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BABYLON - WHAT CITY IS SYMBOLISED AS BABYLON IN THE BIBLE?
 
Revelation warns against the Woman. An angel says in Revelation 17:7, 18 that he will show the readers who she is.  So we get the following information.

The author is taken to the desert by an angel to see her.  Why the desert?  Jerusalem was not in a desert and neither was Rome.  The real Babylon however was.  The author is taken away in the spirit which is a way of saying he was not physically taken there.  The Woman then is clearly very like Babylon in her paganism.  She is not Jerusalem.

The Woman is called "Sodom" and "Egypt" and "Babylon" (Revelation 11:8; 17:5, 14:8, 18:10, 21).  But the Woman Sodom is not necessarily the same as the Woman Babylon.

The Woman is located where Jesus was crucified (Revelation 11:8).

The Woman's dwelling place becomes a River of Blood (Revelation 14:20).

The Woman is Split into 3 Divisions (Revelation 16:19).

The Woman "sits on many waters" (Revelation 17:1) and these "waters" are diverse peoples (Revelation 17:15).

The Woman has fornicated with the Heathen World against God (Revelation 17:2, 18:3, 18:9).

The Woman is born along on a Beast (Revelation 17:3).

The Woman is the Mother of all Whores and Abominable Atrocities (Revelation 17:5).

The Woman is Drunk on the Blood of Old Testament and New Testament Saints (Revelation 17:6, 18:24, 18:20).

The Woman is responsible for the death of the Prophets and Apostles (Revelation 17:6, 18:20, 18:24).

The Woman sits on 7 Mountains (Revelation 17:9).

The Woman is a dwelling place of devils (Revelation 18:2).

The Woman is a Prison for Evil Spirits (Revelation 18:2).

The Woman is a Cage, full of Dirty Birds (Revelation 18:2).

The Woman has a Full Cup of Iniquities (Revelation 18:5).

The Woman is Doubly Judged (Revelation 18:6).

The Woman considers herself a Queen (Revelation 18:7).

The Woman still considers herself Married (Revelation 18:7).

The Woman was Rich and Mourned when Judged (Revelation 18:10, 16-19).

The Woman merchandised the Souls of Men (Revelation 18:13).

The Woman is pronounced Desolate (Revelation 18:19).

The Woman's sound of Joy is taken away (Revelation 18:22).

The Woman's position of Creativity is taken away (Revelation 18:22).

The Woman's authority as someone equipped to Judge is removed (Revelation 18:22).

The Woman's Light-Bearing ability is snuffed out (Revelation 18:23).

The Woman's Bridegroom has Divorced Her (Revelation 18:23).

The Woman's Engagement/Marriage has been annulled/abrogated (Rev 18:23).

The Woman is called "This/That Great City" (Revelation 14:8, 16:19, 17:18, 18:10, 16, 18, 19, 21, 21:10).

Babylon the Great is Babulon a megala in the Greek.  The term appears five times in Revelation (14:8, 16:19, 17:5, 18:2, 18:21).  Otherwise it gets the great city.  Jerusalem gets the name the great city too but only in 11:8.

There is no evidence however that the great city term cannot refer to more than one city.  Those who say it does then conclude that Jerusalem is the Whore of Babylon.  But Revelation takes steps to say that Jerusalem's symbol is not Babylon but Sodom and Egypt.

Who is this Woman the Whore of Babylon or Babylon the Great? Notice all her sins are spiritual ones so she is not a political entity.  She is not an earthly empire.  She is a religion.  Her divorce means she is a Church that calls herself Christian for the only person she can divorce is Jesus who states that the Church is his bride.  She is not Israel for Israel was divorced in the past and this lady is not divorced yet.  And there is a difference between saying Israel is the bride of God and the Church is the bride of Christ.

She appears in a context where a lot of people are killed by plagues and punishments from God and the rest who live are into worshipping demons and idols which cannot see or hear or walk (Revelation 9:20).  The implication is that she will work in a period in which the Christians are not on the earth.  It is one thing to worship something such as a statue.  But Catholics worship a Jesus who takes the form of bread.  It could be understood that the idol here is the bread and/or worshipping a body that you pretend is there. It is like worshipping an idol that is not there.  That is even more extreme and crafty than adoring an obvious idol.
 
Some believe it means the literal Babylon - now a ruined city near Baghdad - which was once the centre of a great empire.
 
Others believe Babylon is Rome.
 
Others believe it is Jerusalem.
 
Babylon sits on seven hills. Revelation says that the seven hills are seven kings. Five of the kings have fallen, one is currently reigning and the one that is hypocrisy incarnate is still to come. See 17:10.
 
