Prophecy Of BABYLON.

THE country of Babylon, or Babylonia, is far to the east of the Holy Land. A part of the great Arabian Desert lies between them. The southern part of Babylonia, bordering on the Persian Gulf, was called Chaldea; and sometimes the entire country was called Chaldea, instead of Babylonia. To the north and northeast of Babylonia, lay Mesopotamia. In Mesopotamia was the country of Padanaram, where Laban lived, and where Jacob spent so many years of toil. Farther west was Syria, with Damascus as its capital. Northeast of Babylon was Assyria. The city of Nineveh was in Assyria on the river Tigris, and was the capital of the great Assyrian empire, which for many years ruled over Babylon, Persia, and many other nations. It was the Assyrians, under Shalmaneser, that subdued the kingdom of Israel, and carried its people into captivity. Still farther north, near the Black Sea, is the beautiful country of Armenia, where may still be seen the mountains of Ararat, on which the ark rested. It is generally supposed that the Garden of Eden was situated somewhere in Armenia. On the east of Babylonia were the countries of Elam and Susiana.

The kingdoms of Babylon and Assyria are very ancient. From Genesis 10:10 we learn that the kingdom of Babylon was founded by Nimrod, who lived more than four thousand years ago. Asshur began to build Nineveh about the same time, and thus laid the foundation of the Assyrian empire. We read in the eleventh chapter of Genesis of the building of the city and tower of Babel. Babylon is the Greek word for Babel; so both words refer to the same place. 

In the time of Abraham the king of Shinar is mentioned among the kings that came up to fight against the king of Sodom, and others in the vale of Siddim. Since Babylon was in the plain of Shinar. It is probable that the king of Shinar was the king of Babylon. Babylon was long ruled by Assyria, but finally became independent. Just how large the city of Babylon was, it is now hard to tell; for ancient records do not agree in regard to it. It is generally supposed to have been about sixty miles in circumference, and to have been surrounded by a wall as much as eighty feet thick, and more than three hundred feet high. It had one hundred gates of brass, and its walls were surmounted by two hundred and fifty towers. The river Euphrates ran through it from end to end, and it was surrounded by an immense ditch, filled with water from the river.

Babylon reached its highest pitch of glory during the reign of Nebuchadnezzar. Nebu- chadnezzar's palace was surrounded by a strong wall, six miles in circumference; and inside this, was still another fortified wall, all the principal gates being made of brass. Within this enclosure stood the magnificent palace of his father, besides a castle of prodigious size and strength, and the hanging gardens, built by himself. The hanging gardens were built to please Queen Artemis, who had become tired of the level country around Babylon. They were a miniature mountain, supported by arches, watered from the river by machinery hidden within, and so covered with earth, rocks, waterfalls, trees, and flowers, as to imitate the mountains of her own native Media. The mound was four hundred feet high, overlooking not only the entire city and its walls, but the beautiful plains beyond. 

It is here that Nebuchadnezzar is supposed to have been walking when he said, "Is not this great Babylon, which I have built?" This seems consistent with the Scripture account, since the gardens were within the palace enclosure.

Babylon was a city of great wealth and beauty. 

It was called "the praise of the whole earth;" "the beauty of the Chaldees' excellency." It is said that twenty years' provision was kept constantly on hand within the city; and since it was so abundantly watered, and so strongly fortified, it seemed impossible that it could be taken. But the people became proud and wicked, and the Lord, through his prophets, declared that it should be destroyed, and finally be with out an inhabitant. Of its present condition a recent writer says:" No vegetation adorns the soil; wild beasts prowl there; and its ruins are most desolate. Thus most completely have divine prophecies been fulfilled."