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“A woman sitting on a scarlet beast”—who is the woman? what is the beast?

Don Preston has been arguing at length in comments on an earlier post against the identification of “Babylon the great” with Rome (Rev. 14:6-11; 16:19; 17-18). One reason he gives for the view is that the great harlot, which is Babylon the great, is not to be identified with the beast on which she sits: “the woman (Babylon) is not the beast, the woman rides on the beast. Babylon sits on the seven hills. It is the seven hills that equal the beast”. He notes, in particular, that “the Beast turns on the woman and destroys her” (Rev. 17:16-17).

Rather, in his view, Babylon the great is Jerusalem. Revelation 17 describes a “partnership of persecution” whereby the Jews incited Rome to persecute Christians. He quotes Gentry: “The fact that the Harlot is seated on the seven headed beast (obviously representative of Rome) indicates, not identity with Rome, but alliance with Rome against Christianity.” Evidence that Jews poisoned the mind of Nero against the Christians in Rome is alluded to. But in the end, Rome turns against Jerusalem and destroys it.

It seems to me that there is a much simpler explanation for the distinction between the great prostitute and the beast, and I remain firmly of the view that “Babylon the great”, the “great city that has dominion over the kings of the earth” is the city of Rome.

If it appears a rather esoteric and irrelevant quarrel over a minor point of exegesis in one of the least illuminating parts of the New Testament, my contention would be that it is a critical piece in how the early church told its story as it moved into Europe and should be of considerable interest to us as we endeavour to tell our own story after Christendom.


A “beast with seven heads and ten horns” rises out of the sea in Revelation 13:1-2. It has the appearance of a leopard, but its feet are like the feet of a bear, and it has a lion’s mouth. The description echoes that of the four beasts that emerge from the sea in Daniel’s vision. Indeed, John’s beast appears to be constructed of details taken from each of Daniel’s monsters: the first was like a lion and had eagle’s wings, the second was like a bear, the third like a leopard with bird’s wings, and the fourth had ten horns and was “exceedingly strong” (Dan. 7:1-7). John says that those who do obeisance to the beast ask, “Who is like the beast, and who can wage war against it?”

The beast gains its authority from the dragon, which also is said to have “seven heads and ten horns” (Rev. 12:3). The dragon is “the devil and Satan”, but it clearly has a close relationship with the beast.

The beast, therefore, is a pagan kingdom of the same order as the four kingdoms which in Daniel’s vision are symbolically depicted as violent, hybrid creatures, which emerge from the sea and wreak havoc on the earth. Clearly in Revelation the kingdom is imperial Rome.

In context, Daniel’s fourth beast is the empire of the Greeks—there is even a reference to Alexander the Great in Daniel 11:3-4. The ten horns on its head are kings, and the small horn that grows up among them is Antiochus Epiphanes, whose efforts to suppress Jewish faith and practice sparked the Maccabean revolt. But—this is a crucial point to note—there is no city in Daniel’s vision.

Now to Revelation.

One of the seven angels with the seven bowls takes John into the wilderness to see “the judgment of the great prostitute who is seated on many waters, 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” (Rev. 17:1–2). John sees the woman “sitting on a scarlet beast that was full of blasphemous names, and it had seven heads and ten horns” (Rev. 17:3).

The woman is a great cosmopolitan city, fabulously wealthy and powerful, a lure for the kings of the earth (Rev. 18:9), a centre of trade for the Mediterranean—you would not expect “sailors and all whose trade is on the sea” to be lamenting over the fall of Jerusalem (Rev. 18:17-19). The waters on which she sits are “peoples and multitudes and nations and languages” (Rev. 17:15).

The city is associated especially with sexual immorality (either literally or figuratively), and a leading charge against it is that it has corrupted the nations (Rev. 14:8; 17:4-6; 18:3). The condemnation of Nineveh in Nahum 3:4 provides an excellent model for this: “And all for the countless whorings of the prostitute (pornē in LXX)…, who betrays nations with her whorings, and peoples with her charms.”

