The Lady of the Night: Rides the Beast!
From the Writings of Marvin J. Rosenthal
Published in Zion’s Fire Magazine in May/June, 2000
is a continuation of an article I wrote previously in Zion's
Fire Magazine entitled "The Lady
of the Night: She seeks to seduce your soul!"
That article was an exposition of Revelation 17:1-6. In the
article, I identified "BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER
OF HARLOTS, AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH" (Rev. 17:5)
as the false religious system which was begun by Nimrod and
his wife, Semiramis.
History suggests that after Nimrod (the prime mover in the
building of the tower of Babel and the city of Babylon) died,
Semiramis took upon herself the role of "high priestess."
She associated her dead husband with the sun and made him
the object of sun worship.
Semiramis propagated the concept that a sunbeam carried Nimrod's
sperm from heaven to earth to impregnate her. That is why
a sunburst, as a religious icon, is so prevalent in Roman
Catholicism, New Age, and other false religions. It was supposedly
from that union that her "miraculous" son - Tammuz
- was born. Tammuz is referred to in Ezekiel 8:14-15. And
Semiramis, the "high priestess," became known as
"the queen of heaven" (Jer. 7:18; 44:15-30).
On the one hand, Tammuz was said to be the son of Nimrod.
On the other hand, he was also said to be Nimrod himself,
now appearing in his son. This concept should not seem strange
for a counterfeit religion; after all, Jesus is "the
Son of God." He is also "God in flesh." He
taught His disciples, "He that hath seen me hath seen
the Father" (Jn. 14:9). And again, "I and my Father
are one" (Jn. 10:30).
From Semiramis and her son Tammuz began a mother/child counterfeit
religious system. This false system spread from nation to
nation and from language to language under changing names
of mother/son deities (see the article "The Lady of the
Night - She seeks to seduce your soul!" for a fuller
explanation). Although the languages and names changed, it
was always the same mother and son - Semiramis and Tammuz.
The ultimate manifestation of this false system is seen in
those who pervert the biblical teaching concerning
Mary, the mother of our Lord Jesus Christ, and add man-made,
non-biblical doctrines to God's plan of salvation by grace
Not without reason, this "Lady of the Night" is
called "the great whore" (Rev. 17:1) and "THE
MOTHER OF HARLOTS" (Rev. 17:5). All false religions,
however noble they may appear on the surface, can trace their
origin back to her.
But not satisfied with simply alluring and seducing mankind
away from an intimate and satisfying relationship with the
living God, in frenzied jealousy, this harlot is said to persecute
the true Church - the Bride of Christ.
John describes her violent attack this way. "And I saw
the woman [false, man-made religion] drunken with the blood
of the saints [believers], and with the blood of the martyrs
of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration"
The angel who was revealing these truths to John leveled a
gentle rebuke at the aged apostle with these words: "Wherefore
didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman,
and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads
and ten horns" (Rev. 17:7).
John's "marveling" or "astonishment" was
linked to the grandeur, wickedness, and cruelty of this woman.
How could a woman of the night - a prostitute - a false lover
of the soul - be so successful in her vileness and severe
persecution of the true Bride of Christ? The answer is found
in the fact that the woman is riding the beast. The beast
of Revelation 17, it will be shown, is a composite of specific
identifiable empires. It is from being in league with these
empires that the harlot received her influence and power and
could successfully persecute true believers.
The Destiny of the Beast (Rev. 17:8)
The tandem team of the great harlot and the beast upon which
she sits, has, through the centuries of human history, caused
enough sorrow and tears to "fill an ocean." And
the apex of it all is still to come during the Great Tribulation
John is told that "The beast that thou sawest was, and
is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit [abyss],
and go into perdition" (Rev. 17:8).
This statement, taken at face value, means the beast dies
and comes to life again. The "beast" is both a kingdom
and a ruling king. Here, the king is in view. Some commentators
balk at the proposal that the king will be raised from the
dead, arguing that God alone is the source of life and that
no one can be resurrected from the dead apart from God.
That observation notwithstanding, John wrote concerning the
beast, "And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded
to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the
world wondered after the beast" (Rev. 13:3 - emphasis
added). The Greek text translated "as it were wounded
to death" in the above verse is the very same expression
used in describing the death of the Lord Jesus. And "in
the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain"
(Rev. 5:6 - emphasis added). If Jesus literally died when
He shed His blood on Calvary, and He did, then one of the
heads of the beast actually died and came to life again. I
find no compelling way to circumvent that fact.
That is the cause of the response "and all the world
wondered after the beast" (Rev. 13:3). The same response
is recorded in Chapter 17: "And they that dwell on the
earth shall wonder...when they behold the beast that was,
and is not, and yet is" (Rev. 17:8).
