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Revelation 17:5

    Revelation 17:5 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    And on her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    and upon her forehead a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF THE HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    And on her brow was a name, SECRET, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF THE EVIL WOMEN AND OF THE UNCLEAN THINGS OF THE EARTH.

    Webster's Revision

    and upon her forehead a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF THE HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

    World English Bible

    And on her forehead a name was written, "MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF THE PROSTITUTES AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH."

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    and upon her forehead a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF THE HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

    Clarke's Commentary on Revelation 17:5

    And upon her forehead was a name written, Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots, and Abominations of the Earth - This inscription being written upon her forehead is intended to show that she is not ashamed of her doctrines, but publicly professes and glories in them before the nations: she has indeed a whore's forehead, she has refused to be ashamed. The inscription upon her forehead is exactly the portraiture of the Latin Church. This Church is, as Bishop Newton well expresses it, A Mystery of iniquity. This woman is also called Babylon the Great; she is the exact antitype of the ancient Babylon in her idolatry and cruelty, but the ancient city called Babylon is only a drawing of her in miniature. This is indeed Babylon The Great. "She affects the style and title of our Holy Mother, the Church; but she is, in truth, the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth."

    Barnes' Notes on Revelation 17:5

    And upon her forehead - In a circlet around her forehead. That is, it was made prominent and public, as if written on the forehead in blazing capitals. In Revelation 13:1 it is said that "the name of blasphemy" was written on the "heads" of the beast. The meaning in both places is substantially the same, that it was prominent, and unmistakable. See the notes on that verse. Compare the note on Revelation 14:1.

    Was a name written - A title, or something that would properly indicate her character.

    Mystery - It is proper to remark that there is nothing in the original as written by John, so far as now known, that corresponded with what is implied in placing this inscription in capital letters; and the same remark may be made of the "title" or inscription that was placed over the head of the Saviour on the cross, Matthew 27:37; Mark 15:26; Luke 23:38; John 19:19. Our translators have adopted this form, apparently for the sole purpose of denoting that it was an inscription or title. On the meaning of the word "mystery," see the notes on 1 Corinthians 2:7. Compare the notes on 1 Timothy 3:16. Here it seems to be used to denote that there was something hidden, obscure, or enigmatical, under the title adopted; that is, the word "Babylon," and the word "mother," were symbolical. Our translators have printed and pointed the word "mystery" as if it were part of the inscription. It would probably be better to regard it as referring to the inscription, thus: "a name was written - a mysterious name, to wit, Babylon," etc. Or, "a name was written mysteriously." According to this, it would mean, not that there was any wonderful "mystery" about the thing itself, whatever might be true on that point, but that the name was enigmatical or symbolical; or that there was something hidden or concealed under the name. It was not to be literally understood.

    Babylon the great - papal Rome, the nominal head of the Christian world, as Babylon had been of the pagan world. See the notes on Revelation 14:8.

    The mother of harlots -

    (a) Of that spiritual apostasy from God which, in the language of the prophets, might be called adultery. See the notes on Revelation 14:8.

    (b) The promoter of lewdness by her institutions. See the notes on Revelation 9:21. In both these senses, there never was a more expressive or appropriate title than the one here employed.

    And abominations of the earth - Abominable things that prevail on the earth, Revelation 17:4. Compare the notes on Revelation 9:20-21.