19 Sep The Mystery of the Tower of Babel
The story and mystery of the Tower of Babel gives us great insight as to how God judges rebellious conformity, and also gives us a prophetic foreshadow of what will occur in the future! We will begin by exploring the Tower of Babel after the Great Flood. After God saved Noah and his family from the Great Flood (Genesis 7:13, 1 Peter 3:20), He commanded Noah and his three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, to repopulate all of the earth, which they did.
Genesis 9:1,7, “So God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them: “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. And as for you, be fruitful and multiply; Bring forth abundantly in the earth and multiply in it.”
Genesis 9:18-19, “Now the sons of Noah who went out of the ark were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. These three were the sons of Noah, and from these the whole earth was populated.”
It is important to understand that God then divided the descendants of Shem, Ham, and Japheth among the whole earth.
Genesis 10:32, “These were the families of the sons of Noah, according to their generations, in their nations; and from these the nations were divided on the earth after the flood.”
As the earth was flooded because of mankind’s wickedness (Genesis 6:5-8), once the earth was repopulated again, it did not take long before evil was widespread again. Noah’s son, Ham, had a son named Cush. Cush had a son named Nimrod. Nimrod became a mighty conqueror and king of the land of Shinar (Babel-Babylon).
Genesis 10:8-10, “Cush begot Nimrod; he began to be a mighty one on the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord; therefore it is said, “Like Nimrod the mighty hunter before the Lord.” And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.”
Before we explore the Tower of Babel, let us discover additional information about Nimrod. In the Talmud, a collection of Jewish (Hebrew) history and records, valuable information is recorded about Nimrod to help us completely understand the story and mystery of the Tower of Babel. We are using the Talmud strictly as a reference book, not a holy book, as it does not have scriptural authority as the Holy Bible.
This section is quoted and paraphrased from the Talmud page 27-30. The Talmud tells us that Nimrod signifies “rebellion,” as he was not a godly man. We also learn that Nimrod had a coat of skins that gave him strength and might. How did Nimrod obtain the coat of skins? God made a coat of skins for Adam after he ate the forbidden fruit to cover himself (Genesis 3:21). When Adam passed away, it became the possession of Enoch. Enoch gave it to his son, Methusaleh, and he gave it to Noah, who carried it with him on the ark. The direct lineage of Adam to Enoch to Noah is given in Genesis 5. When Noah and his descendants left the ark, Ham, Noah’s son, stole the coat and gave it to his son, Cush. Cush kept the coat for many years and gave it to Nimrod, the child of his old age. Nimrod was twenty years of age when he received the coat, and it gave him strength and might. In Genesis 10:8-10 we see that Nimrod was a “mighty one on the earth.” The Hebrew word for “mighty one” is “gibbowr” (Strong’s 1368) which means “warrior” or “tyrant.” He was also a “mighty hunter before the LORD.” The Hebrew word “before” is “paniym” (Strong’s 6440), which means not only “before”, but also “against, anger,” and comes from the root word “panah” (Strong’s 6437), which means “to turn,” as in “turn away from.” Nimrod was clearly a warrior tyrant who had turned away from and was against God. He not only hunted after game, but he hunted men and women, as well. He was the first man recorded in history to have done this type of horrible thing.
When Nimrod was forty years of age, he and his brethren, the sons of Ham, fought against the sons of Japheth (cousins). Nimrod and the sons of Ham were victorious over the sons of Japheth, and the sons of Japheth became Nimrod’s servants. After the battle, Nimrod became king over all of the earth (Talmud page 27). Once Nimrod became king, he appointed counselors, judges, chiefs, generals, and captains, establishing a world government. At that time, all of the world spoke one language, Akkadian (Arabic). Once the world government was established and Nimrod’s power was at its peak, he decided to build a city that would be the capital of his kingdom. He selected a land called Shinar, where the Tower of Babel would eventually be built. It is important to understand that Nimrod was not a godly man, and became the “father” of paganism, as he made gods of wood and stone, and created idols of himself. In fact, Nimrod and his wife, Semiranis, would become the origins of nearly every false deity and religion in the history of the world, and they still persist to this day in multiple forms. Now, with a summarized history of Nimrod, let us explore the Tower of Babel.
The Tower of Babel
Genesis 11:1-2, “Now the whole earth had one language and one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there.”
As we discovered, the land of Shinar is Nimrod’s kingdom.
Genesis 11:3-4, “Then they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They had brick for stone, and they had asphalt for mortar. And they 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.”
