40 Bible Verses about empires
Most Relevant Verses
Then he commanded them: “I am about to be gathered to my people. Bury me with my fathers in the cave in the field of Ephron the Hittite. The cave is in the field of Machpelah near Mamre, in the land of Canaan. This is the field Abraham purchased from Ephron the Hittite as a burial site.
So David sent someone to inquire about her, and he reported, “This is Bathsheba, daughter of Eliam and wife of Uriah the Hittite.” David sent messengers to get her, and when she came to him, he slept with her. Now she had just been purifying herself from her uncleanness. Afterward, she returned home. The woman conceived and sent word to inform David: “I am pregnant.”read more.
David sent orders to Joab: “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” So Joab sent Uriah to David. When Uriah came to him, David asked how Joab and the troops were doing and how the war was going. Then he said to Uriah, “Go down to your house and wash your feet.” So Uriah left the palace, and a gift from the king followed him. But Uriah slept at the door of the palace with all his master’s servants; he did not go down to his house. When it was reported to David, “Uriah didn’t go home,” David questioned Uriah, “Haven’t you just come from a journey? Why didn’t you go home?” Uriah answered David, “The ark, Israel, and Judah are dwelling in tents, and my master Joab and his soldiers are camping in the open field. How can I enter my house to eat and drink and sleep with my wife? As surely as you live and by your life, I will not do this!” “Stay here today also,” David said to Uriah, “and tomorrow I will send you back.” So Uriah stayed in Jerusalem that day and the next. Then David invited Uriah to eat and drink with him, and David got him drunk. He went out in the evening to lie down on his cot with his master’s servants, but he did not go home. The next morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it with Uriah. In the letter he wrote:Put Uriah at the front of the fiercest fighting, then withdraw from him so that he is struck down and dies. When Joab was besieging the city, he put Uriah in the place where he knew the best enemy soldiers were. Then the men of the city came out and attacked Joab, and some of the men from David’s soldiers fell in battle; Uriah the Hittite also died. Joab sent someone to report to David all the details of the battle. He commanded the messenger, “When you’ve finished telling the king all the details of the battle— if the king’s anger gets stirred up and he asks you, ‘Why did you get so close to the city to fight? Didn’t you realize they would shoot from the top of the wall? At Thebez, who struck Abimelech son of Jerubbesheth? Didn’t a woman drop an upper millstone on him from the top of the wall so that he died? Why did you get so close to the wall?’—then say, ‘Your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also.’” Then the messenger left.When he arrived, he reported to David all that Joab had sent him to tell. The messenger reported to David, “The men gained the advantage over us and came out against us in the field, but we counterattacked right up to the entrance of the gate. However, the archers shot down on your soldiers from the top of the wall, and some of the king’s soldiers died. Your servant Uriah the Hittite is also dead.”
The time that the Israelites lived in Egypt was 430 years. At the end of 430 years, on that same day, all the Lord’s divisions went out from the land of Egypt.
Pul king of Assyria invaded the land, so Menahem gave Pul 75,000 pounds of silver so that Pul would support him to strengthen his grip on the kingdom. Then Menahem exacted 20 ounces of silver from each of the wealthy men of Israel to give to the king of Assyria. So the king of Assyria withdrew and did not stay there in the land. The rest of the events of Menahem’s reign, along with all his accomplishments, are written in the Historical Record of Israel’s Kings.
So Ahaz sent messengers to Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, saying, “I am your servant and your son. March up and save me from the power of the king of Aram and of the king of Israel, who are rising up against me.” Ahaz also took the silver and gold found in the Lord’s temple and in the treasuries of the king’s palace and sent them to the king of Assyria as a gift. So the king of Assyria listened to him and marched up to Damascus and captured it. He deported its people to Kir but put Rezin to death.read more.
King Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria. When he saw the altar that was in Damascus, King Ahaz sent a model of the altar and complete plans for its construction to Uriah the priest. Uriah built the altar according to all the instructions King Ahaz sent from Damascus. Therefore, by the time King Ahaz came back from Damascus, Uriah the priest had completed it. When the king came back from Damascus, he saw the altar. Then he approached the altar and ascended it. He offered his burnt offering and his grain offering, poured out his drink offering, and sprinkled the blood of his fellowship offerings on the altar. He took the bronze altar that was before the Lord in front of the temple between his altar and the Lord’s temple, and put it on the north side of his altar. Then King Ahaz commanded Uriah the priest, “Offer on the great altar the morning burnt offering, the evening grain offering, and the king’s burnt offering and his grain offering. Also offer the burnt offering of all the people of the land, their grain offering, and their drink offerings. Sprinkle on the altar all the blood of the burnt offering and all the blood of sacrifice. The bronze altar will be for me to seek guidance.” Uriah the priest did everything King Ahaz commanded. Then King Ahaz cut off the frames of the water carts and removed the bronze basin from each of them. He took the reservoir from the bronze oxen that were under it and put it on a stone pavement. To satisfy the king of Assyria, he removed from the Lord’s temple the Sabbath canopy they had built in the palace, and he closed the outer entrance for the king.
Shalmaneser king of Assyria attacked him, and Hoshea became his vassal and paid him tribute money. But the king of Assyria discovered Hoshea’s conspiracy. He had sent envoys to So king of Egypt and had not paid tribute money to the king of Assyria as in previous years. Therefore the king of Assyria arrested him and put him in prison. Then the king of Assyria invaded the whole land, marched up to Samaria, and besieged it for three years.read more.
In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria captured Samaria. He deported the Israelites to Assyria and settled them in Halah and by the Habor, Gozan’s river, and in the cities of the Medes.
After these faithful deeds, Sennacherib king of Assyria came and entered Judah. He laid siege to the fortified cities and intended to break into them. Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib had come and that he planned war on Jerusalem, so he consulted with his officials and his warriors about stopping up the waters of the springs that were outside the city, and they helped him. read more.
Many people gathered and stopped up all the springs and the stream that flowed through the land; they said, “Why should the kings of Assyria come and find plenty of water?” Then Hezekiah strengthened his position by rebuilding the entire broken-down wall and heightening the towers and the other outside wall. He repaired the supporting terraces of the city of David, and made an abundance of weapons and shields. He set military commanders over the people and gathered the people in the square of the city gate. Then he encouraged them, saying, “Be strong and courageous! Don’t be afraid or discouraged before the king of Assyria or before the large army that is with him, for there are more with us than with him. He has only human strength, but we have Yahweh our God to help us and to fight our battles.” So the people relied on the words of King Hezekiah of Judah. After this, while Sennacherib king of Assyria with all his armed forces besieged Lachish, he sent his servants to Jerusalem against King Hezekiah of Judah and against all those of Judah who were in Jerusalem, saying, “This is what King Sennacherib of Assyria says: ‘What are you relying on that you remain in Jerusalem under siege? Isn’t Hezekiah misleading you to give you over to death by famine and thirst when he says, “Yahweh our God will deliver us from the power of the king of Assyria”? Didn’t Hezekiah himself remove His high places and His altars and say to Judah and Jerusalem, “You must worship before one altar, and you must burn incense on it”? “‘Don’t you know what I and my fathers have done to all the peoples of the lands? Have any of the national gods of the lands been able to deliver their land from my power? Who among all the gods of these nations that my predecessors completely destroyed was able to deliver his people from my power, that your God should be able to do the same for you? So now, don’t let Hezekiah deceive you, and don’t let him mislead you like this. Don’t believe him, for no god of any nation or kingdom has been able to deliver his people from my power or the power of my fathers. How much less will your God deliver you from my power!’” His servants said more against the Lord God and against His servant Hezekiah. He also wrote letters to mock Yahweh, the God of Israel, saying against Him:Just like the national gods of the lands that did not deliver their people from my power, so Hezekiah’s God will not deliver His people from my power. Then they called out loudly in Hebrew to the people of Jerusalem, who were on the wall, to frighten and discourage them in order that he might capture the city. They spoke against the God of Jerusalem like they had spoken against the gods of the peoples of the earth, which were made by human hands. King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz prayed about this and cried out to heaven, and the Lord sent an angel who annihilated every brave warrior, leader, and commander in the camp of the king of Assyria. So the king of Assyria returned in disgrace to his land. He went to the temple of his god, and there some of his own children struck him down with the sword. So the Lord saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem from the power of King Sennacherib of Assyria and from the power of all others. He gave them rest on every side.
