IS ROME THE MYSTERY HARLOT CITY BABYLON?
In the Book of Revelation, it is clear that the Beast represents Rome, it is also equally clear that the Babylonian Harlot City is Not Rome. Here are three reasons that the Babylonian Harlot cannot also be Rome.
- The Harlot rides the Beast, so does Rome ride on Rome? (Rev 17:3)
- The Beast hates the Harlot and destroys her with fire. Does Rome hate Rome and destroy Rome with Fire? (“The beast and the ten horns you saw will hate the prostitute. They will bring her to ruin and leave her naked; they will eat her flesh and burn her with fire.” Rev 17:16)
- If the Beast and the Harlot are both Rome, how does the Beast wage war on Jesus after the Harlot is destroyed? (In Rev 18:21-24 Babylon, the Harlot city is finally completely destroyed, whereas in Rev 19:19-21, the Beast gathers to wage war against Jesus, but is thrown into the lake of fire.)
To say that the Beast is Rome is a completely reasonable and favorable interpretation, which most commentators have chosen over church history. But to say that the Great City, Babylon the Harlot is also Rome is unreasonable once you examine the interactions between the Beast and the Harlot. They absolutely cannot both refer to Rome.*
*Some teachers have hypothesized that the Harlot represents the spiritual principality behind Rome. This would mean that the Beast [Rome] hated the principality behind Rome, and burned the principality with fire, then after the principality fell (not because of God, but because Rome cast it down?!?) then later the Beast [Rome] was judged separately without an evil principality. I hope you can see how this concept does not come from healthy exegesis.