The seventh and eighth chapters of Dany’el / Daniel contain a profoundly revealing presentation of history, much of it now past but most of it poised to play out in our immediate future. The prophetic proclamation was written twenty-five-hundred years ago, around 555 BCE. Evidence that it was inspired by Yahowah abounds. Its proof statements are irrefutable as a result of the Qumran library, because we possess sixteen separate manuscripts of Dany’el, which predate the book’s most profound predictions.
While a captive in Babylon, in the most corrupt place on earth, in the birthplace of religion and politics and of military and economic schemes, in the place Yahowah asked Abraham to leave before engaging in the Covenant, Yahowah revealed a vision which unlocks the mystery of time, ultimately pinpointing the very date the Ma’aseyah Yahowsha’ would arrive in Yaruwshalaim: March 28, 33 CE, four days before Passover, to honor His Towrah promises. He even predicted when and by whom the Temple would be destroyed, remarkable in that the Temple didn’t even exist at the time of the vision. Dany’el revealed that Yisra’el would be deforested, something the Romans achieved in 135 CE when they salted the earth, sixty-five years after razing the Temple. But more than this, the prophetic visions witnessed by Dany’el chronicle the rise and fall of mighty empires, including Babylonia, Persia, Greece, and Rome. And it is from this book that Yahowsha’ recited much of what is now found in Revelation.
But these are merely examples of what is foretold, among countless others. This is an amazing book, presenting 2,500 years of world history from Yisra’el’s perspective. It is the human story, one delivered by a godly man who withstood religious and political persecution, a man who refused to compromise, a man who ultimately triumphed over the corrupting influence of human institutions to encourage the rest of us. It is the story of the fall of man.
The oldest extant scroll of Dany’el / Daniel was copied around 125 BCE, four-hundred thirty years after the book of prophecy was initially penned. It remains the only bilingual text demonstrating Divine inspiration found among the Dead Sea Scrolls. It was written in Hebrew and Aramaic. It opens in Hebrew, switches to Aramaic in the second half of the fourth verse of the second chapter, and then it reverts back to Hebrew at the beginning of the eighth chapter. Since our investigation will commence with the seventh chapter, we will be relying on Aramaic initially rather than Hebrew – our constant friend and companion throughout this study. And while this will limit our direct investigation of each word’s meaning, and that is because ancient Hebrew is more thoroughly researched than Aramaic, the languages are so similar we will not be shortchanged, especially since Yahowah sent Gabry’el / Gabriel to explain the symbols used in the text and to elaborate on them.
But beyond this, there is an unexpected advantage to the juxtaposition of the two languages. Yahowsha’ is known to have spoken both Hebrew and Aramaic, leaving us to wonder if there were some in His audience that would have understood one language but not the other. The question has also been posed as to whether Yahowsha’ cited the Torah and Prophets in Hebrew or Aramaic. But with this review of Dany’el 7, those questions will become moot. The languages are so similar that if you understand one, you will relate to the other.
Before we begin, realize that much of what you are going to experience initially speaks of civilizations long past. Looking back at the rise and fall of ancient empires may initially seem incongruous with a chapter devoted to the fall of man during the tribulation, but yet every word paints a picture, exposing the contrast between God and his creation, between the Covenant and human institutions, between the Towrah and the Adversary.
The Beast who emerges out of the Greek and Roman Empires isn’t simply a product of Macedonia and Rome, of Alexander and his generals or the Caesars, but of the entire edifice, beginning with Babylon. There are characteristics of every country from Babylonia to Persia, from Greece to Rome, in the Transgressor known to Christians as the “Antichrist.” His government will be an expression of his religion, as was the case throughout each empire, a tactic born and first honed in Babylon. It was in Babylonia that the military was deployed as an economic resource. Nations were conquered for tribute, not integration. Compelling vassal peoples to pay for Babylonian indulgences became more expedient than working. Further, as it relates to the first of these fallen nations, never lose sight of the fact that while the Transgressor of the Tribulation will emerge out of Rome, he will ultimately represent Babylon, the very thing Yahowah has asked His children to walk away from if they want to engage in the Covenant.
