
Babylonian

BABYLO'NIAN

BABYLON'IC

BABYLON'ICAL, adjective Pertaining to Babylon, or made there; as Babylonic garments, carpets or hangings.

2. Tumultuous; disorderly.


Smith's Bible Dictionary
Babylonians

the inhabitants of Babylon, a race of Shemitic origin, who were among the colonists planted in the cities of Samaria by the conquering Assyrian. (Ezra 4:9)


Webster's 1828 Dictionary
Babylonics

BABYLON'ICS, noun plural The title of a fragment of the history of the world, ending 267 years before Christ, composed by Berosus, a priest of Babylon.


Webster's 1828 Dictionary
Babylonish

BABYLO'NISH, adjective Pertaining to Babylon, the capital of the ancient kingdom of Babylonia, or to the kingdom. The city stood on the river Frat, or Euphrates, and it is supposed, on the spot where the tower of Babel was founded.

2. Like the language of Babel; mixed; confused.

BABYLO'NIAN, noun An inhabitant of Babylonia. In ancient writers, an astrologer, as the Chaldeans were remarkable for the study of astrology.


Easton's Bible Dictionary
Babylonish Garment

A robe of rich colours fabricated at Babylon, and hence of great value (Joshua 7:21).


Smith's Bible Dictionary
Babylonish Garment

literally "robe of Shinar," (Joshua 7:21) an ample robe, probably made of the skin or fur of an animal, comp. (Genesis 25:25) and ornamented with embroidery or perhaps a variegated garment with figures inwoven in the fashion for which the Babylonians were celebrated.