Bible Society of South Africa

Bible Reading Plan – Day 365

Bible text(s)

The Famous Prostitute

1Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came to me and said, “Come, and I will show you how the famous prostitute is to be punished, that great city that is built near many rivers. 2The kings of the earth practised sexual immorality with her, and the people of the world became drunk from drinking the wine of her immorality.”

3The Spirit took control of me, and the angel carried me to a desert. There I saw a woman sitting on a red beast that had names insulting to God written all over it; the beast had seven heads and ten horns. 4The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, and covered with gold ornaments, precious stones, and pearls. In her hand she held a gold cup full of obscene and filthy things, the result of her immorality. 5On her forehead was written a name that has a secret meaning: “Great Babylon, the mother of all the prostitutes and perverts in the world.” 6And I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of God's people and the blood of those who were killed because they had been loyal to Jesus.

When I saw her, I was completely amazed. 7“Why are you amazed?” the angel asked me. “I will tell you the secret meaning of the woman and of the beast that carries her, the beast with seven heads and ten horns. 8That beast was once alive, but lives no longer; it is about to come up from the abyss and will go off to be destroyed. The people living on earth whose names have not been written before the creation of the world in the book of the living, will all be amazed as they look at the beast. It was once alive; now it no longer lives, but it will reappear.

9“This calls for wisdom and understanding. The seven heads are seven hills, on which the woman sits. They are also seven kings: 10five of them have fallen, one still rules, and the other one has not yet come; when he comes, he must rule only a little while. 11And the beast that was once alive, but lives no longer, is itself an eighth king who is one of the seven and is going off to be destroyed.

12“The ten horns you saw are ten kings who have not yet begun to rule, but who will be given authority to rule as kings for one hour with the beast. 13These ten all have the same purpose, and they give their power and authority to the beast. 14They will fight against the Lamb; but the Lamb, together with his called, chosen, and faithful followers, will defeat them, because he is Lord of lords and King of kings.”

15The angel also said to me, “The waters you saw, on which the prostitute is sitting, are nations, peoples, races, and languages. 16The ten horns you saw, and the beast, will hate the prostitute; they will take away everything she has and leave her naked; they will eat her flesh and destroy her with fire. 17For God has placed in their hearts the will to carry out his purpose by acting together and giving the beast their power to rule until God's words come true.

18“The woman you saw is the great city that rules over the kings of the earth.”

The Fall of Babylon

1After this I saw another angel coming down out of heaven. He had great authority, and his splendour brightened the whole earth. 2He cried out in a loud voice: “She has fallen! Great Babylon has fallen! She is now haunted by demons and unclean spirits; all kinds of filthy and hateful birds live in her. 3For all the nations have drunk her wine — the strong wine of her immoral lust. The kings of the earth practised sexual immorality with her, and the merchants of the world grew rich from her unrestrained lust.”

4Then I heard another voice from heaven, saying:

“Come out, my people! Come out from her!

You must not take part in her sins;

you must not share in her punishment!

5For her sins are piled up as high as heaven,

and God remembers her wicked ways.

6Treat her exactly as she has treated you;

pay her back double for all she has done.

Fill her cup with a drink twice as strong

as the drink she prepared for you.

7Give her as much suffering and grief

as the glory and luxury she gave herself.

For she keeps telling herself:

‘Here I sit, a queen!

I am no widow,

I will never know grief!’

8Because of this, in one day she will be struck with plagues —

disease, grief, and famine.

And she will be burnt with fire,

because the Lord God, who judges her, is mighty.”

9The kings of the earth who took part in her immorality and lust will cry and weep over the city when they see the smoke from the flames that consume her. 10They stand a long way off, because they are afraid of sharing in her suffering. They say, “How terrible! How awful! This great and mighty city Babylon! In just one hour you have been punished!”

11The merchants of the earth also cry and mourn for her, because no one buys their goods any longer; 12no one buys their gold, silver, precious stones, and pearls; their goods of linen, purple cloth, silk, and scarlet cloth; all kinds of rare woods and all kinds of objects made of ivory and of expensive wood, of bronze, iron, and marble; 13and cinnamon, spice, incense, myrrh, and frankincense; wine and oil, flour and wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and carriages, slaves, and even human lives. 14The merchants say to her, “All the good things you longed to own have disappeared, and all your wealth and glamour are gone, and you will never find them again!” 15The merchants, who became rich from doing business in that city, will stand a long way off, because they are afraid of sharing in her suffering. They will cry and mourn, 16and say, “How terrible! How awful for the great city! She used to dress herself in linen, purple, and scarlet, and cover herself with gold ornaments, precious stones, and pearls! 17And in one hour she has lost all this wealth!”