Turning to Persia, it was the antithesis of Babylon in substantive ways. It grew through integration. For the Persians, the known world was one world – their world. They developed and deployed the means to effectively communicate, and thus influence people over large distances by way of a common language, a postal system, taxation, a state religion, and roadways – all designed to integrate the different cultures into a common empire. Their control mechanism was a centralized, bureaucratic administration under the dictatorial control of an emperor. His designs were conveyed by civil servants and imposed by a large professional military. But with so many cultures and ethnicities covering such a vast area, the king’s authority was often challenged, causing the constant deployment of troops to quell rebellions, a burden that became economically unsustainable.
Greece by contrast was a loose collection of independent city-states – wholly decentralized. They were as likely to war against one another as they were to band together to ward off a common foe. While there were kings, Greece was the birthplace of democracy, and with it philosophy. Rhetoric was revered, as were knowledge and the pretense of understanding. The Greeks were the merchants of the ancient world. Having sapped their own resources, they purchased wood and wheat by trading wine and olives – commodities that would grow in dry, impoverished soils. This seafaring nation was no less religious or militaristic than its predecessors, but it was the Greeks who discovered the benefit of turning warriors into heroes. All means of propaganda were deployed to fan the flames of patriotism and militarism, from theater to oratory, from novel to actual worship as if their warriors were gods. This collection of independent communities with a common spirit became a unified empire briefly as a result of Alexander’s conquests. But then as quickly as his weapons and strategy had built it, without any organizational control, it disintegrated, first into four kingdoms and then into many more.
Rome is unlike the others because it is still with us. The Imperial Empire is long gone, but not its legacy: the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Church. As for the Empire, no civilization prior or since has been as perverted or cruel. The Romans and their Legions were vicious and duplicitous. They made carnality and killing an art form. The Caesars were vile, ruthless men, who acted like their pagan gods. Having flirted with representative government, the most covetous men and the most effective warriors became supreme dictators, with a litany of their spoiled children inheriting the throne thereafter. Their names are now infamous and include in chronological order the likes of: Tiberius (14-37), Caligula (37-41), Nero (54-68), Domitian (81-96), Commodus (177-192), Caracalla (198-217), Elagabalus (218-222), Carinus (283-285), and Constantine, whose life we will examine in some detail.
They were known for their massive civil projects, from roadways to aqueducts, from amphitheaters to public forums, from lavish temples to decadent palaces. But it was their flawed character that brought them down. Dependent upon slaves to perform every task, from cleaning the streets to protecting the empire, wonton abuse of everyone who wasn’t Roman ultimately caused the world to rebel against them, and they collapsed from within before they were routed by those they had abused.
If Moseh’s request of us in Dabarym 6:4-5 epitomizes the most desirable attitude, the Romans were exemplars of the worst extreme. The Towrah says: “Listen Yisra’el, Yahowah is our God, Yahowah is one, certain and unique. So you should genuinely choose to love Yahowah, your God, with all of your heart, with all of your soul, and with all of your capacity.” To which Yahowsha’ added, also citing the Torah: “You should choose to actually love your neighbor as yourself, for I am Yahowah.” (Qara’ 19:18)
The epitome of Roman animosity to these instructions was manifest when in 70 CE Rome razed Yahowah’s Temple in Yisra’el, hauling its precious metals and people off to Rome to finance and build their Coliseum. Ponder the contrast between what was said and done in these places if you want to understand why God loves one and hates the other.
But it would only get worse. Prior to the Imperial Empire’s decline, one of the worst of a bad lot of Generals turned Emperor claimed to have seen a vision before the sun, and out of it promoted a religion as perverted and cruel as the Empire and its Legions. It became known as Roman Catholicism and Orthodox Christianity. It could be argued that no institution in all of human history has been as menacing and debilitating.
