Then the angel said to me: "Why are you astonished? I will explain to you the mystery1 of the woman and of the beast she rides, which has the seven heads and ten horns.28
The beast, which you saw, once was, now is not, and will come up out of the Abyss3 and go to his destruction.4 The inhabitants of the earth5 whose names have not been written in the book of life6 from the creation of the world will be astonished7 when they see the beast, because he once was, now is not, and yet will come.
"This calls for a mind with wisdom.8 The seven heads9 are seven hills on which the woman sits.
They are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; but when he does come, he must remain for a little while.
The beast who once was, and now is not,10 is an eighth king. He belongs to the seven and is going to his destruction.
"The ten horns11 you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but who for one hour12 will receive authority as kings along with the beast.
They have one purpose and will give their power and authority to the beast.1314
They will make war14 against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome15 them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings16--and with him will be his called, chosen17 and faithful followers."
Then the angel said to me, "The waters18 you saw, where the prostitute sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages.1916
The beast and the ten horns20 you saw will hate the prostitute.21 They will bring her to ruin22 and leave her naked;23 they will eat her flesh24 and burn her with fire.2517
For God has put it into their hearts26 to accomplish his purpose by agreeing to give the beast their power to rule,27 until God's words are fulfilled.2818
The woman you saw is the great city29 that rules over the kings of the earth."