Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Revelation 17:6

And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus. When I saw her, I wondered greatly.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Horn;   Idolatry;   Martyrdom;   Persecution;   The Topic Concordance - Empires/world Powers;   Judges;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Martyrdom;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Antichrist;   Babylon;   Martyr;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Babylon;   Blood;   Martyr;   Witness;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Drink;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Church;   Joy;   Order;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Antichrist;   Martyr;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Antichrist;   Revelation of John, the;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Persecution in the Bible;   Prostitution;   Revelation, the Book of;   Suffering;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Admiration;   Antichrist;   Book of Life;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Blood;   Martyr;   Revelation, Book of;   Sin (2);   Witness (2);   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Babylon the Great ;   Horns;   Martyr;   Prophets, the;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Babylon;   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Blood;   Drunk;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Admiration;   Babylon in the New Testament:;   Drunkenness;   Freely;   Martyr;   Persecution;   Witness;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration - How exactly the cruelties exercised by the Latin Church against all it has denominated heretics correspond with this description, the reader need not be informed.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Revelation 17:6". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/revelation-17.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints - A reeling, intoxicated harlot, for that is the image which is kept up all along. In regard to the phrase “drunken with blood,” compare Jeremiah 46:10. “The phraseology is derived from the barbarous custom (still extant among many pagan nations) of drinking the blood of the enemies slain in the way of revenge. The effect of drinking blood is said to be to exasperate, and to intoxicate with passion and a desire of revenge” (Prof. Stuart, in loco). The meaning here is, that the persecuting power referred to had shed the blood of the saints; and that, in its fury, it had, as it were, drunk the blood of the slain, and had become, by drinking that blood, intoxicated and infuriated. No one need say how applicable this has been to the papacy. Compare, however, the Daniel 7:21, Daniel 7:25 notes; Revelation 12:13-14; Revelation 13:15 notes.

And with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus - Especially with their blood. The meaning is, that the warfare, in which so much blood was shed, was directed against the saints as such, and that, in fact, it terminated particularly on those who, amidst cruel sufferings, were faithful witnesses for the Lord Jesus, and deserved to be called, by way of eminence, “martyrs.” Compare the notes on Revelation 2:13; Revelation 6:9; Revelation 11:5, Revelation 11:7. How applicable this is to the papacy, let the blood shed in the valleys of Piedmont; the blood shed in the Low Countries by the Duke of Alva; the blood shed on Bartholomew‘s day; and the blood shed in the Inquisition, testify.

And when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration - I was astonished at her appearance, at her apparel, and at the things which were so significantly symbolized by her.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Revelation 17:6". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/revelation-17.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I wondered with a great wonder.

And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints ... with the blood of the martyrs ...

Who invented the Inquisition? Who invented the torture chamber and the rack? Who burned at the stake the uncounted thousands and millions of God's servants? Who? This scarlet whore, dressed in purple, decked in gold, riding in control of the governments of the world. It has been estimated that she has slain fifty millions of the servants of Jesus Christ.[29]

I wondered with a great wonder ... In some versions, this is wondered "with a great admiration." "This does not mean admiration in our modern sense."[30] Despite Carpenter's opinion, however, we are inclined to think that it does mean "admiration" in our modern sense; it was a startled, astonished kind of admiration, mingled with wonder. Now there is no way that John could have wondered if the woman had symbolized pagan Rome. Prophetic descriptions from the Old Testament were plentiful and well known to John which portrayed ancient Babylon, a pagan city, in exactly this same graphic terminology, even complete with the "golden cup" (Jeremiah 51:7). This verse therefore proves that literal Babylon, or literal Rome, cannot be meant. John could never have "wondered" at a description already thoroughly familiar to him. No! The wonder here is in the application of this description to this whore which was once the true church of God! See "Admiration of the Harlot," introduction, chapter 18.

[29] W. A. Criswell, op. cit., p. 186.