The Eastern Orthodox Churches which grew out of Constantine’s Roman legacy in Constantinople include: the Greek, Macedonian, Russian, Ukrainian, Cypriot, Georgian, Romanian, Serbian, Bulgarian, Moldovan, Albanian, Montenegrin, Croatian, Czech, Slovak, Armenian, Syriac (Syrian), Ethiopian, and Copt (Egyptian) Orthodox Churches – all places Romans fought, killed, and died. They are as much a part of the Roman legacy as is the Roman Catholic Church. And as we shall soon learn, since the Beast that will terrorize the world throughout the Tribulation emerges out of both Rome and Greece, the Eastern Orthodox Church will be as culpable as is the Roman Catholic Church.
Bringing this all together, the Beast who will oppose all things Yah, His Word, His Name, His Torah, His Covenant, His Invitations, His Conditions, and His Way, will embody the religious, political, military, and economic influences manifest in Babylonia, Persia, Greece, Rome, Roman Catholicism, and Orthodox Christianity. So as we progress through history past, stay focused, because everything we witness will become manifest again in our immediate future. We will learn precisely and irrefutably from which county the Transgressor will emerge. His entre to power will be disclosed as will his retort to those who sponsored him. But especially shocking to many, we will discover that the man thought to be the “Antichrist” by Christians will be indistinguishable from the Roman who wrote half of their New Testament.
And speaking of interesting connections, the historical presentation we are about to witness begins in Babylon and never manages to leave. The first nation to die is Babylonia, but the victor, Cyrus of Persia, uses Babylon as his seat of power. Then when Alexander defeats Darius, Babylon retains its deadly reputation, claiming the life of the Macedonian general within days of him entering Satan’s most nefarious lair. Even Rome was infected, having battled the Persians and their derivatives, the Parthian and Sassanid Empires, for seven centuries, its Church became the reincarnation of Babylon, its every rite, doctrine, and celebration. This plague of death was infused into every aspect of the Church and Beast it spawned, both of which will become the most adroit exemplars of the worldwide influence of Whore of Babylon.
And while Yahowah has taken both Judaism and Islam to task in other prophetic books, let’s not lose sight of the fact that Rabbinic Judaism was codified in the Babylonian Talmud. And it is this collection of religious arguments against Yahowah’s Towrah that were twisted by Muhammad to create the only credible portions of his Qur’an, giving birth to today’s most vicious religion. Simply stated, every soul Babylon infects becomes diseased, is destroyed, and dies.
In Bare’syth / Genesis, Babylon is the first place Yahowah asks us to walk away from if we want to engage in a relationship with Him. In the Revelation to Yahowchanan / John, Babylon is the last place Yahowsha’ calls His people out of prior to His return. And throughout God’s testimony there is a trinity of evil – Satan, the Beast, and Babylon – all shown to be united in their opposition to everything God desires. Therefore, we should not be surprised that throughout this prophecy, these associations is firmly established.
Aware of these factors, let’s commence our review...
“In the first year of (ba chad shanah la) Belsha’tsar (Belsha’tsar – May Bel (the Lord) Protect the King, commonly transliterated Belshazzar, along with his father, the last of the Chaldean kings), the king of (melek – highest royal ruler of the government of) Babel - Confusion (Babel – Confusion, commonly transliterated Babylon), Dany’el (Dany’el – God Judges and Vindicates) saw (chazah – was able to look at and watch the totality of, facilitating comprehensive observation, perception, and understanding of (peal perfect)) a revealing vision (chelem – a prophetic revelation) and (wa) supernatural revelations (chazuw – sensory perceptions deployed to convey the truth visually) in his mind (re’sh – in his head) while upon his bed (‘al mishkab – on the place where he lies down to relax).
Thereupon (‘adayn – making a transition, therefore),in (ba) the prophetic revelation (chelem – revealing vision),he was prompted to write a complete copy of (katab – he was facilitated in the writing of the totality of (peal perfect)) the things (milah – the matters, events, and dialogue) being communicated (‘amar – being told and spoken).” (Dany’el / God Judges and Vindicates / Daniel 7:1)
The awkward phrase “he related the sum of the words” found in most English bible translations does not exist in Qumran’s 4QDan, the only scroll that preserves this verse. Should you be reading along in a translation influenced by the Masoretic Text, you’ll understand why it was omitted.
