posted by roshavotJuly 24, 2010

Mystery, Babylon

 
The curse always involves expulsion from the Covenant Land

On the harlot's forehead a name was written, Mystery, great Babylon, the mother of the harlots, and of the abominations of the whole earth. (Rev 17:5).

The Covenant of YHVH consists of blessings and curses. The curse always involves expulsion from the Covenant Land. We are informed in the 28th chapter of Deuteronomy that the punishment for not keeping the Covenant of the Torah is exile. We read, "YHVH will bring you... to a nation which you have not known... and there you shall worship other gods, of wood and stone." (Deu 28:36). Isaiah describes this exile as “dwelling in the land of the shadow of death” (see the Sidebar to the right). Adam was told that in the day he ate of the “tree of the knowledge of good mixed with evil” he would die (Gen 2:17). On the day that Adam disobeyed “YHVH Elohim sent him forth from the garden of Eden” (Gen 3:23), and Adam was considered dead (expatriated). Cain's punishment for killing Abel was also exile, which he regarded as a death penalty (Gen 4:14).

The Tall Beacon

 
A tall beacon in case we be scattered

The people of Shinar in Genesis Chapter 11 made preparations to avoid the curse of expulsion. They knew they were going to break covenant so they planned a way to minimize the effects of being expelled.

Gen 11:1-9 And the whole earth was of one language, and of a common purpose. And it came to pass, as they migrated from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. And they said one to another, “Come now, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly”. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar. And they said, “Come now, in case we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth and cannot find our way back, let us build us a city and a tall beacon, whose top may reach into the clouds, and let us make our monument”. And YHVH came down to see the city and the tall beacon, which the children of men built. And YHVH said, “Behold, the people are one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do; nothing will prevent them access to the beacon, as they planned. Come now, let us go down, and there mix their language, that they may not understand one another's language”. So YHVH scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth; thus they left off building the city. Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because YHVH did there mix the language of all the earth. And from thence did YHVH scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.

Inevitably they were exiled.

Mixing

 
mixing - assimilation

The Hebrew word babel means: to mix or mingle. Today, the word is a cooking term for a mixture of ingredients. Assimilating into the host culture is a condition of being in exile, Hos 7:8

Note the pun in the RSV version of Rev 18:6, speaking of cryptic Babylon (i.e. two-thirds of Jerusalem in the Last Days, which will be occupied by the armies of Islam, Eze 5:1-5; Zec 13:8-9; Joh 4:21; Rev 16:19; Jer 4:27-31): "repay her double for her deeds; mix a double draught for her in the cup she mixed".

Assimilating into a host culture as a result of being expelled is the "Mystery of Babylon".