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Dictionaries :: Babylon

Easton's Bible Dictionary


the Greek form of BABEL; Semitic form Babilu, meaning "The Gate of God." In the Assyrian tablets it means "The city of the dispersion of the tribes." The monumental list of its kings reaches back to B.C. 2300, and includes Khammurabi, or Amraphel (q.v.), the contemporary of Abraham. It stood on the Euphrates, about 200 miles above its junction with the Tigris, which flowed through its midst and divided it into two almost equal parts. The Elamites invaded Chaldea (i.e., Lower Mesopotamia, or Shinar, and Upper Mesopotamia, or Accad, now combined into one) and held it in subjection. At length Khammu-rabi delivered it from the foreign yoke, and founded the new empire of Chaldea (q.v.), making Babylon the capital of the united kingdom. This city gradually grew in extent and grandeur, but in process of time it became subject to Assyria. On the fall of Nineveh (B.C. 606) it threw off the Assyrian yoke, and became the capital of the growing Babylonian empire. Under Nebuchadnezzar it became one of the most splendid cities of the ancient world.

After passing through various vicissitudes the city was occupied by Cyrus, "king of Elam," B.C. 538, who issued a decree permitting the Jews to return to their own land (606) it threw off the Assyrian yoke, and became the capital of Ezr 1). It then ceased to be the capital of an empire. It was again and again visited by hostile armies, till its inhabitants were all driven from their homes, and the city became a complete desolation, its very site being forgotten from among men.

On the west bank of the Euphrates, about 50 miles south of Bagdad, there is found a series of artificial mounds of vast extent. These are the ruins of this once famous proud city. These ruins are principally (1) the great mound called Babil by the Arabs. This was probably the noted Temple of Belus, which was a pyramid about 480 feet high. (2) The Kasr (i.e., "the palace"). This was the great palace of Nebuchadnezzar. It is almost a square, each side of which is about 700 feet long. The little town of Hillah, near the site of Babylon, is built almost wholly of bricks taken from this single mound. (3) A lofty mound, on the summit of which stands a modern tomb called Amran ibn-Ali. This is probably the most ancient portion of the remains of the city, and represents the ruins of the famous hanging-gardens, or perhaps of some royal palace. The utter desolation of the city once called "The glory of kingdoms" (Isa 13:19) was foretold by the prophets (Isa 13:4-22; Jer 25:12; 50:2,3; Dan 2:31-38).

The Babylon mentioned in 1Pe 5:13 was not Rome, as some have thought, but the literal city of Babylon, which was inhabited by many Jews at the time Peter wrote.

In Rev 14:8; Rev 16:19; Rev 17:5; and Rev 18:2, "Babylon" is supposed to mean Rome, not considered as pagan, but as the prolongation of the ancient power in the papal form. Rome, pagan and papal, is regarded as one power. "The literal Babylon was the beginner and supporter of tyranny and idolatry...This city and its whole empire were taken by the Persians under Cyrus; the Persians were subdued by the Macedonians, and the Macedonians by the Romans; so that Rome succeeded to the power of old Babylon. And it was her method to adopt the worship of the false deities she had conquered; so that by her own act she became the heiress and successor of all the Babylonian idolatry, and of all that was introduced into it by the immediate successors of Babylon, and consequently of all the idolatry of the earth." Rome, or "mystical Babylon," is "that great city which reigneth over the kings of the earth" (Rev 17:18).

