The harlot woman riding the beast
Revelation 17: 1-18, Religious Babylon.
All the 21 judgments had been unleashed, i.e. the 7 seal judgments, the 7 trumpet judgments, and the 7 bowl judgments. We are moving towards the end of the 7-year tribulation. John takes a breather in Rev. 17 to talk about religious Babylon and Rev. 18 about economic, political Babylon.
VV 1-2, 1Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and talked with me, saying to me, “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, 2 with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication.”
One of the 7 angels who had one of the 7 bowls of judgment showed John a vision of the harlot of Babylon. In biblical typology, water speaks of Gentile nations. The woman sitting on many waters means that she influenced many Gentile nations. She influenced kings and political powers, using them as partners in crime.
V 3, So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.
John saw a vision of a woman sitting on the scarlet beast, (anti-christ), who had 7 heads, 10 horns, and full of blasphemous names.
VV 4-6, 4 The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. 5 And on her forehead a name was written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS
OF THE EARTH. 6 I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement.
Purple speaks of royalty, scarlet speaks of religiosity, gold and precious stones speak of immense wealth. Babylon the Great, Mother of Harlots and Abomination of the Earth, speak of religious Babylon, the false religious center of the world, founded by Nimrod in Genesis 10:8-10, “Cush begot Nimrod; he began to be a mighty one on the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord; therefore it is said, “Like Nimrod the mighty hunter before the Lord.” And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar”.
Blood of the saints speaks of Christians martyrs. Religious Babylon cut a deal with the anti-christ to kill Christians during the tribulation. Interestingly enough, the 2 Euro coin today had an image of a harlot woman riding on a beast.
V 7, But the angel said to me, “Why did you marvel? I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns.
The beast, (anti-christ) is a political world ruler from the revived Roman Empire (Europe) who controlled a 10 nations confederation during the 7-year tribulation. He is Daniel’s little horn, Daniel 7:8, “’ I was considering the horns, and there was another horn, a little one, coming up among them, before whom three of the first horns were plucked out by the roots. And there, in this horn, were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking pompous words. He had 7 heads and 10 horns but three horns was plucked out by the little horn and 7 horns remained’’.
V 8, The beast that you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to perdition. And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.
The beast (anti-christ) who came out from the bottomless pit, will be assassinated, miraculously resuscitated to life, and unbelievers who saw this will be amazed.
VV 9-11, 9 “Here is the mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits. 10 There are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come. And when he comes, he must continue a short time. 11 The beast that was, and is not, is himself also the eighth, and is of the seven, and is going to perdition.
The 7 heads speak of the 7 hills of Rome. Religious Babylon is Rome. The 7 kings speak of 7 successive Romans Caesars. The first 5 had died, i.e. Julius, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, and Nero Caesar. Domitian, the 6th king is ruling but will also be killed. The 7th king is the anti-christ, who was assassinated, resuscitated to life, and became the 8th because the resuscitated anti-christ is a different person. Many biblical scholars believed the resuscitated anti-christ to be the incarnation of the 5th king, Nero Caesar.
VV 12-14, 12 “The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast. 13 These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast. 14 These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.”
The 10 horns speak of the 10 European nation confederation under the anti-christ during the 7-year tribulation. They will wage war against Christ, but He will defeat them. He is Lord of lords, King of kings, and His followers are called, chosen, and faithful.
VV 15-18, 15 Then he said to me, “The waters which you saw, where the harlot sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues. 16 And the ten horns which you saw on the beast, these will hate the harlot, make her desolate and naked, eat her flesh and burn her with fire. 17 For God has put it into their hearts to fulfill His purpose, to be of one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled. 18 And the woman whom you saw is that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth.”
In biblical typology, waters speak of Gentile nations. The harlot woman (Religious Babylon) influenced many Gentile nations. The 10 leaders of the 10 European nation confederation of the anti-christ turned the table against the harlot woman and destroyed her completely.
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