Written and produced by Raymond McCullough:
Precious Oil Productions Ltd,
for Kingdom Come Trust
The Babylon Prophecies (Appendix to the book)
The prophetic writings about Mega-Babylon (NIV), colour-coded to aid study
THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV®
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Used by permission.
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In this appendix I have put together the main passages of the Hebrew prophets which refer to Babylon, and which remain unfulfilled to this day. While studying these things myself I found it very useful to colour code some of the verses which were common to different prophets. I have decided to do the same here and I hope you also will find it useful.
You may want to copy this document to your own computer, or print it out so you can study it at leisure. I recommend that you do!
|Blue ||- relating to Israel|
|Green ||- other nations affected by Babylon and who will leave Babylon|
|Red ||- description of Babylon’s destruction|
|Orange ||- the nations who will attack Babylon|
The relevant passages are:
/ Jeremiah 51
/ Isaiah 13
/ Isaiah 14
/ Isaiah 21
/ Isaiah 47
/ Isaiah 48
/ Habbakuk 1
/ Habbakuk 2
/ The Revelation 14
/ The Revelation 17
/ The Revelation 18
/ 2 Thessalonians 2
A Message About Babylon
1 This is the word the LORD spoke through Jeremiah the prophet concerning Babylon and the land of the Babylonians:
2 "Announce and proclaim among the nations, lift up a banner and proclaim it; keep nothing back, but say, ‘Babylon will be captured; Bel will be put to shame, Marduk filled with terror. Her images will be put to shame and her idols filled with terror.’
3 A nation from the north will attack her and lay waste her land. No one will live in it; both people and animals will flee away.
4 "In those days, at that time, "declares the LORD, "the people of Israel and the people of Judah together will go in tears to seek the LORD their God.
5 They will ask the way to Zion and turn their faces toward it. They will come and bind themselves to the LORD in an everlasting covenant that will not be forgotten.
6 "My people have been lost sheep; their shepherds have led them astray and caused them to roam on the mountains. They wandered over mountain and hill and forgot their own resting place.
7 Whoever found them devoured them; their enemies said, ‘We are not guilty, for they sinned against the LORD, their verdant pasture, the LORD, the hope of their ancestors.’
8 "Flee out of Babylon; leave the land of the Babylonians, and be like the goats that lead the flock.
9 For I will stir up and bring against Babylon an alliance of great nations from the land of the north. They will take up their positions against her, and from the north she will be captured. Their arrows will be like skilled warriors who do not return empty-handed.
10 So Babylonia will be plundered; all who plunder her will have their fill," declares the LORD.
11 "Because you rejoice and are glad, you who pillage my inheritance, because you frolic like a heifer threshing grain and neigh like stallions,
12 your mother will be greatly ashamed; she who gave you birth will be disgraced. She will be the least of the nations—a wilderness, a dry land, a desert.
13 Because of the LORD’s anger she will not be inhabited but will be completely desolate. All who pass Babylon will be appalled; they will scoff because of all her wounds.
14 "Take up your positions around Babylon, all you who draw the bow. Shoot at her! Spare no arrows, for she has sinned against the LORD.
15 Shout against her on every side! She surrenders, her towers fall, her walls are torn down. Since this is the vengeance of the LORD, take vengeance on her; do to her as she has done to others.
16 Cut off from Babylon the sower, and the reaper with his sickle at harvest. Because of the sword of the oppressor let everyone return to their own people, let everyone flee to their own land.
17 "Israel is a scattered flock that lions have chased away. The first to devour them was the king of Assyria; the last to crush their bones was Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon."
18 Therefore this is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: "I will punish the king of Babylon and his land as I punished the king of Assyria.
19 But I will bring Israel back to their own pasture, and they will graze on Carmel and Bashan; their appetite will be satisfied on the hills of Ephraim and Gilead.
20 In those days, at that time," declares the LORD, "search will be made for Israel’s guilt, but there will be none, and for the sins of Judah, but none will be found, for I will forgive the remnant I spare.
21 "Attack the land of Merathaim and those who live in Pekod. Pursue, kill and completely destroy them," declares the LORD. "Do everything I have commanded you.
22 The noise of battle is in the land, the noise of great destruction!
23 How broken and shattered is the hammer of the whole earth! How desolate is Babylon among the nations!
24 I set a trap for you, Babylon, and you were caught before you knew it; you were found and captured because you opposed the LORD.
25 The LORD has opened his arsenal and brought out the weapons of his wrath, for the Sovereign LORD Almighty has work to do in the land of the Babylonians.