Commentators say the five that have fallen refers to the fallen empires of Babylon, Egypt, Assyria, Greece and Medo-Persia. The reigning "hill" is Rome. The new empire has not come yet. The new Empire is like Babylon in its outlook which is why it is called the Whore of Babylon. Revelation would not symbolise the kings as hills and then say the hills were kings. Why bother giving a symbol you are going to clarify? Why not just say kings? The answer is that the hills are both kings and real hills - the seven hills of Rome.
 
The whore is not the real Babylon for Babylon is listed as an empire that is dead and gone.
 
Some say that as Rome is the reigning empire, the whore cannot be Rome.
 
One thing is for sure, Revelation is pointing to an Empire that will succeed Rome. The Whore is on the planet. The Roman Catholic Church is the only possible candidate. But makes Rome the new empire after Rome? Not if the new Rome is a different empire ie a spiritual one! The seven empires she sits on were also religions as well as empires. She has their DNA.
 
The Book of Revelation tells us that the Roman Catholic Church is a godless pagan organisation which it calls the whore of Babylon or Babylon the Great. Her title in full according to Revelation 17 is Mystery Babylon the Great, The Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the Earth. Revelation takes its symbols from the Old Testament. Woman is used as a symbol of a Church "I have likened the daughter of Zion to a comely and delicate woman" (Jeremiah 6:2). Whore is a bad woman meaning bad Church.  Who is the whore sold to? To whom does she sell herself? The answer Revelation gives is to the kings of the earth. She is not an empire that takes over them. She is a religion they embrace.
 
Babylon is the Greek form of the name of the city in what is now Iraq. The name is Babilu. It means the Gate of God (Helps to the Study of the Bible, page 188). Ancient Babylon, though it was a powerful pagan city, to many would seem hardly the perfect name for the evil personified figure in Revelation. It meant Gate of God. And Babylon was not as good a symbol of evil or paganism as Egypt was. But if the author of Revelation wanted to use Babylon as the symbol for a Church that claimed to be the Gate of God or the one true Church or the way to Heaven then he was spot on. He picked the right name.
 
The Mystery Babylon is a religion because a political empire or commercial one is no mystery. Every religion claims to serve mystery and be mystery. John as good as wrote that she was Religion Babylon the Great, in other words, the most powerful religion that ever graced the earth. Roman Catholicism fits the bill.
 
The ancient godless city of Babylon was destroyed so what does Babylon stand for here? The proof that this is not the Roman Empire which existed when the book was written is that no hint is given that the whore is an empire or a kingdom in the political sense. It is a spiritual kingdom, the Catholic Church is a spiritual kingdom with Pope as Emperor and the priests and bishops under him to help him rule. The merchants of the world mourn Babylon at a distance as she is destroyed so she is not a commercial or political empire though she may get involved in both. Pagan Rome is referred to in Romans 13 by Paul the apostle as having been set up by God to administer justice and he tells believers to respect it. Pagan Rome was not unusually evil. It was evil in the sense that its religion was false. Those who look at the Catholic Church and don't see enough hatred and evil in that faith should not conclude that it cannot be the Whore of Babylon.
 
New Light on the Most Ancient East, by V. Childe who was an archaeologist (1957, page 185) says that Babylon used the cross as a major symbol. “The swastika and the cross, common on stamps and plaques, were religious or magical symbols as in Babylonia and Elam in the earliest prehistoric period.” The Cross is the major symbol of Catholicism.
 
Babylon is not a symbol for Jerusalem as some wish. Babylon was the ancient capital of paganism that was considered reprobate by God and totally hostile to truth. Jerusalem was the city of the Jews which could by no means be given such an awful symbol as the Jews were the true faith supposedly until they revolted into the changes made for Judaism by Christ. But even then they were better than the pagans. Babylon was Rome. Scholars disagree on whether it was pagan Rome or Rome masquerading as Christianity that was meant.
 
We read about Christian martyrs whose bodies will be exposed in the city called Sodom and Egypt where their Lord Jesus was crucified (Revelation 11:8). This is undoubtedly referring to Jerusalem. So Jerusalem had got its nicknames, Sodom and Egypt. Babylon was another city and only Rome could be that city.  There is no reason to say that the whore is Jerusalem.  Also Revelation would have called Jerusalem Babylon if it were the whore.  Babylon and Jerusalem are distinct.  Babylon can only mean another great city - Rome.
 
Why does Revelation refer to the capital city of Judaism as Sodom and Egypt? Sodom indicates sexual depravity and Egyptian paganism. Clearly it was Jerusalem as a Roman centre that was meant. Jerusalem never had much power in the world as the whore of Babylon has in his vision. At the time John wrote, Jerusalem belonged to Rome not the Jews.  Jerusalem was not like Sodom or Egypt even under the Romans.  If it is Jewish Jerusalem that is meant then it is being condemned despite its having the true faith from God and the holy scriptures and its good works as spiritually evil.  If Judaism is being called Sodom and pagan then it is black inside despite seeming pious. 

