What does the word Babylon mean in the Bible? - BibleAsk (2023)

Table of Contents hide

What Does Babylon Mean?

The Tower of Babel

(Video) What is the literal meaning and origin of the word Babylon?(HINDI)

The Rebuilding of Babylon and its Destruction


The Meaning of Babylon in Revelation?


(Video) "Babylon the great is fallen" Revelation 18 Bible study

What Does Babylon Mean?

What does the word Babylon mean in the Bible? - BibleAsk (1)

In Babylonian, the word Babylon is divided into two separate words: Bab–ilu, which means the “gate of the gods.” The Babylonians kings in the ancient world named their city the “gate of the gods” because they believed it to be the place where the gods communicated with people in order to direct their lives on earth (Judges 9:35; Ruth 4:1; 1 Kings 22:10; Jeremiah 22:3). Thus, the name supported their claim that they had been ordered to rule the world by divine command. Other well known gates in ancient Babylon include the Ishtar Gate and the eighth gate to the inner city.

The Hebrew word for Babylon was associated with Balal, which means to confuse by mixing.

In Greek, Babylon was used mainly in the book of Revelation and is defined also as “confusion.” This word, in this context, refers to an evil and persecuting system that will be eventually destroyed by God for its wickedness (Revelation 18). It is symbolic of the evil state of affairs just prior to the second coming of Jesus Christ (Revelation 19). The Christian denominations agree that the term Babylon is defined as a sinful state of apostasy from God and rebellion against His good will.

The Tower of Babel

Babylon was the capital of the Babylonia. It was founded by Nimrod (Genesis 10:10; 11:1–9). At that time, the whole earth had one language (Genesis 11:1). From the very beginning, the city represented disbelief in the true God and defiance to His will. So, the people said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth” (Genesis 11:4–9).

For this reason, the Lord interrupted the building of the tower of Babel and scattered its builders. He said, “let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech. So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city” (Genesis 11:7, 8). By confusing their language and thus forcing them to separate, God planned to forestall future united evil action.

The founders of Babylon planned to set up a government independent of God, and had He not intervened, they would eventually have succeeded in banishing righteousness from the earth (Daniel 4:17). Upon repeated times since the dispersion of the races at Babel, world leaders have tried, unsuccessfully, to violate the divine decree of separation.

(Video) 2300 Years of Daniel 8: Longest Bible Prophecy (Hindi)

The prophet Isaiah identified Lucifer as the invisible king of Babel (Isaiah 14:4, 12–14). In fact, Satan designed to make his city the center and agency of his master plan to secure control of the human race, even as God purposed to work through Jerusalem. Thus, throughout the Old Testament times, the two cities typified the forces of evil and good at work in the world.

The Rebuilding of Babylon and its Destruction

Nebuchadnezzar II (born 630—died 561 BC), king of Babylon, rebuilt the ancient city of Babylon. And it became one of the wonders of the old world. It was famous for its size, strong walls and gates, and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon that he built for his wife. This kingdom was situated in ancient Mesopotamia. It was built along both banks of the Euphrates river and thus had its own water supply. This river watered the many gardens it contained.

Shortly after in the sixth century BC, Nebuchadnezzar II captured Jerusalem, taking prisoners into Babylonian captivity. Among the captives was Daniel, the author of the Book of Daniel in the Bible. King Nebuchadnezzar’s plan was to make his kingdom universal and eternal (Daniel 3:1; 4:30). This proved to be a success to the extent that, in glory and power, the new Babylonian Empire exceeded its predecessors. However, the king became proud and cruel.

Consequently, God humbled Nebuchadnezzar. And he repented of his evil ways (Daniel 4). And as a converted sinner, he recognized the righteousness of God and declared to his people, “Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice. And those who walk in pride He is able to put down” (Daniel 4:37).

But his successors refused to humble themselves before the Lord. And they trusted in the pagan gods of materialism and worldly power (Daniel 5:18–22). Eventually, the kingdom was weighed by God in the balances of heaven and found wanting. And the Lord decreed to the Babylonians, “Your kingdom has been divided, and given to the Medes and Persians” (Daniel 5:26–28). And this prophecy was fulfilled right away and the kingdom was dissolved by the Medes and the Persians.

The city of Babylon became one of the capitals of the Persian Empire. Later, it was partly destroyed by Xerxes, a Persian king. Finally, the city was further ruined by Alexander the Great in 331 BC. Thus, the Neo-Babylonian Empire gradually lost its importance. The Chaldean Empire was the last to overtake it toward the close of the 1st century AD.