26 Come against her from afar. Break open her granaries; pile her up like heaps of grain. Completely destroy her and leave her no remnant.
27 Kill all her young bulls; let them go down to the slaughter! Woe to them! For their day has come, the time for them to be punished.
28 Listen to the fugitives and refugees from Babylon declaring in Zion how the LORD our God has taken vengeance, vengeance for his temple.
29 "Summon archers against Babylon, all those who draw the bow. Encamp all around her; let no one escape. Repay her for her deeds; do to her as she has done. For she has defied the LORD, the Holy One of Israel.
30 Therefore, her young men will fall in the streets; all her soldiers will be silenced in that day," declares the LORD.
31 "See, I am against you, you arrogant one," declares the Lord, the LORD Almighty, "for your day has come, the time for you to be punished.
32 The arrogant one will stumble and fall and no one will help her up; I will kindle a fire in her towns that will consume all who are around her."
33 This is what the LORD Almighty says: "The people of Israel are oppressed, and the people of Judah as well. All their captors hold them fast, refusing to let them go.
34 Yet their Redeemer is strong; the LORD Almighty is his name. He will vigorously defend their cause so that he may bring rest to their land, but unrest to those who live in Babylon.
35 "A sword against the Babylonians!" declares the LORD—"against those who live in Babylon and against her officials and wise men!
36 A sword against her false prophets! They will become fools. A sword against her warriors! They will be filled with terror.
37 A sword against her horses and chariots and all the foreigners in her ranks! They will become weaklings. A sword against her treasures! They will be plundered.
38 A drought on her waters! They will dry up. For it is a land of idols, idols that will go mad with terror.
39 "So desert creatures and hyenas will live there, and there the owl will dwell. It will never again be inhabited or lived in from generation to generation.
40 As I overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah along with their neighboring towns," declares the LORD, "so no one will live there; no people will dwell in it.
41 "Look! An army is coming from the north; a great nation and many kings are being stirred up from the ends of the earth.
42 They are armed with bows and spears; they are cruel and without mercy. They sound like the roaring sea as they ride on their horses; they come like men in battle formation to attack you, Daughter Babylon.
43 The king of Babylon has heard reports about them, and his hands hang limp. Anguish has gripped him, pain like that of a woman in labor.
44 Like a lion coming up from Jordan’s thickets to a rich pastureland, I will chase Babylon from its land in an instant. Who is the chosen one I will appoint for this? Who is like me and who can challenge me? And what shepherd can stand against me?"
45 Therefore, hear what the LORD has planned against Babylon, what he has purposed against the land of the Babylonians: The young of the flock will be dragged away; their pasture will be appalled at their fate.
46 At the sound of Babylon’s capture the earth will tremble; its cry will resound among the nations.
1 This is what the LORD says: "See, I will stir up the spirit of a destroyer against Babylon and the people of Leb Kamai.
2 I will send foreigners to Babylon to winnow her and to devastate her land; they will oppose her on every side in the day of her disaster.
3 Let not the archer string his bow, nor let him put on his armor. Do not spare her young men; completely destroy her army.
4 They will fall down slain in Babylon, fatally wounded in her streets.
5 For Israel and Judah have not been forsaken by their God, the LORD Almighty, though their land is full of guilt before the Holy One of Israel.
6 "Flee from Babylon! Run for your lives! Do not be destroyed because of her sins. It is time for the LORD’s vengeance; he will repay her what she deserves.
7 Babylon was a gold cup in the LORD’s hand; she made the whole earth drunk. The nations drank her wine; therefore they have now gone mad.
8 Babylon will suddenly fall and be broken. Wail over her! Get balm for her pain; perhaps she can be healed.
9 "‘We would have healed Babylon, but she cannot be healed; let us leave her and each go to our own land, for her judgment reaches to the skies, it rises as high as the heavens.’
10 "‘The LORD has vindicated us; come, let us tell in Zion what the LORD our God has done.’
11 "Sharpen the arrows, take up the shields! The LORD has stirred up the kings of the Medes, because his purpose is to destroy Babylon. The LORD will take vengeance, vengeance for his temple.
12 Lift up a banner against the walls of Babylon! Reinforce the guard, station the watchmen, prepare an ambush! The LORD will carry out his purpose, his decree against the people of Babylon.
13 You who live by many waters and are rich in treasures, your end has come, the time for you to be destroyed.
14 The LORD Almighty has sworn by himself: I will surely fill you with troops, as with a swarm of locusts, and they will shout in triumph over you.
15 "He made the earth by his power; he founded the world by his wisdom and stretched out the heavens by his understanding.
