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Revelation 17:16

    Revelation 17:16 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    And the ten horns which thou 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.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    And the ten horns which you saw on the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    And the ten horns which thou sawest, and the beast, these shall hate the harlot, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and shall burn her utterly with fire.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    And the ten horns which you saw, and the beast, these will be turned against the evil woman, and will make her waste and uncovered, and will take her flesh for food, and will have her burned with fire.

    Webster's Revision

    And the ten horns which thou sawest, and the beast, these shall hate the harlot, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and shall burn her utterly with fire.

    World English Bible

    The ten horns which you saw, and the beast, these will hate the prostitute, and will make her desolate, and will make her naked, and will eat her flesh, and will burn her utterly with fire.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    And the ten horns which thou sawest, and the beast, these shall hate the harlot, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and shall burn her utterly with fire.

    Clarke's Commentary on Revelation 17:16

    And the ten horns which thou sowest 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 - Here is a clue to lead us to the right interpretation of the horns of the beast. It is said the Ten horns shall hate the whore; by which is evidently meant, when connected with what follows, that the whole of the ten kingdoms in the interest of the Latin Church shall finally despise her doctrines, be reformed from popery, assist in depriving her of all influence and in exposing her follies, and in the end consign her to utter destruction. From this it follows that no Roman Catholic power which did not exist so late as the Reformation can be numbered among the horns of the beast; the horns must, therefore, be found among the great states of Europe at the commencement of the Reformation. These were exactly ten, viz., France, Spain, England, Scotland, The Empire, Sweden, Denmark, Poland, Hungary, and Portugal. In these were comprehended most of the minor states not styled monarchies, and which, from their first rise to the period of the Reformation, had been subdued by one or more of the ten grand Roman Catholic powers already named. Consequently, these ten constituted the power and strength of the beast; and each minor state is considered a part of that monarchy under the authority of which it was finally reduced previously to the Reformation.

    But it may be asked, How could the empire, which was the revived head of the beast, have been at the same time one of its horns? The answer is as follows: Horns of an animal, in the language of prophecy, represent the powers of which that empire or kingdom symbolized by the animal is composed. Thus the angel, in his interpretation of Daniel's vision of the ram and he-goat expressly informs us that "the ram with two horns are the kings of Media and Persia." One of the horns of the ram, therefore, represented the kingdom of Media, and the other the kingdom of Persia; and their union in one animal denoted the united kingdom of Media and Persia, viz., the Medo-Persian empire. In like manner the beast with ten horns denotes that the empire represented by the beast is composed of ten distinct powers, and the ten horns being united in one beast very appropriately show that the monarchies symbolized by these horns are united together to form one empire; for we have already shown, in the notes on Revelation 13:1, that a beast is the symbol of an empire. Therefore, as the horns of an animal, agreeably to the angel's explanation, (and we can have no higher authority), represent all the powers of which that domination symbolized by the animal is composed, the Roman empire of Germany, as one of those monarchies which gave their power and strength to the Latin empire, must consequently have been A Horn of the beast. But the Germanic empire was not only a Latin power, but at the same time was acknowledged by all Europe to have precedency of all the others. Therefore, as it is not possible to express these two circumstances by one symbol, it necessarily follows, from the nature of symbolical language, that what has been named the holy Roman empire must have a double representation. Hence the empire, as one of the powers of the Latin monarchy, was a horn of the beast, and in having precedency of all the others was its revived head. See a similar explanation of the tail of the dragon in the notes on Revelation 12:4.

    Barnes' Notes on Revelation 17:16

    And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast - Revelation 17:3. The ten powers or kingdoms represented by those horns. See the notes on Revelation 17:12.

    These shall hate the whore - There seems to be some incongruity between this statement and what was previously made. In the former Revelation 17:12-14, these ten governments are represented as in alliance with the beast; as "giving all their power and strength" unto it; and as uniting with it in making war with the Lamb. What is here said must, therefore, refer to some subsequent period, indicating some great change in their feelings and policy. We have seen the evidence of the fulfillment of the former statements. This statement will be accomplished if these same powers, represented by the ten horns, that were formerly in alliance with the papacy, shall become its enemy, and contribute to its final overthrow. That is, it will be accomplished if the nations of Europe, embraced within the limits of those ten kingdoms, shall become hostile to the papacy, and shall combine for its overthrow. Is anything more probable than this? France (see the notes on Revelation 16) has already struck more than one heavy blow on that power; England has been detached from it; many of the states of Italy are weary of it, and are ready to rise up against it; and nothing is more probable than that Spain, Portugal, France, Lombardy, and the papal States themselves, will yet throw off the yoke forever, and put an end to a power that has so long ruled over people. It was with the utmost difficulty, in 1848, that the papal power was sustained, and this was done only by foreign swords; the papacy could not probably be protected in another such outbreak. And this passage leads us to anticipate that the period will come - and that probably not far in the future - when those powers that have for so many ages sustained the papacy will become its determined foes, and will rise in their might and bring it forever to an end.

    And shall make her desolate and naked - Strip her of all her power and all her attractiveness. That is, applied to papal Rome, all that is so gorgeous and alluring - her wealth, and pomp, and splendor - shall be taken away, and she will be seen as she is, without anything to dazzle the eye or to blind the mind.

    And shall eat her flesh - Shall completely destroy her - as if her flesh were consumed. Perhaps the image is taken from the practice of cannibals eating the flesh of their enemies slain in battle. If so, nothing could give a more impressive idea of the utter destruction of this formidable power, or of the feelings of those by whom its end would be brought about.

    And burn her with fire - Another image of total destruction. Perhaps the meaning may be, that after her flesh was eaten, such parts of her as remained would be thrown into the fire and consumed. If this be the meaning, the image is a very impressive one to denote absolute and total destruction. Compare the notes on Revelation 18:8.