1 Then one of the seven angels, who had the seven bowls, came and spoke to me, saying, "Come [here]; I will show you the punishment [to fall] on the great prostitute who is situated on many bodies of waters. 2 The kings of the earth have committed sexual immorality with her, and those who live on the earth became drunk from [drinking] the wine of her sexual immorality." 3 Then, under the power of the Holy Spirit, the angel transported me to a desert, and [there] I saw a woman sitting on a red beast. It was covered with names that cursed God and it had seven heads and ten horns. 4 And the woman was dressed in purple and red [clothing], and was adorned with gold [jewelry] and precious stones and pearls. In her hand she held a golden cup full of disgusting things and of the pollutions of her sexual immorality. 5 And on her forehead was written a mysterious [name], "The great Babylon, the mother of the prostitutes and the disgusting things of the earth."
6 And I saw that the woman was drunk on the blood of God's holy people and on the blood of those [who were killed] witnessing about Jesus. And when I saw her I was greatly amazed.
7 Then the angel [See verse 1] said to me, "Why are you so amazed? I will explain to you the secret [meaning] of the woman and the beast with seven heads and ten horns that she is riding on. 8 The beast you saw once existed, but now does not, and [yet] is about to come up out of the pit and go to [his] destruction. And those people living on the earth, whose names have not been recorded in the book of life from the creation of the world, will be amazed when they see the beast, because he had once existed, but now does not, and yet will come [again].
9 "This calls for an understanding mind. The seven heads are seven hills on which the woman sits. They are [also] seven kings; 10 five have fallen, one continues [to rule], and the other one has not yet come. But when he comes, he must remain for [only] a short time. 11 And the beast that once existed, but now does not, is actually the eighth one [i.e., head/hill/king. See verse 9], and yet he belongs to the seven; and he will go to his destruction. 12 "And the ten horns you saw are ten kings, who have not received a kingdom yet, but for one hour they will receive authority as kings, along with the beast. 13 These kings have one purpose, and they give their power and authority to the beast. 14 These kings and the beast will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for He is the Lord of lords and the King of kings. And those who are called and chosen [by God], and who are faithful [to Him will share the victory] with the Lamb."
15 Then the angel [See verses 1,7] said to me, "The waters you saw, on which the prostitute sits [See verse 1] are races, crowds, nations and language groups. 16 And the ten horns and the beast you saw will hate the prostitute and will take away everything from her, leaving her naked; they will eat her flesh and will burn her up with fire. 17 For God has placed on their hearts [the desire] to carry out His purpose, by agreeing to give their kingdom to the beast until God's words are fulfilled. 18 And the woman you saw is the great city that rules over the kings of the earth."