There is a vital difference between being raised from the
dead and being resurrected from the dead. Lazarus was raised
from the dead but would die again (Jn. 11:11-14; 43-44). The
daughter of Jairus was raised, but she would die again (Mt.
9:18; Mk. 5:23; Lk. 8:52-53).
In significant contrast, Jesus was resurrected never to die
again - He would be alive forevermore. And at His coming,
believers who have died will be resurrected never to die again.
The beast king will literally die following a head wound (Rev.
13:3). And he will come back to life again. However, that
is not the end of the story. He will go into "perdition."
He will be separated from God in a place of eternal torment.
The beast will not be resurrected - but simply raised to die
The Seven Heads of the Beast
The identification of the beast with seven heads has been
debated by Bible teachers since the earliest days - and the
Nimrod is the candidate of choice for the identification of
the beast by some Bible teachers. He was the architect of
the movement toward a one-world religion, the tower of Babel
(Gen. 11:4), and a one-world government, the building of the
city of Babylon (Gen. 10:10). The very name, Nimrod, may have
actually meant "revolt," depicting his opposition
to God through corrupted human government and man-made religion.
Some suggest that Judas Iscariot is the beast. He betrayed
the Lord and is called "the son of perdition" (Jn.
17:12; 2 Th. 2:3). It is said of the beast that he will go
into perdition. This view appears to be a far stretch. And
yet, competent theologians have held it through the centuries.
Still others point to Nero as the beast. Roman temples were
built in his honor, and he appears to have accepted the status
of a god and the accolades of divine worship. He persecuted
believers, particularly in Rome, and blamed them for the fire
that burned much of the city to the ground. It is said of
the beast that he is a persecutor of God's elect.
The above notwithstanding, if we want the identification of
the beast with seven heads, I believe we must look in another
direction. John gives the clue to the beast's identification
with these words: "And here is the mind which hath wisdom.
The seven heads [on the beast] are seven mountains, on which
the woman sitteth" (Rev. 17:9).
In the expression "here is the mind which hath wisdom,"
the idea is this: If you want to understand what I am saying,
then get this right. It is akin to the oft repeated admonition
"He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith
unto the churches" (Rev. 2:7, 11, 17, 29; 3:6, 13, 22)
because it is very important. Or, it is similar to the Lord's
warning, "Whoso readeth, let him understand" (Mt.
Each expression is emphasizing the extreme importance in understanding
what is being said. This article makes frequent references
to "beasts," "heads," and "horns"
because they are central to the text. For clarification, the
designation "beast" refers to a kingdom (Dan. 7:23)
and a king ruling over it (Dan. 7:17). The designation "head"
refers to a kingdom which is part of a larger kingdom (the
body of the beast), and the term "horn" refers only
to kings who arise out of the "head."
John had earlier noted that the beast which carries the woman
has seven heads and ten horns (Rev. 17:7). He then adds this
information: "The seven heads [attached to the body of
the beast] are seven mountains" (Rev. 17:9). If we can
identify the seven mountains, we will have identified the
seven heads. And if we identify the seven heads we will know
who the beast is. What, then, do the seven mountains represent?
"Protestant" theologians, "protesting"
Rome's unbiblical beliefs during the Reformation, in their
zeal, identified the beast of Revelation 17 with the Roman
Empire. Their primary evidence was the seven mountains, which
they identified as the seven hills of Rome. The seven hills
were said to be seven of the Caesars of Rome.
Among the many problems with this view is the fact that there
were far more than seven Caesars. With which Caesar do you
begin? And with which one do you end? Who are the five Caesars
who had fallen? Who was the one still ruling? Who was the
one who had not yet come?
Some of the Caesars ruled for long periods, some for a few
months. After the death of Nero, three Caesars ruled within
a two-year period, each being murdered. Read the commentaries
that take the position that the seven heads are seven Caesars
and you will find a hodgepodge of confusion, disagreement,
Revelation 17 and the preceding and following chapters are
not speaking of first-century Rome, but of events associated
with the second coming of Christ. Identifying the beast as
Rome and the seven mountains as seven Caesars simply does
not fit the biblical text.
Following the death of Alexander the Great, the Grecian Empire,
over which he had ruled, was divided into four parts. Each
part, though part of the whole of the Grecian Empire, was
its own kingdom. This division of the Greek Empire into four
parts is depicted in Daniel 7:6 as a leopard with four wings.
