RAMONA LOWE
THE BOOK OF REVELATION ARTIST
   The Book of Revelation with commentary by Dr. Henry M. Morris and paintings by Ramona Lowe
The paintings are a work in progress and the finished pieces are highlighted in red on Page 2


Page 129

Mystery Babylon the Great

(Revelation 17)

     There have been two earlier and somewhat cryptic references in Revelation to the city of Babylon, as well as two similarly mysterious references to the Euphrates River.  There is, as we have seen, good reason to take these references literally even though the large majority of previous commentaries on Revelation take the position that this great city, Babylon, is not a real city at all.  If they do accept it as a real city, they take it to be Rome, or New York, or some other city, but not Babylon.

     What is the explanation for this reluctance to believe that John meant Babylon when he wrote “Babylon”?  Even at the time John was writing, Babylon was still a viable city, with a substantial colony of Jews (the famous Babylonian Talmud originated in or near there, about 500 years after the time of Christ) and there was a significant Christian church there as well (1 Peter 5:13).  At the very least, it would be confusing to John’s first century readers, as well as to later generations, for him to write so much about Babylon when he really meant Rome (Paul was not afraid to speak directly about Rome in his writings, so why should John be?) or “the false church” (all the apostles, including John, wrote plainly and scathingly about false teachers and false doctrines in the church and would not need to hide their teachings by symbols).

     It must be stressed again that Revelation means “unveiling,” not “veiling.”  In the absence of any statement in the context to the contrary, therefore, we must assume that the term Babylon applies to the real city of Babylon, although it also may extend far beyond that to the whole system centered at Babylon as well.

     The fact that the major structures of Babylon would eventually (though temporarily) fall into almost complete disuse would hardly take God by surprise, and it is certainly possible that divine omniscience could also foresee a time when Babylon would eventually again exhibit its former eminence and grandeur.  Even at this present writing the Iraqi government is busily attempting to rebuild the great city, primarily as a tourist attraction.  Once the resources of the United Nations (or, even more likely, a future true world government) are thrown behind the project, mighty Babylon can easily be established once again.  As we progress in the study of Revelation 17 and 18, it will become increasingly more obvious that the great world capital of the beast will indeed be centered either directly on, or in the immediate vicinity of, the strategic site of ancient Babylon.

Mother of Harlots

      Babylon is mentioned by name six times in Revelation.  In Revelation 14:8 it is called “that great city”; in Revelation 16:19, it is “great Babylon”; it is called “Babylon the great” in 18:2; “the great city Babylon, the mighty city” in 18:10; and “that great city Babylon” in 18:21.  Only in Revelation 17:5 is she called “Mystery, Babylon the great.”  The latter term clearly conveys something different from the others, yet there is no doubt (as we shall see) that all six terms refer to the same basic subject and that this subject at least includes the real city of Babylon.  In addition to the passages specifically naming Babylon, it is called a “city” four times (Revelation 17:18; 18:16, 18, 19). Yet this city is also associated with a great “Mystery,” a mystery which relates to the baleful influence of that city over all the nations of the earth.

Revelation 17:1.     And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will show unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters.

     As the unprecedented global earthquake which comprised the last plague was leveling the cities of the world, it had been called to John’s attention that one of those cities – great Babylon – was about to undergo some exquisite special judgment appropriate to her unparalleled wickedness (Revelation 16:19, following Revelation 14:8).  Because Babylon had made all nations drink her wine of fornication, God would give Babylon His wine of fierce wrath.  One of the angels of the plagues – probably the seventh – now gives John a special bidding to come to observe this judgment.

     Only he calls it “the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters.”  This picturesque pejorative is used here for the first time, and yet in such a way as to imply that John was already aware somehow of her character and influence.  Babylon indeed had been the enemy of God’s people for centuries, and her idolatries had infected many nations.  Perhaps John was reminded by this statement of such a passage as Jeremiah 51:7.  “Babylon hath been a golden cup in the Lord’s hand, that made all the earth drunken: the nations have drunken of her wine; therefore the nations are mad.”  Or perhaps he would think of Isaiah 47:5.  “Sit thou silent, and get thee into darkness, O daughter of the Chaldeans: for thou shalt no more be called, The lady of kingdoms.”

