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  • Babylon

    A lot of preterists claim that "Babylon" refers to Jerusalem. Presumably, this argument would apply both to Revelation and 1 Peter. But is there any actual logic behind this idea? What does Babylon symbolize that could actually fit Jerusalem? I don't think you can just say, "Babylon was a bad city, and Jerusalem was a bad city." That is a shallow, childish comparison. I have never heard a preterist actually argue any symbolism.

    Here are the two main points of comparison that stand out to me:

    1. Babylon was an occupying power. Rome was an occupying power.
    2. Babylon destroyed the first temple. Rome destroyed the second temple.

    Also, Rome was the pagan inheritor of the kingdom represented by the statue in Daniel 2, which began with Babylon. And the idea that Jerusalem "reigneth over the kings of the earth" (Rev. 17:18) always seemed like a big stretch to me. But for now I would like to focus on any supposed parallels between Jerusalem and Babylon.

  • #2
    What does Babylon symbolize that could actually fit Jerusalem?
    "where also our Lord was crucified" would make it prudent to consider the possibility seriously. It seems that the apostles also made oblique reference to Jerusalem (1 Peter 5:13) on occasion as "Babylon" - on account of persecution of God's elect, as Babylon had been wont to do. Note that at the time of writing, Rome had yet to engage in the systematic persecution of Christianity.

    All up kind of flimsy, but "where also our Lord was crucified" is sort of difficult (though not quite impossible) to work around.

    Almost forgot:
    Rev 14:8 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.”
    Rev 17:5 And on her forehead a name was written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
    This has ties to Old Testament references to Jerusalem, for example:

    Jer 13:27
    I have seen your adulteries
    And your lustful neighings,
    The lewdness of your harlotry,
    Your abominations on the hills in the fields.
    Woe to you, O Jerusalem!
    Will you still not be made clean?”
    Last edited by tabibito; 08-01-2014, 01:25 AM.
    sigpic1 Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω

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    • #3
      1. It doesn't say that where our lord was crucified is even called Babylon. Further, that doesn't answer my question about Babylon as symbolism.

      2. The book of 1 Peter does not say that it is referring to Jerusalem.

      3. Babylon was not known for persecuting the elect. It was known for persecuting the wicked and destroying their temple.

      4. Your citation to Jeremiah doesn't answer my question about Babylon as symbolism.

      Comment


      • #4
        You're quite right - but the arrow isn't pointing at Rome:

        1.
        Revelation (the two witnesses) 2:8. And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.
        Here Jerusalem is equated with Sodom and Egypt. The link with harlotry is consistent, as also to Jeremiah.
        2. It is most likely that Peter was writing from Rome - the way it is phrased doesn't show that he was referring to the city he was in at the time of writing. ... However, if he was writing from somewhere else, it could be referring to Rome.
        3. That isn't what I have understood, but you could be right. I'll check into it.

        I'm not a preterist, but after checking a long time ago, I've never considered Rome an option. From that determination, I jumped to the conclusion from that Jerusalem is the only other candidate. It seems that I need to dig deeper.
        sigpic1 Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by tabibito
          2. It is most likely that Peter was writing from Rome - the way it is phrased doesn't show that he was referring to the city he was in at the time of writing. ... However, if he was writing from somewhere else, it could be referring to Rome.
          The main reason I think he was writing from Rome is because he mentions Mark and Silas. I don't really see why those two people would be hanging out in Jerusalem together, since they were known to be missionaries. Also, if he were in Jerusalem, he might just as well have mentioned all his other boatload of famous friends who were native to Jerusalem.

          1 Peter 5
          12 By Silvanus, a faithful brother unto you, as I suppose, I have written briefly, exhorting, and testifying that this is the true grace of God wherein ye stand.
          13 The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son.


          edit -- And I don't see why you would deny that "Babylon" refers to the city he was in at the time of writing. That point seems relatively clear.
          Last edited by Obsidian; 08-01-2014, 10:33 AM.

