When we think of Babylon we normally think of the ancient city of Babylon; and we think of the tower of Babel where Babylon originated. And, of course, we think of the great evil in its idol worship that eventually spread all over the world. And so, I suppose, when we read in Revelation of Babylon and the fall of Babylon, we may naturally think of that ancient city of Babylon, which has to be rebuilt.
But there is another option that I think is more probable. I think Babylon is Rome, and here are six reasons why:
1. After the ancient city of Babylon is destroyed by Cyrus of Persia in 539 B. C., the high-priest of the Babylon religion and his workers fled to Rome. Harry Ironside writes,
When the city and temples were destroyed, the high-priest fled with a company of initiates and their sacred vessels and images to Pergamos, where the Symbol of the serpent was set up as the emblem of the hidden wisdom. From there, they afterwards crossed the sea and immigrated to Italy, where, they settled on the Etruscan plain. There the ancient cult was propagated under the name of the Etruscan Mysteries and eventually Rome became the headquarters of Babylonianism.10
Then, as I point out in my book, After the Rapture,
Beginning with Julius Caesar, the Roman emperors seemed to share power with the chief priests. And then, under Constantine the Great, for the first time in history the emperor became both the head of state and the head of the church. Some say that Constantine became a Christian and was trying to Christianize the world. However, others correctly concluded that the devil was working through Constantine to corrupt the church… Hence, as it happened, idolatry was forced upon Christians and many of the pagan practices became part of the church.11
Thus, Rome became just as Babylon was. In fact, it is my contention that Rome, with the Catholic church, is, in fact, the Babylon of Revelation 17 and 18.
2. The false religious system (the harlot) is tied to the Catholic Church of Rome. When we read in Revelation 17:6 that “the woman [was] drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus,” we have a direct link to Rome. It began with the Popes against Christians such as John Wickliffe and William Tyndale, and many hundreds of others; and it will continue in Rome by the Church of Rome in the future Tribulation period.
3. The harlot (in Rev. 17) looks Roman Catholic. Not only does the harlot act like the Roman Catholic Church in her murders (pt. 2), she looks like the Roman Catholic Church. The colors of the harlot’s purple and scarlet, as well as her jewelry of gold, precious stones and pearls, are the colors and the adornment of the Catholic Priests and Cardinals.
4. The woman sits on the seven hills of Rome (Rev. 17:9). From Revelation 17:7-18, we read that the beast has seven heads and ten horns; and the woman sits on the beast. In verse nine we read that the woman sits on the seven hills.
Many scholars say that the seven hills implies Rome—because Rome is known for its seven hills. A group called City Wonders Team has written,
The Seven Hills of Rome are on the east of the Tiber in the heart of the Ancient City and are said to be the origins of the empire. Back in the day (there is proof of civilization on the hills from as early as 1,000BC) the seven hills were inhabited separately, each with its own independent tribe. Eventually, the tribes came together to compete in sports, strengthening their bonds and uniting their villages. And thus, began the great Roman Empire.12
5. The ten toes as well as the ten horns are the ten kingdoms of the beast and represent the Revived Roman Empire (Dan. 2:33; Rev. 17:12-13). This Revived Roman Empire will most likely be ruled from Rome.
6. The city (of Babylon) will be located on a sea port (Rev. 18:17-19). Here is the most convincing evidence yet that Rome is Babylon: because Rome is located on the Mediterranean Sea; but the ancient city of Babylon is not located on the sea, but on the Euphrates river, which may still be dried up (Rev. 16:12).
10 Harry A. Ironside, “Babylonian Religion,” at http://www.biblelineministries.org/articles/basearch.php?action=full&mainkey=BABYLONIAN+RELIGION+%28By+Harry+A.+Ironside%29.
11 Stephen Nielsen, After The Rapture (Saint Paul, Minnesota, published by Stephen Nielsen, 2020), p. 84.
12 City Wonders, “Could you walk the seven hills of Rome?” at https://citywonders.com/blog/Italy/Rome/could-you-walk-the-seven-hills-of-rome#:~:text=The%20Seven%20Hills%20of%20Rome%20are%20on%20the%20east%20of,the%20origins%20of%20the%20empire.