I have provided my thoughts about whether New York City and Babylon (in Iraq) could potentially represent Babylon the Great City mentioned in Revelation 17 and Revelation 18. In this article, I will my thoughts on whether Jerusalem has potential to represent Babylon the Great City.
Like my articles assessing whether New York City and whether Babylon in Iraq have potential, I offer items to consider in favor of Jerusalem and items to consider against Jerusalem.
In Favor of Jerusalem
A “Great City”
Babylon the Great is identified as a “great city” in Revelation 17:18. Jerusalem is identified as a “great city” in Revelation 11:8:
“And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.” (Revelation 11:8)
“And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.” (Revelation 17:18)
Babylon the Great is a harlot. Jerusalem has been referred to as a “harlot” in Bible prophecy.
“(20) But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it. (21) How is the faithful city become an harlot! it was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers.” (Isaiah 1:20-21)
Jerusalem Will Receive Punishment During the End Times
Jerusalem is not exempt from receiving some sort of judgment during the end times. For instance, Jeremiah 25:15-18, a passage that I believe refers to the future, mentions that Jerusalem will drink from the cup of the Lord’s hand (wrath):
“(15) For thus saith the LORD God of Israel unto me; Take the wine cup of this fury at my hand, and cause all the nations, to whom I send thee, to drink it. (16) And they shall drink, and be moved, and be mad, because of the sword that I will send among them. (17) Then took I the cup at the LORD’S hand, and made all the nations to drink, unto whom the LORD had sent me: (18) To wit, Jerusalem, and the cities of Judah, and the kings thereof, and the princes thereof, to make them a desolation, an astonishment, an hissing, and a curse; as it is this day;” (Jeremiah 25:15-18)
In addition, Isaiah 1:27 and Isaiah 4:4 suggest that Jerusalem will be redeemed through judgment:
“Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with righteousness.” (Isaiah 1:27)
“When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning.” (Isaiah 4:4)
Supporting the Antichrist’s Religious Agenda
Some scholars have noticed a parallel between what the harlot wears and what a Jewish high priest in Old Testament times wore. According to Gregory K. Beale, Exodus 28’s description of a Jewish high priest’s garments and Revelation 17:4’s description of the harlot’s adornment is identical in the Greek language.
Beale and others argue that this connection suggests that the harlot will play a religious role for the beast (Antichrist).
Scholars who favor the Jerusalem represents Babylon the Great theory argue that Jerusalem will be a city that will promote the beast’s (Antichrist’s) religious agenda since the Antichrist will sit in the Lord’s temple and proclaim himself to be God:
“(3) Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; (4) Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4)
Persecution of the Saints
Revelation 18:24 notes that the blood of prophets and of saints is found in Babylon the Great City.
“And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.” (Revelation 18:24)
Christ noted that Jerusalem was responsible for killing prophets and stoning those “sent” to the city.
“(35) 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. (36) Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation. (37) O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!” (Matthew 23:35-37)
Revelation 16:19 distinguishes the “great city” from the cities of the nations and Babylon the Great:
“And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.” (Revelation 16:19)
A skeptic could argue that Revelation 16:19 is evidence that Jerusalem is not Babylon the Great because the text seems to distinguish between the great city and Babylon the Great.
The argument that Jerusalem represents Babylon the Great City implies that the interpretation of the word “Babylon” should be spiritual. The problem with this is that Revelation 11:8 only characterized Jerusalem as spiritual Sodom and spiritual Egypt-not spiritual Babylon:
“And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.” (Revelation 11:8)”
Babylon Won’t Be Rebuilt
Revelation 18:21 is a difficult verse for Jerusalem proponents to reconcile. Revelation 18:21 says that Babylon the Great City “shall be found no more at all”:
“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.” (Revelation 18:21)
The reason Revelation 18:21 is difficult for Jerusalem proponents to reconcile is that many Bible prophecy passages suggest that Jerusalem will be inhabited again and that the Lord will defend its inhabitants. For instance, check out Zechariah 12:6-8:
“(6) In that day will I make the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left: and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem. (7) The LORD also shall save the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem do not magnify themselves against Judah. (8) In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the LORD before them.” (Zechariah 12:6-8)
Similarly, many Bible prophecy passages suggest that the Lord will dwell in Zion/Jerusalem in the future, including the following passages:
“(2) And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. (3) And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.” (Isaiah 2:2-3, also see Micah 4:1-2)
“(17) So shall ye know that I am the LORD your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more. (18) And it shall come to pass in that day, that the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain shall come forth of the house of the LORD, and shall water the valley of Shittim.” (Joel 3:17-18)
I believe Jeremiah 51:24 and Jeremiah 51:35 are part of a prophecy describing the fall of Babylon the Great. Both these verses mention that what “Babylon” has done to Zion/Jerusalem is part of the reason why it will be punished:
“And I will render unto Babylon and to all the inhabitants of Chaldea all their evil that they have done in Zion in your sight, saith the LORD.” (Jeremiah 51:24)
“The violence done to me and to my flesh be upon Babylon, shall the inhabitant of Zion say; and my blood upon the inhabitants of Chaldea, shall Jerusalem say.” (Jeremiah 51:35)
If Jeremiah 51 indeed concerns the destruction of Babylon the Great then Jerusalem cannot be Babylon the Great since “Babylon” is being punished for what it has done to Jerusalem/Zion.
