So what can be said of the identity of the Great Harlot? No doubt this prophecy is of paramount importance. After all, she is the primary antagonist in this Apocalyptic end times battle:
“the mother of the fornications, and the abominations of the earth… With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication; and they who inhabit the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her whoredom…” (Apoc. 17:2, 5, 18 )
Who is this proverbial “Whore of Babylon”? Well first of all, there is no such thing as a “Whore of Babylon”. The Apocalypse clearly says that the Whore IS Babylon. The two are one and the same. The woman who rides the Beast is both the Harlot, AND the “Great City”:
“And the woman which thou sawest, IS THE GREAT CITY, which hath kingdom over the kings of the earth.” (Apoc. 17:18 )
Anyway, it seems that the vast majority of interpretations involving the identity of the Harlot/Babylon, make reference to Rome. Granted, in their hatred for all things Catholic, most Protestants see Rome as the Harlot. Unfortunately, many sedevacantists do as well. No doubt the reference to "seven hills" forces many to assume Babylon must be Rome. In fact, this is probably the most influential argument among commentators. Then there's St. Peter's reference to Rome as "Babylon" in one of his letters. Finally, the vast majority of biblical exegetes have assumed for centuries that Rome was Babylon.
As for the argument that Rome is built on seven hills, and therefore must be Babylon - this isn't necessarily true. I explained this in my thread exposing the Dimonds, but I'll briefly mention it here as well: Although Rome is regarded as the sole candidate, there are a number of other cities that were built on seven hills as well. In fact, constructing cities upon seven hills was a common theme in the ancient world. In the 4th century, Constantine chose Byzantium as the new center of his empire specifically because it was built on seven hills. Ancient Babylon was also built on seven hills; as were Mecca and Moscow. The truth is, there are many cities that fall into this category. There are 3 in Africa. Asia boasts of 8. There are 19 in the United States. Europe has as many as 40. And so Rome is not the only one.
Coincidentally, Jerusalem was also built on seven hills. Look it up for yourself. They are: Mount Scopus, Mount Olivet, the Mount of Corruption, Mount Ophel, Mount Zion (new and old), and the mountain upon which the Antonia Fortress was built. And so, Jerusalem is also built on seven hills. All this to say, if the seven-hilled theme is what convinces you that Rome MUST be the Great City, think again. The city where our Lord was crucified is Jerusalem. Let's not confuse the historical record, or the Scriptures. Nor is this the only evidence to support the position that Jerusalem is the “Great City”. In truth, there is far more evidence in support of this position than any other theorized locale - and this evidence comes to us straight from Scripture itself. The Old Testament gives us the EXACT identity of the Great Harlot in the writings of the ancient prophets; and it does so countless times.
“How is the faithful city, that was full of judgment, become a HARLOT?” (Is.1:21)
"And the Lord said to me in the days of king Josias: Hast thou seen what rebellious Israel hast done? she hath gone out of herself upon every high mountain, and under every green tree, and hath played the HARLOT there. That because the rebellious Israel had played the HARLOT, I had put her away, and had given her a bill of divorce: yet her treacherous sister Juda was not afraid, but went and played the HARLOT also herself. And by the facility of her fornication she defiled the land, and played the HARLOT with stones and with stocks." (Jer. 3:6, 8-9)
“Therefore, O HARLOT, hear the word of the Lord." (Ez. 16:35)
"But trusting in thy beauty, thou playedst the HARLOT because of thy renown, and thou hast prostituted thyself to every passenger, to be his. And taking of thy garments thou hast made thee high places sewed together on each side: and hast played the HARLOT upon them, as hath not been done before, nor shall be hereafter.” (Ez. 16:15-16)
“Thou hast also committed fornication with the Assyrians, because thou wast not yet satisfied: and after thou hadst played the HARLOT with them, even so thou wast not contented.” (Ez. 16:28 )
“They have done these things to thee, because thou hast played the HARLOT with the nations among which thou wast defiled with their idols.” (Ez. 23:30)
“For she multiplied her fornications, remembering the days of her youth, in which she played the HARLOT in the land of Egypt.” (Ez. 23:19)
“And they went in to her, as to a HARLOT: so went they in unto Oolla, and Ooliba, wicked women.” (Ez. 23:44)
“Therefore the showers were withholden, and there was no lateward rain: thou hadst a HARLOT’S forehead, thou wouldst not blush.” (Jer. 3:3)
"How can I be merciful to thee? Thy children have forsaken me, and swear by them that are not gods: I fed them to the full, and they committed adultery, and rioted in the HARLOT’S house." (Jer. 5:7)
“If thou play the HARLOT, O Israel, at least let not Juda offend: and go ye not into Galgal, and come not up into Bethhaven, and do not swear: The Lord liveth. For Israel hath gone astray like a wanton heifer…” (Hos. 4:15-16)
Mind you, the quotes above are only some of those which specifically mention the word “Harlot”. What about terms such as Prostitute, Whore, and Adulteress? How many times are these terms used to refer to Jerusalem and Israel?
