If the City is Jerusalem, how can she be said to wield this kind of worldwide political power? The answer is that Revelation is not a book about politics; it is a book about the Covenant. Jerusalem did reign over the nation.
Jerusalem as Babylon
Ancient Jerusalem = Mystery Babylon
Vessels of Wrath – Romans 9:22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much long suffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: 9:23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, 9:24 Even us, whom he hath called
FROM PDF BIBLIOGRAPHY:
- 1856: P.S. Desprez, Babylon the Great Neither Rome nor Pagan
- 1866: Charles Wordsworth, Rome not Babylon in the Apocalypse
- 1960: F. Paul Peterson, St. Peter’s Tomb Discovered in Jerusalem – I have a letter from a noted scientist stating that he can tell by the writing that it was written just before the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus in 70 A.D. | 1 Peter 5:13 The church in Babylon sends you greetings.
- 2002: D. Ragan Ewing, The Identification of Babylon the Harlot in the Book Of Revelation
- 2002: D. Ragan Ewing, Evidence for Jerusalem as Babylon
- 2004: Andy Woods: The Identity of Babylon in Revelation 17-18
- 2006: G. Bugazzi, Is the Babylon of Revelation Rome or Jerusalem
- 2010: Andy Woods, A Futurist Response to the Preterist Interpretation of Babylon in Revelation
- 1997: Sheila Busby, Could JERUSALEM be Mystery Babylon the Great? – Maybe that is how the mother-child worship (thus referring to her as “Babylon”) comes to be included in her harlotries. I can’t be sure yet, but I just don’t feel comfortable with the other explanations I’ve heard.
- 2005: Chris Strevel, Rome or Jerusalem? A Comparative Analysis of the Harlot Imagery in Revelation 17 – I have endeavored to demonstrate that advocates of the Jerusalem=harlot view have a strong case to offer… This view is certainly consistent with John’s stated theme: God’s great divorce of Israel and Christ’s judgment upon her.
Typically Organized by Author’s First Name
As we look at these parallels, consider what they mean for the popular idea that John wrote Revelation around 95 AD. Some of the parallels are so striking that a person would basically have to conclude that John borrowed from the earlier writings of Josephus, and then used the language of Josephus to prophesy of a much later war
One can see from these words that scriptural justification can be made for an application of “the great whore” to “the Jerusalem that now is”. Nor would it be too extreme to assign the judgment of “the great whore” and “that great city” to the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple by Titus in 70AD
They scoffed at the claims made by Jesus that the temple would be destroyed and Jesus Himself would be the one to make it happen before their generation passed away. Since more than 30 years had passed since Jesus made this prediction, and the temple was still standing with no indication that it would be destroyed in less than a decade, they began to mock the words of Jesus.
Why are we being bored with this listing of the merchandise of Babylon? What exactly is the purpose of giving us the details of these materials and products?Why are we being bored with this listing of the merchandise of Babylon? What exactly is the purpose of giving us the details of these materials and products?
The fact is that the sack of Jerusalem by the Romans just was not big enough to be the fulfillment of the prophecies of the Book of Revelation, or even of the Olivet Discourse. To try to limit the “end times” to that single event smacks of the complacent surmise by Tacitus that the whole of Jewish messianic prophecy was fulfilled by the ascension of Vespasian to the imperial title in Rome.
He readily admits that this took place in A.D.70 (p.119), yet, he cannot bring himself to conclude that this was also the Second Coming. Balyeat insists that this is yet to come “at the end of history, a ‘coming’ that will be visible across the whole sky — from East to West.” Isn’t this what Jesus said would happen in A.D.70?
What Matthew refers to as the “abomination of desolation,” Luke calls “armies.” What Matthew refers to as the “holy place,” Luke calls “Jerusalem.” We know Matthew and Luke are writing about the same event because both references are from their accounts of the Olivet Discourse, and both were the sign to “flee.”
