This is the first time in Revelation that Babylon is mentioned—a topic which will take up most of chapters 17 and 18. This is a preliminary announcement of the final overthrow of the false city and world system called Babylon.
Babylon is first mentioned in Genesis 10-11, a city founded by a spiritual rebel named Nimrod. It grew to rule the Mesopotamian region and ultimately dominated the nations, including Israel. Babylon carried the tribes of Judah and Benjamin into captivity in 586 B.C., being used by God to discipline His own people.
When Babylon is mentioned in the Bible, it can refer either to the actual city or the pagan, humanistic world system that characterized the city and emanated from it to influence others. Babylon is God's name for the world system the Antichrist will institute during the Tribulation, a system which He will destroy. Many believe the actual ancient city of Babylon will be rebuilt and be the center of operations for the Beast and the False Prophet. Both the city and the "spirit" of Babylon will dominate the world under the influence of the Antichrist, and it is that humanistic world city and system God will most certainly destroy. Thus the second angel cries out, "Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city" (14:8).Back to Revelation