So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet colored beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. (4) And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: (5) And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. (6) And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration. ~ Revelation 17:3-6 KJV
So we come to a continuation of the previous explanation of an adulterous generation. These scriptures above are a mouthful but quite interesting when we are studying the Word of God. It is always filled with imagery and intriguing scriptures that bring you deep in to knowing the Lord more and understanding his word. So let’s dissect each verse beginning with number three.
(3) So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet colored beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.
In this scripture Jesus took John to a place to show him something. He saw a woman sitting on a red colored beast. Who is the woman and why was the beast red? These are the first questions that come to mind. If you remember the adulterous generation explanation yesterday, you will remember that spiritually a person who is not faithful to the one they are married is considered adulterous. In this chapter you can read further down and see the woman is called a “harlot”. She represents a person who is not faithful. Everyone including men are considered the bride of Christ. A person’s sex does not exclude him from being the bride. So sorry men but you are brides too! 🙂
Moving on we see the beast is described as red and full of names of blasphemy. Blasphemy is the act of speaking sacrilegiously about sacred things or about God. We can see that evil is surrounding this beast. Seven heads are seven mountains which she deceitfully influences. These mountains are:
- Arts & Entertainment
This negative spirit has influence over these areas and causes people to err against the Lord. These days we can see how corrupt these mountains or areas of influence in society have become.
And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:
The color purple in the Bible was always a status of wealth, royalty and authority. The Romans mockingly dressed Jesus in purple as a King of the Jews.
And they clothed him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns, and put it about his head, ~ Mark 15:17 KJV
And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple from him, and put his own clothes on him, and led him out to crucify him. ~ Mark 15:20 KJV Also found in John 19:2, 5
John could see the woman with gold and precious stones and pearls. And all these things are descriptive of someone who has earned the wealth through her deceitful ways. The golden cup is like a chalice but it was full of things that God hates and filthiness of having intimate relationships outside of a marriage covenant.
And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
Babylon in the Old Testament was a godless city that was able to overcome Israel (God’s people) and even made them captive for a long time. The connection here is to see they are without God. Just as Abraham is called the Father of Faith, we can understand that this spirit is the mother of harlots. The one who causes God’s people and men to cheat on their spouse. In this vision it’s related to God’s children. A mother is caring, nurturing and teaches her children the right paths they should go. So this spirit is like a mother that teaches the children to go astray and commit abominations in the earth.
And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.
John saw this spirit who was drinking the blood of saints as if it was nothing difficult for her. Those are the saints of Jesus who were killed or died because of her influence through others. Hopefully this has brought some insight into understanding Revelation chapter 17.