Babylon the Great
Revelation 17 & 18
And one of the seven messengers who had the seven bowls came and spoke with me, saying to me, “Come, I shall show you the judgement of the great whore sitting on many waters, with whom the sovereigns of the earth committed whoring, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her whoring.”
TS2009 - Revelation 17:1-2
And he said to me, “The waters which you saw, where the whore sits, are peoples, and crowds, and nations, and tongues.
TS2009 - Revelation 17:15
In prophecy a woman can symbolize a virgin representing God's faithful people (2 Corinthians 11:2, Revelation 12) or a whore representing God's unfaithful people (Jeremiah 3, Jeremiah 51). Whoring symbolizes idolatry (Leviticus 20:5, Hosea 1:2, Hosea 4:12, Hosea 6:10, Ezekiel 23:30). The "waters" on which the whore sits represent the nations of this world (Revelation 17:15). In prophecy the sea or the waters symbolize foreign nations that are separate from God's people (Psalms 144:7). The symbolic meaning of "earth", as opposed to sea or water, is stability and the place of God's people. Earth is the footstool of God (Isaiah 66:1). "Wine" is linked to loose behaviour (Ephesians 5:18) and making the nations go mad (Jeremiah 51:7).
In Old Testament times the "sovereigns of the earth" possibly refers to the sovereigns of God's people and in the time after the Messiah it possibly refers to earthly kings who rule over all people. The "nations" usually represent God's scattered people from the twelve tribes of Israel in the Old Testament (Ezekiel 20:32) or simply all the other nations in the world (Jeremiah 10:25, Joshua 23:4, Isaiah 49:6, Psalms 78:55).
A good example from the Old Testament is king Solomon who started as a faithful king but evolved into an unfaithful king by worshiping false gods through his many foreign wifes (1 Kings 11:4). 2 Kings 23:13 reads: And the sovereign defiled the high places that were before Yerushalayim, which were on the right hand of the Mountain of Destruction, which Shelomoh sovereign of Yisra’el built for Ashtoreth the abomination of the Tsidonians, and for Kemosh the abomination of the Mo’abites, and for Milkom the abomination of the children of Ammon. As mentioned earlier, Solomon turned his back on God and started worshiping false gods, he committed "whoring".
And he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast covered with names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.
TS2009 - Revelation 17:3
In prophecy the meaning of the "wilderness" has to do with the condition of God's people after they turn their backs on God and start intermingling with foreign nations and their ungodly traditions (Isaiah 64:10). The wilderness is a place of trial for Godly people (Mark 1:12, 1 Corinthians 10:5). Isaiah also speaks of the "Wilderness of the Sea" in relation to Babylon (Isaiah 21:1). Likely this refers to a situation in the world when God's people will experience trial. The symbolic meaning of a beast is a kingdom or empire (Daniel 7:23).
And the woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup filled with abominations and the filthiness of her whoring,
TS2009 - Revelation 17:4
The colors purple and scarlet are associated with rulership (Daniel 5:29, Matthew 27:28). The golden cup is associated with Babylon (Jeremiah 51:7). In the Scriptures the colors purple and red are associated with Tyre (Ezekiel 27). Tyrian purple and red were also worn by the Roman emperor. While the beast represents an empire, the woman riding it represents a different kind of rulership or influence on the empire.
and upon her forehead a name written, a secret: Babel THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF THE WHORES AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
TS2009 - Revelation 17:5
Something that is written on someone's forehead is an inherent part of that person's being (Jeremiah 3:3). Revelation 14:9-10a reads: And a third messenger followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark upon his forehead or upon his hand, he also shall drink of the wine of the wrath of Elohim, which is poured out undiluted into the cup of His wrath. ... It is like a permanent mark or a seal (Revelation 7:3). The forehead has to do with that person's faith. It is not surprising that for example in spirituality the third eye or the mind's eye is associated with higher consciousness and is located on the forehead. Babel or Babylon was the capital, the control center of the Babylonian Empire. Her name is a "secret" which likely means that this powerful entity is somewhat hidden and excercises its power from behind the scenes.
And I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the set-apart ones, and with the blood of the witnesses of YHWSO. And having seen her, I marvelled – greatly marvelled!
