Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Revelation 17:2

with whom the kings of the earth committed acts of immorality, and those who dwell on the earth were made drunk with the wine of her immorality."
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Idolatry;   The Topic Concordance - Empires/world Powers;   Judges;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Wine;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Antichrist;   Babylon;   Wine;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Babylon;   Grapes;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Church;   Joy;   Order;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Antichrist;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Marriage;   Revelation of John, the;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Babel;   Fornication;   Prostitution;   Revelation, the Book of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Antichrist;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - King;   Sin (2);   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Babylon the Great ;   Fornication;   Inhabiters of the Earth;   Prophets, the;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Babylon;   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Drunk;   Fornication;   Wine;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Babylon in the New Testament:;   Crime;   Drunkenness;   Freely;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication - What an awful picture this is of the state of the religion of the world in subjection to this whore! Kings have committed spiritual fornication with her, and their subjects have drunk deep, dreadfully deep, into the doctrine of her abominable errors.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Revelation 17:2". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/revelation-17.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication - Spiritual adultery. The meaning is, that papal Rome, unfaithful to God, and idolatrous and corrupt, had seduced the rulers of the earth, and led them into the same kind of unfaithfulness, idolatry, and corruption. Compare Jeremiah 3:8-9; Jeremiah 5:7; Jeremiah 13:27; Jeremiah 23:14; Ezekiel 16:32; Ezekiel 23:37; Hebrews 2:2; Hebrews 4:2. How true this is in history need not be stated. All the princes and kings of Europe in the dark ages, and for many centuries were, and not a few of them are now, entirely under the influence of papal Rome.

And the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication - The alluring cup which, as an harlot, she had extended to them. See this image explained in the notes on Revelation 14:8. There it is said that Babylon - referring to the same thing - had “made them drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication”; that is, of the cup that led to wrath or punishment. Here it is said that the harlot had made them “drunk with the wine of her fornication”; that is, they had been, as it were, intoxicated by the alluring cup held out to them. What could better describe the influence of Rome on the people of the world, in making them, under these delusions, incapable of sober judgment, and in completely fascinating and controlling all their powers?

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Revelation 17:2". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/revelation-17.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and they that dwell in the earth were made drunken with the wine of her fornication.

With whom the kings of the earth committed fornication ... This speaks of an illegitimate and sinful melding of Church and State as one of the principal sins of the harlot. This woman, and the radiant woman "arrayed with the sun" (Revelation 12:1) are starkly "contrasted in every particular that is mentioned about them."[22]

One is pure, the other corrupt.

One belongs to the Lamb, the other to the devil.

One is clothed with the sun, the other in scarlet and gold.

One is a chaste virgin, the other a brazen harlot.

One is persecuted, the other is a persecutor.

One sojourns in the wilderness, the other reigns there.

One enters into the marriage supper of the Lamb; the other is hated and consumed.

One enters heaven, the other departs into darkness.SIZE>

ENDNOTE:

[22] Frank L. Cox, Revelation in 26 Lessons (Nashville: Gospel Advocate Company, 1956), p. 101.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
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Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Revelation 17:2". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/revelation-17.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication,.... These are the ten kings, who being of the same mind, and of one religion, the Popish religion, gave their power, strength, and kingdom to the beast, Revelation 17:12 and have been enticed by the whore of Rome to commit spiritual fornication with her; that is, idolatry, to worship, as that church enjoins, idols of gold, silver, brass, and wood, the images of the virgin Mary, and other saints; hence this whore appears to be no mean strumpet, but one of great note, and in much vogue, being sought after and made use of by the great men of the earth;

and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication; that is, the inhabitants of the Roman empire, or earthly minded men, mere carnal persons, have been drawn into idolatrous practices by the allurements of the church of Rome; such as riches, honours, pleasures, lying miracles, and great pretensions to devotion and religion; whereby they have been intoxicated as men with wine, and have been filled with a blind zeal for that church, and the false doctrines and worship of it, and with madness and fury against the true professors of religion.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Revelation 17:2". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/revelation-17.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

drunk withGreek, “owing to.” It cannot be pagan Rome, but papal Rome, if a particular seat of error be meant, but I incline to think that the judgment (Revelation 18:2) and the spiritual fornication (Revelation 18:3), though finding their culmination in Rome, are not restricted to it, but comprise the whole apostate Church, Roman, Greek, and even Protestant, so far as it has been seduced from its “first love” (Revelation 2:4) to Christ, the heavenly Bridegroom, and given its affections to worldly pomps and idols. The woman (Revelation 12:1) is the congregation of God in its purity under the Old and New Testament, and appears again as the Bride of the Lamb, the transfigured Church prepared for the marriage feast. The woman, the invisible Church, is latent in the apostate Church, and is the Church militant; the Bride is the Church triumphant.

