Babel, Babylon
Dictionary of Bible Names

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Babel, Babylon
Bible Meaning: Confusion
Strong's Concordance #H894, #G897

The English words Babel and Babylon are derived from the same Hebrew word which means "confusion."

The city of Babel, which would eventually become Babylon, was built after Noah's flood by Nimrod. The purpose of its massive tower was mankind's vain attempt to survive another global flood brought by God even though he promised not to do so (Genesis 9:11 - 16).

In Babel, the miraculous changing of man's one language into many forced work on the city's tower to cease. It also motivated humans to scatter and repopulate the earth as they were originally commanded to do (Genesis 9:1, 11:9). Babylonia proper, near the Persian Gulf, is generally located between the Euphrates and Tigris rivers. It is bounded on the North by Assyria and Mesopotamia, on the East by Elam, on the South by the Chaldees (Chaldeans), and on the West by the Syrian Desert.

Location of Babel, Babylon and Babylonia Map
Cities of Assyria and Babylon

Babylon became a world empire in 612 B.C. when it sacked Nineveh and defeated the Assyrians. Although its peak of power is reached around 560, only twenty-one years later it was destroyed by the Persians under King Cyrus.

Because of the Kingdom of Judah's many sins, God allowed the empire to overcome his people and take them captive in three successive waves (605, 587 and 586 B.C.). In the third and final assault, Jerusalem and its temple are destroyed.

It was through Nebuchadnezzar's dreams, which Daniel interpreted while he was in captivity, that God revealed prophetic empires that would rule the world from the time of the Neo-Babylonian empire to end time Beast power (Daniel 2, 7, 8).

New Testament Reference

The Apostle Peter not only preached in city but the possibility exists he died a martyrs' death in it. Additionally, the city is symbolic of the world's self-centered and god-rejecting governments that will be destroyed and replaced when Jesus Christ returns to the earth.

Important Verses

Genesis 10:10
And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.

Genesis 11:9
Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.

2Kings 17:24
And the king of Assyria brought men from Babylon, and from Cuthah, and from Ava, and from Hamath, and from Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel: and they possessed Samaria, and dwelt in the cities thereof.

2Kings 25:1
And it came to pass in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, in the tenth day of the month, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came, he, and all his host, against Jerusalem, and pitched against it; and they built forts against it round about.

2Chronicle 36:11 - 12, 17 - 18
Zedekiah was one and twenty years old when he began to reign, and reigned eleven years in Jerusalem.

And he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord his God, and humbled not himself before Jeremiah the prophet speaking from the mouth of the Lord . . .

Therefore he (God) brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men . . .

And all the vessels of the house of God, great and small, and the treasures of the house of the Lord, and the treasures of the king, and of his princes; all these he brought to Babylon.

1Peter 5:13
The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus (Mark) my son.

Revelation 17:5

Revelation 18:2
And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.

Revelation 18:21
And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.

Additional Studies

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Series Notes
References are based on the
King James Bible translation (KJV).