Skip to comments.Was "Babylon The Great" a Symbolic Name for Jerusalem?
Posted on 03/22/2014 1:35:03 PM PDT by PhilipFreneau
Was "Babylon The Great" a Symbolic Name for Jerusalem?
Recall that Jesus said:
" it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem" (Luke 13:33.)
That is a very important statement to keep in mind when considering the following passages: and later in the same chapter of Luke, Jesus added:
" I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they shall slay and persecute: That the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation; From the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zacharias which perished between the altar and the temple: verily I say unto you, It shall be required of this generation." (Luke 11:47-51 KJV)
That is pretty clear. Jerusalem is responsible for the blood of all the prophets, and at least some of the apostles. There is more in Matthew:
"Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in yoursynagogues, and persecute them from city to city: That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation." (Mat 23:34-36 KJV)
So, Jerusalem was not only responsible for the blood of all the prophets (and some apostles;) but for all the righteous blood shed upon the earth. And vengeance for that blood was required of the generation that Jesus was speaking to.
We all know that is exactly what happened within that generation: the Roman armies completely destroyed Jerusalem and the temple in 70 AD, fulfilling this prophecy by Jesus:
"And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down." (Mat 24:1-2 KJV)
But how do those verses compare to those on Babylon the Great found in the Revelation?
In the Revelation, Babylon the Great is also called the great whore, the mother of harlots, the great city, and the woman. In the context of blood responsibility, John mentions this:
"And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration." (Rev 17:6, KJV)
The first martyr of Jesus was Stephen, if I recall correctly; and there were many more. The next chapter reveals additional facts:
"And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth." (Rev 18:24, KJV)
But, according to Jesus, Jerusalem is supposed to be responsible for the blood of all the prophets; and Jerusalem is responsible for all the righteous blood? Yet, in the following verse we see that God avenged the blood of the apostles and prophets on Babylon the Great.
Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her. (Rev 18:20, KJV)
And recall the first scripture at the top:
" it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem" (Luke 13:33.)
So what do we know:
1. Jerusalem killed many of the apostles, yet their blood was avenged on Babylon the Great
2. Jerusalem is responsible for the blood of all the prophets, yet their blood was avenged on Babylon the Great.
3. Jerusalem was responsible for the blood of all the righteous, yet Babylon the Great was responsible for "all that were slain on the earth."
There are many other references in the Revelation that tie Babylon the Great to old Jerusalem. This is one of many:
"And their dead bodies [the two witnesses] shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified." (Rev 11:8 KJV)
It seem our Lord Jesus Christ was killed in both Babylon the Great and Jerusalem. It is difficult to imagine Babylon the Great being any other city than Jerusalem.
“Babylon” was literally an ancient city (located a little southwest of present day Baghdad, Iraq), a broader kingdom/empire, and symbolically a descriptor/label for the wicked/the worldly of all generations in all places for those people who choose the things of this world over the things of God.
I’m with JTT. In it’s heyday, Babylon was a center of pagan worship as well as of government operating without consideration of God’s will. Therefore it represents the all those who fail to worship God in “spirit and truth”.
>>>Babylon was literally an ancient city (located a little southwest of present day Baghdad, Iraq), a broader kingdom/empire, and symbolically a descriptor/label for the wicked/the worldly of all generations in all places for those people who choose the things of this world over the things of God.<<<
I agree with most of that. It also appears Babylon the Great was old Jerusalem.
It can be reference to Jerusalem.
my 2 cents on the NEW “Babylon”
A. San Francisco
B. New York city-
C. Washington D. C.
Detroit does not count- it is already destroyed
>>>In its heyday, Babylon was a center of pagan worship as well as of government operating without consideration of Gods will. Therefore it represents the all those who fail to worship God in spirit and truth.<<<
That would include old Jerusalem, wouldn’t it?
Speaking of wicked, the following is what Flavius Josephus, an Orthodox Jewish Priest and historian, wrote about old Jerusalem in his book, Wars of the Jews:
"That neither did any other city ever suffer such miseries, nor did any age ever breed a generation more fruitful in wickedness than this was, from the beginning of the world." [Wars V.10.5]
Josephus was also a Jewish general, captured early in the war, and became an eye-witness. He personally believed the destruction caused by the Roman armies was God's judgement on Jerusalem because of it's wickedness.
I am convinced that the prophetic Babylon of the near future is also the City of Seven Hills, as Jesus states in Rev 17:9. Jerusalem never was the city that ruled the kings of the earth, Rev. 17:18. It is the home of the only church that is a sovereign nation, and with whom the major nations of the earth exchange ambassadors even today.
Some, if not many of those very nations would refuse to accept Israel’s declaration that Jerusalem is its national capital and would refuse to locate their embassies there. Indeed, they would happily vote to “internationalize” Jerusalem and send in “peace-keeping” soldiers if necessary to enforce their vote.