16 When he thunders, the waters in the heavens roar; he makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth. He sends lightning with the rain and brings out the wind from his storehouses.
17 "Everyone is senseless and without knowledge; every goldsmith is shamed by his idols. The images he makes are a fraud; they have no breath in them.
18 They are worthless, the objects of mockery; when their judgment comes, they will perish.
19 He who is the Portion of Jacob is not like these, for he is the Maker of all things, including the people of his inheritance— the LORD Almighty is his name.
20 "You are my war club, my weapon for battle— with you I shatter nations, with you I destroy kingdoms,
21 with you I shatter horse and rider, with you I shatter chariot and driver,
22 with you I shatter man and woman, with you I shatter old man and youth, with you I shatter young man and young woman,
23 with you I shatter shepherd and flock, with you I shatter farmer and oxen, with you I shatter governors and officials.
24 "Before your eyes I will repay Babylon and all who live in Babylonia for all the wrong they have done in Zion," declares the LORD.
25 "I am against you, you destroying mountain, you who destroy the whole earth," declares the LORD. "I will stretch out my hand against you, roll you off the cliffs, and make you a burned-out mountain.
26 No rock will be taken from you for a cornerstone, nor any stone for a foundation, for you will be desolate forever," declares the LORD.
27 "Lift up a banner in the land! Blow the trumpet among the nations! Prepare the nations for battle against her; summon against her these kingdoms: Ararat, Minni and Ashkenaz. Appoint a commander against her; send up horses like a swarm of locusts.
28 Prepare the nations for battle against her— the kings of the Medes, their governors and all their officials, and all the countries they rule.
29 The land trembles and writhes, for the LORD’s purposes against Babylon stand— to lay waste the land of Babylon so that no one will live there.
30 Babylon’s warriors have stopped fighting; they remain in their strongholds. Their strength is exhausted; they have become weaklings. Her dwellings are set on fire; the bars of her gates are broken.
31 One courier follows another and messenger follows messenger to announce to the king of Babylon that his entire city is captured,
32 the river crossings seized, the marshes set on fire, and the soldiers terrified."
33 This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: "Daughter Babylon is like a threshing floor at the time it is trampled; the time to harvest her will soon come."
34 "Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon has devoured us, he has thrown us into confusion, he has made us an empty jar. Like a serpent he has swallowed us and filled his stomach with our delicacies, and then has spewed us out.
35 May the violence done to our flesh be on Babylon," say the inhabitants of Zion. "May our blood be on those who live in Babylonia," says Jerusalem.
36 Therefore this is what the LORD says: "See, I will defend your cause and avenge you;
I will dry up her sea and make her springs dry.
37 Babylon will be a heap of ruins, a haunt of jackals, an object of horror and scorn, a place where no one lives.
38 Her people all roar like young lions, they growl like lion cubs.
39 But while they are aroused, I will set out a feast for them and make them drunk, so that they shout with laughter— then sleep forever and not awake," declares the LORD.
40 "I will bring them down like lambs to the slaughter, like rams and goats.
41 "How Sheshak will be captured, the boast of the whole earth seized! How desolate Babylon will be among the nations!
42 The sea will rise over Babylon; its roaring waves will cover her.
43 Her towns will be desolate, a dry and desert land, a land where no one lives, through which no one travels.
44 I will punish Bel in Babylon and make him spew out what he has swallowed.
The nations will no longer stream to him. And the wall of Babylon will fall.
45 "Come out of her, my people! Run for your lives! Run from the fierce anger of the LORD.
46 Do not lose heart or be afraid when rumors are heard in the land; one rumor comes this year, another the next, rumors of violence in the land and of ruler against ruler.
47 For the time will surely come when I will punish the idols of Babylon; her whole land will be disgraced and her slain will all lie fallen within her.
48 Then heaven and earth and all that is in them will shout for joy over Babylon, for out of the north destroyers will attack her," declares the LORD.
49 "Babylon must fall because of Israel’s slain, just as the slain in all the earth have fallen because of Babylon.
50 You who have escaped the sword, leave and do not linger! Remember the LORD in a distant land, and call to mind Jerusalem."
51 "We are disgraced, for we have been insulted and shame covers our faces, because foreigners have entered the holy places of the LORD’s house."
52 "But days are coming," declares the LORD, "when I will punish her idols, and throughout her land the wounded will groan.
53 Even if Babylon ascends to the heavens and fortifies her lofty stronghold, I will send destroyers against her," declares the LORD.
54 "The sound of a cry comes from Babylon, the sound of great destruction from the land of the Babylonians.
55 The LORD will destroy Babylon; he will silence her noisy din. Waves of enemies will rage like great waters; the roar of their voices will resound.
