Revelation 17

Chapters seventeen and eighteen record the fall of the Beast’s kingdom, Babylon. In Revelation 17:7, John’s vision of the woman on the beast is interpreted, so it is clearly meant to be symbolic. In this vision, the beast is the entire satanic kingdom, dating back to the original Babylon, foreseen in Daniel 7. The waters are all the peoples of the earth, demonstrating that the entire earth will be under the control of the Beast and his kingdom (Revelation 17:15).
The woman is called a prostitute. Prostitution is used throughout the Hebrew Scriptures to illustrate unfaithfulness to God, usually carried out in idol worship and often literal sexual immorality (see Jeremiah and Ezekiel for many examples). Jesus condemned the churches in Pergamum and Thyatira early in the Revelation for tolerating sexual immorality and idol worship in their congregations. For this reason, many scholars see this chapter as referring to the religious collapse of the Babylon system. She is shown as being “drunk with the blood of the saints and the blood of those who testified to Jesus” (Revelation 17:6); thus, this religious system will be intolerant of true believers to the point of murdering them. Whether this is in the first or second half of the Tribulation is debated.

About the Author

Daniel Goepfrich

View Posts →

Leave a Reply