It borders on folly to ask, in the study of such a psalm, when and where God actually bent down the visible heaven and made a pathway of clouds on which David or anyone else saw him descend. But we do see, in all such emotional word-pictures, how vividly the Hebrew poets apprehended the presence of God in human experience, and also in the phenomena of the natural world.
Clement did hold to a future advent of Christ, and like many throughout history, supposed that it would be within his own lifetime. Thus, while Dispensationalists like Thomas Ice use the “immanence” argument to support a “pre-trib” rapture, the only real conclusion that we can draw from this statement is that Clement was wrong.
Pseudo-Sybilline Oracles (AD 150)
“He seized the divinely built Temple and burned the citizens and peoples who went into it, men whom I rightly praised.
For on his appearance the whole creation was shaken and kings perished, and those in whom sovereignty remained destroyed a great city and righteous people. . . . (5: 150-154 OTP 1:396.)
For murder and terrors are in store for all men because of the great city and righteous people which is preserved throughout everything which Providence held in special place. . (5:225-227; OTP 1:398.)
But now a certain insignificant and impious king has gone up, cast it down, and left it in ruins with a great horde and illustrious men. He himself perished at immortal hands when he left the land, and no such sign has yet been performed among men that others should think to sack a great city” (5:408-413; OTP 1:403.)
Alexander Campbell (1841)
“Their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which is [mystically] spiritually called Sodom and Egypt; also, the city where our Lord was crucified, [Jerusalem].” (“The Coming of the Lord – No. VII,” Millennial Harbinger 5, July 1841; p. 322)
‘The essence of idolatry was profanation of God: of this the Jews were in a high degree guilty. They had made His house a den of thieves.’ (Quoted in The Parousia)
“Jeremiah predicts (Jer. 31:36-40) that the city should in future times extend beyond the north wall (the second wall) and inclose Gibeat Gareb, or the Leper’s Hill, and Gibeat Goath, or the Hill of Death (of roaring, groaning). The position of Gareb can correspond only with Under Bezetha, and the position of Goath only with Upper Bezetha where Golgotha rose. Both of these elevations were inclosed by Agrippa, as parts of the new city, and lay inside the third wall. From the context we learn that Gareb and Goath were unclean places, but, being measured in with the holy city, became sanctified. That the Goath hill of Jeremiah is identical with the Golgotha of the Evangelists, is more than probable. The wall of Agrippa was built around Bezetha by Herod Agrippa, the grandson of Herod the Great” (Lange on Matt. 27:33).
James M. MacDonald (1870)
“And when we open the book itself, and find inscribed on its very pages evidence that at the time it was written Jewish enemies were still arrogant and active, and the city in which our Lord was crucified, and the temple and the altar in it were still standing, we need no date from early antiquity, not even from the hand of the author himself, to inform us that he wrote before the great historical event and prophetic epoch, the destruction of Jerusalem.” (Life and Writings of John, p. 171-172)
Johann Philip Schabalie (1635)
“How could God be merciful towards such a city? A city that would not reform, but accumulated sin upon sin until they had filled their cup of iniquity. W.S. Thus I hear that all things conspired to the destruction of Jerusalem.” (The Wandering Soul, p. 410)
“And because this city was the cause of the shedding of the innocent blood, she was suddenly visited with judgments — as sudden as the coming of lightning. (The destruction of Jerusalem was sudden. In a very short time, not less than eleven hundred thousand perished. See Josephus, de Bell, Ind. lib. 6, c. 9, § 3. – trans.” (Wandering Soul, p. 401)
“In order that God might show that he was determined utterly to destroy Jerusalem; and to that end, he gave them several signs, to warn each one in the city of the coming destruction.” (Soul, p. 411)
“O! how these surpass all other calamities that ever befell Jerusalem. S.C. Are you speaking of Jerusalem? Yes, that ever befell all the world besides ; for the greatest sins that ever were committed were perpetrated here, in this city.” (p. 444)
David Chilton (1987)
“It is perhaps this verse, more than any other, which has confused expositors into supposing, against all other evidence, that the Harlot is Rome. If the City is Jerusalem, how can she be said to wield this kind of worldwide political power? The answer is that Revelation is not a book about politics; it is a book about the Covenant. Jerusalem did reign over the nation.” (Days of Vengeance, p. 442)
Adam Clarke (1837)
(On Revelation 1:7) “By this the Jewish People are most evidently intended, and therefore the whole verse may be understood as predicting the destruction of the Jews; and is a presumptive proof that the Apocalypse was written before the final overthrow of the Jewish state.” (6:971.)