Revelations two condemned cities are symbols and centres of religious evil not political.  The whore of Sodom or the whore of Egypt do not hint at religion as well as whore of Babylon does.  Babylon also persecuted the Jews as did the Roman Catholic Church so Babylon is a good fit.  

It is interesting that Revelation tells you straight that Sodom Egypt is Jerusalem and just gives clues about which city the whore is.  It is as if it is not current Rome he means but soon to be "Christian" Rome.  So all he can do is give clues for it is not here yet and the clues read as if you need to watch future events to understand the clues.

If Peter was the first pope - and we know he supervised the Jerusalem Church then at the time - clearly then the condemnation could be directed at his Church and the whore of Babylon refers to the Church when it moves to Rome.  If Peter resigned the papacy it could be that he was not pope then and was not pope in Rome.
 
The Roma coin issued by Vespasian in 71 AD could be the inspiration for the book of Revelation. It depicts a goddess, Roma, in the same pose as the whore of Revelation sitting on hills with what seems to be water at her feet. Her pose is arrogant, salacious, drunk and suggestive. Revelation using this image would indicate that what John was writing about the whore would be valid after 71 AD. He seems to have expected the image to become standard which was why he used it so much. It didn't but that would be beside the point.
 
Revelation 18:20, 24 reports gloating over the fall of the whore. It calls on saints and apostles and prophets to rejoice for God has judged her for the way she treated them. Catholics say apostles only existed in the first century because to be an apostle you had to see the risen Jesus. But the text does not say it meant the top apostles. The Catholics know fine well that the word apostle was used to describe people who didn't have visions but who were merely missionaries. The text does not say it mean the official twelve apostles. The Church always used the word apostle and prophet loosely at times to speak of people who were not regarded as additional apostles to the 12 or as prophets with full authority.
 
Catholics say that the whore is not the beast. This is correct. The book says she rides on the back of the beast. They say she is in an alliance with the seven-headed Beast from Revelation 13:1–10. That Beast was the symbol of pagan rule. We know this for the symbolism used to describe the best takes animal elements from four major pagan empires (compare Revelation 13:1–2 with Daniel. 7:1–8). Catholics are mistaken to assume that the beast is pagan Rome and the whore is Jerusalem. The two were NOT in an alliance. That is a Catholic lie. The woman rides the beast and controls it. JERUSALEM NEVER CONTROLLED ROME BUT THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH DID CONTROL ROME! Babylon is described as the Mother of Harlots and of ALL the world's abominations. The beast is one expression of those abominations and she is his mother. Now you see that clerical child abuse is not the only thing that top level Catholics cover up.
 
The Catholics say that the woman sits on seven mountains but Rome sits on seven hills not mountains. Let us pretend that Revelation really says that. It doesn't. Revelation is symbolically exaggerating the hills as mountains to indicate the significance of the whore. The seven hills of Rome are meant. They are the seven most important hills in the world so they are represented as mountains to reflect that. The Catholics note that the seven mountains are symbols of seven kings five of whom have fallen and one lives now and the last is yet to come and will reign briefly (Revelation 17:10). Would she sit on seven kings? Not literally. The Catholics use this to argue that just like the whore was said to sit on many waters and the waters represented people that her sitting on the mountains was not intended to indicate where she was sitting.
 
Ask yourself this. We are told the whore sits on seven mountains. Then we are told the seven mountains stand for seven kings. But we know the whore as an empire can have her seat on seven hills meaning the city of Rome and these seven hills can be used as symbols for the kings. A symbol does not have to refer to one and only one thing. Revelation gives us no reason to deny that the whore really ruled from the seven hills geographically. Therefore we must interpret it as saying she did.
 
The Catholics observe that the seven mountains on which the whore reposes are symbols of seven kings five of whom have fallen and one lives now and the last is yet to come and will reign briefly (Revelation 17:10). They argue that the whore is not the Catholic Church for the writer refers to a king who lives in his day. The writer was writing in the first century and the Catholic Church had only existed a few decades and not long enough for five kings to have gone. The Catholics think as we have seen, that the whore is Jerusalem. They think the kings are the Roman emperors. But the Roman emperors were not Jews. If they were dominated by the whore and the whore was Jewish Jerusalem they would have been Jews.
 
It was an angel not the writer who spoke of the sixth king as reigning then. Let's look at the context. The writer sees the woman. The angel says he will explain the symbolism of the woman and the beast that carries her. He says the beast existed once but does not exist now. He says it will appear again one more time and then will be destroyed forever. He says the men of the world will marvel how the beast that once existed and now does not exist will exist again. He says the woman sits on seven hills which can be understood also as symbols. They stand for seven kings and the sixth reigns and the seventh is yet to come. The angel means the king only reigns at the time depicted not in real time. So it is not true that the author of Revelation pinpointed the existence of the whore in his own day.
 
