‘Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and talked with me, saying to me, “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication.” So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.’ – Revelation 17:1-3
In the past I have concentrated on the Harlot but in this article I want to concentrate on the beast she is riding. This beast appears earlier in Revelation where John writes –
“Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name.” – 13:1
Here John begins to introduce the beast. What are the seven heads on the beast? To understand this picture, we need to look elsewhere in Scripture. Two Biblical prophets specifically write about this beast – Daniel and John. In Daniel chapters 2 and 7 we are told they represent kingdoms, some past and some to come, that will point the way to understanding the end-time picture presented to John. In Daniel 2 God gives Nebuchadnezzar a dream of these final kingdoms and he sees them in the form of an awesome statue but, in Daniel 7 God gives Daniel a dream detailing the same kingdoms as God sees them – as beasts. They are the kingdoms of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. God reveals further information about them to John in Revelation 17:9,10 –
“Here is the mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits. There are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come. And when he comes, he must continue a short time.”
At the time of John five had fallen – Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Greece. One is – Rome. And the seventh is yet to come – one with ten horns. While no one knows for sure what this final kingdom will be, the statue of Daniel 2 makes it clear that it will be an extension of the kingdom of Rome, as feet and toes are but extensions of the legs.
In the next article on Mystery Babylon, I will take a closer look at this final ten horned kingdom. In the meanwhile, I urge you to prayerfully read Daniel 2 and 7 and Revelation 13 and 17. God bless your study.