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"Babylon The Great Has Fallen!"
God's Kingdom Rules!



Chapter 16

Down, World Mistress!

(Isaiah 14; 47)

THE marvelous prophecy contained in chapters fifty and fifty-one of Jeremiah deals with the same historical event as does "the pronouncement against Babylon that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw in vision." Chapter thirteen of his prophecy sets this out. It now becomes very timely and appropriate for us to follow up at once our examination of Jeremiah's prophecy by discussing the next chapter of Isaiah, chapter fourteen, through its twenty-seventh verse. This chapter broadens our vision of the main purpose of Almighty God in overturning the wicked city that he had permitted to come to world domination. That purpose was in order to free his chosen people who had been taken captive and deported.

Just think of it — overturning the mightiest world power up till then in order to bring deliverance to his people whom he was disciplining but had not cast away! Inasmuch as he was the one and only God of this chosen people, nothing was too big for Him to do for the sake of vindicating his own position as Universal Sovereign and sanctifying his holy name and removing reproach from it.

This captive people was made up of tribes that had descended from the patriarch Jacob through his twelve sons. Since Jacob's name had been changed by God to Israel, they were called the twelve tribes of Israel or the sons of Israel. What did the "day of Jehovah" mean for them? Isaiah 13:9 said that this day was to be a

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judgment time that was "cruel both with fury and with burning anger" against Israel's oppressor. But as regards the oppressed captive decendants of Jacob, the sons of Israel, who were being forcibly held far from their own soil, their own place, that day was to bring great mercy to them from their God.

That is why the chapter that immediately follows Isaiah's prophecy of Babylon's overthrow opens up saying: "For Jehovah will show mercy to Jacob, and he is yet certain to choose Israel; and he will actually give them rest upon their soil, and the alien resident must be joined to them, and they must attach themselves to the house of Jacob. And peoples will actually take them and bring them to their own place, and the house of Israel must take them to themselves as a possession upon the soil of Jehovah as menservants and as maidservants; and they must become the captors of those holding them captive, and they must have in subjection those who were driving them to work."  — Isaiah 14:1. 2.

On the calamitous night of King Belshazzar's profane feast the Israelite prophet Daniel was made "the third ruler in the kingdom" after he had accurately interpreted what the handwriting on the wall of the feast chamber meant. — Daniel 5: 7, 29.

This was a beginning of the process of making Jews, who were menservants, to be the possessors and masters of those who had ruled over them. When Darius the Mede was made the king succeeding the slain Belshazzar, the aged Daniel was made one of the three high officials to whom the one hundred and twenty satraps of the Medo-Persian Empire reported. "As for this Daniel, he prospered in the kingdom of Darius and in the kingdom of Cyrus the Persian." (Daniel 6:1-3. 28) About sixty years afterward the Israelitess Esther was made the queen of King Ahasuerus the Persian, and her older cousin Mordecai was elevated to be prime

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minister of the empire, the Fourth World Power.  — Esther 2:5-18; 8:1-15; 10:2, 3.

Thus the Babylonians, now subject to the Medes and Persians, were no longer able to possess and hold prisoner the Israelites or Jews throughout the domain. The Babylonians who had hitherto driven the Israelites to work were themselves put in subjection to their former slave laborers.

In the final year of the seventy years of desolation of the land of Judah and Jerusalem, and in the first year of King Cyrus the Persian, Jehovah began to do just as he had spoken through the prophet Isaiah. He actually gave them rest upon their home soil by having Cyrus decree freedom to the exiled Israelites or Jews to return to the land of Judah to live and to build a new temple to their God in the capital city Jerusalem. This proved that they were yet Jehovah's chosen people, because of his mercy. According to the arrangements that Cyrus made for them, it was actually non-Israelites who took them and brought them to their place to rebuild the temple and to restore the desolate waste places. In time the wilderness in Judah began to blossom as the saffron and to be alive with repatriated Israelites and their livestock, for a redeemed remnant of them did return home. — Isaiah 35:1, 2, 10.

Natural Israelites by the thousands fled from Babylon and returned to their place, the soil of their forefathers. But thousands of non-Israelites also did so, as proselytes to the faith of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. These were the slaves of the Israelites who had gone into exile with them, such as the Nethinim and professional singers. (Ezra 2:43-67) Besides these there were to be others who would be so impressed by the deliverance that Jehovah brought about for Israel that they would leave the pagan lands and attach themselves to the "house of Jacob." They would become alien residents in the reoccupied land of Judah.

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In harmony with this, Jehovah himself had declared prophetically, in Ezekiel 36: 35, 36: "People will certainly say: That land yonder which was laid desolate has become like the garden of Eden, and the cities that were a waste and that were laid desolate and that were torn down are fortified; they have become inhabited.' And the nations that will be left remaining round about you will have to know that I myself, Jehovah, have built the things torn down, I have planted what has been laid desolate. I myself, Jehovah, have spoken and I have done it." To worship this God the alien residents would join themselves to the restored Israelites, upon whom he had shown such mercy.

In that day the redeemed Israelites were to sing a new song. Their heavenly Redeemer was the One who both gave them the words of the song and commanded them to sing it as a reproach to their oppressor. This song, once a mere prophecy, they must sing as telling something that they had witnessed come true:

"And it must occur in the day when Jehovah gives you rest from your pain and from your agitation and from the hard slavery in which you were made a slave, that you must raise up this proverbial saying against the king of Babylon and say:

" 'How has the one driving others to work come to a stop, the oppression come to a stop! Jehovah has broken the rod of the wicked ones, the staff of the ruling ones, the one striking peoples in fury with a stroke incessantly, the one subduing nations in sheer anger with a persecution without restraint. The whole earth has come to rest, has become free of disturbance. People have become cheerful with joyful cries. Even the juniper trees have also rejoiced at you, the cedars of Lebanon, saying, "Ever since you have lain down, no woodcutter comes up against us." ' " — Isaiah 14:3-8.

This proverbial saying was against Babylon's king, not just one king such as Nabonidus or his son Belshazzar, but the royal dynasty of kings that was established by King Nebuchadnezzar the destroyer of

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Jerusalem and the deporter of Jehovah's people. This dynasty of kings had caused much pain to the Israelites, pain of heart as well as physical pain, because of the way that this royal dynasty had shown no proper religious regard for their God and the things of His worship. All through their exile in Babylon they were kept in a state of agitation and of hard slavery, with no promise of any release by the heartless royal dynasty. But O how suddenly their God brought this imperial slave driver to a halt! In just one night, with the royal capital in no condition to put up a fight, the enslaver lost his power, his rod was broken.

The Almighty God, Jehovah, was the One who stopped the oppression so abruptly. He broke the staff of authority held by the ruling ones of Babylon. Till then the royal dynasty had kept striking peoples furiously with a powerful stroke; it had subdued nations in sheer anger at them for not voluntarily submitting to world domination by Babylon. Without restraint it kept pursuing or persecuting such nations, not just the Israelite kingdom of Judah, but also non-Jewish nations, all to enlarge its empire. Now at the fall of this wicked Semitic ruling power the whole world could feel relieved. It could come to rest and be free from disturbance from that Third World Power. The halting of the Babylonian World Power meant the changeover to a new world power that would show more consideration, the Aryan Fourth World Power of Medo-Persia. People in general, not just the Israelites, could cheer up and cry out for joy. Babylon was not to be sympathized with at her fall.