Since Jerusalem had no line of kings in the first century that matches what the Angel said. The beast then was not Jerusalem. It was not the Rome of the writer's day. It was future Rome. We know that Babylon was used as a nickname for Rome.
 
Nothing tells us in Revelation that the whore existed when Revelation was written. Therefore pagan Rome as evil as it was was not the whore. The whore was its successor - so-called Christian Rome.
 
Jesus blamed the Pharisees for the blood of all the saints and Revelation blames Babylon. But Revelation sees the whore as a manifestation of an evil occult power that always worked against God so the power that became Roman Catholicism could have influenced the Pharisees. The argument that the whore is Jerusalem because Jesus said the Pharisees were to blame for all that bloodshed is invalid. The Pharisees were not necessarily Jerusalem men or representative of it.
 
The whore rests on seven hills which are believed to be the seven hills of Rome. The whore is Catholic Rome.
 
Some object that the Vatican City which is only a tiny part of Rome and not on the seven hills cannot be the centre of the whore of Babylon for the whore is on seven hills in Revelation 17:9. But that has only been the case with the Vatican in the larger part of the twentieth century. The Vatican is still part of Rome though it is a separate state from Italy. The Book of Revelation does not mean that the entire headquarters of the evil empire will be spread out on the seven hills but that the city that will be the headquarters will be spread out. The size of the Vatican is irrelevant. The Vatican is only a city-state within Rome that rules the whole of Rome, its diocese, spiritually and does the same with the rest of the world. The size of the Vatican does not save Catholicism from the charge of being the harlot on the seven hills.
 
Rome not the Vatican is the headquarters of the Church for the Pope claims to be bishop of Rome not bishop of the Vatican. The Vatican City and its size has no relevance.
 
The diocese of Rome is the head of the Catholic Church not the Vatican. That is why we can’t listen to people who say the Vatican City and Rome are two separate cities – physically and verbally they are not. The point they want to foist on us is that Rome can’t be the whore because Rome doesn’t run the Church but the Vatican does (see Pope Fiction page 102). The pope is bishop of Rome not the Vatican. Rome is the head diocese of the world.
 
The book Pope Fiction says that Revelation 17:9 says the whore is a city resting on seven hills using the word ore the Greek word for mountain. It concludes then that the whore is not Rome because Rome doesn’t rest on seven mountains but on seven small hills that aren’t even big enough to be called hills. Obviously unsure of itself the book then starts to say that mountains here could be a symbol for kingdoms. Yes the Bibles uses the mountain symbolism for kingdoms but it always says so when it does this. To say Revelation is being symbolic here leaves you unable to make any sense of it. The author is exaggerating the hills by calling them mountains to show that the city is very powerful and almost reaches up to heaven in its arrogance. Or perhaps the author did mean hills not mountains – many Bible translations have hills. Pope Fiction then dares to say the whore is Jerusalem – but there is no way it could be. Really! Jerusalem the seat of the true faith both in its Christian and Jewish forms could not be the whore of the earth or Babylon for only the city that is the worst for paganism and evil – Rome – could be.
 
Jerusalem is built on seven hills or mountains Zion, Moriah, Goath, Gareb, Acra, Bezetha and Ophel. As Jerusalem is to the Jews so Rome is to the Catholics. Revelation may play on the similarities of the two cities to make this point.

Jerusalem or Pagan Rome did not make all ship-owners rich (18:19) and the prophecy says that the whore does. The whore has to be Catholic Rome. This means that the Catholic Church is secretly supreme in world affairs for it is not plain that Rome is behind every industry. It is behind a world conspiracy. But it is certain that the Church of Rome is far more powerful than the Roman Empire ever was and has far more money and has its finger stuck in pies all over the world so what is said applies best to it. All Catholics are employees of the Church. They are required to spread the power and influence of the Church though most of them don’t do it. A Catholic ship-building company that has nothing to do with the Vatican would still be counted in prophecy as the whore owning the company.
 
The suggestion that the whore is Jerusalem must be seen for what it is. Pure anti-Semitism and advocacy of a violent fear and hatred of the Jews. The Roman Catholic Church is trying to encourage the suggestion and must pay the legal penalty.
 
The Jehovah’s Witnesses suggestion that the whore is just any religion that differs from theirs is unacceptable. Why did the author of Revelation go to so much trouble to disguise what he was saying if he just meant that? It was well known in those days that Christians despised other religions as false and satanic.
 
The whore was and is Catholic Rome.