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Revelation 17 & 18

Revelation 17 & 18

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Published by bruddalarry
This lesson covers Revelation 17 & 18, as well as a few verses at the beginning of chapter 19. This part of Revelation has to do with the whore of Babylon. It's good to keep in mind that there is a contrast going on here, between two women: the whore and the bride of Christ. When we think in these terms, it becomes easier to understand that Babylon represents the anti-church, the opposition to everything the Church is and will be. More importantly, we should realize that we (wherever we are) live in the midst of Babylon and God's call for His people to "come out" still holds true.
This lesson covers Revelation 17 & 18, as well as a few verses at the beginning of chapter 19. This part of Revelation has to do with the whore of Babylon. It's good to keep in mind that there is a contrast going on here, between two women: the whore and the bride of Christ. When we think in these terms, it becomes easier to understand that Babylon represents the anti-church, the opposition to everything the Church is and will be. More importantly, we should realize that we (wherever we are) live in the midst of Babylon and God's call for His people to "come out" still holds true.

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Published by: bruddalarry on Jul 22, 2009
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06/11/2013

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Summary of our Study:
The Vision of the Harlot
-There are two women in Revelation: the whore and the bride of Christ-There are also two cities that these women represent: Babylon and New Jerusalem-Nations as prostitutes was a common theme of the Old Testament-The entire book of Hosea-Ezekiel 23 explicitly describes the whoring of Israel-Isaiah 23 describes the city Tyre as a harlot-This entire passage owes much to O.T. themes and passages on Judgement and idolatry (seeJeremiah 50-51, Ezek. 26-28, Isaiah 13, 23)Description of the harlot (Rev. 17:1-7)
Revelation used contemporary figures to illustrate future, and spiritual, realities.
-“Sat on many waters” refers to the historical Babylon, which was like an ancientNetherlands with many waterways and canals in and around it-These waters are later described as “peoples and multitudes and nations andtongues.” in Rev. 17:15-Sitting on scarlet beast, the same one from the sea in Rev. 13-High-class prostitutes “courtesans” in Rome often had headbands with their names onit, hence the descriptionThe mystery of the beast (Rev. 17:8-13)-The beast and the woman are somewhat synonymous, or at least symbiotic-Beast is a parody of Christ, hence the “was, is not, and is about to come”
Revelation 17-18
Revelation 1-3-John
ʼ
s vision of Jesus, the lettersto the churches-“Revelation”-What is revealed about Jesus andHis relationship to us?Revelation 4-5-The vision of the throne room, theLamb and the scroll-“Redemption”-What has God redeemed in mylife?Revelation 6-7-The six seals, the two multitudes-“Perseverance”-What do you hope for?Revelation 8-9-The six trumpets-“Idolatry-What do you worship?Revelation 10-11-The angel with the little scroll, thetwo witnesses-“Witness-What is your witness?Revelation 12-13-The woman, the two beasts-“Faith-Do you trust the One who madethe promise?Revelation 14-16-The 144,000, the seven bowls-“Judgement”-Can you trust God
ʼ
s judgements?
 
Highly debated section, concerning the numbers
Read Revelation 17:9-11
-“Here is wisdom” also in Rev. 13:18 concerning the number of the beast “payattention”-Rome was built on seven hills, was known by that moniker-Mountains also a O.T. keyword for power or rule (see Jer. 51:25, Isaiah 2:2,41:15, Ps. 68:15-16) also kings represent countries (see Dan. 7:7)-Some people think these refer to Roman emperors-A somewhat speculative view, many different ways to order the emperors(see slide)-Some think it refers to the successive world empires
1) Egypt
2) Assyria
3) Babylonia
4) Medo-Persia
5) Greece
6) Rome
7) ???
-
Some believe that 7, once again, represents the whole of empires/rulers until the 8
th
 comes at the end of the age
-
The 8
th
is comes from the 7, but is not one of them. Another way of thinkingabout it is thinking of the 8
th
as a culmination of all that has come before
-
Who are ten horns (kings)?
-
Provincial rulers (governors, satraps, etc)
-
May represent the governors of the Roman empire
-
Most modern interpretations tend to be speculative (10 Islamic Nations, EU,etc)
-
John indicates that their reign had not come yet, and will be short
-
“one hour” means, more specifically, a little while (see Rev. 3:10)
-
later in Rev. 18:8 says “one day” which means basically the same thingThe Doom of the Harlot (Rev. 17:14-18, 18:1-8)-In O.T. it talks about the end being a time of chaos where God
ʼ
s enemies destroythemselves (see Ezek. 38:21, Hag. 2:22, Zech. 14:13)-“Desolate, naked, eat her flesh, burnt up with fire” are all judgements delivered orwarned in O.T., particularly concerning those who led Israel to idolatry (see 2 Kings9:36, Genesis 19, Ezek. 23)-“the great city” is the same one in Rev. 11, where the two witnesses were killed-In that context it represents any place of idolatry, rebellion, or persecution
Read Revelation 18:4-5 
-God is saying that the saints are in the midst of Babylon-Remember that five of the seven churches at the beginning of Revelation havecalls to repent.
Revelation 17-18
 
The Funeral Dirge (Rev 18:9-20)
-Three groups mourn (which benefited from Babylon
ʼ
s decadence)-Kings (higher class)-Merchants-Sailors-Describes seven groups of wares-Precious metals & stones-Precious cloths-Rare woods, stones, metals for decoration-Fragrances-Foods-Beasts-Slaves-This is an accurate list of the wares that came into Rome from all over the world-Rome was incredibly decadentRome was the only city of 1 million in Europe until London in 18th centuryHad so much gold they gilded everything from bath tubs to ceilingsBronze and silver were sometimes more expensive because of prevalence of goldUsed so much ivory that Syrian elephants went extinctScented wood was citron wood from North Africa, so expensive that one table cost2 million, one ruler had 250 of these tablesPurple was from a mollusk that only had one drop per shellSilk from China, once a regiment greeted the emperor in silkRome drank so much wine that grain fields in Italy were converted to vineyards tomeet demand, laws were placed to ensure grain production but people made winebecause it was a better profitRome would conquer places for their natural resources and subjugate them to besent to Rome the city (such as Spain, or Gaul, where they worked gold mines)Killed 2 million people in Gaul alone through their conquestsTrade stretched from south China to France to middle AfricaEmperors would have huge feasts of nightingale tongue and peacock brains60 million slaves throughout the Roman Empire-The sailors and merchants repeat the phrase “in one hour she has been laid waste!” toemphasize how quickly, and completely, is Babylon
ʼ
s destruction. Original Babylonwas conquered in one hour (see Daniel 5)Angel and the Millstone (Rev. 18:21-24)-This visual comes from Jeremiah 51:59-64, where Jeremiah writes the words of doomfor Babylon on a scroll, ties it to a rock, and has it thrown into the Euphrates, then says“so shall Babylon sink down and not rise again”. It is a symbol of utter destruction.-Desolation illustrated by-No more singing or arts-No more production, work-No more light-No more life
Revelation 17-18

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