The Woman and the Scarlet Beast
1Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls17:1 Rv 15:7; 16:1; 21:9 came and spoke with me: “Come, I will show you the judgment of the notorious prostitute17:1 Traditionally translated the great whore17:1 Rv 19:2 who is seated on many17:1 Or by many waters.17:1 Jr 51:13; Rv 17:15
2The kings of the earth17:2 Ps 2:2; 76:12; Is 24:21; Ezk 27:33; Rv 1:5; 6:15; 18:9; 19:19; 21:24 committed sexual immorality with her, and those who live on the earth became drunk on the wine of her sexual immorality.”17:2 Is 23:16–17; Nah 3:4; Rv 14:8; 18:3
3Then he carried me away in the Spirit17:3 Or in spirit17:3 Ezk 8:3; 11:24; Lk 4:1,14; Rv 1:10; 4:2; 21:10 to a wilderness.
I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was covered17:3 Or was filled with blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns.17:3 Rv 12:3,6; 13:1
4The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, adorned with gold, jewels, and pearls.17:4 Ezk 28:13; Rv 18:16 She had a golden cup in her hand filled with everything detestable17:4 Mt 24:15; Mk 13:14; Lk 16:15; Rv 21:27 and with the impurities of her17:4 Other mss read earth’s prostitution.
5On her forehead was written a name, a mystery:17:5 Rv 14:1 Babylon the Great, the Mother of Prostitutes and of the Detestable Things of the Earth.
6Then I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the witnesses to Jesus.17:6 Dt 32:42; Is 49:26; 63:6; Ezk 39:19 When I saw her, I was greatly astonished.
The Meaning of the Woman and of the Beast
7Then the angel said to me, “Why are you astonished? I will explain to you the mystery of the woman and of the beast, with the seven heads and the ten horns, that carries her.
8The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to come up from the abyss17:8 Ps 140:10; Lk 8:31; Rm 10:7; Rv 9:1,11; 11:7; 20:1–3 and go to destruction.17:8 Mt 7:13; Jn 17:12; Rm 9:22; Php 3:19; 2Th 2:3; 2Pt 3:7; Rv 1:18; 2:8 Those who live on the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world17:8 Ps 69:28; Is 4:3; Mt 25:34; Eph 1:4; Php 4:3; 1Pt 1:20; Rv 3:5; 13:8; 20:12,15; 21:27 will be astonished when they see the beast that was, and is not, and is to come.17:8 Ps 48:5; Rv 13:3,12,14
9This calls for a mind that has wisdom.17:9 Or Here is the mind of wisdom17:9 Rv 13:18
“The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman is seated. They are also seven kings:
10Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come, and when he comes, he must remain for only a little while.
11The beast that was and is not, is itself an eighth king, but it belongs to the seven and is going to destruction.
12The ten horns you saw are ten kings17:12 Dn 7:24; Rv 13:1 who have not yet received a kingdom, but they will receive authority as kings with the beast for one hour.17:12 Rv 18:10,17,19
13These have one purpose, and they give their power and authority to the beast.
14These will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will conquer them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings.17:14 Dt 10:17; Ps 136:2–3; Dn 2:47; 1Tm 6:15; Rv 1:5; 19:11–21 Those with him are called, chosen, and faithful.”17:14 Rv 12:11; 13:8
15He also said to me, “The waters you saw,17:15 Jr 51:13 where the prostitute was seated, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and languages.17:15 Is 17:12; Jr 51:58; Dn 5:19; Hab 2:8; Rv 5:9; 7:9; 10:11; 11:9; 13:7; 14:6
16The ten horns you saw, and the beast, will hate the prostitute.17:16 2Sm 13:15–20; Ezk 23:22–35 They will make her desolate and naked, devour her flesh, and burn her up with fire.17:16 Lv 20:14; 21:9
17For God has put it into their hearts to carry out his plan by having one purpose17:17 Gn 50:20 and to give their kingdom17:17 Or sovereignty to the beast until the words of God are fulfilled.17:17 Jr 51:12; Rv 10:7
18And the woman you saw is the great city that has royal power over the kings of the earth.”