2 Nephi 23-24: The Fall of Babylon

Book of Mormon Student Study Guide, (2000), 51–52


The kingdom of Judah was spared from destruction at the hands of the Assyrians in 721 B.C. However, because of the increasing wickedness of the people of Judah, the Babylonians conquered them about 587 B.C. It was to escape that destruction that the Lord led Lehi and his family away from Jerusalem. Babylon was a very worldly, idolatrous nation. These prophecies of Isaiah show that even though the Lord used Babylon to punish Judah, Babylon’s day of judgment would come just as Judah’s had.Because of Babylon’s worldliness and wickedness, it became a symbol for all worldliness and wickedness (see D&C 1:16; 133:14). The destruction of the spiritual Babylon will occur at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Consider how these prophecies of Isaiah will apply at that time and how they can encourage you to be faithful in a world where Babylon seems to have power. Note also in 2 Nephi 24 (Isaiah 14) that Isaiah compared the king of Babylon to Lucifer. From that passage we learn how Lucifer fell in the premortal life.
Jerusalem ruins

Photo by Gerald Silver on Lynn Hilton Expedition, 1976

Understanding the Scriptures

2 Nephi 23

Burden (v. 1)Message of judgment
Sanctified ones (v. 3)Righteous covenant people, Saints
Tumultuous (v. 4)Confused, disorderly
Mustereth (v. 4)Calls together
Desolate (vv. 9, 22)Empty
Arrogancy (v. 11)Pride, feelings of being above others
Ravished (v. 16)Seized and carried away by violence, raped
Fruit of the womb (v. 18)Small children
Doleful creatures (v. 21) Sorrowful creatures; this is referring to wild beasts that live in the desert
Satyrs (v. 21)Male goats or demons
Prolonged (v. 22)Lengthened

2 Nephi 23:11, 15, 19—The Sin of Pride

We read in 2 Nephi 23–24 that God condemned Babylon for the same kinds of sins that He condemned in the Israelites and the Assyrians—all centering around pride (see 2 Nephi 12:10–12; 13:15–26; 15:15, 21; 18:9–10; 20:12–15).

2 Nephi 24

Cleave (v. 1)Join with
Oppressors (vv. 2, 4)Those who rule over and mistreat them
Proverb (v. 4)A short saying that teaches a truth
Ceased (v. 4)Stopped being powerful
Scepters (v. 5)Staffs representing authority to rule
Hindereth (v. 6)Prevents or stops it
Pomp (v. 11)Splendor
Ascend (vv. 13–14)Go up
Carcass (v. 19)Dead body
Renowned (v. 20)Famous, celebrated for great achievements
Bittern (v. 23)A fish-eating bird, a heron
Besom (v. 23)Broom
Disannul (v. 27)Cancel, make ineffective
Rod (v. 29)Stick used for punishment or aid in walking
Out of the serpent’s root shall come forth a cockatrice, and … a fiery flying serpent (v. 29)From a lesser, nonpoisonous snake will come forth a poisonous snake
Root (v. 30)Source, origin
Dissolved (v. 31)Destroyed, ended

Studying the Scriptures

Do either activity A or B as you study 2 Nephi 23–24.

Activity A iconWrite a Quiz

Babylon destroyed

Isaiah’s prophecy of the destruction of Babylon and its king is quoted in 2 Nephi 23–24. Write a 10-question quiz that focuses on what you think are the most important concepts taught in these two chapters. Write the answers in parentheses after each question.

Activity B iconSummarize the Doctrine

  1. 1.

    Write several statements that summarize what you learn from 2 Nephi 24:4–20 about how Lucifer became Satan and what will eventually happen to him and those who serve him.

  2. 2.

    What else do you learn about Satan and his followers from Doctrine and Covenants 76:25–30, 33, 36–38, 44–46 and Moses 4:1–4?