The Revelation of the Apostle John

Chapter 17

A woman arrayed in purple and scarlet with a golden cup in her hand sits upon the beast, 1-4; which is great Babylon, the mother of all abominations, 5-8. The interpretation of the seven heads, 9-11; and the ten horns, 12, 13. The victory of the Lamb, 14, 15. The punishment of the harlot, 16-18.

1 And one of the seven angels who had the seven vials came and talked with me, saying to me, "Come here. I will show to you the judgment of the great harlot who sits upon many waters, 2 With whom the kings of the earth have committed lewd deeds and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her lewdness." 3 So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet-colored beast that was full of names of blasphemy and had seven heads and ten horns. 4 And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet-color and decked with gold, precious stones, and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her lewdness. 5 And upon her forehead was a name written, "MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS, AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH." 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 wonder.

7 And the angel said to me, "Why did you wonder? I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her which has the seven heads and ten horns. 8 The beast that you saw, it was and is no more. And it shall ascend out of the bottomless pit and go into perdition. And those who 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, is no more, and yet is. 9 And here is the mind which has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits. 10 And there are seven kings: five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come—but when he comes, he must remain a short time. 11 And the beast that was and is no more, he is also an eighth, and is of the seven and goes into perdition. 12 And the ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but receive power as kings for one hour with the beast. 13 These have one mind and shall give their power and strength to the beast. 14 These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings. And those who are with him are the called, chosen, and faithful."

15 And he says to me, "The waters which you saw where the harlot sits are peoples, multitudes, nations, and languages. 16 And the ten horns which you saw upon the beast, these shall hate the harlot, shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh and burn her with fire. 17 For God has put in their hearts to fulfill his will and to come to one mind and give their kingdom to the beast until the words of God are fulfilled. 18 And the woman whom you saw is that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth."


Matthew Henry Commentary - Revelation, Chapter 17[➚]


[v.13] - Reference, verse 17.

[v.14] - "Lord of lords, and King of kings" - Reference, Deuteronomy 10:17; 1st Timothy 6:15; Revelation 19:16.

[v.17] - Reference, verse 13.