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          • #6
            Also, I think Acts indeed suggests that Peter left Jerusalem due to persecution, which would imply that he was not writing from Jerusalem, and thus that Jerusalem was not Babylon.

            Acts 12
            18 Now as soon as it was day, there was no small stir among the soldiers, what was become of Peter. 19 And when Herod had sought for him, and found him not, he examined the keepers, and commanded that they should be put to death. And he went down from Judęa to Cęsarea, and there abode.

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            • #7
              That last is probable, but Peter did found another church (If I remember rightly, Antioch). If he was writing from there, Rome would be an option ... but I find it doubtful he would use that phrasing to make a comment about someone in the same locality. Either no city would be mentioned, or some version of "with me in" would be expected.
              Last edited by tabibito; 08-03-2014, 12:47 PM.
              sigpic1 Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω

              Comment


              • #8
                I don't think your interpretation that Babylon was separate from Peter's location makes any sense. And I have never heard anyone else interpret it that way.

                Comment


                • #9
                  From the other thread I was posting on, I stated Babylon was the original Beast cut down by Persia, grown back 7 times in brass and iron, Greek and Roman kingdoms. This is from Daniel 2/4.

                  When Gentile powers take control over Jerusalem, Jerusalem is Babylon, Greece, Rome, etc. and she sits on the Beast and its heads. This is the first way Jerusalem can also be called Babylon.

                  The second way is that when Jerusalem is faithful to God's Kingdom she takes its name:

                  Revelation 3:12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.

                  But when she fornicates with the Beast she takes its Mark and its name: the Beast can be Babylon, but she can also be called Babylon.

                  ---

                  Revelation 18:3 For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.

                  In the other thread I posted from Ezekiel 23 that Jerusalem/Aholibah is the Whore of Babylon and it lists some of the kings of the earth she fornicated with at that time.

                  In Jeremiah 25, not only is Jerusalem made to drink God's wrath of her fornication, other nations are made to drink of it too:

                  Jeremiah 25:17 Then took I the cup at the LORD's hand, and made all the nations to drink, unto whom the LORD had sent me:

                  Jeremiah 25:18 To wit, Jerusalem, and the cities of Judah, and the kings thereof, and the princes thereof, to make them a desolation, an astonishment, an hissing, and a curse; as it is this day;

                  (other nations mentioned)

                  Jeremiah 25:29 For, lo, I begin to bring evil on the city which is called by my name, and should ye be utterly unpunished? Ye shall not be unpunished: for I will call for a sword upon all the inhabitants of the earth, saith the LORD of hosts.

                  So for some reason that part of Revelation 18:3 is often read like, "Babylon had all these idols and a mystery religion and it gave that wine of idolatry to everyone and they fornicated with Babylon and it made them drunk to the truth." Etc. But that's not even what it says, it's about drinking wrath, not drinking fornication. Babylon is the servant who carries out God's wrath for Jerusalem's fornication, and because of her fornication other nations had to drink that wrath as well.

                  ---

                  Another description of the Great City is that merchants provided her with luxuries:

                  Revelation 18:12 The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble,

                  Revelation 18:13 And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men.

                  Solomon was the big biblical consumer of wood, gold, silver, spices, linens, jewels, and all those luxuries described in Revelation:

                  1 Kings 10:10 And she gave the king an hundred and twenty talents of gold, and of spices very great store, and precious stones: there came no more such abundance of spices as these which the queen of Sheba gave to king Solomon.

                  1 Kings 10:11 And the navy also of Hiram, that brought gold from Ophir, brought in from Ophir great plenty of almug trees, and precious stones.

                  1 Kings 10:25 And they brought every man his present, vessels of silver, and vessels of gold, and garments, and armour, and spices, horses, and mules, a rate year by year.

                  1 Kings 10:26 And Solomon gathered together chariots and horsemen: and he had a thousand and four hundred chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen, whom he bestowed in the cities for chariots, and with the king at Jerusalem.

