Revelation: Chapter 17. The Harlot and the Identity of the Beast, Concluded.

There are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come. And when he comes, he must continue a short time. And the beast that was, and is not, is himself also the eighth, and is of the seven, and is going to perdition. And the ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast. These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast. These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.”

Let’s count, shall we? Seven kings from the beginning of the empire would bring the time line to the short reign of Galba – at number seven. The five fallen emperors would be Caesar, Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula and Claudius. The one who “is” must be Nero (6). The other who had “not yet come” Galba (7), who indeed did “continue (only) a short time” prior to being killed and replaced by Otho (8), who in very short order was killed by Vitelius (9). Vitelius was dispatched by Vespasian (10). Vespasian is distinguished in historical writings as having begun the siege of Judaea (“is going to destruction…”). He was also suggested as the object of the fulfillment of the first Nero Revididus myth. His son Titus (#11), the Destroyer of Jerusalem, ends the list in last place. Here I again must get repetitious: This fact requires that the book must have been written while Nero was alive, at least two years prior to the start of the destruction of Jerusalem. I have already noted that if you drop Julius Caesar from the list and start with Octavian, you will end with Titus at tenth, Domitian as eleventh, in the very same family, in the exact same household, and with an identical output and result, only with a few months less time involved. So, why bother?

And the ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast. These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast.”

The next ten emperors, were 1) Nerva, 2) Trajan, 3) Hadrian, 4) Titus Antoninus Pius, 5) Marcus Aurelius Antoninus with a part time, behind the scenes co-ruler Aelius Verus, 6) Lucius Verus, 7) Commodus, 8) Pertinax, 9) Julianus and 10) Albinus. That ends things with Albinus, or with Septimius Severus, who was the first of the Severan dynasty and the first emperor who sanctioned persecution of Christians empire wide. If there is any question that these (and most notably the “five good emperors,” the Antonines – Pius through Commodus), had continued to raise “war with the Lamb” or conversely were “overcome” by the Lamb, then the reader needs to reread the section on Rome and a good deal more of secular history. This is precisely why I presented the historical details of the Roman Empire through Constantine, at the start of these notes.

The beast/Mystery Babylon is “drunk with the blood of the saints and the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.” If this was the sole description of the “mysterious” city, it would remove all others excepting Rome from any consideration. Think “economies of scale.” Jerusalem could not be described in any sense as “drunk with the blood of the saints.” Not then, not now, not ever. The same must be said of Babylon, and anywhere else you might point to – except Rome, which is another reason against taking the name literally. Christians had virtually deserted Jerusalem prior to the destruction of 70 AD. Babylon was by then nothing more than a poor, small sand blown village surrounded by crumbling ruins, with few (if any) fulltime residents, exactly as it remains to this day. Though Jerusalem shed the blood of some very early martyrs, it stands a very poor second to the city of Rome – as do all others. Rome it must be. Case closed.

The descriptions of the beast were also discussed in section XIII of the outline. 1.) As mentioned, “The beast that you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to destruction.” The structure is reminiscent of, yet contrary to the descriptions of Christ – an indication again of the false religious aspect of the beast – see particularly the appellations given in chapter 1, and at the end of each of the letters to the churches. 2.) Verse 14: only here in this book is the suggestion of “…the battle of the great day of God Almighty.” As I understand things: A lamb is not a symbol of strength, might or warfare; and yet the record says the Lamb shall overcome the agents of the beast and the harlot. That allows us to suggest the language remains figurative. The compelling and most important point here is that the battle consists of the Word of God overcoming false doctrines and dead or false religions. This battle is not now, nor should it ever be perceived as literal. This point is central to the theme of the book and central to understanding the main sign – that God will avenge his servants and the Word of God, on his time. Verse16: the same who were agents of the beast and the harlot are to be the instruments of their destruction.