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Thursday: The Fall of Babylon — 10 Comments

  1. The neo-Babylonian empire was surprisingly short-lived, lasting barely a century. Yet it cut a swathe through Hebrew history like no other event apart from the exodus from Egypt. I have read a lot of Hebrew history in the last few weeks and it is interesting to see how Babylon is represented. The Hebrews were of two minds about Babylon. On the one hand, they were the oppressor, yet at the same time, they were in their ancestral home - the place where Abraham came from. So, in spite of the fall of Babylon, the Jews stayed on and became the largest Jewish community outside of Palestine. They must have been prosperous there because at various times, The Jews of Palestine would seek help from their Babylonian cousins.

    Here is an interesting article about recent archeological finds that document the life of the Jews in one of the Babylonian settlements.

    Exiles in Babylon

    Here is another interesting article on Belshazzar that I read this week. It is from a conservative Catholic blog, but it gives a relatively accurate account of the emergence of archeological evidence for Belshazzar. There is one fact that I would dispute - the idea that Nabonidus was married to one of Nebuchadnezzar's daughters is conjecture. While it fits the idea of that Belshazzar was Nebuchadnezzar's grandson, it is probably safer to say that the language used is simply saying that Belshazzar is Nebuchadnezzars successor.

    Historical Apologetics for Belshazzar

    • These are exciting discoveries! Are the Kurds of Turkey and Iraq descendants of the ancient captives of Judah?
      Also, has anyone else had a thought that perhaps Belshazzar (see Thursday’s paragraph 2) repented because of the presentation of Daniel? That because of the overwhelming evidence surrounding him...ie: the position and circumstance of the Medo-Persian army; the plot(s) against him from court officials and nobles?...that he may have finally seen the light and heard the horn?
      Might the great feast given by Belshazzar had been a “last” great feast? His father had been defeated by the Medo-Persian alliance and had temporarily escaped only to surrender or be captured, the City was under siege by a powerful and recently triumphant army, perhaps causing a “fatalistic” attitude in the regent, culminating in a defiant “bash”, (wild, who cares, defiant revelry)? And, would our God expend every resource possible to win Belshazzar to repentance? To the last possible moment?

      • ...And...perhaps some of the other participants of the grand bash witnessing these events may have also had a change of heart towards “Daniels” God... Could the response of these party-ers be a precursor to the thief on the cross and his experience of repentance?

  2. This is not a story that makes us glad. We think of all the potential that was lost when Belshazzar fell. We think of his grandfather, Nebuchadnezzar, who no doubt prayed for his grandson from the time he was born. We think of all the good he could have done, the worship he could have offered, the people he could have blessed, the nation he could have spared - but he chose to turn his back on God. How sad!

    We see this today. Great potential is wasted in the cesspool of sin. Great integrity and character is thrown to the winds for pleasure. Opportunity is lost. The poet said,

    “For of all sad words of tongue or pen,

    The saddest are these: "It might have been!"
    Historians link the
    fall of Babylon to the political bungling or to the greatness of the Persian military under Darius. When we read Daniel, we note a different reason for the fall of Babylon. Daniel shows us what really happened. The nation was overcome by enemies, but it was not simply the enemy Darius. The real enemies of Babylon were pride, self-importance, pleasure, and blasphemy of God. No nation, and no individual, can long stand who embraces these enemies of the human soul. Profaning God, debasing holy things and worshipping idols led to the downfall of Belshazzar and Babylon. Make no mistake, the crowd loved the parties that Belshazzar provided. They applauded him. The populace followed the earthly king rather than the heavenly King, and their fate was fixed. We see this today. Wicked people are praised and righteous people are mocked. The godless win awards while the righteous are treated with total disdain. I will tell you without fear of contradiction, judgment is near! When a people act in this way, when they embrace the godless and promote them, their fate is sealed.....

  3. We need the in dwelling of the Holy Spirit.

    Question for today
    What opportunities do we have to be acquainted with truth.
    Through the folly and weakness of Belshazzar, the grandson of Nebuchadnezzar, proud Babylon was soon to fall. Admitted in his youth to a share in kingly authority, Belshazzar gloried in his power and lifted up his heart against the God of heaven. Many had been his opportunities to know the divine will and to understand his responsibility of rendering obedience thereto. He had known of his grandfather’s banishment, by the decree of God, from the society of men; and he was familiar with Nebuchadnezzar’s conversion and miraculous restoration. But Belshazzar allowed the love of pleasure and self-glorification to efface the lessons that he should never have forgotten. He wasted the opportunities graciously granted him, and neglected to use the means within his reach for becoming more fully acquainted with truth. That which Nebuchadnezzar had finally gained at the cost of untold suffering and humiliation, Belshazzar passed by with indifference. PK 522
    That was him, what about Christians today? What about us?
    Are we allowing the pleasures of this world to slowly but gradually separate us from truth? Many things are questionable in our churches today, Christians are living according to their own set rules. The grass looks greener on the other side. Praying daily

    • We have all the opertunities in the world. The question is will we grasp the Saviours hand and arms and hold on for dear life. There is no doubt He will hold on if we give Him ours to hold on to.

      Yes, for Thy servent heareth, and doeth.

      Not that I have now attained [this ideal], or have already been made perfect, but I press on to lay hold of (grasp) and make my own, that for which Christ Jesus (the Messiah) has laid hold of me and made me His own.
      Philippians 3:12.

  4. Daniel 5lear lessons for us living in modern fallen kingdoms. Do we see the same revelry and debauchery? The writing is on the wall. Catastrophes, pandemics etc. we see the writing but none interprets it. Only the people of God can unpack this for the world. The way is being prepared for "the kings of the East"

  5. Children of God, good morning. The author uses the word 'probably'. Interestingly, Daniel now accepts the gifts he has refused before, probably because such gifts can no longer influence his interpretation. Is it that the author is guessing or not sure?

  6. In the quote from Sister White in the lesson, She calls Nebuchadnezzar Belshazzar's Grandfather and states that Belshazzar saw what happened to his Grandfather, seeming to indicate he had some sort of relationship with Nebuchadnezzar. Just an observation. I understand he could have just been a successor but I would think she would have stated that rather than using a familial word like Grandfather.


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