xvii.-xix., in imitation of Isaiah's and Ezekiel's vision of Tyre (Isa. He then sees in the wilderness "a woman sitting upon a scarlet-colored beast full of names of blasphemy [idolatry] and having [seven heads and] ten horns [comp. Greatly astonished at this sight, he learns from the interpreting angel (verses 5-14 and 16 are later insertions which anticipate the interpretation) that "the many waters" are the many nations given into the power of the beast, and that the woman is the great city (of Rome) which reigneth over the kings of the earth. 1-8) one of the glorious angels descending from heaven, and crying out (in the words of the ancient seers—Isa.
xxvii.-xxviii.), the apocalyptic writer then proceeds to dwell on the judgment held over the great harlot that sits upon the many waters, with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and with the wine of whose fornication the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk. 7], herself arrayed in purple and scarlet and decked with gold and precious stones, and holding in her hand a golden cup full of the filthiness of her fornication" (the picture is taken probably from the Syrian representations of Astarte riding on a lion with a cup of destiny in her hand). 11-13), "Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, and has become the habitation of demons," for all the nations have drunk of the glowing wine of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her (Isa.
4-5); while those who stand the test of Satan's trials shall be spared in the great Messianic time of trial and become pillars in the temple of the "new Jerusalem" (iii. Obviously, the writer of these visionary letters to the seven churches of Asia was in his own estimation a Jew, while believing in Jesus as the risen Messiah.
348); or, like the Messiah, he will "rule them [the heathen] with a rod of iron" and be given the crown of glory (ii. 16, if it is not the error of a copyist); those who "have not defiled their garments" "shall be clothed in white raiment," and their names shall be written in the book of life and proclaimed before God and His angels (iii. 18); who is "the holy and true one" that "holds the key of David" (iii.
32-34) is applied to her; and Ezekiel's lamentation over the fall of Tyre (xxvi. 36) is repeated by the kings of the earth overthe fall of Babylon (Rome).
The rhythmic form in which the whole is composed indicates a Hebrew author, whereas the Christian interpolations always spoil both context and rhythm. 21-24), an angel casts a large stone into the sea (comp.
19) on the sea, which turns into blood, so that all living things therein die.