“I have seen thy adulteries, and thy neighing, the wickedness of thy fornication: and thy abominations, upon the hills in the field. Woe to thee, Jerusalem…” (Jer. 13:27)
"Wherefore say to the house of Israel: Thus saith the Lord God: Verily, you are defiled in the way of your fathers, and you commit fornication with their abominations." (Ez. 20:30)
"And thou tookest thy beautiful vessels, of my gold, and my silver, which I gave thee, and thou madest thee images of men, and hast committed fornication with them. Thou hast sacrificed and given my children to them, consecrating them by fire. And after all thine abominations, and fornications, thou hast not remembered the days of thy youth, when thou wast naked, and full of confusion, trodden under foot in thine own blood. And it came to pass after all thy wickedness (woe, woe to thee, saith the Lord God) That thou didst also build thee a common stew, and madest thee a brothel house in every street. At every head of the way thou hast set up a sign of thy prostitution: and hast made thy beauty to be abominable: and hast prostituted thyself to every one that passed by, and hast multiplied thy fornications. And thou hast committed fornication with the Egyptians thy neighbours, men of large bodies, and hast multiplied thy fornications to provoke me. Behold, I will stretch out my hand upon thee, and will take away thy justification: and I will deliver thee up to the will of the daughters of the Philistines that hate thee, that are ashamed of thy wicked way… Thou hast also multiplied thy fornications in the land of Chanaan with the Chaldeans: and neither so wast thou satisfied. Wherein shall I cleanse thy heart, saith the Lord God: seeing thou dost all these the works of a shameless prostitute?" (Ez. 16)
“Lift up thy eyes on high: and see where thou hast not prostituted thyself: Thou didst sit in the ways, waiting for them as a robber in the wilderness: and thou hast polluted the land with thy fornications, and with thy wickedness.” (Jer. 3:2)
"And they shall eat and shall not be filled: they have committed fornication, and have not ceased: because they have forsaken the Lord in not observing his law. My people have consulted their stocks, and their staff hath declared unto them: for the spirit of fornication hath deceived them, and they have committed fornication against their God. They offered sacrifice upon the tops of the mountains, and burnt incense upon the hills: under the oak, and the poplar, and the turpentine tree, because the shadow thereof was good: therefore shall your daughters commit fornication, and your spouses shall be adulteresses. I will not visit upon your daughters when they shall commit fornication, and upon your spouses when they shall commit adultery: because themselves conversed with harlots, and offered sacrifice with the effeminate, and the people that doth not understand shall be beaten… Ephraim is a partaker with idols, let him alone. Their banquet is separated, they have gone astray by fornication: they that should have protected them have loved to bring shame upon them." (Hos. 4:10, 12-18 )
"Who will give me in the wilderness a lodging place of wayfaring men, and I will leave my people, and depart from them? because they are all adulterers, an assembly of transgressors." (Jer. 9:2)
"Of old time thou hast broken my yoke, thou hast burst my bands, and thou saidst: I will not serve. For on every high hill, and under every green tree thou didst prostitute thyself. (Jer 2:20)
"And they that are saved of you shall remember me amongst the nations to which they are carried captives: because I have broken their heart that was faithless, and revolted from me: and their eyes that went a fornicating after their idols: and they shall be displeased with themselves because of the evils which they have committed in all their abominations." (Ez. 6:9)
"And the word of the Lord came to me, saying: Son of man, there were two women, daughters of one mother. And they committed fornication in Egypt, in their youth they committed fornication: there were their breasts pressed down, and the teats of their virginity were bruised. And their names were Oolla the elder and Ooliba her younger sister: and I took them, and they bore sons and daughters. Now for their names, Samaria is Oolla, and Jerusalem is Ooliba. And Oolla committed fornication against me, and doted on her lovers, on the Assyrians that came to her, And she committed her fornications with those chosen men, all sons of the Assyrians: and she defiled herself with the uncleanness of all them on whom she doted. Moreover also she did not forsake her fornications which she had committed in Egypt: for they also lay with her in her youth, and they bruised the breasts of her virginity, and poured out their fornication upon her. And I will put an end to thy wickedness in thee, and thy fornication brought out of the land of Egypt: neither shalt thou lift up thy eyes to them, nor remember Egypt any more. And they