In a very famous vision, known as the Revelation of Jesus Christ or Revelation for short, John saw lots of wild things associated with Christ’s return. Although it hasn’t received as much hype as some of what he saw, John witnessed the economic center of the world’s superpower at the time of the end: Babylon the Great. This mystery city is going to rule over the nations of the world before the Antichrist rises (Revelation 17:5, 18). Yet, it will be attacked by the Antichrist (Revelation 17:16), and ultimately destroyed by the Lord for its wickedness (Revelation 18:21). What is the identity of Babylon the Great?
Obviously, we can’t know for certain, but there’s plenty of information to make an educated guess. For starters, Babylon the Great is going to be a port city with the most important economy in the world (Revelation 18:9-19). It’s going to have a significant Jewish population (Revelation 18:4), and it’s going to be a prostitute (Revelation 17:5). Incidentally, the ancient port city of Tyre was called a prostitute because it exploited nations through its dishonest trade (Isaiah 23:15-18). On the other hand, Israel was called a prostitute because the people made a commitment to the Lord that they later abandoned (Ezekiel 16:15-22). So, Babylon the Great will exploit people economically and lead the world to live sinfully, despite having once been faithful to the Lord (Revelation 19:2).
At the moment, the city that best fits the description of Babylon the Great is New York City. New York is a port city, a media hub that exports sinful American culture and it has a large Jewish population. The United Nations, Wall Street, and the One World Trade Center are all located there. It’s the largest, most influential city in the United States, the world’s superpower and a country that historically has had a significant Christian population. It’s also the financial center of the world’s economy. The US dollar is the world’s most dominant reserve currency, and it is frequently manipulated by the Federal Reserve, robbing people of their wealth.
To be fair, there are lots of churches in the United States and plenty of other evil countries in the world. Still, Jesus once said “For to whom much is given, of him much shall be required. And from him to whom much was entrusted, much will be asked” (Luke 12:48). If a country has lots of churches, but it promotes sinful living, that nation will be judged far more severely than an evil country that has never known the Lord.
All in all, Babylon the Great could be a reference to the United States of America, with a specific focus on its principal city: New York. After all, Babylon was a city and an empire, just like Rome was a city and an empire. Sure, it’s possible that America fades as a world power and the US dollar loses its status as the most dominant reserve currency. Another city could rise to meet all of the requirements for being Babylon the Great in the future. That said, currently, the most likely candidate for Babylon the Great is New York City.
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