1. Just as Eve is "the mother of all the living"--- that is, the entire human race, so too is Babylon as the "Mother of Harlots" (Rev 17:5) the fountainhead of all of the religious-"harlots" (false religions) of history.
2. The "Mother" always precedes her offspring.
3. Religious "Harlots", designated by the Bible specifically by the term "harlots", have existed throughout Biblical history (Isa. 1:21; 23:17; Eze. 23:17; Hos. 9:1; Nah. 2:4).
4. Subsequent on a timeline to these Biblical "harlots", is a history for the past 2000 years of religious harlots, including Islam, Catholicism, etc.
5. NONE of the "harlots" in the Bible references above, and NONE of those following on a timeline throught history are the MOTHER (progenitor) of harlots.
6. Remember--the MOTHER precedes the DAUGHTERS.
7. The first city ever built was Babylon (Gen 10:10; 11:4), and from there began the first false religion (Gen 11:4). BABYLON was the progenitor, the fountainhead, the root of all false religions--the MOTHER OF HARLOTS..
8. When the Tower of Babel was condemned by God, and the human race was disbursed across the world by the supernatural differentiation of their single-language into many languages, their single-false religious harlotry went with them their separate ways and splintered over time into the variety--but common core--religions that exists across the world today.
9. These are "harlot" religions. But they are DAUGHTER-"harlots", NOT the "MOTHER of Harlots". Just as Eve has not been replaced as the "mother of all the living", so too has Babylon not been replaced as the "Mother of Harlots".
10. Two (2) important Biblical prophecies illuminate Revelation 17:5's meaning when it speaks to "Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots."
1. The many "Harlots (plural)" in the world (Rev 17:5) are no more to be identified as THE "Mother of Harlots" than are the "many antichrists (plural)" in the world (1 John 2:18) to be identified as THE Antichrist.
2. The spirit of harlotry (Hos 4:12; 5:4) is no more to be identified as THE "Mother of Harlots" than is the "spirit of the antichrists" (1 John 4:3) to be identified as THE Antichrist.
"previous commentaries on Revelation take...this great city, Babylon...to be Rome, or New York, or some other city,
11. Finally, America (or Rome, or any other city) in many ways has religious-"harlotry" in it. America could even become the GREATEST harlot-nation on the planet, but it would still be one of many 'Daughter'-harlots --not THE Mother of harlots. Maybe even the greatest Daughter, but still, not the Mother-- Babylon of Chaldea (Iraq) since the beginning of history is the Mother of Harlots.
SEE America is not the Mother of Harlots
BELOW: For a visual explanation, follow the graphics in sequence, 1 throught 4.
and upon her forehead a name was written, a mystery, "BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH." (Revelation 17:5
A "Mother" is a progenitor, parent or source-- the Fountainhead of all that springs from that "Mother".
The passage above says that Babylon is the Fountainhead of "Harlots". Throughout the Bible a "harlot" is used of false-religion. False religion and its false-gods is Biblically described as an abomination (detestable) to the only true God--the God of the Bible.
Therefore, original and Scriptural Babylon, since its founding in Genesis 10-11, is the primal source--the root, the fountainhead, the "Mother"--of all of the false religions of the world.
As the Mother of Harlots, the harlots would be "Daughter" harlots, the vast variety of false religions spread across the world. The "Mystery" of the "Mother of Harlots" in Revelation 17 is that all of the world's religions (outside of true Biblical Christianity) will UNITE in the End Days at original Babylon--Babylon of Chaldea (Iraq).
The Bible speaks of "harlots", which have existed throughout Biblical history (Isa. 1:21; 23:17; Eze. 23:17; Hos. 9:1; Nah. 2:4). Nevevah, Tyre, and even Jerusalem at times, were called out for their religious harlotry. Jerusalem was severely disciplined. Nenevah and Tyre were condemned.
In Bible Prophecy it has become popular to "Replace" Babylon of Chaldea with "Babylon of Rome", "New York", "America", etc. But not one of these "replacement" Babylons could then be the "Mother" of harlots for the simple reason that the dates of the "daughter" harlots are known (Isa. 1:21; 23:17; Eze. 23:17; Hos. 9:1; Nah. 2:4)--and any insertion of a later "Mother" as a "replacement" to Babylon of Chaldea would cause these Biclically-named "harlots" to PREDATE the "Mother".
The Biblical statement, in its straightforward literal sense, is that Babylon means Babylon, and Babylon, which predates all of the world's non-Christian religions, is therefore the "Mother of Harlots"......and in this sense, the Bible keeps its Literal sense.
Nor can Roman Catholicism, New York, America, or any other replacement-Babylon qualify as the "Mother" of Islam--today in a virtual tie as the largest religion in the world. How could Catholicism be the "mother" of Islam?
Beyond that, how could Roman Catholicism, New York, or America be the "mother" of the "harlots" Tyre or Nenevah, which PREDATE them all?
Then there is the Hinduism and Buddhism "harlots", even further back on the timeline of history. Who was their "mother"?
Only original Babylon of Chaldea qualifies as the "Mother of Harlots".
"And the woman whom you saw is the great city, which reigns over the kings of the earth." (Revelation 17:18
The diverse religions of the world will 'rewind' their ancient dispersal from the Tower at Babylon (Gen 11:1-9) and reunite at Babylon of Chaldea as a single religion--a one-world false-religion acting as the moral authority to the world.
Babylon, the "Mother of Harlots", will once again find ALL of her "daughter-harlots" back at their birthplace.
Babylon will become the "great city"--not because of size or military power-- but because for a short period Satan will reign as the ultimate false god through a unified false religion with his throne set in original Babylon where it all began.
But then Satan (the false god) will raise up his Antichrist (false christ) and False Prophet (false holy spirit) and cast off the one-world religion in favor of his Antichrist's self-proclaimed 'god-above-them-all' at Babylon in modern-day Iraq. Babylon will indeed be the Great City! ...
...for a short, but torturous period at the end of this age called The GREAT TRIBULATION !
"Mystery, Babylon The Great" (Rev. 17:5)--The title itself suggests that all spiritual harlotry and abominable acts in history are somehow the offspring of Babylon."
Earl D. Radmacher, Ronald B. Allen, H. Wayne House, eds., Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Commentary, Thomas Nelson Publisher, Nashville, 1999, p. 1758.
The first word in the woman's title is "MYSTERY" (mysterion, cf. 1:20; 10.7; 17.7). But does the word belong to the name "MYSTERY BABYLON" itself, or is it a prefix before the actual name--viz, "She has a name written on her forehead, which is a mystery, 'Babylon...'?". Scholars disagree, but the latter explanation fits better with John's use of mysterion as a word denoting a divine mystery or allegory that is now revealed. Furthermore, his use of pneumatikos ("figuratively") before the words "Sodom and Egypt" in 11.8 (q.v.), by which the reader is alerted to a special symbolic significance in what follows, likewise supports this.
No doubt...the specific part of the title that is a divine mystery is that this prostitute is the mother of all earth's idolatrous prostitutes. She is the fountainhead, the reservoir, the womb that bears all the individual cases of historical resistance to God's will on earth; she is the unholy antithesis to the woman who weds the Lamb (19.7-8) and to the New Jerusalem (21.2-3).
Alan F. Johnson, The Book of Revelation, The Expositor's Bible Dommentary, Frank E. Gaebelein, gen. ed., Zondervan, Grand Rapids, MI, 1981, p. 556.