not yet come
17:10 not yet come. Since one of the kings “is,” the five fallen kings must refer to earlier history before John’s time. Rome, as the world’s greatest kingdom during the apostolic period, was in existence during John’s life as well as throughout the Gentile church age. Though Rome did not continue as the greatest empire, she continued to exist in Italy, with a paramount influence on the cultural, legal and religious realms of all the western nations. Thus the five earlier “heads” on the beast must be Egypt, Assyria, Babylonia, Persia and Greece. Sumeria, or Babel, the first head on the dragon (see on Revelation 13:2) has apparently been taken from that position, possibly because the spirit and influence of that first Babel live on in the great whore herself, now riding on the beast and all its seven heads. The one “not yet come” must be the ten-kingdom federation represented by the ten horns on the beast (see notes on Revelation 13:1). This kingdom will continue only “a short space,” possibly the first 3½ year period of the tribulation, before they cede all their kingdoms to the beast (Revelation 17:12-13) for the last 3½ years.
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