Mystery: Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots - Revelation 17:5

Updated: Sep 18, 2021


This is a follow-up article to “The Cup of Jealousy”. If you have not already done so please refer to that article before continuing on with this one as they compliment one another. This article may be accessed on the website, under the search area, or at the hashtag below.


In the article “The Cup of Jealousy” I addressed the issue of who the harlot was in Revelation. I came to the conclusion that the great whore was “the great city” which is “Jerusalem”. I will continue on in this article with additional insights which clearly identify this harlot.


In Revelation 17:5 we read:


And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY: BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.


If we can identify who the mother of harlots was and why she was guilty of all the abominations on the earth, then we will be able to more clearly see this “secret” (mystery). This woman has been a “mystery”. Her true identity has not been seen or revealed to all. The diligent must search it out.


Remembering that John the Apostle was most probably the author of the book of Revelation we need to remember that he was a Jew. The book is clearly Jewish in nature and resembles many of the other prophetic books: especially Daniel and Ezekiel.


The prophet Ezekiel gives up the details of this secret harlot. I apologize that I must post here the entire chapter of Ezekiel 23 but you must read the entire thing to see the clear picture of the harlot and who she is. Afterwards, I will discuss these scriptures. I have chosen the KJV but any version says the same. I have highlighted some key points in bold lettering and put my comments in parenthesis beside it for explanation.

Eze 23:1 The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying,

Eze 23:2 Son of man, there were two women, the daughters of one mother: (a mother of harlot daughters)

Eze 23:3 And they committed whoredoms in Egypt; they committed whoredoms in their youth: there were their breasts pressed, and there they bruised the teats of their virginity.

Eze 23:4 And the names of them were Aholah the elder, (meaning in Hebrew - her own tabernacle/because they had their own temple in the northern kingdom) and Aholibah her sister: (meaning in Hebrew - my tabernacle is in her) and they were mine, and they bare sons and daughters. Thus were their names; Samaria (the capital of the northern kingdom of Israel) is Aholah, and Jerusalem Aholibah (Jerusalem was the capital of the southern kingdom and the LORD's Tabernacle was there on Mt. Moriah).

Eze 23:5 And Aholah (Samaria the northern kingdom) played the harlot when she was mine; and she doted on her lovers, on the Assyriansher neighbours,

Eze 23:6 Which were clothed with blue, captains and rulers, all of them desirable young men, horsemen riding upon horses.

Eze 23:7 Thus she committed her whoredoms with them, with all them that were the chosen men of Assyria, and with all on whom she doted: with all their idols she defiled herself.

Eze 23:8 Neither left she her whoredoms brought from Egypt: for in her youth they lay with her, and they bruised the breasts of her virginity, and poured their whoredom upon her.

Eze 23:9 Wherefore I have delivered her into the hand of her lovers, into the hand of the Assyrians, upon whom she doted (that is Samaria – the northern kingdom was delivered over to the Assyrians).

Eze 23:10 These discovered her nakedness: they took her sons and her daughters, and slew her with the sword: and she became famous among women; for they had executed judgment upon her (upon Samaria).

Eze 23:11 And when her sister Aholibah (Jerusalem – the southern kingdom) saw this, she was more corrupt in her inordinate love than she, and in her whoredoms more than her sister in her whoredoms.

Eze 23:12 She doted upon the Assyrians her neighbours, captains and rulers clothed most gorgeously, horsemen riding upon horses, all of them desirable young men.

Eze 23:13 Then I saw that she was defiled, that they took both one way,

Eze 23:14 And that she increased her whoredoms: for when she saw men pourtrayed upon the wall, the images of the Chaldeans pourtrayed with vermilion,

Eze 23:15 Girded with girdles upon their loins, exceeding in dyed attire upon their heads, all of them princes to look to, after the manner of the Babylonians of Chaldea, the land of their nativity:

Eze 23:16 And as soon as she saw them with her eyes, she doted upon them, and sent messengers unto them into Chaldea.

Eze 23:17 And the Babylonians came to her into the bed of love, and they defiled her with their whoredom, and she was polluted with them, and her mind was alienated from them (Jerusalem/ the southern kingdom/Aholibah).

Eze 23:18 So she discovered her whoredoms, and discovered her nakedness: then my mind was alienated from her, like as my mind was alienated from her sister.

Eze 23:19 Yet she multiplied her whoredoms, in calling to remembrance the days of her youth, wherein she had played the harlot in the land of Egypt.

Eze 23:20 For she doted upon their paramours, whose flesh is as the flesh of asses, and whose issue is like the issue of horses (she acted like an animal in heat).

Eze 23:21 Thus thou calledst to remembrance the lewdness of thy youth, in bruising thy teats by the Egyptians for the paps of thy youth.

Eze 23:22 Therefore, O Aholibah, (Jerusalem) thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will raise up thy lovers against thee, from whom thy mind is alienated, and I will bring them against thee on every side;

Eze 23:23 The Babylonians, and all the Chaldeans, Pekod, and Shoa, and Koa, and all the Assyrians with them: all of them desirable young men, captains and rulers, great lords and renowned, all of them riding upon horses.

Eze 23:24 And they shall come against thee with chariots, wagons, and wheels, and with an assembly of people, which shall set against thee buckler and shield and helmet round about: and I will set judgment before them, and they shall judge thee according to their judgments.

Eze 23:25 And I will set my jealousy against thee, and they shall deal furiously with thee: they shall take away thy nose and thine ears; and thy remnant shall fall by the sword: they shall take thy sons and thy daughters; and thy residue shall be devoured by the fire.

Eze 23:26 They shall also strip thee out of thy clothes, and take away thy fair jewels.</