Hitchcock's Bible Names Dictionary


same as Babel

Torrey's New Topical Textbook

Babylon: Origin Of

Gen 10:8,10

Babylon: Origin of the Name

Gen 11:8,9

Babylon: Was Called

Land of the Chaldeans

Eze 12:13

Land of Shinar

Dan 1:2; Zec 5:11

Land of Merathaim

Jer 50:1,21

Desert of the sea

Isa 21:1,9


Jer 25:12,26

Lady of kingdoms

Isa 47:5

Babylon: Situated beyond the Euphrates

Gen 11:31; Jos 24:2,3

Babylon: Formerly a Part of Mesopotamia

Act 7:2

Babylon: Founded by the Assyrians, and a part of their empire

2Ki 17:24; Isa 23:13

Babylon: Watered by the Rivers Euphrates and Tigris

Psa 137:1; Jer 51:13

Babylon: Composed of Many Nations

Dan 3:4; 3:29

Babylon: Governed by Kings

2Ki 20:12; Dan 5:1

Babylon: With Media and Persia divided by Darius 120 provinces

Dan 6:1

Babylon: Presidents Placed Over

Dan 2:48; 6:1

Babylon: Babylon the Chief Province Of

Dan 3:1

Babylon: Babylon the Capital Of

Its antiquity

Gen 11:4,9

Enlarged by Nebuchadnezzar

Dan 4:30

Surrounded with a great wall and fortified

Jer 51:53,58

Called the golden city

Isa 14:4

Called the glory of kingdoms

Isa 13:19

Called beauty of Chaldees, &c

Isa 13:19

Called the city of merchants

Eze 17:4

Called Babylon the great

Dan 4:30

Babylon: Remarkable For


Jer 5:15

Naval power

Isa 43:14

Military power

Jer 5:16; 50:23

National greatness

Isa 13:19; Jer 51:41


Jer 50:37; 51:13


Eze 17:4

Manufacture of garments

Jos 7:21

Wisdom of senators

Isa 47:10; Jer 50:35

Babylon: Inhabitants Of


Jer 50:38; Dan 3:18

Addicted to magic

Isa 47:9,12,13; Dan 2:1,2

Profane and sacrilegious

Dan 5:1-3


Isa 47:10

Babylon: As a Power Was


Isa 14:13,14; Jer 50:29,31,32

Secure and self-confident

Isa 47:7,8

Grand and stately

Isa 47:1,5


Jer 51:13


Isa 14:4

Cruel and destructive

Isa 14:17; 47:6; Jer 51:25; Hab 1:6,7

An instrument of God's vengeance on other nations

Jer 51:7; Isa 47:6

Babylon: Languages Spoken In

Dan 1:4; 2:4

Babylon: Armies Of, Described

Hab 1:7-9

Babylon: Represented By

A great eagle

Eze 17:3

A head of gold

Dan 2:32,37,38

A lion with eagle's wings

Dan 7:4

Babylon: Ambassadors Of, Sent to Hezekiah

2Ki 20:12

Babylon: Nebuchadnezzar King Of

Made Jehoiakim tributary

2Ki 24:1

Besieged Jerusalem

2Ki 24:10,11

Took Jehoiachin, &c captive to Babylon

2Ki 24:12,14-16; 2Ch 36:10

Spoiled the temple

2Ki 24:13

Made Zedekiah king

2Ki 24:17

Rebelled against by Zedekiah

2Ki 24:20

Besieged and took Jerusalem

2Ki 25:1-4

Burned Jerusalem, &c

2Ki 25:9,10

Took Zedekiah, &c captive to Babylon

2Ki 25:7,11,18-21; 2Ch 36:20

Spoiled and burned the temple

2Ki 25:9,13-17; 2Ch 36:18,19

Babylon: Revolt of the Jews from, and their punishment illustrated

Eze 17:1-24

Babylon: The Jews Exhorted to Be Subject To, and Settle In

Jer 27:17; 29:1-7

Babylon: Treatment of the Jews In

2Ki 25:27-30; Dan 1:3-7

Babylon: Grief of the Jews In

Psa 137:1-6

Babylon: Destroyed by the Medes

Dan 5:30,31

Babylon: Restoration of the Jews From

2Ch 36:23; Ezr 1:1-2:67

Babylon: The Gospel Preached In

1Pe 5:13

Babylon: A Type of Antichrist

Rev 16:19; 17:5

Babylon: Predictions Respecting

Conquests by

Jer 21:3-10; 27:2-6; 49:28-33; Eze 21:19-32; 29:18-20

Captivity of the Jews by

Jer 20:4-6; 22:20-26; 25:9-11; Mic 4:10

Restoration of the Jews from

Isa 14:1-4; 44:28; 48:20; Jer 29:10; 50:4,8,19

Destruction of

Isa 13:1-22; 14:4-22; 21:1-10; 47:1-15; Jer 25:12; 50:1-51:64

Perpetual desolation of

Isa 13:19-22; 14:22,23; Jer 50:13,39; 51:37

Preaching of the gospel in

Psa 87:4

Smith's Bible Dictionary


in the Apocalypse, is the symbolical name by which Rome is denoted (Revelation 14:8; 17:18). The power of Rome was regarded by the later Jews as was that of Babylon by their forefathers (compare Jeremiah 51:7 with Revelation 14:8). The occurrence of this name in 1 Peter 5:13 has given rise to a variety of conjectures, many giving it the same meaning as in the Apocalypse; others refer it to Babylon in Asia, and others still to Babylon in Egypt. The most natural supposition of all is that by Babylon is intended the old Babylon of Assyria, which was largely inhabited by Jews at the time in question.


The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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