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Table of contents
- Reformed and Reforming, semper reformanda to Christ's glory.
- Whore of Babylon
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Queen Berenice and Caesar Titus, the beast who once was, now is not and yet will come, had an adulterous affair during and after the Jewish War. The seemingly contradictory fact that the whore of Babylon is depicted sitting on many waters Revelation and yet is seen in a desert Revelation appears to hint at the adulterous affair between Jerusalem and Rome. Notice that John sees the woman sitting on the beast in a desert.
Yet in Revelation the woman is said to be seated on many waters.
Reformed and Reforming, semper reformanda to Christ's glory.
Similarly, Rome is situated by many waters such as the Tiber River. Thus this seemingly contradictory imagery appears to point to these two cities and the different environments surrounding them. She held a golden cup in her hand, filled with abominable things and the filth of her adulteries. Later revealed to contain the blood of the saints, this cup is an omen of her future desolation. Shortly thereafter, Jerusalem was attacked and defeated by the Babylonians. The color of her dress also prefigures the coming war. In vs. Like Queen Berenice who dressed extravagantly and was famously beautiful even in her forties, Jerusalem is portrayed as a beautiful woman adorned with gold, jewelry, a crown and costly garments in Ezekiel At first glance she seems to be a suitable bride for the Lord though ultimately she is a prostitute and an adulterer.
The adornment and clothing of the whore of Babylon is described in such a way as to intentionally point to both the royal garments worn by Queen Berenice and the ceremonial robe of the high priest. According to Exodus , Israel was to be a kingdom of priests. It is often thought that both Babylon and the whore of Babylon are Rome, this is not technically or literally correct. After all how could Rome be the whore of itself? But if the whore of Babylon must in some way be separate and distinct from Babylon, how is it that Jerusalem has the name Babylon written on her forehead and is called Babylon throughout the remainder of the Apocalypse?
Jerusalem is given the name Babylon as a symbol of her adulterous affair with Babylon Rome. And just as a wife is called by the name of her husband, Jerusalem, the whore of Babylon is called Babylon, the name of her lover.
The fact that the whore of Babylon has a mark on her forehead identifying her as a prostitute in v. The tiara on her forehead is both a crown of royalty and a mark of infidelity. As stated above, Babylon was the Jewish nickname for Rome at least as far back as the first century B. If this woman were actually Rome in literal sense, her identity would not be a mystery at all! The fact that Jerusalem, the whore of Babylon, has the name of the beast Babylon the Great on her forehead means, of course, that she has the mark of the beast according to Revelation The fact that first-century Jerusalem has the mark of the beast, Rome, on her forehead means that she has spiritually become one with Rome.
I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one , Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity.
In John Jesus prays that the saints become one with Himself and the Father. The fact that the church has become one with Christ is illustrated by the fact that the church is called the Body of Christ Romans ; 1 Corinthians ; Ephesians ; ; Colossians , The mirror opposite is presented in Revelation with apostate Jerusalem.
As explained above, the mark on the forehead of the whore of Babylon is the mark of the beast which is the antithesis of the mark of God etched on the foreheads of the saints in Revelation In both marks are written the name of the king of each individual who is marked: with the saints is written the name of Christ and the Father and with the whore of Babylon is written the Jewish nickname for Caesar and Rome. If the name of the king is written on each mark, this fact, of course, implies that each mark denotes the kingdom or city to which each individual is a true spiritual resident.
Thus according to Revelation the saints are labelled with the city called the New Jerusalem. The fact that the saints and sinners are each marked with the city of their true citizenship regardless of where they currently live partially explains how the whore of Babylon, the people of apostate Jerusalem, is marked on her forehead with the nickname for Rome.
The saints of Philadelphia in Revelation are labeled with the title New Jerusalem regardless of the fact that these people lived in the city of Philadelphia which is in Asia Minor. The reason the Christians of Revelation who are the New Jerusalem of Revelation 21 are labeled with the name of Christ on their foreheads is because they had become one flesh with Christ through marriage. The same is true regarding apostate Jerusalem, the whore of Babylon.
Apostate Jerusalem also becomes one flesh with Rome and its king through sex i. Babylon, in Revelation The gold cup in her hand is meant to point to the gold cup the high priest would pour out on the Temple altar. The image that Revelation presents of the harlot holding a golden chalice is consistent with the symbols of Israel during the time right before A. Some of the coins struck by the Jews during the Jewish war have the inscription Jerusalem the Holy on one side and a ritual chalice on the other. As the sanctuary was two stories high, it appeared lower from within than from without and its golden doors were 55 cubits high and 16 broad.
The gate opening into the building was, as I said completely overlaid with gold , as was the whole wall surrounding it. Above it, moreover, were the golden graevines sic from which hung grape clusters as tall as a man. In front of these hung a veil of equal length of Babylonian tapestry embroidered with blue, scarlet and purple and fine linen, wrought with marvelous craftsmanship.