So here we have the basis for the distinction between the woman and the beast. The beast is the historical kingdom or empire, existing over time, ruled by a series of kings. The woman is the city of Rome, the decadent, corrupted and corrupting heart of the empire, sustained by the ideology of Roman imperialism and the régime of the Caesars.


But what about the argument that the beast turns upon the woman and destroys her? Here’s the passage:

And the ten horns that you saw, they and the beast will hate the prostitute. They will make her desolate and naked, and devour her flesh and burn her up with fire, for God has put it into their hearts to carry out his purpose by being of one mind and handing over their royal power to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled. (Rev 17:16–17)

Aune suggests: “The ten horns (the nations allied with Rome) and the beast (a Roman emperor, presumably Nero) will turn on the city of Rome and destroy it. This prediction may reflect the rumor that Nero would return from the east with Parthian allies to conquer Rome.”1

But John’s language does not necessarily point to external invasion. The thought may simply be that in the end the “kingdom”—the imperial régime—will ruin the city of Rome from within by its beastliness. The reference to burning the city with fire naturally evokes the conflagration supposedly instigated by Nero.

  • 1. D.E. Aune, Revelation 17–22 (1998), 957.

Comments

“But John’s language does not necessarily point to external invasion.”

Right. The ‘beast’ seems to stand in for the empire as a whole, with the ‘woman’ standing in for the capital city specifically. I’ve long read the symbolism as simply suggesting the empire would devour itself, it would be responsible for its own downfall.

This is Mounce, quoting Lilje and Morris:

This turning of the beast against the woman who sits on it speaks of “a terrible and mysterious law of political history, according to which every revolutionary power contains within itself the seed of self-destruction.” It describes the self-destroying power of evil. The wicked are not a happy band of brothers, but precisely because they are wicked they give way to jealousy and hatred, so that “at the climax their mutual hatreds will result in mutual destruction.”

Many thanks to both Andrew and Don for their extensive and civil discussion on this issue!

Very interested to hear your thoughts on how our view of this point affects our current narrative about ourselves post-Christendom.

Andrew, thank you for your thoughts. I am truly enjoying the exchange.

The Woman on the Beast: The Partnership of Persecution - My Response

Andrew posted a response to my post about the partnership of persecution between (as I posited) Rome and Jerusalem. I will respond to what I consider his main points. He attempts to identify the Harlot as Rome because of the description of her wealth and her corrupting influence.
He says:
“The woman is a great cosmopolitan city, fabulously wealthy and powerful, a lure for the kings of the earth (Rev. 18:9), a centre of trade for the Mediterranean—you would not expect “sailors and all whose trade is on the sea” to be lamenting over the fall of Jerusalem (Rev. 18:17-19). The waters on which she sits are “peoples and multitudes and nations and languages” (Rev. 17:15).”

Response:
Jerusalem was in fact a major metropolitan and hugely important commercial city.
Why would sailors (sic) and all those who trade is on the sea” lament her fall? Because Jerusalem was tremendously reliant on imports that came to them from the merchants and sailors of the sea! The destruction of Jerusalem would and did deprive the merchants of the sea of their income.

Safari says, “Undoubtedly the destruction of Jerusalem dealt a shattering blow to the Jewish economy, eliminating the principal hub of Jewish commerce and crafts and the community’s largest source of internal and external income.” (Compendia ReRum Judaica, 698).

Josephus describes a bit of Jerusalem’s commercial importance: “Nor indeed is Judea destitute of such delights as come from the sea, since its maritime places extend as far as Ptolemais; it was parted into eleven portions, of which the royal city Jerusalem was the supreme, and presided over all the neighbouring country, as the head does over the body. As to the other cities that were inferior to it, they presided over their several toparchies; Gophna was the second of those cities, and next to that Acrabatta, after them Thamna, and Lydda, and Emmaus, and Pella, and Idumea, and Engaddi, and Herodium, and Jericho; and after them came Jamnia and Joppa, as presiding over the neighborouring people; and besides these there was the region of Gamala, and Gaulanitis, and Batanea,and Trachonitis, which are also parts of the kingdom of Agrippa.” (Jos. Book III, ch. 3, par.5).

