Babylon was the capital of old Chaldea, on the banks of river Euphrates, one of the greatest and richest cities of the East. Nebuchadnezzar II, the Great, ruled in Chaldea from 605 through 562 BC. This great and powerful king destroyed the kingdom of Judah, burned the temple of Jehovah and the house of the king Zedekiah, whose sons were beheaded before his eyes. He then pierced Zedekiah’s eyes, tied him with two chains of bronze and dragged him to Babylon. All the palaces of Jerusalem were burned and their walls destroyed. The people were taken captive to Babylon, only the poor and the peasants remained. All the gold, silver and precious objects were plundered. The end of the kingdom of Judah and the people’s captivity began 587 BC.
Well, Jeremiah called Nebuchadnezzar, dragon. The text says: “Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon has devoured me, he has crushed me, he has made me an empty vessel, he has, like a monster, swallowed me up, he has filled his maw with my delicacies” (Jer. 51:34). Now, the dragon is Satan, as we read in Rev. 12:9. Therefore, Nebuchadnezzar is a picture of Satan. The prophet Isaiah utters a prophecy concerning Nebuchadnezzar, which these 2,000 years all Christendom has applied to Satan. This is in the fourteenth chapter of the book of Isaiah. Let us look at the command given to Isaiah: “…that you will take up this parable against the king of Babylon, and say, “How the oppressor has ceased! The golden city has ceased!” (Is. 14:4). We now transcribe the prophecy: “Your pomp is brought down to Sheol, with the sound of your stringed instruments. Maggots are spread out under you, and worms cover you. How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, who laid the nations low! You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend into heaven! I will exalt my throne above the stars of God! I will sit on the mountain of assembly, in the far north! I will ascend above the heights of the clouds! I will make myself like the Most High!’ Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the depths of the pit. Those who see you will stare at you. They will ponder you, saying, ‘Is this the man who made the earth to tremble, who shook kingdoms…?’” (Is. 14:11-16). This prophecy is theologically used to explain the fall of Satan. It also says that Satan was an angel of light who fell through the sin of pride and was cast down to earth, which is an abyss (Prov. 8:26-27; Ps. 104:5-6). When Jesus descended to this earth, descended into the abyss (Rom. 10:6-7).
Well, the apostle John declares that the devil sins from the beginning, that is, he was created corrupt (1 John 3:8). The serpent of paradise is the devil, or Satan, and was created in this world, that is, in the abyss. “Now the serpent was more subtle than any animal of the field which Jehovah God had made” (Gen. 3:1). And Jesus further says with respect to the religious people of his time: “You are of your father, the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and doesn’t stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks on his own; for he is a liar, and its father” (John 8:44). We see that Satan was created fallen; he has never been an angel of light; an angel of darkness is that which he is (Acts 26:18).
Let us return to Nebuchadnezzar, a great picture of the dragon, which is also Satan. Jehovah had special appreciation and affection for Nebuchadnezzar, the dragon. Jehovah declared: “I have made the earth, the men and the animals that are on the surface of the earth, by my great power and by my outstretched arm; and I give it to whom it seems right to me. Now have I given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, MY SERVANT; and the animals of the field also have I given him to serve him” (Jer. 27:5-6). It is very serious for a god who should be righteous and kind to everyone to declare that the cruel and murderous Nebuchadnezzar pleases his eyes. He does not show love when he delivers the earth and all its kingdoms in the hands of this ferocious king. After knowing that Jehovah told the story of Satan, allegorically mirrored in the story of Nebuchadnezzar, and that Jehovah calls Satan his servant, pleasing in his eyes, our hairs stands on end. And Jehovah further says: “It shall happen, that the nation and the kingdom which will not serve the same Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and that will not put their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, that nation will I punish, says Jehovah, with the sword, and with the famine, and with the pestilence, until I have consumed them by his hand” (Jer. 27:8-9). Satan, Jehovah’s servant, tempts Jesus with the kingdoms of this world and its glory, saying that it was a gift from Jehovah (Luke 4:5-8). Jehovah was opposed to any prophet who prophesied against the dragon, that is, Satan, that is, Nebuchadnezzar, and warned that Jehovah would favor all those who submitted to the dragon (Jer. 27:9-11).
And Jehovah spoke to the Jews, his people, that he saves from the Egyptian captivity: “Bring your necks under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him and his people, and live. Why will you die, you and your people, by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence, as Jehovah has spoken concerning the nation that will not serve the king of Babylon?” (Jer. 27:12-13). Jeremiah, the prophet, directed these words to Zedekiah, king of Judah, before he had his sons beheaded and his eyes pierced, and was tied in chains and taken to Babylon.
We have the following to say when we analyze the temptation of Jesus, through which Satan offered him all the kingdoms of this world: “For Jehovah Most High is awesome. He is a great King over all the earth” (Ps. 47:2). “For God is the King of all the earth. Sing praises with understanding. God reigns over the nations. God sits on his holy throne” (Ps. 47:7-8). “Say among the nations, ‘Jehovah reigns.’ The world is also established. It can’t be moved. He will judge the peoples with equity” (Ps. 96:10). “Who should not fear you, King of the nations? For it appertains to you; because among all the wise men of the nations, and in all their royal estate, there is none like you” (Jer. 10:7). “Jehovah reigns! Let the peoples tremble. He sits enthroned among the cherubim. Let the earth be moved” (Ps. 99:1). “Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice! Let them say among the nations, ‘Jehovah reigns!’” (1 Chr. 16:31). It is amazing! We have just proved that the Scriptures declare that the earth is an abyss (Prov. 8:26-27; Ps. 104:5-6; Ps. 30:3). We also read in the letter to the Romans that Jesus descended to the abyss to deliver men out of death and save them (Rom. 10:6-7). And did Jehovah rule over this abyss where the dead lived (Rom. 5:17; John 5:24-25)? We also read in Revelation that the king of the abyss was named Abaddon, in Hebrew, and Apollyon, in Greek (Rev. 9:11). Is it possible that Jehovah is Abaddon? Abaddon means destroyer, and Jehovah said: “I will destroy man whom I have created from the surface of the ground” (Gen. 6:7). Jehovah destroyed Egypt’s first-born (Ex. 12:23). Jehovah destroyed his own people (Deut. 28:20, 45, 48, 61).
But there is a light for the sinner in darkness: JESUS (John 12:46). There is a medicine that removes the weight of sin from our loins: THE BLOOD OF JESUS (Rev. 1:5).
There is someone that loves lost sinners and gave his life so that Jehovah does not destroy them: JESUS (Luke 9:56).
By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira