Isaiah 13 and 14: Babylon Near and Far, Part 2 :: By Mark A. Becker


In Isaiah 13 and 14: Babylon Near and Far – Part 1, we surveyed Isaiah 13:1-18. In Part 2, we will finish our study. If the reader has not read Part 1, I suggest that they do for full understanding of our topic.

Below is a quick synopsis from the introduction of Part 1, meant to be a reminder of what we are looking at regarding Babylon Near and Far.

In this two-part series – a study of Isaiah 13 and most of Isaiah 14 – we will be analyzing Isaiah’s blended prophecies concerning Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylon that fell under Belshazzar to the Medes and the Persians and Antichrist’s Babel/Babylon during the Great Tribulation (the final three and one-half years of the seven-year Tribulation).

Through this study, the reader should also appreciate our attempt to rightly divide the prophetic Word of God using an understanding of the chronology of the prophetic past and prophetic future. While I am never dogmatic on my predictive interpretations, I do hope the reader will see how this technique is employed and will be able to apply this method in their own studies of future prophecy.

When one understands the order of events and their revealed characteristics, then the Bible student should be able to begin making reasonable and logical deductions – when rightly cutting straight the Scriptures – ascertaining what the Prophet’s vision is concerning, and deducing where it fits into the prophetic timeline.

As we get started, we should keep in mind that when it comes to future Bible prophecy, there often tends to be a blending of near and far in relation to the prophet himself; and this portion of Scripture is an excellent example of this truth.

We begin Part 2 with Isaiah 13:19. Underlined Scripture passages are my own emphasis.

Antichrist’s Babel/Babylon Destroyed

The description of Isaiah 13:19-22, as we shall see, can only be applied to Antichrist’s Babel/Babylon at the end of the Great Tribulation.

One of the reasons that Mystery Babylon of Revelation 17 and 18 – The Catholic Church/Rome/Vatican City – does not meet the criteria for this destruction is because of the real animals that will inhabit the destroyed city of Babel/Babylon in Isaiah 13:21-22 versus the spiritual inhabitants of the destroyed city in Revelation 18.

When it comes to the destruction of the Whore of Babylon/Mystery Babylon (Roman Catholic Church/Vatican City/Rome), the description following her destruction is as follows:

“And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.” – Revelation 18:2

The expression, “is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird,” can refer only to demons and fallen angels. “Devils” and “every foul spirit” are self-explanatory, but it needs to be pointed out that “every unclean and hateful bird” is a Biblical metaphor for evil entities, as birds are representative of evil in Jesus’ parables (Matthew 13:4, 19 and Matthew 13:31-32), and Satan is the prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2).

When it comes to the actual birds found in Isaiah 13:21-22 – along with the other animals recorded – these fowls will be roaming free following the destruction of Antichrist’s Babel/Babylon, and not be “caged” as they are in Revelation 18:2 (as representing devils, foul spirits, and evil entities).

There is also a distinct possibility, when it comes to Mystery Babylon, that the entire boot of Italy will fall into the ocean, where the city will be submerged as it “become[s] the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird” when it is destroyed by the 10 kings (Revelation 18:21).

Now, with this foundation laid, let us continue our study beginning at Isaiah 13:19-22.

“And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees’ excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.”Isaiah 13:19

Ancient Babylon was not destroyed “as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah” by the Medes and the Persians, and was, in fact, a center of power for the Media-Persian empire, and was even a prominent city in the days of our Lord and the Apostles. Thus, this verse must be applied to Antichrist’s Babel/Babylon.

The Hebrew word for “Chaldees” is 3778 כַּשְׂדִּי and is the transliteration of “Kasdi,” “Kasdim,” or “Kasdimah” – the region of s. Babylon and a proper name for the inhabitants of Babylon which, obviously, can include the original inhabitants of ancient Babylon. Additionally, Strong’s includes: (occasionally with enclitic) Kasdiymah {kas-dee’- maw}; towards the Kasdites — into Chaldea), patronymically from Kesed (only in the plural); a Kasdite, or descendant of Kesed; by implication, a Chaldean (as if so descended); also an astrologer (as if proverbial of that people — Chaldeans, Chaldees, inhabitants of Chaldea).

Chaldea is commonly thought of as modern-day south east Iraq, just south east of Babylon. But Chaldea was also understood as another name for the Babylonian empire as well as the entire region of Mesopotamia known as Chaldean Babylonia, covering essentially the entire modern-day nation of Iraq.

This region will, by how I interpret future prophecy, include the Antichrist and his ruling hierarchy when they relocate to an – as of yet – undermined location in the Babel/Babylonian/Assyrian region within the Land of Shinar in Mesopotamia. This Babel/Babylon will house a temple and palace for the administering of The Mark of The Beast economic and worship system during the Great Tribulation. Along with this throne, or base of operations, Antichrist will also have a throne and base of operations established in Jerusalem, as we mentioned in Part 1.

