Authors David Chilton (1987) and James Stuart Russell (1878) propose that the Revelation is primarily a Prophecy of the destruction of ancient Jerusalem by the Roman armies. The Revelation is Jerusalem's Armageddon (mountain of assembled Roman troops). I see the Revelation as a war siren warning the First Century Christians of the imminent destruction of the city. They were to "come out of her"--or become complicit in her crimes against the prophets--and pre-eminently--against the Messiah. I welcome discussion on the following.
*7 Reasons Why “Babylon the Great” was Jerusalem.
1. Jerusalem is described as a “harlot.”
Throughout the Bible, Israel is regarded as God’s Wife; the covenant is a marriage bond, and she is expected to be faithful to it. Her apostasy from God is called adultery, and she is identified as a harlot. There are numerous examples of this in the prophets: “How the faithful city has become a harlot, she who was full of justice! Righteousness once lodged in her, but now murderers.” (Isa. 1:21), and “You have lain down as a harlot” (Jer. 2:20).
2) Jerusalem sat on “many waters.”
Jerusalem exercised a mighty influence upon ‘peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.’ Synagogues were to be found in every city. Acts 2 exemplifies her influence:
“There were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven, . . . Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians.”
3) Jerusalem committed “fornication” with the “kings of the land.”
This very phrase is used in the restricted sense of ‘the rulers of the land,’ by Peter in Acts 4: 26, 27, ‘Of a truth against your holy servant Jesus, whom you did anoint, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Nations, and the people of Israel were gathered together in this city.’ The ‘kings of the land,’ therefore, are identified by the apostle Peter as the coalition of rulers who put the Son of God to death in the city of Jerusalem.
4) Jerusalem’s “sins” ascended to the heavens.
Rev. 17:26 states: ‘I beheld the woman drunk with the blood of the holy ones, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus’; Rev. 18:24 states ‘And in her was found the blood of the prophets, and of the holy ones, and of all that were slain in the land.’ Jerusalem was pre-eminently the ‘murderer of the prophets’ (Mt.23:35). Vengeance was visited upon her. Hence, Rev.18:20 ‘Rejoice over her, all you in heaven, and you holy apostles and prophets, for God has avenged you on her.’
5) Jerusalem was completely destroyed by the “wild beast.”
The Romans were animated by a bitter hostility to Jerusalem, the harlot city: ‘These shall hate the harlot, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. For God put into their heart to fulfill his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled’ (Rev. xvii. 16, 17).
"Tacitus speaks of the bitter animosity with which the Arab auxiliaries of Titus were filled against the Jews, and we have a fearful proof of the intense hatred felt towards the Jews by the neighbouring nations in the wholesale massacres of that unhappy people perpetrated in may great cities just before the outbreak of the war. The whole Jewish population of Caesarea were massacred in one day. In Syria every city was divided into two camps, Jews and Syrians. In Scythopolis upwards of thirteen thousand Jews were butchered; in Ascalon, Ptolemais, and Tyre, similar atrocities took place. But in Alexandria the carnage of the Jewish inhabitants exceeded all the other massacres. The whole Jewish quarter was deluged with blood, and fifty thousand corpses lay in ghastly heaps in the streets."
6) Jerusalem amassed great wealth.
Mariners and merchants stand at a distance from the Royal City and declare, ‘What city is like unto this great city?’
'More than once the Jewish historian Josephus speaks of the magnificence and vast wealth of Jerusalem. It is very remarkable that the inventory of the spoils taken from the treasury of the temple contains almost every one of the articles enumerated in this lamentation over the fallen city,---‘Gold, silver, precious stones, purple, scarlet, cinnamon, odours, ointments, and frankincense.’
'No less striking is the description given by Josephus of the spoils of the captured city, which were carried in procession through the streets of Rome in the triumph of Vespasian and Titus, and which fully justify the picture of profusion and magnificence drawn in the Revelation.'
7) Jerusalem’s destruction was vengeance for the murder of the Messiah.
Chilton calls the Revelation God's "covenant lawsuit" with Israel. Rev. 5:6,9 speaks of "a Lamb as if slain" by the Sanhedrin. The apostle John recorded the trial and judgment of Jesus. It is appropriate that the apostle John depict the trial and judgment of the Jewish Establishment via the Revelation.
I heartily recommend the following books, both of which are free online:
"Days of Vengeance"--David Chilton (1987)
"The Parousia"--James Stuart Russell (1878)
*the comments in this post are excerpted from Chilton and Russell.