What is Mystery Babylon of Revelation chapters 17 and 18?
First of all, it is called by John a “mystery.” This means that either it is not easily understood or solved, or that it cannot be solved until due time. John is astonished when he sees her. He would never have expected her perhaps.
A list of traits of Babylon:
1. “has rule over the kings of the earth.” Rev. 17:8 It takes 10 kings to defeat her. A Superpower.
2. Great wealth and luxury and high prices.
3. Responsible for the murders of saints and prophets, and indeed “all the slain upon the earth”
Candidates for Babylon I have heard of are: Rome, Jerusalem, New York, London, and Babylon itself rebuilt in Iraq. Another, non-city candidate I have heard is “the ungodly world system.”
Rev. 17:18 “And the woman which you saw is that great city that has rule over the kings of the earth.”
This one eliminates Rome, unless you go with a preterist interpretation, where it was already fulfilled. But then I would ask, so did “my people come out of her” out of Rome? No, they did not. And Rome was not burned in one day by the beast and 10 kings. Present day Rome certainly does not “have rule over the kings of the earth.” However, Jerusalem appears to have such control. Benjamin Netanyahu even boasted that he has files of the secrets of everybody. It has now been revealed that Jeffrey Epstein’s island was a blackmailing operation, by which he, on behalf of Israeli Intelligence, would film important powerful people engaging in sex with minors, and then be able to control those people by blackmail.
Rev. 17:16 “And the ten horns which you saw, and the beast, these will hate the prostitute, and they will lay her waste, and bare, and eat her flesh, and burn her up with fire.”
So, the 10 kings and the beast will hate this city. They are the ones who will actually attack and burn Babylon. This eliminates certainly, the idea that Babylon is the ungodly world system. Why would the beast and Satan hate its own? The beast does, however, hate Israel and Jerusalem.
This also tells us that we are talking about maybe a world superpower, because it takes 10 kings to gang up on it to defeat it. Also, it had had “rule over the kings of the earth.”
I declare that Rome and “the ungodly world system” are eliminated as candidates.
That really only leaves Jerusalem, New York, London, and Babylon resurrected.
Why New York? (and by extension USA) Because it has some rule over the kings of the earth, both since the United Nations is there, and because other world government entities are there, like the International Monetary Fund, etc. Also that the USA is a military power throwing its weight around everywhere. Yet, much of the decision-making done in the American government is done by people who have dual citizenship in Israel. Especially decisions about where to send American military troops and foreign financial aid.
Why London? Well, that is the heaviest concentration of super-wealthy banks in the world, plus the British Intelligence has more control in the world than people realize.
I say that it is the club of the super-wealthy that are generally responsible for more human deaths than any one.
A re-built Babylon is remotely possible. That would have to be quite a distance in the future.
There is no entity in the past, like would be needed in a preterist point of view, that would fit Babylon, in my opinion.
Where is America in end times prophecy? It is gone by then, unless America is Babylon. I am beginning to think that in 2 Thessalonians, where Paul said, “and you know what is restraining the beast, until it is taken out of the way,” I’m beginning to think that only America is in the way. And that is what must be “taken out of the way” with its pesky constitution.
But in conclusion, the best candidate for being Mystery Babylon, if a city, is Jerusalem. It has rule over the kings of the earth. The beast hates Israel and Jerusalem, and would love to burn her down, and in Rev. 11:13 it says Jerusalem is struck by a great earthquake (which would probably cause fires). Jesus said in Matthew 23:35, when he was in Jerusalem, that “this generation” perhaps meaning the ilk of the Pharisees, would be responsible for “all the blood of the righteous that gets spilled upon the earth…” Which is pretty much the same as Revelation 18:24, “And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints, indeed of all the slain upon the earth.” Furthermore, Revelation and Matthew match up again, when you compare the admonition in Revelation to “come out of her, my people” to what Jesus said in Matthew, to get out of the city, and flee to the hills, because Jerusalem will be attacked and destroyed. Babylon being Jerusalem also fits with the Apostle John’s astonishment when he saw her. John, being a Jew from Israel, would indeed be astonished.