To answer this particular question we need to reference Babylon in context of the tribulation. From a Biblical perspective, Babylon exist in plain sight through the financial and legal systems of Western Civilization. The ancient physical location of Babylon is less of the issue than what Babylon represented.
Revelation 17:1 “And there came one of the seven Angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters”
“The judgment of the Great Whore that sitteth upon many waters”
The Great Whore is Babylon’s commercial and religious system. The reference to the many waters is the physical location of Babylon, which is on the Euphrates River in Mesopotamia. Babylon is in proximity of several bodies of water, the Persian Gulf, the Caspian, Aegean, Adriatic, Black and Red Seas just outside the Straits of Gibraltar, as is the Atlantic Ocean...many waters.
Revelation 17:2 “With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication”
The word “fornication” means to commit idolatry in this context. The leaders of the world were all complicit with Babylon’s idolatry. Babylon will be the physical location the False Prophet and Anti-Christ use as a base camp. It is from Babylon they institute the worship of the Beast and the mark of the Beast as the monetary control system.
“the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication”
During the tribulation, this refers to how everyone has bought into the idolatry, the pleasures of guiltless sin without accountability (Rev 13:15).
Revelation 17:3 “So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns”
The “woman” is Babylon, who is also referred to as the Apostate Church, because she causes man to fall away from the faith of God and into idolatry. The woman is also called the Harlot and the Whore, which carry the same meanings.
“Harlot” in Hebrew is the word “Zanah” meaning to cause to commit fornication, idolatry continually. The Greek word for Harlot is “Porne”/ Por-nay meaning idolater or harlot. The color “scarlet” represents royalty, right to rule.
The “Beast” reference is the False Prophet who rules Babylon in appearance only.
“full of names of blasphemy”
The Beast speaks much evil against God.
“Having seven heads”
This refers to seven Kings that will rule in one of the seven forms that was under Imperial Rome: Kings, Emperors, Czars, Magistrates, Dictators, Consuls, or Military Tribunes.
It also refers to seven mountains. The Greek word for “Mountain” is “Oros” meaning to rise, as lifting itself above the plain.
The seven Kings rise to power in one of the seven forms given to them by the Beast. Then they rule in the seven mountains in Jerusalem (Rev 12:3, 17:12).
“And ten horns”
The ten horns represent ten separate Kings who do not have a Kingdom to rule yet. However, they will be given their kingdoms by the False Prophet. These same kings will ultimately turn all their power over to the Anti-Christ.
Revelation 17:4 "And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand, full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication”
The Anti-Christ and the False Prophet re-invent the opulence of Rome.
“having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication”
This represents something like a coming out party. Babylon completely displays all of the indiscretions normally hidden now in plain sight. Like Sodom and Gomorrah on steroids, so to speak.
Revelation 17:5 “And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH”
This is Satan’s impersonation of God’s mark on the 144K sealed during the tribulation (Rev 7:3). The Anti-Christ and the Beast have already placed the mark on the people (666). This mark is displayed on the people and on buildings and such.
“upon her forehead”
Refers to this moniker as the first thing you see on people when you enter the gates of Babylon.
“And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.” Revelation 17:1-2
“And upon her forehead was a name written, Mystery, Babylon The Great, The Mother Of Harlots And Abominations Of The Earth.” Revelation 17:5
“So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.” Revelation 17:3
The beast mentioned in this verse is the same beast as in Revelation 13:1 “And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.”
The beast in Revelation chapter 13 refers to the Antichrist, the man of lawlessness (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4; Daniel 9:27).
Revelation 17:9 “And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.” Traditionally, this passage is linked with the Roman Catholic Church because in ancient times, the city of Rome was known as “the city on seven hills” because there are seven prominent hills that surround the city. However, verse 10 goes on to explain that the seven hills represent 7 kings or kingdoms, five of which have fallen, one that is and one that is to come. Therefore, the "whore of Babylon" cannot refer exclusively to Rome.
Revelation 17:15 “And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.” The whore of Babylon will have great worldwide influence over people and nations. Verses 10-14describe a series of eight and then ten kings who affiliate with the beast. The whore of Babylon will at one time have control over these kings (Revelation 17:18), but at some point the kings will turn on her and destroy her (Revelation 17:16).
The whore of Babylon is an evil world system, controlled by the Antichrist, during the last days before Jesus’ return. Think of it as the mark of the beast that is used in place of credit cards or physical ID’s.
Fujitsu is partnering with a Mobile Network Operator, NTT DoCoMo (Japan Telco), they have created a smartphone called “Arrows F-04G” with built in Iris scanning technology that recognizes Iris patterns in the eye for unlocking phone or authenticating mobile / online payment transactions. Similar to fingerprint technology.
The whore of Babylon also has religious connotations – spiritual adultery with the beast being the focus of an ungodly, end-times religious system that forces compliance in order to eat or have basic services.
16 “And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six”.