The Good News in the Bible

The Drying Up of the River Euphrates
William Diehl

From S.
Does anyone have any light on what the drying up of the River Euphrates in Rev.16:12 is? "And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared." Is it symbolic or literal?

To S.
The symbolism employed in this text is taken from the historical fact that when the literal kingdom of Babylon fell to the Persians (in 605 BC?) the Euphrates River was diverted or "dried up", thus effecting the fall of the city to the armies of Medo-Persia. This river flowed under the walls of the city of Babylon, on through the center of the city, and again under the wall and out of the city. Cyrus diverted the flow of the river at night and while the people were celebrating and drunken, he stealthily marched with his army under the wall, where the river normally flowed, and he took the city by complete surprise.

In Revelation, John the apostle uses this historical incident symbolically to describe the "fall of Babylon", the Antichrist power which "sits upon the waters". This figure of speech (waters) is used to describe the unsaved and unbelieving nations and peoples which support and nurture Babylon.

After the final invitation of mercy in the Gospel is rejected, the seven last plagues begin to destroy the unrepentant world. The lost peoples of the world completely and totally withdraw their support and sympathy (symbolized by "the drying up of the river") for Babylon, the spiritual kingdom of the great Deceiver, the apostate Church which looks like a "lamb" but speaks like the "dragon". Too late the people realize that they have been deceived by the lies of the false prophet (the Ecumenical Movement which unites all the world's religions to give honor to the false Christ and his false Sabbath), but they now turn upon the false priests and ministers who deceived them and vent their wrath upon these false shepherds. The "kings of the East" is the symbolic allegorical Cyrus, Jesus Christ and His people, who declare the spiritual fall of Babylon by proclaiming the 3 Angel's messages. It is the rejection of the 3 Angel's messages and the resulting 7 last plagues which effect the physical fall of Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots. God bless you. Bill D.

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