Babylon, whose destruction and utter ruin are here predicted,
was situated in the midst of a large plain, having a very deep
and fruitful soil, on the Euphrates, about 252; miles
south-east of Palmyra, and the same distance north-west of
Susa and the Persian gulf, in lat. 32; degrees 30' N. and long.
44; degrees 20' E. According to Herodotus, it formed a perfect
square, each side of which was 120; stadia, and consequently
its circumference 480; stadia, or sixty miles; inclosed by a
wall 200; cubits high, and fifty wide, on the top of which were
small watch towers of one story high, leaving a space between
them, through which a chariot and four might pass and turn.
On each side were twenty-five gates of solid brass; from each
of which proceeded a street, 150; feet broad, making in all
fifty streets; which, crossing each other at right angles,
intersected the city into 676; squares, extending four stadia
and a half on each side, along which stood the houses, all
built three or four stories high, and highly decorated towards
the street; the interior of these squares being employed as
gardens, pleasure grounds, etc. Its principal ornaments were
the temple of Belus, having a tower of eight stories, upon a
base of a quarter of a mile square; a most magnificent palace;
and the famous hanging gardens, or artificial mountains raised
upon arches, and planted with large and beautiful trees.
Cyrus took it by diverting the waters of the Euphrates, which
ran through the midst, and entering by the channel; and the
river being never restored to its proper course, overflowed
the whole country, and made it a morass. Darius Hystaspes
afterwards depopulated the place, lowered the walls, and
demolished the gates; Xerxes destroyed the temples; the
building of Seleucia nearly exhausted it of its inhabitants; a
king of the Parthians carried a number of them into slavery,
and destroyed the most beautiful parts; so that modern
travellers describe it as a mass of shapeless ruins, the
habitation of wild beasts.
14:4-6,12-15 Jer 51:41 Da 2:37,38 4:30
* when God overthrow. Heb. the overthrowing of.
Ge 19:24 De 29:23 Jer 49:18 50:40 Zep 2:9