Chapter 17

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1 And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters:

2 With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.

3 So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.

4 And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:


6 And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.

7 And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.

8 The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

9 And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.

10 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.

11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.

12 And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.

13 These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.

14 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.

15 And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.

16 And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.

17 For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.

18 And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.

Commentary for Revelation 17

One of the angels who had the vials, explains the meaning of the former vision of the antichristian beast that was to reign 1260 years, and then to be destroyed. (1-6) And interprets the mystery of the woman, and the beast that had seven heads and ten horns. (7-18)1-6 Rome clearly appears to be meant in this chapter. Pagan Rome subdued and ruled with military power, not by art and flatteries. She left the nations in general to their ancient usages and worship. But it is well known that by crafty and politic management, with all kinds of deceit of unrighteousness, papal Rome has obtained and kept her rule over kings and nations. Here were allurements of worldly honour and riches, pomp and pride, suited to sensual and worldly minds. Prosperity, pomp, and splendour, feed the pride and lusts of the human heart, but are no security against the Divine vengeance. The golden cup represents the allurements, and delusions, by which this mystical Babylon has obtained and kept her influence, and seduced others to join her abominations. She is named, from her infamous practices, a mother of harlots; training them up to idolatry and all sorts of wickedness. She filled herself with the blood of the saints and martyrs of Jesus. She intoxicated herself with it; and it was so pleasant to her, that she never was satisfied. We cannot but wonder at the oceans of Christian blood shed by men called Christians; yet when we consider these prophecies, these awful deeds testify to the truth of the gospel. And let all beware of a splendid, gainful, or fashionable religion. Let us avoid the mysteries of iniquity, and study diligently the great mystery of godliness, that we may learn humility and gratitude from the example of Christ. The more we seek to resemble him, the less we shall be liable to be deceived by antichrist.

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.

15-18 God so ruled the hearts of these kings, by his power over them, and by his providence, that they did those things, without intending it, which he purposed and foretold. They shall see their folly, and how they have been bewitched and enslaved by the harlot, and be made instruments in her destruction. She was that great city which reigned over the kings of the earth, when John had this vision; and every one knows Rome to be that city. Believers will be received to the glory of the Lord, when wicked men will be destroyed in a most awful manner; their joining together in sin, will be turned to hatred and rage, and they will eagerly assist in tormenting each other. But the Lord's portion is his people; his counsel shall stand, and he will do all his pleasure, to his glory, and the happiness of all his servants.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Revelation 17

  • Shawn
    amen prayer
  • Obbie Beal
    verse 14 above is another season of war but, Rev.2:10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer, behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. Notice the reward.
  • Obbie Beal
    V 15 though vague, NOTICE how far and wide her seat reach, see V 15. Also notice she is a Mother, see verse 5 Having numerous children to go worldwide, so she from her seat, see V1, sit on many waters through her off-springs. Example 2019 she rule from headquarters, the GREAT CITY verse 18, a large share of the 150-160 countries world-wide.
  • Obbie Beal
    verse 16, 17 18. many leader of countries reign globally in 2019, but only 1 country is considered GREAT. GREAT to the degree She directly or indirectly exercise powerful control over all leaders of all countries in 2019, thereby reigneth over the kings of the earth. She flaunt her money and military power. But like the Great Roman Empire... Jehovah has numbered the whore days, verse 16, 17.
  • Obbie Beal
    V 18, let us take note to the 2 players here in verse 18. Player no.1, a GREAT CITY that is better known as a GREAT WHORE, see verse 1. What makes her GREAT is her global-powers. Her powers are a combination of HER CURRENCY which is backed-up by her great global military. Player no.2, are all kings of the earth. All kings are enticed and seduced by her using her currency or and her military.
  • Obbie Beal
    Verse 18. Numerous times, using the same tricks, she rose to power and fell, reigning over a territory here and a territory there for a moment in world history. But, as of 2019 She is back and reigneth over EVERY kings of the earth, meaning the 150-160 nations of the world today 2019, and according to V 16,17, she is about to receive her reward for her fornication, and other ungodly works.
  • Pascal muthama
    please someone expaund to me,, im a catholic and i was not used in reading bible but now im getting the light
  • George E Banar
    Having been raised in the Catholic church and served as an alter boy I can attest to your concerns. God's word tells us "the truth shall set you free". Johns vision in Chapter 17 of the woman is Catholic church and what the church would and has done. Continue to seek the truth in Gods word. Invite Christ into your life and let Him be Lord of your life. Ask our Father for wisdom.
  • Pascal muthama
    ok now need your advice,, what should i do ?should i change from going to catholic
  • George E Banar
    Yes, find a good Bible teaching church that teaches the Bible and not a mans doctrin. Salvation comes through belief in Christ and the power to live for Him comes through the works of the Holy Ghost in our life. Read the book of Romans and when you do it read it out loud, there is power in the spoken word of God! Next read the book of Hebrews the same way out loud and always ask God for wisdom.

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Bible Trivia

Who is the mother of harlets in the book of Revelation?
  • Angels
  • Rahab
  • Babylon
  • Leviathan
  • Jezebel