Revelation 17:3 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Revelation 17:3, NIV: Then the angel carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness. There I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was covered with blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns.

Revelation 17:3, ESV: And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness, and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was full of blasphemous names, and it had seven heads and ten horns.

Revelation 17:3, KJV: So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.

Revelation 17:3, NASB: And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness; and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast, full of blasphemous names, having seven heads and ten horns.

Revelation 17:3, NLT: So the angel took me in the Spirit into the wilderness. There I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that had seven heads and ten horns, and blasphemies against God were written all over it.

Revelation 17:3, CSB: Then he carried me away in the Spirit to a wilderness.I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was covered with blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns.

What does Revelation 17:3 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

John has been ordered to observe a vision of a "great prostitute," a figure commonly referred to as the "Whore of Babylon" (Revelation 17:5). This figure represents an ungodly approach to religion and spirituality, as Scripture often uses the concept of sexual sin as a parallel to spiritual infidelity. The imagery here is meant to be seen just that way: as symbols, explained later in this chapter by the same angel (Revelation 17:8–18).

This verse reports that John's vision involved being carried to a desert. There he saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast. The beast is the head of the system that incorporates all antichrist (1 John 4:3) corrupt religions, and is supported by a vast political alliance. The beast is described as "scarlet," which is a popular color of the religious trappings of so many false religions. The woman was full of blasphemous names, indicating the religious system's utter disdain for God and her vicious opposition to God and His people. Verses 9, 10, and 12 identify the beast's seven heads as seven mountains and seven political rulers, and its ten horns as ten kings. This corrupt religious system receives support from a confederacy of world leaders that support the head of the Revived Roman Empire, also known as the Antichrist.

Based on these verses, many interpreters believe the end times will produce a fusion of state-supported religion which is corrupt, blasphemous, and powerful.