SADDAM’S ARCHAEOLOGICAL HERITAGE
Many years ago when I visited Berlin, I had to pass through Check Point Charlie to get to the famous Pergamon museum. The Russians were not really happy to see me.
But once inside this marvelous museum I forgot about the hassles of getting there. When you see the end-result of your efforts it brings great satisfaction.
I marveled at the beauty of the procession way. The tiles were brought all the way from ancient Babylon.
But what impressed me most, was the restored Ishtar gate. German archaeologists transported every single glazed tile from ancient Babylon.
During my first and subsequent visits the Berlin the wall of shame was still intact. And the ancient Babylon was still in ruins.
But then a man by the name of Saddam Hussein appeared on the scene of action and decided that he was going restore ancient Babylon.
I was very excited when I first heard about it and I decided to go and see for myself. This was one of the highlights of my life.
The very first object that draws your attention as you approach the site is a huge painting of Saddam. He features with Nebuchadnezzar and Cyrus the Great.
He built a symbolic painting on the site of Nebuchadnezzar’s northern palace, called Bab-ilu. The Sumerian name is Ka-digger-ra, the gate to the god.
The next monument that Saddam erected was a replica of the great Babylonian king Hamurabi.
It’s quite a thrill to walk to the place where Nebuchadnezzar erected his southern palace. Saddam did a marvelous work.
You find many rooms in the southern palace for different royal purposes. But Nebuchadnezzar also had a cool storage room.
As soon as you enter in here, the temperature drops to below 55 degrees Celsius.
Originally the procession way covered about one and a half kilometers. Saddam restored 180 meters. This is where Daniel the prophet used to walk.
About 60 million bricks went into the restoration. This used to be the banquet hall. On October 12 539 BC Belshazzar feasted in this venue and was killed by Cyrus the Great.
By the way, 200 years before his birth the prophet Isaiah predicted that he would conquer Babylon and set the Judean captives free.
You can still see the restored throne room of Nebuchadnezzar. It was on this very same spot where the prophet Daniel recalled the king’s prophetic dream and explained the meaning of the different metals.
All over the palace one can read Saddam’s inscription where he regards himself as the new Nebuchadnezzar, building of Babylon.
I was so excited when I saw one of the original bricks from the ancient palace. Here you read about Nebuchadnezzar’s account of the restoration of ancient Babylon.
Time does not allow us to view all the archaeological accomplishments of Saddam Hussein. He wanted to do much more and make Babylon the capital of his world empire.
I am sitting at the place where the huge tower of Babel once stood, the Etemenanki, foundation of heaven and earth. What stopped Saddam from completing this wonder of the ancient world?
While you are looking at the ruins adjacent to the restored southern palace of Nebuchadnezzar, I would like to read you the following prophecy:
Isaiah 13:20 It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation: neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there; neither shall the shepherds make their fold there.
Looking at the ruins of ancient Babylon, I was impressed by the accuracy of Bible prophecy. I invite you to enjoy the same spiritual experience.