Revelation 17:4 Index
"And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:"
Research Material

"...the woman was arrayed..."

  • WOMEN: Still another term, sometimes causing perplexity, needs explanation -- that of a symbolic "woman" which occurs frequently in the Revelation. It is used by the prophet to symbolize a church, true or false. The intent is obvious -- a chaste woman, arrayed in pure white (Revelation 12), indicating a pure church; and a fallen women, garbed in suggestive scarlet (Revelation 17), portraying a fallen or apostate church. In logical harmony with the figure the impure woman is called a "harlot," or a "whore." Her illicit, compromising relations with paganism and with the nations of the earth are denominated spiritual "adultery" or "whoredom," after the similar Old Testament reference to the lapses of Israel and Judah into idolatry and national sins. (Jeremiah 3; Ezekiel 16). These opprobrious terms refer to spiritual adultery, or an unholy mingling of the sacred and the secular, churchly apostasy and illicit union with the world. They therefore refer not to personal impurity but rather to departure from God. (Froom 33)