Mar 15, 2012

The Two Desolate Spots of the Kingdom

Arnold FruchtenbaumBy Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum
Ariel Ministries

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During the Messianic Kingdom, the entire world will be fruitful and very productive; it will be characterized by beauty. Nevertheless, there will be two desolate spots of burning pitch and burning brimstone throughout the period of the Kingdom: Babylon and Edom. Egypt will be desolate only in the sense of being uninhabited, and that for only forty years. Saudi Arabia will be desolate throughout the Kingdom, but also only in the sense of being uninhabited.

Babylon: Southern Iraq

The first of these two desolate spots will be the former world capital of the Antichrist: Babylon. Several passages make this point, one of which is Isaiah 13:20-22. The uninhabitable ruins are described as similar to Sodom and Gomorrah in Jeremiah 50:39-40. Later, Jeremiah emphasized the totality and completeness of Babylon’s desolation in Jeremiah 51:41-43. Throughout the Kingdom period, no man will even so much as pass by the ruins of Babylon, something that is hardly true today. Not only is Babylon to be a desolate waste throughout the Kingdom, it will also be a place of continual burning and smoke, according to Revelation 19:3. This place of continual burning and smoke will be a place of confinement for many demons during the Kingdom period. It is clear from Revelation 9 and other passages that demons have animal‑like features, and this is what the animals of the Isaiah and Jeremiah passages actually represent. In fact, the Hebrew word translated as wild goats refers to demons in goat form.

Edom: Southern Jordan

The second desolate spot in the Kingdom will be Edom. This is pointed out by several prophets, such as Isaiah 34:8-15. In verse 8, the reason for Edom’s becoming a perpetual desolation is their sins against Israel. Like Babylon, in verses 9-10, it is to become a place of continual burning and smoke inhabited by various foul birds and animals, and characterized by confusion in verse 11. In verse 12, it will be totally uninhabited by men and will be habitable only by the animals mentioned in verses 13-15. Yet these animals, as they are known today, cannot live in a place of burning pitch and burning brimstone. Two clues in this text show that these are not literal birds and animals. Again, the word translated wild goats actually means “demons in goat form.” The word translated night‑monster means “night demons.” Like Babylon, Edom will be an abode of demons. See also Jer 49:17-18. Like Babylon, the desolation will be similar to that of Sodom and Gomorrah. The reason for such massive destruction in Edom is amplified by Ezekiel 35:10-15. In verses 10-13, because of Edom’s glee over the fall of Israel and Judah, the punishment must come. So while the whole earth is beautified and rejoicing, Edom will be a desolation in verse 14. The calamities, which fell on Israel and over which Edom rejoiced, will now fall on Edom in a more severe way in verse 15.

Throughout the Millennial Kingdom, while the whole earth is beautified and blossoming as the rose, the two areas of Babylon and Edom will be places of continual burning pitch and burning brimstone. The smoke will rise and be visible for the entire one thousand years. While Satan will be confined in the Abyss, his demons will be confined in Babylon and Edom. These two places will be the abode of demons for the entire Kingdom period. [1]

[1] This post is a modified version of Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum’s original Messianic Bible Study. The full version may be obtained here.