Revelation seventeen and eighteen focus on the fall of end-time Babylon in the closing days of earth’s history. Revelation 17 describes the rise and fall of end-time Babylon as symbolized by a woman, the great prostitute (Rev. 17:18). Revelation 18 also describes the fall of Babylon, but this time in the image of the great city (Rev. 18:10, 16, 18, 19).
These chapters introduce the following themes, among others:
1. Three Worldwide End-Time Alliances. The multiple symbols of Revelation’s End-time coalesce into three great worldwide alliances: 1) religion, 2) secular/political power and 3) the saints.
2. The Difference Between Visions and Their Explanations. In a vision the prophet can be taken any time and any place, but explanations of the vision to the prophet, in order to make sense, must come to the prophet in the time and place of the prophet.
3. The Identity of the Seven Kings of Rev. 17:10. In order to understand the identity of the seven kings of Rev. 17:10 one must determine the time of the sixth king.
4. The Narrative of Rev. 17.
The passage implies that faithful people can be found within “Babylon” to the very end. This should impact the way we treat people of other faiths than our own. The similarities and differences between the women of Revelation 12 and 17 should tell us that even faithful Christian institutions are capable of falling away from that faithfulness. So constant vigilance is advised.