Situated on the Euphrates river (picture, right, from McMath), which as a major river ensured permanent fertility. Babylon was already a major center in the patriarchal period. It was firmly part of the Assyrian empire in Amos' time. However in c. 612BC Babylon led a successful revolt against the Assyrians and so became the new center of Imperial power in the region.
Indirectly via Canaan and later directly through the exile Babylonian culture exercised a profound effect on the OT.
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