[30] W. Boyd Carpenter, op. cit., p. 612.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Revelation 17:6". "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

And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints,.... To see a woman drunk is a shameful sight; but to see one drunk, not with wine, but with blood, is monstrous, cruel, and shocking; the sword, when it devours, and is satiate, is said to be drunk with blood, Jeremiah 46:10 but for a woman to be so is unexampled; and not with her own blood, as she will be, Isaiah 49:26 but with the blood of others; and not with the blood of wicked men, but with the blood of saints; such as God the Father has set apart from everlasting, and chosen to be holy; whom Christ has sanctified by his blood, or whose sins he has expiated, and to whom he is made sanctification; and who have principles of grace and holiness wrought in them by the Spirit of God, and live holy lives and conversations:

and of the martyrs of Jesus; the saints, whose blood is shed by antichrist, are martyrs also; but they seem to design the common people, and these the ministers of the Gospel, who are the martyrs of Jesus, both in life and death; they are his martyrs or witnesses, by their doctrine and ministry, bearing testimony to him as Jesus, a Saviour; testifying that he is the only Saviour, that there is salvation in no other, in opposition to the antichristian doctrines of merit, penance, purgatory, &c. for which they have been cruelly put to death, and in great numbers, and so have sealed their doctrine by their blood. Now the woman being drunk with their blood, denotes the blood thirstiness of the church of Rome, her greedy aud insatiable desire after the blood of the saints, and her delight in it, being exceeding mad against them; and the multitude of it shed by her, as the slaughters of the Waldenses and Albigenses, the butcheries of the duke d'Alva in the Low Countries, the massacres in France, Ireland, and other places, the burning of the martyrs in Queen Mary's days here, with numerous other instances, show.

And when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration; not at the sight of the beast, which he had seen before, but at the sight of the woman, as, upon the beast; he wondered that one of her sex, generally timorous and fearful, should ride on such a monstrous creature; he was amazed at her dress, and grand appearance, whereas the church in his time consisted of poor persons, meanly arrayed; it was astonishing to him that one bearing the name of a Christian church should rise to such grandeur; and he wondered at the name upon her forehead, what the whole of that inscription should mean; but, above all, at her drunkenness with the blood of the saints; at her inhumanity and cruelty, being as savage as the beast she rode on; and also at God's forbearance of her, that he, who is a pure and holy Being, a lover of his saints, an avenger of his elect, should suffer such a brutish, barbarous, and blood thirsty creature, to live upon earth; see Habakkuk 1:13.

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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
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Gill, John. "Commentary on Revelation 17:6". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/revelation-17.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

9 And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: 10 and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.

(9) In manner of deeds: She is red with blood, and sheds it most licentiously, and therefore is coloured with the blood of the saints, as on the contrary part, Christ is set forth imbued with the blood of her enemies; (Isaiah 63:1).

(10) A passage to the second part of this chapter, by occasion given of John, as the words of the angel do show in the next verse.

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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Revelation 17:6". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/revelation-17.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

martyrs — witnesses.

I wondered with great admiration — As the Greek is the same in the verb and the noun, translate the latter “wonder.” John certainly did not admire her in the modern English sense. Elsewhere (Revelation 17:8; Revelation 13:3), all the earthly-minded (“they that dwell on the earth”) wonder in admiration of the beast. Here only is John‘s wonder called forth; not the beast, but the woman sunken into the harlot, the Church become a world-loving apostate, moves his sorrowful astonishment at so awful a change. That the world should be beastly is natural, but that the faithful bride should become the whore is monstrous, and excites the same amazement in him as the same awful change in Israel excited in Isaiah and Jeremiah. “Horrible thing” in them answers to “abominations” here. “Corruptio optimi pessima”; when the Church falls, she sinks lower than the godless world, in proportion as her right place is higher than the world. It is striking that in Revelation 17:3, “woman” has not the article, “the woman,” as if she had been before mentioned: for though identical in one sense with the woman, Revelation 12:1-6, in another sense she is not. The elect are never perverted into apostates, and still remain as the true woman invisibly contained in the harlot; yet Christendom regarded as the woman has apostatized from its first faith.

