3 So [kai] he carried [apophero] me [me] away [apophero] in [en] the spirit [pneuma] into [eis] the wilderness: [eremos] and [kai] I saw [eido] a woman [gune] sit [kathemai] upon [epi] a scarlet
coloured [kokkinos] beast, [therion] full of [gemo] names [onoma] of blasphemy, [blasphemia]
having [echo] seven [hepta] heads [kephale] and [kai] ten [deka] horns. [keras] KJV-Interlinear
3 And he
carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness; and I saw a woman sitting on a
scarlet beast, full of blasphemous names, having seven heads and ten horns. NASB
The wilderness is a place meaning desert, desolate, solitary, lonesome, waste, an empty expanse.
This describes the kingdom, the reality of the kingdom of Satan. What he really rules. Namely, nothing.
The woman is the symbolism of a prostitute who conducts her life in sin and sensuous desires, lies and deceptions.
She sits upon the scarlet beast. The beast is in one sense, the anti-christ, but remember that the anti-christ is supported and sponsored by Satan. So this symbolism represents the kingdom of Satan. All that he has and all that he ever will be.
Scarlet is the color or royalty, the color of violence or blood, the color of sin, and therefore the beast is totally engulfed in evil through and through, caring for nothing and no one except himself. Leading deceptions in every manner possible.
Blasphemy is anything and everything that is anti-truth, anti-God, anti-Jesus Christ, anti-Christian and so forth. But it is also the opposite of truth, namely lies, religion as opposed to Christianity, belief in anything or nothing as opposed to belief in Christ, and so forth.
This symbolism describes and defines Satan and all who pursue his policies.
The seven heads and ten horns, are defined in the next few verses, but quickly they represent all of the kingdoms through history, which God has or will allow Satan to build up, including the kingdom of the anti-christ, which is represented by the ten horns (the ten nations that he defeats in order to establish his kingdom across the planet in the Tribulation.
So, the seven heads are the seven kingdoms of history, Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, and Greece. Then Rome which existed when John was writing this book, and then the future kingdom of what is generally called the revived Rome ruled by the anti-christ.
This ties all of the symbolism of Satan and evil and religion and his attempt to either rule or destroy mankind, to the entire history of humanity.
The objective of Satan has been around for a very long time. All of the various governmental or political formats, though some may have only come into existence in recent decades or centuries, have been in the mind of Satan for a very long time.
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