TS2009 - Revelation 17:6
Babylon the Great is responsible for the killing of God's chosen people who will rule with the Son of God in heaven in the time of the end. The killing of these chosen ones is necessary in order to complete the government in heaven. The Messiah was persecuted and killed in Jerusalem by the Jewish authorities who rejected Him because He posed a threat to their power. The Jewish authorities used the Roman Empire to kill the Messiah. Stephen was killed by the Jewish authorities (Acts 7). When Paul, who first was a persecutor of God's people, became an apostle of the Son of God he was persecuted himself by the Jewish religious authorities (Acts 9:29, Acts 13:50, Acts 14:19). When he was on trial he said: Men, brothers, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee, I am being judged concerning the expectation and resurrection of the dead! (Acts 23:6). All the apostles were killed by the Jewish authorities, consisting of Saducees and Pharisees, centered in Jerusalem. The Messiah Himself said Yerushalayim, Yerushalayim, killing the prophets and stoning those who are sent to her! ... (Matthew 23:37). The Messiah said to the Pharisees who wanted to kill Him: You are of your father the devil (John 8:44). In Revelation the Son of God refers to them again and calls them those of the synagogue of Satan who say that they are Jews and are not (Revelation 3:9). So it seems to make sense that at that time the Jewish religious authorities centered in Jerusalem, who denied the Messiah and practiced false religion, were part of Babylon the Great. The Jewish religious authorities deceived and manipulated the Jews and the Roman authorities and they masterminded the killings of the Messiah and all God's chosen people. But Babylon the Great is greater than just the Jewish religious authorities...
And the messenger said to me, “Why did you marvel? Let me explain to you the secret of the woman and of the beast she rides, which has the seven heads and the ten horns. “The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to come up out of the pit of the deep and goes to destruction. And those dwelling on the earth, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, shall marvel when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.
TS2009 - Revelation 17:7-8
In Nebuchadnezzar's dream an image appeared which consisted of several empires that would appear after the Babylonian Empire. God gave Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar special honour as the head of gold of this image. The empire was, and is not, and is about to come up. At the timing in this vision the Babylonian Empire didn't exist anymore, but somewhere in the future the last Global Empire would be an empire in the likeness of the Babylonian Empire under king Nebuchadnezzar because the complete statue symbolized that final Global Empire with the head of gold representing Nebuchadnezzar. The legs of iron represent the Roman Empire. The feet of clay and iron then likely represent the final period of the Roman Empire, or the chaotic period after the Roman Empire, before it turns into the future Global Empire or world government. Possibly the ten toes are a parallel to the ten horns of this beast which represent the ten kings who will all give their power to the future global empire. Interestingly, God's people will not be surprised when the global empire comes into existence because it is expected according to the prophecies, but those who are ignorant will marvel.
“Here is the mind having wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits.
TS2009 - Revelation 17:9
Heads symbolize kingdoms or rulerships which have power within the empire. See for example Daniel's Four Beasts. More specifically, these heads are mountains. Mountains are stable and unmoving (Habakkuk 3:6). Temples were often built on top of mountains because they were high places closer to God. Isaiah 2:2 reads: And it shall be in the latter days that the mountain of the House of YHWH is established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills. And all nations shall flow to it. This talks about the Mountain of God, or the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:10) which will ultimately overpower all other mountains and hills on earth. Hills symbolize lesser powerful organizations within kingdoms or empires. Babylon the Great has power over the seven kingdoms mentioned here. In Isaiah 30:25 we see a parallel to this Revelation: And on every high mountain and on every high hill there shall be rivers and streams of waters, in the day of great killing, when the towers fall.
“And there are seven sovereigns: five have fallen, and one is, and the other has not yet come. And when he comes, he has to remain a little while.
TS2009 - Revelation 17:10
For example bible translations NIV and ESV read: They are also seven kings. ... which indicates that these heads and mountains are also kings. In Daniel's vision of the Ram and Goat we saw that kings are also likened to the empires they rule. So of those seven kings or empires five have fallen, one is at the moment of this vision, and another is to come. The last one is to remain only a little while. We know from other visions that the final Global Empire will only exist for a short period of time. So this likely implies that the vision points to the time shortly before that final global empire which only lasts for a short time. Then the empire at the time of the vision is the Roman Empire (stretched to modern times because of the Roman Catholic Church). The five fallen empires that affected God's people throughout history are in descending order: The Greek Empire, The Medo-Persian Empire, The Babylonian Empire, The Assyrian Empire (Isaiah 10), and Egypt (Genesis 12). Babylon the Great had power over all these empires throughout history.
The eighth beast
“And the beast that was, and is not, is himself also the eighth, and is of the seven, and goes to destruction.
TS2009 - Revelation 17:11
I think the eighth beast is a parallel to the complete statue in king Nebuchadnezzar's dream and serves as the image or idol of the final Global Empire or world government.
“And the ten horns which you saw are ten sovereigns who have not yet received a reign, but receive authority as sovereigns with the beast for one hour. “They have one mind, and they shall give their power and authority to the beast.
TS2009 - Revelation 17:12-13
I think the ten horns are a parallel to the ten toes of the statue of Nebuchadnezzar's dream. They represent the final kings on earth which give their power to the final Global Empire or world government shortly before they will be destroyed. In the Scriptures the number seven is identified with something being finished or complete. The number ten is identified with completeness. The beast with seven heads and ten horns likely symbolizes the completion or totality of all earthly empires.
“They shall fight with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them, for He is Master of masters and Sovereign of sovereigns. And those with Him are called, and chosen, and trustworthy.”
