Revelation 17:6

Drunk is μεθύουσαν [methyousan] , present tense participle. The woman was drunk while John saw her.

with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus
When Babylon is destroyed, the holy apostles and prophets are said to have been avenged (Rev. Rev. 18:19+). Thus, the Harlot is not some other entity, but is to be identified with the city. See Mystery Babylon?. This also explains the close association between the Harlot and the Beast upon which she rides. For the Beast is given authority to overcome the saints (Rev. Rev. 13:7+), and his image commands that those who refuse to worship the image be put to death (Rev. Rev. 13:15+). Since the woman sits upon peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues, all the world at the time of the end participates in the destruction of the godly. The earth dwellers are given blood to drink because “they have shed the blood of saints and prophets” (Rev. Rev. 16:6+). Throughout the book of Revelation, John is shown numerous martyrs of Jesus. Antipas in the church of Pergamos was a faithful martyr (Rev. Rev. 2:13+). At the opening of the fifth seal, John sees “the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held” (Rev. Rev. 6:9+). God’s two witnesses, empowered to prophesy, are martyred as a witness (Rev. Rev. 11:7+). John sees those who had overcome the Beast and his mark—probably martyrs—standing on the sea of glass (Rev. Rev. 15:2+ cf. Rev. Rev. 12:11+). At the initiation of the Millennial Kingdom, John sees “the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands” (Rev. Rev. 20:4+). Her blood-guiltiness extends throughout history, for “in her was found the blood of prophets and saints, and of all who were slain on the earth” (Rev. Rev. 18:24+). See #20 - Saints. Being drunk with blood would be particularly offensive to John who, being a Jew, had a keen appreciation for the prohibition against eating blood (Gen. Gen. 9:4; Lev. Lev. 3:17; Lev. 7:26; Lev. 17:10-13).1

when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement
At the end of Daniel’s vision of the four beasts and the Son of Man, his thoughts greatly troubled him (Dan. Dan. 7:28). Subsequent to Daniel’s vision concerning Antiochus Epiphanes IV, and aspects of the time of the end, he fainted and was sick for days and continued to be astonished by the vision (Dan. Dan. 8:27). John is similarly affected by the magnitude of what he is being shown: her support by the hideous beast, her great wealth, her extreme sinfulness, and her scope both historically and geographically.


1 Regarding Mtt. Mat. 23:24, the Pharisees would force themselves to vomit if they accidentally swallowed a gnat which was seen as a violation of the prohibition against eating blood.

Read Revelation 17:6