Belshazzar was the son of Nabonydus (Nabu is Praised). As father and son they ruled over Babylon from 556 to 539 BCE – but not in accord with normal succession. Much of what is known about them historically is gleaned from a terracotta cylinder housed in the British Museum. Upon it, Nabonydus claims to have orchestrated repairs to the Temple of Sin in Haran – the same shrine and deity that would influence Islam and explain its fixation with the moon. In a bit of irony, it was in Harran where the Assyrian Empire would ultimately succumb to superior forces.
As a devotee of Sin, King Nabonydus would have been at odds with the Babylonian priesthood. They favored Lord Bel and Marduk. In fact, this religious conflict is what caused Nabonydus to flee to the desert oasis of Tayma in Arabia early in his reign, an event which brought his son, Belshazzar, to the thrown in Babylon during his father’s long absence.
Dany’el 4 contains the prophet’s forecast regarding Nabonydus, Belshazzar’s father, predicting his seven years of self imposed exile in the desert surrounding Tayma. Dany’el even surmised that the king’s hubris would cost him his sanity. He foretold that the man who had countless slaves at his beacon call to have his every whim assuaged would live like an animal, fending for himself for seven years. The prophecy even states that He was smitten, which is why Belsha’tsar ruled in his absence.
“I, Dany’el (Dany’el – God Judges and Vindicates),responded (‘anah – answered, reacted, and replied) and then said (wa ‘amar – responded),‘I am able to see (hawahchazah – I can envision and observe (peal perfect)),with my sensory perceptions, the vision (bachazuw – in my supernatural revelation) during night (‘im lyly ‘a – in the darkness).’ And then (wa), behold, right there (‘aruw),four (‘arba’) spirits (ruwach – winds) out of the heavens (shamaym ‘a – of the sky, atmosphere, universe, or spiritual realm) churning up (guwah – stirring up) the approach to the Great Sea (la yam ‘a rab ‘a).” (Dany’el / God Judges and Vindicates / Daniel 7:2)
Aramaic and Hebrew share many words in common. Among them is ruwach, which can mean “spirit” or “wind.” And either translation is acceptable because different spirits were conceived in heaven. While most continue to serve Yahowah, others are now in league with the Adversary. In this regard, while Satan is a spiritual being, wind is often associated with him, particularly when it agitates or is depicted as a storm. Wind is also an indication of war. But in this case, especially knowing what follows, it’s reasonable to assume that the four beasts were influenced by four demonic spirits, which is why spirits was selected over winds in the translation.
Shamaym is also plural in the text, and can depict everything from the heavens to the atmosphere, from the universe and its stars to the spiritual realm. But since demons were conceived in heaven and cast out of the abode of God, “out of the heavens” was emboldened.
The Great Sea is often a reference to the Mediterranean, which forms the western border of Yisra’el. But it also symbolizes multitudes of Gentiles, especially when they combatively crash into the Promised Land. In this regard, the sea generally designates “gowym – people from different races and places” while “‘erets – land” consistently speaks of Yisra’elites throughout the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms. This distinction is important as we journey through Yahowah’s prophetic testimony.
As we continue, “chyuwah – beast” is deployed to describe to an undesirable and destructive empire, but it can also depict a hostile institution or a rebellious individual. It is typically used of a state, organization, or person engaged in advancing Satan’s agenda.
“Then four (wa ‘arba’) great beasts (rab chyuwah – large, terrifying, wild, animalistic, and powerful monsters) were coming up out of the Sea (calaq min yam ‘a – growing and ascending out of the ocean or nether regions of the underworld), being transformed and different (shanah – being changed, becoming dissimilar) one from the other (da’ min da’ – this one from that one).” (Dany’el / God Judges and Vindicates / Daniel 7:3)
In this context, the “great beasts” depict empires, civilizations which were influenced religiously by the ultimate predator, ha Satan – the Adversary. Since they have emerged from the “sea,” they are all Gentile nations with a history of being in opposition to the Chosen People and the Promised Land.