TS2009 - Revelation 17:14
Satan's last rulers on earth will combine their power and fight with the Son of God Who will destroy them.
Babylon the Great destroyed
“And the ten horns which you saw on the beast, these shall hate the whore, and lay her waste and naked, and eat her flesh and burn her with fire. “For Elohim did give it into their hearts to do His mind, to be of one mind, and to give their reign to the beast, until the words of Elohim shall be accomplished.
TS2009 - Revelation 17:16-17
Before they will be destroyed, the ten kings of the last global empire will make an end to Babylon the Great and her influence on world events. Likely because Babylon the Great is an obstruction to their desired Global Empire or world government.
“And the woman whom you saw is that great city having sovereignty over the sovereigns of the earth.”
TS2009 - Revelation 17:18
Which entity had power over the kings of this world throughout history? It must be a Satanic entity that was in existence throughout all empires on earth. What do all empires have in common besides political and economic power? All kings have in common that they were powered by Satan (Revelation 12:9) and presented themselves as representatives of gods. From the Egyptian pharaoh who was viewed as an intermediary between the gods and the people to the kings who adhered to divine right of kings and the Roman Catholic pope who is viewed as Vicar of Christ. Since the beginning of mankind Satan makes people believe that they can become like gods (Genesis 3:5). All empires or kingdoms were in substantial ways influenced and guided by religion. It seems to me that organized religion comes close to being one of Satan's most powerful tools to mislead mankind throughout history. Eventually for example the Roman Catholic popes held power over kings. Kings literally bowed down before popes in an act of submission. Perhaps therefore the kings of the future Global Empire or world government will hate Babylon the Great and her power and will destroy her in order to consolidate power for themselves. Interestingly, there is a parallel with Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar who ordered the killing of all the wise people and magicians of Babylon, the religious authorities, after they were unable to know and interpret his dream.
If we take the origins of the Neo-Babylonian Empire back to its predecessor, the Old Babylonian Empire, then we go back to the origin of human civilization and the first city-states, including Babylon. Perhaps the inclusion of Egypt and the Assyrian Empire into the beast described in Daniel's vision are meant to connect the Neo-Babylonian Empire to the Old Babylonian Empire. Perhaps the most famous story from that first empire on earth is the Tower of Babel where God confused man's language because man was building a tower that reached up to heaven in order to become gods (Genesis 11:4). The word babel means confusion Genesis 11:9). Also all organized and false religion can be traced back to Babylon.
And after this I saw another messenger coming down from the heaven, having great authority, and the earth was lightened from his esteem. And he cried with a mighty voice, saying, “Babel the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a haunt for every unclean spirit, and a haunt for every unclean and hated bird,
TS2009 - Revelation 18:1-2
Religious authorities are empowered and influenced by Satan and his demons. So when traditional religious organizations will be destroyed, then these demons will need to find new jobs.
because all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her whoring, and the sovereigns of the earth have committed whoring with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the power of her riotous living.”
TS2009 - Revelation 18:3
For example the Roman Catholic Church is one of the richest institutions in the world because its popes ordered many kings of some of the most imperial nations on earth to plunder the earth for their own profit. Global trade exploded with the Age of Imperialism and does so untill today in the age of globalization. It's all part of the Satanic system.
'Come out of her my people'
And I heard another voice from the heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. “Because her sins have piled up to reach the heaven, and Elohim has remembered her unrighteousnesses. “Render to her as she indeed did render, and repay her double according to her works. In the cup which she has mixed, mix for her double. “As much as she esteemed herself and lived riotously, so much torture and grief give to her, because in her heart she says, ‘I sit as sovereigness, and I am not a widow, and I do not see mourning at all.’
TS2009 - Revelation 18:4-7
God urges people to leave all false religion and follow Him instead (Jeremiah 51:45). Not leaving religion will likely mean death. The Son of God said I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (John 14:6). That sentence alone destroys all organized religion which places itself between God and man. The Messiah also said: Take heed that no one leads you astray. “For many shall come in My Name, saying, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and they shall lead many astray. (Matthew 24:4-5). All of organized religion claims to be the truth and leads the world astray and their leaders present themselves as representatives of God on earth. More specifically, Christianity literally carries Christ's Name, but has nothing to do with the Messiah and can be seen as a type of anti-Christ. The Messiah said to the Pharisees: Why do you also transgress the command of Elohim because of your tradition? ... Hypocrites! Yeshayahu rightly prophesied about you, saying, ‘This people draw near to Me with their mouth, and respect Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. ‘But in vain do they worship Me, teaching as teachings the commands of men.’ (Matthew 15:3,7-9). Religion is infested with imperfect human tradition which contradicts God's perfect Word. Babylon the Great claims she is not a widow which means that she regards herself as god's representative, but in reality her god is Satan, the deceiver of the whole world (Revelation 12:9).