The Lord will bring on you, your people, and the house of your father, such a time as has never been since Ephraim separated from Judah—the king of Assyria is coming.” On that day
the Lord will whistle to the fly
that is at the farthest streams of the Nile
and to the bee that is in the land of Assyria. All of them will come and settle
in the steep ravines, in the clefts of the rocks,
in all the thornbushes, and in all the water holes.read more.
On that day the Lord will use a razor hired from beyond the Euphrates River—the king of Assyria—to shave the head, the hair on the legs, and to remove the beard as well.
In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria attacked all the fortified cities of Judah and captured them. Then the king of Assyria sent the Rabshakeh, along with a massive army, from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem. The Assyrian stood near the conduit of the upper pool, by the road to the Fuller’s Field. Eliakim son of Hilkiah, who was in charge of the palace, Shebna the court secretary, and Joah son of Asaph, the court historian, came out to him.read more.
The Rabshakeh said to them, “Tell Hezekiah:The great king, the king of Assyria, says this: What are you relying on? I say that your strategy and military preparedness are mere words. What are you now relying on that you have rebelled against me? Look, you are trusting in Egypt, that splintered reed of a staff that will enter and pierce the hand of anyone who leans on it. This is how Pharaoh king of Egypt is to all who trust in him. Suppose you say to me, ‘We trust in the Lord our God.’ Isn’t He the One whose high places and altars Hezekiah has removed, saying to Judah and Jerusalem, ‘You are to worship at this altar’? Now make a deal with my master, the king of Assyria. I’ll give you 2,000 horses if you’re able to supply riders for them! How then can you drive back a single officer among the weakest of my master’s officers and trust in Egypt for chariots and horsemen? Have I attacked this land to destroy it without the Lord’s approval? The Lord said to me, ‘Attack this land and destroy it.’” Then Eliakim, Shebna, and Joah said to the Rabshakeh, “Please speak to your servants in Aramaic, since we understand it. Don’t speak to us in Hebrew within earshot of the people who are on the wall.” But the Rabshakeh replied, “Has my master sent me to speak these words to your master and to you, and not to the men who are sitting on the wall, who are destined with you to eat their own excrement and drink their own urine?” Then the Rabshakeh stood and called out loudly in Hebrew:Listen to the words of the great king, the king of Assyria! This is what the king says: “Don’t let Hezekiah deceive you, for he cannot deliver you. Don’t let Hezekiah persuade you to trust in the Lord, saying, ‘The Lord will certainly deliver us! This city will not be handed over to the king of Assyria.’” Don’t listen to Hezekiah, for this is what the king of Assyria says: “Make peace with me and surrender to me. Then every one of you may eat from his own vine and his own fig tree and drink water from his own cistern until I come and take you away to a land like your own land—a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards. Beware that Hezekiah does not mislead you by saying, ‘The Lord will deliver us.’ Has any one of the gods of the nations delivered his land from the power of the king of Assyria?
But since our fathers angered the God of heaven, He handed them over to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, the Chaldean, who destroyed this temple and deported the people to Babylon. However, in the first year of Cyrus king of Babylon, he issued a decree to rebuild the house of God. He also took from the temple in Babylon the gold and silver articles of God’s house that Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the temple in Jerusalem and carried them to the temple in Babylon. He released them from the temple in Babylon to a man named Sheshbazzar, the governor by the appointment of King Cyrus.read more.
