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Biblical Studies | Comparative Methodologies and Theories | Ethics in Religion | History of Religions of Eastern Origins | History of Religions of Western Origin | Other Religion | Religion | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion


Published in Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, 41 no 1 Mr 1998, p 23-43.


Dispensationalists have traditionally argued that "Babylon" in Revelation 14 and chaps. 17-18 is a symbol indicating some form of reestablished Rome. * In recent days a renewed interest has been shown in the idea that the ancient empire of Babylonia and city of Babylon will be rebuilt.2 This conclusion comes from a reading of the prophets—Isaiah and Jeremiah in particular—in a manner that requires the rebuilding of the city and empire of Babylonia in the eschaton.

My approach to this question is from three different perspectives: (1) to study the context of the oracles against the nations (OAN) found in Isaiah 13-23 and, in particular, the way the critical thirteenth chapter fits into the Sitz im Leben of the eighth century during which Isaiah was prophesying; (2) to study the language of destruction found in this same unit and relate it to the treaty curses found in the ancient Near East and to the rest of the OT; and (3) to examine Jeremiah's prophecies against Babylon containing much of the same language as that of Isaiah.