Isaiah 13:19 "And Babylon, the glory of the kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldeans' pride, will be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah."
Saddam Hussein ruled in Iraq from 1979 until 2003, when the war dubbed "Operation Iraqi Freedom" toppled his dictatorship. This invasion of Iraq lasted from March 19th to May 1st – only 21 days. The allied forces in the initial invasion were the combined troops from the United States, Great Britain, Australia and Poland. Their mission, as quoted from President Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair, was to "disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, end Saddam Hussein's support for terrorism, and free the Iraqi people".
During the fighting, Hussein fled Baghdad. And on December 13, 2003, U.S. forces found Saddam Hussein hiding in a hole in al-Dwar, near Tikrit. He was convicted by the Iraqi government for crimes against humanity, and executed December 30, 2006. How does this fit in with the destruction of Babylon as foretold in 750BC by God’s prophet Isaiah?
Saddam Hussein saw himself as connected to the ancient King Nebuchadnezzar II, considered by most historians to have been one of the greatest kings of ancient Babylon (now Iraq) and a prominent figure in the Old Testament. He ruled the Babylonian Empire from 605 to 562 BC, and is credited with some of the most legendary building achievements in world history.
Hussein saw himself in the same role as Nebuchadnezzar. During the 1980’s, Hussein spent over $500 million in an attempt to not only reconstruct but re-establish ancient Babylon to the glory when Nebuchadnezzar ruled there. Over sixty million bricks were made for rebuilding Babylon’s walls, each engraved with the inscription ‘This was built by Saddam, son of Nebuchadnezzar, to glorify Iraq.'
But today Babylon remains in ruins, just as the prophets promised in the Old Testament. In a CNN article dated April 4, 2013, Arwa Damon records the scene in Babylon: "Today, a basketball hoop remains in Babylon, while concertina wire left behind by the military is used to prevent visitors from climbing over a 2,500-year-old lion statue -- an ancient symbol of the city."
After visiting Babylon, Professor and archaeologist Edward Chiera documented how what he observed in Babylon matched the prophetic words from the Old Testament, his 1938 book ‘They wrote on clay: the Babylonian Tablets Speak Today’: "The sun has just now disappeared, and a purple sky smiles, unmindful of the scene of desolation...a dead city! I have visited Pompeii and Ostra, but those cities are not dead: they are only temporarily abandoned. The hum of life is still heard and life blooms all around...here only is real death... I should like to find a reason for all this desolation. Why should a flourishing city, seat of an empire, have completely disappeared? Is it the fulfillment of a prophetic curse that changed a superb temple into a den of jackals?"
Since Babylon first fell to Persia’s King Cyrus in 539 BC, up until Hussein’s attempt at reconstruction in the 1980’s, Professor Chiera’s 1938 description remains intact to today. The Bible’s prophetic judgment against Babylon, for its complete destruction ‘like Sodom and Gomorrah’, stands as another tangible piece of evidence for the reality of the God of the Bible as sovereign over men.
Ed Croteau is a resident of Lee’s Summit and hosts a weekly study in Lees Summit called "Faith: Substance and Evidence." He can be reached with your questions through the Lee’s Summit Tribune at Editor@lstribune.net.