Revelation 17:6 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Revelation 17:6, NIV: I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of God's holy people, the blood of those who bore testimony to Jesus. When I saw her, I was greatly astonished.

Revelation 17:6, ESV: And I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. When I saw her, I marveled greatly.

Revelation 17:6, KJV: And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.

Revelation 17:6, NASB: And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus. When I saw her, I wondered greatly.

Revelation 17:6, NLT: I could see that she was drunk--drunk with the blood of God's holy people who were witnesses for Jesus. I stared at her in complete amazement.

Revelation 17:6, CSB: Then I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the witnesses to Jesus. When I saw her, I was greatly astonished.

What does Revelation 17:6 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

John reports that the woman, religious Babylon, was drunk with the blood of the saints, who died as Jesus' martyrs. Wine is frequently used as a metaphor for blood in Scripture (Revelation 14:19–20), and the reverse can also be true. Those who engage in a great deal of bloodshed are said to be "drunk with blood," as if they'd consumed a large quantity of wine (Deuteronomy 32:42; Ezekiel 39:19). False religion through the ages has been guilty of the sin of persecuting and even killing God's people. Even Jesus was put to death because apostate religious leaders clamored for His crucifixion. This kind of religious hatred will flourish in the tribulation period, as religious Babylon slays those whose faith is in Jesus.

Two groups of people will be on earth in the tribulation: those who worship the beast and those who worship the Lord (Revelation 13:16–18; Revelation 20:4). Those who worship the Lord are described as "saints." The word "saints" is from the Greek hagiōn, which simply means "holy ones." This is not a title given to specially-righteous people, but to anyone who has been saved by Christ (Romans 1:7; Ephesians 1:1). Such people are holy because God saved them and separated them from the evil world system to serve Him. Today, also, the world is divided into two groups: those who belong to the evil world system and those who belong to the Lord (John 10:1–9). Jesus counseled those who belong to him: "If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you" (John 15:19).

A glimpse of the woman astonished John—this surprise and bewilderment will be addressed in the following passage, as the angel explains the meaning of these visions.