Then the angel carried me away in the Spirit1 into a desert.2 There I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet3 beast that was covered with blasphemous names4 and had seven heads and ten horns.54
The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, and was glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls.6 She held a golden cup7 in her hand, filled with abominable things and the filth of her adulteries.85
This title was written on her forehead: MYSTERY9 BABYLON THE GREAT10 THE MOTHER OF PROSTITUTES11 AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints,12 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 mystery13 of the woman and of the beast she rides, which has the seven heads and ten horns.148
The beast, which you saw, once was, now is not, and will come up out of the Abyss15 and go to his destruction.16 The inhabitants of the earth17 whose names have not been written in the book of life18 from the creation of the world will be astonished19 when they see the beast, because he once was, now is not, and yet will come.
"This calls for a mind with wisdom.20 The seven heads21 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,22 is an eighth king. He belongs to the seven and is going to his destruction.
"The ten horns23 you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but who for one hour24 will receive authority as kings along with the beast.
They have one purpose and will give their power and authority to the beast.25