Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Revelation 17:7

And the angel said to me, "Why do you wonder? I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Angel (a Spirit);   Horn;   Seven;   The Topic Concordance - Empires/world Powers;   Judges;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Horns;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Antichrist;   Babylon;   Mystery;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Babylon;   Mystery;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Church;   Joy;   Order;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Antichrist;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Number;   Revelation of John, the;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Horn;   Revelation, the Book of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Antichrist;   Mystery;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Horn ;   Numbers;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Babylon the Great ;   Horns;   Mystery;   Prophets, the;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Babylon;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Mystery;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Horn;   Marvel;   Mystery;   Sacraments;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel! I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carried her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns - The apostle was greatly astonished, as well he might be, at the woman's being drunk with the blood of the saints, when the beast which carried her abounded with sacred appellations, such as holy, most holy, most Christian, sacred, most sacred. The angel undertakes to explain to St. John the vision which had excited in him so great astonishment; and the explication is of such great importance, that, had it not been given, the mystery of the dragon and the beast could never have been satisfactorily explained in all its particulars. The angel begins with saying: -

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Revelation 17:7". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/revelation-17.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? - He was doubtless struck with the appearance of John as he stood fixed in astonishment. The question asked him, “why” he wondered, was designed to show him that the cause of his surprise would be removed or lessened, for that he would proceed so to explain this that he might have a correct view of its design.

I will tell thee the mystery of the woman - On the word “mystery,” see the notes on Revelation 17:5. The sense is, “I will explain what is meant by the symbol - the hidden meaning that is couched under it.” That is, he would so far explain it that a just view might be obtained of its signification. The explanation follows, Revelation 17:8-18.

And of the beast that carrieth her, … - Revelation 17:3.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Revelation 17:7". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/revelation-17.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou wonder? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and the ten horns.

Wherefore didst thou wonder ... The terrible thing that astounded John was "that a portion of the church is one with the hostile world."[31] The angel seems to have wondered at John's wonderment, because "there were sufficient marks to identify the harlot,"[32] Very similar descriptions of Judah, a type of the church, in Jeremiah 2 and Jeremiah 3 should have made it plain to John. He should have been able to read in the vision the truth that just as the old Israel had apostatized and crucified the Christ, the church of Christ also, in the lapse of years, would fall from her high calling and become an ally of Satan. "The hint of this slumbered in the vision."[33]

I will tell thee the mystery of the woman ... and of the beast ... In revealing this, the angel would unveil the woman's true identity with the land-beast and the sea-beast both! Particularly, however, she must be tied more conspicuously to the land-beast. She rides the sea-beast; she is the land-beast!

[31] A. Plummer, op. cit., p. 416.

[32] Ibid.

[33] ?

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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 17:7". "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 the angel said unto me,.... The same as in Revelation 17:1

wherefore didst thou marvel? which is not said by way of reproof, as questions of this kind sometimes are, Acts 3:12 for John did not wonder at her with a sinful admiration, so as to have her in great veneration, and to do homage and worship to her, as the inhabitants of the world wondered after the beast, Revelation 13:3 but his admiration was an amazement, or stupefaction of mind, joined with indignation at her; and this is said by the angel to lead on to what he had to declare unto him.

I will tell thee the mystery of the woman; that is, what is mysteriously or mystically designed by her; for till it was made known to John by the angel, it was a mystery to him; and when it was revealed, the interpretation is given in such an obscure manner, that it is only understood by the mind that has spiritual wisdom; and still remains a mystery to carnal men, just as the Gospel itself does. The hidden meaning of this woman, or the mystery of her, is told by the angel in Revelation 17:18.

And of the beast that carried her, which hath the seven heads, and ten horns; the mystical sense of the beast, its heads and horns, and which is also delivered in a mysterious manner, is given in Revelation 17:8.

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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 17:7". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/revelation-17.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

11 And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.

(11) The second part or place as I said in {See (Revelation 17:1) }. The narration of the vision promised in the verse following. Now there is delivered first a narration of the beast and his story, to verse fourteen. After, of the harlot, to the end of the chapter.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Revelation 17:7". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/revelation-17.html. 1599-1645.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

I will tell thee the mystery (εγω ερω σοι το μυστηριονegō erō soi to mustērion). The angel gives his interpretation of the woman and the beast (Revelation 17:7-18). ΕρωErō is the future active of ειπονeipon (defective verb), to tell, to say.

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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 17:7". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/revelation-17.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.

I will tell thee the mystery — The hidden meaning of this.

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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.
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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Revelation 17:7". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/revelation-17.html. 1765.

Scofield's Reference Notes

angel (See Scofield "Hebrews 1:4")

mystery (See Scofield "Matthew 13:11")

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These files are considered public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available in the Online Bible Software Library.
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Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on Revelation 17:7". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/revelation-17.html. 1917.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

7 And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.

Ver. 7. Wherefore didst thou marvel?] Nil admirari prope res est una, Numici. We wonder at things out of ignorance of the causes of them. Hinc admiratio peperit philosophiam.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Revelation 17:7". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/revelation-17.html. 1865-1868.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Revelation 17:7. τῆς γυναικὸςτοῦ θηρίου, of the woman—of the beast) There follows, by Chiasmus, a discussion concerning the beast, Revelation 17:8-14; and, with a repetition of the short preface, and he saith to me, a discussion concerning the woman, Revelation 17:15-18.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Revelation 17:7". 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

The angel promiseth to open this vision, it being the key of the former vision, and is the only vision expounded throughout this whole book.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Revelation 17:7". 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

тайну Тайна не в том, что Вавилон является лжерелигиозной системой, потому что это уже известно, а в том, что зверь будет полностью поддерживать блудницу, и вместе они будут оказывать огромное влияние на людей по всей земле.