     In context, the prophecies in Isaiah and Jeremiah concerning Babylon had been directed primarily against the Babylon of their own day.  To considerable degree these prophecies had been fulfilled as the Persians and later the Greeks had invaded and sacked Babylon.  Now, however, John learns that these prophecies (like numerous other Old Testament prophecies) have both a near and a distant fulfillment, with the first a type and precursor of the last.  Babylon may have seemed weak and impotent in John’s day, but she was not dead.  Her unclean and idolatrous ways had survived through the other nations she had contaminated, and she herself, through them, would one day revive in greater wickedness than ever.

     The word “whore” (Greek porne) is the same as “harlot” (verse 5) and is related to porneia (“fornication”) and pornos (“fornicator” or “whoremonger”).  It does not refer only to women who sell their bodies but simply to any who commit fornication.  In the Old Testament, especially, physical fornication and adultery were often considered as symbolic of spiritual fornication – that is, of serving and loving other gods than the true Creator.  This is undoubtedly also the primary thrust here.  Babylon as a nation could not have literally committed fornication with other nations (though this particular sin was very common among her people) but she did indeed lead many nations away from God.

Revelation 17:2.     With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.

     The allusion both here and in Revelation 14:8 to Jeremiah 51:7 is obvious.  Since the latter clearly refers to literal Babylon, so must this passage.  But how could it really be that Babylon had made all nations and their inhabitants drunk with the wrath of her fornication?  Nebuchadnezzar, with whom Jeremiah’s prophecy had been immediately concerned, was a great king and his later Babylonian empire was the greatest of his day, but his kingdom was long gone even in John’s day, and so were the empires of Persia and Greece that followed him.  Furthermore, there were great nations even in Nebuchad-nezzar’s day – the nations of the Far East and of the Americas, for example – who had never even heard of Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonian empire.  How could he have infected them?

     To understand this situation, it should be remembered that Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylon was not the original Babylon.  As a matter of fact, Nebuchadnezzar himself had been eminently concerned with the restoration of Babylon’s earlier culture and religion.  He rebuilt temples and reinstituted the ancient worship of the older Babylonians of the time of Hammurabi and earlier.

     Thus it is not the Babylon of Nebuchadnezzar that made all nations drunk with the wine of her spiritual fornications. Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylon did transmit much of its culture to the Medo-Persian, Greek, and Roman empires which succeeded it (as implied by the great image of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in Daniel 2), and it was of profound importance in the history of Israel, since it was Nebuchadnezzar who carried them into their seventy-year Babylonian captivity.  But what it transmitted, it must have first received from its own progenitors.  Furthermore, the great number of similarities between the idolatrous worship of the ancient Chinese, the Hindus, the Incas, and other peoples far removed from Babylon, with the Babylonian worship could not have come from Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom.

     Nebuchadnezzar reestablished the worship of Marduk as the chief god of the Babylonian pantheon.  This name is also commonly written as Merodach, and the strong probability is that this name was ultimately derived from Nimrod.

     The data of archaeology and secular history become increasingly speculative as their antiquity increases.  Unfortunately the earliest of these periods have been especially confused because of the false concept of evolution and erroneous dating techniques (for example, radiocarbon) that have clothed them with a spurious antiquity.  It is generally agreed, however, even by secular archaeologists and antiquarians that the earliest known civilizations are those of Sumer and Akkad, both of which were located in Mesopotamia and both of which contributed culturally and religiously to the old Babylonian empire which succeeded them.  Almost as old is the Assyrian nation which was contiguous to them and often intertwined with them.

     In view of the many uncertainties of the monuments and secular records, it is sad that the authorities pay so little attention to the true record of the origin of these ancient nations and cities.  The inspired account in the Bible beautifully fits all known facts concerning these events.

     “And the beginning of his [i.e., Nimrod’s] kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.  Out of that land went forth Asshur [or, probably better, “he went forth into Assyria”], and builded Nineveh, and the city Rehoboth, and Calah” (Genesis 10:10, 11).