All the ships' captains and passengers, the sailors and all others who earn their living on the sea, stood a long way off, 18and cried out as they saw the smoke from the flames that consumed her: “There never has been another city like this great city!” 19They threw dust on their heads, they cried and mourned, saying, “How terrible! How awful for the great city! She is the city where all who have ships sailing the seas became rich on her wealth! And in one hour she has lost everything!”

20Be glad, heaven, because of her destruction! Be glad, God's people and the apostles and prophets! For God has condemned her for what she did to you!

21Then a mighty angel picked up a stone the size of a large millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, “This is how the great city Babylon will be violently thrown down and will never be seen again. 22The music of harps and of human voices, of players of the flute and the trumpet, will never be heard in you again! No workman in any trade will ever be found in you again; and the sound of the millstone will be heard no more! 23Never again will the light of a lamp be seen in you; no more will the voices of brides and grooms be heard in you. Your merchants were the most powerful in all the world, and with your false magic you deceived all the peoples of the world!”

24Babylon was punished because the blood of prophets and of God's people was found in the city; yes, the blood of all those who have been killed on earth.

1After this I heard what sounded like the roar of a large crowd of people in heaven, saying, “Praise God! Salvation, glory, and power belong to our God! 2True and just are his judgements! He has condemned the prostitute who was corrupting the earth with her immorality. God has punished her because she killed his servants.” 3Again they shouted, “Praise God! The smoke from the flames that consume the great city goes up for ever and ever!” 4The 24 elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshipped God, who was seated on the throne. They said, “Amen! Praise God!”

The Wedding Feast of the Lamb

5Then there came from the throne the sound of a voice, saying, “Praise our God, all his servants and all people, both great and small, who have reverence for him!” 6Then I heard what sounded like a large crowd, like the sound of a roaring waterfall, like loud peals of thunder. I heard them say, “Praise God! For the Lord, our Almighty God, is King! 7Let us rejoice and be glad; let us praise his greatness! For the time has come for the wedding of the Lamb, and his bride has prepared herself for it. 8She has been given clean shining linen to wear.” (The linen is the good deeds of God's people.)

9Then the angel said to me, “Write this: happy are those who have been invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb.” And the angel added, “These are the true words of God.”

10I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, “Don't do it! I am a servant together with you and with your fellow-believers, all those who hold to the truth that Jesus revealed. Worship God!”

For the truth that Jesus revealed is what inspires the prophets.

The Rider on the White Horse

11Then I saw heaven open, and there was a white horse. Its rider is called Faithful and True; it is with justice that he judges and fights his battles. 12His eyes were like a flame of fire, and he wore many crowns on his head. He had a name written on him, but no one except himself knows what it is. 13The robe he wore was covered with blood. His name is “The Word of God”. 14The armies of heaven followed him, riding on white horses and dressed in clean white linen. 15Out of his mouth came a sharp sword, with which he will defeat the nations. He will rule over them with a rod of iron, and he will trample out the wine in the winepress of the furious anger of the Almighty God. 16On his robe and on his thigh was written the name: “King of kings and Lord of lords”.

17Then I saw an angel standing on the sun. He shouted in a loud voice to all the birds flying in mid air: “Come and gather together for God's great feast! 18Come and eat the flesh of kings, generals, and soldiers, the flesh of horses and their riders, the flesh of all people, slave and free, great and small!”

19Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered to fight against the one who was riding the horse and against his army. 20The beast was taken prisoner, together with the false prophet who had performed miracles in his presence. (It was by those miracles that he had deceived those who had the mark of the beast and those who had worshipped the image of the beast.) The beast and the false prophet were both thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulphur. 21Their armies were killed by the sword that comes out of the mouth of the one who was riding the horse; and all the birds ate all they could of their flesh.

Revelation 17:1-19:21GNBOpen in Bible reader
Bible Society of South Africav.4.20.14
Find us on