“Rome was not in the circle of the prophet’s vision, nor is Rome in coincidence with the symbols and metaphors; but the resemblance to Jerusalem is as perfect as the case can be supposed to furnish” (Commentary on the Book of Revelation, p. 153).
“The seven heads of the Beast are said to be seven mountains; assuming the woman to be a city founded upon seven mountains. Such was the situation of Jerusalem.” (Comm., Herder, p. 156)
John David Michaelis
“If I could only find a single authority for calling Jerusalem by the name of Babylon, I would rather follow Cappellus and Harduin who take Jerusalem to have been the place; which was also, according to Cyril of Alexandria, meant by Isaiah when he is speaking of Babylon. For the contents of this Epistle are not so well suited to any time as to that soon after the Council of Jerusalem, whilst Peter continued in that city. It is not impossible that St. Peter might call Jerusalem by the name of Babylon after she had begun to persecute the Church; and the expression of the elected church at Babylon seems to imply a paradox which would be removed had Jerusalem itself been named. It is therefore not improbable that St. Peter might in an epistle make use of this figurative and opprobrious name to signify Jerusalem. . . . Add to this that St. Peter sends a salutation from Mark, and this Mark, who was also called John, was returned to Jerusalem, not long before the said Council (Acts 13:13) All circumstances thus concurring, and it being never more necessary to the Gentile converts that they should ‘stand in the true grace of God,’ it appears to me, whilst I am writing, probable in the highest degree, that this Epistle was written at Jerusalem soon after the Council, i.e., in the year of Christ 49. . . . I am the less influenced by the testimony of the ancients to the contrary, as the matter depends not upon the historical question, whether St. Peter ever was at Rome, but upon the critical question, whether he calls Rome by the name of Babylon?”
“The First Epistle of St. Peter was written at Jerusalem at the time of the first council” (See Introd. Lect. to the “Sacred Books of the New Testament,” by J. D. Michaelis, § 148).
James Stuart Russell
A sketch-plan of ancient Jerusalem, showing Mount Gareb and Mount Goath is given in “Palestine Explored,” by the Rev. James Neil, M.A., formerly incumbent of Christ Church, Jerusalem. Mr. Neil enumerates the seven hills on which the city was built, Mount Zion, Mount Ophel, Mount Moriah, Mount Bezetha, Mount Acra, Mount Gareb, and Mount Goath.” (The Parousia, afterword.)
Milton S. Terry (1898)
“There is only one city that comes to mind at this specific statement, and that answers perfectly to the description of this verse. Jesus himself said to his disciples “that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed (Matt. xvi, 21; xx, 18; Mark x, 33; Luke xviii, 31).” (Biblical Apocalyptics, p. 371)
“One chief trouble with those interpreters who try to explain away this obvious reference to Jerusalem is that they consider it impossible to identify this “great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt,” with “the holy city” of verse 2. These, they insist, cannot be the same. But others will incline to think that half the ingenuity employed on their own visionary expositions of the place where the Lord was crucified might have shown them that, in strict accord with Old Testament usage, both designations suit Jerusalem. How is it that Isaiah could call this same Jerusalem a “faithful city” and a “harlot” in one breath? The answer is very simple: Once ‘righteousness lodged in her, but now murderers (Isa. i, 21).” (ibid., p. 372)
C. Vanderwaal (1978)
“The more we study these connections and interpretations, the more things come together. Revelation 17 and 18 are not talking about a heathen city or empire; they are talking about Israel, the covenant people who killed the prophets (I Kings 19:10; Lam. 4:13).
