17 Then one of the seven angels who held the seven bowls came and told me, “Come, I will show you how the notorious prostitute who sits on many waters will be judged. 2 The kings of the earth committed sexual immorality with her, and those living on earth became drunk with the wine of her immorality.”
3 Then the angel[a] carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness. I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was controlled by blasphemy.[b] It had seven heads and ten horns. 4 The woman wore purple and scarlet clothes and was adorned with gold, gems, and pearls. In her hand she was holding a gold cup filled with detestable things and the impurities of her immorality. 5 On her forehead was written a secret name:
Babylon the Great,
the Mother of Prostitutes
and Detestable Things of the Earth
6 I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints and the blood of the witnesses to Jesus. I was very surprised when I saw her.
7 “Why are you surprised?” The angel asked me. “I will tell you the secret of the woman and the beast with the seven heads and the ten horns that carries her. 8 The beast that you saw existed once, but is no longer, and is going to crawl out of the bottomless pit[c] and then proceed to its destruction. Those living on earth, whose names were not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, will be surprised when they see the beast because it was, is no longer, and will come again. 9 This calls for a mind that has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman is sitting. They are also seven kings. 10 Five of them have fallen, one is living, and the other has not yet come. When he comes, he must remain in power[d] for a little while. 11 The beast that was and is no longer is the eighth king,[e] but it belongs with the seven kings[f] and goes to its destruction. 12 The ten horns that you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom. They will receive authority to rule[g] as kings with the beast for one hour. 13 They have one purpose: to give their power and authority to the beast. 14 They will wage war against the lamb, but the lamb will conquer them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings. Those who are called, chosen, and faithful are with him.”
15 The angel[h] also told me, “The bodies of water you saw, on which the prostitute is sitting, are people, multitudes, nations, and languages. 16 The ten horns and the beast you saw will hate the prostitute. They will leave her abandoned and naked. They will eat her flesh and burn her up with fire, 17 for God has placed within them a desire to carry out his purpose by uniting to give their kingdom to the beast until God’s words are fulfilled. 18 The woman you saw is the great city that rules over the kings of the earth.”
You'll get this book and many others when you join Bible Gateway Plus. Learn more
You must be logged in to view your newly purchased content. Please log in below or if you don't have an account, creating one is easy and only takes a few moments. After you log in your content will be available in your library.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your free trial.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your subscription.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
Upgrade to the best Bible Gateway experience! With Bible Gateway Plus, you gain instant access to a digital Bible study library, including complete notes from the NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible and the New Bible Commentary. Try it free for 30 days!