What does Revelation 17:13 mean?
ESV: These are of one mind, and they hand over their power and authority to the beast.
NIV: They have one purpose and will give their power and authority to the beast.
NASB: These have one purpose, and they give their power and authority to the beast.
CSB: These have one purpose, and they give their power and authority to the beast.
NLT: They will all agree to give him their power and authority.
KJV: These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.
Verse Commentary:
The ten kings may hold a summit meeting, at which time they decide conditions economically and politically are too critical for them to resolve. So, unanimously they turn to the beast for help. In turn he receives their decision to hand over their powers to him. Thus, the beast holds absolute sway over the empire. This is not an unprecedented strategy. Dictators often seize power by convincing others that they have no choice other than to hand over absolute control to one person. In ancient Greece, a leader known as an asymnetes was sometimes deliberately given absolute power by the people in order to deal with some crisis or time of need.

The ten kings' willingness to give the beast their power indicates their antagonism to genuine faith. However, it also indicates their allegiance to religious apostasy represented by the scarlet woman, whom the beast supports. Throughout history opposition to God's people and His work has often come from a united opposition. When the Jews were faithfully rebuilding Jerusalem's walls, the Arabs, Ammonites, and Ashdodites, "all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and to cause confusion in it" (Nehemiah 4:8). Also, Jews and Romans agreed together to crucify our Lord Jesus Christ. We should not be surprised if religious unbelievers oppose our faith and Christian service.
Verse Context:
Revelation 17:7–14 explains the meaning of the visions John saw in the prior verses. The angel speaking with John explains the symbols of the beast, seven mountains, and ten horns. In the passage to follow, the angel will explain the downfall of the ''great prostitute,'' who symbolizes an ungodly religion. Other passages in the Bible speak to this vision in Revelation 17. e For example, Daniel 7 prophesies a ''fourth empire'' to produce ten kings and another king. The final king will speak blasphemous words against God and will wear out God's saints for three and a half years. However, the Most High will destroy him and establish God's everlasting kingdom. Daniel 9:24–27 and Revelation 13 also describe this defiant, powerful king. Revelation 19:11–21 reveals his end.
Chapter Summary:
Revelation 17 zeroes in on God's judgment of Babylon as the center of religious corruption in the tribulation. The target of this wrath seems to be an eclectic form of all apostate religions. This might be a concrete, single religion. Or, it might be a near-religious blending or equalizing of all spiritual beliefs. God views religious Babylon as ''the great prostitute'' that has support from heads of state. This system is both extremely rich and murderous, guilty of martyring saints. It has a past and a renewed existence as a religious-political system. Together, the political heads of state and religious Babylon battle Jesus, the Lamb, but He defeats them. The end of religious Babylon comes when the ten kings turn against her and ruin her. They destroy religious Babylon because God puts it in the hearts to do so.
Chapter Context:
Chapter 16 resumed explaining God's pattern of end times wrath, this time describing the seven bowl judgments. As the last bowl is poured out, John is called to see a vision, which seems to incorporate events occurring throughout the tribulation. This chapter focuses on the fall of religious Babylon. Revelation 14:8 and 16:19 mention Babylon's collapse under the wrath of God in the tribulation. Babylon's ultimate fall may actually occur before the bowl judgments, anytime during the second half of the tribulation. Isaiah 13 and Jeremiah 50 and 51 predict the fall of Babylon. Revelation 18 also speaks of the ruin of Babylon, but from a political and economic perspective.
Book Summary:
The word ''revelation'' means ''an unveiling or disclosure.'' This writing unveils future events such as the rapture, three series of judgments that will fall on the earth during the tribulation, the emergence of the Antichrist, the persecution of Israel and her amazing revival, as well as Jesus' second coming with His saints to the earth, the judgment of Satan and his followers, and finally, the eternal state. This content, combined with the original Greek term apokalypsis, is why we now refer to an end-of-the-world scenario as ''an apocalypse.''
Accessed 4/22/2024 3:20:58 PM
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