The Woman Riding the Scarlet Beast
There are two symbolic women seen in Revelation. The first woman of Revelation 12 symbolizes those of natural Israel who are written in the book of life. These are the historically faithful of the natural lineage of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Out of that lineage came the Messiah, who died and conquered death to pay the penalty for our sins. These are also the end time Israelis who do not yet believe Yeshua is the Messiah, still blinded, yet will come to accept Him and will be saved out of unparalleled great tribulation, the time of Jacob’s trouble. Jeremiah 30:4-7 | Daniel 12:1 | Matthew 24:15-22
There is another woman, the woman who rides a scarlet beast seen in Revelation 17 & 18. She is unfaithful, a harlot. She is dressed well, but full of corruption and impurity. This is a study of the fantastical, and often confusing, symbolic depictions of John that relate to this woman and paints a picture of the end time kingdom of the man of sin. There is actually a lot to unpack here, but this page will focus primarily on the woman and her identity. For a more detailed look at the background of the beast upon which she rides, check out the study on The Fourth Kingdom.
It should be noted in the visions of John, this is following the completion of the seven bowls of the wrath of God. I don’t believe all of Revelation is necessarily sequential, although much of it is. It makes sense that this would be the case here because, as we will see, this woman riding the scarlet beast represents the kingdom of the man of sin, proxy of the dragon. This time after the wrath of God is finished is just before Christ returns in glory to cast the beast and false prophet into the lake of fire, Revelation 19:11-21, and lock the dragon for 1,000 years. Revelation 20:1-3
Just as marriage is a covenant between a man and wife, so God has used this in representing His relationship with His creation. First at Mount Sinai God made a covenant with His people Israel, whom He brought out of Egypt. The Mosaic Covenant was an agreement for YHWH to be their only God and Israel to be His people. The first commandment was to have no other gods before Him. Throughout the Old Testament, God uses this symbology to represent their marriage between He and His wife. He was always faithful to her, but she is often committing adultery and going after other gods. Jeremiah 3:1-10; 20
What God brings together let no man annul. This is resolved in the death of the husband on the cross, making Israel a widow and free to marry another. Romans 7:1-4 | Isaiah 54:1-10 It just so happens that Yeshua made a new Covenant, better than the old, to which all mankind can agree to, including the widowed Israel.
Here is the difference between the woman of Revelation 12 and the woman of Revelation 17 & 18. The woman of Revelation 12 is both historic and future Israel who are faithful. The woman riding the beast is a whore, the kings of the earth fornicating with her. This idea of being an adultress from the Old Testament is applicable here because this woman riding the beast represents the kingdom of the man of sin and as we see elsehwere in scripture, all the world worships the beast and the dragon who gives him his power and great authority.
Wine made through the crushing of grapes and is referred to prophetically as the result of wrath. Isaiah 63:3 | Revelation 14:19-20 | Revelation 19:15 So the inhabitants of the world being drunk with the wine of her fornication symbolizes the complicity in worshipping the dragon and the beast and participating in their wrath on God’s people during the time of great tribulation lasting 42 months or 3½ years. It starts with the time of Jacob’s trouble, and its second phase globally. Revelation 12:17 So we can see in the beginning of her description that this is representing the kingdom of the antichrist, man of sin, beast, and the little horn.
The woman we see is arrayed in regal clothes and finely bejeweled. As Chris White points out in his book Mystery-Babylon, purple and scarlet occurs 29 times in the Old Testament, all in the book of Exodus. It was also mentioned with blue and used many times for the curtains of the temple, the veil, clothes of service, girdle of the high priest, etc. The term "decked" regarding the gold, precious stones, and pearls is also interesting when seen in the lens of the Old Testament as it was used in terms of Israel and ornamenting them. God does it in her youth and it goes to her head and she plays the harlot. Ezekiel 16:11-15 When she becomes a prostitute she decks herself in preparation for those she called from afar to commit whoredom. Ezekiel 23:40-45 Many times this decking for ornamentation to please those Israel played the harlot to is seen. Hosea 2:13 | Jeremiah 4:30 From the perspective of scripture interpreting scripture, it would seem that this unfaithful harlot is those of Israel who go after other gods, rejecting the one true God of their fathers.
