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What does the term "Mystery Babylon" refer to in Rev. 17:5, if the empire of the Antichrist is the "revived Roman Empire"?


Excellent question! I rarely hear a discussion of this subject. We get the idea of a revived "Roman Empire" from the writings of Daniel, and the description God gave him of 4 world empires that were future to Daniel. Just as God revealed to Daniel, there have been only 4 "world empires" since Daniel's day, the last being the Roman Empire of the Caesars.

In Dan Chapter 7, God gives Daniel an amazingly accurate description of the four world empires of Babylon, Medio-Persia, Greece, and Rome. In Rev. chap 13, we see the last world empire will be a revival of the Roman empire, and it is also called "Mystery Babylon", in Rev. 17:5.

The Book of Revelation describes the Kingdom of Antichrist, during the Seven Year Tribulation, as a world wide political system, economic system, and religious system, whose global dictator, in the end, demands to be worshipped as god, and this empire is clearly a "revived Roman Empire".

I believe that the term "Mystery Babylon" is placed into Revelation Chapter 17 indicating that the character and details of the Revived Roman Empire will be similar to that of Ancient Babylon.

When Mystery Babylon falls, in Rev. Chapter 18, we see the "merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more:", and most of the chapter is devoted to the "merchandise" and the fall of a world wide economic system.

The English word "mystery" in the KJV, is the Greek word "musterion", meaning that it is for the "insiders" to understand, and the "outsiders" to not understand. All the "mysteries" of the New Testament are for only God's people to understand. "Musterion" in the New Testament is not a "mystery", like we think of today, something dark and hard to understand, but it is something for only God's people to clearly understand.

Then, we should easily and clearly understand the details of what will be going on during the Tribulation, by studying the history of Ancient Babylon.

The Ancient Babylonian Empire - a prototype of the Kingdom of Antichrist

The Old Babylonian Kingdom was at it's peak at about the time of God's calling of Abraham, circa 1900BC.

The name "Babylon" means "Gateway to god", from "bab" and "el", meaning "gate of god".
Note: The Tower of "Babel", in the Old Testament, also originally meant "Gateway to god", but because God "confused" the languages of the people involved with the Tower of "Babel", the word "babel" has taken on a Biblical meaning of "confusion".)

Ancient Babylon was located where the modern nations of Iraq and Iran are today.

Babylon was centered in the Tigris-Euphrates Valley, and is often referred to as "the cradle of the human race", and for good reason - the Genesis account locates the Garden of Eden in this area, in Gen. 1:10 -18.

The Unique characteristics and developments of Ancient Babylon:

1. The soil in Ancient Babylon was very rich and the people were industrious. They built cities and developed irrigation systems, and for the first time in recorded history grew an excess of food crops, exporting food goods all over the known world. Up until this point in history, the human race had been primarily agricultural, each family growing only what it could eat immediately or barter.

It is this excess of food that allowed many of the Babylonian people the free time to develop writing skills, art, sciences, mathematics, and business systems.

2. Because of the extra "time on their hands", artists, mathematicians, writers, scientists, and building trades flourished, and amazingly they pioneered:

a. A legal system.

b. A postal service.

c. A system of writing and libraries to categorize and store books, in tablet form.

d. Sciences such as astronomy and mathematics, and medical surgery.

e. The first recorded tunnel under a river - the Euphrates.

f. Paved streets

g. The first recorded banking system with service charges on valuables deposited and interest on loans.

h. The manufacture and world wide export of tools, weapons, pottery, leather goods, cloth and clothing, rugs, boats, wagons, carts plows, religious idols and statues, and trinkets.

i. Schools to teach astronomy, mathematics, medicine and manufacturing and building trades.

j. The base 6 number system, and divided the day into 24 hours, each hour into 60 minutes, each minute into 60 seconds. They also divided the compass into 360 degrees.

k. They created tables of reciprocals (numbers divided into 1) to aid them in finding square roots. This helped them develop the earliest form of the Quadratic Equation.

3. They tended to be peaceful and were very industrious, had very little poverty, and tremendous economic prosperity.

4. They were fascinated with numbers, and used numbers for people's names. Rev. 13:16-18 speaks of people having a number representing their name, connected to buying and selling.

5. They recorded every buying and selling transaction, even down to clothing and personal articles.

6. For the first time in recorded history, women were free and took on leadership roles in society.

7. Their religion was paganism, and they had temples everywhere with statues of the Emperor.

8. They worshipped the Emperor as a god.

9. The city of Babylon, with it's opulence and hanging gardens, was one of the 7 wonders of the world.

Now, the most important and exciting thing about this is that Daniel prophesied that there would be only four world empires, Babylonian, Medio-Persian, Greecian, and Roman, and that at the time of the end, the fallen Roman empire would be revived under the Antichrist.

When the Roman Empire fell, the people, who had been devoted to and supported by the State, lost all sense of organization and the world fell into a feudal state ruled by war lords, and societies returned to agriculture to support each family. This is called the "dark Ages" in our history books, because all the economic and artistic prosperity was lost for over 1000 years.

After the "Dark Ages", the Bible tells us that the old Roman Empire, basically centered in Europe, would be revived, and as it grew to be "worldwide", it would have the characteristics of the Old Babylonian Empire.

For almost 2000 years, after Rome fell, the world was feudal and agricultural, then look what we have seen develop in our own lifetimes! The characteristics of Ancient Babylon are back, political and economic power is growing in Europe, the European States are again united, and the most powerful world wide "church" is headquartered in Rome!

I do not see America mentioned in the Scriptures, but it certainly is an "extension" of the "revived Roman Empire". America helped Europe rebuild after World War II. America has brought back the science, and trade, and most of the other characteristics of Ancient Babylon. America has armed the world for Armageddon.

There is no doubt in my mind that the world is presently set up and ready for the Antichrist, the 7 year peace pact between Israel and her Arab neighbors, and the onset of the 7 year Tribulation.

The way I see it, "Mystery" Babylon is here, and the next event on God's calendar is the Rapture of the Church Age believers - all those who are "in Christ".