Identifying Babylon the Great City: The Future Capital of the World

Revelation Chapter 17 and Chapter 18 tell us about a great city which will serve as the future capital of the world and will be the central hub of global economic activity during the End Times.

  • Rev 17:18 And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.

The location of this future capital of the world has been heavily debated over the past several centuries. In this blog post I’ll tell you which city I believe will be the future capital of the world.

There are three traditional candidates for this great city: Babylon, Rome, and Jerusalem. Since the identity of this great city is “Mystery Babylon the Great” a non-literal interpretation is needed to identify the exact city. Therefore, Babylon, the ancient city in Iraq, is unlikely the city that Revelation is referring to.[1] Rome is also unlikely to be the great city because the Bible never refers to Rome as a “great city”. Instead, the Bible refers to only Nineveh, Tyre, and Jerusalem as a “great city”.

I believe that Jerusalem is most likely Babylon the Great city. First, Jerusalem is the only geographic location identified as “the great city” in the Book of Revelation. Revelation 11 gives Jerusalem, the city where the Lord was crucified, the same title given to Babylon the Great in Revelation 17: “the great city”.

  • Rev 11:7 And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.
  • Rev 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.

Additional evidence that Jerusalem is the “the great city” or capital city of the world referred to in Revelation 17 can be found in the prophetic verses of Daniel. Daniel 11:44-45 reveals that Antichrist will set up his “palace tents” or home in the holy mountain, Mount Zion, which is located in Jerusalem.

  • Dan 11:44 But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many.
  • Dan 11:45 And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.

Finally, the imagery in Revelation 17 reinforces the argument that Jerusalem will be the capital city of the world. In Revelation 17:3 and 17:7 we find that the woman rides the beast, that is, the woman’s power is dependent on the support of the beast:

  • ·Rev 17:3 So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.

  • · Rev 17:7 And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.

Jerusalem is clearly this type of city because the Antichrist’s very own headquarters will be established in the city. It will be from the Temple of Jerusalem where Antichrist will declare himself to be God.

  • 2Th 2:3 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;
  • 2Th 2:4 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.

The main criticism that people who believe that Babylon the Great City will be Jerusalem face is the fact that Babylon the Great City is never going to be found again. The question that skeptics pose is “How can Jerusalem be Babylon the Great when people will live in the beloved city (Jerusalem) during the Millennial Kingdom?”

  • Rev 18:21 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.

Dr. Charles Cooper, who supports the idea that Babylon the Great City is Jerusalem, has an explanation of how Jerusalem can be Babylon the Great City even though Babylon the Great City will never be found again:

(It) will not be found any longer = may at first appear to present a problem for the interpretation that the harlot/city is Jerusalem, the capital of the composite dragon/beast Empire during the great persecution of God’s people. Revelation 20:9 states that after the millennium, Satan and his forces will "surround the camp of the saints and the beloved city." The assumption is that the "beloved city" is Jerusalem. However, Revelation 21:10 declares that Jerusalem will descend from heaven as the eternal home of the saints. Ezekiel 48:35 indicates that the millennial city on earth will be called, "The Lord is there, (YHWH shammah)." Therefore, the city that the dragon/beast inhabits will be destroyed. It will not be found again. However, the land will remain.[2]

I expect people to disagree with the idea that Babylon the Great City. Most of the Bible commentaries I have argue that Rome is Babylon the Great City. During my first month of studying Bible Prophecy I thought that Rome was Babylon the Great City. However, my position changed as I considered verses like Daniel 11:45 and Revelation 11:8. Feel free to comment if you disagree with my position as you’ve heard my position.

Notes and Reference

[1] Another indication of the ancient city of Babylon is not Babylon the Great appears in description of its destruction in Revelation 18. Revelation 18:17 and 18:18 indicate that sailors will be able to see the smoke coming from the city on the horizon after it is destroyed. The ancient city of Babylon is several hundred miles from the coast, so it cannot be the city described.
[2] Cooper, Charles. “Revelation Commentary: Chapter Eighteen”. http://revelationcommentary.org/18_chapter.html 29 Feb. 2008. Last Accessed. 6 May 2010.

6 comments: (+add yours?)

Chris White said...

I just finished a commentary on Revelation 17 and 18 with this view. Charles Cooper actually was cool enough to take a look at it and suggest some changes, this is the updated version: http://versebyversebibleteaching.com/mysterybabylonstudy/Mystery%20Babylon%20-%20The%20Eschatological%20City%20of%20Jerusalem3.pdf

Prophecy Proof Insights said...

Thanks for the update. I'm still working on reevaluating my position concerning this topic, so I'll consider what you've written before I finish my reevaluation. 

Trishande said...

No one can understand the bible unless God reveals it to you...for the word says the leter killeth but the word gives it life.....God is the word and the name of God is Jesus...Lets all study Acts 2:38

Dan Bigelow said...

I have been studying this issue for many years, I think you may have something here, thanks! Could the Antichrist be a Muslim?

Prophecy Proof Insights said...

I personally don't think he will be one, but I could be wrong. I think he'll be a follower of New Age/occult practices.

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