I know that's a controversial suggestion, if true it probably invalidates one or the other of two theories on Bible Prophecy I've advocated on this Blog (the Wilderness of Revelation 12 being Mt Sinai, or the Babylon of 17 being East of the Euphrates), maybe both given other factors.
If true it would prove Mystery Babylon is Israel in a Rebellious state before her ultimate salvation, as I'm unshakable on The Woman of 12 being Israel and The Church being The Man-Child. But it would NOT prove Jerusalem, rather it contradicts it, this is Israel after fleeing. (So either way this Babylon is still probably East of the Jordan.)
We often see the Wildness refuge of Revelation 12 as a repeat of the Exodus-Deuteronomy wandering, Israel fell into Idolatry then too. And in DeMille's movie The Ten Commandments, he draws on Revelation 17 imagery in depicting the Golden Calf incident.
Now, here is the first clue that lead me to consider this possibility.
The word "Wilderness" is used in the Book of Revelation three times, in the Greek it's also the same word all three times, even the same form of the word (Eremon rather then Eremos). In Revelation 12 verses 6 and 14 it refers to the place where The Woman is taken to be protected. But then in Chapter 17 verse 3, John is taken to The Wilderness to see a Woman sitting on a Beast. And all three seem to use the definite article, The Wilderness, not a wilderness.
That I noticed months ago really, it kept sticking in my head but I felt it's conflict with my other theories and how they fit together meant I shouldn't read too much into it.
Then today I was for a completely different theory I've been working on, studying various usages of Hebrew words for Spear/Lance/Javelin. And I happened to notice something profound in Jeremiah, aspects of this have probably been used by Babylon is Jerusalem theorists before, but I doubt they noticed the Revelation 12 relevance.
Jeremiah 6:23 and 50:42 are saying almost the exact same thing. In Hebrew it's more similar then in the KJV as there Lance and Spear are the same word. The only difference is one is the Daughter of Zion and the other the Daughter of Babylon.
And in both cases the verses right before and after are also profoundly similar. Jeremiah 6:24 is part of the reason we know the Woman of Revelation 12 is Israel, but we overlook Jeremiah 50:43 using the same term. And in 6:22/50:41, could the Kings of this "northern" nation be the 10 Kings of Revelation 17? And the King of Babylon either The Antichrist or a Decoy Antichrist, claiming to be Messiah Ben-Joseph and/or the Imam Mahdi?
Now the problem with using this to prove Babylon is Jerusalem is that Jeremiah 6 read from the beginning makes clear the Children of Zion have already fled The Land. While Jeremiah 50 and 51 is repeatedly tied to the Land of the Chaledeans and of Babylon. And God calls his faithful people to leave.
Could the "Mountains" Jesus told the people to flee to after the Abomination of Desolation in Matthew 24 be the Seven Mountains?
Chuck Missler likes to talk about the Woman of Revelation 17 boasting that she is not "widowed and divorced" as a contrast to Israel, described by The Prophets as widowed and divorced. But others have interpreted that "boast" as being a denial.
And then there is Zachariah 5. We've long speculated that Woman is the Revelation 17 Woman. But she's transported with parallel wing imagery to Revelation 12 which we overlook. And in Daniel 7 the Lion representing Babylon has Eagle's Wings which are plucked.
Micah 4:9-10 seem to refer to the Daughter of Zion going to Babylon after travailing in Childbirth.
Returning to what I've argued before that the Woman of Revelation 12 is in a sense Rachel. In Genesis 31, after Joseph is born and Jacob leaves Laban's household which I view as a possible type of the birth of the Man-Child and The Rapture in Revelation 12. Rachel stole Laban's Teraphim idols, and in verses 34 and 35 she sits on them, and claims to Laban she is menstruating to avoid being searched. What color does that imagery evoke? Red, the color of Scarlet. And this incident took place in Gilead interestingly.
And if you still insist on linking the Woman of Revelation 12 to the
constellation Virgo (called Bethulah by Semites) in some fashion.
Isaiah 37:22 refers to a "Virgin Daughter of Zion" (along with 2 Kings 19:21 and Lamentations 2:13) while Isaiah 47:1
refers to a "Virgin Daughter of Babylon". The word for Virgin being
Bethulah in each of those.
Now if this is true, which previous theory should I consider abandoning? I don't know, but let's consider some things.
If in any way Israelites fleeing the Fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD is a type picture of the End Times flight (Jesus uses similar language of both in Luke 21 and Matthew 24) then that doesn't narrow it down. Because some went to Arabia, like the ancestors of many Arabian Jewish communities and the Lemba. But also many went to Mesopotamia where there were already Jewish communities in Seleucia, Nisibis, Osroene and a Jewish Kingdom in Adiabene, and in time wrote the Babylonian Talmud.
If you are a fan of The Book of Enoch (which I'm not, but I've studied it), that book does refer to a Seven Mountain formation. Where this range is supposed to be isn't made clear. Some theories say Mount Hermon (relevant to other parts of the book) is one of these mountains. Which is interesting in that... A: the form of Wilderness used in Revelation, Eremon, could also work as a Greek transliteration of Hermon, Eremon is also used of a "Desert Place" near Bethsadia which is near Hermon. And B: 1 Chronicles 5:23-25 says Seven Families dwelt there, who transgressed the law and went a whoring after foreign gods.
But another theory proposed is that the Seven Mountains of Enoch are to the South not North, and possibly one of the Seven is Sinai. Sinai did have other mountains near it, like Mount Hor where Aaron was buried, and there is some dispute on if Horeb is the same Mountain or near it. And Mount Seir is often refereed to as if it's close by. And there is a Mount Paran. And Mt Sin also.
Independent of all this many aren't convinced by my argument that the references to the Euphrates in Revelation proves Babylon must be East of it and with the Kings of The East. Maybe they're right and I'm jumping to conclusions.
And another detail of Revelation 17 I've overlooked in expressing my past theories is that strictly speaking it is only the 10 Horns described as hating the woman and seeking to destroy her, not the 8th King himself directly. So again all of those could be more complicated then we're prepared for.
On the other hand. Jeremiah 6 begins by talking about Benjamin specifically, the Prophecy began sooner, but still, it's interesting given my Argument that in a sense the Woman of Revelation 12 is Rachel. And I have an argument for linking Modern Israel to Saul typologically. Esther talking about Jews who didn't return to Judea but stayed in the east, is centrally a Benjamite family, descended from the Kinsman of Saul whom David spared. Hilel The Elder was also a prominent Benjamite born in Mesopotamia. The families who sinned in Hermon I mentioned before were of Eastern Manasseh who were deported by Assyria. Could it be the Shiites are descended from Joseph (and many Jews of the region from Benjamin), while the Kurds are a product of a mingling of the Medes and Naphtali?
People like to use Micah 2:12 as evidence Israel's wilderness
dwelling will be in Bozrah of Edom. I criticized that in my Sinai post
by pointing out the lack of any other Edom references here, and other
places are called Bozrah like in Moab, and that it means "sheep fold"
and the context here reflects that.
But in light of this theory it is interesting to note that a name suspiciously similar to Bozrah is Basra, which I've discussed before as possibly being the Babylon of Revelation 17&18.
Or maybe it won't all be in one place, maybe they'll start at Sinai and then wander. I already said I think the scale of the Numbers wandering was larger then most think it was. I remain confused on the exact geography of Basra, including which side of the Euphrates it is on. Maybe they'll wander all of the land I view as allotted to Ishmael.
So the assumption in Mystery Babylon debates has been that she can't be both Israel in rebellion and geographically in Mesopotamia. But that Assumption I now feel is wrong.