                  1 Kings 10:28 And Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt, and linen yarn: the king's merchants received the linen yarn at a price.

                  1 Kings 10:29 And a chariot came up and went out of Egypt for six hundred shekels of silver, and an horse for an hundred and fifty: and so for all the kings of the Hittites, and for the kings of Syria, did they bring them out by their means.

                  ---

                  And right after all that, we see that Solomon symbolizes Jerusalem as the Whore of Babylon:

                  1 Kings 11:4 For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father.

                  ---

                  Here are some other parallels to further narrow down the identity:

                  Ezekiel 16:2 Son of man, cause Jerusalem to know her abominations,

                  Ezekiel 16:11 I decked thee also with ornaments, and I put bracelets upon thy hands, and a chain on thy neck.

                  Ezekiel 16:12 And I put a jewel on thy forehead, and earrings in thine ears, and a beautiful crown upon thine head.

                  Ezekiel 16:13 Thus wast thou decked with gold and silver; and thy raiment was of fine linen, and silk, and broidered work; thou didst eat fine flour, and honey, and oil: and thou wast exceeding beautiful, and thou didst prosper into a kingdom.

                  Ezekiel 16:14 And thy renown went forth among the heathen for thy beauty: for it was perfect through my comeliness, which I had put upon thee, saith the Lord GOD.

                  Ezekiel 16:15 But thou didst trust in thine own beauty, and playedst the harlot because of thy renown, and pouredst out thy fornications on every one that passed by; his it was.

                  Ezekiel 23:17 And the Babylonians came to her into the bed of love, and they defiled her with their whoredom, and she was polluted with them, and her mind was alienated from them.

                  Revelation 17:6 And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.

                  Matthew 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!

                  Matthew 23:38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.

                  Revelation 17:16 And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.

                  Ezekiel 23:29 And they shall deal with thee hatefully, and shall take away all thy labour, and shall leave thee naked and bare: and the nakedness of thy whoredoms shall be discovered, both thy lewdness and thy whoredoms.

                  Revelation 18:7 How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.

                  Lamentations 1:1 How doth the city sit solitary, that was full of people! how is she become as a widow! she that was great among the nations, and princess among the provinces, how is she become tributary!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I forgot to address this part. The word in Revelation 17:18 is βασιλείαν (basileian): kingship over kings, effectively the same as King of kings.

                    1 Timothy 6:15 Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;

                    Jesus is already King of kings from 1 Timothy and elsewhere, and his throne is right where David's was, in Jerusalem.

                    Jeremiah 3:17 At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the LORD; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart.

                    Of course we can't see it, but we also know the Kingdom of God isn't in the clouds or in another galaxy, it's here. Ever since Jesus received the everlasting kingdom from David, Jerusalem as the seat of his throne has ruled over everyone, whether or not they acknowledge or bow to it, nothing happens unless God allows it, for now anyway.

                    As discussed, righteous Jerusalem is opposite of the Harlot, together the Harlot and Gentile Beast are 2 horn kingdoms of the False Prophet (vs. 2 olive trees Gentile/Jewish prophets) saying that Jesus isn't Messiah: for example, Herod and Pilate making friends as they sent Jesus to death.

                    In a way that attitude also rules over kings of the earth where today it's expressed in bodies like the UN and concepts of secularism, they follow that lead of not proclaiming Jesus as King.

                    Whether or not there will be some kind more visible false Messianic Kingdom ruling all global leaders remains to be seen, it's not really necessary since the qualification is already met by the legitimate unseen kingdom, even though it's described along with unrighteous Jerusalem as some of its disobedient subjects. It's still the same city.

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                    • #11
                      Rev 18:4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

                      I didn't see this verse mentioned. I don't think it makes any sense as Rome, although it might as Jerusalem. However, Jerusalem is a symbol used for the church. In this way it represents an apostate religion as talked about in chs 2-3. This seems logical considering the whole book is a message to the churches.