     Nimrod, therefore, was the founder of Babel, as well as Accad (Akkad, Agade), Erech (Uruk, a prominent city of ancient Sumeria), Assyria (and its capital, Nineveh), and the kingdom of Sumer (Shinar, a synonym of Babylonia, as confirmed in Daniel 1:2).  In Micah 5:6, Assyria is called “the land of Nimrod,” and the Assyrian and Babylonian empires are treated occasionally in Scripture as almost one entity.  The city of Calah, which has been excavated about twenty miles from Nineveh on the Tigris River, is still called “Nimrud” by the inhabitants of the region.  The remains of a great step-tower, or ziggurat, in Borsippa, a suburb of Babylon, are still called “Birs-nimrud” (“the tower of Nimrod”) by the Arabs.

     We are well justified biblically, therefore (and the Bible is our authority), in inferring that the religious system established at the original Babylon (or “Babel”) by its founder and first king, Nimrod, is the root source of the later Assyrio/Babylonian complex of religion and philosophy.  This inference is also supported by many parallel indications in archaeology, ethnology, and cultural anthropology, when these are divested of their evolutionary distortions.

     Furthermore, with the confusion of tongues and resultant dispersion (Genesis 11:9), this religious system was carried by the scattering tribes into every region of the world.  Each had its own cultural distinctives, and the names of the pantheon of gods and goddesses were different in each nation, because the languages were now different.  But the basic system was still the same everywhere.

     This is the reason why every nation and tribe of the past or present (except those whose cosmogony is based on Genesis 1 and 2, such as Christianity, Judaism, and Islam) has a religious system which is fundamentally pantheistic (believing that the physical universe, rather than the transcendent Creator of that universe, is the ultimate reality), polytheistic (believing that this deified cosmos manifests itself locally as various forces and systems of nature, which are personified as “gods” and “goddesses”), evolutionary (believing that these personified forces of nature somehow generate higher and higher order of beings, including man and – in many cases – even spirits), animistic/spiritistic (believing that the spirits so generated, including the spirits of dead men and women, continue to survive and perhaps evolve into still higher beings), astrological (believing that the highest beings so developed either inhabit or are identical with the starry host of heaven, so that these stars control events on earth), and idolatrous (believing that these gods and goddesses, or personified forces and systems of nature, should be worshiped through images constructed to represent them and which they then possess and energize).  This monstrous system of evolutionary, polytheistic, pantheistic, spiritistic, astrological idolatry has permeated practically every culture in the world in one form or another.  Even modern evolutionary scientism is nothing but this same ancient paganism in more sophisticated garb.  All religions and philosophies except those founded on special creation as revealed in Genesis worship and serve the creation more than the Creator (Romans 1:25) and thus are under God’s condemnation.  They are either humanistic (worshiping man as the highest attainment of the cosmic process) or “superhuman-istic” (worshiping spiritual beings as still higher attainments of evolution than man).  Since they are inexcusable in such an arbitrary rejection of their Creator, God has given them up (Romans 1:24, 26, 28) to uncleanness, to vile affections, and a reprobate mind.  Thus have all the inhabitants of earth been made drunk with the wine of Babel’s primeval fornication, as Nimrod chose Satan rather than God.    

Revelation 17:3.     So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.    

     The angel had invited John to see the judgment on great Babylon, but first he must be instructed concerning the nature and the deeds of Babylon and the events preceding her judgment.  Therefore, once again John is translated “in the Spirit” (note Revelation 1:10; 4:2) to another time and place.

     His observations had been focused on the earth right at the end of the tribulation, as it was rocked with the terrible global earthquake.  Now, however, John is translated far back in time, evidently to observe the whole history of the Babylonian corruption.  The aspect of the land and sea becomes vastly different – it is nothing but “wilderness” (the definite article is absent in the original).