The "king of Babylon" was like a woodchopper, and the nations were like trees, like the junipers, like the prized cedars of Lebanon. Just as he had gone after those valuable trees on the mountainsides of Lebanon, so he had gone after the nations. Since he had lain down in defeat, no Babylonian woodchoppers came up against them to chop them down wantonly to make

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gain from them. Suddenly he himself was cut down like an awe-inspiring towering tree.

The death of this Babylonian ruling dynasty so unexpectedly was an unusual surprise even to the realm of death, to the earthly place that the Israelites called Sheol. The surprise felt by Sheol is expressed in the further part of this inspired proverbial saying addressed to the "king of Babylon," as follows:

"Even Sheol underneath has become agitated at you in order to meet you on coming in. At you it has awakened those impotent in death, all the goatlike leaders of the earth. It has made all the kings of the nations get up from their thrones. All of them speak up and say to you, 'Have you yourself also been made weak like us? Is it to us that you have been made comparable? Down to Sheol your pride has been brought, the din of your stringed instruments. Beneath you, maggots are spread out as a couch; and worms are your covering.' " — Isaiah 14:9-11.

Notice that Hebrew word Sheol. The famous English Authorized or King James Bible Version uses the word "Hell" and renders the opening verse of this section as follows: "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." In printed editions of this Authorized Version that have marginal notes, there is a note on that word "Hell" and it says: "Or, The grave." In this way it explains the Bible "Hell" to mean "The grave," that is, the grave that is common to all mankind who are buried down in the ground.

Hell is the way that the Authorized Version has translated the Hebrew word Sheol thirty-one times. So the marginal note on Isaiah 14:9 proves also that Sheol means The grave. That is why Isaiah 14:9 speaks of Sheol as being underneath the surface of the ground and says that those impotent in death are down there,

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sleeping and needing to be awakened. Being dead, those in Sheol are rightly said to be weak. Anyone who goes down to Sheol at burial has maggots spread out under him as a couch, and worms cover him and feed on the decaying flesh. There is no fire down there in Sheol or Hell to consume the buried corpse or the maggots and worms that surround the corpse, because Sheol is the grave.

Down there in Sheol is where the buried "goatlike leaders of the earth" are found. Down there is where all the buried "kings of the nations" are found, buried with glory by being buried seated in state on their material thrones. Further proving that both Sheol and Hell in the Bible mean the grave, the Authorized Version translated Sheol in Isaiah 14:11, not as "Hell" as in verse nine, but as "the grave," to read as follows: "Thy pomp is brought down to the grave," but no marginal note explains that here the grave is the Bible hell. And in verse fifteen the Authorized Version returns to the use of the word hell, but without an explanatory marginal note. According to Ezekiel 32:21-31, down there in hell or Sheol lie the Egyptian soldiers slain by the sword, also the Assyrian soldiers, the Elamite slain ones, the slain ones of Meshech and Tubal, the Edomites and the Sidonians, both rulers and armies.

The sudden death of the Babylonian dynasty of King Nebuchadnezzar causes a sensation in Sheol, hell or the grave.* Sheol gets all excited at expecting to receive the "king of Babylon." As it were, it wakes up all the dead kings and political leaders to witness this unusual event and to express their amazement. Just to think of the "king of Babylon" becoming weak like them, so that he can now be compared with them, less powerful kings as they were! Babylon's royal pride has been killed and has to be buried; also the din of her stringed


* See the article "A Sensation in Hell," pages 307-315 of the issue of October 15, 1949, of The Watchtower.
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instruments for entertaining the king. Such an event is enough to make the dead sit up and take notice!

What a comedown the "king of Babylon" has suffered, in view of the fact that he exalted himself so high and shone so brightly in the ancient world! To him the prophetic proverbial saying goes on to exclaim: "O how you have fallen from heaven, you shining one, son of the dawn! How you have been cut down to the earth, you who were disabling the nations! As for you, you have said in your heart, 'To the heavens I shall go up. Above the stars of God I shall lift up my throne, and I shall sit down upon the mountain of meeting, in the remotest parts of the north. I shall go up above the high places of the clouds; I shall make myself resemble the Most High.' " — Isaiah 14:12-14.

What a fall — down from heaven to which the "king of Babylon" tried to exalt himself as above the "stars of God"! In Bible prophecy the kings of the royal line of David were likened to stars; and as these sat on the throne at Jerusalem called "Jehovah's throne," they had a brilliance, a royal glory. (Numbers 24:17) King David sat on his throne on Mount Zion in Jerusalem, but Solomon his son moved the place of the throne to the adjoining mountain north of Mount Zion, close by the newly constructed temple of Jehovah. Hence the entire enlarged city of Jerusalem came to be called Zion. It being the location of Jehovah's temple, where all mature Israelite men were under command to appear before him three times in a year, it became the "mountain of meeting." Psalm 48: l, 2 gives it a northerly location, saying: "Jehovah is great and much to be praised in the city of our God, in his holy mountain. Pretty for loftiness, the exultation of the whole earth, is Mount Zion on the remote sides of the north, the town of the grand King [Jehovah]."

So, by desiring to make the Israelite kings mere vassals and by finally dethroning them and thus setting himself above these royal "stars of God," Babylon's

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king was saying in his heart that his ambition was to go up to the heavens of Jehovah, lift his pagan throne up above the symbolic "stars of God" and seat himself on the northerly mountain where Israelites met with their God.

In this way Babylon's king would appear to put himself up above the God of Israel, whom he thus defied, challenged. He would to all appearances go up "above the high places of the clouds," where the God of Israel was understood to dwell. To the ancient pagan world, at least, the "king of Babylon" would make himself "resemble the Most High," who is the God of Israel. Oho, how the "king of Babylon" would bring Jehovah down to his own level or lower! He would, in effect, displace the Most High God of Israel.

In 607 B.C., Nebuchadnezzar dethroned the "stars of God" at Jerusalem, overturned "Jehovah's throne," destroyed Jehovah's temple and stole its sacred utensils and stored them in the temple of his own god in Babylon. By all this, the "king of Babylon" may have appeared to himself and to the pagan world to have lifted himself heaven-high. He had disabled the Jewish nation the same as the pagan nations. Seemingly he had shown himself stronger and higher than the God who was the Most High to the Jews. If Babylon's stargazers now took a closer look, they would, as it were, see a new star sparkling in the heavens with a brightness surpassing that of other stars. It was the "king of Babylon," who, by what he did to Zion or Jerusalem, had become the "shining one, son of the dawn," like the morning star. He was outshining the "stars of God."

In expressing amazement at the deep drop taken by the "king of Babylon," the English Authorized Version uses the name Lucifer, saying: "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!" The Roman Catholic Douay Version of the Bible also uses the name Lucifer. In using this name, both these Bible versions follow the Latin Vulgate translation, which

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uses Lucifer, this name meaning "Lightbearer." Lucifer, however, is not the name of the "king of Babylon." Lucifer, as a name, was applied to Satan the Devil by early uninspired religious writers of our Common Era. However, the Latin Vulgate uses the word lucifer again, in 2 Peter 1:19. and there applies it, not to Satan the Devil, but to the "day star" that was to arise for Christian hearts. Of course, Satan the Devil was Babylon's real god. As such, he was also the invisible king of Babylon, the capital of the Chaldeans.  — Job 1:9-17.

