Nimrod was a powerful man who was described in Scripture as a mighty hunter before YHWH. Originally from the land below Egypt (Ethiopia), he also traveled extensively throughout the known world of his time and established a kingdom known as Babylonia. He ruled that kingdom with an iron fist and his appetite was insatiable. His establishment of Babylon took place in the 23rd century B.C.
Thirty original races come from Ham and of these only four were immediate descendants: the Ethiopians, Egyptians, Libyans and the Canaanites. The people of Babylon were a part of one of these races. Although the center of Hamite culture appears to have been in northern Africa, it is evident that the early Hamites spread in various directions. In Genesis 10:8-10 we have the words “Babel” and “Shinar” that gives us sufficient proof that this section of Scripture has to do with Babylon. “Babel” is generally translated “Babylon” and is the Hebrew equivalent of the native Babil, that appears as the capital of Babylonia in the cuneiform records from the time of Agukak-rimi (about 2,000 B.C.) to the conquest of the country of Cyrus (B.C. 538). “Shinar” is probably the same as “Mesopotamia”—“the country of the two rivers.” The founder of this monarchy bears the name of Nimrod. Its site is the land of Shinar, or Babylonia. Its ethnic character is Cushite or Ethiopian. Nimrod is the descendant of Cush.
The four great cities of “Shinar” or Babylonia are Babel, Erech, Accad and Calneh. Research of Mesopotamia has revealed this nation was the earliest seat of power and civilization in western Asia. There are also sites in Mesopotamia where Nimrod’s name is assigned that would indicate that he was a ruler in this Cushite Kingdom.
Babylonia was located in what is now southern Iraq. Babylonian literature was well developed in the 3rd millennium B.C. Records have been found of highly developed religion, history and science, including medicine, chemistry, alchemy, botany, zoology, math and astronomy. In the Old Testament it is called 'Shinar' - Akkadia and Sumer as well as 'the land of the Chaldeans.' The Babylonians lived in Mesopotamia, a fertile plain between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.
Babylon Up To Daniel’s Time
From the time of early Babylon to the time of Nebuchadnezzar there were a succession of kings and dynasties which ruled Babylon. One of the most notable was Hammurabi. Around 2000 B.C., Hammurabi emerged as the ruler of Babylonia. He expanded the borders of the Empire and organized its laws into a written system, also known as the Code of Hammurabi. About this time Abraham left Ur, an ancient city located in lower Babylonia, and moved to Haran, a city in the north. Later, Abraham left Haran and migrated into the land of Canaan under YHWH's promise that he would become the father of a great nation (Gen 12).
Alongside of Babylonia there must also be a mention of Assyria, which bordered Babylonia on the north. Assyria's development was often intertwined with the course of Babylonian history. About 1270 BC, the Assyrians overpowered Babylonia. For the next 700 years, Babylonia was a lesser power as the Assyrians dominated the ancient world.
Around 626 BC, Babylonian independence was finally won from Assyria by a leader named Nabopolassar. Under his leadership, Babylonia again became the dominant imperial power in the Near East and thus entered into her "golden age." In 605 BC, Nebuchadnezzar II, the son of Nabopolassar, became ruler and reigned for 44 years. Under him the Babylonian Empire reached its greatest strength. Using the treasures which he took from other nations, Nebuchadnezzar built Babylon, the capital city of Babylonia, into one of the leading cities of the world. The famous hanging gardens of Babylon were known to the Greeks as one of the seven wonders of the world.
In 587 BC, the Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem and carried the leading citizens of the Kingdom of Judah as prisoners to Babylon. The Hebrew prophet Jeremiah had foretold that Judah would be free to return home to Jerusalem after 70 years. YHWH had encouraged His people through Ezekiel and Daniel who were also captives in Babylon. During this 70 year period of captivity, the Persians conquered Babylonia, and the Babylonians passed from the scene as a world power.
Babylon Of The End Times
There are many interesting prophesies in the Old and New Testaments which describe a Babylon which will exist in the last days before the second advent of our Lord.
Isaiah 13:19-22 Babylon, the jewel of kingdoms, the glory of the Babylonians’ pride, will be overthrown by Elohim like Sodom and Gomorrah. She will never be inhabited or lived in through all generations; no Arab will pitch his tent there, no shepherd will rest his flocks there. But desert creatures will lie there, jackals will fill her houses; there the owls will dwell, and there the wild goats will leap about. Hyenas will howl in her strongholds, jackals in her luxurious palaces. Her time is at hand, and her days will not be prolonged.
Jeremiah 51:8, 25–26, 58, 63–64 "Babylon will suddenly fall and be broken. Wail over her! Get balm for her pain; perhaps she can be healed.. ... I am against you, O destroying mountain, you who destroy the whole earth,” declares YHWH. “I will stretch out my hand against you, roll you off the cliffs, and make you a burned-out mountain. No rock will be taken from you for a cornerstone, nor any stone for a foundation, for you will be desolate forever,” declares YHWH. ... This is what YHWH Almighty says: “Babylon’s thick wall will be leveled and her high gates set on fire; the peoples exhaust themselves for nothing, the nations’ labor is only fuel for the flames.” ... “When you finish reading this scroll, tie a stone to it and throw it into the Euphrates. Then say, ‘So will Babylon sink to rise no more because of the disaster I will bring upon her. And her people will fall.’"
Revelation 18:8, 21 “Therefore in one day her plagues will overtake her: death, mourning and famine. She will be consumed by fire, for mighty is YHWH Elohim who judges her”.. Then a mighty angel picked up a boulder the size of a large millstone and threw it into the sea, and said: “With such violence the great city of Babylon will be thrown down, never to be found again."
This judgment must be future in its deed. In the past, Babylon was never utterly destroyed, and never has it been without inhabitants. B.W. Newton has given us in his book on Babylon, the history of Babylon from the time of Isaiah’s prophecies till comparatively recent times.
• 759 BC Isaiah prophecies.
• 626 BC Nabopolassar takes Nineveh, and makes himself King of Babylon.
• 607 BC Nebuchadnezzar associated with his father.
• 541 BC Cyrus takes Babylon.
• 516 BC Recaptured after a siege of twenty months by Darius Hystaspes.
• 478 BC Ravaged by Xerses.
• 330 BC Visited by Alexander.
• 293 BC Seleucia founded.
• 64 AD The Apostle Peter wrote his Epistle from Babylon.
• 460 AD Babylon mentioned by Theodoret as still habited by some Jews.
• 500 AD Babylonian Talmud promulgated.
• 917 AD Babel, mentioned by Ibn Hankal as a small village on the site of Babylon.
• 1100 AD The village of Hillah, on the same site, enlarged and fortified by Seif ud Dowlah.
• 1811 AD Described by Rich as containing six or seven thousand inhabitants.
• 1833 AD Mentioned by Major Skinner, with population of twelve thousand inhabitants.