King Nebuchadnezzar historically is synonymous with one of the great arch enemies of God’s people, ultimately laying siege to Jerusalem and destroying Solomon’s temple after three waves of brute military force — the last of which was in 586 B.C. The Babylonian empire reached its zenith under Nebuchadnezzar, who in many ways resurrected the same rebellious kingdom of his predecessor — Nimrod — who attempted to unify all the rebellious forces of heaven and earth at the tower of Babel.
By taking a comparative look at Nebuchadnezzar, it will help continue the development of a profile of the coming Antichrist in the last days. Everything from the scope of his kingdom to the pride in his heart provides key characteristics seen in the son of destruction.
Connection with the Temple and the siege of Jerusalem
Nebuchadnezzar was used as an instrument of God’s own judgment on the Jewish people because of their perpetual unbelief and spiritual apostasy [Jeremiah 27:6-7]. The LORD may have used this ruthless king to bring judgment on His own people, but He certainly did not hold Nebuchadnezzar guiltless. As the Babylonian armies surrounded Jerusalem, the last Jewish stronghold, it starved the people and eventually breached the city walls, killing, plundering, and raping the women. Nebuchadnezzar burned the city and destroyed the holy temple. Thousands of exiles were taken into captivity along with the sacred articles of the temple. It was the most horrific day in the history of Israel.
Likewise, there will be a third Temple rebuilt in these last days that will be directly connected to the Antichrist. Not only will the Antichrist set himself up in this third temple as the abomination of desolation [Matthew 24:15], but also he will seduce the Gentile nations to march their armies to surround Jerusalem once again and trample the city — slaugherting many and taking others into captivity.
Zechariah, prophesying of this future invasion of Jerusalem says, “Behold, a day is coming for the LORD, when the spoil taken from you will be divided in your midst. For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken and the houses plundered and the women raped. Half of the city shall go out into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city.” [Zechariah 14:1-2]
The Lord Jesus mentions this very same future invasion in Luke 21:20-24, and the book of Revelation speaks of the fierce persecution of the saints at the hand of Antichrist in the last days.
“If anyone is to be taken captive,
to captivity he goes;
if anyone is to be slain with the sword,
with the sword must he be slain.
Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints.” [Revelation 13:10]
Connection with Raising a Golden Image and Demanding Worship
In Daniel 3 Nebuchadnezzar raises golden image and demands that all people come and bow down and worship before it. Anyone who refused was immediately cast into the fiery furnace. In the same way, the False Prophet will deceive the nations in the last days making” the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast” [Revelation 13:12], eventually raising some type of image to the beast [Antichrist] to be worshipped.
Many have speculated about the nature of this end-times “image,” and there are some fascinating theories. Perhaps it is some type of artificial intelligence. Maybe it is some type of transhuman cyborg or genetically modified clone. It seems to be able to speak and be “alive,” according to Revelation 13:15. And like the golden image of Nebuchadnezzar’s day, all who refuse to worship this image will be killed.
“And it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain.” [Rev. 13:15]
Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. [Rev. 20:4]
Connection with His Pride and Dominance
Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom covered the entire Middle East, as he conquered the lands of ancient Assyria, Mesopotamia, Arabia, Egypt, Elam, Edom, Aram, Ammon, Moab, Tyre, Phoenicia, and of course Israel. He was able to bring all of these nations under his rule and authority and maintain unparalleled dominance. Consider Daniel’s own description of the Babylonian kingdom.
“It is you, O king, who have grown and become strong. Your greatness has grown and reaches to heaven, and your dominion to the ends of the earth.” [Daniel 4:22]
O king, the Most High God gave Nebuchadnezzar your father kingship and greatness and glory and majesty. And because of the greatness that he gave him, all peoples, nations, and languages trembled and feared before him. Whom he would, he killed, and whom he would, he kept alive; whom he would, he raised up, and whom he would, he humbled. But when his heart was lifted up and his spirit was hardened so that he dealt proudly, he was brought down from his kingly throne, and his glory was taken from him. [Daniel 5:18-20]
The Antichrist will be defined by even greater dominance and pride. Both the book of Daniel and Revelation describe the end-times coalition of middle-eastern nations that will be united under the rule of Antichrist. The 10 horns of the beastly kingdom coming up out of the sea will be 10 kings under the command of Antichrist [Daniel 7:19-27, Revelation 17:12-14], and much like Nebuchadnezzar, the Antichrist will hold sway over multitudes of people on the earth and be relentlessly defiant before God. Likewise, as Nebuchadnezzar was brought low by the LORD of lords, so will Antichrist be brought down in the end.
“And the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months. It opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God, blaspheming his name and his dwelling, that is, those who dwell in heaven. Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation.” [Revelation 13:5-7]
Connection With Babylon Coming from the “North”
Finally, there is a recurring theme in the Scriptures about antichrist and his armies coming from the north to invade and attack the Holy Land. There is a strategic reason for this because the geography or Israel necessitates enemy armies to funnel in through the mountain ranges from the north. There is also a spiritual component, as the demonic strongholds of the ancient pagan “gods” have always been associated with the northern mountain regions of ancient Bashan, Assyria and Turkey. Daniel identifies the coming Antichrist at the time of the end as the “king of the north” [Daniel 11], and Ezekiel 38-39 clearly identifies the future Antichrist, called Gog, as invading Israel from the north. Consider some of the passages in Jeremiah’s prophecies about Babylon and King Nebuchadnezzar that also place an emphasis on the Northern invasion.
“For behold, I am calling all the tribes of the kingdoms of the north, declares the LORD, and they shall come, and every one shall set his throne at the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem, against all its walls all around and against all the cities of Judah.”
“Behold, I will send for all the tribes of the north, declares the LORD, and for Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and I will bring them against this land and its inhabitants, and against all these surrounding nations. I will devote them to destruction, and make them a horror, a hissing, and an everlasting desolation.”