One of the seven angels1 who had the seven bowls2 came and said to me, "Come, I will show you the punishment3 of the great prostitute,4 who sits on many waters.52
With her the kings of the earth committed adultery and the inhabitants of the earth were intoxicated with the wine of her adulteries."63
Then the angel carried me away in the Spirit7 into a desert.8 There I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet9 beast that was covered with blasphemous names10 and had seven heads and ten horns.114
The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, and was glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls.12 She held a golden cup13 in her hand, filled with abominable things and the filth of her adulteries.145
This title was written on her forehead: MYSTERY15 BABYLON THE GREAT16 THE MOTHER OF PROSTITUTES17 AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints,18 the blood of those who bore testimony to Jesus. When I saw her, I was greatly astonished.
Then the angel said to me: "Why are you astonished? I will explain to you the mystery19 of the woman and of the beast she rides, which has the seven heads and ten horns.208
The beast, which you saw, once was, now is not, and will come up out of the Abyss21 and go to his destruction.22 The inhabitants of the earth23 whose names have not been written in the book of life24 from the creation of the world will be astonished25 when they see the beast, because he once was, now is not, and yet will come.
"This calls for a mind with wisdom.26 The seven heads27 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.