Shanah can speak of transformation or differentiation, which is why both options were provided. These were different beasts, and therefore represent different civilizations, but also some of them appeared to change before Dany’el’s eyes. That was especially true with Rome. The Empire became a Church.
“The first (qadmay ‘a) was similar to (ka – like and corresponding to) a lion (‘aryeh – fierce and powerful) but with (wa) wings (gaph) of (dy) an eagle (nashar) upon her (la). I kept watching (hawah chazah – I was totally focused and observant) while (‘ad) her wings were plucked off (marat gap – her wings were torn off). But then (wa) she was lifted up (natal – she was raised up (peil perfect)) from the earth (min ‘ara’ ‘a – out of the world of humankind) and (wa) upon (‘al) feet (ragal – a pair of paws) like a human (k ‘anash – similar to a person),she was established and made to stand upright (quwm – she was set upright (hophal perfect)). Then (wa) a human (‘anash) heart and thought processes (labab – mindset, attitude, capacity for reasoning, and persona) were given to her (yahab la – were placed in her (peil perfect)).” (Dany’el / God Judges and Vindicates / Daniel 7:4)
The winged lion was the predominant symbol for the nation of Babylonia. This characterization represented their most important deity: Bel, which translates as “the Lord.” The depiction was hard to miss because it was carved unto the gates of the capital, and it was engraved on the kingdom’s coinage. Beyond the obvious, Yahowah refers to Babel as a lion in part because the king of the beasts is among the most able and vicious predators. Lions hunt in prides, are especially swift, and look regal as the kill with jaws and claws.
The eagle’s soaring flight became symbolic of solar deities in pagan mythology, and particularly the father of the gods within the Babylonian, Greek, and Roman Trinity. As a powerful carnivore, an eagle is able to kill live prey, but like a vulture, typically prefers to consume dead and rotting flesh. Eagles are revered because of their enormous wingspan and because they appear almost majestic in flight. As a result of its ability to soar above other animals, many nations, from Babylonia to Rome, even America and the Russian Federation, identify themselves with this vaulted pagan symbol.
Babylonia was the world’s leading super power, albeit for a short period of time, from 605 to 539 BCE. “Babel – Babylonia” means “Confusion.” The Empire menaced Yisra’el, and in particular, Yahuwdah, enslaving countless Yahuwdym. Dany’el, himself, was a captive in Babylon when he witnessed this revelation.
You may have noticed that Babylonia existed a mere 66 years, an important figure because it represents the number of man and the beast. It is this relationship, the amalgamation of the beastly nature of a national institution and the worst of human behavior, that is so destructive and deadly. This deplorable state is brought about through the integration of religion and politics, thereby magnifying the influence of arrogant, covetous, and misguided men. The only thing worse than Babylon’s twin sixes would be three sixes, 666, which adds Satan, himself, to this poisonous brew.
Speaking of the Adversary, an entire chapter of the prophet Yasha’yah / Isaiah, the 14th, is devoted to explaining the connection between Satan, whose name is Heylel ben Shachar, and “Babel – Babylon – Confusion.” In its pages, we learn that conceit, an unrealistic and undeserved impression of himself, is what brought Satan down. He wanted to be worshipped as if he was God. His goal was to be seen above the Most High.
Few things this clearly stated are as universally misunderstood. Satan does not want to be known as the Adversary, as ugly and menacing beast. And that means that he does not want to be seen as ha satan. Instead, the Adversary seeks to fool the unsuspecting so that they bow down to him as if he were God. Therefore, you will never find Satan in an occult ritual, but instead in popular religious worship. His mission is to be called “the Lord,” which is why Yahowah has given him the name, “Ba’al – Lord.” As the Lord, he solicits obedience and worship. He becomes the fearsome beast behind the most imposing and intimidating institutions. He is all too often the hidden inspiration for nations and churches that seek to control and possesses human souls.
