Read Revelation 14:8; Rev. 16:19; Rev. 17:5; Rev. 18:2, Rev. 18:10, Rev. 18:21, the six references to Babylon in the book of Revelation. Keeping in mind the story of Babylon as it appeared in the Old Testament, what do these texts teach us about Babylon as it appears in the context of last-day events?
It has been said that the Bible is a tale of two cities, Jerusalem and Babylon. While Jerusalem stood for the city of God and His covenant people all through the Bible (Ps. 102:21, Isa. 52:9, Isa. 65:19, Rev. 3:12), Babylon has stood for oppression, violence, false religion, and outright rebellion against God.
Think, for instance, of the tower of Babel (Gen. 11:9). The Hebrew word for “Babel” is the same word for the kingdom of “Babylon”. In 1 Peter 5:13, Peter sends greetings from the church in “Babylon”, which is generally understood to mean, not from the ruins of the old kingdom located in today’s Iraq, but from Rome itself, soon to be the church’s oppressor. This is an interesting appellation in light of the book of Revelation and the role of Rome as presented in it.
There is no question that the power that Babylon represents, as depicted in the book of Revelation, is greatly corrupt with this corruptive influence extending across the whole world, to some degree or another. The phrase “the wine of the wrath of her fornication” (Rev. 14:8) is clearly a reference to false doctrine, false teaching, and corrupt practices and the end results that come from them. Babylon is a force for evil that has spread to “all nations” (Rev. 18:3). Hence, everyone needs to take heed lest they be corrupted, as well.
|Look around at the world today: the corruption, the confusion, the oppression. What should this teach us about our need to be anchored in Jesus and in His Word?|
Source: Daily Sabbath School Lessons