Moses clearly describes the rebellion and wickedness of Nimrod’s kingdom. The self pride and defiance toward God is very clear. Let us remember, Nimrod’s name signifies rebellion. In the Talmud, page 28, it tells us that Nimrod’s officers and the descendants of Phut, Mitzrayim, Cush, and Canaan took counsel together and stated similar words as Genesis 11:4. The Talmud also states that the people wanted to build a tower to scale the heavens so they could “war with God.” Without question, this is pride and rebellion at its best, and foreshadows the Antichrist. Let us remember, Satan stated similar words in Isaiah.
Isaiah 14:13, “’I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’”
Nimrod and the people disobeyed God’s command to scatter and inhabit all of the earth’s land (Genesis 9:1,7, Genesis 10:32). As they stated, “let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.” They were clearly concocting a plan against God instead of uniting together to obey Him.
The conformity to worldly and ungodly standards is represented in the statement “let us make bricks and bake them thoroughly,” to describe the materials of which they were going to make their tower to heaven. In scripture, bricks are often used to signify falsities made by the hand of man, rather than the truth (stones) made by the hand of God. Bricks are used because they are all the same. They are man made, uniform, not natural, and are used to build monuments to men and false gods. During the children of Israel’s captivity in Egypt, it is stated multiple times that the Israelites were forced to make bricks, sometimes without straw (Exodus 1:14, Exodus 5:7, Exodus 5:14, etc), which were then used to build the pagan kingdom of Egypt. Also, the profit Isaiah makes mention of bricks.
Isaiah 9:8-10, “The Lord sends a message against Jacob, and it falls on Israel. And the people know it, that is, Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria, asserting in pride and in arrogance of heart, “The bricks have fallen down, but we will rebuild with smooth stones; the sycamores have been cut down, but we will replace them with cedars.”
Here we see the bricks which have fallen are the false works that the Lord has destroyed.
Isaiah 65:3, “A people that provoketh me to anger continually to my face; that sacrificeth in gardens, and burneth incense upon altars of brick.”
Here we see incense burned upon alters of brick, which are alters to false gods. God also commands Ezekiel to use brick to show His disfavor of Jerusalem during the time of Judah’s rebellion just before the exile:
Ezekiel 4:1, “Now you son of man, get yourself a brick, place it before you and inscribe a city on it, Jerusalem.”
There is a major difference between unity and conformity. God commands us to live in unity, conforming to Him and His ways, not conforming together, or to the world, to rebel and defy Him and His sovereignty. Moses explains the results of their evil, pride-filled conformity against the Almighty.
Genesis 11:5-9, “But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. And the Lord said, “Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them. Come, 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. Therefore its name is called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.”
God understood Nimrod and the people had evil intentions. Although He allowed them to continue for a period of years, He was not mocked.
Galatians 6:7, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”
Once God’s patience had exhausted, He confused their language, causing them to not understand each another. In English, Babel means “a place or scene of noise and confusion; a confused mixture of sounds, as of voices or languages.” In the Talmud, page 29, it states they quarreled and fought on account of many misunderstandings because of the confusion of the language, and many were destroyed because of it. After time, the confusion was so horrific, they were compelled to cease from building the tower.
Moses also gives us insight to the Holy Trinity as he states, “Come, let Us go down and confuse their language,” clearly referring to the Holy Trinity; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Elohim*). This confirms Jesus was with God from the foundation of the world!
1 Peter 1:20-21, “He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.”
Once the Lord confused their language, He divided and scattered them abroad over the face of the earth. We can be confident that the languages we speak today, and the different cultures we have on earth, is a direct result of the Tower of Babel. Of course, Messiah loves all of mankind, and He came to save each one of us!
John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
According to the Talmud, page 30, the Tower of Babel was exceedingly tall. The third part of the tower sunk into the ground, the second third was burned down, but the remaining third was standing until the time of the destruction of Babylon (536 BC).
The story of the Tower of Babel teaches us the difference between being unified with God, and being conformed with each other and the world against Him. Living in unity with one another and worshiping the Almighty as one “bride” is what God’s eternal plan has always been for us. Living in conformity with each other to rebel and challenge the authority of the Almighty is evil, and it would be a direct correlation to Nimrod and the Tower of Babel. Nimrod is the founder of the great and evil Babylonian Empire. Nimrod’s kingdom included the cities of Babel, Erech, Accad, and perhaps Calneh, all in the land of Shinar (Babylon). After the Great Flood, Nimrod became the “father” of idolatry and paganism, as he worshiped and made idols, including one of himself, with wood and stone.
