“And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.”
King James Version (KJV)
17:10 And they are seven kings - Anciently there were royal palaces on all the seven Roman bills. These were the Palatine, Capitoline, Coelian, Exquiline, Viminal, Quirinal, Aventine hills. But the prophecy respects the seven hills at the time of the beast, when the Palatine was deserted and the Vatican in use. Not that the seven heads mean hills distinct from kings; but they have a compound meaning, implying both together. Perhaps the first head of the beast is the Coelian hill, and on it the Lateran, with Gregory VII. and his successors; the second, the Vatican with the church of St. Peter, chosen by Boniface VIII. the third, the Quirinal, with the church of St. Mark, and the Quirinal palace built by Paul II. and the fourth, the Exquiline hill, with the temple of St. Maria Maggiore, where Paul V. reigned. The fifth will be added hereafter. Accordingly, in the papal register, four periods are observable since Gregory VII. In the first almost all the bulls made in the city are dated in the Lateran; in the second, at St. Peter's; in the third, at St. Mark's, or in the Quirinal; in the fourth, at St. Maria Maggiore. But no fifth, sixth, or seventh hill has yet been the residence of any Pope. Not that the hill was deserted, when another was made the papal residence; but a new one was added to the other sacred palaces. Perhaps the times hitherto mentioned might be fixed thus: 1058 Wings are given to the woman. 1077 The beast ascends out of the sea. 1143 The forty - two months begin. 1810 The forty - two months end. 1832 The beast ascends out of the bottomless pit. 1836 The beast finally overthrown.
Re 17:10 And there are seven kings. We have found that a mountain is a symbol of an exalted man, or power. In the notes for Re 13:1-8 I have explained the kingdoms or powers, symbolized by these heads.