The judgment of Babylon
1 Then one of the se ven angels of the seven cups came to me and said, “Now I will show you the judgment of the sov ereign prostitute who dwells on the great waters. 2 She it is who let the kings of the earth sin with her; and with the wine of her lewdness the in habitants of the earth have become drunk.”
3 The angel brought me to the desert: it was a new vision. There a woman was seated on a red beast. The beast, which had seven heads and ten horns, covered itself with titles and statements that offend God. 4 The woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, with ornaments of gold, precious stones and pearls. She held in her hands a golden cup full of loathsome idolatry and impure prostitution. 5 Her name could be read on her forehead, written in a mysterious way: Babylon the Great, mother of prostitutes and of the loathsome idols of the whole world. 6 And I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the holy ones and the martyrs of Jesus.
6 What I saw greatly surprised me, 7 but the angel said to me, “Why are you surprised? I will reveal to you the secret of this woman and of the beast with seven heads and ten horns that she mounts. 8 The beast you saw has been, though it IS not. It will come up from the abyss and then go to perdition. What a surprise for the inhabitants of the earth whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the creation of the world! They will marvel on discovering that the beast who has been IS not and passes away.
9 Let us see if you guess: the seven heads are seven hills on which the woman sits. And they are also seven kings, 10 five of which have already fallen, one is in power, and the seventh has not yet come but will remain only a short while. 11 The beast that has been but IS not can be considered as the eighth though it takes place among the seven; and it goes to perdition.
12 The ten horns are ten kings who have not yet received power but will have authority for an hour with the beast. 13 They all have only one aim and they place their authority and power at the service of the beast. 14 They will fight against the Lamb, but the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings; and with him will be his fol lowers who have been called and chosen and are faithful.
15 The angel went on, “Those waters you saw, on which the prostitute is seated, are peoples, multitudes and nations of every lan guage. 16 The ten horns, and the beast itself, will plan evil against the prostitute. They will destroy her and leave her naked; they will eat her flesh and set her on fire. 17 God makes use of them to carry out his plan, so he has inspired them with their common purpose and they will place their power at the service of the beast until the words of God are fulfilled. A last word: 18 the woman you saw is the Great City which reigns over the kings of the whole world.”