17 One of the seven angelsr who had the seven bowlss came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the punishmentt of the great prostitute,u who sits by many waters.v 2 With her the kings of the earth committed adultery, and the inhabitants of the earth were intoxicated with the wine of her adulteries.”w
3 Then the angel carried me away in the Spiritx into a wilderness.y There I saw a woman sitting on a scarletz beast that was covered with blasphemous namesa and had seven heads and ten horns.b 4 The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, and was glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls.c She held a golden cupd in her hand, filled with abominable things and the filth of her adulteries.e 5 The name written on her forehead was a mystery:f
babylon the greatg
the mother of prostitutesh
and of the abominations of the earth.
6 I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of God’s holy people,i the blood of those who bore testimony to Jesus.
When I saw her, I was greatly astonished. 7 Then the angel said to me: “Why are you astonished? I will explain to you the mysteryj of the woman and of the beast she rides, which has the seven heads and ten horns.k 8 The beast, which you saw, once was, now is not, and yet will come up out of the Abyssl and go to its destruction.m The inhabitants of the earthn whose names have not been written in the book of lifeo from the creation of the world will be astonishedp when they see the beast, because it once was, now is not, and yet will come.
9 “This calls for a mind with wisdom.q The seven headsr are seven hills on which the woman sits. 10 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 only a little while. 11 The beast who once was, and now is not,s is an eighth king. He belongs to the seven and is going to his destruction.
12 “The ten hornst you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but who for one houru will receive authority as kings along with the beast. 13 They have one purpose and will give their power and authority to the beast.v 14 They will wage warw against the Lamb, but the Lamb will triumph overx them because he is Lord of lords and King of kingsy—and with him will be his called, chosenz and faithful followers.”
15 Then the angel said to me, “The watersa you saw, where the prostitute sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages.b 16 The beast and the ten hornsc you saw will hate the prostitute.d They will bring her to ruine and leave her naked;f they will eat her fleshg and burn her with fire.h 17 For God has put it into their heartsi to accomplish his purpose by agreeing to hand over to the beast their royal authority,j until God’s words are fulfilled.k 18 The woman you saw is the great cityl that rules over the kings of the earth.”
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