The city of Babylon is mentioned in the Book of Revelation.

Does this mean the ancient city of Babylon will be rebuilt to be destroyed a second time? See verses:

Rev 14:8 - Then a second angel followed, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, who has made all the nations drink the wine of the passion of her immorality.”

  • Rev 16:19 - The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations collapsed. And God remembered Babylon the great and gave her the cup of the wine of the fury of His wrath

  • Rev 18:2 - And he called out with a mighty voice, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place for demons, a haunt for every unclean spirit, a haunt for every unclean bird, a haunt for every unclean and detestable beast.

It has been claimed over the ages that the city of Babylon is symbolically Rome but all geographic locations in the Book of Revelation are literal locations for example:

Asia, Patmos, Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, Laodicea, Euphrates, Jerusalem, Armegeddon, New Jerusalem.

Exception is where geographic location is not spiritual is when it explicitly states its spiritual like "spiritually Sodom and Gomorrah" in Revelation 11:8

I also see amazing alignment between old testament references of Babylon align with Revelation 17 - 18 see Babylon references:

  1. waters - Revelation 17:1, Psalm 137:1
  2. Babylon the Great - Revelation 17:5, Daniel 4:30
  3. Mother of harlots - Revelation 17:5, Genesis 11:1-9
  4. Fallen, fallen is Babylon - Revelation 18:2, Isaiah 21:9
  5. Will not see widowhood - Revelation 18:7, Isaiah 47:7-9
  6. Colorful attire - Revelation 17:4, 18:16, Daniel 5:7, 16, 29
  7. Sorcery - Revelation 18:23, Isaiah 47:9-13

Isaiah 13 - 23 which is about judgement of the nations Babylon alone out of all the nations mysteriously received two prophetic judgements. See verses

  1. Isaiah 13:1-14:23
  2. Isaiah 21:1-10
  • 1
    Hi jcentricity, this would be improved by providing a specific quotation of where Babylon is mentioned in Revelation, just to keep it cleanly on-topic.
    – Steve can help
    Commented Jan 18, 2022 at 10:16
  • It's a code for Rome. Other words are also used to denote evil nations such as Sodom.
    – Michael16
    Commented May 16, 2022 at 6:51

2 Answers 2


Let me answer the questions in the reverse order asked. (I agree that the seven churches of Rev 1, 2, 3 and Patmos are literal.)

1. Non-Literal Locations

Many of the locations mentioned in Revelation 4-22 are not literal but symbolic. Here are some examples:

  • Rev 11:8 - Sodom and Egypt are specifically called "spiritually" or "figuratively". Thus, they are not literal.
  • Rev 14:1 - Mt. Zion with a Lamb standing on it and 144,000 virgins accompanied by the sound of many waters and the Father's name written on their foreheads. This is clearly symbolic
  • Rev 16:16 - three frogs assemble the kings in a places called "Harmageddon" = Mt. Megiddo. No such mountain exists and so cannot be literal.
  • Rev 17:5 - Babylon is the name of the great prostitute. Again, highly symbolic.

2. Babylon and Rome

It is true that "Babylon" in 1 Peter 5:13 is the well-known euphemism for Rome.

  • 1 Peter 5:13 - She who is in Babylon [ie, Rome], chosen together with you, sends you greetings, and so does my son, Mark.

3. Babylon Rebuilt?

It is also recorded that Babylon would never be inhabited again after its destruction:

  • Jer 50:39 - So the desert creatures and hyenas will live there [Babylon] and ostriches will dwell there. It [Babylon] will never again be inhabited or lived in from generation to generation.

Saddam Hussein and others have had various plans to rebuild ancient Babylon but thus far, all such plans have never been implemented and the prophecy remains, so far, in-tact.

  • I agree to clarify all locations are literal in Book of Revelation except where it explicitly states its spiritual like Sodom and Gomorrah. Now it says the city is spiritually like Sodom and Gomorrah so this could allude to the city being literal Babylon not spiritual Babylon because it would not make sense to say a spiritual city is spiritually like Sodom and Gomorrah Commented Jan 18, 2022 at 16:33
  • Haha, guessed it was you before getting beyond the second paragraph, I s’pose you got style goin’ on there! 😎😄
    – user36337
    Commented Jan 18, 2022 at 17:31
  • The Babylon being Rome perspective is interesting. One observation is that Babylon is mentioned over 300 times in the Bible and it always meant literal Babylon so to come to Book of Revelation and having it symbolize another city would be inconsistent prophetically. But also see some evidence for Rome in that many believe the 4th Beast is Roman Empire. Commented Jan 18, 2022 at 20:05
  • @jcentricity - Babylon is literal in the OT because it recounts literal history. Babylon in 1 Peter 5 cannot be literal. The woman called Babylon cannot be literal either. That is what makes be suspect it is symbolic - your mention of the interpretation of Babylon being Rome in Revelation is a very common understanding making it symbolic again.
    – Dottard
    Commented Jan 18, 2022 at 20:40
  • @Dottard - Revelation states ".. the city is spiritually like Sodom and Gomorrah" so this may mean "the city" must be literal city. Also another view is Rome can be viewed as a daughter of harlotry but not the Mother because Babylon is the Mother of all paganism. Commented Jan 19, 2022 at 13:42

The great whore in the book of Revelation is Jerusalem.