Yet the fact that the Latin Vulgate and other Bible translations use the name Lucifer in addressing the "king of Babylon" does not in itself mean or prove that this prophecy applies to Satan the Devil. The original Hebrew word used is heilel' and means "brightness" or "shining one." According to some Hebrew-English Lexicons the entire expression "shining one, son of the dawn" means "morning star," which was the brightest star in the heavens. So Isaiah 14:3-20 applies to Satan the Devil only as the earthly king of Babylon symbolizes that wicked spirit or reflects him.

The first application of Isaiah 14:12-14 is to the human king of Babylon, which fact explains why certain expressions are used in it, Sheol, for instance. Satan the Devil himself never was in Sheol, hell, the grave, and he never will be, for he is a spirit in the invisible heavens, whereas Sheol, hell, the grave is in the earth. It is where the visible, material, human dead are laid. Even Jesus Christ, after dying as a man, was in Sheol, hell or the grave for parts of three days, as the Christian witness, the apostle Peter himself, said. (Acts 2:27-32; Psalm 16:10) Hence Isaiah's prophecy, chapter fourteen, has direct application to the "king of Babylon," who is a prophetic type of something greater.

Accordingly, it is to the self-exalted human "king of Babylon" that the prophecy speaks, as it goes on to say: "However, down to Sheol [hell, AV; Dy] you will

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be brought, to the remotest parts of the pit. Those seeing you will gaze even at you; they will give close examination even to you, saying, 'Is this the man that was agitating the earth, that was making kingdoms rock, that made the productive land like the wilderness and that overthrew its very cities, that did not open the way homeward even for his prisoners?' All other kings of the nations, yes, all of them, have lain down in glory, each one in his own house. But as for you, you have been thrown away without a burial place for you, like a detested sprout, clothed with killed men stabbed with the sword that are going down to the stones of a pit, like a carcass trodden down. You will not become united with them in a grave, because you brought your own land to ruin, you killed your own people. To time indefinite the offspring of evildoers will not be named." — Isaiah 14:15-20.

Sheol, "the remotest parts of the pit," indicates how far down the "king of Babylon" fell from such heaven-high glory and power. Pictorially, it is as low as any human could fall. Although he falls to that greatest depth possible, yet he is not laid to rest in Sheol, which is the common grave of dead mankind.

It is true that King Belshazzar of Babylon was killed on the night that the Medes and Persians invaded the city; but there is no record that he was given a decent burial. Out of respect for his past royal position he may have been buried in a grave and his surviving father Nabonidus may have been given a decent burial at his own death and thus been put in Sheol, the common grave. But as for the "king of Babylon," that is to say, the imperial dynasty of kings that descended from King Nebuchadnezzar who destroyed Jehovah's temple, this dynasty was disgraced. It was not given even a place with other "kings of the nations" down in Sheol. It was thrown away without a respectable burial place for it. It was like a "detested sprout," which, not being desired on a plant, was cut off and thrown away.

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It was like a carcass over which lay the bodies of other soldiers dead from sword stabs. It was like a carcass trampled underfoot. Left lying on the field, it could be eaten by scavenger animals. It was not to become united with the royalty of other nations in a grave, with the kings of other nations who had lain down in glory at death, each one in his own burial house. Little wonder that the Babylonian dynasty of imperial rulers was given no glorious burial. Consider its crimes!

Persons like the Israelite exiles, who see the tremendous fall of this former "shining one, son of the dawn," voice their amazement at how Jehovah has brought down this one to annihilation. As they do so, they call attention to the crimes of the "king of Babylon." What crimes? These: agitating the earth (its peoples); making kingdoms rock to their fall before the empire-minded aggressor; making the productive land like the wilderness, as in the case of the land of Judah; overthrowing the cities in productive lands, like Jerusalem or Zion; deporting populations away from their homeland and imprisoning them in Babylonia and never once opening such a prison house and clearing the way homeward for prisoners in it, such as the Israelites. Such imperialistic crimes brought sufferings on the Babylonians themselves, for thus the "king of Babylon" brought his own land to ruin and killed off people of his own as a sacrifice to his ambitions. The imperial Babylonian dynasty was nothing but an "offspring of evildoers." For this reason they are not to be remembered with honor. No memorial tomb is to be built for them. Their name must die out, never be mentioned again.

To that end there were to be left no heirs or descendants of the dynasty ("king of Babylon") who could rebel and overturn the new world power and bring Babylon back to its position of world domination. To the conquering Medes and Persians Jehovah's orders are quite definite about that: "Make ready, you

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men, a slaughtering block for his own sons because of the error of their forefathers, that they may not rise up and actually take possession of the earth and fill the face of the productive land with cities." (Isaiah 14: 21) Here the proverbial saying that the liberated Israelites were to sing in that day against the "king of Babylon" ends.

The Semitic Babylonian dynasty of emperors was to go down for good, and there were to be no successors to it with a restoration of the Third World Power. Under a Chaldean named Nidintu-Bel, who took the royal name Nebuchadnezzar III, the Babylonians gained independence from Persia, but this lasted for less than a year. King Darius I the Persian defeated the army of Nebuchadnezzar III at both the Tigris and the Euphrates Rivers and shortly afterward captured and killed him in Babylon, late in 522 B.C. In August of the following year there was a revolt under a Nebuchadnezzar IV and he was acknowledged as king of Babylonia till late in November. So King Darius I sent an army against him, and Nebuchadnezzar IV was defeated and captured on November 27, 521.* Because of the "error of their forefathers" there was to be no comeback by any "sons" or successors of the "king of Babylon." Jehovah's prophecy held true.

" 'And I will rise up against them,' is the utterance of Jehovah of armies." They could not succeed against him.

" 'And I will cut off from Babylon name and remnant and progeny and posterity,' is the utterance of Jehovah." (Isaiah 14:22) The imperial Babylonian dynasty symbolized by the "king of Babylon" was to be wiped out root and branch. Babylon itself was to have no survivors, no "remnant and progeny and posterity." Chaldeans and Babylonians are no more today. They


* See pages 15, 16 of Babylonian Chronology - 626 B.C. - A.D. 75, by R. A. Parker and W. H. Dubberstein, 1956 Edition. Also, ISBE, Volume 1, page 368a.
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have been annihilated by some providence or other, according to the divine will. This expresses the utter abhorrence that the God of Israel has for Babylon.

" 'And I will make her a possession of porcupines and reedy pools of water, and I will sweep her with the broom of annihilation,' is the utterance of Jehovah of armies." — Isaiah 14:23.

Jehovah was determined to sweep the earth clean of every trace of Babylon and make her former location a place unfit for human occupancy. It took centuries of time to do this with literal ancient Babylon, but today the site of Babylon proves that Jehovah the King of Eternity carried out his infallible utterance.

Since ancient Babylon foreshadowed modern Babylon the Great, Jehovah must yet complete his action and carry out his utterance in its spiritual meaning by annihilating her modern-day counterpart. He will unfailingly do this, shortly, in fulfillment of the prophecies of Revelation, the last book of the Bible. His ability to do so and the certainty of his doing so he illustrated in what he did also to Assyria, the predecessor of Babylon. In the days of the prophet Isaiah the Assyrian World Power still dominated the ancient world and was mistreating Jehovah's people. What he did to Assyria in repayment for its oppression of Jehovah's people stands as historical proof of how unbreakable his sworn declared purpose is.

"Jehovah of armies has sworn, saying: 'Surely just as I have figured, so it must occur; and just as I have counseled, that is what will come true, in order to break the Assyrian in my land and that I may tread him down on my own mountains; and that his yoke may actually depart from upon them and that his very load may depart from upon their shoulder.' " — Isaiah 14: 24, 25.