Jesus Christ spoke the same language to the rabbis in Matthew 23:29ff, calling them “sons of those who murdered the prophets” (v. 31). “Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers.. that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth (vs. 32,35). The “earth” referred to can better read as a reference to the land of the covenant people.
The same theme appears at the end of Revelation 18: “In her was found the blood of prophets and of saints,” and of all to doubt that this blood of prophets and saints was shed by the covenant people? Didn’t Jesus Himself point out that no prophet dies outside Jerusalem? (Luke 13:33).
Yet, interpreters insist on reading Revelation 18:24 apart from the Old Testament and the words of Jesus recorded in the “gospels.” We are told that the killing of prophets and saints is a reference to what Rome or some anti-Christian world power will do.
L.A. Vos has pointed out that there are words of Jesus behind certain passages in the book of Revelation, and that these words can help us with the interpretation of Revelation.. This is hardly a reason for surprise, for the Apocalypse is a “revelation of Jesus Christ,” a revelation in which more of His words are recorded. We hear echoes of Matthew 23-24 in the book of Revelation.” (Hal Lindsey and Biblical Prophecy; St. Catharines, Canada: Paideia Press; pp. 135-136)
“Judah deserves to be called the “faithless one.” When we consider the fact that the prophets repeatedly speak of forsaking the covenant as harlotry and adultery (Is. 1:21; Ezek. 16:22; Hos. 1-3), the pattern in Revelation falls into place. Revelation 17 carries on the line of Jeremiah 4:30 by speaking within the framework of the covenant. Thus the subject is not “Rome” but “Judah.” (Ibid., p. 134)
Foy Wallace (1966)
“(the prophecies of Revelation 18) do not fit Rome, nor any other city than Jerusalem; where the prophets, apostles and saints were slain. The usual interpretation to bring the apocalypse down through the ages to stage again the historical pageantry of the Roman empire, in the effort to find a future fulfillment, takes all the force out of the words of Christ in Matthew 23 and 24, and robs the apocalypse of its immediate message. The apostate Jerusalem was the object of the visions of Revelation.” (ibid., p. 383)
“There was no basis for a symbol or an analogy in which Rome could have been depicted as having become a harlot, for Rome never stood in the spiritual relation to God as a faithful city, turned to harlotry. The harlot was a city once faithful to God, and only Jerusalem can fulfill the symbolic descriptions.” (ibid., p. 364)
J. W. Roberts
“The great city is that one where the witnesses’ Lord was crucified, that is, Jerusalem.” (The Revelation of John, p. 21)
“Because the province of Judaea was such an infinitesimal sector of the sprawling Roman empire, and because its people so conscientiously avoided assimilation into the dynamic yeast of the new western civilization, the military and political histories which have come down to us from these distant times scarcely mention the Jews at all.
If ever, they are passed off as a troublesome but relatively insignificant minority occupying a strange and ancient city at the brink of a distant desert. Their Messianic prophecies were considered so mystic and arcane by philosophers and so unrealistic by politicians that none but the most curious bothered to record the ripple which their religious unrest made in the stream of contemporary events.” 1
“The overwhelming influence in the first century of the Christian era was the Roman empire. At the time of Jesus the Romans controlled southern Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa. The legions and navies of the empire had made the Mediterranean a Roman lake.” (Sarno, The Cruel Caesars, Their Impact on the Early Church, Preface, x, 3.)
N. Turner (1967)
“Its reference here to Jerusalem raises the question whether it should be interpreted of Rome in the rest of the book. If so, we must accept the expedient that this section is from a different source, one which equated the great city with Jerusalem (as Dr. Charles). However, there is something to be said for the identification with Jerusalem throughout Rev., one must not too easily assume that the book is directed against Rome rather than the Jews.” (“Revelation,” in Peake’s Commentary on the Bible; p. 1051)
H.A. Whittaker (1973)
“In A.D. 66, the well supported early date for the writing of Revelation, Jerusalem also was a city which ‘had a kingdom over the kings of the Land.’ Indeed, not only was Jerusalem a city with special authority over the various tetrarchies adjoining Judaea, but also the temple had an amazing degree of authority over Jewish communities in all parts of the Roman empire.” (Revelation – A Biblical Approach, page 214).