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 17:6". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/revelation-17.html. 1871-8.

People's New Testament

I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints. This implies that she had been a great persecutor and had slain multitudes of the people of God. There is only one body claiming to be the Christian Church to whom this will apply. There have been some harlot daughters of the harlot mother who have also engaged in persecution, but there is only one self-styled Christian body on the earth of whom it can be said she "was drunk with the blood of the saints."

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Original work done by Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.
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Johnson, Barton W. "Commentary on Revelation 17:6". "People's New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pnt/revelation-17.html. 1891.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Drunken with the blood of the saints (μετυουσαν εκ του αιματος των αγιωνmethuousan ek tou haimatos tōn hagiōn). Present active feminine accusative singular participle of μετυωmethuō old verb, to be drunk (Matthew 24:49).

Of the martyrs of Jesus (των μαρτυρων Ιησουtōn marturōn Iēsou). “Witnesses” (Revelation 2:13) for Jesus (objective genitive) unto blood (Revelation 16:6; Revelation 18:24) and so martyrs in the modern sense of the word. “Drunk with blood” is a common idea with the ancients (Euripides, Josephus, Philo, Cicero, Pliny).

With a great wonder (ταυμα μεγαthauma mega). Cognate accusative with εταυμασαethaumasa f0).

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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 17:6". "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

Saints - martyrs

The saints include the martyrs or witnesses, but the latter word emphasizes the testimony of the saints which has been the cause of their death. For martyr; see on 1 Peter 5:1.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 17:6". "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

And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.

And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints — So that Rome may well be called, "The slaughter-house of the martyrs." She hath shed much Christian blood in every age; but at length she is even drunk with it, at the time to which this vision refers.

The witnesses of Jesus — The preachers of his word.

And I wondered exceedingly — At her cruelty and the patience of God.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Revelation 17:6". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/revelation-17.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

6 And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.

Ver. 6. Drunken with the blood, &c.] Bishop Bonner delivered Richard Woodman, with four more, requiring of them to be but honest men, members of the Church Catholic, and to speak good of him. And no doubt (saith Woodman) he was worthy to be praised, because he had been so faithful an aid in the devil his master’s business, for he had burned good Mr Philpot the same morning. In whose blood his heart was so drunk as I suppose he could not tell what he did, as it appeared to us both before and after. For but two days before, he promised us we should be condemned that same day that we were delivered; yea, and the morrow after he sought for some of us again, yea, and that earnestly. He waxed dry after his great drunkenness; wherefore he is like to have blood to drink in hell, as he is worthy, if he repent not, &c. It is wisdom (said a certain unknown good woman in a letter to Bonner), it is wisdom for me and all other simple sheep of the Lord, to keep us out of your butcherly stall as long as we can; especially seeing you have such store already, that you are not able to drink all their blood, lest you should break your belly, and therefore let them lie still and die for hunger, &c. Thus I kept the bandogs {a} at staves’ end (said Shetterden the martyr), not as thinking to escape them, but that I would see the foxes leap above the ground for my blood, if they can reach it.

I wondered with great admiration] All things are portentous in the popedom; what monsters were Pope John XII, and Hildebrand, as Luitprandus (Lib. 6, de Reb. Gest. in Europ. in Vita Hildeb.) describes the one, and Cardinal Benno the other, both of their own side. Tertia classis continet Papas vel potius πωπους, saith Alstedius. After the thousandth year of Christ, there was nowhere less piety than in those that dwelt nearest to Rome, as Machiavel observeth.