And the city ceased to exist just as the Lord predicted: “And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldeanspride, will be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah” (Isaiah 13:19 also Jeremiah 50:13; 51:37).


The earliest record of the city of Babylon can be found in a clay tablet from the reign of Sargon of Akkad (2334–2279 BC). This tablet was found in the ruins of Babylon and dated back to the 23rd century BC. Robert Koldewey, a German archaeologist, was famous for his in-depth excavation of this ancient city in modern-day Iraq. With support from the Deutsche Orient-Gesellschaft (German Oriental Society), Koldewey led the excavation from 1899 through 1914.

(Video) Why do we rarely hear about God's Kingdom in today's churches even though Jesus taught it widely?

Among the many discoveries of Babylon was the Hammurabi code by King Hammurabi. Some people believed for many years that the Code of Hammurabi was the oldest law. But recently, several much older laws were discovered. Such laws were the Code of Lipit-Isthar which came from Nippur and was published in 1948. This law was written in Sumerian language around one or two centuries before the Code of Hammurabi and is very similar to it (see Was the Mosaic law borrowed from the Babylonian code of Hammurabi?)

The Meaning of Babylon in Revelation?

The importance of the name Babylon (Acts 3:16) may best be understood in the role of its historical counterpart in Old Testament times (Isaiah 47:1; Jeremiah 25:12; 50:1; Ezekiel 26:13; Revelation 16:12, 16). The designation “mystery, Babylon” in Revelation 17:5 specifically identifies the name as figurative (Romans 11:25; Revelation 1:20; 17:5).

Christians, toward the close of the 1st century AD, referred to the city and empire of Rome by this cryptic title (1 Peter 5:13). At that time, this once great city, laid in ruins (Isaiah 13:19). Its destruction was a clear illustration of the future destiny of mystical Babylon – Satan’s kingdom.

Ever since the fall of ancient Babylon, Satan has tried, through one world power after another, to seize control of the world empires. And he would have succeeded had it not been for God’s intervention (Daniel 2:39–43). His almost successful attempt to overthrow God’s church has been through the papal apostasy of the Middle Ages (Daniel 7:25). But God prevented the success each time in order to carry on His plans (Revelation 12:5, 8, 16). And the nations have never been able to “cleave” together (Daniel 2:43).

Thus, the word Babylon today is a symbol of a wicked city, which represents the persecuting powers of the world to God’s children. It refers to the great threefold religious union of the Papacy, apostate Protestantism, and spiritism (Revelation 16:13, 18, 19; 14:8; 18:2). This word refers to the organizations themselves and to their leaders, not so much to the members as such.

The fall of this wicked city would be the beginning of the end to all evil. “And another angel followed, saying, ‘Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication’” (Revelation 14:8). This prophecy of the fall of Babylon finds its last-day fulfillment in the departure of Protestantism from the purity and simplicity of the gospel (Revelation 14:4). Therefore, Revelation 18:2–4 proclaims the full downfall of Babylon and calls upon the faithful who are within the different religious bodies comprising Babylon, to separate from them.

At the close of time, Satan will be allowed to achieve a temporary success through the fallen churches (Revelation 16:13, 14, 16; 17:12–14). These churches are described as, “…The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead was a name written, Mystery, Babylon The Great, The Mother Of Harlots And Abominations Of The Earth” (Revelation 17:4-5). But the Lord will conquer Satan and his fallen religious systems by His glorious appearing at the second coming.


When discovering what the word Babylon means, both literal and spiritual, we can see that it has long been recognized or associated as the enemy of God’s Word and people (Revelation 17:5; 18:24). But the final end of that city and what it resembles will be accomplished by Christ when He will destroy all the forces of evil at His coming (Revelation 18:18). Then, God’s people will rejoice for the wicked city will be no more (Revelation 19:20).

(Video) Is Our God the Creator of Many Galaxies?

In His service,
BibleAsk Team


What does Babylon mean in biblical terms? ›

Although the name “Babylon” is derived from the Akkadian word babilu meaning “gate of god,” it is an evident counterfeit of God's eternal city. The opposition to the rule of God by world powers or the exile of God's people from the land of blessing is conveyed properly through the metaphor of Babylon.

What does the name Babylon mean? ›

Name. The spelling Babylon is the Latin representation of Greek Babylṓn (Βαβυλών), derived from the native (Babylonian) Bābilim, meaning "gate of the god(s)".