Satan’s primary tool is “babel – confusion,” which is one of several reasons he is associated with Babylonia and referred to as “the Whore of Babylon.” Through religion, he confuses the masses by corrupting God’s testimony – just as he did in the Garden of Eden where he confused Chawah to the point that she misquoted, misinterpreted, and misapplied Yahowah’s testimony. She added to and took away from God’s Guidance, a strategy that would be deployed again to conceive Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
The replacement of Yahowah’s name for the title “the Lord” 7000 times in the Torah, Prophets, and Psalms by religious publishers was paramount in positioning Satan as God. Changing the Shabat to Sunday accomplished the same thing, as did substituting Sukah for Christmas and Pesach for Easter. Replacing the Towrah with a New Testament also served Satan, as did discarding Yahowsha’ for Jesus. The blame for much of this can be placed upon Sha’uwl, a Roman Jew whom Christians know as “Paul.” He admitted to being demon-possessed in his second letter to the Corinthians, and yet billions of souls believe this man’s audacious claim that God authorized a man to contradict Him. By pretending to be inspired by God when it had actually been Satan, by being a “wolf in sheep’s clothing,” Paul has “babel – confused” more souls on behalf of the Adversary than anyone who has ever lived.
He was not alone, however. Muhammad, another man who claimed to speak for God while also admitting to being demon-possessed, named his wannabe god, “Allah,” creating a persona that was equal parts satanic and self-portrait. And while the Islamic god’s Qur’an is the antithesis of Yahowah’s Towrah, Allah claims to author both. He covets the title Lord, demands prostrations, terrorizes believers into fearing him, requires obedience, and spends all of his time in hell torturing those who do not submit. It should not be surprising, therefore, that Allah orders Muslims to kill Yahowah’s chosen people.
Most of Yirmayah / Jeremiah, the prophetic book committed to enlightening Gentiles regarding the consequence of aligning themselves with human institutions, is focused upon explaining the connection between Babylon and religion, between Babylon and political power, between Babylon and military conquests, between Babylon and economic malfeasance, and thus between Babylon and the things which are opposed by God. Babylon is the place where the things God despises were syncretized, institutionalized, nationalized, and systemized. And sadly, most everything Babylon represents endures in Christianity, borne out through the babel of the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Church.
We know that Babylonia’s wings were plucked over 2,550 years ago, and yet the text of this prophecy revealed: “she was lifted up from the earth upon feet like a human and was established upright, given a human heart and thought processes.” There are but two viable literal and two credible symbolic explanations for the reincarnation of Babylon. There has been only one man, one beating heart, one stream of human consciousness that was lifted up and established who represented Babylon in opposition to Yahowah to such an extent that he and his letters would warrant this kind of notoriety, especially in the context of a global summation of human history – Paul. He authored half of the Christian New Testament in opposition to God. He is the founder of the Christian religion. And in exactly 600 years, he would be preaching his Towrahless mantra to Rome.
We will meet other unsavory characters along the way, in particular Hadrian who outlawed the Torah and Constantine who established the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Church. But their influence was much less pervasive than Paul’s.
The only other literal candidate for the human manifestation of Babylon is the Beast, the Transgressor of the Tribulation. This man whose personality, ambition, and message will be indistinguishable from Paul’s, will rule the world during the last three and a half years before Yahowah’s return.
While there would be no reason for God to use phrases such as “feet like a human” or “given a human heart and thought process” if His intent were purely symbolic. But since He often conveys more than one relevant insight at a time, the only human institutions “lifted up from the earth” that are overwhelmingly Babylonian are Christianity generally, and particularly the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Church, both of which claim to be heavenly institutions. The religion embodies a resurrection of Babylonian ideals. Its character was shaped and established by men. But more to the point, Christianity was conceived by claiming that a man was the totality of god, by imbuing this man with Babylonian religious lore, and then by claiming that after their god was killed by men, he was resurrected. Therefore, with these words, Yahowah is adroitly connecting Christianity with its source.
There is another connection we should not forget. While Egypt under Pharaoh Sheshonk in 930 BCE and Assyria under King Sennacherib in 700 BCE looted Yahowah’s temple, stripping it of some of its implements, the Babylonians destroyed the Temple in 586 BCE. In the process, they pummeled Yaruwshalaim and much of Yahuwdah, forcing Yahuwdym into slavery. In this way, Babylonia foreshadows Christianity’s assault upon the Towrah and its Temple, upon everything Yahowah cherishes and has sought to achieve.
