Revelation 17:15

15 Then the angel said to me, “The waters you saw, where the prostitute sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages.

Revelation 17:15 in Other Translations

KJV
15 And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.
ESV
15 And the angel said to me, "The waters that you saw, where the prostitute is seated, are peoples and multitudes and nations and languages.
NLT
15 Then the angel said to me, “The waters where the prostitute is ruling represent masses of people of every nation and language.
MSG
15 The Angel continued, "The waters you saw on which the Whore was enthroned are peoples and crowds, nations and languages.
CSB
15 He also said to me, "The waters you saw, where the prostitute was seated, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and languages.

Revelation 17:15 Meaning and Commentary

Revelation 17:15

And he saith unto me
That is, the angel, who proposed to give John the interpretation of the vision, he went on with it as follows:

the waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth,
(See Gill on Revelation 17:1),

are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues;
denoting the vast multitude of people, of which the several kingdoms, of divers languages, consist, which belong to the jurisdiction of Rome Papal: it is an eastern way of speaking, and is particularly used to express the various kingdoms, and infinite number of people belonging to the Babylonish monarchy, which was an emblem of the antichristian state, ( Daniel 3:4 Daniel 3:7 Daniel 3:29 ) ( 4:1 ) and these are compared to waters, to many waters; which phrase sometimes is used for the sea, ( Psalms 107:23 ) because of the vast numbers of them; the whole world wondered after the beast, and the kings and inhabitants of the earth have been subject to the see of Rome; and because of their overbearing force, carrying all before them; see ( Isaiah 8:7 Isaiah 8:8 ) ( Jeremiah 47:2 ) ( Revelation 13:3 Revelation 13:4 ) and because, like waters, they are continually upon the flux, one generation succeeding another; and because of their instability, fickleness, and inconstancy, as in religion, so in their constitution, they will hate the whore they love; and as they frequently change and alter in their form, at last they will utterly cease: so the Jews F23 interpret many waters, in ( Song of Solomon 8:7 ) of all people, and of the kings of the earth, and of the nations of the world; and they say, that many waters never signify any other than all the nations, and those that are appointed over them F24. So, "he drew me out of many waters", ( Psalms 18:16 ) is by the Targum on the place explained, he delivered me from many people. And so ( Psalms 46:4 ) is paraphrased by the Targumist;

``people, "as rivers", and their streams, shall come, and make glad the city of the Lord;''

see the Targum on ( Isaiah 8:7 ) and in ( Ezekiel 32:2 ) where it is observed kingdoms are compared to waters F25.


FOOTNOTES:

F23 Targum in Cant. viii. 7. Shirhashirim Rabba fol. 26. 1.
F24 Zohar in Gen. fol. 51. 3. & Raya Mehimna in ib. & in Numb. fol. 105. 3. Bemidbar Rabba, sect. 2. fol. 179. 4.
F25 Yaikut Simeoni, par. 2. fol. 93. 2.

Revelation 17:15 In-Context

13 They have one purpose and will give their power and authority to the beast.
14 They will wage war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will triumph over them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers.”
15 Then the angel said to me, “The waters you saw, where the prostitute sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages.
16 The beast and the ten horns you saw will hate the prostitute. They will bring her to ruin and leave her naked; they will eat her flesh and burn her with fire.
17 For God has put it into their hearts to accomplish his purpose by agreeing to hand over to the beast their royal authority, until God’s words are fulfilled.

Cross References 2

  • 1. ver 1; Isaiah 8:7; Jeremiah 47:2
  • 2. S Revelation 13:7