What does Babylon mean in the Book of Revelation? ›

Rome and the Roman Empire

In 4 Ezra, 2 Baruch and the Sibylline Oracles, "Babylon" is a cryptic name for Rome. In Revelation 17:9 it is said that she sits on "seven mountains", typically understood as the seven hills of Rome.

What does the Bible say about living in Babylon? ›

"May our blood be on those who live in Babylonia," says Jerusalem. Therefore, this is what the LORD says: "See, I will defend your cause and avenge you; I will dry up her sea and make her springs dry. Babylon will be a heap of ruins, a haunt of jackals, an object of horror and scorn, a place where no one lives.

What is Babylon in the Bible called today? ›

Where Is Babylon? The city of Babylon was located about 50 miles south of Baghdad along the Euphrates River in present-day Iraq.

What is the origin of the word Babylon? ›

The name Babylon comes from the Akkadian "bav-il" which means "Gate of the God" or "Gate of the Gods."

What is another name for Babylon? ›

Babylon, Babylonian Bab-ilu, Old Babylonian Bāb-ilim, Hebrew Bavel or Babel, Arabic Aṭlāl Bābil, one of the most famous cities of antiquity.

What is the difference between Babel and Babylon? ›

The place wherein they built the tower is now called Babylon, because of the confusion of that language which they readily understood before; for the Hebrews mean by the word Babel, confusion.

Who destroyed Babylon in the Bible? ›

Cyropaedia (7.5. 26–35) describes the capture of Babylon by Gobryas, who led a detachment of men to the capital and killed the king of Babylon. In 7.5. 25, Gobryas remarks that "this night the whole city is given over to revelry", including to some extent the guards.

What caused the fall of Babylon? ›

The Babylonian Empire suffered major blows to its power when Nebuchadnezzar's sons lost a series of wars with Assyria, and their successors effectively became vassals of the Assyrian king. Babylonia descended into a period of chaos in 1026 BCE.

Where in the Bible does it say Babylon has fallen? ›

He had great authority, and the earth was illuminated by his splendor. With a mighty voice he shouted: "Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great! She has become a home for demons and a haunt for every evil spirit, a haunt for every unclean and detestable bird.

What city is Babylon today? ›

Where is Babylon now? In 2019, UNESCO designated Babylon as a World Heritage Site. To visit Babylon today, you have to go to Iraq, 55 miles south of Baghdad. Although Saddam Hussein attempted to revive it during the 1970s, he was ultimately unsuccessful due to regional conflicts and wars.

Did Babylon believe in God? ›

Babylonians were polytheistic and worshiped a large pantheon of gods and goddesses. Some of the gods were state deities, like Marduk, the chief patron god of Babylon, who dwelled in a towering temple. Others were personal gods that families worshiped at humble home shrines.

What was living in Babylon like? ›

While Babylon was both large and crowded, Babylon remained greatly calm and at peace for a city of its size. Order was kept by Hammurabi's Code of Law, a stele standing in the center of town with each of Hammurabi's laws engraved in the stone.

What does welcome to Babylon mean? ›

Babylon is a word that jamaicans use to compare their experience of being brought to the americas to the jews being brought to babylon during the babylonian captivity. Babylon refers to the place of captivity as well as the power structure that keeps them there.

What were the spiritual beliefs of Babylon? ›

Babylonia mainly focused on the god Marduk, who is the national god of the Babylonian empire. However, there were also other gods that were worshipped.

Who are the gods of Babylon in the Bible? ›

Marduk, Chief God of Babylon

Marduk was the patron god of Babylon, the Babylonian king of the gods, who presided over justice, compassion, healing, regeneration, magic, and fairness, although he is also sometimes referenced as a storm god and agricultural deity.

What gods did the Babylonians worship? ›

There were nine main Babylonian deities. These were Ishtar (also known as Inanna), Nabu, Apshu, Shamash, Ea, Tiamat, Nergal, Marduk, and Adad.

Where is Babylon meaning? ›

1. an ancient city of SW Asia, on the Euphrates River, famed for its magnificence and culture: capital of Babylonia and later of the Chaldean empire. 2. any rich and magnificent city believed to be a place of excessive luxury and wickedness.

What did the Babylonians call themselves? ›

The other great cities of the region, such as Nippur, Der and Uruk, were essentially autonomous. The citizens of all these cities proudly called themselves "son of Babylon", "son of Nippur" and so on.

What is the Egyptian word for Babylon? ›

Egyptian hieroglyphs. Babylon was originally the dominant city of Mesopotamia. According to Egyptologists the ancient name of modern Babylon area in Cairo is Kheriaha, although Spiegelberg derives the modern Babylon name from Perhabinon.

