Jesus for President: Section @, Part 4

This passage is definitely interesting. It has been interpreted many different ways, but this is one of my favorites. I will post the Scripture and the JfP's interpretation:

"This title was written on her forehead:
MYSTERY
BABYLON THE GREAT
THE MOTHER OF PROSTITUTES
AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of those who bore testimony to Jesus."

(Revelation 17:5-6)

"After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven. He had great authority, and the earth was illuminated by his splendor. With a mighty voice he shouted:
"Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great!
She has become a home for demons
and a haunt for every evil spirit,
a haunt for every unclean and detestable bird.
For all the nations have drunk
the maddening wine of her adulteries.
The kings of the earth committed adultery with her,
and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries."

Then I heard another voice from heaven say:
"Come out of her, my people,
so that you will not share in her sins,
so that you will not receive any of her plagues;
for her sins are piled up to heaven,
and God has remembered her crimes.
Give back to her as she has given;
pay her back double for what she has done.
Mix her a double portion from her own cup.
Give her as much torture and grief
as the glory and luxury she gave herself.
In her heart she boasts,
'I sit as queen; I am not a widow,
and I will never mourn.'
Therefore in one day her plagues will overtake her:
death, mourning and famine.
She will be consumed by fire,
for mighty is the Lord God who judges her.

"When the kings of the earth who committed adultery with her and shared her luxury see the smoke of her burning, they will weep and mourn over her. Terrified at her torment, they will stand far off and cry:
" 'Woe! Woe, O great city,
O Babylon, city of power!
In one hour your doom has come!'

"The merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her because no one buys their cargoes any more— cargoes of gold, silver, precious stones and pearls; fine linen, purple, silk and scarlet cloth; every sort of citron wood, and articles of every kind made of ivory, costly wood, bronze, iron and marble; cargoes of cinnamon and spice, of incense, myrrh and frankincense, of wine and olive oil, of fine flour and wheat; cattle and sheep; horses and carriages; and bodies and souls of men."

(Revelations 18:1-13)

Crazy passage but cool meanings. A plea from heaven for us to flee! JfP gives us their view:

“John’s language couldn’t be clearer: we are to 'come out' of her, literally to pull ourselves out. Let's be honest: this is Rated R…Scholars point out that this is erotic language and that the words John uses are the same ones used for coitus interruptus – to interrupt sexual intercourse before climax. As John is speaking of this steamy love affair with the empire, he calls the church to ‘pull out of her’ – to leave the romance with the world and be wooed by God, to remember our first love, to say no to all other lovers.”
We should all consider the call of the one who comes from heaven and calls out to us so that we may come out of her unless we share her sins. Unless we partake in her adulteries as all the kings and merchants of the earth have.

As I read these interpretations, I want to clarify a couple things:
  • This is their interpretation, albeit a good one, but one nonetheless, in all its glories and foibles.
  • Claiborne (Author) wants us to be careful to use Great Whore instead of prostitute because "the term 'prostitute' implies a context of poverty and male-domineering sexual exploitation, whereas, 'whore' implies seduction and adulterous licentiousness" (148).
  • Personifying Cities as women is in no way intended by scripture or the authors to demean women but a play on the femininity/ masculinity of the pronouns found in its original language (Greek and Hebrew). This is beautiful thing that we have lost in the English language.
  • I am not advertising this particular blog on my twitter or facebook due to the explicit content.
Blessings and Peace!

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