56 A destroyer will come against Babylon; her warriors will be captured, and their bows will be broken. For the LORD is a God of retribution; he will repay in full.
57 I will make her officials and wise men drunk, her governors, officers and warriors as well; they will sleep forever and not awake," declares the King, whose name is the LORD Almighty.
58 This is what the LORD Almighty says: "Babylon’s thick wall will be leveled and her high gates set on fire; the peoples exhaust themselves for nothing, the nations’ labor is only fuel for the flames."
59 This is the message Jeremiah the prophet gave to the staff officer Seraiah son of Neriah, the son of Mahseiah, when he went to Babylon with Zedekiah king of Judah in the fourth year of his reign.
60 Jeremiah had written on a scroll about all the disasters that would come upon Babylon— all that had been recorded concerning Babylon.
61 He said to Seraiah, "When you get to Babylon, see that you read all these words aloud.
62 Then say, ‘LORD, you have said you will destroy this place, so that neither people nor animals will live in it; it will be desolate forever.’
63 When you finish reading this scroll, tie a stone to it and throw it into the Euphrates.
64 Then say, ‘So will Babylon sink to rise no more because of the disaster I will bring on her. And her people will fall.’"
The words of Jeremiah end here.
A Prophecy Against Babylon
1 A prophecy against Babylon that Isaiah son of Amoz saw:
2 Raise a banner on a bare hilltop, shout to them; beckon to them to enter the gates of the nobles.
3 I have commanded those I prepared for battle; I have summoned my warriors to carry out my wrath those who rejoice in my triumph.
4 Listen, a noise on the mountains, like that of a great multitude! Listen, an uproar among the kingdoms, like nations massing together! The LORD Almighty is mustering an army for war.
5 They come from faraway lands, from the ends of the heavens the LORD and the weapons of his wrath to destroy the whole country.
6 Wail, for the day of the LORD is near; it will come like destruction from the Almighty.
7 Because of this, all hands will go limp, every heart will melt with fear.
8 Terror will seize them, pain and anguish will grip them; they will writhe like a woman in labor. They will look aghast at each other, their faces aflame.
9 See, the day of the LORD is coming— a cruel day, with wrath and fierce anger— to make the land desolate and destroy the sinners within it.
10 The stars of heaven and their constellations will not show their light. The rising sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light.
11 I will punish the world for its evil, the wicked for their sins. I will put an end to the arrogance of the haughty and will humble the pride of the ruthless.
12 I will make people scarcer than pure gold, more rare than the gold of Ophir.
13 Therefore I will make the heavens tremble; and the earth will shake from its place at the wrath of the LORD Almighty, in the day of his burning anger.
14 Like a hunted gazelle, like sheep without a shepherd, they will all return to their own people, they will flee to their native land.
15 Whoever is captured will be thrust through; all who are caught will fall by the sword.
16 Their infants will be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses will be looted and their wives violated.
17 See, I will stir up against them the Medes, who do not care for silver and have no delight in gold.
18 Their bows will strike down the young men; they will have no mercy on infants, nor will they look with compassion on children.
19 Babylon, the jewel of kingdoms, the pride and glory of the Babylonians, will be overthrown by God like Sodom and Gomorrah.
20 She will never be inhabited or lived in through all generations; there no nomads will pitch their tents, there no shepherds will rest their flocks.
21 But desert creatures will lie there, jackals will fill her houses; there the owls will dwell, and there the wild goats will leap about.
22 Hyenas will inhabit her strongholds, jackals her luxurious palaces. Her time is at hand, and her days will not be prolonged.
1 The LORD will have compassion on Jacob; once again he will choose Israel and will settle them in their own land. Foreigners will join them and unite with the descendants of Jacob.
2 Nations will take them and bring them to their own place. And Israel will take possession of the nations and make them male and female servants in the LORD’s land. They will make captives of their captors and rule over their oppressors.
3 On the day the LORD gives you relief from your suffering and turmoil and from the harsh labor forced on you,
4 you will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon: How the oppressor has come to an end! How his fury has ended!
5 The LORD has broken the rod of the wicked, the scepter of the rulers,
6 which in anger struck down peoples with unceasing blows, and in fury subdued nations with relentless aggression.
7 All the lands are at rest and at peace; they break into singing.
8 Even the junipers and the cedars of Lebanon gloat over you and say, "Now that you have been laid low, no one comes to cut us down."
9 The realm of the dead below is all astir to meet you at your coming; it rouses the spirits of the departed to greet you— all those who were leaders in the world; it makes them rise from their thrones— all those who were kings over the nations.