Smolarz adds: “Only a small number of exegetes have recognized the importance of Judea, with its capital, in the commerce system of the first century CE. …Judea was in charge of Oriental and African trade by the late second century BCE. By the late first century BCE, Asia Minor had to rely on this trade for their luxury and more ordinary wares. (He cites Safari and Stern, Jewish People in the First Century, for further support). Even Rome was dependent on Jerusalem’s commerce for such productions as dates, opobalsam and certain varieties of vegetable. … Jews of the Diaspora were also significant contributors to Jerusalem’s wealth. It was only the destruction of Jerusalem that changed Jerusalem’s economic situation.” … “It would not be strange to view Jerusalem as of prominent position among the nations of its contemporary world.” (Sebastian Smolarz, Covenant and the Metaphor of Divine Marriage in Biblical Thought, (Eugene, Or., Wipf and Stock, 2011)239+

Let us not forget that, as I have shown, we should not view Revelation from a geo-political-military perspective. We should view the Apocalypse from the perspective of one anticipating the fulfillment of God’s promises to Israel - Israel now turned into the enemy of God’s true children. To extrapolate the application of Revelation to the fifth century, long after Israel had been destroyed, long after the issue of the identity of the true Seed had been settled (Revelation 3:9f: “You dwell where the synagogue of Satan is, those who say they are Jews, but are not. I will make them to come and bow before you, and to know that I have loved you.”) This is the issue in Revelation. The issue is not simply the fate of a pagan city / nation.

Andrew then asks:
“But what about the argument that the beast turns upon the woman and destroys her? Here’s the passage:

And the ten horns that you saw, they and the beast will hate the prostitute. They will make her desolate and naked, and devour her flesh and burn her up with fire, for God has put it into their hearts to carry out his purpose by being of one mind and handing over their royal power to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled. (Rev 17:16–17)

Aune suggests: “The ten horns (the nations allied with Rome) and the beast (a Roman emperor, presumably Nero) will turn on the city of Rome and destroy it. This prediction may reflect the rumor that Nero would return from the east with Parthian allies to conquer Rome.”

Response:
Andrew suggests that Revelation 17 and the imagery of the Beast turning on the woman, hating her and burning her with fire, reflects the idea that Nero turned on the city and destroyed her, and that Revelation reflects “the rumor that Nero would return from the east with Parthian allies to conquer Rome.” I responded to Aune’s appeal to the Nero redivivus rumor in a previous response, but Andrew did not respond to my thoughts, so let me offer them again, with a few additional comments.

Aune’s suggestion flies in the face of history and fact.

Nero never hated Rome, as I noted in my earlier post.

Nero was never in a partnership of persecution with Rome . Nero was Rome personified, thus, he was not in a partnership with himself. And, most assuredly Nero was not in a partnership of persecution with the Parthians against the church. It would have to be proven that the Parthians persecuted the church during this period. Where is the evidence that they did so, in partnership with Nero?

Aune’s suggestion ignores the textual focus on the partnership of persecution against the church focusing instead on the internal strife of Roman politics. That is not the point of Revelation 17. It is not exegetically sound to ignore the focus on the partnership of persecution against the church.

As I suggested before, it is more than untenable to posit that John was relying on a false rumor about Nero returning with the Parthian army. The chronology really does not fit either.

If Revelation was written prior to Nero’s downfall and demise, then he was firmly entrenched in power – thus, there was no rumor of his “return.”

If he was already dead and Revelation was written afterward, in the reign of Domitian, then all the events at that time falsified the rumor, and thus, if John was reiterating that “rumor” then he was proven to be a false prophet! See below.

I am suspect of any interpretation of Revelation that posits John’s reliance on a false rumor.

Let me repeat what I noted earlier: John says he was writing the Apocalypse under the inspiration of the Spirit. His description in Revelation is written as a prophecy of what was going to happen – not what was rumored. It is a prophetic declaration. Since it is a prophetic declaration, then since Nero patently did not come back and conquer Rome, that makes John a false prophet. I fail to see how this does justice to the text, or honors John as a prophet of God.

