Year of the Bible – Revelation 17:1-19:21

Year of the Bible


“Come, I will show you the punishment of the great prostitute, who sits on many waters. With her the kings of the earth committed adultery and the inhabitants of the earth were intoxicated with the wine of her adulteries.” – Revelation 17:1-2

Revelation 17:1-19:21 (19:6-10)

Babylon, once a great empire some six hundred years before Christ, had long since fallen in obscurity when John the Apostle wrote Revelation. But because of her worldliness, Babylon had come to be a figure of speech, a symbol, of the anti-God, anti-Christ world. At first, in this text, Babylon is represented as a prostitute, drunk with the blood of Christian martyrs. She is seen as the source of every blasphemy and abomination—desolations that defile sacred things. The influence of this Babylon, the Babylon that lives on today, is enormous. But in the end, when Christ returns, she will be given her rightful recompense. All Christians are called by God to separate and distance themselves from her harlotry, for it intends to seduce and compromise both morally and spiritually. She appeals to the sins of the flesh, but she also gains power through guilt, fear and doubt—ultimately by blinding the world to the mercy and forgiveness of Christ. Of great comfort to us all is what happens to her on the final day. The world, so bound now by her magic spell, will mourn when they see her end. The saints who have been destroyed by her will sing with the multitude of heaven at her demise. The faithful who have endured her temptations and tribulations will sing praises to God as His judgments are executed upon her. And they will sing and worship at the wedding feast of the Lamb. Righteous before God, they will be the privileged ones invited to wear the robes of Christ’s righteousness. 

Questions – Revelation 17:1-19:21

  1. What does Babylon symbolize?
  2. What does it mean when Babylon is portrayed as being drunk with the blood of martyrs?
  3. What is blasphemy?
  4. What is going to happen to Babylon on the last day of Christ’s return?
  5. In what way does Babylon gain power over men?
  6. What does it mean to “live in” Babylon?
  7. What are we commanded to do when we find ourselves in Babylon?
  8. What do the robes of the righteous represent?
  9. Explain the symbolism of the Feast of the Lamb.


© John W. Fiene | Artwork by Brian McFarland