Saturday, December 4, 2010

Revisitng Babylon in the Prophets Ps.137, Is. 13:1-5

As promised, this study is not finished with end times information. Babylon has been the topic of discussion two different times in the course of this blog. Once when she was encountered in Genesis, and then again in Revelation. Her beginnings and history was given when covering Genesis, and her possible present location and manner of lifestyle was discussed when studying Revelation. There is more to discover about Babylon and her demise in the Old Testament, so that is where the next study will take us.

While Babylon is mentioned in the historical books of the Tanakh, or Old Testament, those verses tend to be about the Babylon of Daniel’s day. What is going to be covered here are the prophetic passages found in the prophets. Actually the first prophetic mention is in the Psalms. In Psalm 137:8-9 we read, “O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed; happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us. Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.” In this Psalm or song, the children of Israel are remembering how Babylon mocked them in their captivity. Then the punishment that will come upon Babylon for their sin is pronounced. They tell how God will reward her the same way she treated them. Indeed, in Revelation it was said that he would “reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works.” Rev. 18:6. Then a specific act that will be perpetrated upon her is given. Her little ones, her children, will be dashed against the stones. The one who takes out God’s vengeance upon her (the beast and his cronies) will not spare even her children. They will slay all in the most cruel, horrible way.

The next mention of Babylon is found in Isaiah chapter 13 and 14.

Chapter 13
Verse 1 “The burden of Babylon, which Isaiah the son of Amoz did see.”

A burden was a divine judgment. What is about to be given by Isaiah is the judgment that God has declared on Babylon.

Verse 2 “Life ye up a banner upon the high mountain, exalt the voice unto them, shake the hand, that they may go into the gates of the nobles.”

A warning is given to lift up the banner, which is a signal flag to warn of impending disaster. They are told to raise their voices and wave their hands. All of these things are things that people do to get the attention of someone when there is danger at hand. They are given this warning so that they may go into the gates of the nobles. Unlike today when cities sprawl out or people live on their own individual acreage in the country, back then the nobles owned the land and the people worked it for them. The cities were walled and when there was danger the inhabitants would run inside the gates where the palaces for the nobles and the villages were located. Then the gates would be shut against the invading forces.

Verse 3-5 “I have commanded my sanctified ones, I have also called my mighty ones for mine anger, even them that rejoice in my highness. The noise of a multitude in the mountains, like as of a great people; a tumultuous noise of the kingdoms of nations gathered together: the Lord of hosts mustereth the host of the battle. They come from a far country, from the end of heaven, even the Lord, and the weapons of his indignation, to destroy the whole land.”

In the first fulfillment of this prophecy, we know that the Medo-Persians were the ones to conquer Babylon, and they are mentioned in verse 17 as being the conquerors. I do not think, however, that this particular verse applies to them in the context of the future fulfillment. This has a more specific group in mind, and it refers to more than just the destruction of Babylon. If one looks at the verse carefully, it would not seem that this description fits Persia/Iran at all. Let us take a closer look at what it says. “I have commanded my sanctified ones.” This multitude has been set apart especially for this occasion. Not only set apart, but sanctified implies being set apart as clean or holy. Persia was hardly the latter, being a pagan nation, and Iran certainly is not as they are Muslim. This group rejoices in God’s highness or majesty. This would imply that they believe and worship God. Again, this does not describe Persia/Iran. They are a multitude, a great people who make a tumultuous or roaring, destructive noise. The word Hebrew word for “great” implies much more than their quality. It also implies great in quantity, size, number, and interestingly, age. The Lord “musters” (or in Hebrew “visits”) this host or army, meaning He personally appoints and charges this group with their task and sends them into battle. They are the weapons of the Lord’s wrath or indignation and they are charged with destroying the whole land. Again, this particular verse would not seem to be referring to the Medes or Persians back then or to the Medes (Iran) of today, even though later verses make it clear that Babylon’s initial destruction comes from the Medes both times. This verse is speaking of much more than Babylon’s destruction, although that is also a part of the Day of the Lord. This, as will be soon seen, is speaking of God’s wrath on the entire world during the Day of the Lord.

