17 Revelation


Dave Breuchert


Revelation 17:1-18


  • The previous chapter tells of the 7 bowls of Judgement and God pouring out His wrath on Babylon the Great.
  • An angel who had one of the bowls said he would show John the punishment of the great prostitute, who sits on many waters, the kings of the earth committed adultery with her and the people were intoxicated by the wine of her adulteries.
  • The angel took John to a wilderness where he saw a woman on a scarlet beast. He describes the beast as having 7 heads and 10 horns and covered with blasphemous names. He describes the woman as wearing expensive clothes and holding a gold cup filled with abominable things and the filth of her adulteries.
  • The woman has a name written on her forehead, Babylon the Great, The Mother of Prostitutes and the Abominations of the Earth. She was drunk with the blood of God’s holy people who bore testimony to Jesus.
  • The angel’s explanation of the mystery of the woman and the beast she rides still has a lot of symbolic language that is not clear. He says that this calls for a mind of wisdom.
  • The woman is an enemy of God’s holy people because she is drunk with their blood. She is the great city and will be ruined by the beast she rides.
  • The beast is the eighth of a series of kings, five reigned in the past and one is reigning. The seventh will reign for a short time. The beast was alive, is currently dead, but will come again and go to his destruction.
  • There are 10 other kings who reign with the beast and help the beast destroy the woman.


God knows the future. Even when we don’t understand what he shows us of the future and we don’t get it, He is still in control. I see that the angel is confident God is going to win in the end.

This passage specifically says that we need a mind of wisdom to understand. My own wisdom is inadequate to fully understand this. I’ve read several interpretations of this passage and I have one that  I prefer. I need to be careful to read the Bible itself and seek wisdom from God on the interpretation. Especially in this Christmas season I think about the Jewish scholars in Jesus’s day that studied the scriptures and were looking for the Messiah. When He came to them, they totally missed Him, because He wasn’t what they expected.  I don’t want to miss out on the good God has for me because I read the Bible and assume I already know what it means. I want to seek new wisdom and insight every time I read it.


Father, I pray for wisdom. I ask you to make us wise in your ways as we live our daily lives and wise in the interpretation of your word. Help us to have new insights and grow closer to you every time we study the Bible.

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