The Bible
  NT Background
  NT Books
  NT Studies
  OT Background
  OT Books
  OT Studies
  Bible Study
  Early Church History
  British Museum
  Historical Docs
  Life Questions
  How to Preach
Search for page by title (auto-completes)
Advanced search
Google Translate
Advanced Search
Search for word or phrase within each page
Search by OT book and chapter
Search by NT book and chapter

Revelation 7 - The Prostitute Babylon (17:1 - 19:10)

Julian Spriggs M.A.

Also available:

Introduction Four main views of Revelation
1: Prologue (1:1-8) 2: Letters to seven churches (1:9 - 3:22)
3: Seven Seals (4:1 - 8:1) 4: Seven trumpets (8:2 - 11:18)
5: Seven signs (11:19 - 15:4) 6: Seven Bowls (15:5 - 16:21)
7: Prostitute / Babylon (17:1 - 19:10) 8: Seven judgements (19:11 - 21:8)
9: Bride / Jerusalem (21:9 - 22:9) 10: Epilogue (22:10-21)
Millennium Rapture and tribulation
Jesus the Lamb

Two Cities / Two Women - parallelled and contrasted

John receives an invitation from one of the bowl angels to see a woman. He is carried away in the Spirit and sees a city. Following the description of the woman / city he is given a blessing and a declaration of the truth of the Word of God. Finally he bows down and worships the angel, and is rebuked.

Whore / Babylon (17:1 - 19:10) Bride / Jerusalem (21:9 - 22:9)
One of the seven angels who had the Seven bowls came and said to me

"Come, I will show you the judgement Of the great whore ..." (17:1)
One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the last plagues came and said to me

“Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb (21:9)
So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness

and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast ... (17:3)
And in the Spirit he carried me away to a great high mountain

and showed me the holy city Jerusalem (21:10)
Description of the whore / Babylon, the great city, and its destruction (17:3 - 19:8) Description of the bride / Jerusalem, the Holy City (21:11 - 22:15)
And the angel said to me, “Write this, Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb

And he said to me, “These are the true words of God” (19:9)
And he said to me, "These words are trustworthy and true ..." (22:6)

Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book (22:7)
Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me,

“You must not do that, I am a fellow servant with you and your comrades who hold the testimony of Jesus. Worship God.” (19:10)
I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel, but he said to me,

“You must not do that I am a fellow servant with you ... and those who keep the words of this book. Worship God” (22:8)

Outline (Seven voices from heaven)

Setting (17:1-18): John taken in the Spirit to wilderness to see the great whore, Babylon
Voice 1 (18:1-3): Angel, "Fallen, fallen is Babylon”
Voice 2 (18:4-20): "Come out of her my people”, 3 laments
Voice 3 (18:21-24): Angel with millstone, "Babylon thrown down”
Voice 4 (19:1-3 ): Great multitude, "Hallelujah!”
Voice 5 (19:4): Twenty-four elders and four living creatures, "Amen, Hallelujah!”
Voice 6 (19:5): From throne, "Praise our God!”
Voice 7 (19:6-8): Great multitude, "Hallelujah!”
Conclusion (19:9-10)


We are now introduced to the great whore, who is the great city Babylon. At two previous places in the book the fall of Babylon has already been announced (14:8, 16:17), but it is not until this point that the whore Babylon is finally introduced and identified, immediately before the declarations of her destruction. We will see that the whore Babylon is yet another enemy of God and his people. She is attractive and seductive, but persecutes the saints.

There are two parallel sections both describing a woman, who is actually a city. The first is the judgement on the whore or prostitute, who is the great city Babylon (17:1 - 19:10), and the second is the bride, who is the holy city Jerusalem (21:9 - 22:9). These sections are introduced in very similar ways, using almost identical wording. The actual wording in the NRSV for the two sections is shown at the top of the page. This shows the remarkable parallel between the way the two women or cities are introduced. Both sections begin with the appearance of one of the angels who had the seven bowls, who gives John an invitation to see a woman (the whore or bride). He is then carried away in the spirit, and shown a city (Babylon or Jerusalem). After the description of each, the two sections conclude in similar ways. There is a blessing to the saints and a statement of the truth of his words, although the order of these is reversed. Both sections end with John falling down and worshipping the angel, being rebuked and being told to worship God.

