57 Reasons Why Iraq Can’t Be Mystery Babylon
by R.A. Coombes
An Excerpt From Volume 2 of “America, The Babylon” adopted for The A-O Report
There are some prophecy “experts” who have proposed the theory that Iraq and the ancient archaeological site of Babylon is the location for the “Mystery Babylon” of Prophecy. That theory considers the ancient prophecies of Revelation chapters 17 and 18 primarily. Some of those experts also refer to other prophecies of Isaiah 13, 14, 18, 47, and Jeremiah 50 and 51. The theoretical lines of reasoning revolve around the central notion that the prophecies must be literal and applicable only to the ancient location site of Babylon with its current nationality being Iraq. That is the main line of proof for such a view.
The site of ancient Babylon can be the only literal rendering of this prophecy according to those theorists. They proudly claim that they are the only, holy LITERAL interpreters of the text. To take the text LITERALLY one must assume then, that ancient Babylon is the LITERAL Babylon of the prophecies written by the Old and New Testament authors. Such a view assumes way too much, particularly in the translation work. Is it possible that there could be a different and more literal view based on a sharper rendering of the original Hebrew and Greek texts? Yes. Why?
This researcher has done 16 years of extensive research into such theories. The results of my research indicate that the “Iraq is Mystery Babylon” theory is incorrect and invalid. Why? It is really very simple. Follow the exact rendering of the original Hebrew and Greek texts for themselves and you will find numerous character traits for the future nation of Mystery Babylon. Yes, I did use the term “nation” because again, what seems to be merely a city being described is not just a city. Most literally, the prophecies not only refer to a city but to cities, PLURAL. Also the prophecies refer to farming and the farmers of Babylon. There are no farms in a city. There are numerous character traits listed for this city/state/nation that is referred to as either “Babylon” or “Mystery Babylon”. These character traits serve as identifying markers that give us the clues as to the identity of such a city/nation. Those traits must all match perfectly to one identity. We cannot ignore some and select others. These traits are numerous and 57 of those traits clearly can not be identified with Iraq. The following list shows what traits do NOT match up with Iraq.
#1. The Jewish Population Issue: Jeremiah 50:8, 25; Jeremiah 51: 6, 45; Isaiah 48:20 and also Revelation 18:4. These are all references to Jewish people living in this future “Mystery Babylon” in the ancient Babylon, from the 6th Century BC till well into the early Church Age, the majority of the Jewish population lived in ancient Babylon. It was the home to most of the world’s Jews even in the time of Christ. Today, the largest population of Jewish people is found in the United States. The next two nations combined, Israel (home to the 2nd largest Jewish population) and Russia (home to the 3rd largest Jewish population) do not equal the population of Jewish people living in America. Iraq on the other hand has only a relative handful of Jews living within its borders. Some estimate the Jewish population in Iraq at perhaps 10,000. That is not very many peopl e, particularly in regards to the population of most other nations hosting the Jewish remnant. This character trait of being the lead host for Jewry is not indicative that Iraq today fulfill’s the prophecies of “mystery Babylon.” Therefore, this trait alone disqualifies the theory of “Iraq = Mystery” Babylon.
But, for those who are hard-headed, let us press on with the other 56 reasons why Iraq can NOT be Mystery Babylon based upon a literal rendering of the texts.
#2. The chief city of Mystery Babylon is a “DEEP WATER PORT CITY”!!! Revelation 18: 17-19. This passage tells us that merchant ships are standing off the shoreline of Babylon. These ships have either just unloaded in the port city of Mystery Babylon, or are waiting to dock when the fiery judgment hits. These ship captains, crew and passengers are witnesses to the destruction. Question: Why would these folks be standing on deck of merchant ships unless there were port facilities in this city? Answer: The city is a port city. In this day and age, especially by virtue of the list of commodities that are traded in “Mystery Babylon,” (see Revelation 18:11-13) there must be at least one deepwater port in the nation of Mystery Babylon. One thing can be noted regard to modern day port facitilites. In order for Babylon to have the kind of merchandise (described in Revelation 18:11-13) coming by ships then those ships must be going to and from a DEEP WATER SEA- PORT CITY. Why? For today’s ships to bring such merchandise requires them to be large commercial freighters with DEEP drawing drafts. These ships require deep-water port facilities to dock and load/unload because their hulls are so deep. They are BIG ships. [Note Reason #2 seems to be like our #57 reason, but there are significant differences between them.]