Assyria was a terrifying military power in its day, but it was no match for Jehovah of armies. In the days of King Hezekiah of Jerusalem, Jehovah miraculously

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broke Assyria's power over his people in the land of Judah and relieved them of Assyria's yoke. Losing 185,000 soldiers in one night was enough to make King Sennacherib get out of Jehovah's land and not launch his threatened assault on Jerusalem. — Isaiah 36:1 to 37:38.

Jehovah did just as he had figured and counseled, and his oath of guarantee he did not break. In a similar manner he acted toward the Babylonian World Power that overthrew the Assyrian Empire and succeeded to its position. What he had sworn to do according to his own figuring and counsel had to occur; it had to come true. Secular history attests that it did come true.

Jehovah defied anybody on earth to prove that He was unable to carry out what he had purposed to do and was therefore a liar. So, after telling what he had taken counsel with himself to do, he says: "This is the counsel that is counseled against all the earth, and this is the hand that is stretched out against all the nations. For Jehovah of armies himself has counseled, and who can break it up? And his hand is the one stretched out, and who can turn it back?" (Isaiah 14:26.27) No one! is the answer given by at least two thousand years of human history, inasmuch as these words of Isaiah's prophecy, chapters thirteen and fourteen, are found on pages 11 and 12 of the Dead Sea Scroll discovered in the spring of the year 1947, which Isaiah Scroll (DSIa) has been dated by eminent scholars as having been written in the second or first century B.C.

All else that Jehovah has declared to be his counsel he will just as surely carry out. Not even the Seventh World Power, armed with hydrogen bombs and the latest scientific equipment, can turn his outstretched hand back from carrying out all his counsel now.

THE MISTRESS OF KINGDOMS ABASED

Having made known his undefeatable counsel against the "king of Babylon" and against the false gods of

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that city, Jehovah inspired his prophet Isaiah to address himself to the city herself. Though Isaiah lived during the days of the Second World Power, Assyria, he prophesied that Babylon would become the Third World Power in the history of Jehovah's people but would be disgracefully put out of the world domination in His due time. Through his prophet Isaiah, Jehovah talks to Babylon, the capital city of the Chaldeans, as to a woman. Tauntingly he says to her:

"Come down and sit down in the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon. Sit down on the earth where there is no throne, O daughter of the Chaldeans. For you will not experience again that people call you delicate and dainty. Take a hand mill and grind out flour. Uncover your veil. Strip off the flowing skirt. Uncover the leg. Cross over the rivers. You ought to uncover your nakedness. Also, your reproach ought to be seen. Vengeance is what I shall take, and I shall not meet any man kindly." — Isaiah 47:1-3.

Babylon was the "daughter of the Chaldeans" in that she was the capital city of the land of the Chaldeans. As such a figurative daughter she was named Babylon, and thus she was also the "daughter of Babylon" or City of Babylon. What did Jehovah's calling her a "virgin daughter" mean? Not that she as a pagan city was chaste, undefiled and free from immorality. The way that she forced all her virgin girls to worship Ishtar (or Venus) the goddess of sexual love at the temple robbed all her women of their virginity before legal marriage, so the Greek historian Herodotus tells us.

In what sense, then, was she a "virgin daughter"? In that, as the Third World Power, she had not been seized and ravished by foreign conquerors since the days of King Nebuchadnezzar II, or since 625 B.C. in particular, when he became king of the empire. From the time that the Assyrian Empire was overthrown and Babylon became the Third World Power, she could boast of her political virginity as long as she held onto

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the world domination and kept out foreign invaders. So for that length of time she sat on the most glorious throne on earth. This was specially so after her King Nebuchadnezzar overturned "Jehovah's throne" in Jerusalem in 607 B.C. As Babylon thus sat on her imperial throne, the people called her "delicate and dainty." She was treated or waited on as a very refined, highly cultured lady, with the greatest of attention and care, as being too elegant to engage in any menial or slavish tasks.

Because she had dethroned Zion in 607 B.C. and had caused her to sit on the ground, in the dust, Jehovah now called upon Babylon to come down off her imperial throne and sit in the dust, on the earth where there is no throne, in 539 B.C. — Lamentations 2:10.

Jehovah had once brought down the mighty King Nebuchadnezzar off his throne, for seven years. He could just as easily bring down Babylon off her throne, not for just "seven times," but for all time. He did so. (Daniel 4:1-37; 5: 20) So now, from being a pampered "dainty and delicate" queen who is served, she must become a captured, enslaved woman. Off, then, with that veil! Strip off that royal flowing skirt. Uncover your legs up to the hip and tuck in your dress between the legs as you wade barefoot as a captive across the rivers through which your conquerors drag you. This is the time for your nakedness to be uncovered to view and for people to reproach you at the sight. No more acting the lady, the queen, for you! Get down by that hand mill like a slave girl and start working, grinding out flour for your masters. Taste now the vengeance taken by the God of Zion whose temple you robbed and destroyed. Any man that comes to your aid or rescue, Jehovah will not meet kindly, but will execute him. — Exodus 11:5.

By taking his vengeance in this way upon the oppressive city Jehovah redeems or repurchases for freedom his own captive, exiled people, the Israelites. In

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acknowledgment of that fact the Israelites are quoted as interrupting God's humiliating command to Babylon and saying: "There is One repurchasing us. Jehovah of armies is his name, the Holy One of Israel." (Isaiah 47:4) In bringing down Babylon off her imperial throne Jehovah's armies were mainly the Medes and Persians. As a price for repurchasing his people and procuring their emancipation by Cyrus the Persian, Jehovah gave the land of Egypt to King Cambyses II, the son of Cyrus the Great. From before the days of Samuel his prophet he was known as Jehovah of armies. Hence for hundreds of years he had been known to them as such. (1 Samuel 1:3) He was not ashamed to identify himself with the nation of Israel. As their God he was their Holy One and stood out in sharp contrast with the unholy false gods of Babylon. Whereas Babylon was captured and sold into abject slavery because of Jehovah's vengeance, his own people of Israel were repurchased.

Just contrary to what she expected, Babylon suddenly has to sit down, not on a throne, but on the ground, in the dust. Jehovah tells her to do so, and His command is law: "Sit down silently and come into the darkness, O daughter of the Chaldeans; for you will not experience again that people call you Mistress of Kingdoms. I grew indignant at my people. I profaned my inheritance, and I proceeded to give them into your hand. You showed them no mercies. Upon the old man you made your yoke very heavy. And you kept saying: 'To time indefinite I shall prove to be Mistress, forever.' You did not take these things to your heart; you did not remember the finale of the matter." — Isaiah 47:5-7.

Babylon had been well lit at night, for her people had learned how to get petroleum out of the soil of Mesopotamia. But Jehovah marked the time for her to sit down on the ground in humiliation, grieving and mourning, in the darkness of defeat and ruin, if not also in literal darkness. Never again would she occupy

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the place and position where people would call her Mistress of Kingdoms. There would be no further world domination by her, but her lot was to be that of being hissed at and reproached and looked down on as a lowly slave. As a change from her acting like a mistress and telling other kingdoms what to do, the Medo-Persian Empire would tell her what to do.

The only reason why Babylon had been able to overrun the land of Judah and take possession of its people and deport them to Babylon was that Jehovah had grown indignant with them because of persistent disobedience to him. Out of all peoples of the earth they were his inheritance and were meant for his holy service. But in his indignation at them he let them be profaned as his holy inheritance. To this end he gave them into the powerful hand of Babylon. — Isaiah 19: 25: Deuteronomy 32:9: Psalm 106:40-42.