10 They will all respond, they will say to you, "You also have become weak, as we are; you have become like us."
11 All your pomp has been brought down to the grave, along with the noise of your harps; maggots are spread out beneath you and worms cover you.
12 How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations!
13 You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon.
14 I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’
15 But you are brought down to the realm of the dead, to the depths of the pit.
16 Those who see you stare at you, they ponder your fate: ‘Is this the man who shook the earth and made kingdoms tremble,
17 the man who made the world a wilderness, who overthrew its cities and would not let his captives go home’
18 All the kings of the nations lie in state, each in his own tomb.
19 But you are cast out of your tomb like a rejected branch; you are covered with the slain, with those pierced by the sword, those who descend to the stones of the pit. Like a corpse trampled underfoot,
20 you will not join them in burial, for you have destroyed your land and killed your people. Let the offspring of the wicked never be mentioned again.
21 Prepare a place to slaughter his children for the sins of their ancestors; they are not to rise to inherit the land and cover the earth with their cities.
22 "I will rise up against them," declares the LORD Almighty. "I will wipe out Babylon’s name and survivors, her offspring and descendants," declares the LORD.
23 "I will turn her into a place for owls and into swampland; I will sweep her with the broom of destruction," declares the LORD Almighty.
24 The LORD Almighty has sworn, "Surely, as I have planned, so it will be, and as I have purposed, so it will happen.
25 I will crush the Assyrian in my land; on my mountains I will trample him down. His yoke will be taken from my people, and his burden removed from their shoulders."
26 This is the plan determined for the whole world; this is the hand stretched out over all nations.
27 For the LORD Almighty has purposed, and who can thwart him? His hand is stretched out, and who can turn it back?
A Prophecy Against the Philistines
28 This prophecy came in the year King Ahaz died:
29 Do not rejoice, all you Philistines, that the rod that struck you is broken; from the root of that snake will spring up a viper, its fruit will be a darting, venomous serpent.
30 The poorest of the poor will find pasture, and the needy will lie down in safety. But your root I will destroy by famine; it will slay your survivors.
31 Wail, you gate! Howl, you city! Melt away, all you Philistines! A cloud of smoke comes from the north, and there is not a straggler in its ranks.
32 What answer shall be given to the envoys of that nation? "The LORD has established Zion, and in her his afflicted people will find refuge."
A Prophecy Against Babylon
1 A prophecy against the Desert by the Sea: Like whirlwinds sweeping through the southland, an invader comes from the desert, from a land of terror.
2 A dire vision has been shown to me: The traitor betrays, the looter takes loot. Elam, attack! Media, lay siege! I will bring to an end all the groaning she caused.
3 At this my body is racked with pain, pangs seize me, like those of a woman in labor; I am staggered by what I hear, I am bewildered by what I see.
4 My heart falters, fear makes me tremble; the twilight I longed for has become a horror to me.
5 They set the tables, they spread the rugs, they eat, they drink! Get up, you officers, oil the shields!
6 This is what the Lord says to me: "Go, post a lookout and have him report what he sees.
7 When he sees chariots with teams of horses, riders on donkeys or riders on camels, let him be alert, fully alert."
8 And the lookout shouted, "Day after day, my lord, I stand on the watchtower; every night I stay at my post.
9 Look, here comes a man in a chariot with a team of horses. And he gives back the answer: ’Babylon has fallen, has fallen! All the images of its gods lie shattered on the ground!‘"
10 My people who are crushed on the threshing floor, I tell you what I have heard from the LORD Almighty, from the God of Israel.
The Fall of Babylon
1 "Go down, sit in the dust, Virgin Daughter Babylon; sit on the ground without a throne, queen city of the Babylonians. No more will you be called tender or delicate.
2 Take millstones and grind flour; take off your veil. Lift up your skirts, bare your legs, and wade through the streams.
3 Your nakedness will be exposed and your shame uncovered. I will take vengeance; I will spare no one."
4 Our Redeemer—the LORD Almighty is his name—is the Holy One of Israel.
5 "Sit in silence, go into darkness, queen city of the Babylonians; no more will you be called queen of kingdoms.
6 I was angry with my people and desecrated my inheritance; I gave them into your hand, and you showed them no mercy. Even on the aged you laid a very heavy yoke.
7 You said, ‘I am forever— the eternal queen!’ But you did not consider these things or reflect on what might happen.
8 "Now then, listen, you lover of pleasure, lounging in your security and saying to yourself, ‘I am, and there is none besides me. I will never be a widow or suffer the loss of children.’
