And there came one of the seven angels, saying, Come hither - This relation concerning the great whore, and that concerning the wife of the Lamb, Revelation 21:9 ,10, have the same
introduction, in token of the exact opposition between them. I will show thee the judgment of the great whore - Which is now circumstantially described. That sitteth as a queen - In pomp, power, ease, and luxury. Upon many waters - Many people and nations, verse 15. ite>Rev 17:15
With whom the kings of the earth - Both ancient and modern, for many ages. Have committed fornication - By partaking of her idolatry and various wickedness. And the inhabitants of the earth - The common people. Have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication - No wine can more thoroughly intoxicate those who drink it, than false zeal does the followers of the great whore.
And he carried me away - In the vision. Into a wilderness - The campagna di Roma, the country round about Rome, is now a wilderness, compared to what it was once. And I saw a woman - Both the scripture and other writers frequently represent a city under this emblem. Sitting upon a scarlet wild beast - The same which is described in the thirteenth chapter. Revelation 13:1 - 18 But he was there described as he carried on his
own designs only: here, as he is connected with the whore. There is, indeed, a very close connexion between them; the seven heads of the beast being "seven hills on which the woman sitteth." And yet there is a very remarkable difference between them, - between the papal power and the city of Rome. This woman is the city of Rome, with its buildings and inhabitants; especially the nobles. The beast, which is now scarlet - coloured, (bearing the bloody livery, as well as the person, of the woman,) appears very different from before. Therefore St. John says at first sight, I saw a beast, not the beast, full of names of blasphemy - He had' before "a name of blasphemy upon his head," Rev 13:1:
now he has many. From the time of Hildebrand, the blasphemous titles of the Pope have been abundantly multiplied. Having seven heads - Which reach in a succession from his ascent out of the sea to his being cast into the lake of fire. And ten horns - Which are contemporary with each other, and belong to his last period.
And the woman was arrayed - With the utmost pomp and magnificence. In purple and scarlet - These were the colours of the imperial habit: the purple, in times of peace; and the scarlet, in times of war. Having in her hand a golden cup - Like the ancient Babylon, Jeremiah 51:7 .
Full of abominations - The most abominable doctrines as well as practices.
And on her forehead a name written - Whereas the saints have the name of God and the Lamb on their foreheads. Mystery - This very word was inscribed on the front of the Pope's mitre, till some of the Reformers took public notice of it. Babylon the great - Benedict XIII., in his proclamation of the jubilee, A.D. 1725, explains this sufficiently. His words are, "To this holy
city, famous for the memory of so many holy martyrs, run with religious alacrity. Hasten to the place which the Lord hath chose. Ascend to this new Jerusalem, whence the law of the Lord and the light of evangelical truth hath flowed forth into all nations, from the very first beginning of the church: the city most rightfully called 'The Palace,' placed for the pride of all ages, the city of the Lord, the Sion of the Holy One of Israel.This catholic and apostolical Roman church is the head of the world, the mother of all believers, the faithful interpreter of God and mistress of all churches." But God somewhat varies the style. The mother of harlots - The parent, ringleader, patroness, and nourisher of many daughters, that losely copy after her. And abominations - Of every kind, spiritual and fleshly. Of the earth - In all lands. In this respect she is indeed catholic or universal.
And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints - So that Rome may well be called, "The slaughter - house of the martyrs." She hath shed much Christian blood in every age; but at length she is even drunk with it, at the time to which this vision refers. The witnesses of Jesus - The preachers of his word.And I wondered exceedingly - At her cruelty and the patience of God.
I will tell thee the mystery - The hidden meaning of this.
The beast which thou sawest (namely, verse 3) cite>Rev 17:3
was, &c. - This is a very observable and punctual description of the beast, verses 8, 10, 11. Revelation 17:8 ,10,11 His whole
duration is here divided into three periods, which are expressed in a fourfold manner.
- He, 1. Was; 2 And is not; 3. And will ascend out of the
are fallen; 2. One is; 3. The other is not come; and when
he cometh, he must continue a short space.
one of the seven, and goeth into perdition. The first of these three is described in the thirteenth chapter. Revelation 13:1 - 18 This was past when the angel spoke to St. John.The second was then in its course; the third woe to come. And is not - The fifth phial brought darkness upon his kingdom: the woman took this advantage to seat herself upon him. Then it might be said, He is not. Yet shall he afterwards ascend out of the bottomless pit - Arise again with diabolical strength and fury. But he will not reign long: soon after his ascent he goeth into perdition for ever.
|1058||Wings are given to the woman.|
|1077||The beast ascends out of the sea.|
|1143||The forty - two months begin.|
|1810||The forty - two months end.|
|1832||The beast ascends out of the bottomless pit.|
|1836||The beast finally overthrown.|