Rev. 17

Rev. 17:1

And one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and spoke with me, saying, "Come here, I shall show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, [NASB]

My Translation
[my translatio]
καὶ ἦλθεν εἷς ἐκ τῶν ἑπτὰ ἀγγέλων τῶν ἐχόντων τὰς ἑπτὰ φιάλας καὶ ἐλάλησεν μετ᾽ ἐμοῦ λέγων δεῦρο δείξω σοι τὸ κρίμα τῆς πόρνης τῆς μεγάλης τῆς καθημένης ἐπὶ ὑδάτων πολλῶν


Sits on many waters --

The great harlot "sits" on many waters. Later in this chapter, in verse 15, we are told that the waters represent people: "15 And he said to me, "The waters which you saw where the harlot sits, are peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues."

She has universal support around the world. Her influence crosses counties, cultures and people groups.

(by William Bell - - May 3, 2022, 11:12 a.m.
harlot --

The Bible describes both sexual and spiritual promiscuity as harlotry. In some cases, even commerce and trade among nations is called playing the harlot:

Lev 20:5-6 (spiritual harlotry)

(5) then I Myself will set My face against that man and against his family, and I will cut off from among their people both him and all those who play the harlot after him, by playing the harlot after Molech. (6) 'As for the person who turns to mediums and to spiritists, to play the harlot after them, I will also set My face against that person and will cut him off from among his people.

Isa 1:21 (harlotry as the violent who pervert justice)

"How the faithful city has become a harlot, She [who] was full of justice! Righteousness once lodged in her, But now murderers."

Eze 6:9 (spiritual harlotry

"Then those of you who escape will remember Me among the nations to which they will be carried captive, how I have been hurt by their adulterous hearts which turned away from Me, and by their eyes which played the harlot after their idols; and they will loathe themselves in their own sight for the evils which they have committed, for all their abominations."

Isaiah 23:16-18 (commercial harlotry)

"Take your harp, walk about the city,
O forgotten harlot;
Pluck the strings skillfully, sing many songs,
That you may be remembered.
17 It will come about at the end of seventy years that the Lord will visit Tyre.
Then she will go back to her harlot’s wages
and will play the harlot with all the kingdoms on the face of the earth.
18 Her gain and her harlot’s wages will be set apart to the Lord; . . ."

(by William Bell - - May 2, 2022, 3:38 a.m.
great harlot (Description) --

The great harlot is a new character. There are a number of clues to her identity, but John never reveals her name.

  • The woman rides upon the beast (the Antichrist).
  • The woman sits upon the seven mountains which are the seven satanic empires (beginning with Egypt and ending with the Antichrist)
  • She presides over multitudes throughout the world (sits on many waters v15).
  • The woman is drunk with the blood of the saints and the witnesses of God. And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints and of all who have been slain on the earth.
  • The woman is the great city who reigns over the kings of the earth. (Note: Jerusalem is called the great city)
  • The Antichrist and his 10 kings hate the woman and burn her.
  • All the nations have drunk of the wine of the passion of her immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed acts of immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich by the wealth of her sensuality.
  • The woman is a great merchant power and has great wealth. It appears to be a port city: "the great city, in which all who had ships at sea became rich by her wealth."
(by William Bell - - May 1, 2022, 11:08 a.m.
great harlot - Who or What is she? --

From this description, it is difficult to understand what or who this harlot represents. There are several options:

  • False Religious System: The apostate church and apostate Judaism that has turned away from the true gospel and incorporated and teach false doctrines. Jesus told the Pharisees:

    "34 “Therefore, behold, I am sending you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city, 35 so that upon you may fall the guilt of all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. 36 Truly I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation."

    It is likely that this religious system will incorporate other religions and a more "relaxed" acceptance of immoral sexual practices and occult activities.

  • False Economic & Governmental System: Babylon the Great is the world system that started at the tower of Babylon and represents the worldly governments that attempt to create a kingdom built upon the power of man to reach godhood on its own. It accumulates great wealth from commerce which includes slavery, corruption and bribery. It acquires and maintains power through deception, power & appeal to greed and sensuality.
(by William Bell - - May 2, 2022, 3:39 a.m.

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