The name, "Babylon," rightly describes the city's origins, and our understanding of its demise! "Babylon" is translated from the Hebrew בָּבֶל (Babel), and from the Greek Βαβυλών (Babylōn), both meaning "confusion," It began with God "confusing men's languages," and it will supposedly end with God's judgment. But, there is a question as to whether or not the future city described in the New Testament is actually Babylon. Many theologians believe both Peter and John were using the term metaphorically for Rome, due to the persecution of the Church by Rome's Emperor, Nero. Peter is believed to have been martyred in Rome not long after penning his first epistle, and John was in exile at the time of his writing of the Book of Revelation, for "troubling Rome."
That John was speaking of Rome when he penned his description of "Babylon," can be seen in a few "clues" from his text:
* The city is said to sit upon seven mountains or hills (Rev. 17:9), and Rome is known as the "city which sits upon seven hills."
* The actual city known as Babylon was about one hundred miles from what could be called a sea (the Persian Gulf), whereas, Rome was built on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. In order for the merchant ships to observe her destruction, John must have been speaking of Rome (Rev. 18:17-19).
* Tertullian, Irenaeus, and Jerome use Babylon as representing the Roman Empire.
* Ultimately, the Bible says so: "And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth" (Rev. 17:18)!!! Notice that John used the present tense; Rome reigned at that time!
I am not a scholar by any means, but I can read!