Revelation 17:4

Revelation 17:4

And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour
Which may be expressive of her grandeur, authority, and power, sitting as a queen, and sovereign in the empire, ruling over kingdoms and nations in it; and also of her bloody disposition to the saints, with whose blood she is afterwards said to be drunk;

and decked with gold and precious stones, and pearls;
which may denote her hypocrisy, she being gilded with these things, as the word signifies, when she was inwardly rotten, corrupt, and filthy; and may point out the things by which persons have been enticed into the communion of the church of Rome, and to comply with her idolatrous worship and practices; and may also respect the prodigious riches, which have, by various methods, been brought into the pope's coffers; these, with other things, are reckoned among the merchandise of Babylon, ( Revelation 18:12 ) and particularly this may have reference to the adorning of their temples, or churches, and the decking of their images, with those things; which gaudy pompous shows strike the minds of carnal men, amuse them, and engage their attention. So Philo F11 the Jew describes an whore as arrayed in purple, and adorned with gold and precious stones; see ( Proverbs 7:10 ) .

Having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness
of her fornication;
in allusion to Babylon, ( Jeremiah 51:7 ) and also to harlots, who give philters or love potions to men, to excite lust, and draw their affections to them; and this being a golden cup may design the external lustre and splendour of the worship of the church of Rome, by which many have been drawn into a compliance with it, which is attended with many abominable, filthy, and idolatrous practices: and perhaps some regard may be had to the golden chalice, in which, it is pretended, is the very blood of Christ, which the priests take as such, and worship and adore, and is no other than an abominable and filthy piece of idolatry; and such are the persons that partake of it; like the Pharisees of old, they make clean the outside of the cup and platter; glister, and make a great show of devotion, but within are full of extortion and excess.


F11 De Mercede Meretricis non recip. p. 861.