Over the next few weeks we will continue to share with you the opinions of 13 Bible prophecy experts concerning various questions related to the book of Revelation. The members of our panel of Bible prophecy experts will now address:
#8. Could the city called Babylon the Great in Revelation 17 and 18 possibly be a city inside the United States?
Don McGee, Crown and Sickle Ministries
No, I don't believe that Babylon in Revelation 17 and 18 could be the United States. There are several reasons for it. If you look at the system in Revelation 17, you'll see a very powerful religious system. The United States in my opinion does not fit into that kind of description. Our country has never been considered the heartbeat of any kind of worldwide religious system. I don't think that applies. When you look at some of the descriptions of this religious system, there are colors that are associated with it like purple and scarlet, and those don't have anything to do with our country.
Then there are the seven hills Revelation's Babylon sits on. We don't have anything in this country that's associated with seven hills. So, no, I don't think the Revelation 17 Babylon is the United States.
Concerning Revelation 18's economic system, I still believe that is not the United States. The reason for that is the United States is not the only mega, economic powerhouse that has existed on the face of this planet. If you look at it carefully, I think you'll understand and see clearly that the context of both Revelation 17 and 18 is a 2,000 year old context that has to do with Europe and the Middle East, and not the Western World.
Al Gist, Maranatha Evangelistic Ministries
No. Babylon the Great in Revelation 17 and 18 is a reference to a specific city I believe. It's not a country like the United States. Although, I have to admit that much of the description that is given to Babylon certainly seems to fit the United States of America, but no.
I'm convinced and believe in a literal Babylon on the Euphrates River in the modern country of Iraq; the same place where it's always been. There will be a resurrection of that city. It will become a great commercial and religious center, and also most likely the headquarters of the Antichrist during the second half of the Tribulation. So, I take a literal approach to Babylon. I do not believe that it is the United States of America.
Daymond Duck, Prophecy Plus Ministries
The book of Revelation doesn't say God is talking about a nation. It says that He is talking about a woman, and it says He is talking about a city. I believe we have a double identity there with Mystery Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots and Abominations on the earth. She is a woman and a city.
Concerning Mystery Babylon's identity as a woman, we know that the Bible teaches especially in the Old Testament that wicked women characterize false religions. In the New Testament and even in the Old Testament a good woman is characterized as true religion. The Church who is the Bride of Christ is a good woman, and she's true religion. So, we have that teaching. In the Old Testament, on more than one occasion God called the unfaithful Jews harlots. He called Jerusalem the Mother of Harlots. I believe that Mystery Babylon, the mystery about Babylon, is that it is a harlot religion which will be located as the rebuilt city of Babylon at the end of the Tribulation period.
Ken Humphries, Treasured Truth Today Ministries
I would have great difficulty believing the United States is Babylon quite frankly. I suppose I find it difficult to believe that Babylon could be any other city, certainly not any country, because the text tells us that Babylon is a city, number one. If we are prepared to ignore what I call the plain text, which is when we come to the book of the Revelation we should come to it with a literal understanding or try to interpret it literally as far as we can, if instead we come to the Scriptures non-literally and are prepared to ignore what is the plain text or the plain message of the text, entertaining our own ideas or our own fancies about who Babylon could or could not be, then I think we could easily be deceived. It simply won't do for us to just walk right past what is the interpretive clues given to us.
Ed Hindson, World Prophetic Ministry
It's obvious in the book of Revelation that John portrays Babylon, whatever he means by that, as the Kingdom of the Antichrist, which is the ungodly world system of the last days that controls a world economy where nobody can buy or sell without the Mark of the Beast and is controlled by a world government that to some degree attempts to impose a world religion so that all the world will worship the Beast as though he were God. So, whether we say the Antichrist's headquarters is localized in a specific place, or whether if people take it as literal Babylon in Iraq, which I do not, or a symbol of Rome which I think is much more likely, or a symbol of the final world empire, wherever the Antichrist rules from he will rule the whole civilized world. It will all be under his influence and his control.
I personally believe that John is using the term Babylon by calling it "Mystery Babylon" as a symbol for Rome. John is a prisoner of the Roman government, so he's not going to name Rome specifically and create more problems at that point for himself. But, at the same time, John wants his reader to understand what he is talking about. It's the city that sits on seven hills, which historically has always been Rome.
In the next part of this series on reading and understanding Revelation, the remaining members of our panel of Bible prophecy experts plus Dr. David Reagan will continue to answer the eighth question, "Could the city called Babylon the Great in Revelation 17 and 18 possibly be a city inside the United States?"