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This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 17:2". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/revelation-17.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

The kings of the earth (οι βασιλεις της γηςhoi basileis tēs gēs). Repeated in Revelation 1:5; Revelation 6:15; Revelation 17:18; Revelation 18:3, Revelation 18:9; Revelation 19:19; Revelation 21:24 and “the kings of the inhabited earth” (Revelation 16:14) either for human rulers in general or the vassal kings absorbed by the Roman Empire.

Committed fornication (επορνευσανeporneusan). First aorist active indicative of πορνευωporneuō “In purchasing the favour of Rome by accepting her suzerainty and with it her vices and idolatries” (Swete).

Were made drunken (εμετυστησανemethusthēsan). First aorist passive indicative of μετυσκωmethuskō old verb (from μετυmethu), as in Luke 12:45, here only in the Apocalypse. Cf. Isaiah 51:7 and πεποτικενpepotiken in Revelation 14:8. See Revelation 18:3.

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The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
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Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Revelation 17:2". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/revelation-17.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

Have committed fornication

The figure of a harlot committing fornication with kings and peoples occurs frequently in the prophets, representing the defection of God's Church and its attachment to others. See Isaiah 1:21; Jeremiah 2:20; Jeremiah 3:1, Jeremiah 3:6, Jeremiah 3:8; Ezekiel 16:15, Ezekiel 16:16, Ezekiel 16:28, Ezekiel 16:31, Ezekiel 16:35, Ezekiel 16:41; Ezekiel 23:5, Ezekiel 23:19, Ezekiel 23:44; Hosea 2:5; Hosea 3:3; Hosea 4:14. The word is applied to heathen cities in three places only: to Tyre, Isaiah 23:15, Isaiah 23:16, Isaiah 23:17; to Nineveh, Nahum 3:4; and here.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 17:2". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/revelation-17.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.

With whom the kings of the earth — Both ancient and modern, for many ages.

Have committed fornication — By partaking of her idolatry and various wickedness.

And the inhabitants of the earth — The common people.

Have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication — No wine can more thoroughly intoxicate those who drink it, than false zeal does the followers of the great whore.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Revelation 17:2". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/revelation-17.html. 1765.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

Fornication; representing the sin of idolatry.

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Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Revelation 17:2". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/revelation-17.html. 1878.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

2 With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.

Ver. 2. With whom the kings] As submitting their sceptres to his keys; and becoming his feudatories.

And the inhabiters of the earth] So that she is not a noble whore only, but a common strumpet, prostituting herself to the meanest for their money, as in the pardon office.

Have been made drunk] Hence it is so difficult to convert idolaters: there is no dealing with a man that is drunk. "Whoredom and wine take away the heart," Hosea 4:11.

Of her fornication] Both spiritual and corporal. Sixtus Quintus lupanar utriusque Veneris Romae condidit (saith Agrippa) et decessit tabidus voluptate.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Revelation 17:2". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/revelation-17.html. 1865-1868.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

Babylon was charged with committing whoredom in the former verse; in this the persons are declared whom she committed whoredom with, viz. with kings, and the inhabitants of the earth; that is, with all sorts of persons, small and great, rich and poor.

Where note, That she is, 1. A catholic whore, common and shameless; she refuses none that will be lewd with her.

2. A politic whore; she first draws kings and princes to commit fornication with her, and then other inhabitants; well knowing how fast the example of superiors is commonly followed by inferiors: and whereas she is said to make them drunk with the wine of her fornication, the Spirit of God seems to intimate that idolatry is like unto wine; a sensual sort of worship, and therefore alluring: making persons drunk, therefore intoxicating.

Wine is sweet, but proves deceitful; idolatry is pleasing to man's corrupt nature, but brings wrath and judgment upon the sinner.

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Burkitt, William. "Commentary on Revelation 17:2". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/revelation-17.html. 1700-1703.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Revelation 17:2. ΄εθʼ ἧς, with whom) Tyre committed fornication with the kingdoms of the earth: Isaiah 23:17-18. Comp. Revelation 18:23.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Revelation 17:2". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/revelation-17.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication; with which great whore several princes of the world have committed spiritual fornication, receiving her idolatrous worship, yielding to her authority, and following her example.

