By Dr. Thomas Ice Pre-Trib Research Center
And the woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a gold cup full of abominations and of the unclean things of her immorality, and upon her forehead a name was written, a mystery, "BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH" (Revelation 17:45).
Some insist that so-called "mystery Babylon" is a reference to the Roman Catholic Church and her influence throughout the current church age. One clear problem with this view is that the biblical text in Revelation 17:5 does not say "mystery Babylon," which could allow for a hidden or spiritual reference to another entity behind literal Babylon. Instead, the text says, "and upon her forehead a name was written, a mystery, 'BABYLON THE GREAT.'"What is the mystery or secret that is about to be revealed? The latter half of 17:5 tells us: "BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH." "Babylon the great" is a reference to the famous or renown city spoken of in Genesis 10 and throughout the Old Testament. "The mother of harlots" refers to the origin or source of something. This is why Genesis 10 and 11 record the events of postdiluvian Babylon, because it is the source where cooperate unfaithfulness to God originated.The mystery or secret is stated clearly for the reader in Revelation 17:18 as follows:
"And the woman whom you saw is the great city, which reigns over the kings of the earth."
Thus, Babylon is clearly a city that will be built in modern day Iraq on the Euphrates River that will wield a global influence over the kingdoms of this world. So Babylon means Babylon!
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