Revelation 17



Revelation 17 portrays a symbolic vision of a corrupt and idolatrous system, represented by a woman, that aligns itself with political and military powers. The vision emphasizes the persecution of the saints and the eventual downfall of this system through divine judgment. The chapter serves as a prelude to the climactic events leading to the ultimate defeat of evil and the establishment of God's righteous kingdom.


  1. The Vision of the Woman and the Beast (Revelation 17:1-6): One of the angels who had the bowl judgments invites John to see the judgment of the great prostitute who sits on many waters. The woman is described as adorned with luxury, holding a golden cup full of abominations. She is seated on a scarlet beast with seven heads and ten horns, symbolizing political and military power. The woman is drunk with the blood of the saints, indicating her persecution of God's people.
  2. The Mystery Explained (Revelation 17:7-18): The angel explains the mystery of the woman and the beast. The beast that the woman rides represents both political and religious powers. The seven heads are seven hills (often associated with the city of Rome), and they also represent seven kings. The ten horns are ten kings who will receive authority with the beast for a short time. The woman represents a great city that reigns over the kings of the earth. The ten kings, in alliance with the beast, will turn against the woman and destroy her.