Now here is the problem for the Iraq=Babylon theorists: Iraq has no deepwater seaport!!! That’s right, there is no DEEP Water port facility in all of Iraq. During GulfWar2, there were and still are small freighters coming into the little town harbor of Basra. In a recent United States CIA publication on Iraq, the CIA noted that a significant problem with sea transport was the lack of deepwater shipping facilities. Harbor draft measurements up the mouth of the Euphrates river to Basra are around the eight foot (that’s 8 feet) level. That makes it hard to even get big fishing boats into the harbor. At best, draft levels further out only range to less than 20 feet.
There is no way that the typical international commercial freighters could dock in Basra or anywhere else in Iraq’s very short shoreline because they would easily run aground and become stuck in the shallow, muddy waters. Only small ships carrying small quantities of goods can dock in Basra. Those large ore-carrying freighters, or big cargo container ships carrying cars or trucks are simply too big to be able to dock at the shallow harbor of Basra or any other little harbor on Iraq’s shoreline. Those super-large oil tankers can not get near to the small snippet of coastline that Iraq has because it is so shallow. The oil from Iraq is therefore either piped to Jordan, or is piped out for miles into the Persian Gulf into the deeper waters where these oil tankers won’t run aground.
But that is not all that shoots the Literalists balloon out from underneath them on this issue of deepwater port facilities.
According to the “Literalists,” Ancient Babylon, we are told must be the only literal interpretation. However, ancient Babylon is 400+ miles from the Persian Gulf and over 350 miles from Basra. The LITERAL description found in Revelation 18: 17-19 shows these huge ships will be within visual distance of the city skyline and will witness her destruction up close and personal. Being 400 miles away is just a bit too far to be able to see any kind of destruction of a city, even if it were from nuclear bombs. The curvature of the earth is just a bit too much at 400 miles even with flat terrain to be able to see what has transpired that far away. Now although this is in itself a fatal flaw exposed in the “Iraq = Mystery Babylon” theory it is just one of many theoretical flaws. One thing it really points to though is how NOT Literal is the concept that Iraq is Mystery Babylon.
#3. It is the KEY Commercial Nation and Engine of Wealth for the World’s Economy: Isaiah 47:15. Revelation 17:2; Revelation 18: 3, 9, 11-13, 15, 16, 17-19, 22, 23, & 19:2. In these passages we see just what relationship Babylon enjoys with the rest of the world. Here she is clearly the critical factor in the world economy. When she goes down in flames…what is the lament? “What was like unto this mega city? Who will buy our goods now that she is gone”? The answer is that no one will be able to buy the products of the world’s merchants. What does this tell us??? It should be a clear warning indicator that whoever this nation is… the rest of the world depends on her for buying their merchandise. With her destruction, there is no one left to buy these goods. That tells us just how vital this nation is and it means this nation is the engine of wealth for the world. Now, Iraq does NOT now nor can it fit that role…at least in the next 30 years, unless the rest of the world is wiped out first. Once again, we see a character trait that Iraq does not exemplify in anyway, shape or form.
#4-#21. It is the principal Commodities Trading Center: These are all commodities in a list that are the chief trading products as cited in Rev 18:11-13, for which the merchants and sailors later lament that no one will buy these products anymore. This includes Gold, Silver and Copper. Now on these items alone… there is more Gold traded in New York City on the COMEX in one day than in all the rest of the world combined !!! The same is true for Silver and Copper and Crude Oil. In fact, the volume of trade is so heavy that in one day alone there is more gold traded than had been traded in all of human history up until 1974 when gold trading was allowed on a futures contractual basis. That is how massive and dominant the USA and NYC are in the commodities trading markets. Revelation 18: 12 & 13, lists many other commodities as well, including grains and livestock. Now, Chicago is the Host City for such record trading in that arena. It too is a port city on as it sits on Lake Michigan. The fact of the matter: Iraq has no economic power… it has no ability to be the economic engine of wealth for the whole world. If Iraq vanished from the face of the earth today it would not even cause a ripple in the world’s economy.However, if the USA vanished today it would decimate the world’s economy and bankrupt every nation on earth, instantly. In essence, there would be no one left to buy the foreigner’s goods. That’s because no one else wants to import goods. They only want to export not import. The USA is the big promoter of international trade and promotes imports plus free trade. Iraq plays no such role in the world economy. As a nation, Iraq is simply too poor.
