Peter Leithart on a tale of two imperialisms :
It is common these days to read the Bible as an anti-imperial epic, the story of God and Israel, then (for Christians) God and Jesus, against empire. Come out, come out from Babylon, my people! is the theme.
Its a hard sell for all sorts of reasons. Jeremiah urges the people of Judah to enter not exit Babylon (Jeremiah 27, 29). Isaiah invests Cyrus the Persian conqueror with Davidic titleshe is the Lords servant and shepherd and anointed one (Isaiah 44-45). Heroes like Joseph, Daniel, and Mordecai end up as chief advisors to emperors. In Scripture, there is no such thing as empire but only empires , and they are not all the same. Some are Babels, some beasts; some are rods of discipline, some provide refuge for the people of God.