And the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with, the wine of her fornication; and not the kings only of the earth, but the generality of the people, have been influenced with a mad heat, and with the wine of her fornication, that is, with that wine by which she enticed them to commit idolatry with her. By this wine are meant honours, riches, preferments, pleasure, the gaudery of her worship, the magnificence of the apostolic see, their pretended antiquity, unity; in short, whatsoever specious arguments papists use to entice persons into the idolatrous communion of their church.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Revelation 17:2". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/revelation-17.html. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

блудодействовали цари земные Блудница объединится с политическими лидерами мира. Блуд здесь означает не сексуальный грех, но идолопоклонство (см. пояснение к 14:8). Все правители мира будут поглощены сатанинской империей лжехриста.

вином ее блудодеяния Первоначальное влияние блудницы на лидеров распространится на все человечество (ср. ст. 15; 13:8, 14). Образ не подразумевает реальные вино и сексуальный грех, а показывает, как люди мира попали под пагубное воздействие системы ложной религии.

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Revelation 17:2". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/revelation-17.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Have committed fornication; by their idolatrous devotion to her service.

Made drunk with the wine of her fornication; an allusion to the wine-cup which harlots give to their deluded votaries. The meaning is that the inhabitants of the earth have been deluded, corrupted, and made wretched by her errors, vices, and control. The wicked character and seductive influence of those who have been distinguished for their persecutions of God’s people, he had represented under a great variety of images; all suited to show their detestable character, and lead all the right-minded to abhor them.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Revelation 17:2". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/revelation-17.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Foy E. Wallace's Commentary on the Book of Revelation

The reference in verse two to the harlot's fornication with the kings, and the wine of her fornication making drunk the inhabitants of the land were symbols of the extensions of Jerusalem's affiliations with foreign people, and the passion to be like the nations around them, as Israel demanded in 1 Samuel 8:5. These affiliations so enamored the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem as to be characterized in the symbolism of being drunk with. the wine of her fornication.

The apocalypse was consistently that of apostate Jerusalem. It described the iniquities of Israel from their national sin of demanding a king to be as other nations under Samuel, the course that carried them into exile; and that in the visions of Revelation brought their city and their national existence to destruction.

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Wallace, Foy E. "Commentary on Revelation 17:2". "Foy E. Wallace's Commentary on the Book of Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/foy/revelation-17.html. 1966.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

The "kings of the earth" are world leaders who personify kingdoms ( Revelation 16:14; et al.). They committed immorality (fornication) with Babylon by uniting with the system she symbolizes.

"Religious compromise necessitated in this kind of association is totally incompatible with the worship of the one true God, and so amounts to spiritual prostitution." [Note: Thomas, Revelation 8-22, p284.]

This system made all earth-dwellers, not just kings, "drunk." That Isaiah, it had a controlling influence on them. When people reject the truth, they will believe lies (cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:10-11). Obviously this harlot is different from the woman in chapter12and the bride in chapters19, 21, and22.

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 17:2". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/revelation-17.html. 2012.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Revelation 17:2. With whom the kings of the earth committed fornication. ‘Kings’ are the representatives of all authority; and ‘the earth’ is the guilty world.

and they that dwell upon the earth were made drunken with the wine of her fornication. Not the kings only but all ‘the inhabiters of the earth,’ all who belong to the world in its evil sense, have been betrayed by the harlot. The description is again unlimited.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Revelation 17:2". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/revelation-17.html. 1879-90.

Gary Hampton Commentary on Selected Books

The kings of the earth were materialistic and irreligious because they were drunk on her power.

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Hampton, Gary. "Commentary on Revelation 17:2". "Gary Hampton Commentary on Selected Books". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ghc/revelation-17.html. 2014.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

earth. App-129.

have. Omit.

the inhabiters, &c. The texts rend "they that inhabit the earth were made drunken", &c.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Revelation 17:2". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/revelation-17.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.

