The fall of Babylon was still a future event when John wrote the book of Revelation and the prophecies recorded therein do not describe any historical events that have happened since then. With the fall of Babylon, all the prophecies about it will have been completed.
Isaiah 13:19-20 “And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldeans’ pride, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. It shall never be inhabited neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation: neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there; neither shall shepherds make their flocks to lie down there.”
Comment: The fall of Babylon has to be a future event because when it falls it will be completely destroyed and laid desolate, never to be inhabited again. It is not destroyed or desolate today, and people are still living there.
Jeremiah 50:39-40 “Therefore the wild beasts of the desert with the wolves shall dwell there, and the ostriches shall dwell therein: and it shall be no more inhabited forever; neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation. As when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighbor cities thereof, saith Jehovah, so shall no man dwell there, neither shall any son of man sojourn therein.”
Comment: There is still a town of Babylon in Iraq. Unlike Sodom and Gomorrah, which were completely destroyed and now no longer exist, Babylon remains a city in Iraq.
Jeremiah 51:26 “And they shall not take of thee a stone for a corner, nor a stone for foundations; but thou shalt be desolate forever, saith Jehovah.”
Comment: Further evidence that Babylon has not been laid completely desolate is the fact that the late Saddam Hussein was in the process of restoring the city. Saddam reused the original bricks of the ancient city and mixed them with new bricks in an attempt to restore the city to its original condition. The new bricks have his name inscribed on them.
Jeremiah 51:43-44 “Her cities are become a desolation, a dry land, and a desert, a land wherein no man dwelleth, neither doth any son of man pass thereby. And I will execute Judgment upon Bel in Babylon, and I will bring forth out of his mouth that which he hath swallowed up; and the nations shall not flow any more unto him: yea, the wall of Babylon shall fall.”
Comment: People are still visiting the ancient ruins of Babylon. The nations of the world are still making deals with that area of the world. Commerce still takes place, people still travel through, and people still live there.
Jeremiah 51:62 “and say, O Jehovah, thou has spoken concerning this place, to cut it off, that none shall dwell therein, neither man nor beast, but that it shall be desolate forever.”
Comment: Babylon is not desolate. “Forever” has not yet begun.
Jeremiah 51:63-64 “And it shall be, when thou hast made an end of reading this book, that thou shalt bind a stone to it, and cast it into the midst of the Euphrates: and thou shalt say, Thus shall Babylon sink, and shall not rise again because of the evil that I will bring upon her; and they shall be weary. Thus far are the words of Jeremiah.”
Comment: The same illustration of the fall of Babylon is used in both Jeremiah and Revelation. The city of Babylon will disappear like a sinking stone, never to be found again.
Revelation 18:21 “And a strong angel took up a stone as it were a great millstone and cast it into the sea, saying, thus with a mighty fall shall Babylon, the great city, be cast down, and shall be found no more at all.”
Comment: Babylon can still be found today, so it has not been cast down forever.
Revelation 17:6 “And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I wondered with great wonder.”
Comment: There were no martyrs of Jesus until after His return to heaven. Since the time of Jesus, history does not record a fall. Thus it is still a future event.
Summary: The Fall of Babylon is Still a Future Event
There are many verses that talk of the fall of Babylon. It is an event that God wants the world to know. From the previous verses, it is logical to conclude that the prophecies have not been literally fulfilled. The final destruction is still a future event. Where we as individuals place the fall of Babylon in time will influence our view of end-time events.