1 And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: 2 With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.

Ezekiel 23: 2 Son of man, there were two women, the daughters of one mother: 3 And they committed whoredoms in Egypt; they committed whoredoms in their youth: there were their breasts pressed, and there they bruised the teats of their virginity. 4 And the names of them were Aholah the elder, and Aholibah her sister: and they were mine, and they bare sons and daughters. Thus were their names; Samaria is Aholah, and Jerusalem Aholibah. 5 And Aholah played the harlot when she was mine; and she doted on her lovers, on the Assyrians her neighbours, 6 Which were clothed with blue, captains and rulers, all of them desirable young men, horsemen riding upon horses. 7 Thus she committed her whoredoms with them, with all them that were the chosen men of Assyria, and with all on whom she doted: with all their idols she defiled herself. 8 Neither left she her whoredoms brought from Egypt: for in her youth they lay with her, and they bruised the breasts of her virginity, and poured their whoredom upon her. 9 Wherefore I have delivered her into the hand of her lovers, into the hand of the Assyrians, upon whom she doted. 10 These discovered her nakedness: they took her sons and her daughters, and slew her with the sword: and she became famous among women; for they had executed judgment upon her. 11 And when her sister Aholibah saw this, she was more corrupt in her inordinate love than she, and in her whoredoms more than her sister in her whoredoms. (...)

4 And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: 5 And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

Exodus 28: 4And these are the garments which they shall make; a breastplate, and an ephod, and a robe, and a broidered coat, a mitre, and a girdle: and they shall make holy garments for Aaron thy brother, and his sons, that he may minister unto me in the priest's office. 5And they shall take gold, and blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen. (...) 17And thou shalt set in it settings of stones, even four rows of stones: the first row shall be a sardius, a topaz, and a carbuncle: this shall be the first row. 18And the second row shall be an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond. 19And the third row a ligure, an agate, and an amethyst. 20And the fourth row a beryl, and an onyx, and a jasper: they shall be set in gold in their inclosings. (...) 36 And thou shalt make a plate of pure gold, and grave upon it, like the engravings of a signet, HOLINESS TO THE LORD. 37 And thou shalt put it on a blue lace, that it may be upon the mitre; upon the forefront of the mitre it shall be. 38 And it shall be upon Aaron's forehead, that Aaron may bear the iniquity of the holy things, which the children of Israel shall hallow in all their holy gifts; and it shall be always upon his forehead, that they may be accepted before the LORD.

6 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.

Ezekiel 22: 1 Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 2 Now, thou son of man, wilt thou judge, wilt thou judge the bloody city? yea, thou shalt shew her all her abominations. 3 Then say thou, Thus saith the Lord GOD, The city sheddeth blood in the midst of it, that her time may come, and maketh idols against herself to defile herself. 4 Thou art become guilty in thy blood that thou hast shed; and hast defiled thyself in thine idols which thou hast made; and thou hast caused thy days to draw near, and art come even unto thy years: therefore have I made thee a reproach unto the heathen, and a mocking to all countries. 5 Those that be near, and those that be far from thee, shall mock thee, which art infamous and much vexed. 6 Behold, the princes of Israel, every one were in thee to their power to shed blood. 7 In thee have they set light by father and mother: in the midst of thee have they dealt by oppression with the stranger: in thee have they vexed the fatherless and the widow. 8 Thou hast despised mine holy things, and hast profaned my sabbaths. 9 In thee are men that carry tales to shed blood: and in thee they eat upon the mountains: in the midst of thee they commit lewdness. 10 In thee have they discovered their fathers' nakedness: in thee have they humbled her that was set apart for pollution. 11 And one hath committed abomination with his neighbour's wife; and another hath lewdly defiled his daughter in law; and another in thee hath humbled his sister, his father's daughter. 12 In thee have they taken gifts to shed blood; thou hast taken usury and increase, and thou hast greedily gained of thy neighbours by extortion, and hast forgotten me, saith the Lord GOD. 13 Behold, therefore I have smitten mine hand at thy dishonest gain which thou hast made, and at thy blood which hath been in the midst of thee. 14 Can thine heart endure, or can thine hands be strong, in the days that I shall deal with thee? I the LORD have spoken it, and will do it. 15 And I will scatter thee among the heathen, and disperse thee in the countries, and will consume thy filthiness out of thee. 16 And thou shalt take thine inheritance in thyself in the sight of the heathen, and thou shalt know that I am the LORD. 17 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 18 Son of man, the house of Israel is to me become dross: all they are brass, and tin, and iron, and lead, in the midst of the furnace; they are even the dross of silver. 19 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because ye are all become dross, behold, therefore I will gather you into the midst of Jerusalem. 20 As they gather silver, and brass, and iron, and lead, and tin, into the midst of the furnace, to blow the fire upon it, to melt it; so will I gather you in mine anger and in my fury, and I will leave you there, and melt you. 21 Yea, I will gather you, and blow upon you in the fire of my wrath, and ye shall be melted in the midst thereof. 22 As silver is melted in the midst of the furnace, so shall ye be melted in the midst thereof; and ye shall know that I the LORD have poured out my fury upon you.

Matthew 23: 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!

9 And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth. (...) 18 And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.

“Jerusalem's seven hills are Mount Scopus, Mount Olivet and the Mount of Corruption (all three are peaks in a mountain ridge that lies east of the Old City), Mount Ophel, the original Mount Zion, the New Mount Zion and the hill on which the Antonia Fortress was built.“

6 Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double.

Ezekiel 23: 32 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou shalt drink of thy sister's cup deep and large: thou shalt be laughed to scorn and had in derision; it containeth much. 33 Thou shalt be filled with drunkenness and sorrow, with the cup of astonishment and desolation, with the cup of thy sister Samaria. 34 Thou shalt even drink it and suck it out, and thou shalt break the sherds thereof, and pluck off thine own breasts: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD.

11 And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more: 12 The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble, 13 And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men.

Most of the items from the list were used to build or run the temple.

John uses many Old Testament prophecies about Babylon and applies them to the end times Jerusalem. The same way he reversed the prophecy of Isaiah 60:14 & 43:34 in Revelation 3:9:

14 The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall call thee, The city of the LORD, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel.

9 Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.


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