When Babylon had them in her power, she showed them no mercies out of fear of their God. She did not discern that she was given control over them only for a time and for their discipline. Not believing that one day she would be held accountable for how she dealt with Jehovah's inheritance, she put a very heavy yoke of servitude upon the Israelite exiles, not even sparing old men. If the yoke was very heavy for the weaker old men, how much heavier it must have been for the stronger young men! She intended to keep them slaves for all time, far away from their beloved Zion.

Why did she not think that she might become like the previous world powers, Egypt and Assyria, whom Jehovah recompensed for abusing his inherited people? Why did she not take to heart what she was doing to them, and think that she might have another outcome or finale for herself, the overthrow that was to come in 539 B.C.? Ah, it was because she was just too sure of herself in her imposingly fortified position. So she kept saying to herself: "To time indefinite I shall prove to be Mistress [of Kingdoms, including those exiled

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Israelites], forever." No finale for her! She never thought or reasoned that a judgment day before the God of Israel would come upon her, or that, just as he had disciplined his own inherited people for their misconduct toward him, so he would punish her for her profane mistreatment of His property.

If Isaiah's prophecy had been called to her attention, she did not believe it. In her own city Jehovah's prophet Daniel had recalled and interpreted King Nebuchadnezzar's forgotten dream of the metallic image destroyed by a stone miraculously cut out of a mountain. But she did not think what might come upon her as a recompense when the image's gold head picturing Nebuchadnezzar's dynasty would give way to the succeeding kingdom pictured by the arms and breasts of silver. (Daniel 2:1-45) So she acted mercilessly.

"And now," says the Holy One of Israel to Mistress Babylon, "hear this, you pleasure-given woman, the one sitting in security, the one saying in her heart: 'I am, and there is nobody else. I shall not sit as a widow, and I shall not know the loss of children.' But to you these two things will come suddenly, in one day: loss of children and widowhood. In their complete measure they must come upon you, for the abundance of your sorceries, for the full might of your spells —  exceedingly. And you kept trusting in your badness. You have said: 'There is no one seeing me.' Your wisdom and your knowledge — this is what has led you away; and you keep saying in your heart: 'I am, and there is nobody else.' And upon you calamity must come; you will know no charming against it. And upon you adversity will fall; you will not be able to avert it. And upon you there will suddenly come a ruin that you are not accustomed to know." — Isaiah 47:8-11.

Feeling that she was sitting in security, Babylon became carefree. She gave herself over to pleasures, even down to the night of her disastrous downfall when

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King Belshazzar feasted with a thousand of his grandees and then profaned Jehovah's temple utensils.

Babylon did not appreciate that Jehovah could read her heart and see how she prided herself on being the supreme one, the most mighty power on the earth, the Mistress of Kingdoms. She said: "I am,* and there is nobody else." (Isaiah 47:10) She figured that her own gods favored her, making her the strongest world power, and who, then, was there to call her to account? Jehovah? Why, she had destroyed his temple and had victoriously deported his people. Whom could Jehovah raise up and use as an instrument to punish her? From this she reasoned that she would never sit mourning as a widow, losing her husband, her king, either Nabonidus or Belshazzar the crown prince and second ruler; she would never be bereft of this dynasty of Shemite kings and cease to be world mistress, World Power Three. In her heart she did not count on losing her children, by the defeat of her mighty armies and the killing of the Chaldean residents of the capital city.

Little did proud, self-confident Babylon take into account the thoughts of Jehovah that he had already expressed through his prophets. According to him the very things that she mentioned in her heart as very improbable were to come suddenly and quickly, "in one day," as it were. Even after the army of her king, Nabonidus, was defeated in the field, outside of Babylon, nothing could have come more suddenly than the invasion and downfall of the city on the night when crown prince Belshazzar and the rest of the Babylonians feasted carefree behind the city's massive walls and broad river. But then her widowhood began, with the death of her future imperial ruler, Belshazzar king


* "I am." Here, as also in verse 8, this expression is not rendered from the Hebrew verb Ehyeh, the Hebrew word used by Jehovah God in Exodus 3: 14. but is simply the Hebrew pronoun Ani meaning I with the verb am understood. However, in the Greek Septuagint translation of the Hebrew Scriptures the expression is Ego eimi, the same expression used by Jesus Christ in the Greek text of John 8:58, which many trinitarians translate into English as "I am."
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inside Babylon, and with the loss of her then imperial ruler, Nabonidus, when he surrendered the throne shortly afterward to the conqueror Cyrus the Persian.*

How many children she lost in the slaughter that night is not recorded; but, years later, when the Persian Darius I had to recapture Babylon, he is said to have impaled three thousand of her principal inhabitants. What a mournful loss of royal husband and children! The widowhood into which Babylon then entered meant loss of world power for her. Her widowhood was to be continuous. There was to be no further motherhood by her. In process of time her population left her, letting her go to ruin. So loss of children and widowhood came upon her "in their complete measure."†

But why that? It was because Babylon was a sorceress. She abounded in sorceries and used her spells to their full might, doing this in an excessive manner. Her great King Nebuchadnezzar used sorceries before attacking Jerusalem. He surrounded himself with sorcerers. (Ezekiel 21:20-22; Daniel 2:1, 2; 4: 6, 7; 5:7) What these practiced was mere demonism. They accumulated a mass of incantations supposed to drive out the demons; and these incantations lay chiefly in the hands of the priests to use, for they attached great importance to words or sets of words, for the most part a mere jargon without meaning. Babylon also used charms that were apparently mighty in binding or fascinating the victims.

BABYLONIAN RELIGION NO SAFEGUARD

Despite all the seeming power and effectiveness of her sorcery, spells and charms, the things that Jehovah


* Page 175 of Nabonidus and Belshazzar, by R. P. Dougherty, tells us that there is no inscribed cuneiform evidence of the death of Nabonidus. The historian Berosus states that Cyrus gave Nabonidus Carmania as a place in which to spend the rest of his life. — See Josephus' Against Apion, Book I, paragraphs 42, 43.
LXX and Sy say "suddenly" instead of "in their complete measure."
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prophesied were to come upon her, proving just how weak her religion was. The Assyrian capital, Nineveh, used to be called "a mistress of sorceries," and Babylon showed herself to be no better. (Nahum 3:4) Jehovah's law did not permit sorcerers to live in the land of Israel, and he declared his purpose to cut off sorcerers and magicians from his chosen people after restoring them to their homeland. (Exodus 22:18; Deuteronomy 18: 10; Micah 5:12; Malachi 3:5) He had cut off the sorceress Nineveh. Why, then, should he let Babylon live on in her sorceries and spellbinding, as if these demonic things had saved her?

Trusting in her devilish religion and in her armed might and fortifications, she undertook a bad course and felt safe in it. She treated Jehovah's people badly, preventing their worship of him according to His law given through Moses. She felt that her own gods approved of her badness. Why, then, should she worry about it if any other god saw her badness? Particularly this Jehovah of the exiled Israelites! She said to herself that no one, that is, no foreign god, saw her and her actions, viewing matters from a righteous standpoint and with any ability or right to condemn her and take her to task. This attitude, of course, was based on worldly knowledge and wisdom. It was without the fear of Jehovah God, a fear that really is necessary to true knowledge and wisdom.

