When John saw Babylon the Great symbolized as a woman, he noticed that “on her forehead a name was written, a mystery, ‘BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH'” (Revelation 17:5). For some people, identifying Babylon the Great isn’t much of a mystery: it’s Babylon. While this is certainly the most literal interpretation, it doesn’t make a lot of sense. Obviously, if Babylon the Great was really just ancient Babylon, her name wouldn’t be much of a mystery.
Additionally, the Lord spoke through Isaiah that Babylon would never be inhabited again after the Medes destroyed it. He said “I am going to stir up the Medes against them…And Babylon, the beauty of kingdoms, the glory of the Chaldeans’ pride, will be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.” For good measure, He added “It will never be inhabited or lived in from generation to generation” (Isaiah 13:17-20).
So far, so good. Despite the late Sadaam Hussein’s efforts to turn it into a tourist attraction, Babylon is still uninhabited to this day. According to the Lord, it isn’t going to be. On top of that, modern Iraq doesn’t exactly have a big Jewish population. Also, no offense to Iraq, but it’s hard to see how any city in that country would ever become the world’s financial superpower. Clearly, Babylon the Great isn’t going to be Babylon.