The claim that the imagery of burning the city naturally suggests Nero’s burning of the city is not necessarily true. It overlooks or ignores what we have pointed out repeatedly and that Andrew has admitted, and that is that covenantal language permeates the language of Revelation in describing the Great Harlot. (We should not overlook the fact that burning with fire was the punishment of a priest’s daughter that was immoral - Leviticus 21:9. She had violated the covenant! Given the rest of the covenantal language in Revelation, this actually fits much better). It is not proper to ignore that distinctive covenantal language or to apply it to a non-covenant city.

Aune’s suggestion is not tenable. If Nero is the beast, and is allied with the ten kings, (i.e. the partnership of persecution) this demands that the ten kings must be identified as Babylon. The text is very clear that the beast turns on the harlot woman –his partner! - and destroys her! So, once again, if the beast is Nero and if the partnership is between him and the ten kings, then of necessity, that demands that the ten kings must be identified as Babylon, who Nero turned on and destroyed. That is unhistorical. Aune’s suggestion fails to satisfy the text; it violates the text.

The text makes it clear that the ten kings and the beast act in concert against the Harlot. The kings receive their power from the beast. Then, in concert, the ten kings and the beast turn on the Harlot and destroy and desolate her. We have no record that I am aware of that suggests that Nero acted in concert with any ten kings to destroy Rome.

We must honor the textual reality of a partnership of persecution against the saints. That partnership dissolved. The beast hated the Harlot, and destroyed her.

Nero and the Jews had such a partnership– Domitian did not.

Nero turned on the Jews and hated them. He destroyed their city. Nero did not turn on Rome and destroy it.

This patently did not happen in the time of Domitian. There was one Nero “pretender” in the days of Domitian, who took asylum in Parthia. Rome demanded that he be turned over to them but the Parthians initially refused. The situation almost came to war - but - it was resolved without war. (Suetonius, LVII). The point is that this Neronian pretender was no persecutor of the church. He was seen as an enemy of Rome. He never attacked or destroyed Rome. Nothing about the situation fits Revelation 17. Thus, to reiterate and re-emphasize the point above, if John was appealing to the Redivivus rumor, then he was proven to be a false prophet, since he presented Revelation 17 as a prophetic declaration of what was going to happen.

In summary:
Jerusalem was in fact a tremendously important commercial center, critical even to Rome.

Jerusalem did corrupt the “kings of the earth” and best fits the description of a “Harlot” an unfaithful wife” as has been established.

The covenantal language and context of Revelation should guide us in our understanding.

The partnership of persecution in Revelation 17 excludes Aune’s suggestion. John was not, as a prophet of Jesus, repeating a false prophecy, or else he is culpable.

Domitian was never in a partnership of persecution with anyone against the church.

Nero did not hate Rome.

He did not partner with the Parthians to destroy Rome.

Nero was not in a partnership with the Parthians to persecute the church.

He did partner with the Jews against the church.

He did turn on the Jews.

He did hate them and burned their city and destroyed them.

Clearly Jerusalem was a city of relative commercial importance, but Smolarz’s reference to “dates, opobalsam and certain varieties of vegetable” hardly reaches the economic significance described in John’s account of the fall of Babylon the great:

And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn for her, since no one buys their cargo anymore, cargo of gold, silver, jewels, pearls, fine linen, purple cloth, silk, scarlet cloth, all kinds of scented wood, all kinds of articles of ivory, all kinds of articles of costly wood, bronze, iron and marble, cinnamon, spice, incense, myrrh, frankincense, wine, oil, fine flour, wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and chariots, and slaves, that is, human souls. (Rev 18:11–13)

Did the merchants of the earth really come to Jerusalem to buy purple cloth, pearls, ivory, horses and chariots, and slaves, etc? Where’s the evidence for that? Does Josephus tell us that Jerusalem was renowned for its slave trade?

Josephus notes Judea’s “maritime places”, but no one seems to have thought that Jerusalem itself was associated with “sailors and all whose trade is on the sea”.

