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The Seven Bowls -- The Great Harlot
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In the preceding chapter we saw the seven bowls poured out on the world-economy leading to a preparation of war. In this chapter we see the next logical step: the destruction of the center of opposition.

The judgment on the woman who is later associated with Babylon the Great is taken from Jeremiah 51:13 where the prophet predicts absolute judgment on historical Babylon.

John is carried away to the wilderness and he beholds Babylon. Jesus in the wilderness is carried away to the top of the Temple and there the devil tells him "all nations have been given to me." Why carry Jesus to the pinnacle of the Temple to make such a declaration?

The woman sitting on the beast indicates power, control, sovereignty

Harlotry has been attributed to Tyre by Isa. 23:15-18, to Nineveh in Nahum 3:4 and Israel has been called a harlot 62 times: Jeremiah (6) times (see Revelation chapter 2), Ezekiel 33 times (16, 23, 43), Hosea (20) times, Joel 4:3, Amos 7:17, Micah 1:7 (2).

Why were Tyre and Nineveh called harlots? Because both Tyre and Nineveh had entered into a covenant with the Lord and had subsequently become faithless to it by returning to idolatry (1 Kgs 5:12, Amos 1:9, Jonah 3:5-10).

Question: When did Rome enter into a covenant for Rome to be called a harlot?

Highlights

  • What is the relationship between the harlot and the beast from the land?
  • What is the relationship between the harlot and the woman clothed with the sun?
  • How is this text applicable today? How are we to understand modern events in light of this text?
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