The information piled up in Babylon's libraries with their thousands of clay-tablet books and records was no true guide. It led her astray and would at last be responsible for her going into captivity and ruin. Hence her supposed wisdom and knowledge deceived her and led her to say in her heart: "I am, and there is nobody else." Fortified with knowledge, science and might, she felt that there would be nobody else, that is, no rival or successor world power. She was determined that there should be none.

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Jehovah justly foreordained calamity to come upon her. She could resort to all her known charms, but she would find none that really worked. She could not charm Jehovah. By her false gods and religion she would not be able to avert the adversity that He decreed for her. By surprise, suddenly, a ruin such as she was not accustomed to know in her long past history would overtake her, as it would be permanent ruin. She would be caught in her badness, plainly guilty. Associates working with her would suffer with her.

Almighty God Jehovah challenges Babylon to make use of her entire system of religion to try to save herself and to prove him a liar, a false prophet. In scorn for her religion he says: "Stand still, now, with your spells and with the abundance of your sorceries, in which you have toiled from your youth; that perhaps you might be able to benefit, that perhaps you might strike people with awe. You have grown weary with the multitude of your counselors. Let them stand up, now, and save you, the worshipers of the heavens, the lookers at the stars, those giving out knowledge at the new moons concerning the things that will come upon you. Look! They have become like stubble. A fire itself will certainly burn them up. They will not deliver their soul from the power of the flame. There will be no glow of charcoals for people to warm themselves, no firelight in front of which to sit down. Thus they will certainly become to you, with whom you have toiled as your sorcerers from your youth. They will actually wander, each one to his own region. There will be no one to save you." — Isaiah 47:12-15.

In the days of Nimrod her founder, Babylon was in her youth. He was her popular hero known as "a mighty hunter in opposition to Jehovah." (Genesis 10: 8-10) Babylon did not walk with God, as Noah did, who was then still living during her youth. (Genesis 6:9) She could thus turn only to demonism, to the worship of the demons, the ruler of whom is Satan the Devil,

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Babylon's chief god. So from her youthful days onward she toiled with magical spells and sorcerers, working up an abundance of them. Now, after fifteen centuries of existence, let her see of how much benefit they are to her when she is faced with her downfall as a world power. Let her see if she can bind with a spell and strike with awe the Medes and Persians, whom Jehovah of armies raises up against her.

She did not take Jehovah God as her Counselor. She multiplied worldly counselors of her own choice. She was willing to tire herself out to listen to such worldly-wise men, but not to Jehovah, even with his prophets around, such as Isaiah, Micah, Daniel and Ezekiel. Let her multitude of counselors get her out of the situation into which she was put by following their counsels. Let their religion prove itself to be a means of saving her world domination and her very existence. Let their religion vindicate itself as superior to the worship of Jehovah. But her counselors are mere idolaters, worshiping the heavens and not the Creator of the heavens. Atop the Tower of Babylon, E-temen-an-ki, which was dedicated to the false god Marduk (Merodach, or Bel), Babylon's astrologers look, with a considerable knowledge of astronomy, at the stars to attach some prophetic meaning to their movements and positions. From high observatories throughout Babylonia let all the astrologers make predictions according to the stars.

What about those who make monthly forecasts at the appearance of each new moon? Can they read the heavens in your favor, O Babylon? By the information that they regularly deal out let these monthly forecasters guide you on how to avoid evils and to make sure of success. Let these, if they can, foretell what Jehovah is bringing upon you and advise you how to prepare for it and defeat it. But they cannot do so. They are false advisers, in for a surprise themselves. In the coming calamity they will be just like the dry stubble of a field after harvest. They will be burned up, unable

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to deliver themselves from the flames of destructive calamity upon Babylon. This will be no charcoal fire in a brazier at which to warm oneself or a congenial firelight before which to sit in comfort. It will be a destructive conflagration. It will leave no glowing coals in front of which to enjoy domestic coziness.

So it becomes plain that from her youth as a city Babylon pursued the false religion, Devil religion. Never was she Jehovah's visible organization, not even in her youth. She was never in the truth from which she could apostatize. From her start she has been demonic, the Devil's visible organization. She has been the religious foundation for all future false religion after the flood of Noah's day. The modern Babylon the Great, as foretold in Revelation the last book of the Bible, got her religion from this first ancient Babylon and its god Satan the Devil.

When Babylon's sorcerers see the worthlessness of their charms, incantations and mystic readings of what are signs to them, they will forsake their patroness, Babylon. They will abandon her, wander off to whatever region they think it best for saving themselves. They know they cannot save Babylon. None of her worldly-wise men and religious leaders will be able to prevail on Jehovah of armies to spare her. She is doomed. Her temples, her idols, her ziggurats, her astronomical science, her armies, will prove to be of no value to her. She will have to get down off her throne as the Third World Power and sit debased on the ground until she is annihilated. Her own calamitous end foreshadows the end that is fast coming upon modern Babylon the Great.

BABYLON'S RELIGION SPREADS TO THE WEST

Among the regions to which Babylon's sorcerers and astrologers wandered was the West, that is, Europe.

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One modern historical work* tells of the effect of this, in the following words:


The Chaldeans made great progress in the study of astronomy through an effort to discover the future in the stars. This art we call "astrology". Much information has been systematically collected by the Babylonians and from it we have here the beginning of astronomy. The groups of stars which now bear the name "Twelve Signs of the Zodiac" were mapped out for the first time, and the planets Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn were known. Since these planets were thought to have special powers over the lives of men, they were named for the five leading gods and goddesses. We refer to these planets by their Roman names, but the Romans had adopted the Babylonian terms and simply translated them into their equivalents in Rome. Thus the planet of Ishtar, the goddess of love, became Venus, and that of the god Marduk was changed to Jupiter.


How they finally reached the Italian peninsula can be traced by a close study of historical information by worldly authorities. In the work entitled "Lares and Penates of Cilicia," by Barker and Ainsworth, chapter 8, page 232, we read: "The defeated Chaldeans fled to Asia Minor and fixed their central college at Pergamos."† This is the Pergamum or Pergamos mentioned in Revelation 2:12 as the location of a Christian congregation in the first century A.D. Earlier, in 133 B.C., King Attalus III, on his deathbed, bequeathed Pergamum and its territory to the Romans, all of which later became a Roman province under the name


* See pages 230, 232 of The Dawn of Civilization and Life in the Ancient East (1940 edition), by R. M. Engberg and F. C. Cole.
† That ancient Pergamos (Pergamum) was a city of considerable wealth and stature in the fifth century B.C., is seen in the fact that "It had been striking coins since 420 B.C. at latest." Before Xenophon (about 430-355 B.C.) mentions it in his Anabasis, VII, viii, 8, and Hellenica, III, i, 6, little is known of this cosmopolitan city but mythology. — Br2, Volume 17, page 507; also The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume II, page 666, edition of 1911.
The celebrated and much frequented temple of Aesculapius was located in Pergamos. Aesculapius was called the god of Pergamos, and the mythology in connection with his worship smacks of the religion of Babylon. He was worshiped in the form of a living serpent, fed In the temple and being considered as its divinity.
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of Asia. As regards the flight of the defeated Chaldeans to Asia Minor and their fixing their central college at the idolatrous city of Pergamos, Dr. Alex. Hislop says:


Phrygia . . . formed part of the Kingdom of Pergamos. Mysia also was another, and the Mysians, in the Paschal Chronicle, are said to be descended from Nimrod. The words are, "Nebrod [Greek for Nimrod], the huntsman and giant — from whence came the Mysians." (See Paschal Chronicle, volume I, page 50.) Lydia, also, from which [the historian] Livy and Herodotus say the Etruscans [of Italy] came, formed part of the same kingdom. For the fact that Mysia, Lydia, and Phrygia were constituent parts of the kingdom of Pergamos, see SMITH'S Classical Dictionary, page 542.


