Mystery Babylon (Rev. 17) and literal / commercial Babylon (Rev. 18) are steeped in mystery. Listed below are twenty-five contrasts and seven similarities between the two Babylons. Is this one city or two?

25 Contrasts Between the 2 Babylons(1)

 Mystery Babylon                                                     Literal Babylon

1. Symbolic (Rev. 17)

literal (Rev. 16:17-21; Rev. 18:1-24)

2. A mystery (Rev. 17:7)

actual (Rev. 16:19; 18:1-24)

3. All details need to be explained (Rev. 17)

nothing explained (Rev. 16:19; 18:1-24)

4. Called the woman

calls herself a queen (Rev. 18:6-7)

5. Sits on many waters [peoples, multitudes, nations and tongues (Rev. 17:1, Rev. 17:15)]

does not sit (18:1-24)

6. Sits on a scarlet colored (bloodstained) beast, full of names of blasphemy, having 7 heads and 10 horns (Rev. 17:3-7)

does not sit; no names (18:1-24)

7. Sits on the 7 heads of the 7 mountains (kingdoms with kings: Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece [the 5 which are fallen]; Rome in John's day [the one that is]; revised Rome [the 10 horns which are yet to come]; and revived Greece [the Antichrist, which is the 8th world kingdom which shall come out of the 10-horn kingdom of revised Rome (Rev. 17:3, Rev. 17:7-12)]

does not sit (18:1-24)

8. Commits fornication (religion) with kings of the earth; inhabitants of the earth drunk and corrupted with wine of her fornication (Rev. 17:2; Rev. 19:2)fornication without wrath

commits fornication (greed) with kings of the earth; all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication (Rev. 14:8; Rev. 18:3, Rev. 19:9) fornication with wrath

9. Reigns [forcibly] over the kings of the earth (Rev. 17:18)

the 10 horns give their power to the beast [the Antichrist (Rev. 17:17)]

10. Is a mother with the name: Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the Earth (Rev. 17:5)

is not a mother; its name is Babylon (Rev. 18:2)

11. Is drunk with the blood of the saints, servants, and the martyrs of Jesus (she persecutes God's people [Rev. 17:6; Rev. 19:2])

in her was found the blood of holy apostles, prophets, saints, and all that were slain on the earth (she persecutes everybody [Rev. 16:6; Rev. 18:20, Rev. 18:24; c/p. Rev. 18:13])

12. Something new to John (Rev. 17:1-7)

not new to John

13. A wonder to John (Rev. 17:6)

no wonder to John (Rev. 18:1-24)

14. Mystery revealed by a redeemed man (Rev. 17:1, Rev. 17:7; Rev. 19:9-10)

several speak about (Rev. 18:1-20)

15. Not mentioned by the prophets

mentioned many times by the prophets

16. Makes herself rich (Rev. 17:4)

makes others rich (Rev. 18:3, Rev. 18:9-19)

17. Destroyed by the 10 horns (Rev. 17:12-17)

destroyed by God (Rev. 18:5-20)

18. Men rejoice over destruction (Rev. 17:16-17)

men lament over destruction (Rev. 18:9-19)

19. God puts in hearts of 10-horn kings to destroy (Rev. 17:15-17)

God destroys by own sovereign will under 7th vial of wrath (Rev. 16:19; Rev. 18:5-20)

20. Burnt with fire (Rev. 17:16)

burnt with an unquenchable fire in one hour, with plagues of death, mourning and famine coming in one day (Rev. 18:8:, Rev.18:17)

21. Destroyed completely (Rev. 17:16)

experiences torment and sorrow (Rev. 18:6-7)

22. Judgment for corrupting the earth (Rev. 19:2)

judgment for sin

23. No articles of commerce mentioned

30 articles of commerce mentioned (Rev. 18:11-14)

24. Not inhabited by God's people

inhabited by God's people (Rev. 18:4)

25. No drugs

deceives nations with sorceries (drugs) (Rev. 18:23)


bullet1. This list is taken in part from Dakes Annotated Reference Bible, by Finis Jennings Dake, Dake Bible Sales, Inc. (1963), Lawrenceville, Georgia 90246, page 299, note (d), column 4.

1997-2009 Walter J. Taylor; Walter James Taylor

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Seven Similarities of the 2 Babylons(2)

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