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The Babylon spoken of in Revelation chapter 14;8 KJV is clearly labeled as a city, and in Chapter 18:1 & 2 it seems to be more of a systematic degradation of God's holy words.

In chapter 19:1, 2 & 3 God is judging Babylon which would lead me to believe that it would more suit judging Satan and his minions.

Rev_14:8 KJV

And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city,
because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. 

Rev 18:1 & 2 KJV

1 And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great
power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. 

2  And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is
fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a
cage of every unclean and hateful bird. 

Rev 19:1, 2 &3 KJV

1 And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying,
Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God: 

2  For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which
did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants
at her hand. 

3  And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever. 

David Gusik puts forth these words in his commentary on Revelation 14:8;

Revelation 14:8 An angel announces Babylon's fall.

>And another angel followed, saying, "Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city,
because she has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication."

    Babylon is fallen: More on Babylon will come in Revelation 17.  For now, it is
    to see it representing mankind in organized rebellion against God.

        "Prophetically, 'Babylon' sometimes refers to a literal city, sometimes to a
        religious system, sometimes to a political system, all stemming from the evil
        character of historic Babylon." (Walvoord)

Because she has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication:
When we are told that Babylon has led all nations into fornication, the main idea is
spiritual fornication - the worship of other gods.  However, we are never surprised
to see spiritual fornication accompanied with literal immorality. <

And his comments on Revelation 18:5 are;

>Revelation 18 - The Fall of Commercial Babylon

  A. Announcing the fall of Babylon.

    1. Introduction: is this the same Babylon as is described in chapter 17?
        a. Good scholars see the issue differently. Some point to two manifestations 
        of Babylon, one religious and one commercial or material.  Others see the   
        two as one, both being judged at the same time.

        b. There are definite similarities between Babylon as described in Revelation
        17 and Revelation 18.  Both are under the rule of Antichrist, and have ruling
        queens; both are filled with blasphemy; both hate the saints, and shed their  
        blood; both are associates with kings in fornication; and both are under 
        judgment and destroyed.

        c. However, there are also some significant differences:
        Religious Babylon (Rev. 17) Commercial Babylon (Rev. 18)

        1. Mystery Babylon           1. Great Babylon; Babylon the Great

        2. Symbol: a harlot woman   2. Symbol: a great city

        3. Identified with Rome (inland)    3. Identified with a port city

        4. Woman, whore, and mother     4. Habitation, great city, market place

        5. Guilty: religious             5. Guilty: greed, self-indulgence

        6. Destroyed by a political      6. Destroyed by a sudden act of God 

        power that previously supported 

        d. In my view, it is best to see them as intertwined, yet somewhat distinct.
        Religious Babylon of Revelation 17 is judged at the mid-point of the seven- 
        year period of tribulation. Commercial Babylon is judged at the end of that

Those and other commentaries I have studied have caused me to wonder if they were the same or one religious and one Commercial

Can anyone recommend any sources for further study on this subject?

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Why wouldn't they be? Usually, Scholars assume Babylon is Rome. I see nothing to indicate a change in meaning, by the same author, in the same book. – Affable Geek Oct 23 '13 at 21:04
It depends on your eschatology. Some see it as the actual city, others as contemporary Rome, and others as a metaphor for the powers of this world. – crownjewel82 Oct 23 '13 at 22:12
@ Affable Geek I have rewritten the question to make it easier to understand, and to have others understand that I wish to research the question more thoroughly, and would appreciate any new sources of information. Thanks Cecil – BYE Oct 24 '13 at 3:12
@crownjewel82 I have been studying the Revelation for quite awhile and in my studies most authorities will agree that chapter 14 refers to a Religious Babylon while chapter 18 refers to a commercial Babylon. – BYE Oct 24 '13 at 17:19
@CecilBeckum there's certainly a majority academic view but there isn't one theologically accepted answer – crownjewel82 Oct 24 '13 at 18:05
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Yes the Babylon that is referred to through revelation is the same. Babylon the great is the name of the combined groups of false religion that are fornicating with the world leaders.

Babylon is a city, but also a symbol. It was known for its False religions for example they worshiped idols, believed in trinities or triad gods, and they believed in immortal soul. Babylon sort of collected all sorts of different god worship and those beliefs spread all over.

Babylon became the symbol for false religion because of its qualities of false worship and extravagance.

A great book that really digs deep into the scriptures is Insight from the Scriptures. Its online and free to use. It is great when doing research on whatever you can think of. Here is a link to the Index

You can see that the governments. merchants, and other tradesmen are separate from her Revelation 17:7-12. She rides on the beast that is carrying her. The beast that she is riding or fornicating with is the governments of the nations. All the merchants are crying out in Rev. 18:9-19 because the harlot lived a life of extravagance which put revenue in their pockets. When Babylon the great had fallen their income was then cut off.

