Don Preston has been arguing at length in comments on an earlier post against the identification of “Babylon the great” with Rome (Rev. 14:6-11; 16:19; 17-18). One reason he gives for the view is that the great harlot, which is Babylon the great, is not to be identified with the beast on which she sits: “the woman (Babylon) is not the beast, the woman rides on the beast. Babylon sits on the seven hills. It is the seven hills that equal the beast”. He notes, in particular, that “the Beast turns on the woman and destroys her” (Rev. 17:16-17).
Rather, in his view, Babylon the great is Jerusalem. Revelation 17 describes a “partnership of persecution” whereby the Jews incited Rome to persecute Christians. He quotes Gentry: “The fact that the Harlot is seated on the seven headed beast (obviously representative of Rome) indicates, not identity with Rome, but alliance with Rome against Christianity.” Evidence that Jews poisoned the mind of Nero against the Christians in Rome is alluded to. But in the end, Rome turns against Jerusalem and destroys it.