Ancient Israel fell because of apostasy and rebellion against the Lord. Babylon was used as an instrument of destruction when, in the days of Zedekiah, the last king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar overthrew Jerusalem. The scriptures describe what transpired the day when the house of the Lord was burned, the walls of Jerusalem were broken down, and those who escaped the sword were carried captive to Babylon:
"And the Lord God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place:"But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against his people, till there was no remedy.
"Therefore he brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion upon young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for age: he gave them all into his hand." (2 Chron. 36:15-17.)
Elder Bruce R. McConkie wrote of Babylon's impact upon Jerusalem:
"It was in the days of Isaiah and Jeremiah that the prophetic word began to deal at great length with Babylon of Babylonia and her impact upon the ancient saints in Israel. As Jerusalem was the holy city where Jehovah's word was law, so Babylon was the evil metropolis from which the will of Satan went forth. Jerusalem was the capital city of the Lord's earthly kingdom; Babylon held a like status in the earthly kingdom of Lucifer." (The Millennial Messiah, p. 422.)