shall deal with thee in hatred, and they shall take away all thy labours, and shall let thee go naked, and full of disgrace, and the disgrace of thy fornication shall be discovered, thy wickedness, and thy fornications… Therefore thus saith the Lord God: Because thou hast forgotten me, and hast cast me off behind thy back, bear thou also thy wickedness, and thy fornications. And the Lord spoke to me, saying: Son of man, dost thou judge Oolla, and Ooliba, and dost thou declare to them their wicked deeds? Because they have committed adultery, and blood is in their hands, and they have committed fornication with their idols: moreover also their children, whom they bore to me, they have offered to them to be devoured. And I said to her that was worn out in her adulteries: Now will this woman still continue in her fornication… They therefore are just men: these shall judge them as adulteresses are judged, and as shedders of blood are judged: because they are adulteresses, and blood is in their hands." (Ez. 23)
"The beginning of the Lord's speaking by Osse: and the Lord said to Osee: Go, take thee a wife of fornications, and have of her children of fornications: for the land by fornication shall depart from the Lord. (Hosea 1:2)
“Judge your mother, judge her: because she is not my wife, and I am not her husband. Let her put away her fornications from her face, and her adulteries from between her breasts. And I will visit upon her the days of Baalim, to whom she burnt incense, and decked herself out with her earrings, and with her jewels, and went after her lovers, and forgot me, saith the Lord.” (Hos. 2:2,13)
"I know Ephraim, and Israel is not hid from me: for now Ephraim hath committed fornication, Israel is defiled. They will not set their thoughts to return to their God: for the spirit of fornication is in the midst of them, and they have not known the Lord." (Hos. 5:3-4)
“I have seen a horrible thing in the house of Israel: the fornications of Ephraim there: Israel is defiled.” (Hos. 6:10)
“They are all adulterers, like an oven heated by the baker: the city rested a little from the mingling of the leaven, till the whole was leavened.” (Hos. 7:4)
"Rejoice not, O Israel: rejoice not as the nations do: for thou hast committed fornication against thy God… Ephraim is returned to Egypt." (Hos. 9:1, 3)
And we could go on and on and on…
And these are only some of the quotes which expressly mention the words Harlot, Adulteress, Fornication, Prostitute, Whore, etc. There are many, many more statements throughout the writings of the prophets denoting Israel's adulterous worship of idols. Have a look for yourself. The vast majority of the prophets' condemnations concern this one particular sin. In fact, it almost seems to be Israel’s defining characteristic. Indeed, only MONTHS after their famous Exodus from Egypt, the High Priest was caught making a golden calf under Mt. Sinai for Israel to worship. What’s worse, the Priest was none other than Moses’ own brother, Aaron. You can’t make this stuff up.
And let’s not forget that the ten tribes of the Northern Kingdom were taken captive by the Assyrians as a Divine punishment for their perpetual sin of Idolatry. Likewise, Jerusalem and the first Temple were destroyed in punishment for Idolatry. This one sin literally became their defining characteristic. Have a read through the stories of the Judges. It's almost comical to see how easily and how often Israel turns to Idolatry. Over and over and over again. Every time they do, God will send them persecutions and bondage. Then they'll cry out to him for help, and He helps them. But as soon as they are back on track, they slip into Idolatry again – sometimes induced by the very Judges who saved them! And God sends more trouble; and so they cry out again for help, and God saves them again. And on and on it goes.
The era of the kings is no better. Idolatry is continuously rampant in nearly every corner of the land. As Isaiah says, their land is full of idols (Is. 2:8 ). During the days of Elijah, there were several million Israelites dispersed throughout the Northern and Southern Kingdoms. Of this vast multitude, God told Elijah there were only 7000 who had not worshiped Baal. (3 Kings 19:18 ) Do the math. That means well over 99% of Israel worshiped Baal. Again, the sin of Idolatry was so perpetually rampant throughout Israel that it could be called their defining characteristic. Indeed, the Dimond Brothers love to harp on the Novus Ordo’s spiritual fornication with false religions, claiming this is what earned it the title of “The Great Whore”. Think what you like, the Novus Ordo has only been publicly “fornicating” since the groundbreaking Assisi gathering in 1986. That’s just over 30 years. The Nation of Israel, on the other hand, has been at it for OVER 30 CENTURIES… And so, in light of the above evidence, there should be absolutely no confusion as to the TRUE identity of “The Great Whore”. Holy Scripture is unmistakably clear.