{a} A dog tied or chained up, either to guard a house, or on account of its ferocity; hence gen. a mastiff, bloodhound. ŒD

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Revelation 17:6". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/revelation-17.html. 1865-1868.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

St. John porceeds in the description of this woman; he declared her to be a filthy and common whore in the foregoing verse; in this he represents her as a cruel and bloody whore; she is said to be drunk, drunk with blood, drunk with holy blood, drunk with the blood of saints and marytrs. Behold the blood-thirstiness of the Roman church, and her insatiableness therein, even unto drunkenness.

Observe, 2. With what wonder and admiration St. John was filled, when he saw this woman drunk with blood, I wondered with great admiration; intimating, that so astonishing is the cruelty of that church, that it justly causes wonder and admiration to all that are not of her cruel and bloody disposition. I wonder that God should suffer so much of his dear servants' blood to be shed by her, and at her insatiable cruelty in shedding it.

Observe, 3. How the Spirit of God was pleased to open this mystery, which indeed is the only vision of this nature expounded throughout the whole book. He begins first with a description of the beast, affirming that he was, and yet is; as if he had said, "The Roman empire was once Pagan, now is not Pagan, but Christian, and yet is as idolatrous now as it was of old; the same it was, only in another form." Rome Papal is certainly as idolatrous, as cruel and bloody, as ever Rome Pagan was of old; yea, perhaps much more so beyond compare.

Observe next, the rise and original is declared from whence this idolatrous church should spring, namely out of the bottomless pit, because her working is after the working of Satan, with all deceivableness, with signs and lying wonders. And as its rise is declared, so is its ruin foretold; it shall go into perdition, that is, shall be finally destroyed, never to revive again: but before this destruction the world shall be under such an infatuation, that the generality of the inhabitants of the earth, some few excepted, shall wonder after the beast; that is, be wonderfully taken with him, and shall follow him with an implicit faith, paying homage and subjection to him. But these admirers and adorers of the beast are only such whose names were not written in the book of life; intimating to us, that in the times of greatest apostasy, and most universal defection from the truth, the Lord wants not his own true church: he ever had, and has, yea, ever will have, a number to stand up for his name, and bear witness to his truth.

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Burkitt, William. "Commentary on Revelation 17:6". 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 17:6. ΄εθύουσαν) ΄εθύω, I become intoxicated, or, I am intoxicated.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Revelation 17:6". 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

And I saw the woman, the papacy, drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus; filled with the blood of those holy ones, which she caused to be slain for bearing testimony to Jesus Christ.

And when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration; which he would not have done had it been a pagan Rome he had seen in this vision. But that any that owned Christ, and called themselves the holy church, should kill men for bearing testimony to Christ, and adherence to his rule of faith and life, this caused in John a just wonderment.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Revelation 17:6". 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

святыхсвидетелей Иисусовых Некоторые считают, что первая группа – ветхозаветные святые, а вторая – новозаветные. Эти предположения не по существу, поскольку здесь описываются мученики годины великой скорби. Иоанн считает блудницу убийцей. Лжерелигия убила миллионы верующих в течение столетий, а завершающая лжесистема будет смертоносной в большей степени, чем любая предшествующая.

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Revelation 17:6". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/revelation-17.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Drunken with the blood of the saints, and-martyrs of Jesus; expressive of the vast multitude whom she, by her inquisitions, wars, and in various other ways had caused to be put to death, because they would not yield to her seductions.

I wondered; at the revelation which was made, and at the shameless and awful wickedness revealed of this mystery of iniquity. Another characteristic is, while professing to have the temper of a lamb, and to be allied to heaven, it shows by its acts the heart of a dragon, instigated from hell. It has put to death, as heretics and schismatics, so many of the humble, believing followers of Jesus Christ, that it is described as drunken with their blood.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Revelation 17:6". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/revelation-17.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of God’s people (the saints) and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus. And when I saw her I wondered with a great wonder.’

