Wasn’t Babylon Destroyed?

Q. Thank you for your website. It is very helpful. I have a question about Jeremiah 25:11-12:

“This whole country will become a desolate wasteland, and these nations will serve the king of Babylon seventy years. But when the seventy years are fulfilled, I will punish the king of Babylon and his nation, the land of the Babylonians, for their guilt,” declares the LORD, “and will make it desolate forever.”

In your discussion about Babylon, you state that Babylon will be revived. Is that not contradictory to the above passage that states that Babylon will be desolate forever.

A. As it happens this is the one of the passages scholars use to defend the opinion that Babylon’s ultimate destruction is still in the future. At the end of the 70 year captivity Cyrus the Persian captured the city without a battle and Babylon was not nor has it ever been made desolate. 200 years late Alexander the Great made Babylon the seat of his empire’s government and died there.

Babylon became substantially smaller after Baghdad replaced it as the regional center of commerce, but it has always had a population of residents. Jeremiah 50-51 are devoted to Babylon’s destruction and a quick comparison with the city’s history confirms that his description of that event has not ever happened. It awaits a future fulfillment.

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