BABYLON: THE HEAD OF GOLD
“Thou art this head of gold,” declared the prophet in interpreting the vision. Nebuchadnezzar stood as a symbol of Babylon. He was a competent general, whose military exploits laid the foundation of one of the most magnificent empires the world has known. The mighty power of Assyria submitted to him; the smaller nations of the Middle East: Syria, Lebanon, Moab, Ammon and Israel, were conquered: the ancient power of Egypt acknowledged his sovereignty. Throughout the earth, Babylon was dominant.
At great expense, and with slave-labor recruited from the conquered nations, Nebuchadnezzar rebuilt and fortified the city of Babylon, intending that it should become the permanent metropolis of the earth. The vain boast of the king was: “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of my kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?” (Daniel 4:30).
But already the answer had been given in Scripture. Over 100 years before Nebuchadnezzar rose to power, Isaiah the prophet had declared:
“And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees’ excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah” (Isaiah 13:19).
The desolate ruins of Babylon today, on the banks of the Euphrates in Iraq, testify to the truth of these words.
Nebuchadnezzar rose to power in the year 606 B.C., and Babylonish power came to an end 70 years later in 536 B.C. when Cyrus of Persia (Iran) conquered the city.
The golden head of the image had given way to the breast and arms of silver!
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