What was the effect of this upon the deified kings of Pergamos? Doctor Hislop goes on to say:


The kings of Pergamos, in whose dominions the Chaldean Magi found an asylum, were evidently by them [by the Magi], and by the general voice of Paganism that sympathised with them, put into the vacant place which Belshazzar and his predecessors had occupied. They were hailed as the representatives of the old Babylonian god. This is evident from the statements by Pausanius. . . . Attalus, in whose dominions the Magi had their chief seat, had been set up and recognized in the very character of Bacchus, the Head of the Magi. Thus the vacant seat of Belshazzar was filled, and the broken chain of the Chaldean succession renewed. — The Two Babylons, pages 240, 241.


How the foundation for the practice of Babylonian religion in Italy was laid by the arrival there of the Etruscans long before Attalus III bequeathed the kingdom of Pergamum to Rome, we read:


In regard to the question of Etruscan origins every poet and every prose writer except Dionysius of Halicarnassus accepts as a matter of course the story of their migration from Lydia as given by Herodotus, who tells how in the reign of Atys, son of Manes, there was a great scarcity of food in all Lydia which lasted 18 years. "At last their king divided the people into two portions and made them draw lots so that the one part should

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remain and the other leave the country; he himself was to be the head of those who drew the lot to remain there, and his son, whose name was Tyrrhenus, of those who departed. Then the part of them, having drawn the lot, left the country, and came down to Smyrna and built ships, whereon they set all their goods that could be carried on shipboard and sailed away to seek a livelihood and a country; till at last, after sojourning with many nations in turn, they came to the Ombrici [in Italy] where they founded cities and have dwelt ever since. They no longer called themselves Lydians but Tyrrhenians, after the name of the king's son who had led them thither." . . . their language was something entirely unique and peculiar; a statement fully endorsed by modern philologists, . . . Geographical reasoning therefore points clearly to an invasion, or perhaps rather a colonization, by successive bands of emigrants who landed on the most prominent points of the sea coast of Tuscany [in Italy]. From the character of their earlier remains the date of the first permanent settlement may be placed at the end of the 9th century. [This was before Rome was founded, traditionally in 753 B.C., or in the 8th century B.C.]

That the Etruscans were orientals or semi-orientals is proved by the whole character of their earliest art, and by many details of their religion and worship. It is an art which shows close contact with Mesopotamia, Syria and Cyprus on the one side and with Egypt on the other. The deities and mythological figures on Etruscan gold-work and jewelry of the 7th century are evidently the heroes and deities of Asiatic mythology. ... In the sphere of ritual and religion there are many details which are taken direct from Mesopotamia, and the whole feeling and atmosphere are purely oriental. The most striking identities are in the practice of divination and augury; for the custom of divining from the livers of sheep or the flight of birds is purely Chaldean (see DIVINATION). There are models of clay livers from Mesopotamia inscribed in cuneiform which precisely resemble the bronze model of a liver found at Piacenza [in the Province of Emilia, Italy], divided into compartments each of which is labelled in Etruscan with the name of its presiding divinity.

On the capital questions, therefore, of the origin of the Etruscans, and the date and place of their arrival

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in Italy, archaeology is ready with a clear answer. They came from some part of Asia Minor, whether or not it was Lydia, as Herodotus asserts, is immaterial. Their original home must be sought somewhere between the Hellespont and Syria. In its broad lines the tradition given by Herodotus is borne out by archaeological research. . . . Thus history records few more pathetic instances of political blindness than the apathy of the great Etruscan cities in the long wars between Veii [city of Etruria, north of Rome] and Rome, which allowed the Romans, though actually the weaker, to swallow up Etruria piecemeal. A confederacy of 12 cities existed in the 6th century, which held its annual meetings at the shrine of Voltumma above the Lacus Volsiniensis (Lake of Bolsena). . . . Judging from the smallness of the results, it seems more likely that the confederation confined itself principally to affairs of religion. . . . [In the above-mentioned 6th century Babylon in Mesopotamia fell.] — The Encyclopaedia Britannica, Volume 8, edition of 1946, on pages 785, 786, under "Etruscans."


According to tradition Rome was founded in 753 B.C. In the first century B.C. it became the Sixth World Power. About its early history the book Ancient Times - A History of the Early World, by James H. Breasted, edition of 1916, on pages 488, 489, 495-499, says:


... a bold race of sea rovers whom we call the Etruscans. They . . . probably had an earlier home in western Asia Minor, and the Egyptian monuments tell us of their sea raids on the [Nile] Delta as far back as the thirteenth century B.C., at a time when they were perhaps leaving Asia Minor in search of a new home in Italy. In any case the Etruscans were settled in Italy by 1000 B.C. They thrust back the Indo-European tribes, . . . they continued as an important people of the west far down into Roman history, . . . The Etruscans after 800 B.C. stretched far across northern Italy. . . . Thus Rome became a city-kingdom under an Etruscan king, like the other Etruscan cities which stretched from Capua far north to the harbor of Genoa. And such it remained for two centuries and a half. Although Rome was ruled by a line of Etruscan kings, it must be borne in mind that the population of Latium which the Etruscan kings

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governed continued to be Latin and to speak the Latin tongue.1


[Footnote 1: The above presentation makes the line of early kings of Rome (about 750 to about 500 B.C.) exclusively Etruscan. The traditional founding of Rome not long before 750 B.C. would then correspond to its capture and establishment as a strong kingdom by the Etruscans. We possess no written documents of Rome for this early period. We are obliged to make our conclusions largely on the basis of a study of archaeological remains surviving in Rome and Latium and vicinity. Had these remains, together with the important elements of Etruscan civilization adopted by the Romans, formed our only evidence, no one would ever have suggested any other theory than that the kings of Rome were Etruscans. The later Romans themselves, however, with evident disinclination to believe that their early kings had been outsiders, cherish a tradition that their kings were native Romans. This tradition, with many picturesque and pleasing incidents . . . , has found a place in literature, and is still widely believed. It is possible that there may be some slight measure of truth in this tradition, but it is not very probable in view of all the known evidence.]

Etruscan ships had known Greek waters since Mycenaean days, and the Etruscans were constantly trafficking in the Greek harbors. There they learned to write their language with Greek letters. Many tombs . . . containing such inscriptions still survive in Italy. . . . unlike the Greeks they made plentiful use of the arch, with which they had probably become acquainted in Asia Minor. It was the Etruscans who introduced the arch into Italy.

The Etruscan kings introduced great improvement into Rome. . . . But the cruelty and tyranny of the Etruscan rulers finally caused a revolt, led probably by the Etruscan nobles themselves, and the kings of Rome were driven out. . . . Thus about 500 B.C. the career of Rome under kings came to an end; but the two and a half centuries of Etruscan rule left their mark on Rome, always afterward discernible in architecture, religion, tribal organization, and some other things.

