The long anticipated judgment is finally revealed in detail. The judgment of the great prostitute, who is called Babylon the great, is an elaboration of the great battle and judgment of the Babylon the great (Revelation 16:19) in the sixth and seventh seals (cf. Beale, p. 847). Furthermore, the prostitute's title, Babylon the great, connects her judgment with the announced fall of Babylon the great in Revelation 14:8 and shows that her judgment is part of the harvest (judgment) of the earth. This great prostitute is drunk on the blood of the saints and martyrs (witnesses) of Jesus suggesting that her judgment is the long awaited vindication of the souls of the faithful witnesses under the altar who cried out to God to avenge their blood (Revelation 6:9).
The great prostitute rides a scarlet beast full of blasphemous names and having seven heads and ten horns which connects her with the beast out of the sea (Revelation 13:1). Her costly apparel shows that she can buy and sell like those who have been persuaded by the second beast, the false prophet, to receive the mark of the beast (Revelation 13:17). Hence, her destiny is wrapped up in the destiny of the beast and false prophet.
|Rome: Mausoleum of Hadrian|
Babylon is not just one city, but an archetype representing many cities. Allusions to Tyre (a city which prostituted herself with all the kingdoms of the world on the face of the earth; cf. Rev. 17:2 with Isaiah 23:17), Babylon (a city which was pictured as sitting on many waters and holding a golden cup in her hand; cf. Rev. 17: 1, 4 with Jeremiah 51:13, 7), and idolatrous Jerusalem (Isaiah 1:21) in describing the prostitute universalizes her or makes her an archetype (cf. Johnson, p. 555). Such a city will exist at the end of the age and be destroyed at the coming of Christ just as all such cities which existed throughout the ages have been destroyed.