What Does Babylon Mean in the Bible?

Babylon is a city that was left in ruins after being a land filled with blessings. Let's find out what Babylon means and why this ancient city was punished.

By Carmen Slabbert
Edited by Taj Schlebusch

Published November 22, 2021.

Babylon is mentioned in the Bible from Genesis to Revelations. It rose from a Mesopotamian city on the Euphrates river. Babylon became a powerful city and later the capital city. In the Bible, the city was a symbol of sin and rebellion. In later Bible verses, people are reminded of the punishment of Babylon.

What Is the Symbolic Meaning of Babylon?

Derived from the Akkadian word babilu, the name Babylon means gate of God. The first time we read about the story of Babylon in the Bible is in Genesis 11. This city had its origin with Nimrod. Babylon translates to confusion due to the confusion that arose after God's punishment.

Characteristics of Babylon in the Bible

In Babylon, both men and women could be educated, Nebuchadnezzar the second built the hanging gardens, and the women had the same rights as men. They could own businesses and become priests if they wished to.

The earliest set of laws that were written on a stone tablet is the Code of Hammurabi. These laws were guidelines for the people of Babylonians.

Babylonians believed in various gods, with Marduk as their main god. Taking care of and worshipping these deities' statues was seen as a sacred act. They believed that the gods both lived in the statues in the temple and in the natural forces they personified.

What Did God Do to Babylon?

You may recognize Babylon through the famous story called The Tower of Babel.

While many people believe that God destroyed Babylon, this is untrue. He punished them for their sinful natures and for breaking the rule by equalizing themselves to God. This is shown through the famous story where they tried to build a tower up to heaven, and God punished them by changing their languages so they could no longer understand each other. Babylon was then later destroyed by its enemies.

Babylon will always be an ancient city with an interesting past. The ruins of this city are located in modern-day Iraq. It was a land of blessing, but due to sin was left in ruins.