The contrasts between the whore and the bride, and between Babylon and Jerusalem, continue a theme which runs through the whole Bible. God’s people are frequently portrayed as the bride of God, whether Israel in the OT, or the church in the NT. Unfortunately Israel often “played the harlot” (Hos 4:12-14) by worshipping the gods of the nations, being no longer faithful to God. This harlotry was both physical and spiritual, as the worship of the Canaanite gods also involved sexual immorality. In his parables, Jesus used the image of a bride waiting for the bridegroom to describe his relationship with the church (Matt 25:1-13), and this section of Revelation ends with the marriage supper of the Lamb (19:9). From the earliest times in the OT, Babylon was the city and society opposed to God, and the enemy of God’s people. Jerusalem became “the place that the Lord will chose” (Deut 12:11), where God’s presence dwelt in the midst of his people, and where the people brought their sacrifices and offerings.

The section begins with a setting, before seven voices from heaven are heard. The first three voices are announcements of the fall of Babylon, or laments at her falling from those who had benefited from her. The final four voices are celebrations in heaven because the whore who persecuted God’s people has been destroyed.

Setting (17:1-18): John taken in the Spirit to wilderness to see the great whore, Babylon

The oracles of judgment on the whore Babylon begin with a lengthy setting, which consists of two distinct parts. In the first part, John receives an invitation from the angel, and the whore is described (17:1-6). The second part contains a dialogue between John and the angel, in which the angel explains the meaning of the symbols, particularly concerning the beast that the woman is seated on (17:7-18). It is best to refer to the meaning of the symbols as you read through the first part of the setting. This table gives the symbols and their definitions:

Symbol (17:1-6) Definition (17:7-18)
the whore or woman (v1) the great city that rules over the kings of the earth (v18)
the waters on which the woman is seated (v1) peoples and multitudes and nations and languages (v15)
inhabitants of the earth (v2) those whose names have not been written in the book of life (v8)
the beast on which the woman is seated (v3) the beast you saw was and is not (v8)
an eighth (king) that belongs to the seven (v11)
seven heads (v9) seven mountains on which the woman is seated (v9)
seven kings: five fallen, one is, other yet to come (v9-10)
ten horns (v9) ten kings, not yet received a kingdom (v12)
who will hate the whore and destroy her (v16)

Vision of the whore (17:1-6a)

John is now guided through the visions by one of the angels who had poured out the bowls of God’s wrath. The angel invites him to witness the judgement of the great whore. The woman is defined as the great city that rules over the kings of the earth (17:18). For John and his readers, the only great city that ruled over other kings was Rome. The woman is described as being seated on many waters. The waters are defined as the peoples, multitudes, nations and tongues (17:15). The woman derives her power from the different peoples and nations, the unbelievers.

The characteristic description of the woman is that people have committed fornication with her, and have become drunk with the wine of her fornication (14:8, 17:2,4, 18:3,9, 19:2). The kings, nations and inhabitants of the earth (the unbelievers) have become drunk with her evil, enjoying her pleasures, and have been seduced by her, both spiritually and physically. These people will lament at her destruction because they have profited from her (18:9-20). The kings of the earth represent the local leaders. In John’s time, these would be the kings of nations that were ruled by Rome, who had been allowed to keep their thrones as puppet-kings. One well-known example would be the Herod family in Judea. In Asia, the local leaders were eager to be part of Rome, especially Smyrna and Pergamum. These nations had been seduced by Roman power, and eagerly joined in the idolatrous worship of the emperor.

John was carried away in the spirit to the wilderness. This is the third 'in the spirit' , which indicates a change of scene for this setting. The setting of all of the last four sections (seals, trumpets, signs and bowls) was in heaven, before the presence of God. Once in the wilderness, John sees the woman seated on a scarlet beast. The beast carrying the woman is the same beast that was revealed earlier (13:1-10). This shows the fluidity of apocalyptic writing, as just now she was seated on many waters. To be seated on something means that she is supported by it, deriving her power and authority from it. Being seated on the waters (the nations and people), and the beast, means that she gains her power from the people and from the beast (the political power). The beast was full of blasphemous names, like 'Caesar is Lord'. The beast had seven heads and ten horns, which the angel will shortly explain to John (17:9-12).

The woman wore expensive regal clothes and looked attractive, at least on the surface. Scarlet and purple dies were very expensive, so were associated with royalty. Lydia from Thyatira was dealer in purple cloth (Acts 16:14). Roman emperors traditionally wore purple togas, so when someone became emperor, they were 'raised to the purple'. The woman was covered with gold, jewels and pearls, enjoying splendour and luxury, but was carrying a golden cup full of abominations and fornications. The whore looks attractive, but is evil. She is seductive, enticing people away from God to join in her immorality and idolatry. In the OT, an abomination was another word for an idol.

