Every Empire’s Capital is Babylon


KA.Dingir.RA.KI is the word Babylon in Sumerian and the meaning is “city of the portal of the gods”. It is also the meaning in the Akkadian form as bab-iluki. The word Babylon is well known in Daniel 1:1ff. regarding the capital of Nebuchadnezzar where Judah was exiled to.


Many Babylons

The first surprise that is coming to you, is that there are many Babylons. The principle is actually that every capital of every empire is a Babylon. Babylon is the name of Niniveh, the capital of the Assyrian Empire for some time in the history before Nebuchadnezzar. In earlier empires like Ur, Isin, Larsa and a long list of them, their capitals were all called Babylon.

So what does the Bible say about this? Peter called Rome Babylon in 1 Peter 5:13. Rome was the capital of the Roman empire. This capital is called Babylon by the disciple of Jesus. So here is the principle of Peter: every capital of an empire is called Babylon. When Justinian signed off with his coins to be a soldier in 537 and directed that his coins should show him from 538, his XIIth year as a theologian with a cross in his hand, it was the end of the Roman Empire.

This will mean that when Ur fell in 2004 BCE it was Babylon fallen. Damascus in 800 BCE is Babylon fallen, see Amos 5:27 and Acts 7:34, Tyre in Isaiah 14, is Babylon fallen; Niniveh in 612 BCE it is Babylon fallen because the cuneiform texts supports that it was called Babylon. Babylon is Babylon. Shushan is Babylon between 539-333 BCE; Athens is Babylon between 33-60 BCE; Rome is Babylon as Peter tells us as well as Targum to Isaiah 21:9. So what about the Vatican during 538-1798? Babylon. What about New York or Washington of the USA and this empire after the Holy Roman Empire ended in 1798? Babylon. Between Luke and Peter and Amos one can identify Babylon as a city of an empire.

So Daniel was taken in 605 BCE at the first of three attacks of Nebuchadnezzar of Judah: 605; 597 and last in 586 BCE when he burnt the temple.

Nebuchadnezzar stole the vessels of the Temple and took it to Babylon.

He ordered that the young men from these countries in 605 should eat his menu and drink his wines as well. Wine? Daniel was taught by his mother not to defile himself with wine. The Bible use the word defile. Does wine still defile people in our days? Can one follow the same example of Daniel today?

So God loved Daniel first before the chief overseer started to love Daniel. The overseer allowed them to show him for 10 days how they look. The Babylonian system works in 6 but he Hebrews in 10. So Daniel wanted 10 days not 6.

Daniel accepted a vegetarian only menu for health. They passed the test and when the final exam was before Nebuchadnezzar, God blessed Daniel and his friends with wisdom and understanding. Healthful living is a blessing to all.


Sermon of Koot van Wyk and Sookyoung Kim on Sabbath 21 November in Chongni Church, Sangju, South Korea.