My View on Jerusalem Representing Babylon the Great
I do not believe that Jerusalem will represent Babylon the Great. The biggest factor for me is that the Lord will intervene to defend Jerusalem and its inhabitants. It does not seem to make much sense for the Lord to intervene to protect Jerusalem if He will later allow the annihilation of the city. Furthermore, the ruins of Jerusalem will be rebuilt while Babylon the Great’s demise will be like the demise of Sodom and Gomorrah.
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- Beale, Gregory K. The Book of Revelation: A Commentary on the Greek Text, New International Greek Testament Commentary, ed. I. Howard Marshall and Donald A. Hagner (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1999), Pg 886, citing Exod 25:3-7; 28:5-9, 28:15–20, 35:6; 36:9–12; 36:15–21 LXX. ↩
Some good points in there. Last yr I can to the point the Jerusalem is Babylon. Even with scriptures in Jeremiah and Revelation speak if removing the candlestick where Jeremiah is speaking to Israel. There are so many parallels.
But we have the state of Israel and God’s Israel to consider. The state of Israel/Zionism against God, antisemitic, having the star of their god remphan as their logo is not the Israel that belongs to God who gave them the 7 candlestick Menorah.
It a thing to consider what we have is the counterfeit Israel there at the moment. But God will restore the true when ready.
So I still think the fake Israel there at the moment is Babylon.
But some very interesting things to consider
What you missed is the part in Revelation that speaks of a new earth and a new heaven, the old will be no more. In fact, there will be no seas in the new world.
And Zion comes down from Heaven, means it is not existing now. Do you honestly believe God would refurbish a city covered with the blood of innocent prophets and including Christ?
Jerusalem has been occupied since the Persian King allowed the tribes of Judah and Benjamin to go home and rebuild their temple. It was flooded knee high in blood of all it’s inhabitants including Jews during the crusades.
And the third Temple, the one Herod build around the second temple was razed as prophesized by Christ around 70 AD.
Currently, proselyzing Christianity in Israel is against their laws; the razed temple was not replaced, daily sacrifices stopped until Islam build the Dome of the Rock on its foundations around 900AD.
Jerusalem may not be Babylon but how many nukes are stored there?
God will replace the cursed city with His Holy City, so I don’t know what will happen to it but it won’t exist in the new earth. It can’t; it is cursed reeking of the Lamb’s Blood.
The coming of a New Heaven and a New Earth are events I believe will take place after the Millennium. New Jerusalem is indeed distinct from Jerusalem. But, I do see Christ renovating earthly Jerusalem for the Millennium as much as He will renovate the current Earth for the Millennium.
Yes; I agree. And Babylon the Great; is the world, under Satan’s one world rule and kingdom. Satan will rule this world for a short season; because his time has been shortened for the Elects sake. Satan’s time has been severely shortened; the season of the locusts/the locusts army of fallen angels in league with Satan, that come out of the (smoke of the pit), of which the fallen angel with the key to open that pit, is Satan. Satan is so wrathful, because he has only five short months, along with his ministering fallen angels to deceive the entire world. Satan will rule as king of kings and lord of lord’s; hence it will be both a political and spiritual kingdom. That Great City of Babylon; is Jerusalem, from where Satan will be seated, being wholly received by the world, as God Almighty; hence the returned Messiah, out of season. The world, and that even includes lukewarm Christians, who think they know God’s Word, but are deceived; will fall totally in love with Satan, because they will think/believe he is GOD.