Drunk with - `owing to.' It cannot be pagan, but papal, Rome, if a particular seat of error be meant; but I think that the judgment (Revelation 18:2) and the spiritual fornication (Revelation 18:3), though culminating in Rome, are not restricted to it, but comprise the whole apostate church-Roman, Greek, and even Protestant-in so far as it is seduced from its "first love" (Revelation 2:4) to Christ, the heavenly Bridegroom, and gives its affections to worldly idols. E.L. Garrett's explanation of 666 (Revelation 13:8) holds good of the whole visible Church in yielding to the number of the beast's name, except the elect. The woman (Revelation 12:1) is God's congregation in its purity under the Old and New Testament, and appears again as Bride of the Lamb, the transfigured Church prepared for the marriage feast. The woman, the invisible Church, is latent in the apostate church, the Church militant; the Bride is the Church triumphant.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 17:2". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/revelation-17.html. 1871-8.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.
13,17; 14:8; 18:3,9,23; Jeremiah 51:7
Reciprocal: Deuteronomy 31:16 - and go a;  Judges 18:24 - what have;  Job 21:7 - mighty;  Job 24:22 - draweth;  Proverbs 5:3 - the lips;  Proverbs 23:28 - increaseth;  Isaiah 23:17 - shall commit;  Jeremiah 4:30 - in vain;  Daniel 3:2 - sent;  Hosea 1:2 - for;  Nahum 3:19 - upon;  Habakkuk 2:15 - unto;  1 Thessalonians 1:9 - the living;  Revelation 2:22 - and them;  Revelation 9:21 - nor of their fornication;  Revelation 17:16 - the ten;  Revelation 18:6 - the cup;  Revelation 19:2 - judged;  Revelation 20:3 - should deceive

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Revelation 17:2". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/revelation-17.html.

Walter Scott's Commentary on Revelation

THE GREAT HARLOT.

Revelation 17:2. — This, then, is Babylon the great: "With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and they that dwell on the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication." This is future, although a past resemblance may be sought for in the character and doings of the papacy in the dark times of the Middle Ages. The harlot first forms a guilty alliance with the kings of the earth, i.e., the great political leaders of Christendom, and then makes drunk with the wine of her fornication "they that dwell on the earth," that is, the mass of Christian apostates{*See remarks on Revelation 2:13; on Revelation 3:10; on Revelation 8:13; and on Revelation 11:8-10.}. The wickedness of these once Christian professors is then filled up. Christ, the heavenly calling, and Christianity abandoned, they give themselves up to the short-lived joys of the harlot's cup of wine. It is truly awful to contemplate the career, the character, and the doom of those dwellers on the earth, thus morally distinguished and singled out as the worst on the face of the globe.

SPIRITUAL FORNICATION.

Adultery, or idolatry — "with their idols have they committed adultery" (Ezekiel 23:37) — is the special sin charged upon Israel of old as being the married wife of Jehovah{*The royal consort of the King is Jerusalem (Psalms 45:9). The bride and wife of the Lamb is the Church (Revelation 19:7; Revelation 21:9). The wife of Jehovah is Israel (Jeremiah 3:14). The mother of the Man-Child is Israel, strictly speaking, Judah (Revelation 12:1; Romans 9:5).} (Jeremiah 3:14; Isaiah 54:1). For this she was divorced.{*A wife divorced can never again be a virgin; hence not Israel, but the Church is the bride of the Lamb (see 2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:32).} But in the purpose and grace of Jehovah Israel will be reinstated in her former blessed relation, one never again to be forfeited so long as sun and moon endure. Fornication, or illicit intercourse and connection with the guilty and apostate world, is the solemn indictment against Babylon — the corrupt and licentious woman who ensnares and captivates with her short-lived pleasures all within her influence — kings and people, high and low. The seductive glitter and meretricious display of this abandoned woman affect all classes, and morally ruin those over whom she casts her golden chains and who drink of her cup. Every right and true thought of Christ perishes where the woman's blandishments are received and her smile courted.

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Scott, Walter. "Commentary on Revelation 17:2". "Walter Scott's Commentary on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sor/revelation-17.html.

E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament

The kings of the earth means the rulers over the various divisions of the political empire, such as the ones named at Revelation 13:1-18 :. In their devotion to the spiritual harlot they were guilty of fornication. The inhabitants of the earth refers to the subjects under these kings who submitted to their adulterous ruling, Wine of her fornication. In literal practice we find "wine and women" often associated, hence they are so considered in the symbolic vision that John saw.

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Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Revelation 17:2". E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/znt/revelation-17.html. 1952.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Revelation 17:2. Tyre’s commercial intercourse with the nations (Isaiah 23:17) and Assyria’s political intrigues, by which her statecraft fascinated and seduced other states (Nahum 3:4) are both described by the same figure. Local and national cults, as a rule, were left undisturbed by the Romans; and indeed Oriental superstitions often reacted powerfully on Rome itself. But fresh conquests meant the extension of Rome’s intoxicating and godless suzerainty.

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Revelation 17:2". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/revelation-17.html. 1897-1910.

The Bible Study New Testament

2. Committed immorality. The whole world is an IDOL to those who do not have the right attitude toward God. Industry, commerce, art, culture, and all the other such things can be used by the Devil to seduce people, even believers, and turn them away from God. Two people can live side by side in the same house, and look out upon two completely different worlds!

 

 

 

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Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Revelation 17:2". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/revelation-17.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.