Let us not forget that, as I have shown, we should not view Revelation from a geo-political-military perspective. We should view the Apocalypse from the perspective of one anticipating the fulfillment of God’s promises to Israel - Israel now turned into the enemy of God’s true children.

This begs the question, but in any case, the promises of God to Israel included the fact (as Norman notes) that he would first judge his unrighteous people, then judge the overweening and blasphemous enemy of his people. There is every reason, biblically and covenantally speaking, to think that in a thoroughly apocalyptic text John would have brought matters to a climax with the defeat of Rome.

I simply don’t follow your argument about the ten kings. Nero (let’s suppose) and the ten kings (client kings? successive emperors?) make war on the Lamb, and they ruin the city of Rome. Revelation 17:16 simply describes the despoliation of the city of Rome by a corrupt, decadent and violent régime. Nero burned the city of Rome with fire. I don’t see where the problem is.

You have by no means established that Jerusalem is the prostitute. The Old Testament background gives us a clear and consistent distinction between Israel as an unfaithful wife who plays the harlot and Nineveh as a prostitute (not an unfaithful wife) who seduces the nations. Babylon the great manifestly corresponds to the latter.

Jerusalem is JEBUS and must be destroyed: therefore the NEW Jerusalem coming down from Heaven to replace it. When ICABOD was cried, the spirit of the Almighty left that place.

Kabbalah is the mother of whoredomes, her home is in Jerusalem, with the pharisees, in the Sanhedrin. Her obedient daughters are Catholicism and Islam, who HIDE the originating harlot known as Kabbalah, the received word of satan.

Similar is the identity of ESAU, which is hidden behind the covert of “the jews”. This is how satan works: usurpation, change of name, change of history. Satan always suppresses the truth, suppresses it and covers it up. The entire truth has been covered up for centuries and is now, in these last days and according to Daniel, finally coming to light.

In effect, it has always been about the birthright of the children of Shem vs. the children of Cain/Esau, who are half-human at best, as the spawn of the serpent.

We have a remnant of Israel and Judah (NOT “jews”) pitted against their subtle, cunning enemies: ESAU mixed with Canaanites and Philistines + the Tribe of Dan.

Don´t forget about the connection of Judah to Tyre and Sidon - to Hiram and even before that to the Phoenicians, those merchants who are doomed: “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves”. Matthew 23.15

Tarshish is destined to be destroyed.

Every truth we need to know is hidden in the Bible, the great, powerful and true Word of the Living God.

“Jerusalem is JEBUS and must be destroyed: therefore the NEW Jerusalem coming down from Heaven to replace it. When ICABOD [Icabod? Maybe Ichabod?] was cried, the spirit of the Almighty left that place.”

It seems to me that, with this post, the genie has been let out of the bottle for the lunatic fringe to enjoy themselves with …

I know, but I imagine we all look like lunatics to someone.

It appears that Revelation is Jewish literature focused upon the change that is taking place within Judaism as seen through Jewish Christian eyes. This literature draws heavily from the OT and especially Ezekiel and it’s portray of Israel/Jerusalem as the Harlot that played the Nations until it backfired on her. One of my observations from Ezekiel is that Israel/Jerusalem is always dealt with first since she was God’s covenant people and then judgment is followed by God dealing with the Nations and putting them in their place. See especially Ezekiel 38-39 and judgment upon Gog and Magog representative of the Nations. Within Revelation 19 and 20 we see that the “word of God” becomes the sword which strikes down the Nations and the writer turns to Ezekiel’s Gog and Magog to cap his vision of liberation for the faithful.