Nobody is talking about doing that to the sovereign nation of Vatican City.
Neither as the prophetic Babylon the Great is a business mecca of ‘merchants became rich selling her goods’, among other perverse things that are there(paraphrased,) from Revelations 18:1-9
Vatican City isn’t built on seven hills, and the hill it is built on wasn’t one of the seven hills of ancient Rome, all of which are on the opposite side of the Tiber.
Ancient Jerusalem, however, like ancient Rome, was noted as a city built on seven hills
“Babylon the Great” represents “worldly” culture that has rejected the true God for materialism, affluence and comfort. It is not a literal single city, but any place with an idolatrous materialistic character and worldview.
Also, the “harlot” is not a literal person, but she represents a culture and people that are obsessed with pleasure and sensuality and have rejected the Lord.
Both are alive and well in the world today.
No. Supercessionism is sick.
This would mean that Peter wrote his first epistle from Jerusalem and not Rome or the real Babylon.
1 Peter 5:13 The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son.
Catholic apologist Karl Keating confirms that Rome was known as Babylon and cites 1 Peter:5:13 The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son.. 1 The Catholic Encyclopedia states, “It is within the city of Rome, called the city of seven hills, that the entire area of Vatican State proper is now confined.” [The Catholic Encyclopedia ( Thomas Nelson, 1976), under the heading, “Rome.”]
Babylon is symbolic of Man’s effort to replace or overthrow God.
Just like Satan’s sin was pride and trying to exhale himself above God, Mankind has tried the same thing.
Since Mankind would have been successful in believing it had replaced God, God decided to confuses the languages.
As to the actual city, in different times, this will actually be a different place.
Jerusalem? No. Why? Because God has a special place for Jerusalem, not based on it’s or it’s inhabitant’s behavior. Once God makes a promise, it’s done.
And no, God cannot make mistakes, he has not replaced the Jews or Jerusalem. We must wait on his timing.
I like your homepage.
It doesn't say seven hills: it says seven mountains. The only city that sat on seven mountains in the ancient days was Jerusalem, that I am aware.
But I believe it is possible that it was referring to the Roman Empire as the beast, with the beast interpreted as the overall entity, rather than as one of the seven "kings." Recall the woman also sat upon the beast (Rev 17:3.)
>>>Jerusalem never was the city that ruled the kings of the earth, Rev. 17:18.<<<
That is a very good point. I pondered that for a long time until I researched the Greek. It appears the words kings and earth could have also been translated to read "the sovereigns of the land," which in the case of Judea would have been the local or provincial Jewish leaders. Using that translation, Jerusalem would have been the overall ruler, and would "reign" over the others.
Strong's translates earth to:
(1093) ghay ; contrete from a primary word; soil ; by extension a region , or the solid part or the whole of the terrene globe (including the occupants in each application): country, earth (-ly), ground, land, world.
A word study produces this:
1) arable land
2) the ground, the earth as a standing place
3) the main land as opposed to the sea or water
4) the earth as a whole
4a) the earth as opposed to the heavens
4b) the inhabited earth, the abode of men and animals
5) a country, land enclosed within fixed boundaries, a tract of land, territory, region
Many uses of the same Greek word in the NT show local regions, such "land of Sodom," "land of Zabulon," etc.; but the translations are all over the place.
Strong's translates kings to:
(935) bas-il-yooce ; probably from (939) (ba>siv) (through the notion of a foundation of power); a sovereign (absact, relative or figurative): king.
A word study produces this:
1) leader of the people, prince, commander, lord of the land, king
>>>It is the home of the only church that is a sovereign nation, and with whom the major nations of the earth exchange ambassadors even today.<<<
Which verse in the Revelation would that refer to?
>>>Some, if not many of those very nations would refuse to accept Israels declaration that Jerusalem is its national capital and would refuse to locate their embassies there. Indeed, they would happily vote to internationalize Jerusalem and send in peace-keeping soldiers if necessary to enforce their vote.<<<
I was referring to old Jerusalem that was destroyed in 70 AD. In other words, I believe Babylon the Great was destroyed in 70 AD, and it was also known as Jerusalem.
These things also happened in both Jerusalem and Babylon the Great:
Then will I cause to cease from the cities of Judah, and from the streets of Jerusalem, the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride: for the land shall be desolate. (Jer 7:34)
And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee . . .And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: (Rev 18:23-24)
Both were also made desolate.
I have read many commentaries that claim Babylon was the Papacy; but the Papacy will never be responsible for the blood of the prophets, apostles, and all the righteous slain upon the earth. Therefore, it can never be Babylon the Great, without massive spiritualization of the scriptures.
Jerusalem, on the other hand, was responsible for all of those. That was the point of this discussion: to explore other alternatives that the traditional, bandwagon interpretation.