Now that we have discovered the story of the Tower of Babel, let us explore the “mystery”of the Tower of Babel. As we discussed, the English definition of Babel “is confusion of voices and sounds.” In Akkadian (Arabic), Babel translates to Bab-Illah, which literally means the “tower to Allah.” The English pronunciation of Babel and the Arabic pronunciation of Bab-Illah are identical in meaning except for the accent. As we discovered, Nimrod and his people tried to build a “tower to God.”
Today, is there a place where people have built a “tower to God?” The resounding answer is yes. The tower of Bab-Illah (tower to Allah) is located in Mecca, Saudi Arabia (The Harlot). The golden gate (Bab-Illah) to the Kaaba (black cube), has the tallest building (tower) in the world. The seven-tower structure is 1.4 million square meters and is three times larger than the tallest building in the world. The golden gate leads to the Kaaba (black cube), which is a building at the center of Islam’s most sacred mosque, Al-Masjid al-Haram, in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is the most sacred Muslim (Islam) site in the world. It is considered the “House of Allah” and has a similar role as the Tabernacle and Holy of Holies in Judaism.
Another significant point is that most Arabs call the Tower of Bab-Illah, Mount Babel. Furthermore, the ancient Tower of Babel is referred to as “The House of the Seven Lights of the Earth,” and the Tower of Bab-Illah is referred to as the “Seven Towers of the House.” To make it even more interesting, the contractor of the Tower of Bab-Illah was the Bin Laden Group (Osama Bin Laden’s family).
Just as God destroyed the ancient Tower of Babel, He will also destroy the Tower of Bab-Illah, as well! How will the tower be destroyed and what nation will God use to accomplish His purpose? To understand this mystery, let us review in summary Babylon’s history and rise to power. Nimrod ruled over the land of Shinar (Babel), and the area eventually became the Babylonian Empire. At the pinnacle of the empire’s reign (Nebuchadnezzar), it controlled the area of land that would become Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Below are the maps of Nimrod’s reign to Nebuchadnezzar.
According to the Scriptures, Saudi Arabia is “Mystery Babylon,” the harlot of Revelation 17 & 18.* The prophet Isaiah tells us that Iran (Elam/Persia) and the Kurds (Medes) will destroy Saudi Arabia, including the Tower of Bab-Illah in the future (Isaiah 21). For more detailed information on “Mystery Babylon,” please click the link below. We have to understand that Iran (Shiite) hates Saudi Arabia (Sunni), the harlot, as they feel Arabia is a blasphemy to Islam because of their civility towards Israel and the West. The deep hatred between the two countries results from a difference in theological approach of Islam, Shiite and Sunni. Just recently, Saudi Arabia beheaded Sheikh Nimr Baqir al Nimr, a prominent Shiite Muslim cleric and dissident. Iranian Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami strongly condemned this act and said, “If Sheikh Nimr is executed, Saudi Arabia should be ready for dire consequences and will pay a heavy price.” In response, the Saudi Arabia embassy was attacked in Iran. These recent acts just add fuel to an already deep hatred between the two countries. Without question, if the Holy Bible prophecies Iran will destroy Saudi Arabia, then it will definitely happen (Isaiah 21)!
The mystery of the Tower of Bab-Illah has another interesting dynamic to it. The kingdom of Saudi Arabia only allows the two golden gates to the Kaaba (Bab-Illah) to be opened twice a year for purification and for special royalties. This past December (2015), King Salman bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia approved Turkish president Erdogan to enter the gates of the Kaaba (Bab-Illah) to worship and pray to Allah (Satan). As the “Gate and Tower of Bab-Illah” are very sacred in Islam, this only happens to someone they feel is “godly.”
Why is this important? At Messiah’s Olivet Discourse, He commanded us to watch (Matthew 24 & 25). Most bible scholars would agree that when Israel became a nation again in 1948 and recaptured Jerusalem as their capital in 1967, all end time prophecies can be fulfilled. In fact, Psalms 102:16 states, when the Lord builds up Zion (Jerusalem)*, the generation would not pass until Messiah appears in His glory. Moses states a generation is 70-80 years (Psalms 90:10).
While we are clearly not setting dates or prophesying in anyway, it is important to understand what Messiah and the prophets teach us to understand. As we discovered in previous articles, the Antichrist will come from Turkey*. Messiah stated in Revelation 2:13, “I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. And you hold fast to My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.” Messiah was speaking to the church in Pergamos and stated where Satan’s throne is, not was, but is, and He stated where Satan dwells, not dwelled, but dwells. Clearly, Satan’s throne dwells in Turkey.