The leopard with four wings represents Alexander and his rapid
conquest of much of the world. And the four heads of the leopard
represent the division of his empire into four kingdoms ruled
over by four of Alexander's generals. Cassander ruled over
Macedonia, Lysimachus ruled over Thrace and Asia Minor, Seleucus
ruled over Syria and Babylonia, and Ptolemy ruled over Egypt
The four "heads" on the beast represented four kingdoms
which were part of the divided Grecian Empire (Dan. 8:21-22).
John was told that the seven heads of the beast of
Revelation 17 are seven mountains. Since we are told
that heads equal kingdoms and heads are specifically said
to be mountains then mountains should equal kingdoms. Do they,
in the Scriptures?
King David, in speaking of all the vicissitudes of his reign
as king of Israel, wrote, "LORD, by thy favour thou hast
made my mountain [kingdom] to stand strong" (Ps. 30:7).
The prophet Daniel, using the imagery of a giant colossus,
depicts four powerful empires which would arise in the earth.
The colossus is awesome in appearance. But at the end of days,
Jesus, the smiting stone, will smite the image (representing
Gentile world powers) on the feet, and the entire statue will
collapse (Dan. 2:34). "And the stone [Christ] that smote
the image became a great mountain [kingdom], and filled
the whole earth" (Dan. 2:35).
In interpreting the meaning of great mountain, Daniel
wrote: "And in the days of these kings shall the God
of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed"
(Dan. 2:44 - emphasis added).
The seven heads on the beast are seven mountains, and mountains
are kingdoms ruled over by kings. The animal in Daniel 8,
with four heads, represented the one Grecian Empire divided
into four smaller empires. The beast in Revelation 17 represents
a composite kingdom made up of seven kingdoms which emerged
throughout history and, empowered by Satan, opposed the purposes
of God. The great harlot rode upon its back through the centuries.
The Seven Beast Kingdoms and Their Kings
The seven beast kingdoms, which make up the one composite
beast of Revelation 17, can be identified. So, too, can the
seven kings who ruled these kingdoms. John was told, "there
are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other
is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short
space" (Rev. 17:10).
The five kingdoms that were fallen are these: Egypt, Assyria,
Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Greece. And the five specific kings
who ruled over these kingdoms are:
John was told, "five [kingdoms] are fallen, and one is"
- The Pharaoh of Egypt who "knew not Joseph,"
enslaved the Jews, and tried to destroy the race by killing
all of the male children (Ex. 1:16). His name comes down to
us in history as Thutmosis III, according to most scholars.
- The exceedingly wicked king of Assyria who, in 722
B.C., marched against Israel and took the ten northern tribes
into captivity. This resulted in changing the composition
and distribution of Jews worldwide. His name was Tiglath-pileser
(2 Ki. 15:29).
- The more familiar Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, who marched
against Israel on three occasions - 606 B.C., 598 B.C., and
586 B.C. On the latter occasion, he destroyed the Temple of
God on Mount Moriah, attempted to put an end to the rule of
King David's royal descendants (2 Chr. 36:7), and took the
two southern kingdoms of Judah and Benjamin into captivity.
- The evil and treacherous prime minister of Persia known
in the Book of Esther as Haman. He plotted to kill all the
Jews in the 127 provinces of Persia - the world power of that
day. Only in the fact that in the sovereignty of God, Esther,
a Jewess who had married the Persian king and heroically interceded
on behalf of her people, was the tragedy averted (Est. 7:3-6).
- The wicked and prideful Antiochus Epiphanes who ruled
over Syria, a part of the divided Grecian Empire. He corrupted
the high priesthood of Israel by bribery, sought to outlaw
the practice of the Mosaic Law, put a statue of Zeus in the
Temple of God, and butchered large numbers of Jews (Dan 11:31;
see also I Maccabees 1:17-24; 41-64). Only the heroic action
of a group of people known as the Maccabees, who started a
three-year, guerilla-style war against Antiochus and his soldiers,
saved the day (Dan. 11:28-35).
The one kingdom, which was in existence when John wrote, was
Rome. And the Caesar who was ruling at that time was Domitian.
It was during his reign that John was exiled to the Roman
penal colony on the island of Patmos. It was under Domitian's
reign that emperor worship became the law of the land. It
was during his reign that official persecution of believers
became universal - in contrast to Nero's persecution, which
was largely restricted to Rome.
Five kings were fallen: Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia,
and Greece. One was then in existence - Rome, which was the
sixth beast empire. But we are told that one king was still
to come; and when he came, he would last only a short time.
He would be the seventh.
Since the Book of Revelation is the last book of the Bible,
written about A.D. 95, this king who was, in John's day, still
to come had to appear at a time beyond the first century and
the close of Scriptures. And inasmuch as there is yet another
(an eighth) king (the Antichrist) who must follow him and
will appear at the end of the age, this seventh king must
appear during this church age.
