Daniel Five

(Ulrike Unruh)

Ancient Babylon was situated on the river Euphrates (see Jeremiah 51:63, 64). The city was surrounded by massive walls considered impregnable. The river Euphrates ran through Babylon, entering and exiting through two spiked gates whose bars reached down to the riverbed. This allowed cargo ships to enter Babylon and do commerce right in the city. However, when both the outer and inner river doors were shut and all other entrances were closed, Babylon was impregnable.

So how was Cyrus able to take the city with scarcely a fight?

He dried up the Euphrates, just as Isaiah the prophet said he would!!!
Over 100 years earlier, God had predicted concerning Babylon and the Euphrates, "I will dry up thy rivers." Isaiah 44:27. The Lord also spoke about "Cyrus," who conquered Babylon, saying, "I will…open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut." Isaiah 45:1. Moreover God called Cyrus "my shepherd" and "his anointed" (Isaiah 44:28; 45:1). Thus Cyrus was a type of Jesus Christ. And he came "from the east" Isaiah 46:11!

Isaiah 44:28 That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid.
45:1 Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut;
45:4 For Jacob my servant's sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me.
45:13 I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will direct all his ways: he shall build my city, and he shall let go my captives, not for price nor reward, saith the LORD of hosts.
46:11 Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed, I will also do it.

Ancient Babylon a city "most proud," with "a golden cup…that made all the earth drunken…of her wine." Jeremiah 50:32; 51:7. Has a remarkable link to last day Babylon in Revelation 17-18.

Yet she was to fall suddenly and be destroyed (Jeremiah 51:8). Then God would call Israel, saying, "My people, go ye out of the midst of her." Jeremiah 51:45. These exact words are repeated in the book of Revelation to spiritual Israel about the importance of coming out of modern Babylon (Revelation 17:4, 5; 18:2-8).

Jeremiah 50:29 Call together the archers against Babylon: all ye that bend the bow, camp against it round about; let none thereof escape: recompense her according to her work; according to all that she hath done, do unto her: for she hath been proud against the LORD, against the Holy One of Israel.
50:31 Behold, I am against thee, O thou most proud, saith the Lord GOD of hosts: for thy day is come, the time that I will visit thee.
51:7 Babylon [hath been] a golden cup in the LORD'S hand, that made all the earth drunken: the nations have drunken of her wine; therefore the nations are mad.
51:8 Babylon is suddenly fallen and destroyed: howl for her; take balm for her pain, if so be she may be healed.
51:9 We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed: forsake her, and let us go every one into his own country: for her judgment reacheth unto heaven, and is lifted up [even] to the skies.

51:45 My people, go ye out of the midst of her, and deliver ye every man his soul from the fierce anger of the LORD.

In 538 B.C., when the scenes recorded in Daniel chapter five were in progress and King Belshazzer and the subjects of Babylon were drunk with wine. Cyrus and his army were not far away. It is amazing how these Babylonians could be feasting and celebrating when the armies of the Medes and Persians were conquering the outlying cities and villages and marching on the capital! They had put their trust in the false security of their walls.

They were partying and drunk. Even the guards, who forgot to fully close the double doors with their spiked bars reaching down into the bottom of the riverbed.

Upstream from Babylon, Cyrus stationed his troops and at a given signal they began to dig a channel which diverted the Euphrates River so it no longer flowed through Babylon! While Belshazzar and his lords drank and feasted, the army of Cyrus was lowering the waters in the bed of the Euphrates, preparatory to entering the city.

In the midst of their feasting and rioting, none had noticed that the waters in the Euphrates were steadily diminishing. The besieging army of Cyrus, which the Babylonians thought could never get through the massive walls, were eagerly watching the river as it moved into its new course. As soon as the water had sufficiently subsided to allow the men to walk in the original bed of the river, they entered from opposite sides of the city. In their reckless feeling of security, the Babylonians had left open the gates meant to stop any "underwater" entry into the city. So the Persians, once in the river-bed, easily entered the city through the open gates. "In that night was Belshazzar slain," and the kingdom was given to Darius, the aged king of the Medes. Thus came to an end one of the proudest monarchies that has ever been upon the earth.
The fall of Babylon was the signal for the deliverance of the Jewish remnant from their long and languishing exile under their Babylonian conquerors. Under the Persian rule, the command for their release was given, first by Cyrus the conqueror of Babylon and then by the great kings who succeeded him.

Revelation again speaks of the "drying of the River of the Euphrates.
Once again this needs to be connected with the deliverance of God’s remnant from the persecuting oppression of last day Babylonian overlords.
The sixth Vial is immediately followed by the seventh which relates to the destruction of Babylon, and the following two chapters of Revelation 17 and 18 are a prophetic enlargement of what is stated in brief in chapter 15. The drying up of Euphrates therefore must be taken in a prophetic sense of the way being prepared for the final overthrow of the great Satanic oppression that has made the nations drunk with its wine.

Revelation 16:12 And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.
out of the mouth of the false prophet.
16:14 For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, [which] go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.
16:17 And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.

16:18 And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, [and] so great.
16:19 And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.

The deliverance from the Babylonian captivity as foreseen by Isaiah becomes in itself a prophetic picture of the deliverance of the spiritual Israel, God’s remnant people, with the conquering Cyrus (Christ) as the great Deliverer for whom they have waited.

The designation of Cyrus as “my Anointed” in Isaiah 45:1 is significant for in the Hebrew it is “my Messiah” and the Greek form of course is “Christ”, both forms meaning “anointed”. This, with the designation ‘My Shepherd’ (48:28) also a messianic title, marks Cyrus as a type or symbol of Christ”.

Isaiah 46 and 47 continues the prophecy of Cyrus (but also adds what can only be future events) but its all linked with the description of the destruction of Babylon. In Revelation 18, the pattern is repeated in almost identical fashion concerning endtime spiritual babylon.

It seems that just prior to Christ's coming people will begin to understand the true nature of "Babylon" and her defence and support will weaken. Since waters in Revelation symbolize people and nations (see Rev. 17:15) these would either have died (in the previous plagues) or for other reasons would no longer defend Babylon. This causes the whole demonic realm to rally for the last great battle against truth and Christ's people. The full nature of evil is exposed and loving justice demands intervention.

In Revelation 19 we see Christ, the KING of kings, riding forth with the armies of heaven. They come to deliver God's remnant people and put an end to Babylon and the forces supporting Babylon.

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