[Please see Zechariah 5:5-11 – Homecoming: Babel Returns Home for more information on why I believe this will be the case.]

And when it comes to Antichrist’s Babel/Babylon Mark of the Beast economic and worship kingdom, she will certainly be “the glory of kingdoms” as the 10 kings will hand their 10 worldwide regional kingdoms over to him in the middle of the Tribulation, after they have destroyed Mystery Babylon.

Finally, as a revived “Babel,” Antichrist’s kingdom will reflect her glory days when, under the leadership of Nimrod, the world was united as one people. And just as Nimrod was deified, so, too, will Antichrist be, and both will have been energized by Satan himself.

“It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation: neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there; neither shall the shepherds make their fold there.”Isaiah 13:20

According to Babylon – Wikipedia:

Thousands of people reside in Babylon within the perimeter of the ancient outer city walls, and communities in and around them are “rapidly developing from compact, dense settlements to sprawling suburbia despite laws restricting constructions. “Modern villages include Zwair West, Sinjar Village, Qwaresh, and Al-Jimjmah among which the first two are better off economically.

Obviously, Isaiah 13:20 is speaking of the destruction and desolation of Antichrist’s Babel/Babylon.

Men and women, during the Millennial Kingdom of Christ, will evidently never inhabit this area which has always been a thorn in the flesh to God’s people and an antagonist to the plans and purposes of God. Of course, this never came as a surprise to the omniscient Lord, but this does not negate the fact that Babel/Babylon has always represented the pride of man and Satan.

Therefore, it should be no wonder that, during the Millennial Kingdom, Babel/Babylon will “never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation” as a memorial to the many generations to be born into Messiah’s Kingdom. I am very much convinced that there will be many memorials for these future generations to take in and digest, as we – as Christ’s ambassadors, kings, and priests – are able to relay the information to them as to what they all represent and what occurred there.

“But wild beasts of the desert shall lie there; and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures; and owls shall dwell there, and satyrs shall dance there. And the wild beasts of the islands shall cry in their desolate houses, and dragons in their pleasant palaces: and her time is near to come, and her days shall not be prolonged.”Isaiah 13:21-22

The word “islands” has been added by the King James translators. The literal rendering of the phrase would be “and will howl the hyenas/jackals/wolves in their house/citadels.”

“Pleasant palaces” is the Hebrew word 1964 הֵיכָל “hekal” and means a palace, a temple; exactly what Antichrist will have when he relocates his kingdom to Babel/Babylon. These animals will evidently inhabit these buildings established by the Antichrist, which the Lord is apparently leaving – whether partially or completely destroyed – for a memorial to those who live during the Messianic Kingdom.

In God’s eyes and His plan of consummation, Babel/Babylon’s “time is near to come, and her days shall not be prolonged.” Thankfully, three and one-half years – the last half of the seven-year Tribulation – will be the short time span of her wicked kingdom. As John witnessed the final vial judgment being poured into the air by the seventh angel at the end of the Tribulation, he noted that God remembered Babylon.

“And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.” – Revelation 16:19

This will be when “Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees’ excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.”Isaiah 13:19

The Messianic Kingdom After the Fall of Antichrist’s Babel/Babylon

“For the Lord will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land: and the strangers shall be joined with them, and they shall cleave to the house of Jacob. And the people shall take them, and bring them to their place: and the house of Israel shall possess them in the land of the Lord for servants and handmaids: and they shall take them captives, whose captives they were; and they shall rule over their oppressors.” Isaiah 14:1-2

Israel, as a nation, will finally be the head and not the tail (Deuteronomy 28:10-13). Israel, with Jerusalem as her capital and Messiah as the world’s King, will finally rule over those nations and people that oppressed them throughout her history (Psalm 22:27-28)!

The returning Israeli exiles, who will have escaped to the mountains after the Abomination of Desolation, will take back their beloved city when Christ saves Zion. They will take back the spoil that the nations took from them.

“And Judah also shall fight at Jerusalem; and the wealth of all the heathen round about shall be gathered together, gold, and silver, and apparel, in great abundance.” – Zechariah 14:14

The rest of the remnant of Israel, who were dispersed around the world, will have been captives in many nations. It is because of this fact that the Gentiles who had not taken The Mark of The Beast will be judged at The Separation of the Sheep and the Goats Judgment where their ultimate fate will be based entirely upon how they treated God’s people. Of course, their works in relation to their treatment of God’s people will reflect their inward heart of true faith and salvation in Messiah Yeshua.

The Israelites will rule over the nations that had once ruled over them, but they will rule with meekness and love as their Messiah will rule over the whole earth from Jerusalem.