9 Both of these will overtake you in a moment, on a single day: loss of children and widowhood. They will come upon you in full measure, in spite of your many sorceries and all your potent spells.
10 You have trusted in your wickedness and have said, ‘No one sees me.’ Your wisdom and knowledge mislead you when you say to yourself, ‘I am, and there is none besides me.’
11 Disaster will come upon you, and you will not know how to conjure it away. A calamity will fall upon you that you cannot ward off with a ransom; a catastrophe you cannot foresee will suddenly come upon you.
12 "Keep on, then, with your magic spells and with your many sorceries, which you have labored at since childhood. Perhaps you will succeed, perhaps you will cause terror.
13 All the counsel you have received has only worn you out! Let your astrologers come forward, those stargazers who make predictions month by month, let them save you from what is coming upon you.
14 Surely they are like stubble; the fire will burn them up. They cannot even save themselves from the power of the flame. These are not coals for warmth; this is not a fire to sit by.
15 That is all they are to you— these you have dealt with and labored with since childhood. All of them go on in their error; there is not one that can save you.
1 "Listen to this, you descendants of Jacob, you who are called by the name of Israel and come from the line of Judah, you who take oaths in the name of the LORD and invoke the God of Israel— but not in truth or righteousness
2 you who call yourselves citizens of the holy city and claim to rely on the God of Israel— the LORD Almighty is his name:
3 I foretold the former things long ago, my mouth announced them and I made them known; then suddenly I acted, and they came to pass.
4 For I knew how stubborn you were; your neck muscles were iron, your forehead was bronze.
5 Therefore I told you these things long ago; before they happened I announced them to you so that you could not say, ‘My images brought them about; my wooden image and metal god ordained them.’
6 You have heard these things; look at them all. Will you not admit them? "From now on I will tell you of new things, of hidden things unknown to you.
7 They are created now, and not long ago; you have not heard of them before today. So you cannot say, ‘Yes, I knew of them.’
8 You have neither heard nor understood; from of old your ears have not been open. Well do I know how treacherous you are; you were called a rebel from birth.
9 For my own name’s sake I delay my wrath; for the sake of my praise I hold it back from you, so as not to destroy you completely.
10 See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.
11 For my own sake, for my own sake, I do this. How can I let myself be defamed? I will not yield my glory to another.
12 "Listen to me, Jacob, Israel, whom I have called: I am he; I am the first and I am the last.
13 My own hand laid the foundations of the earth, and my right hand spread out the heavens; when I summon them, they all stand up together.
14 "Come together, all of you, and listen: Which of the idols has foretold these things?
The LORD’s chosen ally will carry out his purpose against Babylon; his arm will be against the Babylonians.
15 I, even I, have spoken; yes, I have called him. I will bring him, and he will succeed in his mission.
16 "Come near me and listen to this: "From the first announcement I have not spoken in secret; at the time it happens, I am there." And now the Sovereign LORD has sent me, endowed with his Spirit.
17 This is what the LORD says— your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: "I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.
18 If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your well-being like the waves of the sea.
19 Your descendants would have been like the sand, your children like its numberless grains; their name would never be blotted out nor destroyed from before me."
20 Leave Babylon, flee from the Babylonians! Announce this with shouts of joy and proclaim it. Send it out to the ends of the earth; say, ‘The LORD has redeemed his servant Jacob.’
21 They did not thirst then he led them through the deserts; he made water flow for them from the rock; he split the rock and water gushed out.
22 "There is no peace", says the LORD, "for the wicked."
1 The prophecy that Habakkuk the prophet received.
2 How long, LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, "Violence!" but you do not save?
3 Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrongdoing? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and conflict abounds.
4 Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails. The wicked hem in the righteous, so that justice is perverted.
The LORD’s Answer
5 "Look at the nations and watch— and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told.
6 I am raising up the Babylonians, that ruthless and impetuous people, who sweep across the whole earth to seize dwellings not their own.
7 They are a feared and dreaded people; they are a law to themselves and promote their own honor.
8 Their horses are swifter than leopards, fiercer than wolves at dusk. Their cavalry gallops headlong; their horsemen come from afar. They fly like an eagle swooping to devour;
9 they all come intent on violence. Their hordes advance like a desert wind and gather prisoners like sand.
10 They mock kings and scoff at rulers. They laugh at all fortified cities; by building earthen ramps they capture them.
11 Then they sweep past like the wind and go on— guilty people, whose own strength is their god."
Habakkuk’s Second Complaint
12 LORD, are you not from everlasting? My God, my Holy One, you will never die. You, LORD, have appointed them to execute judgment; you, my Rock, have ordained them to punish.