She has a golden cup of abominations and filthiness of her fornication. The fornication is going after other gods, and if it is wine as suggested she is drunk with, this connects the wrath of the dragon, the worship of him, and the murder of the saints with this abomination and filthiness.
"MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH"
Now we see her title, emblazened on her forehead. What is mystery Babylon?
Here we have the seven headed and 10 horned beast upon which she is riding. I will not go into detail here about the 7-headed and 10-horned beast, there is a lot more background to go into interpreting what this fully means from scripture that is covered in the Fourth Kingdom study. In short, the 7 heads are interpreted as several things later.
That these are both mountains and kings through history implies that these mountains the woman is sitting on are kings through history that have controlled a mountain. She is sitting on many waters, interpreted as peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues. This would imply global control. We are further told that the woman is that great city that rules over the kings of the earth. This concept has been used several times in Revelation with a clear correlation.
There are no chapter breaks and so chapter 18 continues the description and judgment of mystery Babylon.
An angel declares the judgment of Babylon that rules the whole world. Recall in Daniel 2 when Daniel interpreted Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of the great statue. He was that head of gold and ruled the world. Now it would seem at the feet of the statue at the end, that the association with Babylon and a powerful leader comes full circle.
At this point in the end time scenario, the time of great tribulation has been happening for almost 3 1/2 years during which the wrath of God has been poured out. If there’s any, there probably aren’t many who have not capitulated and worshipped the beast in Judea, but spiritually Babylon is participation in the persecution of the saints. This is a call for separation during the hour of temptation to remember your eternal reward and not give up your birthright for temporal things.
I didn’t mention it earlier, but recall the 10 horns in verses 16-17. This makes more sense when putting all the visions of Daniel and John together, but these 10 horns are a group of 10 kings that govern over 1/4 of the earth and give their power to beast.
God puts it into their hearts to give their power to the beast’s kingdom. However, once the wrath of God is poured out they will no longer have it in their hearts to give their power to the beast and in one hour they will destroy Jerusalem, the seat of the kingdom of the antichrist from which he ruled the world for the past 3 1/2 years.
So the woman riding the beast is Jerusalem, God’s holy mountain, and through the 7 heads we see the dragon’s influence through history over Jerusalem ultimately leading to the kingdom of the antichrist and his dragon ruling over the earth with unmatched power compared to the world. This last kingdom is represented by the adulterous harlot who rejects yet again the God of gods and goes after another who declares himself to be god in Jerusalem, the little horn, the beast, the antichrist, the man of sin.
In light of the Jewish antichrist theory, this is all translated to mean that modern Israel will rebuild the third temple against all odds. How I think this will play out exactly is detailed on the coming times page. But what I think many in Israel will actually be doing out of a desire to turn back to God will be hijacked by a great deception, a false christ, who appears to be checking all the boxes the Jews are looking for in the Messiah. And God will send a strong delusion during this time of temptation, that those whose hearts are not toward Him will believe a lie because they loved not the truth.
I believe the dividing line may be those Jews who are looking for a conquering king on the earth vs. those Jews whose eyes are opened and hearts of flesh replacing their hard hearts bring them to understand that this great deception is not their Messiah. Those believers in Judea and likely the two witnesses, will recognize the signs of the times and warn, but the woman that rides the beast will be filled with the blood of the saints who do not heed the warning of Yeshua when they see the abomination of desolation and run for the mountains.
“Be not overcome
of evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21 In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work herein is archived under fair use without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in reviewing the included information for personal use, non-profit research and educational purposes only. Ref.
In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work herein is archived under fair use without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in reviewing the included information for personal use, non-profit research and educational purposes only. Ref.