ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Two Women of Revelation

Updated on August 21, 2013

A Woman Clothed with the Sun

Revelation 12 tells of a vision John had of a bigger-than-life woman who is about to give birth. A fearful dragon hovers over her ready to devour the child as soon as he's born. "She gave birth to a male child, one who is to rule all nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne." Jesus' life from birth to ascension, covered in one verse. The dragon's plans are foiled so he goes after the woman who flees to the dessert where she is protected by God.

Clearly this woman represents someone greater than Jesus' earthly mother, Mary. She is the larger covenant community through which the Messiah is delivered into the world. Israel is often portrayed as God's bride in Scripture, albeit adulterous at various points in her history. The dragon, obviously is Satan, who attempted to kill Jesus when still a child through Herod's order to slaughter all boys under the age of two. The woman fleeing into the wilderness continues to represent the covenant community, now in its post-Christ form, the church. The church, though in a hostile environment, prospers as she faithfully witnesses to God's saving grace in Christ.


The Great Prostitute

Now fast forward with me down through our present age to Revelation 17-19. Here we come across another woman. She is a prostitute with whom the "kings of the earth have committed sexual immorality." John spots her in a wilderness sitting on an evil scarlet beast. She is also called "Babylon the Great, mother of prostitutes. Further, she is "drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of the martyrs of Jesus."

I suggest (gently, 'cause, frankly, I don't know of a biblical scholar who concurs) that this woman is not really another woman, but the same woman at a different stage of history. She represents the church gone apostate. Apostasy is a pretty serious thing. It describes the condition of one who, having embraced God's truth at one time, rejects it in favor of another belief system or of none at all. It's akin to adultery where a person, having loved a partner, rejects him/her in favor of another.

One woman?

As mentioned already, the covenant community who delivered the Messiah into the world is presented as a beautiful larger-than-life woman; while now we have a grotesque larger-than-life woman.

The first one flees to the dessert to be protected from the pursuing dragon; this one is seated on a scarlet beast. The beast represents the kingdoms of this world now allied with the apostate church against faithful Christians.

When the OT covenant community went astray the prophets called her adulterous. She wanted to be like the surrounding nations, build idols to heathen gods and trust in horses and chariots. This woman's prostitution consisted of her unholy alliance with the kings of the world.

In Revelation 18:11 we read “Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues." The Scriptures never call God's people to opt out of the nations into which they were born. Rather we are to be salt and light in these nations. But when the outward organized church, the Bride of Christ, becomes adulterous, God's people are to withdraw.

Note that three full chapters of Revelation tell of the utter destruction of this woman who symbolizes the apostate church. Her destruction is described in vivid figures. Merchants and kings mourn her demise while the hosts of heaven and the redeemed celebrate it.

Prostitute or city?

It's in the nature of figurative language that different images on the same canvas can represent the same spiritual reality. So just as the true church is represented as a bride when her intimate relationship with her Savior is contemplated; the apostate church becomes a prostitute to represent a break in that relationship. Likewise the true church is called the New Jerusalem when a faithful community-in-action is contemplated. But when the church has lost her way, serving her own purposes instead of its gospel mission, it becomes Babylon the Great.

Kinda sobering

One's tempted to blow all this off as fanciful interpretation of ancient writings. However, this interpretation resonates with so much else the Scriptures teach about the church. Consider, for instance, the parable of the baby girl abandoned in the desert but rescued and nurtured by a traveling merchant. She grows up to be a beautiful woman only to prostitute herself with the kings of the world. (Ezekiel 16) I have another hub titled Destroyed! The Church as We Know It that draws the same conclusion from Revelation 10 and 11.

What to do?

There's no doubt in my mind that much of what passes for the church in our day looks more like a prostitute than a bride. Liberal churches have abandoned the authority of the Scriptures and adopted moral and social stances that are contrary to God's Word. But many others while supposedly holding to the authority of Scripture have sold out to marketing schemes by which to sell the gospel that are unworthy of the good news. Successful churches are those with mega money and numbers and magnificent buildings and programs. In many parts of the world the organized church is in bed with political powers both on the right and on the left.

While this is sad, the Scriptures seem to indicate that it's part of the plan. For in the end our only hope is not the church but Jesus Christ. What to do? Go where you see Jesus exalted and drawing sinners to himself. Avoid everything else! Cultivate solid relationship with others who share your love for the Savior. Keep your eyes wide open.

© 2011 Frank P. Crane

Comments - I'm listening!

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • liftandsoar profile imageAUTHOR

      Frank P. Crane 

      7 years ago from Richmond, VA

      You're entitled to your opinion but I find little in it that resonates with what else Scripture says. We don't just read into Scripture our latest conspiracy notions.

    • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

      Wesman Todd Shaw 

      7 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

      Well,I certainly disagree that the images of the two women represent the same.

      I'd say that because Babylon has always been the Biblical seat of humanism - or that ideal that there is nothing higher than man, and that man can be God(s) - and because the Talmud was Babylonian in it's inception, and is the backbone of the Khazarian banking cartels of usury, greed, lasciviousness and war - that that would be more of the prostitute - that does anything for money, than anything else that makes sense to me.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)