                      Rev 22:16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.
                      666 And The Name

                      http://https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08D1M48M4/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&qid=1594855398&refinements=p_2 7%3AAlan+Fuller&s=digital-text&sr=1-1&text=Alan+Fuller

                      https://sites.google.com/site/apocalypticwisdom/

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                      • #12
                        Jerusalem is good natural olive trees following Jesus and God, and bad harlot figs lusting after Caesar/idolatry/UN/secularism/Babylon. To summarize.

                        You either take God's name and are called Jerusalem, or take the Beast's name and are called Babylon.

                        Source: KJV

                        Revelation 3:12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.



                        Revelation 13:18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.

                        1 Kings 10:14 Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was six hundred threescore and six talents of gold,

                        1 Kings 11:4 For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father.

                        Ezekiel 23:17 And the Babylonians came to her into the bed of love, and they defiled her with their whoredom, and she was polluted with them, and her mind was alienated from them.

                        © Copyright Original Source

                        Last edited by JohnnyP; 11-13-2014, 12:09 AM.

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                        • #13
                          Lusting after Caesar/idolatry/UN/secularism/Babylon are all things read into the text, or eisegesis. They are added into the meaning and aren't literally found in the text. If we make such claims do we add to the book?

                          Rev_22:18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:

                          If we interpret either ancient or modern historical meaning from the text, should we consider it private interpretation?

                          2Pe_1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
                          666 And The Name

                          http://https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08D1M48M4/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&qid=1594855398&refinements=p_2 7%3AAlan+Fuller&s=digital-text&sr=1-1&text=Alan+Fuller

                          https://sites.google.com/site/apocalypticwisdom/

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by eschaton View Post
                            Lusting after Caesar/idolatry/UN/secularism/Babylon are all things read into the text, or eisegesis. They are added into the meaning and aren't literally found in the text. If we make such claims do we add to the book?

                            Rev_22:18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:

                            If we interpret either ancient or modern historical meaning from the text, should we consider it private interpretation?

                            2Pe_1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
                            Not any more so than speculating about whether it's Rome or Jerusalem: if you dismiss Rome are you interpreting privately or taking away from what it's trying to say?
                            Source: KJV

                            Revelation 22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

                            © Copyright Original Source


                            Or if we identify concluding events as a sign that the New Covenant is entirely in force, and we understand from elsewhere in the Bible that Jesus is the mediator of it, is it interpreting privately or adding?
                            Source: KJV

                            Revelation 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

                            Jeremiah 31:31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:

                            Jeremiah 31:33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.

                            Hebrews 8:6 But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.

                            © Copyright Original Source


                            I don't really think so:
                            Source: KJV

                            2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

                            © Copyright Original Source


                            So to recognize from the Bible as I cited earlier that it's just the same old pattern of Harlot Jerusalem seeking Gentile worldly kingdoms instead of God's Kingdom is in part addressing the challenge of the riddle:
                            Source: KJV

                            Revelation 17:9-10 And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth. And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.

                            © Copyright Original Source

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                            • #15
                              Another reason to possibly equate Babylon with Rome is that Babylon was represented in Daniel 7 as a lion. In Revelation 13, it is the mouth of the beast from the sea which is made out of lion flesh. Most people acknowledge that the beast from the sea is not Israel. Therefore, if Babylon refers to the same thing as the beast's mouth, then presumably Babylon was a gentile city and not Jerusalem. (The only way around this would be if Jerusalem were somehow the mouth of the beast from the sea, despite the difference in Jew-gentile classification.)

                              The beast's mouth is the thing that is speaking all the blasphemies.

                              Another way around this would be if, as JohnnyP alluded to, the whore is not actually Babylon itself, but merely a city which took the name of the beast. However, that interpretation seems a bit problematic because the whore is constantly called Babylon and nothing else is clearly called Babylon.
                              Last edited by Obsidian; 11-16-2014, 09:48 PM.

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