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"...for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God."
--1 Corinthians 2:10b Mo Letters from David Berg and the Children of God / The Family

What is the Great City of the Book of Revelation?

This article is a Bible study aimed at identifying the "Great City" of Revelation 11:8 and Revelation 17:18.

Revelation 11:8  And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. Revelation 17:18  And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.

A good friend wrote me saying,

James, I'll see if I can sway your mind on something. I was once like you on the papacy as you know. Now look at Rev 17:18 'the woman (whore) which you saw is that great city, which reigns over the kings of the earth," And compare with Rev 11:8 "And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified." Here you see the persecution of the saints by Jerusalem —> Jewish cabal. It literally identifies them and associates them with Egypt (Freemasonry) and Sodom (Sodomy and Moloch). But also they rule over kings. In chapter 17:16 the ten horns are mentioned which could symbolise these kings or corporate giants. The cabal (from Kabbalah) are the most powerful rulers. They also represent the false wife of God, the queen of heaven, who is unfaithful, and go off worshiping demons. The expression 'great city' is clearly identified.

So basically my friend is saying the Great City of Revelation 11:8 and Revelation 17:18 is Jerusalem, and that the evil cabal that is ruling the world is Jewish and not the Vatican / Jesuits / Roman Catholic Church hierarchy as I am teaching on this website.

I always interpreted the Great City of Revelation 17:18 as Rome because it "reignth" (present tense) over the kings of the earth in the Apostle John's day. That's clear history. The Roman Empire was strong in John's day. But I also interpreted the Great City of Revelation 11:8 as Jerusalem because it says, "where also our Lord was crucified." I never thought to compare the two verses before as being the same place. And so I thanked my friend for pointing this out to me and told him I would research the matter further rather than giving him an answer off the top of my head.

I wanted to see what famous Bible commentators of centuries past had to say about Revelation 11:8. What a surprise I had! Nearly all of them say it's talking about Rome, and not Jerusalem! Please read what they have to say and decide for yourself whether they are right or not.

John Gill:

And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city,.... Not Jerusalem, which was destroyed when John had this vision, and which will; not be rebuilt at the time it refers to; nor is it ever called the great city, though the city of the great King; however, not in this book, though the new Jerusalem is so called, Revelation 21:10; but that can never be designed here; but the city of Rome, or the Roman jurisdiction, the whole empire of the Romish antichrist, which is often called the great city in this book; see Revelation 16:19. The city of Rome itself was very large, and the Roman empire still larger, so as to be called the whole world and the anti-christian see of Rome has been of great extent.

Geneva Bible notes:

And their dead bodies shall lie in the {13} street of the great city, which {d} spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, {14} where also our Lord was crucified.

(13) That is, openly at Rome: where at that time was a most great crowd of people, the year of Jubile being then first ordained by Boniface to the same end, in the year 1300, an example of which is read in chapter 1 Extra, de poenitentys & remissionibus. So by one act he committed two wrongs against Christ, both abolishing his truth by restoring the type of the Jubile, and triumphing over his members by wicked superstition. O religious heart! Now that we should understand the things of Rome, John himself is the author, both after in the seventeenth chapter almost throughout, and also in the restriction now next following, when he says, it is that great city (as he calls it) Re 17:18 and is spiritually termed Sodom and Egypt: and that spiritually (for that must here again be repeated from before) Christ was there crucified. For the two first names signify spiritual wickednesses: the latter signifies the show and pretence of good, that is, of Christian and sound religion. Sodom signifies most licentious impiety and in the most confident glorying of that city, as it were in true religion, being yet full of falsehood and ungodliness. Now who is ignorant that these things do rather, and better fit Rome, than any other city?

Matthew Poole:

Some, by the great city, would have Jerusalem understood; but that was now far from a great city, nor do the addition of those words in the latter end of the verse prove it; for Christ was not crucified in that city, but without the gates. Most judicious interpreters, by the great city here, understand Rome, which is seven or eight times (under the name of Babylon) so called in this hook, Revelation 14:8 Revelation 16:19 18:10,16,18,19,21; nor is any other city but that so called. This great city is here said, in a spiritual sense, to be Sodom and Egypt; Sodom, for whoredom and filthiness; Egypt, for oppression of the Lord’s Israel. As to the second question, what is here meant by the street of the great city? Mr. Mede hath irrefragably proved, that it cannot be meant of any parish, or such place in this city, as we call a street:

1. Because our Lord was crucified neither in any street, or parish, or any other place within the walls of Jerusalem.

2. Both Jerusalem and Rome had many more than one street.

3. Because the bodies being dead, doubtless lay in the place where they were slain; but men do not use to fight in the streets of cities.