Babylon the Great; the world kingdom under Satan’s control, will fall and Jerusalem will be punished for being the whore, which led the world to worship Satan. Jesus told them that they knew not their time of visitation and that He came in His Father’s name and they received Him not, and that another would come in his own name, and he they would receive. They will receive the anti-Christ as their Messiah, because they rejected the true Messiah/Christ. Anti-Christ means instead of or in place of Christ. They are the wicked tenants in the parable of the wicked tenants in Matthew 21:33-44 (KJV), who are attempting to steal Christ’s inheritance; His Kingdom and Throne, for their father the Devil.
Not all who are in Israel and Jerusalem are those who say they are Jews and are not but do lie; but those who are true Jews, both true descendants of the tribe of Judah and also genuine converts, will be those that hit the ground running when that Wicked One/the anti-Christ is revealed. Jesus does not return until after this and the righteous are not taken off of this earth; but are gathered into the Father’s barn for safe keeping, while the angels gather the wicked to be destroyed. God will cleanse His Kingdom of all the wicked, He will put His enemies under His feet and then take up His reign and rule with a rod of iron. And I do not understand how people do not see, that Israel and Jerusalem has to be the whore; because they claim to be the Chosen of God, that have been charged by God Himself, with bringing the Truth to the world, but instead will lead the world astray.
I’m currently writing the article about the location where I actually believe to be Babylon the Great and why I believe it is. The location I’m writing about in that article is not Jerusalem.
The Spirit of Apostate Jerusalem is Mystery Babylon. Those who claim that they are jews but they are not but of the synagogue of satan, the descendants of the pharisees, are the ones who had been persecuting and killing the saints since time immemorial. Where they have their influence and power right now is where Mystery Babylon is. That is why it is a Mystery because it does not pertain to the land itself anymore but about the people who has the spirit of Apostate Jerusalem and is ruling the world through politics, economic, entertainment, and even the various religious system of the world. Islam is a religion invented to antagonize and persecute the christians and the real jews, a cover up for the heinous plans of the old established religion who had been the first who persecuted and killed the saints. The USA is run by the elite jews. The Vatican is run by the Jesuits. Either of the two will be useful to the deception of the antichrist in pulling-off a fake tribulation scenario and a real one.
Brother – continue your studies – JERUSALEM = BABYLON THE GREAT is nuts – why? Well, for one, the HOLY CITY (which we must affirm is Jerusalem – i.e., the NEW JERUSALEM … it being highly symbolic) is trodden underfoot of the Gentiles for 42 months in the very same chapter, Rev. 11 which must needs be both “Israel and the Church” – the TWO OLIVE TREES (Israel as a witness in unbelief) and the TWO LAMPSTANDS (the Church as a witness) – later in the Revelation both Israel (12 patriarchs/12 tribes constitute the New Jerusalem’s gates) and the 12 foundations the 12 Apostles of the Lamb (the Church) – or 12 * 12 = 144 which in cubits is the measurement of the wall of the New Jerusalem.
At issue here then is this: How can it be that the HOLY CITY suffers persecution by the Court of the Gentiles (aka “compromisers”) while simultaneously it can in the same breath be called THE GREAT CITY – Jesus was crucified OUTSIDE THE GATE – OUTSIDE THE CAMP!
we must j
The signs are many and can not be misunderstood.
Thanks for your comment. You raised an interesting point to consider with Genesis 10:11-12.
hello, great post. I thought MB might be jerusalem/israel. I want to add a couple points to the discussion. My interpretation of “great city” is that it could refer to several cities together as if it were a single city. See Genesis 10:11-12 (in my interpretation, Nineveh Calah and Resen together are “the great city.”:
11 from that land he hath gone out to Asshur, and buildeth Nineveh, even the broad places of the city, and Calah,
12 and Resen, between Nineveh and Calah; it [is] the great city.
Second, one comment disregarded Jerusalem as having great riches, precluding it from being MB. Numerous prophecies DO indicate that the Jews will bring into Israel great wealth. If you consider the exodus to be a shadow of the end times, then after the plagues, after the humiliation of pharoah (antichrist) the jews leave egypt (gentile nations) with great wealth. See also eze 38:11-14, indicating to me that Jerusalem in the end times has wealth.
I have written articles about other cities besides Jerusalem. I may still do an article on Rome in the future.
Wayne, You are not the first to grapple with the symbolism in Bible prophecy. Go to Mark Woodman’s lecture “Who is the Antichrist”. He presents 21 points of identification of the Antichrist. It is exactly what every Protestant reformer thought it was. It will probably take a few months to fully settle into the truth, but we need to pray and search the scriptures to be certain. So much is at stake!
