9 This calls for a mind with wisdom: the seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman is seated; 10 they are also seven kings, five of whom have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come, and when he does come he must remain only a little while.
Revelation 17:9 - 10
ESV - 9 This calls for a mind with wisdom: the seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman is seated. 10 They are also seven kings, five of whom have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come, and when he does come he must remain only a little while.
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The 7 heads are 7 mountains, and the 7 mountains are 7 kings or kingdoms co- existent with Israel from her beginning to the 8th kingdom (Rev. 17:9- 11), making the 8 kingdoms that will have persecuted Israel in the times of the Gentiles (Lk. 21:24 Rom. 11:25). Here 5 of the 7 kingdoms "are fallen (Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo- Persia, and Greece), and one is (the 6th, the old Roman Empire), and the other is not yet come (the 7th, made up of the 10 kingdoms that are yet to be formed inside the Roman Empire, Dan. 7:23- 24); and when he (the 7th, or the Revised Roman Empire) cometh, he must continue a short space" (3 1/2 years, Rev. 12:12, 14). The beast "that was (had existed on earth before John's day), and is not (on earth in John's day), even he is the 8th (8th kingdom, succeeding the 7 preceding kingdoms), and is of the 7 (of one of the 7, the 5th or Greece, that had fallen before John's day and becomes the 8th after the 6th and 7th kingdoms), and goeth into perdition" (Rev. 17:9- 11).
Rome is not "Mystery Babylon". Think about it, "what mystery would Rome be to John?", he was exiled by Rome to Patmos to where Revelation was penned. The word "mystery" in Greek means hidden or secretive of which neither would be true about Rome. Secondly, look at where the Angel took John "in the spirit" to view Mystery Babylon "into the wilderness" which is also translated "into the desert" in several translations. Rome is not located in either a "wilderness" or "desert". The reason many older theologians have forced this teaching of Rome as "Mystery Babylon" is that in both Daniel 2 and Daniel 7s parallel prophecies, Rome was indeed the empire the empire that succeeded Greece, but what has been historically ignored is that there was another empire that succeeded Rome, and that was the Ottoman Empire/Islamic Caliphate, which is the 7th head/mountain of the beast. The seven heads/mountains are the seven gentile empires that have ruled over the Jews, namely 1) Egyptian, 2) Assyrian, 3) Babylonian, 4) Medo-Persian, 5) Grecian, 6) Roman, 7) Ottoman, Turk/Islamic Caliphate. Mystery Babylon is described by Our Lord such that it was a mystery to John and his contemporaries in the the birth of Muhammed in Mecca Saudi Arabia and eventually Islam would not occur for another 500 or so years. Mecca fits the description perfectly in the it does exist in a wilderness or desert per the Lord's description. The seven Kings of "Mystery Babylon", I believe, are the seven Kings that have existed to rule over Mecca and the Great Mosque in Mecca. As of the this writing, the 7th king of Saudi Arabia, King Salmon is reigning, I believe this verse on the 7 kings is given to a very special generation of people, specifically today's generation. This verse is an "egg timer" so to speak in that it provides us a "general idea" as to the return of Our Lord, or the Rapture of the Church. In 2005 King Abdullah, the 6th King of Saudi Arabia began his reign, upon his death in 2015, King Salmon began and continues to reign. From Abdullah's reign 2005-2015, five had fallen, one is would be Abdullah, and one is yet to come would be Salmon. I've prayerfully considered the "Seven Kings" for some time, and this is the only thing that makes sense, and to me fits perfectly. We live in a most prophetic age, be interesting to see history unfold in the mideast.
You won't find a more disagreed about issue in Christianity than eschatology. That being said, let me throw in my opinion! John wrote the book of Revelation prior to the destruction of the temple in AD 70. The book was written to his contemporaries, and the 7 kings refer to Roman Emperors. John states that there are 7 kings. 5 have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come, and when he comes, he must remain a little while. 5 of the "kings" were dead: Julius, Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, and Claudius. The one who is was Nero, and the one who has not yet come would have been Galba.
There are many different answers about the seven heads. Another view to consider is that the seven kingdoms are all in the statue mentioned by Daniel. The head being Nebudchanezzar and Babylon, Media/Persia, Greece 1, 2, 3, and 4. Note that in Daniel he spends quite a bit of time on the leopard (Greece) with four heads representing when Alexanders kingdom split into four parts representing four kingdoms. The seventh is Rome exisiting at the time of the prophecy. One is and one is to come which could be the Ottoman Empire which ruled over Israel for about six and a half centuries. Notice that the beast had the predominant appearance of a leopard representing the four kingdoms of Greece.
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