So Revelation appears very intently to follow Ezekiel’s pattern of Judgment where the Harlot (apostate Judaism) is extensively dealt with along with God also not letting the Nations off. IMO the thing to remember is not to get hung up on it only being about just one entity (Apostate Judaism or Corrupt Nations Rome) but to realize it is patterned after a well-established OT model of judgement coming on both groups. That is why the Jerusalem Harlot who sits on the Rome Beast fits perfectly into OT Judaism literature and thought and reflects the remnant faithful having to overcome both groups and it appears to make the best internal and contextual sense of this literature. Perhaps one should keep the narrative of the book of Acts in mind when reading Revelation. :)

Norman, I disagree that the great harlot of Revelation 17 draws on Old Testament imagery having to do with Israel. Jerusalem is always depicted as the unfaithful wife who abandons her first husband and plays the harlot with other gods. The harlot which is Babylon the great has no first husband; she is not an unfaithful wife, just a prostitute with whom the kings of the earth have committed sexual immorality. The proper Old Testament background to this idea is the description of Nineveh as a prostitute who “betrays nations with her whorings, and peoples with her charms” (Nah. 3:4).

I agree that God first judges his own people, then judges the nations, but I pointed out in The Coming of the Son of Man that whereas the seven seals and trumpets draw on Old Testament texts that refer to judgment on Israel, the seven bowls draw on texts that refer to judgment on the nations. So I think it is a mistake to draw the line between chapter 18 and chapter 19. The distinction between the harlot and the beast is adequately accounted for by the recognition that Babylon the great is a city (obviously) whereas the beast is a kingdom or empire.

Andrew, I might agree with you if Revelation had been written in the 3rd or 4th century AD and corresponded to Romes actual demise. As it is Rome was on the upward march to its height that would come over a century later. Revelations story in no way matches the history that is depicted for late 1st century AD Rome.However it does appear to match Jeruseleum.

I’m not sure how you have depicted the Harlot as having no husband as that appears to be a tenuous consideration. Ezekiel 16 portrays Jeruseleum as an idea representation of the whoring city who prostitutes herself to the nations. Exactly as depicted in Rev 17. The match and the Jewish literature practices just seem to make this late 1st century piece work the best for that history to fit. Perhaps 2 centuries later we could start to project Rome.

But wouldn’t her claim that she is no widow imply that she believed that she had a husband? Also, there is a connection between the Harlot and the Samaritan woman who had five husbands, the one she has now is not, and another will come to give her living water. Who does the Samaritan woman represent? The Samaritan woman is a harlot who becomes a bride and brings living water to her people. In Revelation, if we follow the parallel, the Harlot, by being given living water, becomes the Bride. The seven mountains were symbolize husbands, heads, kings, and kingdoms. Jesus becomes the final husband, head, king, kingdom and mountain.

Hi Todd. The woman, which is Babylon the great, is judged because, among other things, she has said in her heart, “I sit as a queen, I am no widow, and mourning I shall never see” (Rev. 18:7). This is an allusion to the description of Babylon, the daughter of the Chaldeans, the “mistress of kingdoms” (cf. Rev. 18:3), who has boasted:

I am, and there is no one besides me; I shall not sit as a widow or know the loss of children. (Is. 47:8).

The city that is like Babylon in this regard and in its relation to Israel (cf. Is. 46:12-13) can only be Rome.

Widowhood and loss of children are metaphors for the defeat and destruction of cities, for the loss of life and of male life in particular (cf. Is. 47:9; 54:4; Lam. 1:1; 5:3-4). The “husband” in the metaphor represents the men of the city. See D.E. Aune, Revelation 17–22 (1998), 996.

I don’t see how the harlot is given living water or becomes the bride. You’ll have to explain that one—and also how you manage to equate the seventh king with Jesus:

This calls for a mind with wisdom: the seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman is seated; they are also seven kings, five of whom have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come, and when he does come he must remain only a little while. As for the beast that was and is not, it is an eighth but it belongs to the seven, and it goes to destruction. (Rev. 17:9–11)

I’m not equating the seventh king with Jesus, just pointing out how the story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman have some similarities.