#22. A Leading center of imports and consumption: Revelation 18: 11, 17-19. These passages tell us the economic picture of this nation. Note that this nation is not only involved in the trade of these products, but that she is also the leading importer… because when she is destroyed…”no one buys”… their merchandise anymore. The folks doing the lamenting are the international merchants who export goods to this mystery Babylon. Therefore, she is the leading import nation. She is therefore, by virtue of her importer status, the chief consuming nation. This also is not a description of Iraq. Iraq has no such status in the world today, tomorrow or the foreseeable future! It is this aspect which negates the Iraq theory…because the contention is that we are living in the “last days” and the fulfillment of the end-times prophecies are at hand. IF this is true, and I assert that it indeed is true, then how can Iraq match these character traits in so short a span of time??? Answer: she can’t. Iraq is not the nation being described. There is only one nation that fits these traits, and more. That nation is the United States of America.
#23. She is also a manufacturing nation: Revelation 18: 22. This passage tells us manufacturing is no longer found in her after the judgment. This tells us that she was a manufacturing nation prior to her destruction. Iraq is not a nation noted for manufacturing.
#24. Center for Merchandising and Marketing. Revelation 18: 3, 23; 19:2. Her merchants were the mega-merchants of the earth. This again does not fit the character traits of Iraq. It does, however, fit the picture of America.
#25. Known as the World’s “policeman”: Jeremiah 50:23 gives us a Hebrew idiom, “hammer of the whole earth.” It had been used at one time to describe the way the empires of Persia, Greece and Rome had applied their power to keep the world at peace. Today, after the decline and fall of the Iron Curtain, major news media refer to America as the world’s policeman, in the same kind of role that the Hebrew idiom references. Iraq does not fit this role.
#26. Known for “showing the flag” or “gunboat diplomacy”. Isaiah 18:1-2 Here we have two Hebrew idioms for the idea of a nation’s navy showing its power. The phrase in verse 1 relates to the idea of “air travel.” The first phrase of verse 2…”that sends ambassadors by the sea,” another Hebrew idiom for when ancient naval powers would send warships to “show the flag” of friendship or threaten war to unfriendly nations or cities. Today, one nation engages in such actions: The USA sends out naval units usually as aircraft carrier battle groups. The notion of verse 1 with air travel, combined with verse 2 and the naval aspect, thus combines to send a notion of naval and air power… or suggesting aircraft carriers!!!
#27. Noted for its elegant, luxurious, refined and rich lifestyles: Isaiah 47: 1-8; Revelation 17: 4-5; 18: 2 –24. This does not match up with Iraq, as it is not capable of reaching such levels of wealthy living standards in our lifetime.
#28. Extremely Wealthy: Jeremiah 51:13… Revelation 18: 2-19
#29. Sensual, Materialistic lifestyle: Isaiah 47: 8; Revelation 18:14
#30. The Highest Living Standards: Isaiah 47:1 Revelation 18: 14
#31. Intoxicating high-society lifestyle as a world example to emulate: Revelation 17:2; Revelation 18: 3, 14, 23.
#32. Elegant, Sumptuous lifestyle. Revelation 18: 14, 23.
#33. Noted for its bright gaudy-colored lights and nightlife with round the-clock partying. Revelation 18:14.
Note the words “dainty” and “goodly.” Dainty is a word in Greek that connotes to 24-hour parties, and is connoted with orgies and debauchery. The word for “goodly” is the Greek word “lampra” from which we get the English word for lamp. In this case it carries the idea of bright, gaudy-colored lights, with idea of “glitzy” lights. Could it be the bright lights of Broadway, Times Square or perhaps even Las Vegas???
#34. Noted for its Drugs and Drug use: Isaiah 47: 9, 12. Revelation 18:23 Do we even need to comment on this one??? I think not…the text clearly speaks for itself on this one.
