Revelation 17:10 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Revelation 17:10, NIV: They are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; but when he does come, he must remain for only a little while.

Revelation 17:10, ESV: 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.

Revelation 17:10, KJV: And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.

Revelation 17:10, NASB: and they are seven kings; five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; and when he comes, he must remain a little while.

Revelation 17:10, NLT: Five kings have already fallen, the sixth now reigns, and the seventh is yet to come, but his reign will be brief.

Revelation 17:10, CSB: Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come, and when he comes, he must remain for only a little while.

What does Revelation 17:10 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

According to this verse, the seven heads of the beast (Revelation 17:3) are seven mountains, and these seven mountains are seven kings. The angel declares that five of them have fallen, one is alive, and the seventh king is yet to come. When he comes, his reign will be brief.

Perhaps this reference is to forms of government which dominated the Roman Empire. If this interpretation is correct, five of the forms of government had already fallen. They were kings, consuls, dictators, decemvirs, and military tribunes. A sixth form of government existed in John's lifetime: the imperial government under the Caesars. A seventh form of government, the Revived Roman Empire, would therefore lay ahead—as of the time John wrote these words—and would exercise control of multitudes of people in the tribulation.

Other interpreters identify the five fallen kings as Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, and Nero. They identify Domitian as the sixth king and the head of the Revived Roman Empire as the seventh. Others tag seven empires as the seven kings: Egypt, Assyria, Babylonia, Persia, Greece, Rome, and the Revived Roman Empire as the seventh. Again, given the symbolic and speculative nature of Revelation, it's important not to be overly dogmatic about any one specific viewpoint on this issue.