There is a key to understanding the book of Revelation and that key is the first verse of the book "things which must shortly come to pass" over 1900 years ago. Once someone understands that "Mystery Babylon" is Jerusalem, the rest is easy.
1 - Mystery Babylon is continually
called the "great city" (Revelation 14:8; 16:19; 17:18; 18:10,16,18,19)
as is Jerusalem (Revelation 11:8)
2 - It is described as
receiving God's wrath (Revelation 14:8,19; 16:19) as is Jerusalem
(Matthew 22:7; 23:37,38; Mark 12:9; Luke 13:34,35; 19:27,41-44; 20:16;
21:20; 23:28-31; Acts 6:14; 7:51,52; Galatians 4:21-31; 1 Thessalonians
3 - It is said to be fornicating (Revelation 14:8;
17:2) as is Jerusalem (Revelation 11:8. In the OT when Babylon was about
to be used by God to judge Jerusalem, Jerusalem is said to be
fornicating also (Ezek. 16:28, 30) (Jer. 3:1, 6,8.
4 - It is said
that outside the city blood flowed for 1600 furlongs (200 miles)
(Revelation 14:20), this is the north-south length of the land of Judea.
Also, Josephus speaks of rivers of blood where dead bodies were washing
up because they were slaughtered by the Romans and remained unburied.
He also relates of the blood flow actually putting out fires in houses.
- Great hail weighing one talent is said to fall upon men there
(Revelation 16:21). Josephus tells of the Roman catapults being used to
cast whitewashed boulders over the walls of Jerusalem and they each
weighed one talent.
6 - It is described as the great whore
(Revelation 17:2), which is fitting for apostate Jerusalem being
estranged from God. Again, in the OT, when Babylon was to judge
Jerusalem, the prophet Ezekiel and Jeremiah call Jerusalem a harlot, a
whore and a whorish woman (Ezek. 16:28, 30) (Jer. 3:1, 6, 8.
It is described as being adorned in OT priestly apparel (Revelation
17:4, 5; 18:16) which is fitting for apostate Jerusalem having a form of
godliness but being far from God. Even on the forehead is written
"Mother of harlots . . ." just like "Holiness to the Lord" is written on
the foreheads of the OT priesthood (Exodus 28:36-38).
8 - It is clearly not literal Babylon, as it is called a "mystery" (Revelation 17:5).
- It is being held responsible for the "blood of the saints" and the
"blood of the martyrs of Jesus (Revelation 17:6; 18:24) just as
Jerusalem was (Matthew 23:29-39; 1 Thessalonians 2:14-16, see references
in #2 above also).
10 - It can be shown that the NT constantly contrasts two Jerusalems:
10a - Heavenly Jerusalem (Hebrews 11:16; 12:22) VS Earthly Jerusalem (Galatians 4:21-31).
10b - The city with foundations (Hebrews 11:10) VS the "no continuing" city (Hebrews 13:14)
10c - The city whose builder is God (Hebrews 11:10) VS the city whose builder is man (Galatians 4:21-31)
10d - The Jerusalem to come (Hebrews 13:14) VS the Jerusalem that "now is" (in Paul's day, Galatians 4:25)
10e - The Jerusalem that is above (Galatians 4:26) VS the Jerusalem that is below (Galatians 4:21-31)
10f - The Jerusalem that is free (Galatians 4:26) VS the Jerusalem that is in bondage (Galatians 4:25)
I believe I can carry this contrast on into Revelation and establish the following additional ones:
10g - The Holy City (Revelation 21:2; 22:19) VS the Wicked City (Revelation 17-18)
10h - The Bride (Revelation 21:9; 22:17) VS the Harlot (Revelation 17:15,16)
10i - New Jerusalem (Revelation 3:12; 21:2) VS Old Earthly Jerusalem.
- It is said to make war with the Lamb (Revelation 17:14) as is
Jerusalem (see references in #2 above) and the first-century Jews
(Almost every chapter in the book of Acts!). When Saul of Tarsus
persecuted the Christians, Jesus said, "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou
Me?" (Acts 9:4).
12 - The beast hates her, makes her desolate
and naked, eats her flesh and burns her with fire (Revelation 17:16),
which is exactly what the Romans did to Jerusalem.
13 - The
saints abiding in Babylon were told to escape (Revelation 18:4) as were
the saints abiding in Jerusalem at the time of the Roman siege (Luke
14 - It claims it is not a "widow" (Revelation 18:7),
but if it is Jerusalem then it is fitting to be called a widow for she
killed her own husband (Jesus).
15 - In its judgment it
experiences death, mourning, famine and being burned with fire
(Revelation 18:8 which is very descriptive of what happens in the siege
of Jerusalem in 70 AD.
16 - Her judgment is an act of God's
vengeance (Revelation 18:20) as is Jerusalem's (Luke 21:22; 1
Thessalonians 2:14-16; 2 Thessalonians 1:8; Hebrews 10:28-31).
- Jerusalem is fittingly called "spiritually . . . Sodom and Egypt"
(Revelation 11:8 and in the same passage called "the great city" (see #1
above). Sodom was destroyed for fornication, Babylon in Revelation is
destroyed for fornication, and Jerusalem was destroyed for spiritual
fornication. Egypt was destroyed for holding Israel in bondage, Babylon
is destroyed for persecuting the saints and holding them in bondage,
Jerusalem was destroyed for persecuting the saints and holding them in
18 - The "voice of the bridegroom" and of the
"bride" was to be heard no more in her (Revelation 18:23) and these
terms are associated with Jesus and the church (John 3:29). Since Jesus
told His church to depart from Jerusalem (Revelation 18:4), then the
bride was removed and thus the voice of the bridegroom was also removed.
- The seven mountains on which the woman, "Mystery Babylon" sits are
the seven mountains of Judea on which Jerusalem sits as the capitol
city: Mt. Acra, Mt. Gareb, Mt. Ophel, Mt. Moriah, Mt. Bezetha, Mt. Goath
and Mt. Zion. Jerusalem is a city of seven mountains (Rev. 17:9).
20 - If Peter remained with the church in Jerusalem (Galatians 2:7), then he metaphorically calls it Babylon in 1 Peter 5:13.
based on the above reasons I believe that the Babylon of Revelation is
an apocalyptic style description of Jerusalem and its destruction in 70
AD and without understanding that, the rest of the book cannot be