     The most likely time for such a scene is immediately after the great Flood.  The world emerging from the watery cataclysm was indeed a vast wilderness, barren and inhospitable, tremendously changed from the idyllic world of the antediluvians.  However, it was a purified world, with all the ungodly rebels purged out of it and only Noah and his immediate family as survivors.  The wicked “sons of God” who had led the ungodly world into such a morass of corruption that only a global bath could cleanse it (Genesis 6:4-6) had all been bound in chains of darkness (Jude 6).  Mankind had opportunity for a new beginning, with every incentive to obey God, knowing so traumatically the terrible price of sin.  With the hosts of ungodly men and demonic spirits both purged, the new race of humans could surely stay true to God.

     But Satan had not been bound, and he still had a host of demonic principalities and powers available to command.  Immediately he resumed his opposition to the work of God, but his strategy this time would be more subtle.  John had previously seen the sign of the great red dragon in heaven, leading a third of the angels to follow him in his rebellion against their Maker (Revelation 12:3, 4).  He had also seen the beast rising out of the sea, with the same seven-headed, ten-horned aspect as the dragon (Revelation 13:1), exercising the power and occupying the throne given him by the dragon (Revelation 13:2).

     Now John sees the same symbol once again, emerging from the great wilderness.  This time, however, the symbolic beast seems to combine the characters of both the dragon and the beast of Revelation 13.  Like the latter, he has names of blasphemy on his heads (compare 13:1) and, like the dragon, he is red in color (compare 12:3).  Presumably the sign represents both the dragon and the earthly governments and kings which he possesses and uses for his evil goals.  It will be recalled that the beast of Revelation 13:1 is the same as the beast of Daniel 7:7, and there had been three similar beasts which preceded him (Daniel 7:4-6).  Similarly, this beast of Revelation 17 is said to be the eighth, with seven similar kings preceding him (Revelation 17:11).  Putting these data all together, it seems most likely that this beast, on which the woman rides, is symbolic of the historical succession of world governments, which are raised up and empowered by Satan.

     This, in fact, was Satan’s strategy after the Deluge.  God had instituted the principle of human government (Genesis 9:6) but had decidedly not instituted the principle of a one-world government.  In fact, His specific command to mankind had been to scatter worldwide (Genesis 9:1, 7), which meant that governmental systems would be simple and localized, serving the purpose of maintaining peace and freedom for each community.  Instead, Satan had raised up Nimrod to conquer all others and to establish a one-world autocratic government centered at the first Babylon (Genesis 10:8-12; 11:2-4).

     It seems, therefore, that this beast of Revelation 17 depicts the principle of dictatorial world government, as continually instigated and energized by the old dragon, Satan.  Since the first such government was that of Babylon, under Nimrod, since the same spirit of Babylon has motivated and animated other conquering rulers following him, and since the last such government will again be centered at Babylon, it is most probable that the primary meaning of the beast in the passage is that of political Babylon.  It would be controlled and empowered by the dragon for the main purpose of maintaining a humanistic and governmental center of opposition to God and His plan for human government and His ultimate purpose in history.

     Who, then, is the unclean woman riding this beast?  The angel called her “the great whore sitting upon many waters,” but when John saw her, she was sitting on the beast.  Presumably the beast was himself on the waters, which are said to symbolize the various nations of the world (verse 15).  As the beast is symbolic, so must be the woman, and she herself is identified as Babylon the great, except that she is Babylon in mystery form (verse 5).

     As the dragon empowers the beast, so the beast supports the harlot.  The woman in turn makes the beast appear outwardly beautiful, thus making it easier for him to attain the control he seeks over mankind.  Instead of following the true spiritual bride, the Jerusalem which is above, the mother of us all (Galatians 4:26) most men prefer to pursue the spiritual harlot, the false bride, Babylon, the deceiver of us all.  The harlot Babylon is a contrasting type of the chaste Jerusalem and, in one sense, the whole course of history is essentially a tale of these two spiritual cities.  Thus, as the beast represents political Babylon, the great whore is religious Babylon.  The one is governmental rebellion and confusion, the other is spiritual rebellion and confusion.  As Jerusalem is the City of Peace, Babel is the City of Confusion.

Revelation 17:4.     And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication.

