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In Alexander Hislop's book, The Two Babylons, Nimrod is said to have been the great ringleader of the apostasy, whose death was an act of justice. (p. 63)
Tamuz, Osiris, and other mythical characters took their cue from the real-life person of Nimrod. These mythical characters were put to death for their rebellion, and they were mourned by the people. This apparently happened in the life of Nimrod, a real person. We see a first shadowing here of the concept that real characters in the Bible became the prototypes of the mythologies of the various nations later on.
On the acropolis at Pergamum there were temples to various gods. The most imposing of these was the Altar of Zeus on the lower level. It was considered one of the wonders of the ancient world. It was constructed of huge carved stones. Is very likely that this structure was the "throne of Satan."
This structure could be called Satan's throne because it was like a huge set of stairs going up to a seat at the top.
On the sides, all the way around this altar were carved figures of gigantic mythological characters with human torsos and snake-like bodies. Just to think about snakes makes people's skin crawl, but in the city of Pergamum, they actually worshipped serpents because Asclepius, who was symbolized by a serpent as the god of healing, was the patron god of the city. In the same way that cows are sacred in India, serpents were revered in Pergamum.
Iraq is the modern name for the same general area. In the early part of this millennium Saddam Hussein saw himself as the modern Nebuchadnezzar. All over Iraq there were billboards depicting Saddam Hussein with Nebuchadnezzar. Some of the billboards did the same with Saddam and Hammurabbi, the ancient Babylonian lawgiver.
As of February 1990, over sixty million bricks had been laid in the reconstruction of Nebuchadnezzar's fabled city. Sadam Hussein ignored the objections of archaeologists who consider it a crime to build over ancient ruins. On the exact site of ancient Babylon, he reconstructed the Southern Palace of Nebuchadnezzar, including the Procession Street, a Greek theater, many temples, what was once Nebuchadnezzar's throne room, and a half-scale model of the Ishtar Gate. (Charles Dyer, The Rise of Babylon, p. 27)
Revelation 17 is about Antichrist and a Great Harlot. Spiritual Babylon of the Future is seen as this Great Harlot. Spiritual unfaithfulness is a recurring theme in the Bible. (Exodus 34:15; Leviticus 20:1-6, Hosea 4:12, etc.) Babylon of the Future is a perversion of true worship as revealed in the Bible. It is therefore portrayed as a harlot, giving its power to Antichrist -- the Beast.
The seven-headed beast depicts the seven world empires which have been, or will be dominated by the Devil. The first five of seven heads stand for the five world empires which had already come and gone: Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Greece. The "one which is" was the Roman Empire, and the "one which is to come," is a future world empire. There is a woman riding The Beast. She represents world religions. The beast is seen as the Antichrist of Chapter 13, energized by the Devil from Chapter 12.