#35. Noted for exporting its culture abroad: Revelation 18:14, 22
#36. Noted for being Wasteful and Extravagant: Rev 18: 3, 7, 9, 14, 15; implied in Rev 17: 2.
#37. Massive Population: Rev. 18:15. And Revelation 17: 1, 15.
#38. A land of immigrants: Jeremiah 50:16; 51:13; Rev. 17:1, 15.
#39. Unique and awe-inspiring from its birth right up to its demise: Isa. 18: 2
#40. A remarkably different heritage. Isaiah 18:2
#41. Respected-envied and yet HATED by the whole world also. Isa. 18:2
#43. Powerful and Oppressive. Isaiah 18:2
#44. Land of Rebels in its birth. Jeremiah 51: 1; Isaiah 47: 9.
#45. Cosmopolitan and Urban. Jeremiah 50:32
#46. A Land of Agriculture. Jeremiah 50: 16
#47. An International City. Revelation 17: 18; 18:15
#48. Architecture, Buildings and Skyline. Isaiah 13:22
#49. Land of Many Waters (fresh waters)> Jeremiah 51:13, 36, 42; Isa 18:1,2
#50. Where the world’s leaders “stream” to meet. Jer. 51:44; Rev. 17:18
#51. Last of the Super Powers. Jeremiah 50:12; Rev 17:18, 19; and in the Revelation 18:18 passage “what city is like the ‘mega’ city”…
#52. No Fear of Invasion. Isaiah 47:5, 8; Revelation 18: 7
#53. Defenses reach up to Outer Space Jeremiah 51:53
#54. Occult aspects Isaiah 47: 9, 12,13.
#55. Alliances/Treaties allowing physical military bases of operation for the Satanic forces. Revelation 18: 2.
#56. Its national symbol: Rev 17. Robed woman with a cup-like container in one hand that smells like natural gas odors inside the container…and the woman is connected to water and immigration…and is considered to be a mother-figure of spiritual prostitution…a.k.a. Ishtar, the mother of ‘literal’ and ‘physical’ prostitutes within religious worship centers. [That is what the Babylonian goddess Ishtar was–the promoter of physical prostitution… salvation by sex… have sex with a temple priest or priestess and you are purified from sin. And of course you pay a ‘gift offering’ for this salvation activity. Ishtar was never a physical ‘mother’… but rather a ‘madam’ over the priestesses. Ishtar was never married and never had a child but she was called “mother” of the temple priestesses. Now having said all of this… I am referring to the Statue of Liberty.
In my book, “America, The Babylon” Vol. 1, I explain the meticulous research involved that shows that the Statue of Liberty is in fact the brainchild of the sculptor Bartholdi. Later in Volume 2, you will find even more data on this subject. I would like to note at this point that it was Bartholdi’s idea to create the image of the goddess Liberty of Rome. You will see later on in Volume 2 just how the Romans had in fact borrowed the Babylonian goddess.
Babylonians first worshipped Ishtar the goddess of Babylon and the Romans also adopted her but they changed the name to Libertas in Latin, (Liberty, in English). So that, the Statue of Liberty is actually a pagan idol image of Ishtar–the woman pictured in Revelation 17. If you don’t believe it…look at Revelation 17: 4 & 5. Note the word for abomination. The word used here is “bdelugma” and its root word is “bdeoh.” Strong’s Code # 946 … ” A foul thing, detestable, usually of idols … the root word means to “break wind”, or to “pass gas”… indicating the odor smells like natural gas.
Speaking of natural gas …did you know that the torch-cup of the Statue of Liberty burns an eternal flame…fueled by smelly natural gas? Also of course, the Statue is referred to as the Mother of Exiles … an immigrant connection…just as the woman of Rev. 17: 1, 15 is also connected to immigrants. So too was Ishtar. She was the goddess of personal freedom … and an encouragement to immigrants.
AND LAST BUT BY NO MEANS THE LEAST… THE MOST LITERAL OF ALL
#57. A Populated city named Babylon with a Deepwater Port.