The name of the woman was a mystery, something previously hidden, but which is now revealed. The whore is Babylon, “mother of whores and of earth’s abominations”. The original city of Babylon was seen as a personification of evil, human pride, and opposition to God. It was the site of the Tower of Babel, where men tried to reach the heavens (Gen 10). Babylon was originally built by Nimrod in rebellion against God, who made people stay in his city, instead of obeying God by scattering and filling the earth (Josephus, Antiquities 1:4:2). To Jews, Babylon was the place of persecution, suffering and captivity. So this image looks back to the physical city of Babylon. For John, Babylon represented Rome, just as Peter probably used Babylon as a code-word for Rome (1 Pet 5:13).

John then sees that the woman Babylon is drunk with the blood of the saints and witnesses to Jesus. Babylon joins the beasts in persecuting the church and martyring the believers. After AD 64, thousands of Christians were martyred by Rome, and this persecution from anti-Christian governments and society has continued through history to today. John’s response was to marvel. Evidently he was amazed at the revelation of the true evil nature of Babylon, or Rome.

The angel's explanation to John (17:6b-18)

The angel now speaks to John, giving him a long explanation of the various symbols used in the description of the woman. He will tell John the mystery of both the woman and of the beast who carries her. He gives a detailed explanation of the beast, showing that this is the same as the beast from the sea that was described in chapter 13. Only at the end of his explanation does his reveal the identity of the woman, as “the great city that rules over the kings of the earth” (17:18). The beast was the one that 'was and is not', the beast who had a mortal wound that was healed (13:3). All the inhabitants of the earth (the unbelievers) were amazed when they saw the beast because it was and is not and is to come (as in 13:3-4). They are deceived and seduced by the beast, they follow and worship it. The unbelievers are described here as those whose names are not written in the Lamb’s book of life (as in 13:8). They do not belong to Jesus, and will not experience the glorious future promised to the saints.

This passage again affirms the great contrast running through the whole Book of Revelation. The inhabitants of the earth are the unbelievers, who worship the beast, and who will come under the wrath of God. They are contrasted with the saints who only worship Jesus, and whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life. The saints may be persecuted and martyred, but are called to conquer the beast through their patient endurance, maintaining their faithful witness to Jesus.

The beast is currently in the bottomless pit, or abyss. This is the place where the locusts came from (9:1-2), and where Satan is bound for a thousand years (20:3). Peter and Jude describe fallen angels being kept in deepest darkness until the last day (2 Pet 2:4 , Jude 6). This is evidently another way of describing hell, where the forces of evil are confined until their destruction on the great day of judgement. Soon the beast will rise up and go to destruction, its destiny is sure - the lake of fire (19:20). The important message of the Book of Revelation is however powerful these beasts and Babylon seem to be, they have been defeated by Jesus, and one day, they will no longer be able to exercise their power. At the right time God will punish them for their evil actions in persecuting and killing the saints.

The beast had seven heads and ten horns. The seven heads represent both seven mountains and seven kings. The seven mountains are easier to identify, as Rome was 'the city built on seven hills'. The seven heads are more difficult. They probably represent different Roman emperors. Five emperors have already been, the sixth is current, and there are more to come. The problem is to be sure which emperor was currently reigning when John wrote this book. Arguments continue over the date of the book, based on this passage, with Nero (54 - 68), Domitian (81 - 96), or others, being suggested as the current emperor. It would have been clear to John, who obviously knew who the emperor was when he wrote. There are more detailed suggestions of the meaning of this passage several different commentaries.

The ten horns represent ten kings. These are probably the same as the kings of the earth who commit fornication with the woman mentioned before (17:2). These were puppet-kings, under the authority of the Roman Empire. For a time they are united in giving power to the beast, and together with the beast they make war on the Lamb, by persecuting the believers. They make war on the Lamb, but the Lamb will conquer them. In reality the Lamb has already conquered them on the cross, although the full victory is still in the future. Because of his victory on the cross, the Lamb is Lord over all the lords and King over all the kings. All kings rule only because he allows them to, and all rulers are ultimately under his control. The saints with him are called by him, chosen from before the foundation of the world, and are encouraged to remain faithful to him through to the end. Verse 14 gives a good summary of the whole Book of Revelation: “they will make war on the Lamb and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful.”

