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Wickedness Personified 1

Revelation 17:1-4

This chapter is occupied with a description of a wicked woman who seduced the world leaders into giving her whatever she wanted. Her identity is not a female human being but a city (or better, world system) to which the governments have given their allegiance (Revelation 17:18).

Wickedness Personified 2

Revelation 17:5-8

The woman in this chapter is not an individual. 'She' represents an ideological or religious world system, which opposes the Lord Jesus Christ, and to which all national governments give their allegiance (Revelation 17:18).

Wickedness Defeated 1

Revelation 17:9-14

This is a difficult passage to interpret. Indeed it does call for wisdom. Not that the meaning is obvious or that clever people can work it out centuries or millennia in advance. But when the time comes, the wise will be confident in the outcome because they will understand the hand of God in the circumstances around them.

Wickedness Defeated 2

Revelation 17:15-18

This chapter is a kaleidoscope of imagery. It may help if we refresh the meanings of the different characters in the vision. The woman, the prostitute in scarlet (Revelation 17:3), is a great city or global ruler or globally accepted ideology.

Wickedness Defeated 3

Revelation 18:1-3

Revelation chapter 18 continues the future saga of a wicked woman who personifies Babylon (Revelation 17:1-5). That city would remind the Early Church of Rome.

A Separate Identity

Revelation 18:4-5

The global evil power or ideology which will take control of all the world's systems and structures towards the end of time, will be defeated. The world rulers, who were trapped by its domination, will destroy it (

Double Punishment

Revelation 18:5b-8

Babylon is overthrown by the consortium of world rulers who swallowed her lies to achieve their own greatness (Revelation 17:16).

Kings and Merchants in Distress

Revelation 18:9-13

This scene in John's vision anticipates the reaction of world leaders, traders and transporters to the fall of Babylon. Babylon is a metaphor, not just for a city or a seductive prostitute (Revelation 17:4-5), but for a centralised global ideology embraced by international governments which will manipulate the world of politics and commerce towards the end of time.

Trading and Shipping in Distress

Revelation 18:14-18

The fall of Babylon, in John's vision, is sudden and calamitous. This global anti-Christ powerhouse of politics and commerce which controlled the world was destroyed. The world leaders who were seduced to support it, found that instead of them controlling it, it controlled them. The love of this international marketplace turned to hate. Under God's hand, they destroyed it (

Two Reactions

Revelation 18:19-20

As the merchants and sea captains understand the enormity of the sudden collapse of Babylon, the global political and trade superpower, they react in despair (Revelation 18:17-18).