Revelation 17:18; & 18: 11-19… Did you know that when ships coming in to the harbor facilities of New York City make their final approach to the Harbor channel shipping lanes…they have to come in from the south… heading due North straight for a spot on Long Island called … BABYLON !!! That is right. The city of Babylon, New York features a tall water tower that ship captains use to navigate directly into the harbor channel. They come within 200 to 300 yards of the shore before turning west to head into the port. It is from this vantage point that I believe Revelation 18: 17-19 takes place.
From this vantage point…on the deck of a ship…one could quite easily read the letters of the name Babylon on the city water tower!!! Talk about literal?? Now that is indeed literal. This is something that theorists who promote the Iraq = Babylon idea can’t match, because ancient Babylon is not a deepwater seaport. It’s so far away from the ocean that it can not possibly fit the description of Revelation 18: 17-19… in no way. But the USA can… and especially its chief city… a seaport named NYC/Babylon. Also, Babylon on Long Island derived its name because immigrant Jews founded it in 1872. The group’s rabbis chose the name almost prophetically, because they believed it would be home to a new diaspora.
Why would they think this? Because rabbinical opinions had held that ancient Babylon’s power would be moved… Zechariah 5: 5-11… and Isaiah 18:1 tells us what direction it would be moving. Isaiah 18:1 says that the spirit of Babylon would move west of the most outermost boundaries of ancient Babylon’s western-most border, beyond the rivers of Ethiopia and Egypt. [That is what is meant by the KJV term “Ethiopia”] By virtue of Isaiah’s point of observation being from Jerusalem…then the direction of movement was westward from Jerusalem…beyond the most outer of Babylon’s oldest boundaries… meaning… the occultic power that fueled Babylon would move and take up residenceelsewhere in the end times.
Thus, scripture itself negates the “Iraq = Babylon” theory. Why will our “expert” scholars not accept the scriptural passages on this? Is it due to Pride? Is it due to ignorance? However, it seems to me that their hypocrisy shows. Clearly, the only logical interpretation from scripture is that it literally cannot be Iraq because the text tells us it moved. Isaiah 18:1-7 and Zechariah 5:5-11.
Early rabbinical writers commented on this well before the time of Christ. They made note that the “mystical woman of Babylon” had moved out of the Babylonian Empire and had been taken westward beyond the ancient boundaries of Babylonia. Those most westward boundaries were considered to be Egypt and Ethiopia. The woman was taken west of those two countries. They noted that the woman would not be found in its old location of Mesopotamia for the fulfillment of the final prophecies, which would be fulfilled at the coming of Messiah.
These rabbinical commentators believed that a future Babylon that was prophesied by Isaiah and Jeremiah would be located west of Egypt and Ethiopia. They believed the woman of Zechariah 5 was headed west of those boundaries and hence out of uttermost regions of Babylonia/Shinar/Chaldea. Yes, they believed she was being taken west of Egypt and Ethiopia in that basket. Why? Note that the observer’s vantage point was already in the land of Shinar.
Shinar is yet another term for the ancient nation of Babylonia or Chaldea. Therefore we must pay attention to that scriptural direction and realize that it must be a new nation that carries the old Babylonian character traits. You’ll note that the verse is indicating it is a different Shinar than the Chaldean or Babylonian land called Shinar. How do we know that? Isaiah 18:1-2 tells us from the observer’s vantage point of Jerusalem that the phrase beyond the rivers of Ethiopia is an ancient idiomatic reference to the farthest borders of Babylon at the time of Cush, father of Nimrod. Nimrod inherited that land from his father and so that Egypt and Ethiopia were the extreme western borderof Babylonia or Shinar or Chaldea.
Now, Isaiah is telling us that a future Babylon would exist at the time of the coming of Messiah and it would be located beyond the old Babylonian Empirical boundaries of Egypt and Ethiopia, which was the Cush empire that Nimrod inherited. It too was Shinar. Zechariah is then referencing that the woman is being flown out of Babylonia/Chaldea/Shinar to a new land of Shinar. This confirms what the prophet Isaiah had written earlier concerning a future Babylon being located west of the old Babylon.
There is reportedly a team of archaeological experts preparing to publish the results of many years of work in which they claim to have documentation that the Babylonians occupied North America and Mexico as colonies as early as around 3,000 BC. If this were true then it may further highlight and underscore the reason for these statements made by the prophets and the rabbinical commentaries.
We do know this…that the nation being referred to is none other than … …