By Nathan Jones
Where will the headquarters of the Antichrist be located during the Great Tribulation? Will it be Rome, Jerusalem, New York, Babylon, or some other city? Twelve different Bible prophecy experts were asked this question. The following seven believe his headquarters will be a rebuilt Babylon in Iraq.
I believe it will be Babylon. I have believed that Babylon will be rebuilt for several years, for several reasons.
First, Zechariah 5:5-11 teaches about a wicked women, a women called "wickedness" who represents commerce and false religion which will be moved to the land of Shinar at the end of the age. And, I believe that women called "wickedness" is Mystery Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots. So, I think she will go to Babylon.
Second, virtually all scholars trace false religion and world government back to the Tower of Babel and Babylon. And, that is where I believe it will go back to. Revelation 17:10 teaches us this false religious system existed in Egypt and Assyria and Babylon and Medo-Persia and Greece before Rome ever came on the scene.
Third, I think there are several prophecies about the final destruction of Babylon that have not been fulfilled. Isaiah 13:4 indicates that Babylon's final destruction will be by many nations, but ancient Babylon was not destroyed by many nations. The Medes and the Persians conquered it and eventually ancient Babylon was buried under sand. Isaiah 13:5 indicates that Babylon's final destruction will be during the indignation or the Tribulation period. Ancient Babylon was not destroyed during the indignation or the Tribulation period; that is still future. Isaiah 13:19 says Babylon's final destruction will be like the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Ancient Babylon wasn't destroyed by fire and brimstone like Sodom and Gomorrah were. In fact, if you go to the book of Revelation it tells us three times that Babylon will be destroyed by fire in one hour. It seems to me that God is going out of his way to tell us that there is going to be a Babylon that is going to be destroyed differently from the way ancient Babylon was destroyed. Isaiah 13:20 says Babylon will never be inhabited again. We do know that a few people are living in the part that Saddam Hussein has rebuilt. Isaiah 14 says Israel will be in the land when Babylon is destroyed. Well, when ancient Babylon was captured by the Medes and Persians, Israel was not in the land. One more of these, the bricks will never be reused again (Jer. 51:26). Saddam Hussein reused some of the bricks when he started rebuilding Babylon. There are many prophecies.
If you will read Jeremiah 50:5 and Isaiah 13 and 14, there are many prophecies about Babylon's final destruction that appear in both of those chapters. I think that God links all of that together. For example, Isaiah 13:21 says satyrs or demons, devils and false spirits will dance in Babylon after its final destruction. We go over to the Book of Revelation 18:2 and we read there that Babylon will become the habitation of devils and false spirits. Jeremiah 50:15 says, "As she, Babylon, as she has done, do unto her." We go over to the book or Revelation 18:6 and we read, "Reward her even as she has rewarded you." We go back to Jeremiah 51:7, Babylon has been a golden cup in the Lord's hand. We go over to Revelation 17:4 and we read mystery Babylon has a golden cup in her hand. Jeremiah 51:7, the nations have been drunk on Babylon's wine. In Revelation 18:3 we read Babylon has made the nations drunk on wine. Jeremiah 51:8 says Babylon has suddenly fallen. Revelation 18:2, we read that Babylon is fallen. Jeremiah 51:9 says "forsake her." Revelation 18:4 says "come out of her my people." One more, Jeremiah 51:13 says Babylon sits upon many waters. In Revelation 17:1 we read Mystery Babylon sits upon many waters.
In other words, there is a lot of ties between what is in the Old Testament that is a prophecy about ancient Babylon and what's in the new prophecy, the New Testament, that is a prophecy about rebuilt Babylon. I think God tied them together and we've always believe that those Old Testament prophecies were about ancient Babylon, not Rome and that kind of thing.
I personally take the Bible more literally, so I would say that Babylon would be the capital of the Antichrist. It would be both a political and economic capital. According to both Zechariah 5 as well as Revelation 18, his religious capital will be Jerusalem where he will set up his image in the Jewish Temple. Where his economic and public capital will be Babylon the city.
Generally speaking, I try to always interpret the Bible literally. I think that's by far the best approach. So, when we read Revelation 17 and 18 where it talks about the city of Babylon, I tend to take that literally as well. I believe that Babylon will be his capital city during his Tribulation reign. Possibly, the events that we are seeing take place right now in Iraq are leading up to that. Iraq is becoming a central focal point of the world since our invasion in Iraq. And, I don't know where this is going to lead, or how it is going to develop, but I personally do believe in the revival of Babylon itself on the Euphrates River. I have heard the arguments about Rome being the leadership city I guess you would say of the Antichrist, and I am not a 100% opposed to that, but again I just lean more towards the literal acceptance of the city of Babylon.
I believe that it will be Babylon because the Bible speaks of a literal Babylon in the Last Days. If we are to take as an example the prophecy of the First Coming of Jesus, that he would be born in Bethlehem Ephrathah (Micah 5:2), very specifically a city and a Messianic prophecy that was fulfilled literally, then we've got to take the prophecy that Babylon will be overthrown as Sodom and Gomorrah and never to rise again. It is a very specific prophecy that has to be fulfilled in every detail, and that prophecy of course has never been fulfilled. So, it requires the rise of Babylon in the Last Days.
