Explanatio: Rev. 17:1-3


“And there came one out of the seven angels holding the basins, and he was speaking to me, saying, “Come, I will show you the condemnation of the great harlot sitting upon the many waters, with whom the kings of the earth have fornicated; and those who inhabit the earth have been made drunk on the wine of her fornication.” We have openly and fully explained what this woman would be, in the Prologue of the Churches above. This woman is the works of iniquity which will be exercised in the people which is called “the beast,” upon which she is known to sit, and with which she is believed to fornicate along with “the kings of the earth.” The “kings of the earth” are those who do not rule their bodies, but are delighted to move it to their pleasures.

And drawing in not only evil people but also the good, this woman drinks to their health [propinat] with the “gold winecup” which she holds “in her hand; “ (Rev. 17:4, VL) for she fakes holiness with falsehood. Her working is said to be “in her hand,” because sometimes “wisdom” is understood in [the symbol of] gold. She is said to sit ‘“upon many waters,”Prim because by her broadened works of iniquity she holds ‘the people’Caes throughout all the world. For ‘“many waters” are’Caes the ‘peoples;’Prim as it is written, “Many waters,” he said, “the many waters which you see, upon which that harlot sits, are the peoples and nations.” (Rev. 17:15)

“And he carried me off into the wilderness, in the spirit.” (Rev. 17:3) We say “wilderness” is a ‘desert place’Prim where no farmer works. ‘He says “the woman”‘ herself is to be seen ‘“in the wilderness,”‘ for that woman — that is, ‘corrupted’ and evil works – ‘would sit there, on’ a people ‘that is dead and deserted by God.’ For what ‘he says’Caes“He carried me off in the spirit” – that is ‘because’Caes, Prim one is drawn away by these works from ‘nothing but’Caes what is spiritual and what is catholic. For one holds back the carnal with spiritual things, so that one is not carnal with carnal things when the members also cannot be hostile to each other. But because this plague is spiritual, when he would say the woman is ‘adorned preciously’ – that is, her full inside uncleanness of iniquity covered up with a fake of Christianity – she is openly recognized by being held back by spiritual things, when he remembers being transported “in the spirit.”


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