17 0 17 0 0 17:5 A mystery: That is, a secret; because what follows of the name and title of the great harlot is to be taken in a mystical sense. Babylon. . .Either the city of the devil in general; or, if this place be to be understood of any particular city, pagan Rome, which then and for three hundred years persecuted the church; and was the principal seat both of empire and idolatry. 17 5 17 0 0 17:8 The beast which thou sawest: This beast which supports Babylon, may signify the power of the devil: which was and is not, being much limited by the coming of Christ, but shall again exert itself under Antichrist. The seven heads of this beast are seven mountains or empires, instruments of his tyranny; of which five were then fallen. (See chap. 13.1, and below, ver. 10.) The beast itself is said to be the eighth, and is of the seven; because they all act under the devil, and by his instigation, so that his power is in them all, yet so as to make up, as it were, an eighth empire, distinct from them all. 17 8 17 0 0 17:12 Ten kings: Ten lesser kingdoms, enemies also of the church of Christ: which, nevertheless, shall be made instruments of the justice of God for the punishment of Babylon. Some understand this of the Goths, Vandals, Huns, and other barbarous nations, that destroyed the empire of Rome. 17 12 17 0 0 Content-type: text/html; charset=utf-8
¤ Chapter 17: The description of the great harlot and of the beast upon which she sits.