13 Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrongdoing. Why then do you tolerate the treacherous? Why are you silent while the wicked swallow up those more righteous than themselves?
14 You have made people like the fish in the sea, like the sea creatures that have no ruler.
15 The wicked foe pulls all of them up with hooks, he catches them in his net, he gathers them up in his dragnet; and so he rejoices and is glad.
16 Therefore he sacrifices to his net and burns incense to his dragnet, for by his net he lives in luxury and enjoys the choicest food.
17 Is he to keep on emptying his net, destroying nations without mercy?
1 I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what he will say to me, and what answer I am to give to this complaint.
The LORD’s Answer
2 Then the LORD replied: Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it.
3 For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.
4 "See, the enemy is puffed up; his desires are not upright— but the righteous person will live by his faithfulness"
5 indeed, wine betrays him; he is arrogant and never at rest. Because he is as greedy as the grave and like death is never satisfied, he gathers to himself all the nations and takes captive all the peoples.
6 "Will not all of them taunt him with ridicule and scorn, saying, ‘Woe to him who piles up stolen goods and makes himself wealthy by extortion! How long must this go on?’
7 Will not your creditors suddenly arise? Will they not wake up and make you tremble? Then you will become their prey.
8 Because you have plundered many nations, the peoples who are left will plunder you. For you have shed human blood; you have destroyed lands and cities and everyone in them.
9 "Woe to him who builds his house by unjust gain, setting his nest on high to escape the clutches of ruin!
10 You have plotted the ruin of many peoples, shaming your own house and forfeiting your life.
11 The stones of the wall will cry out, and the beams of the woodwork will echo it.
12 "Woe to him who builds a city with bloodshed and establishes a town by injustice!
13 Has not the LORD Almighty determined that the people’s labor is only fuel for the fire, that the nations exhaust themselves for nothing?
14 For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.
15 "Woe to him who gives drink to his neighbors, pouring it from the wineskin till they are drunk, so that he can gaze on their naked bodies!
16 You will be filled with shame instead of glory. Now it is your turn! Drink and let your nakedness be exposed! The cup from the LORD’s right hand is coming around to you, and disgrace will cover your glory.
17 The violence you have done to Lebanon will overwhelm you, and your destruction of animals will terrify you. For you have shed human blood; you have destroyed lands and cities and everyone in them.
18 "Of what value is an idol carved by a craftsman? Or an image that teaches lies? For the one who makes it trusts in his own creation; he makes idols that cannot speak.
19 Woe to him who says to wood, ‘Come to life!’ Or to lifeless stone, ‘Wake up!’ Can it give guidance? It is covered with gold and silver; there is no breath in it."
20 The LORD is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent before him.
The Three Angels
6 Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth—to every nation, tribe, language and people.
7 He said in a loud voice, ‘Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.’
8 A second angel followed and said, ‘Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great, which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries.’
9 A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: ’If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives its mark on their forehead or on their hand,
10 they, too, will drink the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. They will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb.
11 And the smoke of their torment will rise for ever and ever. There will be no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image, or for anyone who receives the mark of its name.’
12 This calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God who keep his commands and remain faithful to Jesus.
13 Then I heard a voice from heaven say, ‘Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’ ‘Yes,’ says the Spirit, ’they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them.’
Harvesting the Earth and Trampling the Winepress
14 I looked, and there before me was a white cloud, and seated on the cloud was one like a son of man with a crown of gold on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand.
15 Then another angel came out of the temple and called in a loud voice to him who was sitting on the cloud, ‘Take your sickle and reap, because the time to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.’
16 So he who was seated on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth, and the earth was harvested.
BABYLON THE GREAT
Babylon, the Prostitute on the Beast
1 One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, ‘Come, I will show you the punishment of the great prostitute, who sits by many waters.
2 With her the kings of the earth committed adultery, and the inhabitants of the earth were intoxicated with the wine of her adulteries.’
3 Then the angel carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness. There I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was covered with blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns.
4 The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, and was glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls. She held a golden cup in her hand, filled with abominable things and the filth of her adulteries.
5 The name written on her forehead was a mystery:
THE MOTHER OF PROSTITUTES AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
6 I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of God’s holy people, the blood of those who bore testimony to Jesus. When I saw her, I was greatly astonished.
7 Then the angel said to me: ‘Why are you astonished? I will explain to you the mystery of the woman and of the beast she rides, which has the seven heads and ten horns.
8 The beast, which you saw, once was, now is not, and yet will come up out of the Abyss and go to its destruction. The inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the creation of the world will be astonished when they see the beast, because it once was, now is not, and yet will come.