The ancient empires from Babel onwards made war on the people of God, just as Rome was now doing and would do, and other great cities of the future would do as well. The people of God are always subject to special attack because of what the woman represents. Whether it was Babylon with its fiery furnaces (Daniel 3:11), Darius the Mede with his den of lions (Daniel 6:7) or Rome with its crucifixions and its amphitheatres, ‘Great Babylon’ was responsible for it all. Today large parts of the world are ruled by Babylon, with its commercialism, covetousness which is idolatry, and its anti-God behaviour.

The term saints probably has in mind the Old Testament saints (e.g. Psalms 79:2; Psalms 116:15; Daniel 7:18; Daniel 7:21-22; Daniel 7:25; Daniel 7:27), with the ‘witnesses of Jesus’ representing the New Testament saints. This again testifies to the breadth of the ideas. As John contemplates all the blood she has caused to be shed, blood that has made her drunk as with wine, he can only marvel.

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Revelation 17:6". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/revelation-17.html. 2013.

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

The woman was envisioned as drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus, in verse six. This not only referred to the fact that Jerusalem had slain the prophets as in Matthew 23:29-39; and been "betrayers and murderers," as charged by Stephen in Acts 7:52; and was the city "where also our Lord was crucified, as in Revelation 11:8; but it was her apostasies that had caused the persecutions which had overwhelmed the land, and Jerusalem was therefore responsible for the blood of the saints and the martyrs symbolized throughout the apocalypse.

When John saw this adorned harlot sitting on the beast, he wondered with great admiration. The word wonder here means that the meaning had not yet been revealed, as it was done in the visions that followed. The word admiration has the meaning of astonishment--that is, John wondered with great amazement as he viewed the decked and jeweled Harlot seated on the beast whose power would bring her to destruction.

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Wallace, Foy E. "Commentary on Revelation 17:6". "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

She had drunk the blood of believers, the saints generally and witnesses to Jesus Christ specifically (cf. Revelation 11:10; Revelation 13:7; Revelation 13:15). This system had destroyed true believers and rejoiced in their deaths. This revelation amazed John. A system purporting to honor God was killing His faithful followers! Alternatively John may have wondered why God allowed her to live, or because he did not understand the meaning of what he saw, or because he saw a splendidly attired woman instead of a ruined city. In his day the Roman Empire was the greatest manifestation of Babylonianism.

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 17:6". "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 17:6. The description of the ungovernable fierceness of the woman’s spirit is continued. She drinks, and makes herself drunk with the blood of the saints and of the martyrs of Jesus (comp, chap. Revelation 18:24).—Having finished his description the Seer adds, And when I saw her I wondered with a great wonder. He is overwhelmed with astonishment at the spectacle, yet not so much probably at the royal magnificence of the woman, as that, being a woman, she should exhibit such tokens of a cruel and bloodthirsty spirit, denying the nature that properly belonged to her.

At this point it might have been well to inquire into the meaning of ‘Babylon’ in these verses, but so much has still to be said of that city that it seems better to delay the inquiry until we have finished the exposition of the whole passage. Upon this point, therefore, we refer to what is said at the end of chap. 18

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Revelation 17:6". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/revelation-17.html. 1879-90.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Drunk with the blood of the saints. Such was pagan Rome, for innumerable were the martyrs she put to death, both throughout the extent of her vast dominions, and even in her own bosom, the city itself. These were the victims of the ten persecutions raised by Rome against the Christians. Such was the woman drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. (Pastorini)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Revelation 17:6". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/revelation-17.html. 1859.

Gary Hampton Commentary on Selected Books

She had thirsted after the blood of the faithful and was drunk on the blood of those whe had martyred. John stood in wonder looking at such a sight.

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Hampton, Gary. "Commentary on Revelation 17:6". "Gary Hampton Commentary on Selected Books". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ghc/revelation-17.html. 2014.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

saints. See Acts 9:13.

martyrs. See p. 1511.

