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REVELATION OF ST. JOHN THE DIVINE - Chapter 17 - Verse 15

Verse 15. And he saith unto me. The angel, Re 17:7. This commences the more literal statement of what is meant by these symbols.

The waters which thou sawest. See Barnes on "Re 17:1".

 

Are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues. For an explanation of these terms, see Barnes on "Re 7:9".

The meaning here is,

(a) that these waters represent a multitude of people. This is a common and an obvious symbol—for outspread seas or raging floods would naturally represent such a multitude. See Isa 8:7-8; 17:12-13; Jer 47:2.

Compare Iliad, v. 394. The sense here is, that vast numbers of people would be subject to the power here represented by the woman.

(b) They would be composed of different nations, and would be of different languages. It is unnecessary to show that this, in both respects, is applicable to the Papacy. Nations have been, and are, subject to its control, and nations speaking a large part of the languages of the world. Perhaps under no one government-not even the Babylonian, the Macedonian, or the ancient Roman—was there so great a diversity of people, speaking so many different languages, and having so different an origin.

{g} "waters" Re 17:1; Isa 8:7 {h} "peoples" Re 13:7

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