The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Apocalypse of the Blessed Apostle John
Chapter 17
And now one of the angels that bear the seven cups came and spoke to me. Come with me, he said, and I will shew thee how judgement is pronounced on the great harlot, that sits by the meeting-place of many rivers.
The kings of the world have committed fornication with her; all the dwellers on earth have been drunk with the wine of her dalliance.
Then, in a trance, he carried me off into the wilderness, where I saw a woman riding on a scarlet beast, scrawled over with names of blasphemy; it had seven heads, and ten horns.
The woman went clad in purple and scarlet, all hung about with gold and jewels and pearls, and held a golden cup in her hand, full to the brim with those abominations of hers, with the lewdness of her harlot’s ways.
There was a title written over her forehead, The mystic Babylon, great mother-city of all harlots, and all that is abominable on earth.
I saw this woman drunk with the blood of saints, the blood of those who bore witness to Jesus; and I was filled with great wonder at the sight.
But the angel said to me, Why dost thou find cause for wonder? I will disclose to thee the mystery of this woman, and of the beast she rides, with its seven heads and ten horns.
The beast thou sawest is that which lived once, and now is dead; soon it must rise from the abyss, and find its way to utter destruction. The sight of this beast which lived once, and now is dead, will strike awe into every dweller on earth, except those whose names have been written, before the world was, in the book of life.
Here is need for a discerning mind. These seven heads are seven hills; upon these the woman sits enthroned. They are also seven kings;
of these, five have fallen already, one is reigning now; the last has not come yet, but when he does, his reign will be a short one.
And the beast which lived once and now is dead must be reckoned as the eighth, yet it is one of the seven; now it is to find its way to utter destruction.
And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, who have not yet received their royal title, but are to enjoy such power as kings have, for one hour, in succession to the beast.
All of them have a single policy; they surrender to the beast the power and the dominion which is theirs.
And they will fight against the Lamb, but the Lamb will have the mastery of them; he is Lord of all lords, King of all kings; whoever is called, is chosen, is faithful, will take his part.
Then he told me, These waters in thy vision, at whose meeting the harlot sits enthroned, are all her peoples, nations, and languages.
And the ten horns, which the beast had in thy vision, will become the harlot’s enemies; they will lay her waste, and strip her quite bare, eat her flesh away, and then burn down what is left of her.
God has put it into their hearts to carry out his design, and to give their dominion over to the beast, so that at last all the words of God may be fulfilled.
And as for the woman of thy vision, she is that great city that bears rule over the rulers of the earth.