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Revelation 17:7". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/revelation-17.html.

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

An angel cryptologist in verse seven appeared to decode the symbols which concealed in a mystery the vision of the beast upon which the woman sat. The enigmatic significance of the mystic symbolism which surrounded both the woman and the beast involved their respective destinies --the destruction of the woman (Jerusalem), and the perdition of the beast (the persecutor). The angel interpreter, proposing an explanation of the cryptic vision, repeated the wonder of the woman sitting on the seven heads and ten horns of the beast. It was a continued repetition in description of the Roman Empire, as previously shown, and of Jerusalem the apostate metropolis of Judaism.

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Wallace, Foy E. "Commentary on Revelation 17:7". "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 angel promised to interpret these revelations that were so baffling to John, particularly the mystery concerning the woman and the beast. More information about the beast follows in Revelation 17:7-14 and more about the woman in Revelation 17:15-18. The beast supplied the woman"s power and purpose. He had seven heads and10 horns, which the angel explained later ( Revelation 17:9-10).

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 17:7". "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 17:7. The angel proceeds to explain what St. John had seen, taking the two parts of the vision in inverted order; first, the beast (Revelation 17:8-14), and secondly, the woman (Revelation 17:15-18).

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Revelation 17:7". "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 angel asks John why he was awed and says he will tell who the woman and the beast are.

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Hampton, Gary. "Commentary on Revelation 17:7". "Gary Hampton Commentary on Selected Books". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ghc/revelation-17.html. 2014.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

marvel. As "wonder", verses: Revelation 17:6, Revelation 17:8.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Revelation 17:7". "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 the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns. No JFB commentary on this verse.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 17:7". "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 the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.
I will
1-6,8
Reciprocal: Ecclesiastes 5:8 - marvel;  Daniel 7:7 - and it had ten;  1 Corinthians 4:9 - and to men;  2 Thessalonians 2:7 - the mystery;  1 Timothy 3:16 - the mystery;  1 John 3:13 - Marvel not;  Revelation 12:3 - ten;  Revelation 13:1 - having;  Revelation 16:6 - they have;  Revelation 17:9 - The seven

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Revelation 17:7". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/revelation-17.html.

Walter Scott's Commentary on Revelation

THE MYSTERY OF THE WOMAN AND THE BEAST EXPLAINED (VERSES 7-18).

Revelation 17:7. — "And the angel said to me, Why hast thou wondered? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the Beast which carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns." We have had the mystery of Christ and the Church (Ephesians 5:1-33), now the angel is going to explain to the Seer, and through him to us, the mystery of the woman and the Beast.

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Scott, Walter. "Commentary on Revelation 17:7". "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

Wherefore didst thou marvel? This question indicates that the amazed expression on the face of John was mixed with that of being puzzled over the whole phenomenon. The angel promises to explain to him all about the mystery involving the woman, the beast and the seven heads and ten horns that the beast had. The passage deviates from the usual manner of the book. When the symbols are described we are generally left to figure out (by the help of history) what the interpretation is. This time the angel will tell to what institutions and persons the symbols refer. Not that he will specify the personal items of application, but he will describe it so that a student of the Bible and history should have no uncertainty about it

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Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Revelation 17:7". 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 17:7

Revelation 17:7 And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.

By wondering here, we may understand John's admiring, that which he did not understand the mystery of; and also his adoring the wisdom of God therein: And thereupon the angel said unto him,

I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and then horn,

{as Revelation 17:3}

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Knollys, Hanserd. "Commentary on Revelation 17:7". "Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hkc/revelation-17.html.

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

Revelation 17:7. And the angel spake to me, wherefore dost thon wonder? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman and of the beast, that bears her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns. The question, wherefore wonderest thou? corresponds to that, "O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?" (Matthew 14:31). It is the accusation against human nature in John, which is always rivetted to the visible. John would not have wondered if his mind had been alive to the sayings, "How are they brought to desolation as in a moment! they are utterly consumed with terrors;" tolluntur in altum ut lapsu graviore ruant. Such sayings are indeed easily spoken, when the overthrow of the gigantic mischief has already been accomplished, but by no means so, when its power still exists in undiminished force. The wherefore shews, that the wondering is a groundless, or foolish one. It is said of Jesus in Mark 6:6, "And he wondered because of their unbelief." That wondering of Jesus corresponds to the wondering here.[Note: The rare θαυμαζειν διὰ τι also in John 7:21.]

The mystery of the whore is, that she is made desolate; the mystery of the beast, that it goes into perdition. The mystery of the beast is indicated here rather than fully disclosed (this being reserved for ch. Revelation 19:20, where the beast is represented as being cast into the lake of fire); it is unfolded only in so far as is necessary, to set in its proper connection what is said of the whore. According to ch. Revelation 17:1, we have properly to do only with the judgment on the great whore. In this judgment the whole runs out. What is said in Revelation 17:10-11, of the destruction of the beast generally, serves only to give a brief survey of the whole circumstances. That the chief object is the judgment on the whore, is clear alone from this, that the beast is mentioned only in the second place. The subject of the whore is immediately and wholly disposed of; but in regard to the further treatment of the beast, a general sketch merely is given, which is afterwards completed

The subject of the beast is handled in Revelation 17:8, of his seven heads in Revelation 17:9-11, of his ten horns in Revelation 17:12-14, of the whore in Revelation 17:15-18, which verses shew, that what is said of the beast, was necessary as a foundation for that which was to be said of the woman. That the chief subject is discussed in Revelation 17:15-18, is expressly indicated by the new beginning. ("And he spake to me.")

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Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on Revelation 17:7". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/revelation-17.html.