Cyrus told him, “Take these articles, put them in the temple in Jerusalem, and let the house of God be rebuilt on its original site.” Then this same Sheshbazzar came and laid the foundation of God’s house in Jerusalem. It has been under construction from that time until now, yet it has not been completed. So if it pleases the king, let a search of the royal archives in Babylon be conducted to see if it is true that a decree was issued by King Cyrus to rebuild the house of God in Jerusalem. Let the king’s decision regarding this matter be sent to us.
At that time Merodach-baladan son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a gift to Hezekiah since he heard that he had been sick and had recovered. Hezekiah was pleased with them, and showed them his treasure house—the silver, the gold, the spices, and the precious oil—and all his armory, and everything that was found in his treasuries. There was nothing in his palace and in all his realm that Hezekiah did not show them. Then the prophet Isaiah came to King Hezekiah and asked him, “Where did these men come from and what did they say to you?”Hezekiah replied, “They came to me from a distant country, from Babylon.”read more.
Isaiah asked, “What have they seen in your palace?”Hezekiah answered, “They have seen everything in my palace. There isn’t anything in my treasuries that I didn’t show them.” Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the Lord of Hosts: ‘The time will certainly come when everything in your palace and all that your fathers have stored up until this day will be carried off to Babylon; nothing will be left,’ says the Lord. ‘Some of your descendants who come from you will be taken away, and they will become eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.’”
for this is what the Lord says, ‘I am about to make you a terror to both yourself and those you love. They will fall by the sword of their enemies before your very eyes. I will hand Judah over to the king of Babylon, and he will deport them to Babylon and put them to the sword. I will give away all the wealth of this city, all its products and valuables. Indeed, I will hand all the treasures of the kings of Judah over to their enemies. They will plunder them, seize them, and carry them off to Babylon. As for you, Pashhur, and all who live in your house, you will go into captivity. You will go to Babylon. There you will die, and there you will be buried, you and all your friends that you prophesied falsely to.’”
“Ask the Lord on our behalf, since Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon is making war against us. Perhaps the Lord will perform for us something like all His past wonderful works so that Nebuchadnezzar will withdraw from us.” But Jeremiah answered, “This is what you are to say to Zedekiah: ‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I will repel the weapons of war in your hands, those you are using to fight the king of Babylon and the Chaldeans who are besieging you outside the wall, and I will bring them into the center of this city.read more.
I will fight against you with an outstretched hand and a mighty arm, with anger, rage, and great wrath. I will strike the residents of this city, both man and beast. They will die in a great plague. Afterward’”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“‘King Zedekiah of Judah, his officers, and the people—those in this city who survive the plague, the sword, and the famine—I will hand over to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, to their enemies, yes, to those who want to take their lives. He will put them to the sword; he won’t spare them or show pity or compassion.’
So now I have placed all these lands under the authority of My servant Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. I have even given him the wild animals to serve him. All nations will serve him, his son, and his grandson until the time for his own land comes, and then many nations and great kings will enslave him. “As for the nation or kingdom that does not serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and does not place its neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, that nation I will punish by sword, famine, and plague”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“until through him I have destroyed it. read more.