Jesus. App-98.

admiration = wonder. In this phrase is the Figure of speech Polyptoton. App-6.

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Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Revelation 17:6". "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

And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.

Martyrs - witnesses.

I wondered with great admiration - wonder. John did not admire her. Elsewhere (Revelation 13:3; Revelation 17:8), all the earthly-minded wonder in admiration of the beast. Here only is John's wonder called forth: not the beast, but the woman sunken into the harlot, the Church become a world-loving apostate, moves his astonishment at so awful a change. That the world should be beastly is natural; but that the faithful bride should become the whore is monstrous, and excites the same amazement in him as Israel's like transformation excited in Isaiah and Jeremiah. "Horrible thing" (Jeremiah 2:20-21; Jeremiah 23:14) answers to "abominations" here. 'Corruptio optimi pessima:' when the Church falls, she sinks lower than the godless world, in proportion as her right place is higher than the world. In Revelation 17:3, "woman" has not the article, 'the woman,' as if before mentioned: for though identical in one sense with the woman (Revelation 12:1-17), in another she is not. The elect never become apostates, but remain as the true woman invisibly in the harlot; yet Christendom, regarded as woman, has apostatized from its first faith.

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 17:6". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/revelation-17.html. 1871-8.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.
drunken
13:7,15; 16:6; 18:20-24; Daniel 7:21,25
the martyrs
2:13; 6:9,10; 12:11; Acts 22:20
I wondered
Habakkuk 1:13
Reciprocal: 2 Chronicles 21:11 - compelled;  Psalm 44:22 - killed;  Psalm 72:14 - precious;  Psalm 79:3 - Their;  Psalm 94:5 - break;  Psalm 94:21 - condemn;  Psalm 137:8 - happy;  Proverbs 25:26 - GeneralEcclesiastes 5:8 - marvel;  Song of Solomon 5:7 - they smote;  Isaiah 14:4 - How;  Isaiah 24:10 - of confusion;  Isaiah 29:9 - and wonder;  Isaiah 49:26 - drunken;  Isaiah 51:23 - I will;  Isaiah 59:7 - and they;  Jeremiah 20:2 - smote;  Ezekiel 22:25 - they have devoured;  Ezekiel 24:6 - Woe;  Ezekiel 34:4 - but with;  Daniel 8:24 - shall destroy;  Daniel 11:33 - yet;  Hosea 4:2 - toucheth;  Habakkuk 2:12 - him;  Habakkuk 2:15 - unto;  Matthew 2:16 - and slew;  Matthew 7:15 - are;  Matthew 14:11 - and given;  Matthew 20:26 - it;  Matthew 23:37 - thou;  Matthew 24:49 - to smite;  Luke 12:45 - to beat;  Acts 26:10 - the saints;  1 Corinthians 4:9 - and to men;  2 Timothy 3:3 - fierce;  Hebrews 12:4 - General1 John 3:12 - And;  Revelation 6:4 - horse;  Revelation 6:11 - until;  Revelation 7:14 - came;  Revelation 11:7 - the beast;  Revelation 12:17 - to make;  Revelation 13:3 - all;  Revelation 13:11 - and he spake;  Revelation 14:8 - wrath;  Revelation 17:3 - a woman;  Revelation 18:24 - in her

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Revelation 17:6". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/revelation-17.html.

Walter Scott's Commentary on Revelation

THE WOMAN DRUNK WITH BLOOD, AND THE WONDER OF THE SEER.