Matthew Poole gives the most convincing reasons in my opinion that the Great City of Revelation 11:8 is Rome, not Jerusalem as I previously thought. I'm really grateful to my friend for bringing this subject up! I don't want to be swayed by cognitive bias but to base my thinking on what the Bible teaches.

I shared all the above quotations from Bible commentators to my friend and said:

"So sorry, the bulk of my research points to Rome, not to the Jews or Jerusalem. Of course they are all antichrist and evil as well, but Rome is a continuation of all the empires before her. Rome continues all the way to the feet of the image Nebuchadnezzar saw in his dream according to Daniel chapter 2. My wife and I read it just this morning for devotions. Israel as a nation was strong only in the time of Solomon, and the Lord weakened them because of their disobedience."

Daniel 2:32  This image's head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, 33  His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. 34  Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. 35  Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.

For over 30 years I used to think the great antichrist conspiracy for one world government had its roots in Judaism / Zionism because that's what I was taught by my pastor at the time. He was always pointing his finger at the Jews. But now I believe the Roman Catholic Church is a continuation of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar saw in his dream in Daniel chapter two. The Stone that was cut without hands `is Jesus Christ Who ends all the governments of man and sets up His Kingdom on earth. The legs of the image represent the Roman empire. Nobody questions that. The feet are part of the legs! The Stone hits the feet which must represent the final rule of the Roman legs! That's how I see it.

I believe the Jesuits are using the Jews / Zionists as scapegoats to deflect the blame away from Rome! That's not to say the Jews are guiltless, but to lay the blame on an entire ethnic group for all the evils in the world is not reasonable in my opinion. My hero, William Cooper, certainly thought so too. He blamed the Illuminati. I believe that the Illuminati and the Jesuits are connected. And there is evidence that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion were written by Jesuits, and not the Jews or Zionists. For more information about that, please see:

Evidence of Jesuit authorship of the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion


Authors of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion — Jews? Or Jesuits!

My final point: How did the Roman empire come into being in the first place? Through the force of its military! That's the reason I chose the featured image for this article. What nation today has more military bases around the world than any other nation? The USA! Just look at the American government today and tell me who outnumbers who. The last time I looked I see far more Catholics than Jews running things.

In my opinion, it's counterproductive to blame the Jews for the evils of the world. You get labeled as antisemitic. I believe it's a Jesuit trick to divert blame to the Jews for everything like Hitler did. And as Christians we should not hate anybody, much less Jews. We should love them and try to win them for Christ! When I lived in Japan there was a time in the early 1990s when young Israelis came to Japan and sold their trinkets on the street. I used to love to talk to them. They all spoke good English. Once in Shinjuku which is one of the main business and shopping centers of Tokyo, I saw a man who I recognized as an Israeli and called out to him, "Young man from Israel! I want to talk to you!" He smiled, approached me, and offered me a cigarette which of course I refused. And we had a good friendly discussion.

Dr. James Tour was raised in a secular Jewish home. He came to know Jesus Christ as his savior though the faithful witness of a young man he went to school with. Now he'll tell you he loves Jesus more than anything!

Tess and James Arendt
James & Tess Arendt

My name is James Arendt. I was raised in the Hegewisch neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois, served in the USAF from 1970 to 1974, and became a full-time missionary for Christ living 40 years in Japan, 3.5 years in Russia, and a few months in other countries such as Finland, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, South Korea, Taiwan and mainland China where I also served the King of Kings, Jesus, as an Ambassador for His Kingdom. My full bio.

If you like this website, you can show your appreciation by sending me a gift toward my support. My wife Tess and I moved from the island of Guam USA in June 2023 to the city of Allen in the province of Northern Samar, one of the poorer provinces in the Philippines. My only work is maintaining my websites, Deep Truths, and James Japan which costs me $300 per year now. And Tess is ministering to the local people giving them regular Bible Studies in three groups, children, teenagers and adults.

Photos of Tess's Bible study.

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