There were several things above which were skipped over in this verse that must now be addressed, and this is going to require people to consider things that seem far outside their normal realm of experience. Know that the following is purely speculation based upon a study of the meanings of the words in Hebrew and it is asked that before dismissing it as crazy that it be thought and prayed about. The verse speaks of God calling his “mighty ones” who come from “a far country, from the end of heaven.” The word “mighty” in Hebrew is “gibbor”. This word was used in Genesis when it spoke of the offspring of the fallen angels and human women. They were the “mighty men of old, men of renown,” and referred to as giants. It is true that occasionally this word is used in the Tanakh to refer to a single individual who is rich and powerful, but for the most part when used, it refers to the armies or people that Joshua and the Israelites had to go against to claim and enter into the promised land. We know from the initial reports of the spies that the land was filled with giants and that even in David’s day they still existed, (although they seemed to have gotten smaller with the latter generations) as he killed Goliath, who was one. They still existed in David‘s day, because of the lack of obedience on Israel’s part to completely annihilate these nephilim offspring (of the fallen angels and human women) that again came to exist after the flood. In Gen. 6:4 we are told that there were giants before the flood and also after the flood. If one tracks the mythology and legends of “gods” and giants, (the nephilim) one finds that the legends began in Babylon, then they are found in Egypt, then the stories appear in Greece and Rome, which would show a northern migration of this people. From that area they are then later discovered to have been a part of the Norse legends. We then find legends of these people in the Americas. This geographical migration of the myths tracks with what we know of history from the Bible. We know that Babylon was the root of all paganism after the flood. Then the Babylonian gods are found (under different names) in Egypt when Israel lived there. Hieroglyphics show giant-sized Pharaohs and we know that the Egyptians believed in gods who were only part human. Then the Bible tells us that when Israel conquered the promised land, the land was filled with giants. While Israel killed most of them, there were some who escaped that fate. We can start hypothesizing, based on the legends, that at least some of the remnant of giants, having seen God’s power, decided to migrate north away from Israel. We then find the "gods" appearing in Greece (and later Rome), and then the Norse countries. The myths while slightly different, all have the same basic stories underlying them, as well as many of the same characters or gods, only by different names. One of the legends that seems to prevail for both before and after the flood, is that these beings were technologically advanced. While many archeologists cannot accept that fact, one of the “mysteries” of the Egyptian hieroglyphics (not to mention the Mayan and Hindu carvings/drawings/hieroglyphs) is that there are repeated drawings of what appear to be planes, jets, and the like. This is not acceptable to archeologists, since they accept the idea of evolution and therefore cannot believe that early man had this level of technology. Christians know otherwise. Man was created with much more intelligence than we have now. In fact, we have devolved, not evolved. Man today cannot even begin to understand how the pyramids or places like Machu Picchu were built, or other inexplicable artifacts. Understanding things from a biblical viewpoint, that giants existed and that they had the knowledge of the fallen angels at their disposal, makes everything that the world finds a mystery easily understood. If we assume (and it is an assumption even though much points to it being quite probable) that the nephilim migrated north, making themselves god-like to the humans they encountered along the way, it would explain the development of the curiously similar myths that exist. Knowing that they had technological abilities, it is not far-fetched to assume they used them, as man spread over the world, to continually move on and keep themselves separate and hidden from mankind, possibly traveling out into space. (It was discussed previously that the tower of Babel reaching to the stars may have been a place that was being built to enable travel into space. It is not beyond the technological capability of fallen angels to provide this information to their half-breed offspring.) It would appear that not only did they move north, (Who built Stonehenge if not giants?) but the evidence shows that they moved to the Americas. We know the giant ruins and pyramids in South America were not made by men of our stature. The blocks are cut with a precision that does not even exist today, and the weight of them is literally impossible for us to consider moving them, not to mention moving them to the tops of mountains (where they are found). The Native American Indians of North America have legends of giants who were so big that they could chase (on foot) the buffalo of the plains and wrestle them to the ground. From where would they get these legends of giants if they did not exist and had not been seen? And these legends are not that old. Who really are the Bigfoots, the Yetis, the Sasquatches of the world? Are they apes? Or are they possibly nephilim? If so one would wonder if they are degenerate nephilim in some cases (too much inbreeding) considering the descriptions. Who or whatever they are, they live far from man in the mountains and keep to themselves. Native American Indians told the frontiermen to stay away from these creatures as they were dangerous, and also cannibals or rather man-eaters. The Book of Enoch, while not inspired, was accepted as a historical book by Jews, and it says that the nephilim or giants were indeed man-eaters. One of the mutant genetics that occurred with the nephilim (according to Scripture, 2 Sam. 21:20) is that they are said to have had six fingers and six toes. This from what I have read is part of the legend of the NativeAmericans. It is said that while Hollywood made a mockery of the raising of the hand and saying “How” when a Native American met a white man, that the practice of raising the hand was indeed a way of greeting another person (the “how“ part was Hollywood). It was a way of checking to see how many fingers a man had, as part of their legend of these strange people was that they had six fingers. (Not all giants were tall enough to wrestle buffalo. Goliath was tall at 9 feet, so not all nephilim would be immediately discernable by their height, as the generations seem to get smaller with each ensuing generation, therefore the checking of the number of fingers to be sure the person was human.) The word "great" when referring to this host also has the concept of age. The nephilim would probably grow to old ages due to the angelic blood they possess. Of interest is a recent report that came out of Tennessee that a man living in a cabin in the rural area had a man (not an ape or beast) ten feet tall come onto his property. He chased the giant away, but not before noticing that he had beautiful long hair and six fingers. The news people mocked the man as being crazy, but I saw the interview and from watching the man I believe he was telling the truth. The six fingers was like a bell ringing. Coincidence? I somehow doubt it. These people obviously still exist, although they do not mingle with mankind as a rule.