Your study is all about the option of Jerusalem being the great city but why dont you try ROME to be your subject of study and juxtapose it to the great city and see what comes out?
I think Ezekiel 7 is at least linked to Zechariah 12:2 in that the siege described in Ezekiel 7 is a detailed overview of the siege of Zechariah 12:2.
It seemed to me that he endorsed Jerusalem = MB theory in the commentary. If he did not, he at least went out of the way to make a case for it.
Rome is Babylon. Go to Mark Woodman’s lecture “Who is the Antichrist”.
Well whatever interpretation must also include Egypt as it too is mentioned. I think this is a precedent for calling Israel by place names that it is resembling at a given time.
“does Cooper try to link Ezekiel 7 with Zechariah 12 and Zechariah 14?”
Im not sure, Ill go check it out, I dont think so. I should mention that Zech 14 is more of a triumphant thing for faithful Israel, It would coincide with the end of the 70th week and the Jewish peoples redemption. This is followed by the seven bowl judgments, one of which is the destruction of MB. I do remember him making a case for a significant amount of time between verse 1-2 and the rest of the chapter. Its kind of difficult because the salvation of Israel is just before the destruction of old Jerusalem. But once you plug in the 30 and 45 day periods it all seemed to make sense for me.
Actually its interesting. Cooper doesnt seem to endorse any particular theory in the commentary, I could be wrong, but he did endorse the MB is Jerusalem theory in a recent (2011) class on the book of Revelation where he said he was “99.9%” dogmatic about it being Jerusalem.
I don’t own that particular book, but I am aware of Cooper’s position on the Babylon the Great issue through Revelation Commentary (which I use as a reference).I’m curious (since I don’t own the book) does Cooper try to link Ezekiel 7 with Zechariah 12 and Zechariah 14?
The reason I mentioned the Sodom issue is that the charge is also made in Isaiah 3. Isaiah 3 is a chapter which I think has potential relevance to the end times. The destruction in Isaiah 3 does not seem to be the complete annihilation that the destruction described in Revelation 18 appears to be. The idea under consideration is that Jerusalem is judged, but it is for being the spiritual Sodom in Revelation 11:8.
The Sodom thing is easy:
In Isaiah, chapter 1, after declaring that he had a “vision…concerning Judah and Jerusalem” (verse 1), Isaiah wrote, “Hear the words of the Lord, you rulers of Sodom…” In Jeremiah 23:14, because of the adulterous prophets, God said that Jerusalem and her inhabitants had “become to Me like Sodom.”
Don’t forget besides verse 10 of Isaiah chapter 1. This next verse as well.
Isa 1:21 How is the faithful city become an harlot! it was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers.
Of course I didnt say ” Old Testament prophecies about Babylon” were irrelevant. I said the passages in Jer 50 are not a necessary component to this interpretation. I also reiterated that I could get the same OT confirmation using only post exilic prophets. (I.E. the Old Testament)
Have you read Charles Coopers exposition of Zechariah 14 in his book Fight, Fight or Faith? Basically he sees it as simple, and chronological, It only seems difficult because many people do not take into account the 30 day and 45 day periods that follow the end of the 70th week.
I dont consider the irrelevant, I simply dont think it is necessary part of the argument in regard to MB being Jerusalem. I can take it or leave it. I probably wont use it in the study, just to avoid anyone making a charge like the one you are making.
The papacy is the Antichrist. The US will be the second beast, that enforces the mark, first here, later in the rest of the world. The pope is both a political and a religious leader, who is gathering both religious and political power since Napoleon captured the pope in 1798 and confiscated Vatican City (wound to the head). The mark of the beast is Sunday worship (when one knows this is not the Sabbath). For more info, go to Mark Woodman’s lecture “Who is the Antichrist”. The popular view, that the beast is future, that the last week of the 70 weeks of years was cut off and placed in the future, is the work of Jesuits (the beast’s army).
I think chapters like Isaiah 47, Jeremiah 50, and Jeremiah 51 have end times relevance. I think they have to be accounted for.
I guess if you consider the Old Testament prophecies about Babylon irrelevant, that would explain why you would not think it is anything but Jerusalem.
I commend you for attempting to take on Revelation 18:21. Many people defending Jerusalem = Babylon the Great do not take on this verse.