Could there be a link between this Babylonian tapestry hung over the entrance to the Temple sanctuary and the fact that Jerusalem is called Babylon in Revelation ? Interestingly, even the riff raff of Jerusalem, the Zealots, dressed and acted like prostitutes during the war with Rome:. And thus did they roll themselves up and down the city, as in a brothel-house , and defiled it entirely with their impure actions; nay, while their faces looked like the faces of women, they killed with their right hands; and when their gait was effeminate, they presently attacked men, and became warriors, and drew their swords from under their finely dyed cloaks, and ran every body through whom they alighted upon.
In light of the above historical peculiarities it is not surprising that first-century Jerusalem is called a whore in Revelation. When I saw her, I was greatly astonished. Here Jesus declares that Jerusalem would kill the saints and prophets. Acts and Acts record the fulfillment of this prediction. Consequently Babylon is drunk with their blood, and John is astonished. Virgo once represented faithful Israel, the virgin mother of the Messiah, in Revelation I will explain to you the mystery of the woman and of the beast she rides, which has the seven heads and ten horns.
The inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the creation of the world will be astonished when they see the beast, because he once was, now is not, and yet will come. The Abyss is the spiritual realm of the dead.
Whore of Babylon
The fact that he comes out of the Abyss in v. In all three cases, this beast is the Flavian Dynasty often embodied by its second member, Caesar Titus. The man in the forefront is Vespasian. Immediately behind him is Titus, his son.
Scarlet and the Beast - Two Faces of Freemasonry (John Daniel, ) | Freemasonry | Masonic Lodge
Alma-Tadema, Lawrence. The Triumph of Titus. The beast is a broad metaphor for Rome and the emperors who ruled its two first-century dynasties, the Caesar family dynasty and the Flavian family dynasty. Therefore, the beast who once was represents the Roman Empire under the Caesar Dynasty. Therefore, the beast is metaphorically considered dead in A. The beast of Rome did not begin to show signs of life until the end of A.
The Flavian Dynasty, had saved the Roman Empire which was on the precipice of collapsing while at the zenith of its power.
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If Roma is being helped back to her feet by Vespasian, does this imply a popular perception that Rome had temporarily fallen or at least stumbled during the year of the four Caesars? Under the leadership of the Flavian Dynasty the beast had risen from the Abyss. Its wound had been healed! The restoration of the peace and stability of the Roman Empire under the Flavians is, however, not the only way in which the Roman beast is historically and metaphorically resurrected from the dead. Martin and Lynn Allan Losie, gen. Aune Grand Rapids: Zondervan, , In B.
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Interestingly, one of the names of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse that provided auxiliary troops to Caesar Titus for the siege of Jerusalem was also named Antiochus. Perhaps this was an omen pointing to Titus as a kind of return of Antiochus Epiphanies? See Revelation 6: A Preterist Commentary.
A bust of Nero Caesar. After Nero committed suicide, Rome collapsed into civil war.
Describing this man, Cassius Dio writes:. He resembled Nero both in appearance and in voice for he too sang to the accompaniment of the lyre. He gained a few followers in Asia, and his advance to the Euphrates attached a far greater number, and finally sought refuge with Artabanus, the Parthian leader, who. In the Book of Revelation these three men symbolically represent a beast who dies and resurrects from the dead. The Flavian Dynasty—Vespasian, Titus and Domitian—represent the beast whose wound had been healed while the last remaining member of the Caesar family line, Nero, represents the beast with the wounded head.
Called the beast that comes out of the Abyss in v. The Abyss is the dark, fiery spiritual realm of the dead. In Revelation an angel opens up a shaft releasing the smoke from the Abyss, a fact which sounds very much like a volcanic eruption. During a volcanic eruption, thousands of pounds of smoke are ejected. This smoke can darken the sky for miles like the smoke described in Revelation Vesuvius erupted. The seven heads are seven hills on which the woman sits. Earlier in v. The beast and the seven hills all represent Rome.
As explained in v.
The fact that Jerusalem, the earth, is depicted sitting on Gentile Rome, the sea, also has added significance. This earth and sea imagery paints a picture of the ancient mythical concept of the earth as a disc, here representing Jerusalem, sitting above and surrounded by the primordial sea or Abyss, representing Rome. Below are two different symbolic representations of Israel and Rome. The first represents Israel as the earth surrounded by the sea or waters as it is depicted in v.
Both pictures are a metaphor for Israel sitting on and surrounded by Gentile Rome, as the earth appears to be sitting on and surrounded by the sea in the picture of the island below:. The whore of Babylon sitting on the beast and the earth sitting atop the sea are identical metaphors. There is more to the symbolism in v.