It is commonly agreed that the book of Revelation was written by 70 AD. It is a complex book as it hinges on numerous types from the OT and accumulates all forms like wheels within wheels. It is so complex that it was probably started to be written after the revolt by the Jewish population that was obliterated in the third century. Thus it begins with the words “The Revelation of Jesus Christ”. Relying on these old nothing new ensamples it was conceived long before the gospels. It is the best example of the skill of the Ancient writers.
Written by Jews for Jews it requires synchronised understanding of the creation of form within the predicted Apocalyptic Age archetype. In the penultimate scene we see a woman riding a ten horned beast with seven heads. This was a major indictment of the age to come. But it is cast in form of the old types.
Rev. 17, speaks of end times when a great whore “sits on a scarlet beast” in waters. We are about to be told the mystery of the woman. Scarlet warns of bloody times foreseen. On her forehead is the sign” MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND THE ABOMINATION OF THE EARTH.” The seven heads of the beast we are told are seven mountains on which the woman-beast sitteth. Mountains represent civil powers of the apocalyptic age. Its type is drawn from the tumultuous seven kings of Judah before the great mountain Babylon conquered Judah. Likewise the apocalyptic age “shalt thresh the mountains, and beat them small”. And the apocalyptic age beast has ten mountainous horns too, to contend with.
Note the waters where the whore sitteth, are “people, multitudes, and nations, and tongues” – Rev. 17:14. So again in the apocalypse the people, multitude and nations are in bondage, deceived, lied to by the woman and a beast. Bondage means “servitude” “to be under”. “to tread down” to “enslave” both physically and mentally.
I believe this image is saying that when the sacred and civil become one (woman riding on the beast) the populace’s consciousness is trodden underfoot. The Ancients always wanted the sacred 1260 days to be completely identifiable from the 1260 civil days. In Ancient times the Jewish symbolic year was 2520 days over a seven year completion period. The sacred half year was recorded from Exod. 13:4 starting with Abib (Nisan) each month having philosophically 30 days each – from sprouting to harvest. In ethical parlance the Jewish state wanted to ascend to a higher level. The whole terrestrial (belonging to the earth) had to align with the celestial (over or above) – 1 Cor. 15:40.
We know that beasts represent civil governance gone astray – Saul, David, Solomon and Israel and Judah. And the woman riding the beast is the conjunction of spiritual falsehoods (vanities of man), narcissisms of all persuasions.
Earlier the beast of Rev. 13:1 (a similitude of the dragon of Rev. 12:3) gets close association with the beast of Rev. 13:11 – the two horned beast coming out of the earth (governance). John of Patmos lived in the age when the Pharisees and Sadducees persecuted and suppressed their Jewish people. John assessed that there would not be a Rock, a Judas Maccabees, to restore peace and grace of the community. There was great danger ahead. John clearly foresaw the Roman takeover. John longed for a meritorious Hezekiah “The mighty God”, “The everlasting Father”, “the Prince of Peace”, “Wonderful” and “Counsellor” of the Branch of Jesse.
But John could only look to the universal age for redemption so tragic was the plight of their nation. He determined to open the scribes writing, to open the writings from alpha to omega. He wanted a full understanding of Jesus Christ. In doing so he admonishes the seven extant churches of Asia-Minor for their doctrines and teachings. There had to be a knock before the door was opened – Rev. 4. John of Patmos reveals in Revelation all the form created in the written word types of the OT. These types are used for archetypal application in a universal age – the age beyond national boundaries. In future articles I will link the types drawn in the book of Revelation to encourage a revealing of your Jesus Christ as gasped by John.
John of Patmos was appalled at the victory of the Pharisees and Sadducees. It certainly resulted in a very real crucifixion (persecution) of Jesus Christ the body of diversity. John and Paul were appalled at the continuation of such betrayed governance under James and Peter. They were now rolling out the red (blood) carpet for the newly appointed procurators and governors of Rome. John was aghast at the Jewish government liaison with Rome. He foresaw the impending catastrophic annihilation that such governance would bring upon their Jewish nation. He decided to “open the book”.
When he wrote of the second beast of Rev. 13:11 the two horned beast he spoke of the Pharisees and Sadducees, his generation. The Pharisees and Sadducees are the only two-horned administration in the testaments. Scribes previously documented the trials and tribulations of the pre-exilic era. Daniel had documented the post-exilic era where many Jews betrayed their nation adopting Grecian customs and outward support of Alexander (1 Macc.). Gabriel had shown Daniel the vision of 70 weeks or 490 years, a remembrance of Jewish nation from David to Babylonian enslavement, and Cyrus the anointed cutting off captivity, but not for himself, to Grecian dominance and the great victory of Judas Maccabees.
In Rev. 16 John call is to “Come out of her, my people” – to come out of the rampant falsehoods. In Rev. 17 this great falsehood sits on the people (“waters”).
But then there is a great turning point. In this symbolic picture “the ten horns which though sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire” – Rev. 17:16. John takes the same types “fuel of the fire”, where no man “spare his brother”, and people eat “flesh of his own arm” – Isa. 9:14-18 at the time Assyria’s destruction of the kingdom of Israel and the wicked reign of Ahaz king of Judah.
And here is Durer’s woman riding the apocalyptic age beast. It is certainly not Rome.