This seventh king must rule for only a "short span of
time." This seventh king must have a commonality with
the six kings who preceded him. That is, he must have an unholy
hatred of the Jew, and he must take action to destroy the
Many kings and kingdoms have persecuted the Jews during the
nineteen hundred years since John wrote the Book of Revelation.
But one stands out in bold relief, unequaled and diabolical
in hatred and persecution of the Jewish people. The kingdom
was Nazi Germany, the king – Adolph Hitler.
Hitler had a meteoric ascendancy to power (1933-38) and in
a few short years plunged the world into war (1938-45).
Hitler, above all else, had an unholy hatred of the Jews.
It was more than an obsession. When, in the last days of the
war, his generals were pleading for the use of trains to get
desperately needed supplies and troops to the front lines,
Hitler was using the trains to get the Jews to the gas chambers.
Hitler filled a vacuum created by German liberal theologians
who denied the authority of Scripture, the virgin birth, the
deity of Christ, bodily resurrection, and substitutionary
atonement. Theological liberalism helped pave the way for
the ascendancy of Adolph Hitler.
- Hitler was committed to astrology. He made no major
moves unless the heavenly bodies were favorable. The British
army had a team of men whose job it was to determine when,
on the basis of astrology, Hitler would be prone to launch
an attack or take some other important action.
- Hitler wanted to establish a new world order - he called
it "The Third Reich" - a thousand-year kingdom.
It lasted a short time from 1933-1945. For him the Holy Roman
Empire was the "First Reich" (1273-1806). The "Second
Reich" began with Otto Von Bismarck and continued through
the rule of Kaiser (Caesar) Wilhelm and the First World War
- Hitler instituted the Nazi salute which was taken from
the Roman salute of the raised hand. The institution of "Heil
Hitler" came directly from "hail Caesar." He
viewed himself in the train of the Roman Empire.
- Hitler appeared to have a protective shield around
him. There were repeated attempts to assassinate him. But
something unseen always seemed to prevent it and protect him.
- Hitler, even in death, leaves us perplexed. Did he
really die in his bunker? Was it a suicide? Was it a head
wound? What happened to his body?
- Hitler was able to persuade the most civilized people
in history to commit the most uncivilized acts in history.
It is impossible to understand Hitler and the Nazis without
understanding that demonic power was behind them.
Germany was the seventh beast empire, and Hitler its king.
To the question, Why was Germany not included in the colossus
of Daniel 2 or the beast empires of Daniel 7?, the answer
is conspicuous. The Church age was unknown to Old Testament
prophets. They saw clearly the suffering of Christ (the first
coming) and the glory that would follow (the second coming
and final beast empire), but they had no knowledge of the
events in between and so could not have written of a seventh
kingdom, which emerged during the Church age.
The reason for such hatred, though abominable and inexcusable,
is understandable. God, in His sovereignty, chose Israel to
be a special people - a nation of destiny. They were politically
to be a government ruled by God, a theocracy. Jesus, the Messiah,
was to come from that nation, and in God's timing, He is to
rule the world in righteousness.
Israel was also chosen by God to be the spiritual leader of
the world, to show men the way to God. At first, it was to
be through their priesthood, tabernacle, and sacrificial system,
which, in time, if followed, would lead men to Christ, the
Lamb of God.
Satan, in his attempt to thwart God's glorious purposes for
mankind, established a false political system - the beast
empires. At the end of time they will become a conglomerate,
counterfeit, anti-God, one-world empire ruled over by the
progeny of Satan, the Antichrist.
Satan also established a counterfeit religious system - the
woman who rides the beast - the great harlot. Again, this
was designed to rival and oppose the true system which God
established with Israel and which provides for access to God
and acceptable worship.
Like the beast political empire, the false religious system
of the harlot will be a conglomeration of all false religions
at the end of the age.
The woman of the night, the harlot who rides the beast, wants
to entice men away from intimate access to God made possible
through our great High Priest and His once-and-for-all sacrifice
The beast with seven heads (kingdoms) has had as its purpose
– the destruction of Israel. That would prevent the Son of
David from returning as the Lion of the tribe of Judah and
establishing a righteous, theocratic kingdom which will never
But the end is not yet. Seven beast empires have appeared
in history. An eighth is still to come - the most violent
of all. It is the kingdom of Antichrist and will be the subject
in a future issue of Zion's Fire.
The Lady of the Night: Rides the Beast!
From the Writings of Marvin J. Rosenthal
Published in Zion’s Fire Magazine in May/June, 2000