But what of the other clues as to her identity? In chapter 17 of the Apocalypse, we're told she is clothed "round about with purple and scarlet, and gilt with gold, and precious stones and pearls..." In chapter 18 she is also said to be clothed "with fine linen, and purple and scarlet, and was gilt with gold, and precious stones, and pearls." The Dimonds tells us that "purple and scarlet" pertain to the clothing of the Church's hierarchy. Ergo, according to them, the Novus Ordo MUST be the Harlot. Never mind the fact that they deliberately ignore the rest of the statement – "gilt with gold, precious stones, and pearls” as these would necessarily contradict their position. After all, when is the last time anyone saw high ecclesiastics clothed in gold, precious stones, and pearls? No, this is just another futile attempt by the Dimonds to manipulate prophecies in order to make them fit their own agenda.
On the other hand, with the exception of pearls, Scripture clearly says that Israel is clothed in all of the above. No doubt the mention of pearls has a mysterious signification, for the pearl is formed by an irritation within the oyster, which, according to the Mosaic Law, is an unclean food. Perhaps the irritation signifies Christ, and the unclean food, Israel. Who knows? Anyway, as is clear from the following verses, purple and scarlet, fine linen, gold and precious stones were the precise clothing commanded by God to be worn by the High Priests:
"And he made, of violet and purple, scarlet and fine linen, the vestments for Aaron to wear when he ministered in the holy places, as the Lord commanded Moses. So he made an ephod of gold, violet, and purple, and scarlet twice dyed, and fine twisted linen. He made also a rational with embroidered work, according to the work of the ephod, of gold, violet, purple, and scarlet twice dyed, and fine twisted linen, Foursquare, double, of the measure of a span. And he set four rows of precious stones in it. In the first row was a sardius, a topaz, and emerald. In the second, a carbuncle, a sapphire, and a jasper. In the third, a ligurius, an agate, and an amethyst. In the fourth, a chrysolite, an onyx, and a beryl, set and enclosed in gold by their rows. And the twelve stones were engraved with the names of the twelve tribes of Israel, each one with its several name. They made also in the rational little chains linked one to another of the purest gold, and two hooks, and as many rings of gold. And they set the rings on either side of the rational, on which rings the two golden chains should hang, which they put into the hooks that stood out in the corners of the ephod." (Ex. 39:1-2, 8-17)
"The noble sons of Sion, and they that were clothed with the best gold: how are they esteemed as earthen vessels, the work of the potter's hands? They that were fed delicately have died in the streets; they that were brought up in scarlet have embraced the dung." (Lam. 4:2,5)
And speaking of Israel in general:
"And thou wast adorned with gold, and silver, and wast clothed with fine linen, and embroidered work, and many colours..." (Ez. 16:13)
“Ye daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, who clothed you with scarlet in delights, who gave ornaments of gold for your attire.” (2 Kings [2 Samuel] 1:24)
And so we see here that, in one way or another, Israel is clothed in all of the above.
I would also call your attention to the fact that because all of Israel was guilty of Idolatry, the nation in general is referred to as “The Harlot”. This is clear from the countless verses we just saw from Scripture. Nevertheless, as implied in the above verses of the Apocalypse regarding the clothing of the Harlot, this designation rests first and foremost with the hierarchy – which not only represents the Nation of Israel, but is the primary cause of its perpetual fall into Idolatry. In this context, the Harlot is referred to as “Jerusalem” in the same way that a Catholic would refer to the governing body of the Church as “Rome”; or the way an American would refer to its governing body as “Washington”. We see this metaphorical speech in the words of Christ Himself, who, referring directly to the scribes and Pharisees, says:
"Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou who killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent to thee...” (Matt. 23:37)
Certainly, Christ is not condemning the actual physical city of Jerusalem for killing anyone. This would be absurd. He's obviously referring to the hierarchy. And so, when the Apocalypse makes reference to either the Harlot, or Babylon, it is referring to Israel in general, though first and foremost to the hierarchy symbolized by “Jerusalem” (and whose headquarters, coincidentally, will be in Jerusalem, which is why the city ITSELF will be destroyed as well).