     Arrayed like a beautiful queen, the harlot is decked in rich jewelry and magnificently colored garments.  Almost irresistibly attractive to ungodly men, she perpetually seduces and tempts them to depart from the true God and to partake of her pleasures.  With a beautiful golden cup full of sparkling wine in her extended hand, her invitation is tendered, age after age, nation after nation, and multitudes are deceived and lost thereby.  “For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil: But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword.  Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell” (Proverbs 5:3-5).

     This is the way of false religion.  Masking the dearth of real spiritual life by outward ostentation and sensual satisfactions, the state religion, supported by the political power (religious Babylon riding upon political Babylon), impresses its devotees with ornate temples and golden images, jeweled garments, marble statues, hypnotic music, and delightsome incense.  In many religious systems of past and present, these luxuries are further augmented by temple prostitutes and sexual debauchery, in the name of the god or goddess of the particular cult.

     Such religious worship, usually approved and supported by the state, both panders to man’s religious nature and appeals to his sensual feelings.  It is a powerful opiate, to use the famous Marxist metaphor, and indeed has itself in many cultures even been further stimulated by use of various drugs.  In all its essentials, it is the religious system established by Nimrod, and probably revealed to him by Satan back at Babel long ago, as modified and adapted to suit the tastes of varied cultures at different times and places.

     Multitudes through the ages have partaken of the harlot’s golden cup and been made drunken with the wine of her fornication.  Instead of lifegiving wine form heaven, the cup has contained a stupefying concoction of foolishness and filthiness, abominable idolatry and unspeakable wickedness, even the blood of persecuted saints of God; and all have been blasphemously offered to men in the name of religion.

Revelation 17:5.     And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

     Did ever a woman have such a name as this?  It was the custom in some places in ancient times that prostitutes should covertly display their names on their foreheads or on their clothing, but his matriarch of all harlots and all idolatries in John’s vision is seen with a proud name and lengthy title boldly emblazoned for all to see.  She is the great city BABYLON, and is the fountainhead of all spiritual fornication and all false worship, with all the appurtenant evil practices.

     The word “abominations” (Greek bdelugma) is specifically associated with idol worship.  It is the same word used by Christ when he prophesied of the blasphemous image which would be set up in the temple by the beast, calling it “the abomination of desolation” (Matthew 24:15).  The worship of idols has been so endemic in false religions through the ages that the prophets of God were forced continually to utter denunciations and warnings against its corrupting influence – even on the true worship of the true God.  The first two of God’s Ten Commandments were directed against it (Exodus 20:1-6) and the very last word of John’s own epistle had warned Christian believers against it (1 John 5:21: “Little children, keep yourselves from idols”).

     Many intellectuals of the past and present (whether ancient Greek philosophers or modern American academics) have rightly ridiculed the worship of sticks and stones but they have, to all intents and purposes, worshiped mental constructs of their own imaginings, and this is an even worse form of idolatry, with each man becoming his own god.  And what is modern evolutionary humanism but flagrant idolatry, deifying man and his corporate self-worship?

     It is very significant also that the Bible identifies covetousness with idolatry (as in Ephesians 5:5; Colossians 3:5).  As the first two Commandments forbid idolatry, so the last forbids covetousness.  The underlying motive of the covetous person is that of rejection of God and His will, discontent with what God has supplied, and a desire for things instead of God.  Giving anything priority over the true God and His perfect will is idolatry in God’s sight.  Jesus said: “Ye cannot serve God and mammon” (Luke 16:13).  The Pharisees to whom this particular exhortation was directed derided Him because they “were covetous.”  To them Jesus said: “Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God” (Luke 16:14, 15).  Here is the same word again, and Jesus thus identified these hypocritical religionists as spiritual descendants of the mother of abominations.  Even though they piously decried idolatry in the form of image-worship, they used their religion as a cloak for covetousness and thus were more culpable in their idolatry than the Gentiles they despised.

     Many Bible teachers have identified this harlot not only as spiritual Babylon but also, more explicitly, as the Roman Catholic Church, noting that many of the doctrines and sacraments of the Babylonian religion were transmitted to pagan Rome and thence ultimately to papal Rome.  The most detailed exposition of this teaching can be found in the venerable work by Alexander Hislop entitled The Two Babylons.

