Revelation 17:5
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
and on her forehead a name was written, a mystery, "BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH."

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

Darby Bible Translation
and upon her forehead a name written, Mystery, great Babylon, the mother of the harlots, and of the abominations of the earth.

World English Bible
And on her forehead a name was written, "MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF THE PROSTITUTES AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH."

Young's Literal Translation
and upon her forehead was a name written: 'Secret, Babylon the Great, the Mother of the Whores, and the Abominations of the earth.'

Revelation 17:5 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

And upon her forehead - In a circlet around her forehead. That is, it was made prominent and public, as if written on the forehead in blazing capitals. In Revelation 13:1 it is said that "the name of blasphemy" was written on the "heads" of the beast. The meaning in both places is substantially the same, that it was prominent, and unmistakable. See the notes on that verse. Compare the note on Revelation 14:1.

Was a name written - A title, or something that would properly indicate her character.

Mystery - It is proper to remark that there is nothing in the original as written by John, so far as now known, that corresponded with what is implied in placing this inscription in capital letters; and the same remark may be made of the "title" or inscription that was placed over the head of the Saviour on the cross, Matthew 27:37; Mark 15:26; Luke 23:38; John 19:19. Our translators have adopted this form, apparently for the sole purpose of denoting that it was an inscription or title. On the meaning of the word "mystery," see the notes on 1 Corinthians 2:7. Compare the notes on 1 Timothy 3:16. Here it seems to be used to denote that there was something hidden, obscure, or enigmatical, under the title adopted; that is, the word "Babylon," and the word "mother," were symbolical. Our translators have printed and pointed the word "mystery" as if it were part of the inscription. It would probably be better to regard it as referring to the inscription, thus: "a name was written - a mysterious name, to wit, Babylon," etc. Or, "a name was written mysteriously." According to this, it would mean, not that there was any wonderful "mystery" about the thing itself, whatever might be true on that point, but that the name was enigmatical or symbolical; or that there was something hidden or concealed under the name. It was not to be literally understood.

Babylon the great - papal Rome, the nominal head of the Christian world, as Babylon had been of the pagan world. See the notes on Revelation 14:8.

The mother of harlots -

(a) Of that spiritual apostasy from God which, in the language of the prophets, might be called adultery. See the notes on Revelation 14:8.

(b) The promoter of lewdness by her institutions. See the notes on Revelation 9:21. In both these senses, there never was a more expressive or appropriate title than the one here employed.

And abominations of the earth - Abominable things that prevail on the earth, Revelation 17:4. Compare the notes on Revelation 9:20-21.

Revelation 17:5 Parallel Commentaries

Library
God's Law Immutable.
[Illustration: Chapter header.] "The temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in His temple the ark of His testament."(716) The ark of God's testament is in the holy of holies, the second apartment of the sanctuary. In the ministration of the earthly tabernacle, which served "unto the example and shadow of heavenly things," this apartment was opened only upon the great day of atonement, for the cleansing of the sanctuary. Therefore the announcement that the temple of God was opened
Ellen G. White—The Great Controversy Between Christ and Satan

Meditations to Stir us up to Morning Prayer.
1. If, when thou art about to pray, Satan shall suggest that thy prayers are too long, and that therefore it were better either to omit prayers, or else to cut them shorter, meditate that prayer is thy spiritual sacrifice, wherewith God is well pleased (Heb. xiii. 15, 16;) and therefore it is so displeasing to the devil, and so irksome to the flesh. Bend therefore thy affections (will they, nill they) to so holy an exercise; assuring thyself, that it doth by so much the more please God, by how much
Lewis Bayly—The Practice of Piety

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

Revelation 1:20
"As for the mystery of the seven stars which 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
And another angel, a second one, followed, saying, "Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who has made all the nations drink of the wine of the passion of her immorality."

Revelation 16:19
The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. Babylon the great was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of His fierce wrath.

Revelation 17:1
Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and spoke with me, saying, "Come here, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters,

Revelation 17:2
with whom the kings of the earth committed acts of immorality, and those who dwell on the earth were made drunk with the wine of her immorality."

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

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