Study Series 16 Lesson 6: Chapters 17 thru 18 and Sub Study on Mother of Harlots

Study Series 16 Lesson 6: This study covers chapters 17 and 18 and goes into numerous topics such as:

Chapter 17:

BABYLON, AND EZEKIEL 16: Ezekiel 16 is another passage which serves as a major source for Revelation 17:1-13 (and the parallels are impressive).  As one example: in Ezekiel 16, Jerusalem’s former lovers strip her, and leave her naked. In Revelation, Babylon is stripped naked, and deserted by her lovers (17:16).

BABYLON AND THE BLOOD OF THE SAINTS: In chapter 17:4-6, and 18:5-6, 20, 24, Babylon is the city guilty of slaying the “saints and martyrs of Jesus” (17:6), and, “in her was found the blood of prophets and saints, and of all who were slain on the earth.”

In Matthew 23:35, Jesus identified Jerusalem as the city guilty of, “all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of Abel.”  In Luke 13:31-33, the Lord hastened to go to Jerusalem “for it cannot be that a prophet perish outside of Jerusalem.”

REVELATION 17:4, BABYLON’S JUDGMENT WHEN HER CUP WAS FULL: In Revelation 6:9-11; 14:8-20; 17:4-6, 18:5, Babylon would be judged because she had filled the measure of her sin by persecuting the saints.  In Isaiah 65:6-15, the prophet foretold the time when Israel would fill the measure of her sin and be destroyed.

REVELATION 17:4, THE HARLOT AND HER CLOTHE: Gentry and others, have noted that the description of the Harlot’s apparel in Revelation 17 seems to be a taken directly from the priestly world of the temple at Jerusalem: “The harlot is arrayed in Jewish priestly colors of scarlet, purple and gold (Exod. 28).


Chapter 18:

REVELATION 18:2, BABYLON THE HABITATION OF DEMONS: John hears the angel’s triumphant declaration of the fall of Babylon.  One of the reasons she is to fall is because she, “has become a habitation of demons.”  Those familiar with the teaching of Jesus will be reminded that this is precisely what Jesus had to say about Israel.  He told the parable of an evil spirit who, after being cast out of a man, “Goes through dry places, seeking rest and finding none.  Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’And when he comes he finds it empty, swept and put to order.  Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first.  “So it shall be with this wicked generation” (Matt. 12:43-45).


REVELATION 18:20, 24, BABYLON AND THE SHEDDING OF ALL THE BLOOD ON THE EARTH: in Matthew 23:35, Jesus identified Jerusalem as the martyr-maker.   Not only does Matthew 23 help in identifying Babylon, but there is a pattern established by Jesus and Paul that is repeated in Revelation.  In Matthew, Jesus spoke of how Jerusalem had slain the prophets. He certainly knew that they were about to kill Him.  And He said they were also going to kill the prophets and apostles sent by Him.  In Thess. 2:14-15, Paul recounts how the Jews had killed the prophets of old, they had slain the Lord, and now they were persecuting him.  The chain of prophets, Jesus, apostles is restated.  In Revelation, Babylon had slain the prophets, (Rev. 16:6).  She had slain the Lord, (Rev. 11:8). And she had slain the apostles, (Rev. 18:20, 24).  Are we to ignore Jesus’ and Paul’s identification of the persecutors of “the prophets, the Lord, and the apostles” when we find that identical pattern in Revelation?



** In addition, we do an in-depth Sub Study on:

Mother of Harlots: in this sub study a representative sampling is given of the multitude of passages that could be cited showing that the titles assigned to Babylon the great in Revelation are terms frequently used to describe the character (or lack thereof) and actions of God’s covenant people, both before and after the kingdom was divided.  The titles are terms that only have relevance in the context of an intimate relationship between God and His people Israel.  They have no real Biblical significance outside the context of this covenant.  Throughout the Old Testament God expressed His grief, anger, frustration, jealousy, etc. over the unfaithfulness of His chosen people.

The picture of the harlot sisters painted for us in Ezekiel 23 must bear heavily upon us when looking at Revelation 16 and 17.  The whole of chapter 23 presents as clear a case as could be desired to definitively show that the concepts of harlotry and adultery are essentially synonymous and inextricably linked to the abominations committed by Jerusalem.  All are united in their reflection of Jerusalem’s covenant disobedience.  These concepts are contextually interchangeable as the prophet spoke of Jerusalem chasing after her lovers and worshiping idols made with hands.

Ezekiel chapter 24 finds God again referring to Jerusalem as “the bloody city” (vs.6 and 9).  Nowhere else in the scriptures do we find any other city, or people, described and characterized with such specific and graphic language that so precisely reflects the titles ascribed to the great city of Revelation.  This is the very city to whom Jesus said: “That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth” (Matt. 23:35).

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