     There is no doubt that many of the doctrines and practices of the Roman Catholic church, as well as the various Orthodox churches and similar ancient churches, are based on tradition rather than Scripture.  There are many striking parallels between many of these and the corresponding doctrines and practices of ancient paganism, which can in turn be generally traced back to their origins in Babylon. The old harlot has indeed caused all nations to imbibe her abominable wine, including even Christian nations.

     But to say that spiritual Babylon is either Rome of the Roman Catholic Church is to grossly underestimate the agelong global impact of this great mystery, Babylon the Great.  Babylon is the mother of all the harlots and abominations of the earth.  From her have come ancient paganism, Chinese Confucianism, Asian Buddhism, Indian Hinduism, Shamanism, Taoism, Shintoism, animism, astrology, witchcraft, spiritism, Sikhism, and all the world’s vast complex of “gods many, and lords many” (1 Corinthians 8:5).

      Of more direct concern in twentieth-century America is the direct descent of modern scientism and evolutionary humanism from this ancient mother of harlots. As noted before, modern evolutionism is in no way scientific, being contradicted by all true facts of science, but is merely a revival of ancient Greek (and ultimately Babylonian) evolutionary pantheism.  This current manifestation of Babylon’s philosophy has to considerable degree subverted Christian doctrine, not only in the Catholic Church but in most other Christian sects and denominations.  Furthermore the ornate covetousness, the ritualistic sensualism, the hypnotic appeals to the physical senses, the revival of occultism, and other aspects of ancient paganism – in addition to the baleful influences of evolutionism and uniformitarianism – have significantly undermined sound biblical doctrine in many churches of all kinds today.

     This development has also been taking place in other great religions which had originally developed in reaction against the practice of idolatry and which sought to acknowledge a true Creator.  That is, not only Christianity, but also Judaism, Islam, Zoroastrianism, and other such monotheistic faiths have today been largely contaminated by modern evolutionism and modern covetousness (consider the Arab oil cartels, for example).  The various pseudo-Christian cults (such as Mormonism and Christian Science) are all composed of various mixtures of paganism and Christianity and can all be traced to the same Babylonian source.  Furthermore, even those who do acknowledge God as true Creator have largely rejected Him as Savior relying on their own works for salvation, and so also are humanistic in the last analysis.  This “mystery” aspect of Babylon has indeed infected every nation with its substitute religion and repudiation of the true Creator and Redeemer.

Revelation 17:6.     And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.

     Not only is spiritual Babylon a false corruptive religion, it is fiercely intolerant.  When it cannot subvert by infiltration and false teaching, it will seek to destroy by persecution.

     One of the most amazing aspects of religious history is the hatred of other religions against Christ and His followers.  Wherever Christianity has gone, preaching the gospel of the love of Christ and salvation by God’s grace, it has been resisted.  Perhaps more often than not, it has been resisted by bitter persecution, at least for a time.  Why this unreasoning animosity against a loving Creator, a holy standard, and a gracious salvation?  The only answer is the old dragon and his enmity against the seed of the woman, the true God and Creator and Savior, Jesus Christ.  He has energized the political power (the beast) which controls the religious power (the whore), and they everlastingly do all they can to resist and destroy the work of God.

     Therefore, through the ages, multitudes of true believers have shed their blood in the cause of Christ, not in wars of aggression, as have many Muslims and Communists and others, but in maintaining a faithful witness against the threats and recriminations of those who would silence their testimony.  The blood of the saints (the martyrs before Christ) and the blood of the martyrs of Jesus have been mixed in the golden cup in the woman’s hand with all her own concoction of idolatry and wickedness, and the resultant mixture is a deadly potion which renders both her and the inhabitants of the earth drunken and irrational.

     The sight of this drunken harlot and her blood-strewn history filled John with great “admiration” – not in the twentieth-century meaning of the term, but in the older sense of “awe” or “amazement.”  Such a history is indeed enough to cause anyone to shudder in awe.  Perhaps John had never realized before the amazing scope of Babylon’s baleful influence, but now he sees this unspeakable woman drunk with her fornication and idolatry and the blood of all the martyred saints, and he (as we) can only marvel at the amazing revelation.

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