But as for you, do not listen to your prophets, diviners, dreamers, fortune-tellers, or sorcerers who say to you, ‘Don’t serve the king of Babylon!’ for they prophesy a lie to you so that you will be removed from your land. I will banish you, and you will perish. But as for the nation that will put its neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon and serve him, I will leave it in its own land, and that nation will cultivate it and reside in it.” This is the Lord’s declaration. I spoke to Zedekiah king of Judah in the same way: “Put your necks under the yoke of the king of Babylon, serve him and his people, and live! Why should you and your people die by the sword, famine, or plague as the Lord has threatened against any nation that does not serve the king of Babylon? Do not listen to the words of the prophets who are telling you, ‘You must not serve the king of Babylon,’ for they are prophesying a lie to you. ‘I have not sent them’—this is the Lord’s declaration—‘and they are prophesying falsely in My name; therefore, I will banish you, and you will perish—you and the prophets who are prophesying to you.’” Then I spoke to the priests and all these people, saying, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Do not listen to the words of your prophets. They are prophesying to you, claiming, “Look, very soon now the articles of the Lord’s temple will be brought back from Babylon.” They are prophesying a lie to you. Do not listen to them. Serve the king of Babylon and live! Why should this city become a ruin? If they are indeed prophets and if the word of the Lord is with them, let them intercede with the Lord of Hosts not to let the articles that remain in the Lord’s temple, in the palace of the king of Judah, and in Jerusalem go to Babylon.’ For this is what the Lord of Hosts says about the pillars, the sea, the water carts, and the rest of the articles that still remain in this city, those Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon did not take when he deported Jeconiah son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, from Jerusalem to Babylon along with all the nobles of Judah and Jerusalem. Yes, this is what the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel, says about the articles that remain in the temple of the Lord, in the palace of the king of Judah, and in Jerusalem: ‘They will be brought to Babylon and will remain there until I attend to them again.’ This is the Lord’s declaration. ‘Then I will bring them up and restore them to this place.’”
For this is what the Lord says: “When 70 years for Babylon are complete, I will attend to you and will confirm My promise concerning you to restore you to this place.
But Paul said to them, “They beat us in public without a trial, although we are Roman citizens, and threw us in jail. And now are they going to smuggle us out secretly? Certainly not! On the contrary, let them come themselves and escort us out!”
where he found a Jewish man named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla because Claudius had ordered all the Jews to leave Rome. Paul came to them,
The following night, the Lord stood by him and said, “Have courage! For as you have testified about Me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.”
“In the days of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, and this kingdom will not be left to another people. It will crush all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, but will itself endure forever.
An oracle against Babylon that Isaiah son of Amoz saw: Lift up a banner on a barren mountain.
Call out to them.
Wave your hand, and they will go
through the gates of the nobles. I have commanded My chosen ones;
I have also called My warriors,
who exult in My triumph,
to execute My wrath.read more.
Listen, a tumult on the mountains,
like that of a mighty people!
Listen, an uproar among the kingdoms,
like nations being gathered together!
The Lord of Hosts is mobilizing an army for war. They are coming from a far land,
from the distant horizon—
the Lord and the weapons of His wrath—
to destroy the whole country. Wail! For the day of the Lord is near.
It will come like destruction from the Almighty. Therefore everyone’s hands will become weak,
and every man’s heart will melt. They will be horrified;
pain and agony will seize them;
they will be in anguish like a woman in labor.
They will look at each other,
their faces flushed with fear. Look, the day of the Lord is coming—
cruel, with rage and burning anger—
to make the earth a desolation
and to destroy the sinners on it. Indeed, the stars of the sky and its constellations
will not give their light.
The sun will be dark when it rises,
and the moon will not shine. I will bring disaster on the world,
and their own iniquity, on the wicked.
I will put an end to the pride of the arrogant
and humiliate the insolence of tyrants. I will make man scarcer than gold,
and mankind more rare than the gold of Ophir. Therefore I will make the heavens tremble,
and the earth will shake from its foundations
at the wrath of the Lord of Hosts,
on the day of His burning anger. Like wandering gazelles
and like sheep without a shepherd,
each one will turn to his own people,
each one will flee to his own land. Whoever is found will be stabbed,
and whoever is caught will die by the sword. Their children will be smashed to death before their eyes;
their houses will be looted,
and their wives raped. Look! I am stirring up the Medes against them,
who cannot be bought off with silver
and who have no desire for gold. Their bows will cut young men to pieces.
They will have no compassion on little ones;
they will not look with pity on children. And Babylon, the jewel of the kingdoms,
the glory of the pride of the Chaldeans,
will be like Sodom and Gomorrah
when God overthrew them. It will never be inhabited
or lived in from generation to generation;
a nomad will not pitch his tent there,
and shepherds will not let their flocks rest there. But desert creatures will lie down there,
and owls will fill the houses.