So what is the point of all this discussion of nephilim? It would seem that if the word "gibbor" means the giants, that possibly the Lord has a group of nephilim or giants, who may actually believe in God (the Bible is not overtly clear on whether they can get salvation or not, being only part human, so it is hard to say). It says they come from not only a far country, but from the end of heaven. This might indicate that they (at least those nephilim who believe in God) have used their technological skills to find another place to live in this universe. Maybe that explains some of the UFO sightings, although I attribute those more to the fallen side of the angels and nephilim than I would to the good guys. If this is a possibility, then God is telling us here that we should expect a so-called UFO alien invasion, which people will believe anyhow when the fifth and sixth trumpet judgments happen. God seems to be calling in all of the non-human/half human creatures that exist for this end times scenario. We have no idea how many of these legendary creatures are real and not myth. I am believing now that few to possibly none of them are myth, from what I have been learning about the activities of these fallen angels and nephilim in the days of Babylon and Egypt. It seems they were capable of more horrific genetic experiments on humans than Josef Mengele was in WWII. Why, after an Irishman claims to have seen the “little people” (leprechauns) in a forest in Ireland, did the European Union, of all organizations, declare it a protected area for “little people?” Really? The EU? They have time for such nonsense? Or is it not nonsense and they know something we do not and wanted people staying away from the area?

Getting back to the Scriputres, God may be telling us in this verse that there is a multitude of what may be righteous giants/nephilim who are going to show up from the heavens to take out God’s vengeance on the world. This comes from a straightforward reading of the verse taking it quite literally, not a crazy off the wall interpretation, in spite of the fact that it sounds like a crazy off the wall interpretation. Sometimes God’s Word is stranger than fiction.

The mention of kingdoms of nations could mean several things with this interpretation. It could mean that this group comprises several different groups of these types of beings. It could also be a reference to a different group, the nations of this world, who might be the opponents in the battle.

This is just a possible and highly speculative interpretation, and admittedly quite a rather bizarre and out-there one, as the expression goes. It is wise to be prepared for something of this nature though, as to believe that there is nothing between man and the angelic realm is to then be left open for deception should "aliens," as they are currently choosing to present themselves, arrive on the scene. The Scriptures have already told us that there are beings besides man and angels, so we need to realize that anything is possible.

There is another possible interpretation which is far less bizarre and far more palatable to most people who do not like to leave the comfort of their tangible world. The gathering of the nations is reminiscent of what will happen at Armageddon, and we know that the Church follows Christ into that battle, and that they are a host of sanctified ones. The problem that this interpretation presents is that the Church never has any part in that battle according to Revelation. Christ simply destroys everyone by Himself with a word. The Church is not said to have been assigned the job of destroying the world.

The problem presented by the use of the word "gibbor" in this context could be reconciled if one accepts that it possibly means the mighty warriors that Christians become after the rapture/resurrection. But again, they do not seem to actually enter into the battle, and this word is more often used to refer to the nephilim breed than normal people. The Church at this point would certainly come from the ends of heaven, so that would fit. This clearly is the easier interpretation to accept, but I do not know if it is the correct one, even given that the other is extremely difficult to believe and accept. I do not know what the answer truly is, but I do know that I want to be prepared for any eventuality, so that I will not be surprised or deceived. Life at the end will become very different from what we know it to be now, and we must be mentally prepared to accept as fact what most now believe to be myth or legend, as the evidence is beginning to show itself that they are not the make-believe stories we have so long thought them to be.

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