At one time it was a popular interpretation to say that these ten kings were the nations of the European Union (EU), particularly during the few years when ten nations were members. However, at the time of writing, 2021, there are 27 member nations, with more nations wanting to join. Many people claim that the EU is the beast, a revived Roman empire, and there are a number of points they use to support this, like it being founded by the Treaty of Rome, and some of the imagery used by it. For John, the beast was being manifested through the Roman empire. He certainly did not have the EU specifically in mind when he wrote to the seven churches in Asia. The beast is manifested through different political powers through the centuries, so any government has the potential to behave like the beast if it demands worship and persecutes the church. Perhaps this is why Paul urged Christians to pray for kings and governments, so we may live in peace (1 Tim 2:1-2). There can be a tendency for Christians to fall into fatalism once they identify any particular ruler as the beast, rather than engaging in earnest prayer, calling on God to work in power to change the situation. The response to prophecy should not be fatalism, but we should follow the example of Amos, who begged God not to send the judgements he predicted, and saw God answer his prayers (Amos 7:1-6).

After defining the waters that the woman was seated on as the peoples and nations, the angel tells John that ultimately the beast’s evil empire will destroy itself through internal divisions. For a time , the woman and the kings of the earth work together with the beast, as part of God’s sovereign plan. Ultimately the kings and the beast will turn against the woman and destroy her. The evil power structure and culture falls apart and is destroyed. Historically empires often tear themselves apart, as internal divisions come to the surface, rather than them being conquered by an enemy power. This happened with the Assyrian empire in the times of the OT. It also happened with the Roman Empire, and more recently with the Soviet Union. The angel finally defines the woman as the great city that rules over the kings of the earth, as noted before.

To identify the whore Babylon

The repeated characteristic of the whore Babylon is that she is attractive and seductive, and others commit fornication with her. She derives her power from the people and from the beast. However attractive she may appear at first sight, this woman is evil. She is opposed to God, and persecutes the church. For John, this is a representation of Roman culture and society, which was built on Roman political power, with the support of the people and of the puppet-kings of the nations conquered by Rome. For all time, the woman represents any anti-Christian culture and society which is built on an evil system of political and religious power. Unbelievers are part of this society and culture, not realising that its power comes from the beast, and ultimately from the dragon. Believers are called are not to belong to the world, but are sent into the world by Jesus (Jn 17:14-18). For a summary of the enemies, please see the table at the beginning of section 5.

By this point in the book all four enemies of God have been introduced (dragon, two beasts, and Babylon), they are now destroyed in reverse order. This gives a chiastic structure:

A. Dragon introduced (ch 12)
     B. Two beasts introduced (ch 13)
          C. Babylon introduced (ch 17)
          C. Babylon destroyed (ch 18)
     B. Two beasts destroyed (ch 19)
A. Dragon destroyed (ch 20)

The first three voices from heaven declare that Babylon has fallen and John hears laments at her passing. Many of the descriptions of her fall are drawn from prophecies of judgement against pagan nations in the OT prophets. John has drawn from predictions of judgement against a variety of different cities and nations and brought them together against the great anti-god city of Babylon. Chapter 18 is full of allusions drawn from oracles against Babylon (Is 13-14, 47, Jer 50-51), Tyre (Is 23, Ezek 26-28), Edom (Is 34), and even God’s people Judah (Jer 7).

Voice 1 (18:1-3): Angel, "Fallen, fallen is Babylon”

The first voice comes from an angel with great authority, who announces in a loud voice that Babylon has fallen (as stated before in 14:8). The great city has become a ruin where hateful wild animals live (alluding to Is 13:21, 34:11, Jer 50:39). The nations and kings have been seduced into compromising with her to gain power, and the merchants have grown rich in trading her luxurious goods. They will mourn her passing because their source of wealth has gone (18:11-17).

Voice 2 (18:4-20): "Come out of her my people” and three laments

The second voice from heaven first addresses God’s people (18:4-5), then proclaims vengeance and wrath on Babylon (18:6-8). This is followed by a series of three laments: from the kings of the earth (18:9-10), the merchants (18:11-17a), and the sailors (18:17b-19), and finally by a call to rejoice (18:20).

God’s people are called to come out of Babylon, so they do not share in her sins and judgement (18:4-5). This is a call to holiness, calling the saints not to compromise with the anti-Christian culture they live in. They are warned that if they compromise with Babylon they will fall with her. It continues to be a challenge for believers today to live a godly life as a witness to Jesus in a sinful world, and to resist the social pressure to live exactly like the world, having the same priorities, interests and concerns. Paul instructed the Romans not to be conformed to the world, but to be transformed by the renewing of the mind (Rom 12:1-2).