You find again in Revelation 16 that Babylon exists right along with Jerusalem and all the cities of the nations they are literal, and so is Babylon. The cities of the nations will fall. Jerusalem will be split into three parts. Babylon will also fall at that time, very literally renderings of that city.
Finally, I want to make one last point. Babylon in Revelation 18 has an exact correspondence with the Babylon that is described in the two lengthy chapters of Jeremiah 50 and 51, precise parallels all the way down through those chapters. So, we know that Jeremiah 50 and 51 at least in parts of that has a prophecy of Babylon in the Last Days. I want to read you a passage out of there that specifically geophysically tells us that this is a literal city in the Last Days, and that it is the Babylon that is on the Euphrates River as we know it in modern day Iraq. Going back to Jeremiah 50:45, it says this it is talking about Babylon in the context of the Last Days of the End Times. It says, "That Babylon and His purposes which He has proposed against the land of the Chaldeans." So, the land of the Chaldeans is not Rome, it is not New York City, it's Babylon on the Euphrates. You come on down to verse 35 in chapter 51 and it tells us this, "'May the violence be done to me, may the violence done to me and to my flesh be upon Babylon,' the inhabitant of Zion will say, the inhabitant of Jerusalem [the literal Jerusalem] will say, 'and upon the inhabitant of Chaldea.'" So, we have a geopolitical designation for a literal Babylon in the Last Days.
And so, at least we know this much, Babylon is going to be the megacity that Revelation 18 talks about, and it is going to be literal. And, the whole economy of the world is centered in Babylon and the Antichrist controls the economy of the world. The demand and supply that he has on buying and selling that the Scriptures say he will, then his capital will surely be Babylon in the Last Days.
I am a person who reads Scripture literally. I believe that the End Time capital will be Babylon.
It is interesting to find out that Saddam Hussein started to rebuild the ancient city of Babylon. And, it was his intent to actually create this area as a Wall Street of the Middle East. Babylon today is highly wired. They got all this going on. He was turning it into a visitors center or a business center and then the war took place, construction stopped, things like that. The interesting thing is, is that the UN just announced that they are going to start working and rebuilding Babylon. In fact, just this last November 14 America jumped on board and they are going to start giving money to the process. And, I guess, our soldiers went in and occupied parts of Babylon as a fortress of something. They are going to help rebuild it, repay for it. And back in early 2003, Israel Today reported that the Quartet — and that's being the US, UN, EU, and Russia — they all came together and they started talking about the UN actually moving their headquarters from New York to Babylon. And so, I do see Babylon being the seat of the Antichrist.
I think the Antichrist's End Time capital is going to be a revived city of Babylon there on the Euphrates in what's modern-day Iraq. The reasons for that is you have the words "Babylon," "Babylonian," "Chaldea" — those are used about 300 times through the Bible. And, the Book of Revelation is called the Apocalypse of Jesus Christ. It is an unveiling, it is not a veiling. It seems odd to me that when you get to the very last couple chapters in the Bible all of a sudden Babylon wouldn't mean Babylon anymore, after 300 times or so of this being stated that that's what the word indeed refers to.
Also, when you go back to the Scriptures to the very beginning that's where, after the Flood, that's where the first world empire began — Nimrod build this city. And, from the very beginning, some have likened this to the Tail of Two Cities. You have the city of Babylon mentioned in Genesis 10 and 11 with the Tower of Babel and Jerusalem is first introduced in Genesis 14, and you kind of trace these cities all the way through. Then, in Revelation 17 and 18, you have Babylon again, and in Revelation 21 and 22 you have the New Jerusalem. It also says about Babylon in Revelation 17, this great city that rules over the kings of the Earth in the End Times. It says that this city is the mother of all harlotry. It's the fountain head of all harlotry. And, when you go back to the Bible, into the very beginning the fountain head of all false religion and all idolatry, there was the city of Babylon.
So, I think it's going to be rebuilt in the End Times as a great economic, political, and religious center for the final world leader. So, history is going to kind of come full circle, from Nimrod and the first world empire to Antichrist in the final world empire of Babylon.
That's a question I still struggle with. For years I thought it was going to be Rome, but I am beginning to lean in the direction of Babylon. And, one of the reasons I did not think so for many years is because of the decayed state of that part of the world. But, when you look at what is happening in Dubai and other places in the Middle East, you can see the magnificence structures can be built and great cities can be built in very, very short periods of time. I think that if you step back from the whole aspect of Scripture and look at it, I think Babylon means exactly that — Babylon.
Seven of the twelve interviewed have stated that they believe the headquarters of the Antichrist will be Babylon. And, they have given some very good reasons for coming to that conclusion. In an upcoming article we'll look at the other five answers stating that the Antichrist's headquarters will not be in a rebuilt Babylon in Iraq.
You can watch this Q&A at our website on Christ in Prophecy.