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Isaiah prophesies against Babylon, Assyria, Moab and Philistia; and promises Judah a return to Jerusalem: Isaiah 13−16

Assyria was the world power in Isaiah’s time, but Babylon was starting to gain in power. Isaiah saw the decline of Assyria and the future wasteland that Babylon would become:

Isaiah 13:19-20Babylon, the most glorious of kingdoms,
the flower of Chaldean pride,
will be devastated like Sodom and Gomorrah
when God destroyed them.
Babylon will never be inhabited again.
It will remain empty for generation after generation.
Nomads will refuse to camp there,
and shepherds will not bed down their sheep.

Babylon was destroyed by Sennacherib, but rebuilt shortly afterwards. This was possibly in Isaiah’s time.

The city was rebuilt within decades, to become ‘the most glorious of kingdoms, the flower of Chaldean pride’, but has since been destroyed by various invasions and wars.  By 141 BC it was uninhabited, and it still is.

Babylon: a heap of ruins in the 1930s

Babylon: a heap of ruins in the 1930s
Source: Library of Congress, http://loc.gov/pictures/resource/matpc.13231/

Former Iraqui leader, Sadam Hussein, started to restore Babylon, but the second Iraq invasion in 2003 stopped works. The city is still uninhabited:

Babylon: partially restored but still uninhabited

Babylon: partially restored but still uninhabited
Source: America’s navy http://www.navy.mil/view_image.asp?id=7742