Jeremiah 50:9 “For, lo, I will stir up and cause to come up against Babylon a company of great nations from the north country; and they shall set themselves in array against her; from thence she shall be taken: their arrows shall be as of an expert mighty man; none shall return in vain.”
Comment: The assembling of the armies of the world against Babylon takes time to prepare and to coordinate the various nations’ armies.
Isaiah 47:11 “Therefore shall evil come upon thee; thou shalt not know the dawning thereof: and mischief shall fall upon thee; thou shalt not be able to put it away: and desolation shall come upon thee suddenly, which thou knowest not.”
Comment: The destruction will happen suddenly and will be a surprise that Babylon had not anticipated.
Jeremiah 51:45-47 “My people, go ye out of the midst of her, and save yourselves every man from the fierce anger of Jehovah. And let not your heart faint, neither fear ye for the tidings that shall be heard in the land; for tidings shall come one year, and after that in another year shall come tidings, and violence in the land, ruler against ruler. Therefore, behold, the days come, that I will execute judgment upon the graven images of Babylon; and her whole land shall be confounded; and all her slain shall fall in the midst of her.”
Comment: There are several years involved. This involves the removal of God’s people from Babylon. There will be violence in the land with ruler against ruler. This situation not only affects Babylon, but also in some way causes fear in Israel.
Revelation 18:8 “Therefore in one day shall her plagues come, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire; for strong is the Lord God who judged her.”
Comment: A decision enacted on a certain date can bring these plagues into place in one day, such as an embargo.
Isaiah 47:9 “but these two things shall come to thee in a moment in one day, the loss of children, and widowhood; in their full measure shall they come upon thee, in the multitude of thy sorceries, and the great abundance of thine enchantments.”
Comment: Loss of husband or children causes mourning at the moment it happens.
Revelation 18:18-19 “and cried out as they looked upon the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like the great city? And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and mourning, saying, Woe, woe, the great city, wherein all that had their ships in the sea were made rich by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate.”
Comment: Babylon is burned up with fire. In one hour all of the riches and physical development go up in smoke. The fire is the final step, with only smoke lingering.
Summary: Time Involved
As we look at the time involved, we note that though it refers to several years, yet suddenly, one day her plagues come, and in one hour there will be total destruction.
It would seem these are contradictory statements but they will not be. They are just different ways of looking at the destruction process and its various events. Babylon is referred to as mystery Babylon. In the end the mystery will be known and solved. All of the prophets’ verses will have their fulfillment. Presently we do not know the exact sequence.