BABYLON

Revelation 17:5

17:5 BABYLON THE GREAT. Babylon is referred to several times in Revelation as an actual city (Revelation 14:8; 17:18; 18:10, 20), and there is no reason to call it “Rome” or “Catholicism” or something else, as many have done. Babylon was still a fairly important city at the time John wrote, and would remain so for several more centuries, so why would he call it Babylon if it wasn’t Babylon? If he meant Rome, he would certainly have called it Rome (Paul did so, frequently, and so did Luke). Babylon eventually fell mostly into ruins, though never entirely abandoned, and it will eventually be rebuilt to rival its former glory (see notes on Zechariah 5:5-11). The city is now in Iraq, and the Iraqi government has, indeed, been working on its restoration for many years, with ambitions to make it a capital of Islam and a center of world influence. Eventually the Beast will probably take over the whole region and make Babylon his own capital. It is ideally situated to be the global center of government, religion, commerce and communication, since it is very near to the actual geographical center of the world’s land areas.

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