1 Then there came one of the seven angels that had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying "come hither, I will explain to you the judgment of the great whore, that sitteth upon many waters: 2 by whom the kings of the earth became idolaters, and the inhabiters of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of idolatry." 3 so he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet-coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads, and ten horns. 4 and the woman was arrayed in purple, and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stone and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand, full of the abominable impurities of idolatry. 5 Upon her forehead this mystical title was written, Babylon the great, the mother of harlots, and abominations of the earth.
6 and I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondred with great admiration.
7 and the angel said to me, wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystical meaning of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns. 8 the beast that thou sawest, was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, shall wonder when they behold the beast that was, and is not, but shall be.
9 the meaning is very comprehensive. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth. 10 they likewise signify seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; when he comes, he will continue but a short space. 11 the beast that was, and is not, is himself the eighth: he is of the seven, and shall be destroy'd. 12 the ten horns which you saw, are ten kings, who have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings for a while with the beast. 13 they all agree in this, to give their power and strength to the beast. 14 they will make war with the lamb, but the lamb, who is lord of lords, and king of kings, together with those that are called, chosen, and faithful, shall overcome them.
15 Then he said to me, the waters which you saw, where the prostitute has her seat, are the people, the multitude, nations, and provinces. 16 the ten horns which you saw upon the beast, they shall hate the whore, they shall plunder, and strip her, eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. 17 for God hath put it in their hearts to execute his designs, in agreeing to give their kingdom to the beast, until the divine oracles shall be accomplished. 18 and the woman which you saw, is that great city, which reigns the empress of the kings of the earth.