Ostriches will dwell there,
and wild goats will leap about. Hyenas will howl in the fortresses,
and jackals, in the luxurious palaces.
Babylon’s time is almost up;
her days are almost over.
A voice was saying, “Cry out!”
Another said, “What should I cry out?”
“All humanity is grass,
and all its goodness is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flowers fade
when the breath of the Lord blows on them;
indeed, the people are grass. The grass withers, the flowers fade,
but the word of our God remains forever.”
Babylon will become a heap of rubble,
a jackals’ den,
a desolation and an object of scorn,
without inhabitant. They will roar together like young lions;
they will growl like lion cubs. While they are flushed with heat, I will serve them a feast,
and I will make them drunk so that they revel.
Then they will fall asleep forever
and never wake up.
This is the Lord’s declaration.read more.
I will bring them down like lambs to the slaughter,
like rams together with male goats.
“My king, as you were watching, a colossal statue appeared. That statue, tall and dazzling, was standing in front of you, and its appearance was terrifying. The head of the statue was pure gold, its chest and arms were silver, its stomach and thighs were bronze, its legs were iron, and its feet were partly iron and partly fired clay. read more.
As you were watching, a stone broke off without a hand touching it, struck the statue on its feet of iron and fired clay, and crushed them. Then the iron, the fired clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were shattered and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors. The wind carried them away, and not a trace of them could be found. But the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain and filled the whole earth. “This was the dream; now we will tell the king its interpretation. Your Majesty, you are king of kings. The God of heaven has given you sovereignty, power, strength, and glory. Wherever people live—or wild animals, or birds of the air—He has handed them over to you and made you ruler over them all. You are the head of gold. “After you, there will arise another kingdom, inferior to yours, and then another, a third kingdom, of bronze, which will rule the whole earth. A fourth kingdom will be as strong as iron; for iron crushes and shatters everything, and like iron that smashes, it will crush and smash all the others. You saw the feet and toes, partly of a potter’s fired clay and partly of iron—it will be a divided kingdom, though some of the strength of iron will be in it. You saw the iron mixed with clay, and that the toes of the feet were partly iron and partly fired clay—part of the kingdom will be strong, and part will be brittle. You saw the iron mixed with clay—the peoples will mix with one another but will not hold together, just as iron does not mix with fired clay. “In the days of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, and this kingdom will not be left to another people. It will crush all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, but will itself endure forever. You saw a stone break off from the mountain without a hand touching it, and it crushed the iron, bronze, fired clay, silver, and gold. The great God has told the king what will happen in the future. The dream is true, and its interpretation certain.”
A second angel followed, saying: “It has fallen, Babylon the Great has fallen, who made all nations drink the wine of her sexual immorality, which brings wrath.”
After this I saw another angel with great authority coming down from heaven, and the earth was illuminated by his splendor. He cried in a mighty voice:It has fallen,
Babylon the Great has fallen!
She has become a dwelling for demons,
a haunt for every unclean spirit,
a haunt for every unclean bird,
and a haunt for every unclean and despicable beast. For all the nations have drunk
the wine of her sexual immorality,
which brings wrath.
The kings of the earth
have committed sexual immorality with her,
and the merchants of the earth
have grown wealthy from her excessive luxury.read more.
Then I heard another voice from heaven:Come out of her, My people,
so that you will not share in her sins
or receive any of her plagues. For her sins are piled up to heaven,
and God has remembered her crimes. Pay her back the way she also paid,
and double it according to her works.
In the cup in which she mixed,
mix a double portion for her. As much as she glorified herself and lived luxuriously,
give her that much torment and grief,
for she says in her heart,
“I sit as a queen;
I am not a widow,
and I will never see grief.” For this reason her plagues will come in one day—
death and grief and famine.
She will be burned up with fire,
because the Lord God who judges her is mighty.