Revelation 17:2
With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
17:1-6 Rome clearly appears to be meant in this chapter. Pagan Rome subdued and ruled with military power, not by art and flatteries. She left the nations in general to their ancient usages and worship. But it is well known that by crafty and politic management, with all kinds of deceit of unrighteousness, papal Rome has obtained and kept her rule over kings and nations. Here were allurements of worldly honour and riches, pomp and pride, suited to sensual and worldly minds. Prosperity, pomp, and splendour, feed the pride and lusts of the human heart, but are no security against the Divine vengeance. The golden cup represents the allurements, and delusions, by which this mystical Babylon has obtained and kept her influence, and seduced others to join her abominations. She is named, from her infamous practices, a mother of harlots; training them up to idolatry and all sorts of wickedness. She filled herself with the blood of the saints and martyrs of Jesus. She intoxicated herself with it; and it was so pleasant to her, that she never was satisfied. We cannot but wonder at the oceans of Christian blood shed by men called Christians; yet when we consider these prophecies, these awful deeds testify to the truth of the gospel. And let all beware of a splendid, gainful, or fashionable religion. Let us avoid the mysteries of iniquity, and study diligently the great mystery of godliness, that we may learn humility and gratitude from the example of Christ. The more we seek to resemble him, the less we shall be liable to be deceived by antichrist.With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication - Spiritual adultery. The meaning is, that papal Rome, unfaithful to God, and idolatrous and corrupt, had seduced the rulers of the earth, and led them into the same kind of unfaithfulness, idolatry, and corruption. Compare Jeremiah 3:8-9; Jeremiah 5:7; Jeremiah 13:27; Jeremiah 23:14; Ezekiel 16:32; Ezekiel 23:37; Hebrews 2:2; Hebrews 4:2. How true this is in history need not be stated. All the princes and kings of Europe in the dark ages, and for many centuries were, and not a few of them are now, entirely under the influence of papal Rome.

And the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication - The alluring cup which, as an harlot, she had extended to them. See this image explained in the notes on Revelation 14:8. There it is said that Babylon - referring to the same thing - had "made them drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication"; that is, of the cup that led to wrath or punishment. Here it is said that the harlot had made them "drunk with the wine of her fornication"; that is, they had been, as it were, intoxicated by the alluring cup held out to them. What could better describe the influence of Rome on the people of the world, in making them, under these delusions, incapable of sober judgment, and in completely fascinating and controlling all their powers?

2. drunk with—Greek, "owing to." It cannot be pagan Rome, but papal Rome, if a particular seat of error be meant, but I incline to think that the judgment (Re 18:2) and the spiritual fornication (Re 18:3), though finding their culmination in Rome, are not restricted to it, but comprise the whole apostate Church, Roman, Greek, and even Protestant, so far as it has been seduced from its "first love" (Re 2:4) to Christ, the heavenly Bridegroom, and given its affections to worldly pomps and idols. The woman (Re 12:1) is the congregation of God in its purity under the Old and New Testament, and appears again as the Bride of the Lamb, the transfigured Church prepared for the marriage feast. The woman, the invisible Church, is latent in the apostate Church, and is the Church militant; the Bride is the Church triumphant. With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication; with which great whore several princes of the world have committed spiritual fornication, receiving her idolatrous worship, yielding to her authority, and following her example.

And the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with, the wine of her fornication; and not the kings only of the earth, but the generality of the people, have been influenced with a mad heat, and with the wine of her fornication, that is, with that wine by which she enticed them to commit idolatry with her. By this wine are meant honours, riches, preferments, pleasure, the gaudery of her worship, the magnificence of the apostolic see, their pretended antiquity, unity; in short, whatsoever specious arguments papists use to entice persons into the idolatrous communion of their church. With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication,.... These are the ten kings, who being of the same mind, and of one religion, the Popish religion, gave their power, strength, and kingdom to the beast, Revelation 17:12 and have been enticed by the whore of Rome to commit spiritual fornication with her; that is, idolatry, to worship, as that church enjoins, idols of gold, silver, brass, and wood, the images of the virgin Mary, and other saints; hence this whore appears to be no mean strumpet, but one of great note, and in much vogue, being sought after and made use of by the great men of the earth;

and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication; that is, the inhabitants of the Roman empire, or earthly minded men, mere carnal persons, have been drawn into idolatrous practices by the allurements of the church of Rome; such as riches, honours, pleasures, lying miracles, and great pretensions to devotion and religion; whereby they have been intoxicated as men with wine, and have been filled with a blind zeal for that church, and the false doctrines and worship of it, and with madness and fury against the true professors of religion.

With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Revelation 17:2. Tyre’s commercial intercourse with the nations (Isaiah 23:17) and Assyria’s political intrigues, by which her statecraft fascinated and seduced other states (Nahum 3:4) are both described by the same figure. Local and national cults, as a rule, were left undisturbed by the Romans; and indeed Oriental superstitions often reacted powerfully on Rome itself. But fresh conquests meant the extension of Rome’s intoxicating and godless suzerainty.2. with whom the kings, &c.] Isaiah 23:17.

the inhabiters &c.] Jeremiah 51:7.Revelation 17:2. Μεθʼ ἧς, with whom) Tyre committed fornication with the kingdoms of the earth: Isaiah 23:17-18. Comp. Revelation 18:23.Verse 2. - With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. "Of the earth" is used here (as it frequently is) for the worldly as distinguished from the righteous; and the two classes mentioned indicate the universality of this faithlessness - it is not confined to any one grade of society. As we have seen (see on ver. 1 and Revelation 14:8), the figure of fornication is repeatedly used to describe faithlessness towards God. The verse, therefore, declares that this faithless portion of the Church has chosen rather to render to the world that love which is due to God, and to be connected rather with the powers of this world than to have its treasure in heaven. The expression, "wine of her fornication," is a repetition of that in Revelation 14:8, and is derived from Jeremiah 2:7 (cf. also Revelation 16:19 and Revelation 18:3). Have committed fornication

The figure of a harlot committing fornication with kings and peoples occurs frequently in the prophets, representing the defection of God's Church and its attachment to others. See Isaiah 1:21; Jeremiah 2:20; Jeremiah 3:1, Jeremiah 3:6, Jeremiah 3:8; Ezekiel 16:15, Ezekiel 16:16, Ezekiel 16:28, Ezekiel 16:31, Ezekiel 16:35, Ezekiel 16:41; Ezekiel 23:5, Ezekiel 23:19, Ezekiel 23:44; Hosea 2:5; Hosea 3:3; Hosea 4:14. The word is applied to heathen cities in three places only: to Tyre, Isaiah 23:15, Isaiah 23:16, Isaiah 23:17; to Nineveh, Nahum 3:4; and here.

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