The Fall of Assyria, Babylon, and Persiaby Rit Nosotro
Compare the reasons and methods that brought about the fall of Assyria, Babylon, and Persia. Mention Biblical prophecy in your analysis.
Waves of empires have swelled in the oceans of time only to reach their peaks and fall to their destruction amidst the pounding surf of turmoil. Assyria came first, raising a brawny head above to masses. The golden Babylonian multitude soon swelled over the seemingly unconquerable Assyrians. In turn Babylon fell victim to Persia's lethal silver sword. Yet not even Persia could stand the test of time, and it soon was wiped off the earth by Macedonian sandals. These nations were incredible, but each met its demise. They were all allotted a time of glory and power in order to accomplish God's purpose, but when they fought against God they lost miserably. Psalm 2 says, "Why do the nations conspire and the people plot in vain? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord. the Lord scoffs at them. Then he rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath."1
God had a specific purpose for Assyria in Isaiah 10. "I send him [Assyria] against a godless nation, I dispatch him against a people who anger me."1 This also included the Israelites when they turned away from God. But Assyria used this power as an excuse to be vicious. Their cruelty to the nations they were supposed to punish was extreme. Because of their terrible actions, God brought Assyria under judgment. They were no longer successful in their raids. Their enemies were pressing in on all sides. In fact, they were very near their end because Jonah predicted, "Forty days and Nineveh will be overturned." (Jonah 3:4) But God gave them a chance to repent and sent the prophet Jonah to Nineveh. The Assyrians took God at his word and repented. "They declared a fast, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth."1 Only through these drastic measures of repentance and humility were the Assyrians able to procure mercy for their terrible actions. Yet their pride welled up once again. And as a result God said in Isaiah 10, "I will punish the king of Assyria for the willful pride of his heart and the haughty look in his eyes."1 It lead to their eventual downfall. "Assyria will fall by the sword that is not of man; a sword, not of mortals, will devour them." (Isaiah 31:8) God's judgment was fulfilled when the Medes, Scythians, and Babylonians united to destroy Assyria.
God used the Babylonians mainly to punish the Israelites when they rebelled. According to the prophet Daniel, king Nebuchadnezzar had a dream in which Babylon was the head of a statue that represented the major earthly kingdoms. Babylonian was the head and below it came the Persian chest, the Greek middle, the Roman legs, and the European Union feet (this is debated whether or not this is really the feet). In accordance with the dream, King Nebuchadnezzar, the greatest Babylonian king, built the Babylonian kingdom into a very rich and prestigious state. But as Nebuchadnezzar's glory grew, so did his pride. Daniel 4 states that while ".walking on the roof in of the royal palace in Babylon, he said, 'Is not this the great Babylon I have built as a royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?'"1 However, there was a second part of his dream recorded in the book of Daniel that Nebuchadnezzar's ignored. ".a rock was cut out, but not by human hands. It struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and smashed them."1 God showed through this vision that all earthly kingdoms no matter how glorious would be knocked down because they refused to give God glory. Nebuchadnezzar's son, Belshazzar, decided to blaspheme God and use the sacred utensils from Jerusalem's temple in a pagan party. That very night God brought the Medes and Persians to end the Babylonian kingdom when Cyrus diverted the Euphrates River.
Persia was the chest of the statue in Nebuchadnezzar's dream. It was the second greatest empire that ever existed. God also gave Persia a purpose to fulfill. But unlike Assyria and Babylonia, Persia's greatness was to be used to help the Israelites rather than punish them. The Biblical book of Ezra recounts how Cyrus and Darius allowed a remnant Israelites to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple. Esther is a second book that recounts how a Persian king helped protect the Israelite nation from annihilation. Persia sought to become greater and proudly followed the false religion preached by Zoroaster. Daniel 10 makes reference to the Persian prince (the spiritual entity behind the Persian kingdom) tried to challenge God's power by detaining God's messenger from getting to Daniel. God showed that His Rock could break the Persians as it had the Babylonians by bringing in the Greeks under Alexander the Great who utterly destroyed Persia.
Psalm 2 is very shrewd in its statement, "Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry and you be destroyed in your way, for his wrath can flare up in a moment."1 Neither Assyria nor Babylonia nor Persia, learned the lesson of fear and humbleness towards God. As a result, God ruled them with an iron scepter and dashed them to pieces like pottery. The United States will be treated no differently if it continues to turn from honoring God. President Harry Truman claimed "I was Cyrus" because of his leadership in supporting the regathering of the nation of Israel in 1948. May the United States always remember "with fear and rejoice with trembling" that she is a mere tool in the hand of God, lest she also go the way of Assyria, Babylon, and Persia.
Godspeed, George. "History of the Babylonians and Assyrians." Part III: The Ascendancy of Assyria. [International World History Project. 10 Sep. 2004 <http://ragz-international.com/Assyrian%20Fall.htm>.
Kimball, Charles. "Chapter 5: The Assyrian and Babylonian Empires." Xenophile Historian. 1998. Biblical Interpretation of World History. 10 Sep. 2004 <http://xenohistorian.faithweb.com/worldhis/Hist05.html>.
"The Persian Empire." The Encyclopedia of World History. 2001 6th ed. Slobodskoy, Seraphim. "The Fall of the Babylonian Kingdom." 10 Sep. 2004
Additional information about <http://hyperhistory.net/apwh/essays/comp/cw04danstatue.htm>
The above essay was donated to hyperhistory.net.
Kindly inform of inaccuracies or plagiarism.
Post a link to this essay,
<a href=" "> a great essay </a>
on your blog or website :
Doc. Based Questions
Change Over Time
Slobodskoy, Seraphim. "The Fall of the Babylonian Kingdom." 10 Sep. 2004