To be clear, although the Antichrist will rise from Turkey, Erdogan is likely NOT the Antichrist. As much as he proclaims to be God and his “supporters” claim that he is God, he is definitely most likely a “foreshadow” of the Antichrist to come. One of the specific prophecies relating to the Antichrist’s rise to power occurs in Daniel 8.* In summary in Daniel 8, God’s messenger Gabriel tells Daniel that the vision is for the time of the end. Daniel’s vision consists of a ram (Iran) conquering the Middle East, and then a goat (Turkey), conquering the ram (Iran). After these events occur, the goat (Turkey) will be divided into four regions and THEN, the “little horn/Antichrist” will rise to power. So, before the Antichrist rises to power in the future, there will be a major war between the ram (Iran) and the goat (Turkey). Erdogan entering the gates to the Kaaba is just another interesting step towards the Antichrist kingdom (Turkey). However, when we observe the Middle East today, without question, we are witnessing the progression of Daniel 8.*
In the past decade, we have clearly seen Iran (ram) “march” across the Middle East. In 2003, after Saddam Hussein was removed from Iraq, Iran began its “march,” and as of today, controls 1/2 to 2/3 of Iraq, as Isis controls the other 1/3. Hezbollah (Lebanon) is controlled directly by Iran. Also, Iran invaded Yemen, and now controls much of the country, as they are strategically setting up a showdown with Saudi Arabia in the future (Isaiah 21). In its most recent “march,” Iran has ground troops in Syria, where the civil war is at its climax. Looking at the map, it is clear that Iran (ram) is “marching” across the Middle East as Daniel 8 prophesied. The Kurds (Medes) are and will be involved with Iran’s conquests. So, in the past decade, Iran has obtained control over the majority of Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen, and now has its eyes set on Syria. According to the Scriptures, Iran will destroy Saudi Arabia (harlot) in the future (Isaiah 21). As we know, Daniel 8 could take several years or decades to be completely fulfilled, but frankly, it has begun. Once Medo-Persia (Iran) fulfills its prophetic calling, Turkey (goat) will conquer them.
Where do the Islamic terrorist groups fit in the Books of Daniel and Revelation? Daniel 8 clearly tells us the major players will be Iran and Turkey. Iran supports the terrorists organizations Hezbollah in Lebanon, and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Also, Iran, Russia, and China are allies. With Russia and China on its side, Iran will eventually control Syria. This is very important as Iran has the financial backing and also the military support for their conquests. Clearly, Medo-Persia (Iran) has Russia, China, and Lebanon as allies.
Turkey backs Isis, who directly opposes Iran in Syria and Iraq. Isis is doing the “ground work” for Turkey. Without question, there is an “underground” battle manifesting between Iran (Ram) and Turkey (Goat) just as Daniel 8 prophesies. Turkey is overwhelmingly “Sunni Muslim,” and allies itself with Saudi Arabia (Harlot), which is also “Sunni Muslim.” We can understand why King Salmon of Saudi Arabia approved and allowed President Erdogan to enter the Kaaba (Tower of Bab-Illah) through the “Golden Gate.” So, there is a major alliance with Turkey, Saudi Arabia, ISIS, and Al Quaeda. Turkey and its allies will win the battle with Iran in the future, just as Daniel 8 prophesies. When we look at Turkey today, they have become the “silent killer,” as the majority of the mainstream media and news outlets do not understand their fatal destiny.
Isaiah 46:8-10, “Remember this, and show yourselves men; Recall to mind, O you transgressors. Remember the former things of old, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure.”
The ancient Tower of Babel gives us great insight and understanding as to what is occurring in our world today. Just as Nimrod and the ancient Babylonian people lived in rebellious conformity to the Almighty, our world is living in rebellious conformity to Him as well. However, God is not mocked and will fulfill His eternal plan.
Galatians 6:7, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”
2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is long suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”
Without question, no matter how rebellious the world’s conformity becomes, God is in control! Messiah is the stone that will “crush” all of the evil kingdoms, including Antichrist’s kingdom, when He returns for His Second Coming and Millennial Reign.
Daniel 2:34-35, “You watched while a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. 35 Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed together, and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; the wind carried them away so that no trace of them was found. And the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.”
The story and mystery of the Tower of Babel provides an example of man’s desire to reach the heavens through his own efforts by defying the one and only true ruler of heaven and earth. Fortunately for believers in Messiah, God, in His great justice and almighty Hand, will destroy the works of evil conformity! Also, in God’s great mercy and amazing grace, He has provided for us a way to enter the Kingdom of Heaven and be with Him, through His one and only begotten son, Jesus the Messiah! Amen, Amen, and Amen!