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1.3.4. Babylon is Jerusalem

The primary thrust of the prophecy has been directed against Jerusalem . . . John gives us no indication that the subject has been changed. As we shall see in Chapters 17 and 18, the evidence that the prophetic Babylon was Jerusalem is nothing short of overwhelming.2

Son of man, there were two women, The daughters of one mother. They committed harlotry in Egypt, They committed harlotry in their youth; Their breasts were there embraced, Their virgin bosom was there pressed. Their names: Oholah the elder and Oholibah her sister; They were Mine, And they bore sons and daughters. As for their names, Samaria is Oholah, and Jerusalem is Oholibah. (Eze. Eze. 23:2-4) [emphasis added]

. . . she increased her harlotry; She looked at men portrayed on the wall, Images of Chaldeans portrayed in vermilion, Girded with belts around their waists, Flowing turbans on their heads, All of them looking like captains, In the manner of the Babylonians of Chaldea, The land of their nativity . (Eze Eze. 23:14-15) [emphasis added]

The view that Babylon is a code name for Jerusalem derives from a worldview that requires the writing and fulfillment of the Apocalypse before A.D. 70. Besides an impossible date for the book’s writing, this view goes against the historical fact that Jerusalem is related to the people of God and Babylon to the world at large (Lee).7


1 “J. Stuart Russell and others (Terry, Chilton, etc.) believe Babylon to be a symbolic designation for Jerusalem.”—Steve Gregg, Revelation Four Views: A Parallel Commentary (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 1997), Rev. 14:8.

2 David Chilton, The Days of Vengeance (Tyler, TX: Dominion Press, 1987), Rev. 14:8.

3 Ibid.

4 We are not talking here about progressive revelation which is a matter altogether different. Progressive revelation adds information and understanding to broaden an original prediction or promise. It does not deny the original content or understanding, nor does it reverse or drastically change its meaning to something that denies the basic understanding of the original recipients.

5 Andy Woods, What is the Identity of Babylon In Revelation 17-18?.

6 Gregory K. Beale, The Book of Revelation: A Commentary on the Greek Text (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1999), 25.

7 Robert L. Thomas, Revelation 8-22 (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1995), Rev. 14:8.

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