International Standard Version
1Then one of the seven angels who held the seven bowls came and told me, "Come, I will show you how the notorious prostitute who sits on many waters will be judged. 2The kings of the earth committed sexual immorality with her, and those living on earth became drunk with the wine of her immorality." 3Then the angel carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness. I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was controlled by blasphemy. It had seven heads and ten horns. 4The woman wore purple and scarlet clothes and was adorned with gold, gems, and pearls. In her hand she was holding a gold cup filled with detestable things and the impurities of her immorality. 5On her forehead was written a secret name: BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF PROSTITUTES AND DETESTABLE THINGS OF THE EARTH 6I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints and the blood of the witnesses to Jesus. I was very surprised when I saw her.
7"Why are you surprised?" The angel asked me. "I will tell you the secret of the woman and the beast with the seven heads and the ten horns that carries her.
8The beast that you saw existed once, but is no longer, and is going to crawl out of the bottomless pit and then proceed to its destruction. Those living on earth, whose names were not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, will be surprised when they see the beast because it was, is no longer, and will come again. 9This calls for a mind that has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman is sitting. They are also seven kings. 10Five of them have fallen, one is living, and the other has not yet come. When he comes, he must remain in power for a little while. 11The beast that was and is no longer is the eighth king, but it belongs with the seven kings and goes to its destruction. 12The ten horns that you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom. They will receive authority to rule as kings with the beast for one hour. 13They have one purpose: to give their power and authority to the beast.
14They will wage war against the lamb, but the lamb will conquer them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings. Those who are called, chosen, and faithful are with him."
15The angel also told me, "The bodies of water you saw, on which the prostitute is sitting, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and languages. 16The ten horns and the beast you saw will hate the prostitute. They will leave her abandoned and naked. They will eat her flesh and burn her up with fire, 17for God has placed within them a desire to carry out his purpose by uniting to give their kingdom to the beast until God's words are fulfilled. 18The woman you saw is the great city that rules over the kings of the earth."