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Note the above reference to religion. In harmony with this we read, on pages 160, 164, 165 of the book On the Road to Civilization (1937 edition), by Heckel-Sigman, the following:


In time the people, resenting the tyranny of the Etruscan kings, revolted, overthrew the monarch, and established a republic (509 B.C.). ... In time the Romans took over the Etruscan gods, Jupiter, Juno, Minerva, and others, and each god was now for the first time given a human form and a residence in temple or shrine. Gods were numerous, and contact with foreign peoples added to their number. They were identified with the Greek gods. For example, Jupiter, the "sky-father" of the Etruscans, became the Roman version of the Greek Zeus-pater. Mars, the god of war, was the favorite deity of the fighting Romans. . . . The Saturnalia were later taken over by the Christians as their Christmas, and given a new significance.

. . . The revival of religion by [Caesar] Augustus was mainly a political move connected with the deification of the emperor. Some years after Augustus, emperor worship became the official state religion.


The above quotations confirm what Doctor Hislop has to say on pages 239, 240 of The Two Babylons, as follows:


A colony of Etruscans, earnestly attached to the Chaldean idolatry, had migrated, some say from Asia Minor [where Pergamos was located], others from Greece, and settled in the immediate neighborhood of Rome. They were ultimately incorporated in the Roman state, but long before this political union took place they exercised the most powerful influence on the religion of the Romans. From the very first their skill in augury, soothsaying, and all science, real or pretended, that the augurs or soothsayers monopolized, made the Romans look up to them with respect. It is admitted on all hands that the Romans derived their knowledge of augury, which occupied so prominent a part in every public transaction in which they engaged, chiefly from the Tuscans, that is, the people of Etruria, and at first none but natives of that country were permitted to exercise the office of Haruspex, which had respect to all the rites essentially

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involved in sacrifice. Wars and disputes arose between Rome and the Etruscans; but still the highest of the noble youths of Rome were sent to Etruria to be instructed in the sacred science which flourished there. . . . The college of Pontiffs, of which he [Numa] laid the foundation, in process of time came to be substantially an Etruscan college, and the Sovereign Pontiff that presided over that college, and that controlled all the public and private religious rites of the Roman people in all essential respects, became in spirit and in practice an Etruscan Pontiff.

. . . The true legitimate Babylonian Pontiff had his seat beyond the bounds of the Roman empire [which never overran southern Mesopotamia or Chaldea]. That seat, after the death of Belshazzar and the expulsion of the Chaldean priesthood from Babylon by the Medo-Persian kings, was at Pergamos, where afterwards was one of the seven churches of Asia.*


Regarding the above-mentioned Numa, page 256, paragraph 1, of the above-quoted The Two Babylons, says: "That god was called in Babylon Nebo, in Egypt Nub or Num, and among the Romans Numa, for Numa Pompilius, the great priest-king of the Romans, occupied precisely the position of the Babylonian Nebo." The Roman capital was founded in the eighth century B.C., according to tradition; so before Babylon fell to the Medes and Persians in the sixth century and before the religious Chaldeans fled to Asia Minor and Pergamos, Babylonish religion was functioning in Italy. However, on pages 241, 242, 247, 250, 252, 255, The Two Babylons shows the connection that came about between Pergamos and Rome, saying:


At first the Roman Pontiff had no immediate connection with Pergamos and the hierarchy there; yet, in course of time, the Pontificate of Rome and the Pontificate of Pergamos came to be identified. Pergamos itself


* See also Kennett's Antiquities, Part II, Book 2, Chapter 3, page 67; Chapter 4. page 69. Also, Adam's Antiquities, "Ministers of Religion," page 255. Also. Marcus Tullius Cicero's treatise Concerning Divination, Book I, Chapter 41, Volume 3, pages 34, 35. Also, Titus Livy's History, Book 4, Chapter 4, Volume 1, page 260.
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became part and parcel of the Roman empire, when Attalus III, the last of the kings, at his death, left by will all his dominions to the Roman people, B.C. 133. . . . When Julius Caesar, who had previously been elected Pontifex Maximus, became also, as Emperor, the supreme civil ruler of the Romans, then, as head of the Roman state, and head of the Roman religion, all the powers and functions of the true legitimate Babylonian Pontiff were supremely vested in him, and he found himself in a position to assert these powers. Then he seems to have laid claim to the divine dignity of Attalus, as well as the kingdom that Attalus had bequeathed to the Romans, as centring in himself; . . . Then, on certain occasions, in the exercise of his high pontifical office, he appeared of course in all the pomp of the Babylonian costume, as Belshazzar himself might have done, in robes of scarlet, with the crozier of Nimrod in his hand, wearing the mitre of Dagon [the fish god] and bearing the keys of Janus [the two-faced god] and Cybele [the "mother" goddess]. . . .

. . . until the reign of [Western Emperor] Gratian, who, as shown by [the historian] Gibbon, was the first that refused to be arrayed in the idolatrous pontifical attire, or to sit as Pontifex. . . .

. . . Within a few years after the Pagan title of Pontifex had been abolished, it was revived . . . and was bestowed, with all the Pagan associations clustering around it, upon the Bishop of Rome, who, from that time forward, became the grand agent in pouring over professing Christendom, ... all the other doctrines of Paganism derived from ancient Babylon. . . .

. . . The circumstances in which that Pagan title was bestowed upon Pope Damasus, were such as might have been not a little trying to the faith and integrity of a much better man than he. Though Paganism was legally abolished in the Western Empire of Rome, yet in the city of the Seven Hills it was still rampant, insomuch that Jerome [translator of the Latin Vulgate], who knew it well, writing of Rome at this very period, calls it "the sink of all superstitions." The consequence was, that, while everywhere else throughout the empire the Imperial edict for the abolition of Paganism was respected, in Rome itself it was, to a large extent, a dead letter. . . .

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. . . The man [Pope Damasus I] that came into the bishopric of Rome, as a thief and a robber, over the dead bodies of above a hundred of his opponents, could not hesitate as to the election he should make. The result shows that he had acted in character, that, in assuming the Pagan title of Pontifex, he had set himself at whatever sacrifice of truth to justify his claims to that title in the eyes of the Pagans, as the legitimate representative of their long line of pontiffs. . . .*

. . . The Pope, as he is now, was at the close of the fourth century, the only representative of Belshazzar, or Nimrod, on the earth, for the Pagans manifestly accepted him as such. . . . A.D. 606, when, amid the convulsions and confusions of the nations, tossed like a tempestuous sea, the Pope of Rome was made Universal Bishop; and then the ten chief kingdoms of Europe recognized him as Christ's Vicar upon earth, the only centre of unity, the only source of stability to their thrones.


From the above information the reader can see that, when the defeated religious Chaldeans left Babylon to her mournful decline, not right in 539, but later due to persecution or other conditions, they did not have in mind that the Babylonian religion should die out. The fact is that Babylon's sudden fall did not mean the end of her religion. A comprehensive examination of the religious world of our twentieth century reveals that Babylonish religion still flourishes around the world. What will it mean for such when the modern Babylon the Great goes down in fulfillment of Bible prophecy? With keen interest we probe further into sacred prophecy to see.


* Under "Damasus I, pope," page 652b of Volume 2 of M'Clintock and Strong's Cyclopedia says the following:
"Damasus I, pope, . . . succeeded Liberius as bishop of Rome A.D. 366. He was opposed by Ursicinus, who claimed the election, and in their disgraceful strifes many people were murdered . . . The emperor Gratian conferred upon [Damasus], in 378, the right to pass judgment upon those clergymen of the other party who had been expelled from Rome, and, at the request of a Roman synod held in the same year, instructed the secular authorities to give to him the necessary support. . . ."


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