The prophet Isaiah gave a blistering rebuke regarding Babylon, a nation consumed with idols (Isaiah 46). Similarly, Jeremiah declared: A drought on her waters, and they will be dried up! For it is a land of idols, And they are made over fearsome idols (Jeremiah 50:38).
Nebuchadnezzar became king of Babylon in 605 B.C., and reigned for forty-three years. Unlike the Assyrian rulers who preceded him, Nebuchadnezzar did not leave extended accounts of his military accomplishments. Rather, most of his records involved his contributions to the religious climate of his country. He rebuilt a number of temples, including one to the god Marduk (known as Bel in the ScripturesIsaiah 46:1; Jeremiah 50:2; 51:44). Marduk may have been the god that was honored by the erection of the great golden statue, some nine stories high (as recorded in Daniel 3:1) before which Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to bow.
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The city of Babylon was filled with idolatry. An ancient inscription reads: Altogether there are in Babylon 53 temples of the chief gods, 55 chapels of Marduk, 300 chapels of earthly deities, 600 for the heavenly deities, 180 altars for the goddess Ishtar, 180 for the gods Nergal and Adad and 12 other altars for different gods (Keller, 1956, p. 338). Little wonder the Creator determined that this city would fall.
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