The heavenly voice then declares the reasons why Babylon deserves to come under judgement, by drawing on several prophetic themes from the OT. She will punished by being treated in the same way as she treated others (Ps 137:8, Jer 50:29), and being paid back double for her sin (Jer 16:18, 17:18). Her sins are glorifying herself and living luxuriously. The lament by the merchants (18:11-14) will give some indication of the level of luxury she enjoyed. As punishment she will now receive the same measure of torment and grief. She will also be punished for her pride, because she arrogantly boasted that she was eternal, and will never be widowed or know grief (Is 47:7-8). Because of this arrogance, she will be burned with fire in a single day (the great day of wrath) as judgement from the mighty God. Historically Rome was burned with fire in AD 64, and again when Rome finally fell to the Goths in AD 410.

Three laments now follow, from the kings, merchants and sailors, who have benefited from Babylon, and have enjoyed her luxury. They lament her passing. After each lament is a refrain with this or a similar wording, “Alas, alas (woe, woe), the great city, Babylon, the mighty city. For in one hour your judgement has come” (18:10,16-17,19).

The first lament is from the kings of the earth who have been seduced by Babylon and enjoyed her luxuries. In the first century, these were puppet kings who compromised with Rome to gain political power. Local rulers have done the same with great empires down through history. They will lament and stand in fear, trying to distance themselves from her, because they will fall with her, as has often happened in history.

The second and longest lament comes from the merchants who have made huge profits through their trade with Babylon. This is similar to the lament over the wealthy trading city of Tyre (Ezek 27). They will weep and mourn because there is no one to buy their luxurious products anymore. A long list of goods is listed here, most of which are luxuries They can be divided into seven groups: precious metals and jewels, expensive fabrics, decorative and ornamental pieces, aromatic spices, expensive foodstuffs, animals, and slaves. The Roman emperors were unbelievably extravagant in their luxurious living. The emperor Vitellius (AD 69) spent the equivalent of twenty million U.S. dollars on food in one year. He particularly enjoyed delicacies such as peacock’s brains and the tongues of nightingales. At one banquet Nero spent the equivalent of a hundred thousand U.S. dollars on roses to decorate the room. No wonder the merchants will also stand in fear of her torment, and grieve at the fall of Babylon and her wealth.

In the third lament, the ship owners and sailors also grieve because they have lost their trade in goods. Many of the goods listed came from far-off lands outside Europe, so the sailors had made large profits in transporting the luxuries to Rome. Throwing dust on their heads, they too will lament for the loss of their trade.

It is not clear who leads the call to heaven to rejoice over the fall of Babylon. It could be an angel, or John himself, calling on the saints to rejoice. Otherwise it could be a sarcastic call from the kings, merchants and sailors, calling on heaven and the saints to rejoice over their misfortune.

Voice 3 (18:21-24): Angel with millstone, "Babylon thrown down”

The third voice came from a mighty angel, who threw a stone like a giant millstone into the sea. This was a prophetic act to show that Babylon will be thrown down, and will sink to the bottom of the sea, never to rise again. This was similar to the action of Jeremiah who wrote a scroll with words against Babylon, tied it to a stone and threw it into the River Euphrates, to show that Babylon will sink and rise no more (Jer 51:63-64). Again using several allusions from the prophets (particularly Jeremiah), six different aspects of life in Babylon will be found 'no more'. All civilisation will cease, leaving silence and darkness. This will happen because Babylon deceived the nations and persecuted the church by killing the prophets and saints.

Voice 4 (19:1-3): Great multitude, "Hallelujah!”

The focus now changes to voices from heaven rejoicing and celebrating following the judgement of the woman Babylon. The fourth voice is from the great multitude in heaven, presumably the same great multitude of saints who had come out of the great tribulation (7:9-17). They proclaim the victory of the Lamb following the judgement of Babylon. 'Hallelujah' is a Hebrew word meaning 'Praise Yahweh', or 'Praise the Lord'. Heaven is rejoicing and celebrating God’s victory. They declare that God’s judgements are true and just, as the whore deserved her punishment for corrupting the earth with her fornication and for martyring the saints. Again in the midst of the judgements is the declaration of the justice of God, as during the seven bowls (16:5-7). The martyrs will be vindicated, and their blood avenged, answering the call of the martyrs under the altar (6:10). This would be an encouragement to the saints, and a call to trust in God, because vengeance belongs to him (Rom 12:19).