“Babylon is Jerusalem” (Revelation, p. 209, H.A.W.)
“The influence of Jerusalem throughout the Roman Empire was amazing. Every city of any size had its colony of Jews, and through the synagogue these all gave allegiance to Jerusalem, making direct annual payments to the temple and accepting the jurisdiction of the Sanhedrin” (Revelation, page 210, H.A.W.).
The Seven Hills of Jerusalem
By Ernest L. Martin, Ph.D., 2000
Jerusalem theory has three hills in one: “If one starts with the Mount of Olives just to the east of the main City of Jerusalem (but still reckoned to be located within the environs of Jerusalem), there are three summits to that Mount of Olives.”
It was common custom in the centuries before Christ for people in the Roman world to refer to the City of Rome itself as the “City of Seven Hills.” The references are numerous and consistent. And indeed, when Romulus and Remus wanted to build a city in the area of the Tibur River (just inland from the coast to afford a greater protection for the city from sea pirates or from the naval warfare of hostile powers), it was divinely selected, in Roman parlance, that the city had to be on “seven hills.” The number “seven” was a universal symbol that signified “completion” or “perfection,” and the ancients who founded Rome wanted people to know that this particular city was destined to have a world influence and fame, and that it was no ordinary city that was being constructed in the eighth century B.C. The very fact, that Rome was designated “The Seven Hilled City” was significant enough to render it as a sacred and holy city that was designed to have world power and authority. This is one of the reasons the ancient people of the world always respected the City of Rome, whether they were its arch defenders and supporters or its enemies and were alien to its political and religious concepts. Even when the city in the time of the Empire finally grew beyond the strict limits of the “Seven Hills” (and reached out to embrace other hills in the vicinity and even hills on the other side of the Tibur River, such as Vatican Hill), the people for nostalgic reasons still retained the name of the city by its original designation: “the City of Seven Hills.”
But strange as it may seem, the City of Jerusalem as it existed in the time of Christ Jesus was also reckoned to be the “City of Seven Hills.” This fact was well recognized in Jewish circles. In the Pirke de-Rabbi Eliezer, an eighth century midrashic narrative (section 10), the writer mentioned without commentary (showing that the understanding was well known and required no defense) that “Jerusalem is situated on seven hills” (recorded in The Book of Legends, edited by Bialik and Ravnitzky, p. 371, paragraph 111). And, so it was. Those “seven hills” are easy to identify. If one starts with the Mount of Olives just to the east of the main City of Jerusalem (but still reckoned to be located within the environs of Jerusalem), there are three summits to that Mount of Olives. The northern summit (hill) is called Scopus [Hill One], the middle summit (hill) was called Nob [Hill Two], the highest point of Olivet itself, and the southern summit (hill) was called in the Holy Scriptures the “Mount of Corruption” or “Mount of Offence” [Hill Three] (II Kings 23:13). On the middle ridge between the Kedron and the Tyropoeon Valleys there was (formerly) in the south “Mount Zion” [Hill Four] (the original “Mount Zion” and not the later southwest hill that was later called by that name), then the “Ophel Mount” [Hill Five] and then to the north of that the “Rock” around which “Fort Antonia” was built [Hill Six]. And finally, there was the southwest hill itself [Hill Seven] that finally became known in the time of Simon the Hasmonean as the new “Mount Zion.” This makes “Seven Hills” in all.
