King James on the names of the seven kings of Revelation 17:10-11.



  • King James on the names of the seven kings of Revelation 17:10-11.

Revelation 17:9 And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.

10 And 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.

11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.

12 And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.

13 These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.

In his A Premonition to All Most Mightie Monarches, Kings, Free Princes, and States of Christendome (Workes (pp. 318-319), King James notes "That by the Whore of Babylon that rideth upon the Beast, is meant a Seate of an Empire, and a successive number of men sitting thereupon, and not any one man; doeth well appear by the form of the description of the Antichrist throughout all the said Book. For in the last verse of the xvii Chapter, the Woman is expounded to be, "That great Citie that reigneth over the Kings of the earth; which cannot signifie the only person of one man, but a successive number of men...whose Seat that great Citie must be: like as in the same Chapter, The seven heads of the Beast are in two ways expounded. First, they are called seven Hills, which is plain; and next they are called seven Kings, which cannot be meant by the Kings that shall give their power to the Beast, and be subject unto her, which is immediately after expressed by the ten horns: But rather appeareth to be those seven forms of government of that Seat: five of which had already been and fallen; As..."

  1. Kings
  2. Counsuls
  3. Dictators
  4. Decemuiri
  5. Tribuni militum
  6. Government of the Emperor ("was in the time of S. John his writing of this book [the Revelation]")
  7. 1Ecclesiastical government by Bishops, "which was not come upon the translation of the Empire from Rome to Constantinople*; though their government was in a manner substitute to the Emperours: For though that form of Government lasted about the space of 276 years; yet was it but short in comparison of the long time of the reigne of the
  8. Antichrist (not yet expired [page 319]) which succeeded immediately thereunto. And the eight, which is the eight form of Government indeed by his absoluteness, and yet the seventh, because he seemeth but to succeed to the Bishop in an Ecclesiastical form of Government, though by his greatness he shall make Babylons Empire in glory, like to that magnificence wherein that great Citie triumphed, when it most flourished: which in Saint Johns time was much decayed, by the factions of the great men, the mutinies of the armies, and the unworthiness of the Emperors. And so that flourishing state of that great Citie or Beast, which it was in before S. Johns time, and being much decayed was but in a maner in his time, should be restored unto again by Antichrist: who as he ascendeth out of the bottomless pit, so must he go to Destruction.
1From the time of Constantine the Great, his removing of the Empire from Rome to Constantinople, till the time of Bonifacius the third, to wit, about 276 years.

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