9 ‘This calls for a mind with wisdom. The seven heads are seven hills on which the woman sits.
10 They are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; but when he does come, he must remain for only a little while.
11 The beast who once was, and now is not, is an eighth king. He belongs to the seven and is going to his destruction.
12 ‘The ten horns you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but who for one hour will receive authority as kings along with the beast.
13 They have one purpose and will give their power and authority to the beast.
14 They will wage war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will triumph over them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers.’
15 Then the angel said to me, ‘The waters you saw, where the prostitute sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages.
16 The beast and the ten horns you saw will hate the prostitute. They will bring her to ruin and leave her naked; they will eat her flesh and burn her with fire.
17 For God has put it into their hearts to accomplish his purpose by agreeing to hand over to the beast their royal authority, until God‘s words are fulfilled.
18 The woman you saw is the great city that rules over the kings of the earth.’
Lament Over Fallen Babylon
1 After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven. He had great authority, and the earth was illuminated by his splendor.
2 With a mighty voice he shouted:
"‘Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great!’ She has become a dwelling for demons and a haunt for every impure spirit, a haunt for every unclean bird, a haunt for every unclean and detestable animal.
3 For all the nations have drunk the maddening wine of her adulteries. The kings of the earth committed adultery with her, and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries.’
Warning to Escape Babylon’s Judgment
4 Then I heard another voice from heaven say: "’Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues;
5 for her sins are piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her crimes.
6 Give back to her as she has given; pay her back double for what she has done. Pour her a double portion from her own cup.
7 Give her as much torment and grief as the glory and luxury she gave herself. In her heart she boasts, ‘I sit enthroned as queen. I am not a widow; I will never mourn.’
8 Therefore in one day her plagues will overtake her: death, mourning and famine. She will be consumed by fire, for mighty is the Lord God who judges her.
Threefold Woe Over Babylon’s Fall
9 "When the kings of the earth who committed adultery with her and shared her luxury see the smoke of her burning, they will weep and mourn over her.
10 Terrified at her torment, they will stand far off and cry:
"‘Woe! Woe to you, great city, you mighty city of Babylon! In one hour your doom has come.’
11 "The merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her because no one buys their cargoes anymore"
12 cargoes of gold, silver, precious stones and pearls; fine linen, purple, silk and scarlet cloth; every sort of citron wood, and articles of every kind made of ivory, costly wood, bronze, iron and marble;
13 cargoes of cinnamon and spice, of incense, myrrh and frankincense, of wine and olive oil, of fine flour and wheat; cattle and sheep; horses and carriages; and human beings sold as slaves.
14 "They will say, ‘The fruit you longed for is gone from you. All your luxury and splendor have vanished, never to be recovered.’
15 The merchants who sold these things and gained their wealth from her will stand far off, terrified at her torment. They will weep and mourn
16 and cry out:
"‘Woe! Woe to you, great city, dressed in fine linen, purple and scarlet, and glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls!
17 In one hour such great wealth has been brought to ruin!’
"Every sea captain, and all who travel by ship, the sailors, and all who earn their living from the sea, will stand far off.
18 When they see the smoke of her burning, they will exclaim, ‘Was there ever a city like this great city?’
19 They will throw dust on their heads, and with weeping and mourning cry out:
’Woe! Woe to you, great city, where all who had ships on the sea became rich through her wealth! In one hour she has been brought to ruin!’
20 ’Rejoice over her, you heavens! Rejoice, you people of God! Rejoice, apostles and prophets! For God has judged her with the judgment she imposed on you.’
The Finality of Babylon’s Doom
21 Then a mighty angel picked up a boulder the size of a large millstone and threw it into the sea, and said ‘With such violence the great city of Babylon will be thrown down, never to be found again.
22 The music of harpists and musicians, pipers and trumpeters, will never be heard in you again. No worker of any trade will ever be found in you again. The sound of a millstone will never be heard in you again.
23 The light of a lamp will never shine in you again. The voice of bridegroom and bride will never be heard in you again. Your merchants were the world’s important people. By your magic spell all the nations were led astray.
24 In her was found the blood of prophets and of God’s holy people, of all who have been slaughtered on the earth.’
2 Thessalonians 2:1-12
The Man of Lawlessness
1 Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers and sisters,
2 not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by the teaching allegedly from us—whether by a prophecy or by word of mouth or by letter—asserting that the day of the Lord has already come.
3 Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction.
4 He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.
5 Don’t you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things?
6 And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time.
7 For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way.
8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming.
9 The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie,
10 and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.
11 For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie
12 and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.