Exegesis Of Revelation 17 One Through 18 A Whore Of Babylon

Exegesis Of Revelation 17 One Through 18 A Whore Of Babylon

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And one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, "come, I'll show you the judgment of the great war who is seated on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth of committed fornication, and with the wind of who's fornication the inhabitants of the earth have become drunk." Said he carried me away in the spirit into a wilderness, and I saw woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was full of blasphemous names, and it had seven heads and 10 horns. The woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and jewels and portals, holding her hand a golden cup of abominations in the securities of her fornication; and on her for head was written in eight, a mystery: "Babylon the great, mother of wars and the earth's abominations." And I solved that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints in the blood of the witnesses to Jesus.

When I saw her, I was greatly amazed at the angel said to me, "Why are you so amazed? I will tell you the mystery of the woman, and of the beast with seven heads content warns that carries her. The beast that you saw was and is not, and is about to send from the bottomless pit and go to destruction. And the inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life on the foundation of the world will be amazed when they see the beast because it was and is not in is to come.

"This calls for a mine that has wisdom: the seven heads are seven mountains which the woman is seated; also they are seven King's of whom five have fallen one is living, and the other has not yet come; and when he comes, you must remain only if in a little while. As for the beast that was and is not it is an eight but it belongs to the seven, and he goes to destruction. In the 10 horns that you saw our 10 kings have not yet received the kingdom that they are to receive authority as kings for one hour, together with the beast. These are united in yielding their power and authority to the beast; they will make war on the lamb, and the lamb will conquer the fur he is Lord of lords thinking of canes and those with them are called and chosen and faithful.

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And he said to me, "the waters that you saw were the whores ceded our peoples and multitudes in nations and languages. In the 10 horns that you saw a and the beast will hate the four they will make her desolate and naked they will devour her flesh and burn her up with fire. For God has put it into their hearts to carry out his purpose by agreeing to give their kingdom to the beast, and for the words of God will be fulfilled. The woman he saw as the great city the rules over the kings of the earth.

I have chosen this passage because of its symbolism its controversy and I think in some ways it applies to today's society. Revelation is considered to be the most apocalyptic book of the Bible. The 17th passage is a very vivid and mystical example of this apocalypse. In my exegesis I shall make reference to the historical Association between the symbolisms of these verses that many scholars have made, and how the symbolism relates in today's world (considering history often repeats itself).

v. 1: The Judgment of the Great Whore: Babylon has been taken literally as the Mesopotamian Babylon or the Egyptian Babylon. (Freedman 366) It has been taken symbolically representing a place, to be the kingdom of Rome. (Freedman 367) the idea of Babylon is symbolic of power and influence idolatry and consumption (Allbright 366
). Babylon as an idea quite easily relates to today's world. Rome was a nation that ruled King's, it is arguable that the United States of America does the exact same thing. There have been many comments cartoons, and other mockeries that would show several of the modern world's leaders to be in the White House's pocket.

V.2 Fornication: The word fornication being taken more in the politics makes strange "bedfellows" sense, then in the more literal carnal knowledge definition, refers to the kings of the world, and their association with the great harlot. The offspring of this fornication causing the inebriation of the world's inhabitants. These offspring can easily be interpreted as America's lust for consumerism. At any given time one only needs to turn on the nearest television to witness the prophets of this church preaching their wares.

v.3: Seven Heads and Ten Horns: it is infinitely arguable as to what the numbers seven and ten represent, but what are most important in this verse are the scarlet beast and its blasphemous names. The beast can be taken in modern times to be an example of big business with its ability to finance nations, wars, and influence across the globe. The beast has also received credit for being symbolic of the Roman Empire. (Charles 55) History has shown us that the Roman Empire was feared by those who knew it. People feared the Christians during the Crusades, both of these powerhouses were well-financed assumable by the Wal-Mart's and Coca-Cola's of its day.

v.4: The Harlot and her Bling Bling: The entire verse is a description of the riches adorning this whore of Babylon (N.I.B.491). It is nearly impossible to turn on the television, without seeing that sensationalizing of Paris Hilton Tara Reid or whoever else gets to be the over publicized tramp of the week. These are people who we watch television programs devoted solely to their houses their cars and the material wealth displayed within, not to mention the endless airtime devoted to their scandalous lifestyles.

v.5: Mother of Whores: This verse gives name to the mother of whores and earths abominations. Throughout history we have witnessed that the cause of most of what society considers abominations seems to be simple greed, whether for money power or property.

v.6: Inebriation: Very rarely do we see political powers or large corporations that did not step on many fingers in the climb up the proverbial ladder of success. The fingers are usually attached to the hands of the moralistic the innocent and the owners of small mom-and-pop enterprises. When these fingers are crushed they are the grapes that produced the wine that gets the great harlot drunk.

v.7-17: The Mystery of the Woman Revealed: The angel, our tour guide if you will gives an explanation to John(Albright 47) mentioning that the seven heads are symbolic of seven kings and that the beast is the eighth belonging to these seven, and that the 10 horns are 10 kings who have not yet received a kingdom. All these kings wage war on the lamb and the lamb will conquer them, for he is the Lord of the lords and King of king's. (v.13)

v.18: The Great City: The angel says the woman you saw is the great city that rules over the kings of the earth. Kings are usually seen as being the rulers of cities that the other way around. The great city is symbolic in its most simple terms as greed. This greed being what rules over the king's and inebriates the people.

Commentary

The description and explanation of Babylon can be related to modern-day times easily, when one notices that the United States is seen by many to be the modern-day Rome. Around the world we are referred to as infidel's great oppressors and invaders of holy lands. I can only assume that this is how most people thought of the Roman Empire during its heyday. Babylon being symbolic for greed we can see greed every night on the nightly news. Greed itself seems to be the antichrist, we know that there is produced enough food to feed all of the world's peoples, however it is the corruption of people in power that keep it from being distributed where it is needed. We have recently witnessed the fault of an obviously greedy dictator. I think most people agree, that Saddam Hussein was neither a generous or righteous man, and he is probably missed by very few. This was a man, who whether or not had weapons of mass destruction, had a great deal of wealth, a great deal of which was acquired through questionable practices. In comparison we can look at a possible antithesis in George Bush, who also has a great deal of wealth, and we are now learning that he acquired a great deal of power (Congressional support) through questionable practices. I do not mean to say that America is necessarily Babylon, but I understand that the acts of recent years could be interpreted that way. I believe that most of Americans are decent people just trying to provide for themselves and their family. I'm sure that if I could go back in time I would find that most Roman citizens were the same.

Bibliography
Commentaries
Albright W.F. The Anchor Bible volume 38 New York: Doubleday 1971
Charles R.H. International Critical Commentary volume 2 New York: T&T Clark, Edinburg 1966
New Interpreters Bible volume 12 Nashville: Abington press 1998

Dictionaries
Harper's Bible dictionary "Babylon" p55
Anchor Bible dictionary "Babylon" p 564
Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible "Babylon" p338
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