Brit Chadasha Foundations-Concepts in Revelation-Chapter 17

Rev 17.1-18 deals with a concept in Scripture called the Virtuous Woman (Proverbs 31.10-31) and the Harlot (Proverbs 5.1-23; 7.1-27). This concept basically shows the contrast between the virtuous woman, who is seen as Torah observant, and the harlot, who is seen as non-Torah observant and against the things of God. This chapter deals with spiritual idolatry and a false, seducing pagan religion called Mystery Babylon that influences all nations. The deception comes when the harlot, the counterfeit bride, goes around portraying herself as the virtuous woman.

v 1…And one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and spoke with me, saying, “Come here, I shall show you the judgment of the great harlot (Judgment against the world’s false religious system, including apostate Christianity led by the false prophet.  This harlot is the antithesis of the virtuous woman of Rev 12.1. The word “church” comes from the Greek “Circe” which means “circle” and the German “Kirche” and the Scottish “kirke.” The sun was worshipped as a deity, represented by a full circle, sun disk or halo. The head covering of the Catholic Popes and others come from the idea of the sun disk. That is why the “church” or “Circe” met on Sunday, the day of the sun. Circe in Greek mythology is the daughter of the sun. She had an entrancing voice and a cup full of drugs, or sorcery. She would lull her victims asleep, then turn them into swine, pen them up and feed them slop. Sound familiar? The great harlot here is spiritual idolatry and anti-Torah theology. The idea of a harlot going forth to deceive the earth is seen in Zech 5.5-11) who sits (rests, supported by) on many waters (peoples and nations),

v 2… with whom the kings (civil and religious leaders especially) of the earth committed acts of immorality (notice the word here is for “fornication” not adultery because the Lord never knew them in order to commit spiritual adultery; these pagan religions have influenced nations going all the back to Nimrod) and those who dwell on the earth (their converts) were made drunk (unable to discern truth and showed disregard for God and truth) with the wine (wine is an idiom for “teaching” and in this case it is false teaching) of her immorality (false teaching).

v 3… And he carried me away in the Spirit (idiom for “under the control of”) into a wilderness (the habitation of demons) and I saw a woman (false religion) sitting (resting, being supported) on a scarlet beast (political system of the false messiah), full of blasphemous names (he says he is God, Messiah) having seven heads and ten horns (political power-Rev 13.1).

v 4… And the woman was clothed in purple (political state)) and scarlet (religious, church) and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a gold cup full of abominations (idolatry, wealth, history, culture, class) and of the unclean things of her immorality (fornication, not adultery, because they were never “married” to the Lord and he never knew them),

v 5… and upon her forehead a name was written (the antithesis of the name written on the forehead of the High Priest and the believer in Rev 22.4), a mystery (Hebrew “sowd” meaning a deeper meaning, a secret), “Babylon (meaning “confusion” or “mixed” and where idolatry and spiritual prostitution began. Mystery Babylon will welcome many religions of the world) the Great, the mother (like Jerusalem is the “mother” of faith, Babylon is the mother of confusion, mixing truth with error) of harlots (all false religions as a whole, including apostate Christianity) and of the abominations (idolatry) of the earth.

v 6…And I saw the woman (false religion, anti-Torah) drunk with the blood of the saints (through history, but especially in the Birth-pains. She persecutes the true believer in Yeshua), and with the blood of the witnesses (Greek “martyrs” especially the two witnesses) of Yeshua. And when I saw her, I wondered greatly.

v 7… And the angel said to me, “Why do you wonder? I shall tell you the mystery (the hidden aspect) of the woman and of the beast that carries her (supports) which has the seven heads and the ten horns.

v 8…The beast (the false messiah and his political power) that you saw was (existed before) and is not (fell) and is about to come up out of the abyss (during the Birth-pains) and to go to destruction (2 Thes 2.3). And those who dwell on the earth will wonder, whose name has not been written in the book of life (born again) from the foundation of the world (elected, chosen in the Lord-Eph 1.4), when they see the beast (the false messiah and his political power), that he was (in the past) and is not (fell) and will come (in the Birth-pains. The name of God, Yehovah, also means “who was and is and is to come” and this also alludes to his claim to be God, but it is a counterfeit for unbelievers).

v 9… Here is the mind which has wisdom (from God called “Chokmah”). The seven heads are seven mountains (kingdoms) on which the woman sits (has been supported by them)

v 10… and they are seven kings, five have fallen (these all have had power over Israel: Egypt; Babylon; Assyria; Medo-Persia and Greece), one is (Rome), the other has not come (revived Rome in the Birth-pains); and when he (the false messiah as leader) comes, he must remain for a little while (7 years of the Birth-pains).

v 11… And the beast which was and is not (kept hidden till the right time just after the Natzal/Rapture-2 Thes 2.1-4), is himself also an eighth (after the three kings are subdued and leave before the mid-point of the Birth-pains, he becomes the eighth ruler over the seven remaining kings constituting an eighth kingdom, or a final configuration of revived Rome (Dan 7.8, 20, 24; Micah 5.5), and is one of the seven (kingdoms that remain after three leave) and he goes to destruction (along with the final configuration of seven kings).

v 12… And the ten horns which you saw are ten kings (the ten toes of Nebuchadnezzar’s statue-Dan 2.31-45) , who have not yet received a kingdom (the seventh kingdom at the beginning of the Birth-pains; “has not yet come” in v 10), but they receive authority as kings with the beast (false messiah) for one hour (idiom meaning “a short time” or at the most seven years).

v 13… And these (ten kings) have one purpose (a common cause) and they give their power and authority to the beast (the Natzal or Rapture occurs on a Rosh Ha Shannah, day one of the day of the Lord or the last 1000 year period of God’s 7000 year plan. The United States will be attacked about a week later and destroyed, throwing Europe (Egypt) into panic. Heads of state meet and the false messiah is in the group. He tells the authorities there that he fears that Europe (Egypt) is next, but he has a plan. However, there is not time for each representative to go back to their respective countries and discuss what to do in each congress or parliament. They agree to give the false messiah “war powers” to act without going through each country).

v 14… These (kings) will wage war (they will be against the Torah, “lawless” or “Torah-less”-2 Thes 2.8-12) against the Lamb (Yeshua), and the Lamb will overcome them, because he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with him are the called and chosen (elected for salvation before the world was made-Eph 1.4; Acts 13.48) and faithful.”

v 15… And he said to me, “The waters which you saw where the harlot sits (resting, being supported), are peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues (Isa 57.20).

v 16… And the ten horns (Revived Rome) which you saw, and the beast (false messiah), these will hate the harlot and make her desolate (the empire of the false messiah turns on the woman; no more use for her, gets her “off his back” and confiscates her wealth) and naked (exposing her sins), and will eat her flesh and will burn her up with fire (destroy her so that the world will worship and look to him. This will be by the middle of the Birth-pains, around the time the Abomination of Desolation is set up on Nisan 10).

v 17…For God has put it in their hearts (political leaders at the time) to execute his purpose by having a common purpose, and by giving their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God should be fulfilled.

v 18…And the woman you saw is the great city (mystical Babylon. Just like the believer has a “mother” called Jerusalem-Rev 21.9-10; Gal 4.26-the unbeliever has a mother of harlots called Babylon) which reigns over (through religious deception) the kings (leaders) of the earth (supported by them).

Posted in Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, Tying into the New Testament, Verse-by-Verse Bible Studies

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