Revelation 17:6. — "And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus. And I wondered seeing her, with great wonder." One could readily understand the hatred of the pagan powers to the followers and witnesses of Jesus, but that the woman, the Church of these days and times, should herself shed the blood of God's saints is indeed a cause of wonder to the Seer. She it was who devised the hellish cruelties of the Middle Ages. The secular power is an instrument in the hands of the woman. The real instigator, the power behind the civil authority, is the whore. In her skirts is found the blood so wantonly shed in all ages. Babylon inherits the guilt of every previous persecuting religious power (Matthew 23:35). She has never judged the past. Her history is black enough, and stained in every page with blood, the blood of those dear to God and Christ. The Seer marvels at the awful sight. The Church is here witnessed as the most wicked thing on earth. This, then, is what the professing Church is coming to. Nothing can exceed her in grandeur, in greatness, in idolatry, in filthiness, and in cruelty. "I wondered seeing her, with great wonder." The earth dwellers are drunk with her wine (v. 2), and the woman herself is drunk with blood. These two, i.e., the apostates and the woman, are the worst then on the face of the earth, and on both the full fury of God's indignation bursts forth in flames of inextinguishable wrath.

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Scott, Walter. "Commentary on Revelation 17:6". "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

Saints and martyrs refer to the same people although the words have a different (but not conflicting) meaning. Saint means a holy or righteous person which applies to all Christians. Martyr means witness and all Christians are martyrs because they are faithful to the testimony of the Gospel regardless of what may be the result. The fact that both saints and martyrs had shed their blood in defence of the testimony of Jesus, shows the latter word is not applied to some on the simple ground that they died for Christ. Saw the woman drunken. To be drunk literally requires that a person be under the influence of alcohol. The term has come to be used figuratively, as when it is said that a man is "drunk with a craze for money; or for pleasure." Rome had shed so much blood of righteous people she is said to be drunk with the desire to slay the Christians. Wondered with great admiration. The last word usually has the sense of approval, but it is not restricted to that meaning. The phrase means the vision John saw was so unusual and vast that he could only gaze at it.

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Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Revelation 17:6". E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/znt/revelation-17.html. 1952.

Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation

Revelation 17:6

Revelation 17:6 And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.

This woman (called the great whore) is that great city, Rome, and the Roman monarchy, who in St. John's time reigned over the kings of the earth, whom John saw

drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.

Which words imply first, that she shed their blood, as. { Revelation 16:6}

Secondly, that she thirsted unsatiably after their blood, for she was

drunken with the blood of the saints and martyrs of Jesus,

as Revelation 11:7; Revelation 18:24.

Thirdly, that she thereby merited all that blood that God will give her to drink, { Revelation 16:5-7} for she is worthy, for in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints, and of all that was shed upon the earth. { Revelation 18:24}

And when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.

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Knollys, Hanserd. "Commentary on Revelation 17:6". "Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hkc/revelation-17.html.

D.S. Clark's Commentary on Revelation

V:6. "And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus." Here is her persecution. She was intoxicated with a fanatical zeal to exterminate the Christians; Peter crucified head downwards, so tradition tells us; Paul yielding his head to the stroke of the executioner"s ax; thousands on thousands executed in every form of torture. No wonder the word scarlet comes into the scene.

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Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms

Revelation 17:6. And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of saints, and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus. And I wondered very much when I saw her. The witnesses of Jesus, according to ch. Revelation 11:3, where the Lord speaks of his witnesses, are not those, who testify of Jesus, but those who belong to him, as also the testimony of Jesus is always the testimony which belongs to him, (comp. on ch. Revelation 1:2; Revelation 1:9, Revelation 6:9). We can suppose, that the witnesses of Jesus are not personally different from the saints, but that only by means of a rise that quality in the slain is brought out to view, which makes the mystery still more impenetrable, still heightens the guilt of Rome. They had been killed in their very service—not in spite of, but on account of their confession. How is it possible that God could look quietly on at this? But we may also suppose that the witnesses of Jesus are the more prominent part of the whole—not those, who generally delivered a good confession, but such as in the strictest sense filled the office of witnessing, the witnesses by profession. It is in favour of this latter view, that in ch. Revelation 18:21, as here the saints and the witnesses of Jesus, so there the prophets and the saints are connected together; that in ch. Revelation 19:10, "to have the testimony of Jesus," is explained by "having the spirit of prophecy;"that also in ch. Revelation 11:3, the two witnesses step forth at once in the act of prophesying, not representing Christians generally, but the teaching office; and, finally, that in ch. Revelation 11:18, and the other passages quoted in our exposition there, Christians are divided into two classes, prophets and saints, the great and the small. The first place among the witnesses, according to ch. Revelation 18:20, is held by the apostles.

