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Particulars of Christianity:
314 End Times Prophecy (Eschatology)

Prophetic Symbols: The Great Prostitute (Part 2)

Prophetic Symbols: The Great Prostitute (Part 1)
Prophetic Symbols: The Great Prostitute (Part 2)
Prophetic Symbols: The Great Prostitute (Part 3)
Prophetic Symbols: The Great Prostitute (Part 4)
Prophetic Symbols: The Great Prostitute (Part 5)
Prophetic Symbols: The Great Prostitute (Part 6)
Prophetic Symbols: The Great Prostitute (Part 7)

Articles 7-12
Articles 13-18
Articles 19-25
Articles 26-29

(Points No. 1-5 described in previous article.)

6. They practice sorcery, astrology, magic. (Related to No. 6 above)

In Revelation 18:23 we saw that Mystery Babylon was accredited with deceiving the nations through her sorceries. Previously we have just seen how Nebuchadnezzar understood that the Chaldeans might try to deceive him for their own benefit. But, we have also seen from Daniel that these men are intimately involved in sorcery, astrology, magic arts, secret mysteries, and secret knowledge. This will become more apparent later when we look at the meanings of the words that are used to describe these men. For now we see that this is yet another correlation between the people who were known in the Book of Daniel as Chaldeans and the woman of Revelation 17 and 18.

7. The Chaldeans held secret knowledge and were able to reveal hidden mysteries. (Related to No. 7 above)

The first title that is given to the woman in Revelation 17:5 is "Mystery." While we are in Daniel it is necessary to note that the Chaldeans were known as those who understood secret things, and who could reveal mysteries. The Chaldeans are sought after for their secret knowledge no less than 3 times in the Book of Daniel (Daniel 2:2, Daniel 4:6, Daniel 5:7). Of these instances Daniel 2 provides for us the most in depth look at these men and their involvement in secret knowledge.

From Daniel 2 we can conclude the following regarding the Chaldeans and their religious teaching (all of which will become important later when we cover mystery cults in greater detail):

1. They believed in a plurality of gods.
2. They believed that the gods did not dwell in flesh.

Daniel 2:11 And it is a rare thing that the king requireth, and there is none other that can shew it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.

3. They believed in a hierarchy of gods.
4. They believed that higher gods could reveal deeper truths and hidden mysteries. The greater the god that the wise men served, the greater the secret knowledge that their god could reveal to them.
5. They believed that man could ascend to divinity through the acquisition of secret knowledge from his god.

Daniel 2:46 Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face, and worshipped Daniel, and commanded that they should offer an oblation and sweet odours unto him. 47 The king answered unto Daniel, and said, Of a truth it is, that your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou couldest reveal this secret. 48 Then the king made Daniel a great man, and gave him many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief of the governors over all the wise men of Babylon.

From the above list we can see that the religion of the Chaldeans was steeped in secret knowledge and mystery. As we said we will come back to these matters a little later on when we take a more in depth look at mystery religions. What we will find is another amazing correspondence between these wise men of Babylon and the woman of Revelation 17 and 18.

8. The Chaldeans are Babylonians.

The term "Chaldeans" is derived from the word "Chaldea," which is a specific geographic area on the lower Euphrates and Tigris rivers, at the very heart of Babylon. From this we see that these wise men were so associated with Babylon by their trade, that their very name, the Chaldeans, is really a reference to their Babylonian heritage. This then is an additional correlation between these men and the woman whom Revelation 17 titles as "Babylon the Great."

From the above list we can see that the Chaldeans, as they were known in Daniel's time, fit perfectly with the description of the harlot in Revelation 17 and 18. Both the harlot and the Chaldeans are associated with Babylon and Mystery, and are politically powerful, holding sway over kings and nations. They exist in multiple empires of the empire system and seek to destroy God's people. They are involved in idol worship and spiritual harlotry and even employ the legal system of an empire to institute these things. And lastly they practice sorcery and deception.

So, the Chaldeans of Babylon and Media-Persia seem perhaps to be a good candidate for the woman of Revelation 17 and 18. But in Daniel we were only able to see these men fulfilling these criteria in the Babylonian and Media-Persian empires. To see if these magicians and sorcerers really meet the requirements we would want to find evidence that they existed in the other empires of the seven-headed beast as well. Thankfully, we have such evidence in the Bible and in reference books.

Remember that Revelation 17:3 and 7 describe the woman riding or sitting on the succession of seven empires that is represented by the seven-headed beast. This implies that the entity represented by the woman has been around during, benefiting from, and perhaps even directing the activities of each of the seven empires. We have already seen that the astrologers, magicians, wise men, soothsayers, and sorcerers of Babylon performed these very functions in Daniel during both the Babylonian and Media-Persian kingdoms. But we don't just have evidence of them in Babylon and Media-Persia and Daniel is not the only book of the Bible to mention this same group of people doing the same things throughout the empires of the seven-headed beast.

As we examine what it means for the woman to ride the beast as Revelation 17:3 and 7 describe and as we seek to discover whether or not these devotees to the mystery cults, such as the Chaldeans, fit the model we must recall who the empires of the seven-headed beast are. We identified the first as Egypt. The second we said was Assyria. The third, which we have just covered was Babylon, which was followed by the fourth Media-Persia. The fifth was Greece and the sixth was Rome. We cannot yet identify the seventh empire since it will not arise until the final 3 1/2 years of history, but we will cover the relationship of Mystery Babylon to this empire, the empire of the False Prophet a little later on.