Continuing with the same theme, the Apocalypse states that the Harlot/Jerusalem will be held responsible for all of the innocent blood shed upon the earth. Christ said it Himself - this refers to the Jewish hierarchy:
“You serpents, generation of vipers, how will you flee from the judgment of hell? Therefore behold I send to you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them you will put to death and crucify, and some you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city: THAT UPON YOU MAY COME ALL THE JUST BLOOD THAT HAS BEEN SHED UPON THE EARTH, from the blood of Abel the just, even unto the blood of Zacharias the son of Barachias, whom you killed between the temple and the altar. Amen I say to you, all these things shall come upon this generation.” (Matt. 23:33-36)
This is important because of the verse in the Apocalypse wherein it is said that in the Harlot “was found the blood of prophets and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.” (Apoc. 18:24) Peter Dimond says this verse refers to the Novus Ordo, and subsequently gives us another confused explanation in support of his delusion. On the contrary, the Son of God says it's Jerusalem. In fact, Scripture refers to Jerusalem many times as a city of blood:
“Woe to thee, O city of blood, all full of lies and violence: rapine shall not depart from thee.” (Nah. 3:1)
“And the word of the Lord came to me, saying: And thou son of man, dost thou not judge, dost thou not judge the city of blood?” (Ez. 22:1-2)
“Therefore thus saith the Lord God: Woe to the bloody city, to the pot whose rust is in it, and its rust is not gone out of it: cast it out piece by piece, there hath no lot fallen upon it. Therefore thus saith the Lord God: Woe to the bloody city, of which I will make a great bonfire.” (Ez. 24:6,9)
“And when you stretch forth your hands, I will turn away my eyes from you: and when you multiply prayer, I will not hear: for your hands are full of blood.” (Is. 1:15)
“...and in thy skirts is found the blood of the souls of the poor and innocent?” (Jer. 2:33)
“If the Lord shall wash away the filth of the daughters of Sion, and shall wash away the blood of Jerusalem out of the midst thereof, by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning.” (Is. 4:4)
“Because they have forsaken me, and have profaned this place: and have sacrificed therein to strange gods, whom neither they nor their fathers knew, nor the kings of Juda: and they have filled this place with the blood of innocents.” (Jer. 19:4)
“For the sins of her prophets, and the iniquities of her priests, that have shed the blood of the just in the midst of her.” (Lam. 4:13)
Frankly, one could go on for days presenting evidence from Scripture to prove Israel/Jerusalem is the Harlot/Babylon of the Apocalypse. I've only listed a few of the more obvious references. Literally speaking, everything said of the Harlot in the Apocalypse is likewise said of Israel or Jerusalem in the Old Testament. Along with what's already been stated, we could include Scriptural verses referring to Israel's drinking of the cup of God's wrath (Is. 51:17, and Ez. 23:31-34); to Jerusalem’s perpetual destruction (Ez. 5:8-9, 14-15); to its becoming a den of dragons, and uninhabitable (Is. 34:8-14, Jer. 9:11-12, 10:22, and 18:16-17, etc.); to its being repaid double for her iniquities (Jer. 16:18 and 17:18 ); to boasting of herself as being “no widow” (Is. 47:8-10); to how there will be no more voice of joy or gladness, or the voice of the bride or bridegroom found in her (Jer. 7:34); how everyone passing by Jerusalem will wag their heads and hiss, astonished at the city’s destruction (Jer. 2:15, 18:16-17, 19:8, and 22:8 ); etc., etc., etc. Again, everything said in the Apocalypse regarding the Harlot/Babylon is likewise said of Israel/Jerusalem in the Old Testament. They are one and the same.
In the end, there should be absolutely no confusion here. Israel/Jerusalem is the Harlot/Babylon. She is the perpetual Adulteress and unfaithful Whore of the Apocalypse, who has been spitting in the face of its God for 3500 years, and prostituting itself to every pagan deity known to man. Is it any wonder ALL OF HEAVEN is eagerly awaiting the final cataclysmic annihilation of Babylon – that is, Old Jerusalem? In stark contrast to this most wicked and filthy adulteress, New Jerusalem is the faithful and immaculate Bride of Christ, coming down from Heaven arrayed as a most precious jewel (Apoc. 21). New Jerusalem is the Bride. Old Jerusalem is the Whore. Scripture is unmistakably clear.
In closing, there is one final point I want to make in regard to Israel's designation as The Harlot: This designation refers to the UNFAITHFUL among the Israelites. In no way am I insinuating that ALL of Israel will be damned in the end. Nor am I implying that the (real) Jews, who only comprise a small percentage of "Israel", are all going to be condemned. The prophecy regarding Israel's conversion in the last days is irrefutable. According to Scripture, a full one-third of Israel will repent and convert. Many of these will be from the "Lost Ten Tribes" - which might include any one of us. God only knows. Anyway, the unfaithful Israelites are the Great Harlot; not those who will convert.