Babylon the Great
(1) One of the seven angels who was holding the seven bowls came and said to me, “Come! I will show you the judgment of the great prostitute who sits upon many waters. (2) With her the earth’s kings have committed adultery and the people of the earth have become drunk with the wine of her adulteries.”
(3) Then the angel carried me away in the Holy Spirit into the wilderness. There I saw a vision of a woman sitting on a scarlet beast covered with blasphemous names, and which had seven heads and 10 horns. (4) The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet and adorned with glittering gold, precious stones, and pearls. She held a gold cup in her hand full of the horrible things and the perversions of her adulteries. (5) On her forehead was written a mysterious title: “BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF PROSTITUTES AND OF THE EARTH’S ABOMINATIONS.” (6) I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of God’s holy people, from the blood of God’s holy people (martyrs) who gave witness to Jesus. I was greatly astonished when I saw her.
(7) Then the angel said to me, “Why are you astonished? I will explain to you the mystery of the woman and of the beast with the seven heads, and 10 horns which she rides. (8) The beast that you saw—who once was and now is not—is about to come up out of the bottomless pit of the dead (the abyss), but is going to destruction. The earth’s people whose names are not written in the book of life existing from the creation of the universe will be astounded when they see the beast that was and is not and is to come. (9) “Be alert! For this requires a mind with wisdom. The seven heads are seven hills upon which the woman sits. (10) There are seven emperors: five kings are dead, one is alive, and the other will come in the future. Whenever the last emperor comes, he will rule for only a short time. (11) The beast—who once was and now is not—is an eighth emperor and is from the seven but will go to destruction.
(12) “The 10 horns that you saw are 10 kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but they will receive authority as kings for one hour, along with the beast. (13) They have one purpose and will give their power and authority to the beast. (14) They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will defeat them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings. Those with him are his called, chosen, and faithful followers.”
(15) Then the angel said to me, “The waters upon which the prostitute sits are the peoples, multitudes, nations, and languages of the earth. (16) The beast and the 10 horns you saw will hate the prostitute, and will destroy her and leave her naked. They will eat her flesh and burn her with fire. (17) For God has put it into their hearts to accomplish his purpose by agreeing to give their kingdom to the beast until God’s words are fulfilled. (18) The woman prostitute that you saw is the great city that rules over the kingdoms of the earth.”