The wondering of John corresponds on the one side to the designation of Babylon as a mystery in Revelation 17:5, as quite manifestly appears from Revelation 17:7, "wherefore wonderest thou? I will shew thee the mystery." Accordingly, the mystery of the woman must be the object of wonder. If it should continue to abide in its greatness notwithstanding its fearful guilt, only this could be an object of wonder to the Seer. On the other side, there is a manifest correspondence between the wonder of the Seer, and the wonder of those whose names are not written in the book of life, mentioned in Revelation 17:8. Now, if the object of wondering to the latter is the power of the beast, that seemed to remain still unimpaired after Christ, we shall not be warranted in inferring from the wonder of the Seer, that he did not know what to make of the woman (Zllig, "the prophet's perplexity, who knew not what it meant"). Ch. Revelation 13:3 is also to be compared, "And I saw one of his heads as slain to death, and the stroke of his death was healed. And the whole earth wondered after the beast." The object there of the astonished wondering is the heathen, and specially the Roman power appearing still unbroken after Christ had come. Bengel: "John nowhere else speaks of himself as being seized with wonder, excepting that he calls the seven angels with the seven last plagues a wonderful sign. There must, therefore, have been something singularly fitted to astonish about the woman." That description of the angels with the seven vials, as a sign great and wonderful, stands in a certain correspondence with the wondering of John upon the woman. The judgment on the beast, the whore, is, as it were, the counter-wonder to the beast, the whore herself.

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Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on Revelation 17:6". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/revelation-17.html.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

6.Saw the woman drunken—She is plainly now drunken before his eyes. But he knows it is the drunkenness, not of wine, but of blood. She is like the warriors of savage tribes, who seek to inflame their courage by drinking the blood of their slain.

Wondered—What so strange a phenomenon could mean; and the angel thereupon proceeds to explain.

The Rhemish note here says, (authorized by the pope:) “The Protestants foolishly expound it of Rome, for that there they put heretics to death, and allow of their punishment in other countries: but their blood is not called the blood of saints, no more than the blood of thieves, man-killers, and other malefactors: for the shedding of which, by order of justice, no commonwealth shall answer.”

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Revelation 17:6". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/revelation-17.html. 1874-1909.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Revelation 17:6. Cf. Nahum’s “bloody city” (of Assyrian cruelty to prisoners, Revelation 3:1), and for the metaphor Cic. Phil. ii. 24, 29, or Suet. Tiberius, 59, or Pliny, H. N. xiv. 28, “quo facile intelligatur ebrius jam sanguine ciuium, et tanto magis eum sitiens,” also Jos. Bell. Revelation 17:8; Revelation 17:2. When a Jewish source is postulated, is bracketed (e.g., by Vischer, Spitta, S. Davidson, Briggs, Charles and others) as from the hand of the later Christian editor, who here, as in Revelation 18:24 (Mommsen), is thinking of the condemnation of provincial prisoners to fight with gladiators or wild beasts in the arena of the capital. The of the source would thus be defined as, or supplemented by, Christian martyrs. They are not contaminated, like the rest of men, but their purity is won at the expense of their life. The Jewish martyrs would be those killed in the war of 66–70, primarily. The whole verse, however, might be (cf.Revelation 18:24) editorial; it is the contaminations, rather than the cruelties, of Rome which absorb the interest of this oracle.

 

 

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Bibliographical Information
Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Revelation 17:6". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/revelation-17.html. 1897-1910.