The Harlot sits on seven mountains. The Samaritans and Jews both worship on earthly mountains. The Harlot sits on waters. The woman comes to a well for water. Mountains symbolize worship. The Temple was built on a mountain, Zion, Sinai, Gerazim, Mount of Olives, and every high hill were places of worship, some faithful, some adulterous. The seven mountains represent kingdoms, and whenever Israel was send into those nation, she committed whoredom. The Harlot sit on seven mountains and they are seven kings. So mountains, kings, husbands, and heads can all represent the same thing. The Harlot has had five, one is, and another will come and remain only a little while. The Samaritan has had five, and one who is not a husband. Jesus is coming to her offering her livign water, offering to be her true Husband, her sevnth. He will remain a little while (two days). She leaves her pot and brings teh water of Jesus word to her village. The Harlot is judged and a remnant cone out of her. These become the Bride say “Come, drink freely of the waters of life.” When John sees the Harlot, he “marvels.” When the disciple return from buying food (apossible allusion to Laodicea, who is conselled to buy certain things so that Jesus may eat with them) the disciples marvel that Jesus is talking to the woman. Jesus stays with the Samaritans for “two days.” Jesus sends the disciples out two by two, James and John, the sons of thunder (some connection to the seven thunders) ask Jesus if they should call judgement down on the Samaritans for unbelief, because He first had his face set toward Jerusalem. The Two Witnesses prophesy (the testimony of Jesus) in the streets of Jerusalem. I also see a parallel between the story of Jericho and Revelation. Jericho is known as the city of palms (tamar). After the exodus, Israel comes to a place with twelve springs and seventy palm trees. I see this as Israel bring the gospel to the nations, the 144,000 witnessing to the great multitude. When Israel enters the land, they send two witnesses (the word “spies” is the word “ragal,” which means “a fuller, one who tramples on garments in order to cleanse them.” This reminds me of the triumphal entry, where two men unloose an ass which Jesus rides as he tramples the garments the multitude has thrown down as they wave palm branches.) The Israels conquer Jericho, the moon city, the city of palms after seven trumpets are blown on the seventh day, and the Harlot is rescued. All of these things make me think that the Harlot, the Samaritan woman, and Rahab are types of the great multitude who have washed their robes with living water. In chapter 11; could it be that the Sanctuary, Altar and worshippers represent the 144,000 faithful who become the Holy City after the outercourt is trampled? The body is a temple and the outer court represents the flesh. Is the harlot’s flesh “eaten and burned,” (she is made perfect through suffering, and made ready by having those in the flesh removed) so that she becomes the Bride? Israel had been unfaithful to God and had become like the other nations, sometimes even worse. I find it significant that Matthew quotes the Hosea passage, not when they are leaving Egypt, but when they are travelling to Egypt. Jerusalem had become Egypt, a place of spiritual slavery and oppression for God’s people, and just as God called His Son out of Egypt, He also calls his sons, and His Bride out. It seems to me that the 144,000 are the Bride, the Holy city, into which the nation and kings bring their glory and riches. So I see the Jerusalem who was once a Faithful City ,who has become a Harlot being trampled by the beast nation as the faithful come out to become the Bride and the rest are judged and destroyed God using war and exile to separate the wheat from the tares. That is why the Temple was built on a threshing floor. It becomes a place of separation, of both blessing and judgement. When Jesus stood before Pilate and the crowds, they rejected Him as King and Husband, and chose Caesar. I see Israel as the harlot who fornicated with Rome, the sixth head. Could it be that the seventh is happening today as Israel looks to the nations for peace, rather that God? Could it be that Nebuchadnezzar is Israel whobecomes a wild beast until she finally admits that the kingdom belongs to Christ and He gives it to whom he pleases? Sorry, this seems jumbled and disorganized. I’ve had these thought in my head but have never written them down.

In 1 Corinthians 6 Paul states that those who join themselves to a Harlot become one body with the Harlot. Whn Israel fornicated with Rome, they in a sense became one, just and a husband and wife become one. This may be why there are similarities between the beast and the harlot. Israel had joined herself with the beast and had taken the mark, number and name of the beast. So Israel, through fornication, had become one with Rome.

p.s. What are you thoughts on the tower of Babel. There are some connections there with Pentecost. Does Pentecost represent Israel (144,000) as the firstfirsts of those gathered from the nations who had been scattered at Babel? And maybe tabernacles as the salvation of the great multitude, the rest of the harvest?

p.s. I enjoy your website. It was hard to find a webiste like yours amidst the zillions of ridiculous Pretrib dispensational sites.