So, do we find the same group of people, who became known as the Chaldeans in each of these other empires?

Well we know that they were in Egypt, the first head. Genesis 41 records the story of how Joseph comes to prominence in Pharaoh's house. In this chapter Pharoah has a dream, which troubles him. And just like Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar, the kings of Babylon, Pharaoh calls for the magicians and wise men to interpret his dream. In fact many of the details of this story parallel those of Daniel 2. The magicians and wise men cannot interpret the dream. The dream is about the future. Because Joseph was shown the meaning of the dream by God, Joseph is declared to be the wisest man in the kingdom and given a position of rule over all the house of Pharaoh. He was subordinate in Egypt only to Pharaoh himself. Indeed, Daniel's saga bears much resemblance to that of Joseph contained here in Genesis 41 right down to the Pharaoh's reaction to Joseph's revealing the dream and the presence of the magicians and wise men of Egypt.

In Exodus, we see that Moses and Aaron were opposed by the magicians and wise men of Egypt before Pharaoh. These sorcerers of Egypt were even able to perform signs and wonders in order to deceive Pharaoh that Moses and Aaron's word was not from God.

Now that we have seen that these sorcerers existed in Egypt we must inquire further. Where they also in Assyria, the second head of the seven-headed succession of empires?

Well, we don't have any accounts of wise men in Assyria as we did for Egypt and Babylon, but the prophet Nahum has a lot to say about this empire much of which ties in with our description of the harlot of Revelation 17 and 18.

Nahum 3:1 Woe to the bloody city! it is all full of lies and robbery; the prey departeth not;...4 Because of the multitude of the whoredoms of the wellfavoured harlot, the mistress of witchcrafts, that selleth nations through her whoredoms, and families through her witchcrafts. 5 Behold, I am against thee, saith the LORD of hosts; and I will discover thy skirts upon thy face, and I will shew the nations thy nakedness, and the kingdoms thy shame. 6 And I will cast abominable filth upon thee, and make thee vile, and will set thee as a gazingstock. 7 And it shall come to pass, that all they that look upon thee shall flee from thee, and say, Nineveh is laid waste: who will bemoan her? whence shall I seek comforters for thee?

Nahum 1:1 starts out by declaring the burden of Nineveh. His prophecy of Nineveh continues here in chapter 3. His rebuke here is significant since Nineveh was the capitol city of the Assyrian empire. And look at all the similar descriptions Nahum provides for Assyria and Nineveh that are nearly identical to those found in Revelation 17 and 18. Both are called harlots (Nahum 3:4, Revelation 17:1, 5, 15, 17). Both deal in witchcraft (Nahum 3:4) or sorcery (Revelation 18:23). Both are made naked (Nahum 3:5, Revelation 17:16). Both are associated with lies and deception (Nahum 3:1, Revelation 18:23). Both are associated with blood (Nahum 3:1, Revelation 17:6, 18:20, 24). And both are laid waste as a punishment (Nahum 3:7, Revelation 17:16, 18:19).

Therefore, from Nahum we can see that the sorceries and harlotry exhibited in Egypt and Babylon were present in Assyria as well.

So far we have been able to identify Mystery Babylon in the first three heads Egypt, Assyria, and Babylon. We have also noted in Daniel that these same wise men, sorcerers, and magicians were present in the kingdom of Media-Persia, the fourth empire in the succession of seven. But we have more evidence of their presence in Media-Persia as well.

The Book of Esther records that the Persian king Artaxerxes (or Ahasuerus) was, like Pharoah, Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, and Darius before him, surrounded by magicians and wise men.

Esther 1:13 Then the king said to the wise men, which knew the times, (for so was the king's manner toward all that knew law and judgment: 14 And the next unto him was Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Memucan, the seven princes of Persia and Media, which saw the king's face, and which sat the first in the kingdom;) 15 What shall we do unto the queen Vashti according to law, because she hath not performed the commandment of the king Ahasuerus by the chamberlains? 16 And Memucan answered before the king and the princes, Vashti the queen hath not done wrong to the king only, but also to all the princes, and to all the people that are in all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus.

Not only does Esther inform us that these magicians survived into the kingdom of Artaxerxes of Persia, it provides us quite a bit of corroboration to what we have seen these men doing elsewhere.

First, these men were among the highest in the kingdom and among the most important of the king's court (Esther 1:1-3, 13-14). They were involved in politics and had much influence over legal matters (Esther 1:13, 8, 15-16). Just like in Daniel, we see that these men were entrusted to uphold the law and advise the king on punishment. But we also see that these men were said to "know the times." This phrase, which we saw appear in Daniel as well, is used to refer to these men's secret knowledge of the future kingdoms that would rule over the earth and the times during which they would hold dominion.

Additionally, later on in the Book of Esther we see that one of the chiefs of these men named Haman gets king Artaxerxes to enact a law calling for the destruction of the Jews. Haman's motive and the approach are very similar to those of the Chaldeans in Daniel 3 and 6. In both cases the reason that God's people were persecuted is because they didn't keep the laws of the king.

Specifically in Esther, Mordecai the Jew would not bow down to Haman for the same reason that Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego would not bow down in the Book of Daniel. There is a pattern here that is of much significance as we will touch on more later in this study. For now we only note the clear existence of the same group of people doing the same things in the Media-Persian kingdom as they did in Egypt, Assyria, and Babylon.

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