18:2 hateful bird. The ancient prophecies of Isaiah 13:19-22, fulfilled in part during the church age, will finally be completely fulfilled, although Babylon’s status as a habitation of “wild beasts” and “hateful birds” will only endure for a brief period before it finally vanishes forever. Though many commentators have thought that the past precursive fulfillment of this prophecy was its ultimate fulfillment, this belief encounters several fatal flaws. The latter is to be consummated only during the ultimate “day of the LORD” (Isaiah 13:6,9-10); Babylon has never yet become as barren “as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah” (Isaiah 13:19; Jeremiah 50:40); it has never been completely devoid of human inhabitants (Isaiah 13:20; Jeremiah 51:62); its fall was not accompanied by either terrestrial or celestial catastrophes (Isaiah 13:10,13); and it has never been thrown “into the midst of Euphrates” (Jeremiah 51:63). All these calamities therefore must overtake it after its future restoration to even greater opulence and power under the beast than it ever had in the past.
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