Rev 17 woman
The woman of Rev 17:
To begin with, there is a plain connection with the woman of
Rev 12, who can rather easily be identified with Israel:
Later, the same woman (or so it would seem) appears already
"in the wilderness" (Rev 17:1-3), where she had fled earlier, but now she is a
harlot, drastically changed!
- The sun, moon, and stars (12:1) are frequent Bible symbols of Israel (Gen
37:9,10; 22:17; Jer 31:35,36; Amos 8:9; Mic 3:6; Isa 60:20; Joel 2:10,30,31;
3:15; Psa 89:35-36).
- The son whom she bears, who rules the nations, is
Jesus (Rev 19:15; cp Psa 2:9; 110:2)... not Constantine!
- The dragon's
attempts to kill the baby Jesus (Mat 2:1-6) are shown in Rev 12:4.
- After the
birth of the special child, the "woman" (Israel) flees into the wilderness (Rev
12:6,14) = the dispersion of Israel.
And she is riding on a beast! At first glance, the beast seems
to be "Babylon", doesn't it? Because the whole system described in Daniel, of
which Babylon was the head, is easily equated with the 7 heads (the number of
the heads of the 4 beasts in Dan 7), and ten horns (equates with 10 toes of
image in Dan 2).
But it is the woman who has the name of "Babylon" written on
her forehead (Rev 17:5). So will the real Babylon please stand up? Is it the
beast, or the woman, or both?
I would suggest, it is both, in this sense: The beast is truly
the Latter Day Babylon (read Iraq, or some similar Middle East coalition of Arab
nations bent on the promotion of Islam, the conquest of Jerusalem, and the
destruction of Judaism).
And the woman is "Babylon", but in a different sense. She has
the name of Babylon tattooed on her forehead! She is now the SLAVE of Babylon,
being marked by him on her forehead (cp Rev 13:16). (By contrast, and by way of
explanation, the servants, or slaves, of God are marked on their foreheads with
the name of the Father and the Son: Rev 7:3; 2:17; 14:1; Eze 9:4).
But, from Rev 12, we have seen that the "woman" has a strong
connection with Israel. And she is still Israel, but only the subset of Israel
which has gone over to the enemy. She has given up being the handmaid of God,
and has become the slave of Babylon. And now she is, along with Babylon proper,
a fierce persecutor of the saints, apostles, and prophets of God (the revived
witnesses among Israel in the Last Days -- who are described in Rev 11 as
perishing in Jerusalem).
How could this have happened? How could Israel be a party to
the persecution of its own citizens? Perhaps like this: As a result of its
defeat by Babylon and the 10 (Arab) kings in the Last Days, the nation of Israel
has now become differentiated into two totally disparate elements: the faithful
remnant who bear the mark of God and His Son, and the unfaithful harlot who bear
the mark of Babylon -- who see their main chance, their only chance in selling
their birthright and allying themselves with the loathsome enemy so as to
receive a share of the Beast's power. These powers the harlot uses, to the best
of her ability, to persecute her own countrymen, the faithful remnant, the true
Jewish believers who have developed in her midst.
This scenario looks remarkably like two other familiar
situations: (a) Israel in the first century, where the Jewish leadership (Herod
and the high priest class) collaborated with the Roman overlords (Pilate, etc)
to persecute the faithful Jewish believers in their midst; and (b) on a more
secular level, the German-puppet Vichy government of occupied France during
World War II.
So what happens to the Israel "woman" riding on the Babylonian
"beast"? Things go well for her... but only for a while... then she loses her
seat of power, is cast down to the ground, and devoured by the Babylonian beast:
"The beast and the ten horns you saw will hate the prostitute. They will bring
her to ruin and leave her naked; they will eat her flesh and burn her with fire"
(Rev 17:16). Because she is, after all, only so many more detestable Jews... and
Jewish collaborators are perhaps even more to be detested than other Jews by the
Muslim Arabs after they have fulfilled some kind of initial
It may be added that there is another interesting Scriptural
connection along these lines, and it has to do with the harlot "Jezebel"
introduced earlier in the Revelation (Rev 2:20-24). The original (OT) Jezebel
was a Gentile (an Arab!) and an idolater and a false prophetess who married into
Israel (king Ahab), and who used her high position to promote immorality and to
persecute God's true followers (like Elijah) among her "countrymen"! What better
name, then, for an Arab-Israeli composite "harlot" persecutor of the righteous
Jewish remnant in the Last Days? (Notice how clearly Elijah is delineated in Rev
11, for example.) (And notice, also, how the Last Days "Jezebel" is eaten by
wild beasts just like her OT namesake was eaten by dogs!)