28 Nov. Revelation 17:1-18:19

28 Nov. John foresees the downfall of Rome and its empire

"Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and spoke to me. He said, 'Come, and I will show you the punishment that will be given to the great prostitute [Rome], the one sitting over many waters..."

"Then the angel carried me away by the Spirit to the desert. There I saw a woman sitting on a red beast. It was covered with names insulting to God... The woman was dressed in purple and red and was shining with the gold, precious jewels and pearls she was wearing... On her forehead a title was written...

"Then I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of God's holy people and with the blood of those who were killed because of their faith in Jesus..."

"Then the angel said to me... The beast you saw was once alive but is not alive now. But soon it will come up out of the bottomless pit and go away to be destroyed..."

"You need a wise mind to understand this. The seven heads on the beast are seven mountains where the woman sits..."

"After the vision of these things, I saw another angel coming down from heaven. This angel had great power, and his glory made the earth bright. He shouted in a powerful voice:
'Ruined, ruined is the great city of Babylon!
She has become a home for demons and a prison for every evil spirit,
and a prison for every unclean bird and unclean beast.
She has been ruined, because all the peoples of the earth have drunk the wine of the desire of her sexual sin'..."

"Then I heard another voice from heaven saying:
'Come out of that city, my people,
so that you will not share in her sins,
so that you will not receive the disasters that will come to her'..."

"And the merchants of the earth will cry and be sad about her, because now there is no one to buy their cargoes... As they saw the smoke from her burning, they cried out loudly. 'There was never a city like this great city!' And they threw dirt on their heads and cried, weeping and were sad."

          (Revelation 17:1 - 18:19)



In his vision, John sees the punishment of a prostitute dressed in the imperial purple worn by Roman emperors, with the name 'Babylon the Great' on her forehead.

John is foretelling the fall and punishment of Rome and its empire in thinly veiled ‘coded’ language. He refers to the Seven Hills on which Rome sits (see Revelation 17:9), and speaks of the trade carried across the Mediterranean in Roman ships (see Revelation 18:11-14).

Most Biblical scholars believe that the 'beast' on which the prostitute 'rides' refers to the Roman emperor Nero, whose reign (from 54AD to 68AD) was marked by debauchery, hideous crimes and violent persecution of the Christians in Rome. Its the same 'beast' that is spoken about earlier, who "used its mouth to speak against God, against God's name, against the place where God lives, and against all those who live in heaven. It was given power to make war against God's holy people and to defeat them." (Revelation 13:6-7)

The narrative continues in Revelation 19:1-21 where, in John’s vision, joyous praise breaks out in heaven. Jesus – the ‘Word of God’ – appears triumphant, mounted on a white horse like a victorious king. On his robe is written the title “King of Kings and Lord of Lords” (Revelation 19:16).

"Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth. Their armies were gathered together to make war against the rider on the horse and his army." (Revelation 19:19) But the ‘beast’ (symbolising the Roman emperor) and the kings of the earth are all defeated. "And their armies were killed with the sword that came out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds ate the bodies until they were full." (Revelation 19:21)

The photo shows the triumphal arch of the Roman emperor Septimius Severus in Rome.

You can read more from the Revelation of John @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/…/the-downfall-of-rome-its…/

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