This article is drawn from my most recent book, WILL BABYLON BE REBUILT IN THE LAST DAYS? The book is a study of the issues taken up by noted pastor and teacher Andy Woods in his book BABYLON: THE BOOKENDS OF PROPHETIC HISTORY.
GEOGRAPHY OF BABYLON ON THE EUPHRATES
In the Book of Revelation, there are two mentions of the Euphrates River (Rev. 9:13-21; 16:12-16). The first depicts a vast army making its way into Israel to participate in the final great battle, The Battle of Armageddon. The second speaks of the great river Euphrates being dried up in order to ‘make way for the Kings of the East.’ Woods points out that the river Euphrates is often termed the dividing line between the Orient and the West (the Occident).
Given that the city of Babylon is adjacent to the Euphrates (and ‘the river runs through it’), Woods suggests that the reference to the great river is indirect proof that the ancient city will be rebuilt as it lies in the path of the momentous army from the East. He states: “All things considered, a rebuilt City of Babylon on the banks of the Euphrates functioning as the world capital of the Antichrist during the future Tribulation period would serve as a logical venue from where to summon the nations from the far east to move into the Middle East.”Woods cites Mark Hitchcock, who sees the same implication regarding the geography of Babylon and the Euphrates. Says Hitchcock, “These references to the Euphrates point to the fact that something important and evil is occurring there. The rebuilt city of Babylon on the Euphrates, functioning as a great commercial and political center for Antichrist, is a good explanation for this emphasis on the Euphrates River in Revelation.”
RESPONSE: Wood’s and Hitchcock’s argument sharpens the point on the tip of a double-edged sword. Most futurist scholars believe the final battle is not at Babylon but at Megiddo, or (H)ar-mageddon (the mount of Megiddo) in northern Israel. Despite the majority view, scholar Michael Heiser’s exegesis proposes Megiddo is adjacent to Jerusalem, in the Valley of Jehoshaphat, a general description of the Kidron Valley, between Jerusalem and the Mount of Olives. It becomes ‘the Valley of Decision.’ (Joel 3:14) The latter makes more geographical sense as the Scripture suggests that Christ comes from the East with blood-stained garments (Isaiah 63:1, or his ‘robe dipped in blood,’ Rev. 19:13), and He destroys his enemies as he makes his passage to Jerusalem. He descends on the Mount of Olives, and the Mount splits. (Zechariah 14:4) The prophet instructs the Jews seeking protection to rush into this newly formed valley. If this scenario is correct (and I’m sure that Woods would easily agree with the physical return of Christ to the Mount of Olives), it raises the question of whether the Antichrist deserts Babylon and relocates his army and base of operations from Babylon to Jerusalem (or Northern Israel, depending on or your view of the battle’s location). This is suspect, given Woods holds Babylon to have been destroyed in months preceding this action. So, Babylon on the Euphrates no longer matters.
CRITICISM: To explain further, Woods asserts later that Babylon has already been destroyed by the Antichrist and his cohort of 10 Kings. (p. 39) This strongly implies that Babylon has already been burned with fire since it was hated by the Beast and his kingly entourage. This ‘burning of Babylon’ seems to happen soon after the Antichrist declares himself divine in the newly restored Jewish Temple at Jerusalem, implying Babylon’s burning happens perhaps three years before the Kings of the East mount their march. This destruction of Babylon (which Wood’s argument demands – given a literal Babylon on the Euphrates) would most certainly nullify that much ‘evil’ continues there and that its destruction makes its geography irrelevant altogether. Yes, the Kings of the East make their way toward Israel, and the Euphrates suffers the consequences as it is dried up. But Babylon is already no more by the time the Kings of the East march (according to Woods), and the Bible speaks of no meaningful battle there (or any battle at all). If the city was just built and then almost immediately destroyed, Babylon on the Euphrates appears to be no more than a red herring (i.e., misleading or distracting).
If you would like to read more, consider purchasing my book, WILL BABYLON BE REBUILT IN THE LAST DAYS? It is available from my store on my website for $14.95. Click here. SHIPPING IS FREE.
 Ibid., p.35.
 Ibid, p. 35. Mark Hitchcock’s citation is from Hitchcock’s book, The Second Coming of Babylon, Sisters, OR: Multnomah, 2003, p. 107.
 “Joel is credited with naming the Valley of Jehoshaphat the Valley of Decision, as well as his own name. It derives from the word (Je)hoshaphat, meaning YAHweh Judges. “It is a gathering of all the armies of the world from these areas into this Valley, and the Lord will decide how all of them are to be judged.” states the book of Joel.” March 6, 2022. Armageddon Online. Retrieved March 13, 2022, from https://www.armageddononline.org/is-armageddon-considered-the-vally-of-decision/. There is indeed some confusion regarding where the final battle takes place, in the Valley of Jezreel at Megiddo in Northern Israel or the Valley of Jehoshaphat in Jerusalem. The meaning of Armageddon, mentioned only once in the Bible, is subject to interpretation.
No Comments on DOES REVELATION PREDICT BABYLON ON THE EUPHRATES WILL BE REBUILT?