I have considered Jerusalem, New York City, and Tyre as candidates to represent Babylon the Great. I was asked a while back whether I have considered the possibility of Babylon, Iraq representing Babylon the Great City. I have considered the possibility, and I will share some of my thoughts in this article.
Support for Babylon, Iraq
Babylon is a candidate that merits much consideration. Here are some of the reasons why I believe Babylon is a candidate that merits a lot of consideration:
The Name “Babylon” Appears
Babylon’s name appears in Revelation 17 and Revelation 18. The text does not say “Nineveh the Great” or “Tyre the Great” The text says “Babylon the Great”.
I do not believe the prophecies concerning Babylon’s destruction like Isaiah 13, Jeremiah 50, etc. are completely fulfilled yet. The destruction of Babylon prophesied in these chapters and others suggest the city’s destruction will be so severe that no one will inhabit it ever again. The following passages indicate that Babylon’s destruction will be like the downfall of Sodom and Gomorrah:
“(19) And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees’ excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. (20) It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation: neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there; neither shall the shepherds make their fold there.” (Isaiah 13:19-20)
“(39) Therefore the wild beasts of the desert with the wild beasts of the islands shall dwell there, and the owls shall dwell therein: and it shall be no more inhabited for ever; neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation. (40) As God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighbour cities thereof, saith the LORD; so shall no man abide there, neither shall any son of man dwell therein.” (Jeremiah 50:39-40)
The remnants of Sodom and Gomorrah cannot be found. In contrast, the ruins of Babylon can still be found, and work is ongoing to preserve and restore Babylon in hopes of preserving its important cultural heritage and making it a site that Iraqis can exploit economically in the future. Much of the work is being done by the World Monument Fund’s Future of Babylon Project, which has received funding from a variety of sources, including the U.S. Government. The following video provides an overview of the preservation work that is taking place in Babylon:
Parallels Between Babylon & Babylon the Great’s Destruction
An important item that Babylon has in its favor is the parallel between the Old Testament’s description of the city and its destruction and the Book of Revelation’s description of Babylon the Great and its destruction. The following tables display examples of the closeness between the description of Babylon and its destruction in the Old Testament and the description of Babylon the Great and its destruction in the Book of Revelation.
|Revelation 17:15, 18: (15) And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues…(18) And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.|
|Isaiah 47:5: Sit thou silent, and get thee into darkness, O daughter of the Chaldeans: for thou shalt no more be called, The lady of kingdoms.|
|Revelation 18:4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.|
|Jeremiah 51:6, 45: (6) Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and deliver every man his soul: be not cut off in her iniquity; for this is the time of the LORD’S vengeance; he will render unto her a recompence…(45) My people, go ye out of the midst of her, and deliver ye every man his soul from the fierce anger of the LORD.|
|Revelation 18:7: How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.|
|Isaiah 47:7-8: (7) And thou saidst, I shall be a lady for ever: so that thou didst not lay these things to thy heart, neither didst remember the latter end of it. (8) Therefore hear now this, thou that art given to pleasures, that dwellest carelessly, that sayest in thine heart, I am, and none else beside me; I shall not sit as a widow, neither shall I know the loss of children:”|
|Burned With Fire|
|Revelation 18:8: Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.|
|Jeremiah 51:58: Thus saith the LORD of hosts; The broad walls of Babylon shall be utterly broken, and her high gates shall be burned with fire; and the people shall labour in vain, and the folk in the fire, and they shall be weary.|
|Revelation 18:21-23: (21) And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all. (22) And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee; (23) 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: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.|
|Isaiah 13:19-20: (19) And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees’ excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.|
(20) It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation: neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there; neither shall the shepherds make their fold there.
The close parallel in several passages is something that should not be ignored. I believe the parallels make Babylon a strong candidate to consider.
Counterargument: Not Ready
The biggest issue those who believe Babylon, Iraq represents Babylon the Great have is that the city is not remotely close to ready to serve as the economic and political center of the world that Babylon the Great will be. The work to preserve and restore Babylon is heavily reliant on outside money to keep the project afloat. The Iraqi government does not have the money to invest into a rapid building of the city at the present time. Cities like New York City are much more ready to serve as Babylon the Great if the end times were to begin in the next few years.
If you are interested in learning about the “mystery” of Babylon the Great, click this link for my article on the topic.