And when Yeshua establishes His Millennial Kingdom, the people of Israel will be a blessing to the nations.

“Thus saith the Lord; I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth; and the mountain of the Lord of hosts the holy mountain…

“And the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, Let us go speedily to pray before the Lord, and to seek the Lord of hosts: I will go also. Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the Lord. Thus saith the Lord of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.” – Zechariah 8:3, 21-23

“And it shall come to pass in the day that the Lord shall give thee rest from thy sorrow, and from thy fear, and from the hard bondage wherein thou wast made to serve, That thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, How hath the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased! The Lord hath broken the staff of the wicked, and the sceptre of the rulers. He who smote the people in wrath with a continual stroke, he that ruled the nations in anger, is persecuted, and none hindereth.” Isaiah 14:3-7

Isaiah 14:3-7, to me, is a blended passage seemingly uniting both Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylon and Antichrist’s Babel/Babylon. When we read that Israel will “rest from thy sorrow, and from thy fear, and from the hard bondage wherein thou wast made to serve,” we can see both the 70 years that Israel was made to serve the king of Babylon, as well as the bondage of those who survive the onslaught of Antichrist in the Tribulation. For we know that the people of Israel will not only be in the mountains after fleeing the Abomination of Desolation, but some of the remnant will have been scattered throughout the earth (Matthew 24:31) and will have no doubt served many within those nations during the Great Tribulation.

And both Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylon and Antichrist’s Babel/Babylon kingdoms could be described as “the golden city,” as an “oppressor,” as one who had “the staff of the wicked, and the sceptre of the rulers… who smote the people in wrath with a continual stroke… that ruled the nations in anger.”

But then we read of something truly beautiful:

The whole earth is at rest, and is quiet: they break forth into singing. Yea, the fir trees rejoice at thee, and the cedars of Lebanon, saying, Since thou art laid down, no feller is come up against us.”Isaiah 14:8

These beautiful words could never be applied to ancient Babylon after she was overthrown by the Medes and the Persians. Israel did come back into her land, but the conditions they lived in could never be equated to the description in this passage of Scripture – their enemies were a constant threat to them and their country.

Belshazzar in Sheol

[Note: Isaiah 14:9-11, 15-22 is a blended, multifaceted prophecy. In keeping with our theme of Babylon Near and Far, we will only be examining one aspect – a secondary application – of this prophecy below. We plan to share the remainder of this blended, multidimensional prophecy – the primary application with one other submission for consideration – at a later date.]

“Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming: it stirreth up the dead for thee, even all the chief ones of the earth; it hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations. All they shall speak and say unto thee, Art thou also become weak as we? art thou become like unto us? Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee.” Isaiah 14:9-11

King Belshazzar – representing all the Babylonian kings before him and their exploits – is met by others in Sheol immediately after he is killed by the invading Medo-Persian empire the very night he drinks from God’s golden cup (Daniel 5).

The experience will obviously be very troubling for the once mighty king, his brief reign, and the ill-advised pomp that he brought to Babylon by undermining the one true God of creation the very night he was killed. “And the noise of thy viols” brings to memory the music that was played for the worship of Nebuchadnezzar’s golden image (Daniel 3:1-7).

When Christ spoke of hell, he had this to say regarding worms:

“Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.” – Mark 9:48

The unsaved who’s “worm” that “dieth not” is associated with “the fire” that is “not quenched,” when their spirits descend to Sheol after death and both are spiritually symbolic of the torments they will experience in hell, or hades, while they await the Great White Throne Judgment.

Then the focus shifts to the real power behind every evil throne in this fallen world.

Satan Behind the Throne

“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.” Isaiah 14:12-14

Lucifer – or Satan – and his immense pride and desire to be worshiped as only God can be is showcased in this unique passage of Scripture. Satan’s fall and rebellion against his Creator was certainly great as he intended to usurp the throne of God!

King Belshazzar’s Experience in Sheol

In Isaiah 14:15-22, the prophecy of the secondary application returns to King Belshazzar of ancient Babylon and his subsequent experience in Sheol, where the unsaved dead await the Great White Throne Judgment.

“Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.”Isaiah 14:15

There were two compartments of Sheol in the center of the earth – “torments/hades/hell” for the unsaved (which is still there and where the unsaved dead still go after death) and “Abraham’s Bosom/Paradise” where the saved went before Christ took them to heaven after His resurrection.

[For more on this, please see Instantly Changed and Caught Up.]

“They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?

“All the kings of the nations, even all of them, lie in glory, every one in his own house.

“But thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch, and as the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; as a carcase trodden under feet. Thou shalt not be joined with them in burial, because thou hast destroyed thy land, and slain thy people: the seed of evildoers shall never be renowned.

