Revelation 17:5
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
And on her forehead was written a name of mystery: “Babylon the great, mother of prostitutes and of earth’s abominations.”

King James Bible
And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

American Standard Version
and upon her forehead a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF THE HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And on her forehead a name was written: A mystery; Babylon the great, the mother of the fornications, and the abominations of the earth.

English Revised Version
and upon her forehead a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF THE HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

Webster's Bible Translation
And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS, AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

Weymouth New Testament
And on her forehead was a name written: "I am a symbol of great Babylon, the mother of the harlots and of the abominations of the earth."

Revelation 17:5 Parallel
Commentary
Vincent's Word Studies

Upon her forehead a name

As was customary with harlots, who had their names inscribed on a ticket. Seneca, addressing a wanton priestess, "Nomen tuum pependit a fronte," thy name hung from thy forehead. See Juvenal, Satire vi., 123 sqq., of the profligate Messalina, "having falsely assumed the ticket of Lycisca."

Mystery

Some understand this as a part of the name, others as implying that the name is to be interpreted symbolically.

Babylon

See on 1 Peter 5:13. Tertullian, Irenaeus, and Jerome use Babylon as representing the Roman Empire. In the Middle Ages Rome is frequently styled the Western Babylon. The sect of the Fraticelli, an eremitical organization from the Franciscans in the fourteenth century, who carried the vow of poverty to the extreme and taught that they were possessed of the Holy Spirit and exempt from sin - first familiarized the common mind with the notion that Rome was the Babylon, the great harlot of the Apocalypse (see Milligan, "Latin Christianity," Book xii., ch. vi.). On the passage cited from Dante (v. i.), Dean Plumptre remarks: "The words have the interest of being a medieval interpretation of Revelation 17:1-15, in which, however, the harlot and the beast seem somewhat strangely blended. The harlot is the corrupted Church of Rome; the seven heads are the seven hills on which the city is built; or perhaps, with an entirely different exegesis, the seven gifts of the Spirit, or the seven sacraments with which that Church had, in its outset, been endowed: the ten horns are the ten commandments. As long as the Church was faithful to her spouse, she had the moral strength which came from those gifts, and the divine law which she represented. When that failed, she became as a harlot, and her whoredom with kings was the symbol of her alliance with secular powers for the oppression of the nations" (On "Inferno," xix., 110).

Revelation 17:5 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

upon.

Revelation 7:3 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.

Isaiah 3:9 The show of their countenance does witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not...

Philippians 3:19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)

MYSTERY.

2 Thessalonians 2:7 For the mystery of iniquity does already work: only he who now lets will let, until he be taken out of the way.

2 Timothy 3:1-5 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come...

BABYLON.

Revelation 11:8 And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt...

Revelation 14:8 And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city...

Revelation 16:19 And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God...

Revelation 18:2,10,21 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils...

Jeremiah 51:47,48 Therefore, behold, the days come, that I will do judgment on the graven images of Babylon: and her whole land shall be confounded...

THE MOTHER.

Revelation 18:9 And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall mourn her, and lament for her...

Revelation 19:2 For true and righteous are his judgments: for he has judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication...

HARLOTS. or, fornications.

Cross References
2 Thessalonians 2:7
For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way.

Revelation 1:20
As for the mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden lampstands, the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.

Revelation 14:8
Another angel, a second, followed, saying, "Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who made all nations drink the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality."

Revelation 16:19
The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell, and God remembered Babylon the great, to make her drain the cup of the wine of the fury of his wrath.

Revelation 17:1
Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, "Come, I will show you the judgment of the great prostitute who is seated on many waters,

Revelation 17:2
with whom the kings of the earth have committed sexual immorality, and with the wine of whose sexual immorality the dwellers on earth have become drunk."

Revelation 17:7
But the angel said to me, "Why do you marvel? I will tell you the mystery of the woman, and of the beast with seven heads and ten horns that carries her.

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