The Bible contains numerous references to Babylon. God’s prophets Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel prophesied of its destruction and spoke about its fateful end.
The word Babylon appears 280 times in the Bible from Genesis to Revelation and refers to an empire founded upon pride, arrogance, and idol worship that flourished from 300BC until AD 70. In Revelation 18 it outlines why God will destroy Babylon.
Table of Contents
1. She was a harlot
God brought down Babylon for multiple reasons, one being its position as a “harlot.” A biblical definition of harlot refers to any woman who uses her beauty and charm to seduce men into sexual immorality. Christians must remain vigilant against falling prey to its seductions – this world can quickly pull people back in after they’ve found salvation! Therefore it is imperative that Christians always be on guard against its allure; in particular against that of harlotry.
Babylon represents a global system that has long been at war with God. It is a city filled with pride and wealth that worships nonexistent gods for worshipping purposes; furthermore it represents covetous commercialism which dominates worldwide commerce. God smashed this corrupt empire to free Israel from her oppressive burdens; in turn He will destroy any new versions at His Second Coming.
The term “Babylon” comes from its usage as the name of a woman in Revelation 18:4 who commits blasphemy against God (Revelation 18:4). She is described as beautiful and captivating, yet she also acts in opposition against His will.
Biblical references to harlots often depict them as false religious leaders and rebellious against God. Satan and his demonic forces use Babylon as their base of operation to spread false religion across the globe; hence churches should remain wary of her dangers.
The destruction of Babylon symbolizes the final judgment that will be visited upon all those who have rebelled against God and have transgressed His laws of retribution, with each person receiving double punishment for their sins – this includes false religions such as Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism Islam Hinduism Judaism and Mormonism among many others.
God calls Babylon a harlot to symbolize her role as a city that has fallen prey to false religions, engaging in acts that violate her religious purity, leading people into sin, persecuting believers for centuries, and persecuting Christians around the globe. Therefore, He must destroy her to bring justice for those martyred due to false religions.
2. She was a city of war
Babylon was an ancient city renowned for its military might and frequent wars, boasting powerful armies. She also held great wealth and power; her inhabitants often engaged in criminal behavior. God warned His people against idolatry, luxury and violence found therein; otherwise they will become embroiled in her conflicts as she too was cast into the fiery furnace (Revelation 18:5-6).
Babylon in scripture symbolizes prideful rebellion against God. This began with Nimrod’s attempt to build a tower to heaven in defiance of God’s order to “multiply and fill the earth”. According to Scripture, Babylon later become an empire which devastated Jerusalem, destroyed its temple, drove out Israel’s people and drove them into exile – becoming a symbol of evil both in Old and New Testament literature.
Spiritually, she represents all idolatrous religions that have infected our world with satanic dogma and worship. From her have come all of the false religions which persecute God’s people throughout history – Buddhist, Taoists, Muslims, Hinduists, Mormons, and Jehovah’s Witnesses among many others – from whom it will receive its curses (Revelation 18:20+).
When the Bible refers to Babylon in the future, it refers to the final global empire that will be overthrown and punished by Satan’s human puppet at the end of this age. This one-world government will eventually fall.
Many Christians struggle to comprehend why the Bible mentions Babylon in these prophecies since it has long since been destroyed, yet biblical prophets used this term to refer to all ungodly political-social-economic systems that oppose God and enslave humanity. Even though modern Babylon no longer reigns supreme, its spirit-controlled power structure still remains. Thus John urges true believers to “Come out” from its influence so they won’t participate in her sinful ways or experience its plagues (Revelation 18:4).
3. She was a city of wealth
One of the many things that makes Babylon such an intriguing ancient site is her incredible wealth. Once one of the great powers in world history, Babylon served as a hub for trade and cultural exchange among diverse populations from all around the globe, uniting religions and ways of thinking that resulted in beautiful artifacts we still possess today.
Although Babylon was wealthy and powerful, God still used it as a means to punish rebellious nations (Gen. 11:8-10). When Babylon fell to Medes and Persians in 539 B.C. it did not recover its former glories despite having some of the world’s grandest palaces (Diodorus’ account states some were over seven-stories high and included stunning parks and gardens within).
When Jesus returns, Babylon will once more become an influential political and commercial center of the world. At first it will rule under Antichrist as his harlot (Revelation 17). At that point demons will swarm over it like predatory birds would their prey.
Before Babylon could be rebuilt, God sent prophets to warn his chosen people and other true believers about her danger. They warned them all to flee from her before it is too late. They should abstain from partaking in Sodom and Gomorrah’s sinful activities of idolatry and luxury, distancing themselves from this corrupt system that will soon be overthrown by God like Sodom and Gomorrah was by Him. Conservative scholars tend to agree that the Bible does not support a future rebuild of Babylon in their interpretation. They also concur that Revelation 16:19-21 does not refer to the Catholic Church, which did not form as an organized body until around 300 A.D. If any reference in Revelation 16 is to an existing church at all today, they believe it must refer to one of the numerous sects or cults that have since emerged since Revelation was written.
4. She was a city of pride
Scripture uses Babylon as a symbol of worldliness, particularly in Revelation where she is personified as the Whore of Babylon on a scarlet beast. Additionally, she appears several times throughout Daniel including when Shadrach Meshach Abednego are placed into a fiery furnace to be tried as slaves for her.
Babylon was known for its longstanding pride and rebellion against God. Beginning with Nimrod’s attempt at building a tower to heaven despite God’s command to “multiply and fill the earth”, which caused Him to scatter them through their language chaos and scatter their people geographically.
Babylon was an ancient center of wealth and power, but she also earned notoriety for idolatry and sexual immorality. Residents adored numerous pagan gods such as Marduk and Bel, practicing sexual immorality even among its highest levels, as evidenced by King Nebuchadnezzar’s command that all his subjects worship a 90-foot tall gold statue depicting himself which required all subjects to bow before it. Shadrach Meshach Abednego’s story tells what happened to those who resisted by forcing them into an arrester fire of their own accord.
John warns all true Christians to leave Babylon so as to avoid “partakers of her sins.” This warning serves as an exhortation not to become involved with this system of idolatry, luxury and violence – should true Christians continue supporting or participating in it when Jesus returns, they too will be destroyed along with it.
Even after its destruction by God in Revelation, literal Babylon will likely rise again and become an economic and commercial center once more. Many prophecy scholars predict this event to happen sometime prior to Tribulation beginning.
Once Babylon is destroyed at the end of Tribulation, she will be replaced by a spiritual and political power governed by an Antichrist that spreads satanic religion, false doctrine and idolatrous practices throughout the globe – leading to much suffering and martyrdom among true believers just like ancient Babylon.