Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and others had all prophesied the fall of Babylon. It took about 70 years from the rise of Nebuchadnezzar:
- Nebuchadnezzar ruled for 45 years
- Evil-merodach ruled for 23 years
- Belshazzar ruled for two years.
The fall itself happened under Belshazzar, the grandson of Nebuchadnezzar:
Daniel 5:22-23-25 You are [Nebuchadnezzar’s] successor, O Belshazzar, and you knew all this, yet you have not humbled yourself. For you have proudly defied the Lord of heaven and have had these cups from his Temple brought before you … [drinking to other gods] … But you have not honored the God who gives you the breath of life and controls your destiny!
The same night Daniel delivered this message to Belshazzar, Babylon fell, and Belshazzar was killed in the process.
He had a few hours of warning, thanks to the now-famous writing on the wall. Rembrandt captured the fear of the moment: