Revelation 17-20

One of the seven angels showed me the judgment of the “great whore” of Babylon.  The beast’s seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman is seated; they are also seven kings, of whom 5 have fallen, one is living, and the other has not yet come.  The woman you saw is the great city that rules over the kings of the earth.  After this vision, another angel proclaimed the fall of Babylon the great.  Merchants weep because nobody burns their cargo anymore; seafarers weep because they grew wealthy trading with the city.  This divine judgment was praised by a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven.

Then heaven opened, and I saw a white horse.  Its rider is called Faithful and True; in righteousness he judges and makes war, striking down the nations by sword.  Then another angel proclaimed a great feast of human flesh.  The beast, the false prophet, and all who worshiped the beast were thrown alive into the lake of fire; the rest were killed.  Satan, the dragon, was thrown into the bottomless pit.  After 1000 years he will escape and lead the kings of the earth against the new Jerusalem.  They will be defeated, after which the dead will be resurrected and judged.

Commentary:

  • These chapters make it much clearer that the beast is meant to represent Rome.  The “seven mountains” are the seven hills on which Rome was founded.
  • After the 1000 year interlude, death itself will be defeated: “Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire” (20:14).  Anyone whose name was not found in the book of life is also thrown into the lake.
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