The most important king of Babylon from Yisra’el’s perspective is Nebuchadnezzar II, known in Akkadian as “Nabu-kudurri-usur – God Nabu Defend My Firstborn Son.” Nabu, the son of Marduk, was the god of wisdom in the Babylonian pantheon. By choosing this name, Nebuchadnezzar was claiming to be the preferred firstborn son of god as well as wise. He ruled from 605 through 562 BCE.
His father, Nabopolassar, is credited with achieving Babylon’s independence from Assyria. In alliance with the Medes and Scythians, he razed Nineveh in 612 BCE. And while this battle didn’t destroy Assyria, it ended Babylon’s servitude as a vassal state. Thereafter, with visions of grandeur dancing in his head, Nabopolassar sent his son west at the head of a large army. In the Battle of Carchemish in 605 BCE near Haran, Nebuchadnezzar defeated the Assyrians again, this time because their allies, the Egyptians, were waylaid in Yahuwdah. This brought western Assyria and Phoenicia under Babylonian control. But during his son’s absence, Nabopolassar died, making Nebuchadnezzar king upon his return to Babylon.
Enchanted by war and unimpressed by alliances, Nebuchadnezzar defeated the Scythians. He would bypass the Medes temporarily, however, because his arranged marriage to Amytis, the daughter of the Median king, was perceived to be a vow of peace. Turning west again, he fought against Syria en route to Egypt, where his army was rebuffed. Frustrated by alliances forged against him between Yahuwdah and Egypt, after concluding a peace accord with Damascus, Nebuchadnezzar turned his attention toward Yaruwshalaim in 597 BCE. Initially, Yahuwdah capitulated. So as was the Babylonian custom, Nebuchadnezzar took prominent hostages with him to encourage the vassal state to honor their agreement. But by the time his departing troops had reached the Sea of Galilee, he got word that those who had lost family and friends revolted against King Yo’shyah / Josiah of Yahuwdah for having surrendered their loved ones. It was not a good idea. Nebuchadnezzar immediately decapitated every hostage and turned his army toward Yaruwshalaim. The city was sacked and the people were ravaged. Those who were not killed were enslaved by the Babylonian monarch.
Throughout the book of Yirmayah / Jeremiah, Yahowah speaks vociferously of Babylon, calling the empire a “destroyer of nations.” This is often considered to be a reference to Nebuchadnezzar, because within the kingdom’s sixty-six year existence, he conquered Assyria, Egypt, and Yisra’el. His siege of Yaruwshalaim and obliteration of the Temple is then depicted in the fifty-second chapter. Even though Yah clearly despises Babylon, he nonetheless exposes His rebellious children to the wayward nation in hopes of awakening them from their religious stupor.
While not the focus of the book, Yahowah has a great deal more to say about Babylon through Yasha’yah / Isaiah, this time focusing on its religious significance and spiritual leader. We are introduced to Satan in association with Babylon in the fourteenth chapter. There we discover that the Devil has no interest in being known as the Adversary, but instead wants to be worshipped as if he were above the Most High. He wants to lord over both God and man.
In this regard, we should not be surprised that the first thing Yahowah asks Abram prior to engaging in the Covenant is to walk away from Babylon. Then affirming that very few people take this step, at the end of Revelation Yahowsha’ cites Yahowah’s request in Yasha’yah, were in the last days, speaking of Babylon God says: “Come out of her My people.” There is, therefore, so much to learn and understand about mankind’s four-thousand year association with this demonic plague, an entire chapter will be devoted to exposing Babylon’s beastly appeal.
The second of four beasts is now in view...
“And then behold (wa ‘aruw – so next look right there) another (‘achoran) beast (chyuwah – terrifying monster), a second one (tinyan), actually resembling (damah la – appearing like) a bear (dob).And on one side (wa la satar chad – then approaching from the side at first),she was established (quwm – she was raised up (hophal perfect)).