Revelation 17:7 MEANING

Revelation 17:7
Verse 7. - And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? did thou wonder? — the same word as in ver. 6. Though the seer cannot fully comprehend the terrible significance of the sign he sees, viz. that a portion of the Church is one with the hostile world (see on ver. 6), yet there are sufficient marks wherewith to identify it. The woman, the wilderness, the reliance upon the world power, the inscription, the similar description of Judah in Jeremiah 2 and 3. (see on ver. 6), might have made the interpretation plain. I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns; the ten horns (cf. ver. 5, which declares that this essential unity is a mystery). Observe, too, that the "mystery of the woman and of the beast" is all one. (On the "beast," "the seven heads," and "the ten horns." see on previous verses, especially Revelation 13:1.) In ver. 1 the harlot is said to sit on the waters; here the beast carries her. The two statements are really identical; both the beast and the waters represent the worldly power found among "peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues" (ver. 14).

17:7-14 The beast on which the woman sat was, and is not, and yet is. It was a seat of idolatry and persecution, and is not; not in the ancient form, which was pagan: yet it is; it is truly the seat of idolatry and tyranny, though of another sort and form. It would deceive into stupid and blind submission all the inhabitants of the earth within its influence, except the remnant of the elect. This beast was seven heads, seven mountains, the seven hills on which Rome stands; and seven kings, seven sorts of government. Five were gone by when this prophecy was written; one was then in being; the other was yet to come. This beast, directed by the papacy, makes an eighth governor, and sets up idolatry again. It had ten horns, which are said to be ten kings who had as yet no kingdoms; they should not rise up till the Roman empire was broken; but should for a time be very zealous in her interest. Christ must reign till all enemies be put under his feet. The reason of the victory is, that he is the King of kings, and Lord of lords. He has supreme dominion and power over all things; all the powers of earth and hell are subject to his control. His followers are called to this warfare, are fitted for it, and will be faithful in it.And the angel said unto me,.... The same as in Revelation 17:1

wherefore didst thou marvel? which is not said by way of reproof, as questions of this kind sometimes are, Acts 3:12 for John did not wonder at her with a sinful admiration, so as to have her in great veneration, and to do homage and worship to her, as the inhabitants of the world wondered after the beast, Revelation 13:3 but his admiration was an amazement, or stupefaction of mind, joined with indignation at her; and this is said by the angel to lead on to what he had to declare unto him.

I will tell thee the mystery of the woman; that is, what is mysteriously or mystically designed by her; for till it was made known to John by the angel, it was a mystery to him; and when it was revealed, the interpretation is given in such an obscure manner, that it is only understood by the mind that has spiritual wisdom; and still remains a mystery to carnal men, just as the Gospel itself does. The hidden meaning of this woman, or the mystery of her, is told by the angel in Revelation 17:18.

And of the beast that carried her, which hath the seven heads, and ten horns; the mystical sense of the beast, its heads and horns, and which is also delivered in a mysterious manner, is given in Revelation 17:8.

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