What language was spoken in Babylon? ›

Named after the city of Akkad in northern Babylonia, Akkadian was the most important language spoken and written in the ancient Near East between the third and first millennia BCE. Akkadian belongs to the Semitic language family and is related to Arabic and Hebrew.

Why did God not allow the Tower of Babel? ›

God was not happy that the people were building the tower. He changed their language so that they could not understand each other. Because they could not understand each other, they had to stop building the tower. God scattered the people and sent them all over the earth to live.

Does Babylon still exist? ›

After Alexander's death, however, the extent to which the empire was fought over saw the city's inhabitants flee, and Babylon steadily fell into ruin. In the 1980s, Babylon was extensively reconstructed by the Iraqi ruler Saddam Hussein, so there is little of the original city that is still visible.

Was the Tower of Babel and Babylon in the same place? ›

The Tower of Babel stood at the very heart of the vibrant metropolis of Babylon in what is today Iraq. It was a city of open squares, broad boulevards and narrow, winding lanes. But the City of Cities, as Babylon was known by the Ancients, eventually fell into ruin.

Who ruled Babylon in the Bible? ›

Nebuchadnezzar was a warrior king. According to Louise Pryke he was the “… greatest military leader of the Neo-Babylonian empire.” He ruled from 605 to 562 BCE, and apart from being a warrior, Nebuchadnezzar endeavored to re-build Babylon and establish religious worship.

Who was the last king of Babylon in the Bible? ›

List of kings of Babylon
King of Babylon
First monarchSumu-abum
Last monarchNabonidus (last native king) Shamash-eriba or Nidin-Bel (last native rebel) Artabanus III (last foreign ruler attested as king) Artabanus IV (last Parthian king in Babylonia)
Formationc. 1894 BC
8 more rows

Who did Babylon fight? ›

Battle of Nineveh, (612 bce). Determined to end Assyrian dominance in Mesopotamia, Babylonia led an alliance in an attack against the Assyrian capital, Nineveh.

What is the secret of Babylon? ›

Secrets of Babylon is not your ordinary tobacco.

Secrets of Babylon is not your ordinary tobacco flavor. It combines the natural sweetness of the watermelon and melon fruits with an underlying coolness experienced with every draw. Watermelon and mint is a natural pairing that is recurring in many watermelon dishes.

Why did Israel go to Babylon? ›

In the Hebrew Bible, the captivity in Babylon is presented as a punishment for idolatry and disobedience to Yahweh in a similar way to the presentation of Israelite slavery in Egypt followed by deliverance.

Why is Babylon today? ›

Widely known for its legendary Hanging Gardens, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, Babylon today is home to national treasures such as Ishtar Gate and the Lion of Babylon. The site's remains were first excavated by Robert Koldewey, a German architect, at the end of the nineteenth century.

What is the great fall in the Bible? ›

The fall of man, the fall of Adam, or simply the Fall, is a term used in Christianity to describe the transition of the first man and woman from a state of innocent obedience to God to a state of guilty disobedience. The doctrine of the Fall comes from a biblical interpretation of Genesis, chapters 1–3.

What is Revelation 18 vs 18? ›

And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off, [18] And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city!

Why is Babylon important? ›

It was an important trading center during antiquity partly due to its prime location on the Euphrates River. King Nebuchadnezzar led numerous pro-trade civil planning projects including the construction of roads leading to and from Babylon. The city eventually became the economic heartbeat of the Babylonian Empire.

Is there a city called Babylon in the United States? ›

The Town of Babylon is one of ten towns in Suffolk County, New York, United States. Its population was 218,223 as of the 2020 census.

Who is trying to rebuild Babylon? ›

A new World Monuments Fund project in conjunction with the US embassy in Baghdad aims to repair Iraqi cultural heritage as part of the Future of Babylon project.

What was the name of the Babylon religion? ›

The Babylonians were polytheists; they believed that there were many gods that ruled different parts of the universe. They believed that the king god was Marduk, patron of Babylon.

Was Babylon the first world power? ›

As the title of the book suggests, Cotterell's thesis is that Babylon and Assyria were the first “world powers”, older than Egypt, Greece and Rome but not generally considered as important because they are not as well-known and their influence on Western society perhaps underestimated.

How did the Babylonians believe the world was created? ›

The short tale “Marduk, Creator of the World” is another Babylonian narrative that opens with the existence of the sea before any act of creation. First to be created are the cities, Eridu and Babylon, and the temple Esagil is founded. Then the earth is created by heaping dirt upon a raft in the primeval waters.