This does not end the significance of “Seven Hills” for the urban areas that the ancients looked on as being the centers of divine sovereignty on this earth. We are all familiar with Babylon on the Euphrates (which became the capital of the world in the time of Nebuchadnezzar in the sixth century B.C.) as being the “Seven Hilled City.” And, it may be surprising for some to learn this, but when Constantine the emperor wanted to build a “new Rome” in the eastern part of the Roman Empire (because most of the economic life of the Roman Empire in the fourth century was centered in the eastern half of the Empire and he felt he needed a capital city much nearer the economic center of the Empire), he finally selected a spot on the Bosporus called Byzantium. The reason he selected this spot to be the “New Rome” was because it was a small village also located on “Seven Hills.” This made “New Rome” as a City of Seven Hills.
What we observe is the fact that the ancients symbolically looked on the various capitals of the world as having “Seven Hills.” The significance of this fact even had a meaning for the apostle John who, under the influence of Christ Jesus himself, wrote the Book of Revelation. We find that the last world capital would be “Mystery Babylon” and that it would have “seven mountains” (Revelation 17:9) associated with it. The fact that history has “Seven Hills” (or “Mountains”) associated with FOUR world kingdoms: Babylon, Rome, Byzantium, and Jerusalem, there has been some confusion about which of these (or, perhaps, another “New City”) was the intention of the apostle John who was writing for Christ Jesus in the Book of Revelation. The truth is, however, when one looks at the subject of the Book of Revelation carefully, there is only one of those “Cities of Seven Hills” that could possibly be the subject of the End-Time revelation. That is the City of Jerusalem. The “Mystery Babylon” of the Book of Revelation is none other than Jerusalem!
The last world kingdom will be headquartered in Jerusalem, not in Rome, Babylon on the Euphrates or in Byzantium, or anywhere else. The Antichrist will come to Jerusalem. He will look in all appearances as though he is none other than Christ Jesus himself. Remember, Satan and his angels will be expelled from heaven and come to earth (Revelation 12). The world will make a big mistake and think that Satan and his angels are none other than Christ and His angels returning from heaven at the Second Advent. This is the “great lie” the world will believe that the apostle Paul spoke about it Second Thessalonians 2:8-12. The world will think that Satan is none other than Christ. However, I have been telling you readers for over thirty years that the first person who claims to be the returned Christ to earth (even if great miracles are associated with him) IS the false Christ, called in other parts of the Holy Scriptures by the title of Antichrist. The false Christ will come to Jerusalem (the “City of Seven Hills”) in order to rule the world, NOT to Rome in Italy!
The false Christ will come to a rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem and his image will be placed in the Holy of Holies. He will point out that this is lawful to do in the Mosaic legislation (Exodus 25:18-22; 26:31; 36:8). [For more information on what will occur in this New Temple in Jerusalem, see my new book “The Temples that Jerusalem Forgot” which has just gone to the printers and will be offered to you in mid-April. The book is complete, but I have so much more historical information to give you that I will first publish the book, then I will have a new article each month explaining various aspects of the research on the Internet for the next twelve months or so. This is because the important and significant information on the history of the Temples is so extensive that even after the publication of the book, I will have much, much more evidence of a prophetic nature to present that it will require at least a year for me to record it all for you. This research involving the full extent of the true knowledge concerning the Temples will be presented on the Internet.]
After three and a half years of the rule of the Antichrist, the Second Advent of Christ Jesus (our Elder Brother) will occur. All of us will then triumph during those traumatic days on the horizon (without us having to hoard food). In the meantime, we have a big job to do in teaching the Gospel to the world. I hope all of us will be about our Father’s business in showing the world these vital truths of the Gospel.
“Babylon” as Rome
Steven J. Frierson (2001)
“Many scholars conclude that the connection between Rome and Babylon is that both destroyed the temple of Israel’s god: Babylon’s siege of Jerusalem resulted in the obliteration of Israel’s first temple in 586 BCE, and Rome’s siege of Jerusalem brought an end to the second temple in 70 CE. So John could denounce Rome because of its attack on the Jerusalem temple. This would, in turn, require a date after 70 CE for John’s Apocalypse.” (Imperial Cults and the Apocalypse of John : Reading Revelation in the Ruins, p. 138)