Revelation 17: Babylon and the Kingdom of the Antichrist

The Woman

Judgment Coming to the Great Harlot

Revelation 17:1

And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters


One of the seven angels from the previous chaptRevelation 17er tells John of the coming judgment to the great whore. On the forehead of the great whore are the words, “Mystery, Babylon The Great, The Mother Of Harlots And Abominations Of The Earth” (verse 5).  The great whore is Babylon.  The angel shows the judgment coming to Babylon. This chapter and the following chapter  describe in detail this coming judgment.


In Revelation 16, the previous chapter, we also read of the destruction of Babylon. This destruction occurred in the seventh bowl judgment. The angel, who poured out the seventh bowl judgment, may be the same angel we see foretelling of the coming judgment to Babylon.

And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. (Revelation 16:19)


The Babylonian empire defeated the southern tribes of Israel and destroyed the temple in 586 b.c.  God’s judgment came to Babylon with the destruction by the Medes and the Persians (see Daniel 5).  The following passages speak of the judgment of Babylon:

These passages speak of Babylon’s judgment in the past and the coming judgment in the future. Babylon will again gain power and God will once again destroy them. Will this be the same Persian empire God destroyed and is the Bible referring to something other than Persian empire (Iran)?


What is Babylon?

Revelation 17:2-6

17:2 With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.
17:3 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.
17:4 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:
17:5 And upon her forehead was a name written, Mystery, Babylon The Great, The Mother Of Harlots And Abominations Of The Earth.
17:6 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.


Bishops wearing purple cassocks and cardinals wearing crimson red cassocks.

Babylon is described as a mystery in verse 5. Much has been discussed on who or what is Babylon. Babylon may be the Holy Roman Empire also called the Vatican.  The woman is described as being clothed in purple and scarlet. Bishops in the Catholic church wear purple cassocks and the cardinals wear crimson red cassocks. The great harlot is called the “Woman” (verse 4), “Mystery” (verse 5), “Babylon the Great” (verse 5), the Mother of Harlots” (verse 5) and the great city (Revelation 16:19).


Why is Babylon Being Judged?

Babylon is judged for fornication or immorality (versewomans 2 and 4), abominations (verse 4), and the persecution and killing of Christians (verse 6). She has committed fornication with the leaders of the countries. She has the blood of many martyrs of Christians on her hands. The waters she sits on are the people and nations (verse 15) of the world corrupted by her.


The Beast

Revelation 17:7-13

17:7 And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.
17:8 The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.
17:9 And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.
17:10 And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.
17:11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.
17:12 And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.
17:13 These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.


Who is the Beast?

When John speaks of the “Beast” he can either refer to the Antichrist or the entire kingdom of the Antichrist. The beast in this chapter is the kingdom of the Antichrist. The woman rides on the kingdom of the Antichrist. Babylon rides on and is supported by the Antichrist’s kingdom composed of 10 subservient kingdoms . Later we learn the Antichrist turns against Babylon and destroys her.


Seven Kingdoms of the Beast

The beast is described with seven heads and ten horns. The beast’s seven heads are a series of seven kingdoms beginning with the kingdom of Egypt. The beast’s seven heads are seven mountains and seven kings.  Five have fallen, one exists at the time of John and the last kingdom has not yet come.

The seven kingdoms are likely:

  1. Egypt – fallen
  2. Assyria – fallen
  3. Babylon – fallen
  4. Medo-Persia – fallen
  5. Greece – fallen
  6. Rome – exists during John’s lifetime
  7. European Union – not yet come

The seventh head is likely the European Union, United Nations or some confederation or league of nations.


Ten Kings Serve Under the Antichrist

The ten horns are ten kings. The ten horns receive power for one hour, then they surrender their power under the leadership of the Antichrist. The ten kings are given authority and power for one purpose:  to serve the Antichrist.


The Battle of the Kingdom of the Antichrist and Jesus

Revelation 17:14-15

17:14 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.
17:15 And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.


A battle takes place between the Antichrist and the Lamb. The Antichrist with his 10 kingdoms wages war against the Lamb.This is the war of Armageddon. The nations have come to destroy Israel and come against the city of Jerusalem. Sometime during this battled Jesus returns to destroy the kingdom of the Antichrist. . The battle of Armageddon is spoken of in the sixth bowl judgment (Revelation 16:13-16).  Jesus returns, at His second coming, to save Israel from complete destruction. Jesus rescues Israel and destroys the armies who oppose them.


With Jesus returns to fight against the nations who oppose Israel the saints are with Him. The saints are the “called, the chosen and the faithful.”   The rapture must have taken place prior to Jesus’ second coming for now the saints are with Him.


The Antichrist Destroys Babylon

Revelation 17:16-18

17:16 And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.
17:17 For God hath put in their hearts to fulfill his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.
17:18 And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.


The Antichrist, along with the ten kings, turn against Babylon and burn the city of Rome with fire. God judgment comes against Babylon. God does not execute His judgment by His sword but the judgment comes at the hand of the Kingdom of the Antichrist.


by Timothy Brown

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