There are passages in Zechariah 12 and Zechariah 14 which suggest that the Lord will defend Jerusalem from the nations. One may ask why the Lord will defend Jerusalem when it will be destroyed according to the Jerusalem = Babylon the Great theory.
Another thing to consider is the identification of the “great city” as Sodom in Revelation 11:8. Some have questioned why Jerusalem = Babylon the Great when Revelation 11:8 identifies it as Sodom.
Spiritually called Sodom and Egypt means Jerusalem had become adulterous and idolatrous, and had become a prostitute to all the empires that she had been subjected to. She embodies in her the spirit of Babylon.
Because there are two Jerusalems mentioned in the new testiment.
Galatians 4:25-26 KJV For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. (26) But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.
One which now is, earthly fleshly and One above. We are of the Jerusalem above. An all Holy , Pure , Righteous God will not set one foot in that idol filled adulterous place. He will destroy everything in it. New Jerusalem from above will replace it. As scripture states in Revelatoin 21.
The other issue on this blog I only addressed briefly is this:
” Revelation 16:19 distinguishes the “great city”
from the cities of the nations and Babylon the Great. A skeptic could
argue that Revelation 16:19 is evidence that Jerusalem is not Babylon
the Great because the text seems to distinguish between the great city
and Babylon the Great.
16:19 And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities
of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God,
to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.”
In my video I referenced this passage as support for MB being Jerusalem because it contrasts the” great city” with the city of the nations. Although when it is sited here thr translation makes it seem as though MB is a third party because of the “and” as in “and great Babylon” as opposed to the referent of the “great city”
I can be confident of this because the other passage in Revelation makes it quite clear.
Rev 14:8 And another angel followed, saying, “Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.”
In addition the “great city” is clearly defined by John as Jerusalem here:
Rev 11:8 And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.
I didn’t address the issue of Jer 50 because I dont consider it relevant. I have no problem with it being solely about Babylon, although I suspect that this is one of the reasons that the title “Mystery Babylon” is given to Jerusalem. But Im not dogmatic on that point.
This only becomes and issue is someone tries to prove that MB is Jerusalem based only on Jer 50, I have not referenced it in my study for the same reasons. But as you can tell there is no reason to. Even if you limited your referencing to post exilic prophets alone you would have more than enough evidence to convict MB as being Jerusalem in my opinion. If you want to see my other studies they can be found here:
Your video is very good and quite convincing, but I have problems reconciling that view with other verses, such as some of the following. It would seem from these verses that it could not be Jerusalem, as the Jews are to flee Babylon and declare in or go to Zion when they escape and tell of her destruction. As these two chapters in Jeremiah are all about the final judgment on Babylon, it leaves a serious problem with Babylon being Jerusalem. Out of curiosity, can you reconcile them to your viewpoint?
Jer. 50:28 “The voice of them that flee and escape out of the land of Babylon, to
declare in Zion the vengeance of the LORD our God, the vengeance of his
Jer. 51:4-6 “Thus the slain shall fall in the land of the Chaldeans, and they that are thrust through in her streets. For Israel hath not been forsaken, nor Judah of his God, of the LORD of
hosts; though their land was filled with sin against the Holy One of
Israel. 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.”
Jer. 51:9-10 “We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed: forsake her, and
let us go every one into his own country: for her judgment reacheth unto
heaven, and is lifted up even to the skies. The LORD hath brought forth our righteousness: come, and let us declare in Zion the work of the LORD our God.”
Jer. 51:35 “The violence done to me and to my flesh be upon Babylon, shall the
inhabitant of Zion say; and my blood upon the inhabitants of Chaldea,
shall Jerusalem say.”
Jer. 51:49-50 ” As Babylon hath caused the slain of Israel to fall, so at Babylon shall fall the slain of all the earth. Ye that have escaped the sword, go away, stand not still: remember the LORD afar off, and let Jerusalem come into your mind.”
Yes I understand. Are there any other issues that your readers brought up other than the ones I covered in the video in other words, the ones you have posted in this blog?
I’m currently reevaluating my position on this issue after a few readers brought up some issues I thought were worth considering closely. I’m considering several candidates at the moment include Babylon, New York City, and Jerusalem. My position may change from the one I stated in this article at the completion of my study.
Some of my more recent thoughts on the identity of Babylon the Great are available here:
New York City: http://bit.ly/lUglpH
I agree with you about it being Jerusalem. I have been doing a verse by verse series on this theory. I just got done with a part of the study that dealt with the specific objections you raised in this post: http://vimeo.com/30819418