What was the most important thing in Babylon? ›

The Hanging Garden of Babylon is included in the seven ancient wonders of the world. The ascending series of tiered gardens consisted of various trees, plants, and other flora.

What jobs did people have in Babylon? ›

There were all sorts of jobs and activities. While many people still worked as farmers in the country, in the city a person could grow up to work in a number of different jobs such as priest, scribe, merchant, craftsman, soldier, civil servant, or laborer.

What is the biblical meaning of Babylon? ›

Babylon symbolizes evil. God destroyed Babylon, a wicked city in the ancient world (see Isaiah 13:19–22; Jeremiah 51:37, 52–58). Babylon has become the symbol of the wickedness and evils of the world (see D&C 133:14; Revelation 17:5; 18:2; D&C 86:3).

Why is Babylon gate of God? ›

Babylon is the most famous city whose ruins lie in modern-day Iraq southwest of Baghdad. The name is thought to derive from bav-il or bav-ilim which, in the Akkadian language of the time, meant 'Gate of God' or `Gate of the Gods' and `Babylon' coming from Greek.

What does Zion mean in the Bible? ›

The name Zion is often used to describe a place appointed by the Lord where his followers can live and serve God. Scripture refers to Zion as the “City of Holiness” and a “city of refuge” where the Lord protects his people from the evils in the world.

What is the symbol of Babylon? ›

The Lion is the symbol of Babylon, and represents Ishtar, the goddess of fertility, love and war. Meant not only to symbolise Babylon, but to instill fear in enemies, it seems fitting that a single stone lion, albeit poorly preserved, is the only true remainder of Babylon that stands in Iraq today.

What religion did Babylon have? ›

Babylonians were polytheistic and worshiped a large pantheon of gods and goddesses. Some of the gods were state deities, like Marduk, the chief patron god of Babylon, who dwelled in a towering temple. Others were personal gods that families worshiped at humble home shrines.

What is Babylon to God? ›

Babylon symbolizes evil. God destroyed Babylon, a wicked city in the ancient world (see Isaiah 13:19–22; Jeremiah 51:37, 52–58). Babylon has become the symbol of the wickedness and evils of the world (see D&C 133:14; Revelation 17:5; 18:2; D&C 86:3).

What was Babylon known for? ›

Ancient Babylonia left behind some wonderful artifacts. The Babylonians used the innovations of the Sumerians, added to them, and built an empire that gave the world, among other things, codified laws, a tower that soared above the earth, and one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

What is the other name for Babylon? ›

Babylon, Babylonian Bab-ilu, Old Babylonian Bāb-ilim, Hebrew Bavel or Babel, Arabic Aṭlāl Bābil, one of the most famous cities of antiquity.

What god did Babylon worship? ›

Marduk, Chief God of Babylon

Marduk was the patron god of Babylon, the Babylonian king of the gods, who presided over justice, compassion, healing, regeneration, magic, and fairness, although he is also sometimes referenced as a storm god and agricultural deity.

Which god did the Babylonians believe in? ›

Marduk, in Mesopotamian religion, the chief god of the city of Babylon and the national god of Babylonia; as such, he was eventually called simply Bel, or Lord.

Why 70 years in Babylon? ›

provides a theological explanation for Judah's exile to Babylon: the captivity fulfilled Jeremiah's prophecy “until the land had enjoyed her sabbaths . . . seventy years” (2 Chr 36:20-21). This specifically marks the beginning of the 70 years at 605, since it makes reference to the beginning of Judah's captivity.

Why did God punish the Israelites for 40 years? ›

Corresponding to the 40 days that the spies toured the land, God decreed that the Israelites would wander in the wilderness for 40 years as a result of their unwillingness to take the land.


1. Where in the Bible does t talk about borrowing and lending money?
2. Does God use non believers to accomplish His plans?
3. Who are you In The Bible
(IUIC Raleigh)
(Evolutionary Energy Arts)
5. BibleAsk - Episode 11
6. BibleAsk LIVE - Episode 22 (Update)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Margart Wisoky

Last Updated: 01/07/2023

Views: 5621

Rating: 4.8 / 5 (78 voted)

Reviews: 85% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Margart Wisoky

Birthday: 1993-05-13

Address: 2113 Abernathy Knoll, New Tamerafurt, CT 66893-2169

Phone: +25815234346805

Job: Central Developer

Hobby: Machining, Pottery, Rafting, Cosplaying, Jogging, Taekwondo, Scouting

Introduction: My name is Margart Wisoky, I am a gorgeous, shiny, successful, beautiful, adventurous, excited, pleasant person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.