“Prepare slaughter for his children for the iniquity of their fathers; that they do not rise, nor possess the land, nor fill the face of the world with cities. For I will rise up against them, saith the Lord of hosts, and cut off from Babylon the name, and remnant, and son, and nephew, saith the Lord.” Isaiah 14:16-22

What an interesting glimpse into the conversations that took place in Sheol! The first two-thirds of this dialogue may be represented by those in “Abraham’s Bosom/Paradise” speaking across the chasm (mentioned in Luke’s account of The Rich Man and Lazarus) to King Belshazzar in “torments/hades/hell;” many of whom – as believers in the God of Israel – would have been victims of the Babylonian kings’ brutalities, from Nebuchadnezzar to Belshazzar, co-regent and son of Nabonidus.

It appears, as a secondary application for the ancient king of Babylon, that he may not have had a proper burial – or at least a burial that was truly unimpressive as a ruler of the known world!

Additionally, when we read that the king of Babylon “destroyed thy land, and slain thy people,” we see that Belshazzar, representing his co-regent father Nabonidus and the Babylonian kings and princes before him, were sovereign over the many nations under Babylonian rule, and all were very ruthless when it came to these lands and the people they ruled over.

According to BELSHAZZAR – “The references in the Talmud and the Midrash to Belshazzar all emphasize his tyrannous oppression of his Jewish subjects.”

[Again, we will have a future study on the above passages regarding, what I believe to be, the primary application of these verses, along with an additional submission for consideration.]

Antichrist’s Babel/Babylon: Antichrist as “The Assyrian”

Returning to Antichrist’s Babel/Babylon, God declares:

“I will also make it a possession for the bittern, and pools of water: and I will sweep it with the besom of destruction, saith the Lord of hosts.”Isaiah 14:23

As noted, God will remember Babel/Babylon, and, as a memorial, she will be without people for the duration of the Millennial Kingdom.

“… and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.” – Revelation 16:18-19

“The Lord of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand: That I will break the Assyrian in my land, and upon my mountains tread him under foot: then shall his yoke depart from off them, and his burden depart from off their shoulders. This is the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth: and this is the hand that is stretched out upon all the nations. For the Lord of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? and his hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?”Isaiah 14:24-27

It is always so important, when trying to figure out what conflict is being described in Bible prophecy, to remember that the people of Israel will not be present in the promised land at Christ’s Second Coming. In this case, the phrase, “I will break the Assyrian in my land, and upon my mountains tread him under foot,” shows that the battle is in the promised land with no mention of God’s people being present.

From this destruction of the Antichrist, God notes that, “This is the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth: and this is the hand that is stretched out upon all the nations.” And because Christ will destroy the Antichrist – The Assyrian – “then shall [the Antichrist’s] yoke depart from off them, and his burden depart from off their shoulders.”

All the armies that are left of the nations of the world, which will not be many compared to the world’s population at the beginning of the pouring out of God’s wrath (Isaiah 24:6), will come to Jerusalem at the Valley of Jehoshaphat and fill the land all the way to Bozrah in ancient Edom – close to where the Israelites will have been hiding out – awaiting the returning King of kings and Lord of Lords.

[Please see The Valley of Jehoshaphat and ‘Armageddon’ for where this conflict will occur and A Study of Zechariah 14:1-11 for a detailed account of this futile battle.]

[Please see Revelation 13 – The Antichrist for more on the Antichrist as “The Assyrian” and other intriguing details of Antichrist’s reign as recorded in the Scriptures.]

Once again, the final two verses of our study:

“This is the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth: and this is the hand that is stretched out upon all the nations. For the Lord of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? and his hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?Isaiah 14:26-27

Note the unity of Isaiah’s passage with Revelation:

And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God

And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.” – Revelation 19:15, 19-20

Praise our God and Savior, Messiah Yeshua, as He comes back to destroy His enemies, revive the land and the people of the earth, and establish His promised Millennial Kingdom for His beloved chosen people, Israel!


This is how I personally divide and cut straight Isaiah 13:1 through Isaiah 14:27 between the ancient Babylonian empire of Nebuchadnezzar/Belshazzar and Antichrist’s Babel/Babylon empire –- the former being near to the prophet Isaiah, and the latter taking place far into the prophetic future.

And that future Antichrist Babel/Babylonian empire, today, appears to be very, very near on the prophetic horizon.

Until then, keep loving and serving Christ, and keep loving and serving others!

May we all keep Answering the Call of The Great Commission, and giving an answer to every man and woman who so desperately needs Jesus and asks us, “Why Am I Here and What Is It All About?

Love, grace, mercy, and shalom in Messiah Yeshua, and Maranatha!

[Isaiah 14 and 14: Babylon Near and Far – Part 2]

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