Hello John and Doves-
In reading Bob Ware's post today, I wanted to add to his list of interesting "anomalies" related to Oct 29...
According to John MacArthur, our date Oct 29 is the date of the fall of the Babylonian empire into the hands of the Medes and Persians in 539 BCE. This is the date of the famous passage of Daniel Chapter 5 (Mene Mene Tekel Uphasin). The moat was drained and the invading forces of Cyrus/Darius penetrated the royal palace. I was somewhat surprised that this did not make Bob's list.
MacArthur, in his notes on Daniel chapter 5 makes an interesting observation that has had me pondering for a week or so. He states that while the common understanding of the word "mene" implies a "numbering" or a "finite allotment," it also can be used to suggest a defined point in time such as "an appointment." When I read this, I nearly fell out of my chair: We know how our Lord keeps his appointments...
Consider that the word "mene" appears not once, but TWICE upon the wall of Belshazzar's palace. Throughout scripture we see examples of double fulfillments of prophecy, especially throughout the book of Daniel. When I considered all of this, I had to wonder if the message written on that wall in 539 BCE was speaking not only of the fall of Belshazzar's Babylon, but also perhaps a future world system of idol/self worship, lust and economic feudalism: Mystery Babylon the Great. Perhaps that second "appointment" is that to which the Angel refers in Revelation 18:
1And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.
2And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.
3For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.
Notice that the angel uses the word "fallen" not once, but TWICE... like the use of the word "mene" twice from Daniel 5. Clearly, then, at some point in earth's history, there will be a second fulfillment of a second, larger, albeit figurative, Babylon... Will it be on the anniversary day of the first "appointment" is my question. The world stage is certainly set for such an event.
Along the way, in the last few days of study within this train of thought, I happened into this very interesting page. It touches on some of the same ideas, but takes them along a route that I think Bob and others would find quite interesting.
Thanks to Bob Ware for provoking me to post this and especially John for making The Five Doves possible.
Of the reign of the last Babylonian king, Nabonidus (Nabu-na'id), and the conquest of Babylonia by Cyrus, there is a fair amount of information available. Nabonidus was not a Chaldean or Babylonian, but hailed from the last Assyrian capital of Harran. Information regarding Nabonidus is chiefly derived from a chronological tablet containing the annals of Nabonidus, supplemented by another inscription of Nabonidus where he recounts his restoration of the temple of the Moon-god at Harran; as well as by a proclamation of Cyrus issued shortly after his formal recognition as king of Babylonia. It was in the sixth year of Nabonidus (549 BC) that Cyrus, the Achaemenid Persian "king of Anshan" in Elam, revolted against his suzerain Astyages, "king of the Manda" or Medes, at Ecbatana. Astyages' army betrayed him to his enemy, and Cyrus established himself at Ecbatana, thus putting an end to the empire of the Medes. Three years later Cyrus had become king of all Persia, and was engaged in a campaign in Assyria. Meanwhile, Nabonidus had established a camp in the desert of Arabia, near the southern frontier of his kingdom, leaving his son Belshazzar (Belsharutsur) in command of the army.
In 539 BC Cyrus invaded Babylonia. A battle was fought at Opis in the month of June, where the Babylonians were defeated; and immediately afterwards Sippar surrendered to the invader. Nabonidus fled to Babylon, where he was pursued by Gobryas, and on the 16th day of Tammuz, two days after the capture of Sippar, "the soldiers of Cyrus entered Babylon without fighting." Nabonidus was dragged from his hiding-place, where the services continued without interruption. Cyrus did not arrive until the 3rd of Marchesvan (October), Gobryas having acted for him in his absence. Gobryas was now made governor of the province of Babylon, and a few days afterwards the son of Nabonidus died. A public mourning followed, lasting six days, and Cambyses accompanied the corpse to the tomb.
Cyrus now claimed to be the legitimate successor of the ancient Babylonian kings and the avenger of Bel-Marduk, who was assumed to be wrathful at the impiety of Nabonidus in removing the images of the local gods from their ancestral shrines to his capital Babylon. Nabonidus, in fact, had excited a strong feeling against himself by attempting to centralize the religion of Babylonia in the temple of Merodach (Marduk) at Babylon, and while he had thus alienated the local priesthoods, the military party despised him on account of his antiquarian tastes. He seemed to have left the defense of his kingdom to others, occupying himself with the more congenial work of excavating the foundation records of the temples and determining the dates of their builders.
The invasion of Babylonia by Cyrus was doubtless facilitated by the existence of a disaffected party in the state, as well as by the presence of foreign forced exiles like the Jews, who had been planted in the midst of the country. One of the first acts of Cyrus accordingly was to allow these exiles to return to their own homes, carrying with them the images of their god and their sacred vessels. The permission to do so was embodied in a proclamation, whereby the conqueror endeavored to justify his claim to the Babylonian throne. The feeling was still strong that none had a right to rule over western Asia until he had been consecrated to the office by Bel and his priests; and accordingly, Cyrus henceforth assumed the imperial title of "King of Babylon."