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Many see the Babylon as mentioned in Revelation 14, 17, 18 & 19 as the same. The second link in that sentence actually contains a great DVD which has many scholars interviews on the subject such as

  • Susanna Elm, D.Phil., UC Berkeley
  • David Trim, Ph.D., Newbold College
  • Obery Hendricks, Jr., Ph.D., New York Theological Seminary
  • Radio & TV evangelist Doug Batchelor and others

These are scholars from various different denominations. Some of the reasons I see for connecting Babylon together throughout Revelation is...

  • It would be nearly impossible to identify Babylon in Revelation 14 in just a few verses alone.
  • Revelation 17 gives a great description of Babylon's religious background, Revelation 18 describes that this entity must also have commercial interests.
  • Revelation 18-19 reveal the judgment that will fall on this entity for it's sins, and it makes a gracious call for those in this entity to come out of her (Revelation 18:4).
  • The Bible does the same with the 144,000, they are mentioned briefly in Revelation 7, but Revelation 14 gives more detail. This is done many times throughout the Bible, for example in the opening chapter of Genesis it gives us an overview of creation, then in goes back and gives more detail etc.

Here are some brief Biblical identifying characteristics of Babylon in the book of Revelation....

  • She is a persecuting power who has killed Christians for she is " drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus" (Revelation 17:6)
  • She is referred to as a woman (Revelation 17:4), and a woman in Bible prophecy represents a church for it is written

"I have likened the daughter of Zion To a lovely and delicate woman." (Jeremiah 6:2)

and Christ the bridegroom is coming for His bride the church (Ephesians 5, John 3:29-30)

  • She is referred to as a "great harlot" (Revelation 17:1) the meaning is given in Hosea 1:2 which says

    “Go, take yourself a wife of harlotry And children of harlotry, For the land has committed great harlotry By departing from the LORD.”

  • She continues until the end of time on this earth for she receives her punishment during the seven last plagues (Revelation 18-19)

So we are looking for a church, that professes to be Christian, but has fallen away, that has persecuted and killed Christians. This church is still around today. Also we are given another clue which says

"And the woman whom you saw is that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth" (Revelation 17:18)

During the time the book of Revelation was written, Rome was that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth. Thus we are looking for a Christian church in Rome, that continues till the end of time, that has fallen away from God, and has persecuted and martyred Christians. This can only be the Roman Catholic Church. Also the church of Rome is heavily involved in commercial enterprises fulfilling Revelation 18. In case someone thinks I am bashing Roman Catholics not so for it is written

"Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues." (Revelation 18:4)

Thus many of God's people are still in the Roman Catholic Church, but they must come out before the final crisis lest they share in her sins. It's also noted that Babylon has daughters (other churches) for she is referred to as a mother (Revelation 17:5). Thus she is the mother church but there are other churches that follow her that would also make up Babylon.

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Thanks for the reference; however I vehemently disagree with the concept that it refers to the Catholic Church. I am a Protestant and disagree with much of the teachings of that Church. As I read John 3:16 I cannot find where it states that after believing in Jesus Christ you must also belong to a particular domination. You supposition that they must reject the Catholic Church tends to say that all those Catholics who died before rejecting the Catholic Church could not go to Heaven. The God I serve would never condemn anyone to the lake of fire for going to the wrong Church. – BYE Oct 24 '13 at 17:31
@Cecil: Hi Cecil, I think you may be misunderstanding part of what I am saying. The warning in Revelation 18:4 is because those who stay in that church along with others continue in their sins after the true gospel has gone to the entire world, this is why they are lost. It is the doctrines that are taught, believed and followed by the churches of Babylon that lead others to unrepentant disobedience of God's law which result in individuals being lost. Thus John 3:16 wouldn't refute or disagree with anything I've said. Does that make some sense? – HelloWorld Oct 24 '13 at 18:34
@CecilBeckum: "Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, ‘We see.' Therefore your sin remains." (John 9:41) When light comes to us, and we reject it, then it becomes sin, but where there is no light there is no sin. So if I died say a thousand years ago as a Catholic yet I very little gospel light because the Bibles were few, I could be saved if I lived up to that light. However when Matthew 24:14 occurs, then those in both Protestant and Catholic churches who disregard the light and stay in their current state will be lost. – HelloWorld Oct 24 '13 at 18:39
@ Hello World In my opinion that warning does go out to the Catholics but to those religions dedicated to false gods, such as Hinduism, Islam, and etc. once they have heard the Gospel of Christ. But it is remotely possible that I could be mistaken. – BYE Oct 24 '13 at 18:41
@ Hello World Should we move this conversation to Chat? – BYE Oct 24 '13 at 18:48

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