17:1 Then 1 one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and spoke to me. 2 “Come,” he said, “I will show you the condemnation and punishment 3 of the great prostitute who sits on many waters, 17:2 with whom the kings of the earth committed sexual immorality and the earth’s inhabitants got drunk with the wine of her immorality.” 4 17:3 So 5 he carried me away in the Spirit 6 to a wilderness, 7 and there 8 I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was full of blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns. 17:4 Now 9 the woman was dressed in purple and scarlet clothing, 10 and adorned with gold, 11 precious stones, and pearls. She held 12 in her hand a golden cup filled with detestable things and unclean things from her sexual immorality. 13 17:5 On 14 her forehead was written a name, a mystery: 15 “Babylon the Great, the Mother of prostitutes and of the detestable things of the earth.” 17:6 I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints and the blood of those who testified to Jesus. 16 I 17 was greatly astounded 18 when I saw her.
17:8 The beast you saw was, and is not, but is about to come up from the abyss 19 and then go to destruction. The 20 inhabitants of the earth – all those whose names have not been written in the book of life since the foundation of the world – will be astounded when they see that 21 the beast was, and is not, but is to come.
1 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence within the narrative.
2 tn Grk “with me.” The translation “with me” implies that John was engaged in a dialogue with the one speaking to him (e.g., Jesus or an angel) when in reality it was a one-sided conversation, with John doing all the listening. For this reason, μετ᾿ ἐμοῦ (met’ emou, “with me”) was translated as “to me.”
3 tn Here one Greek term, κρίμα (krima), has been translated by the two English terms “condemnation” and “punishment.” See BDAG 567 s.v. 4.b, “mostly in an unfavorable sense, of the condemnatory verdict and sometimes the subsequent punishment itself 2 Pt 2:3; Jd 4…τὸ κ. τῆς πόρνης the condemnation and punishment of the prostitute Rv 17:1.”
4 tn This is the same word translated “sexual immorality” earlier in the verse, but here the qualifier “sexual” has not been repeated for stylistic reasons.
5 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the implied result of the angel’s invitation to witness the fate of the prostitute.
6 tn Or “in the spirit.” “Spirit” could refer either to the Holy Spirit or the human spirit, but in either case John was in “a state of spiritual exaltation best described as a trance” (R. H. Mounce, Revelation [NICNT], 75).
7 tn Or “desert.”
8 tn The word “there” is not in the Greek text, but is supplied for stylistic reasons.
9 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “now” to indicate the detailed description of the woman, which is somewhat parenthetical in nature.
10 tn The word “clothing” is supplied to clarify that the words “purple” and “scarlet” refer to cloth or garments rather than colors.
11 tn Grk “gilded with gold” (an instance of semantic reinforcement, see L&N 49.29).
12 tn Grk “pearls, having in her hand.” Due to the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.
13 tc Several
14 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.
15 tn Some translations consider the word μυστήριον (musthrion, “mystery”) a part of the name written (“Mystery Babylon the Great,” so KJV, NIV), but the gender of both ὄνομα (onoma, “name”) and μυστήριον are neuter, while the gender of “Babylon” is feminine. This strongly suggests that μυστήριον should be understood as an appositive to ὄνομα (“a name, i.e., a mystery”).
16 tn Or “of the witnesses to Jesus.” Here the genitive ᾿Ιησοῦ (Ihsou) is taken as an objective genitive; Jesus is the object of their testimony.
17 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.
18 tn Grk “I marveled a great marvel” (an idiom for great astonishment).
19 tn On this term BDAG 2 s.v. ἄβυσσος 2 states, “netherworld, abyss, esp. the abode of the dead Ro 10:7 (Ps 106:26) and of demons Lk 8:31; dungeon where the devil is kept Rv 20:3; abode of the θηρίον, the Antichrist 11:7; 17:8; of ᾿Αβαδδών (q.v.), the angel of the underworld 9:11…φρέαρ τῆς ἀ. 9:1f; capable of being sealed 9:1; 20:1, 3.”
20 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.
21 tn Some translations take the ὅτι (Joti) here as causal: “because he was, and is not, but is to come” (so NIV, NRSV), but it is much more likely that the subject of the ὅτι clause has been assimilated into the main clause: “when they see the beast, that he was…” = “when they see that the beast was” (so BDAG 732 s.v. ὅτι 1.f, where Rev 17:8 is listed).