Voice 5 (19:4): 24 elders and four living creatures, "Amen, Hallelujah!”

In the fifth voice, the twenty-four elders and four living creatures agree with the great multitude, saying “Amen, Hallelujah”. Again they are worshipping God. This is the seventh time the elders fall on their faces in worship before the throne (1:17, 4:10, 5:8,14, 7:11, 11:16, 19:4). This is the only time the four living creatures also fall down in worship.

Voice 6 (19:5): From throne, "Praise our God!”

The sixth voice is from the throne, probably from the Lamb, calling all the saints, and everybody everywhere to praise God.

Voice 7 (19:6-8): Great multitude, "Hallelujah!”

The seventh and final voice from heaven is again from the great multitude announcing the marriage of the Lamb. They are praising God for his victory because the whore is destroyed and the Lamb is triumphant. God’s sovereign rule of the universe has been demonstrated.

After the judgements, it is now time for the marriage of the Lamb with his bride (the saints). The relationship of God with his people is described as husband and wife throughout the scriptures (eg. Eph 5:23-33). This shows the intimate and exclusive relationship God wants with us, calling us to be faithful, by loving and worshipping him alone. In the OT, God was the husband of his people, but so often they showed their unfaithfulness to him by worshipping the gods of the nations (Ezek 16). There is an interesting parallel with the Jewish marriage ceremony. When a Jewish man chose his wife, they became betrothed in a binding contract. There was then a period of separation, during which the bride prepared herself for the arrival of her bridegroom, who could come at any time. He would then take her to his own house, where there would then be a marriage feast for several days, and she would become his wife. At present the church is betrothed to Christ (2 Cor 11:2), and is waiting for the arrival of the bridegroom, who could come at any time. This passage announces that the time for the marriage supper of the Lamb has come. The waiting is over, the enemies have been destroyed, the time of the glorious future has now come.

The bride is clothed in fine linen, bright and pure. This shows simplicity and purity, especially when compared with the extravagant luxury of the whore (17:4). The fine linen is defined as the righteous deeds of the saints. Earlier the saints had washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb (7:14). The first righteous deed performed by the saints is to respond in faith to the Gospel, we are then called to live a life of righteousness, living in obedience to the Lord Jesus. In some way we take these righteous deeds with us into eternity and receive rewards for our faithful obedience to Jesus (1 Cor 3:14).

Conclusion (19:9-10)

The section concludes with a blessing, a declaration of truth, and John worshipping the angel. The blessing is to the saints, those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.

This is the fourth blessing, for those who are invited to marriage supper of Lamb. Here the imagery has changed slightly, as the saints are now the guests at the supper. Perhaps we could see it as the church corporately being the bride, and the individual saints being the guests at the marriage supper.

The angel gives John a solemn declaration of these being the true words of God. He can believe them as the truth, and trust God that he will bring all these predictions to pass. There are further declarations of the truth of the words in the last chapter of the book.

The section of the judgement of the great whore Babylon concludes with a scene of John falling down and worshipping the angel. The angel forbids him from doing this, telling him to worship God alone. The angel is only a fellow servant, working together with the saints to serve God. We don’t know why John worshipped the angel. Perhaps he mistook the angel for the Lord Jesus, or perhaps was overwhelmed after seeing the visions and hearing the words of the angel. We will see that he repeats this after the vision of the bride Jerusalem (22:8-9). There was a tendency in the church to worship angels, which Paul spoke against (Col 2:18). All our worship, prophecy and teaching should focus on Jesus, as he is the centre of prophecy.

This concludes the judgement of the whore Babylon, which takes place at the time of the final judgement. The whore Babylon has been introduced, and destroyed. Now the focus turns to the other enemies: the two beasts and the dragon.

Also available:

Introduction Four main views of Revelation
1: Prologue (1:1-8) 2: Letters to seven churches (1:9 - 3:22)
3: Seven Seals (4:1 - 8:1) 4: Seven trumpets (8:2 - 11:18)
5: Seven signs (11:19 - 15:4) 6: Seven Bowls (15:5 - 16:21)
7: Prostitute / Babylon (17:1 - 19:10) 8: Seven judgements (19:11 - 21:8)
9: Bride / Jerusalem (21:9 - 22:9) 10: Epilogue (22:10-21)
Millennium Rapture and tribulation
Jesus the Lamb