Rozgniewały się narody (Ap 11,18)

Wojciech Popielewski

Instytut Nauk Biblijnych Katolickiego Uniwersytetu Lubelskiego Jana Pawła II , Poland


The time of the origin of the Revelation was the time when Domitian was ruling. He was not a bloodthirsty persecutor of Christians, yet he was ruthless when faced with lack of respect to bimself or his position, and to the state as well. Historical sources mention two facts connected to the Church situation coming from the time of the Revelation's origin. On the one band, there were no regular persecutions against the Church. On the other band, John's exile to Patmos (1.9), Antipas's death (2.13) and the overall atmosphere of tension and danger felt throughout the Revelation, are all connected with the conflict between the Churches of Asia Minor and the Roman Empire. Aside from the Church - the people called to worship real God- the Revelation depicts the anti-church that do not praise God, but instead it worships the dragon (13.4) and the beast (cf. 13.12) and what is more it loathes God worshippers, spilling their blood.
The Famous Prostitute is the last link of the satanic system directed against God. The etemal war between Satan and God lasts throughout the history. The Revelation demonstrates that there is God - the Lamb and those with a seal on their foreheads (cf. 7 .3), but also there is Satan - Beast and those with his mark placed (13.16). Satan then does not act alone. He penetrates human structures and makes use of them. The Revelation reveals the order in which subsequent elements of satanic structure are enterlog the histoncal arena. Firstly, Satan rises up against God, and unable to defeat him, tums against the Woman-Church and the rest of her descendants (Rev 12). Afterwards, the Beast, equipped with Satan's power, and the False Prophet emerge (Rev 13). Lastly, arises the Famous Prostitute, a woman sitting on a red beast (17 .3). The w oman is drunk with the blood of God's people and the blood of those who [ ... ] were loyal to Jesus (17.6). She is the Devil's surrogate and his deeds are manifested in her. The ruin of Prostitute is an indication and a waming of a definite downfall of other links of that ungodly system. When the Famous Prostitute has died, the Beast and the False Prophet will perish (19.20), and after that the Devil himself (20.10). Christians of the tum o f the frrst century regard these words as a portent of the downfali of Rome (Babylon ...., the Famous Prostitute), and the whole empire (the Beast) with its religious propaganda (the False Prophet) and finally as a promise of the downfall of Satan - the creator ofthis idolatrous system. The liturgy of God's victory over Babylon hecomes the celebration of the prophesy of exterminating evil at its source. Joyful tone of the Great Doxology follows from the fact that judgement over Babylon reveals, in the first place, who God is. God comes over to judge as an Almighty Saviour. He gives judgement at the time that he bas prearranged himself. The martyrs entrust God with the revenge for their spilled blood ( 6.1 0). God dresses them up in garments of glory but the judgement is not given straight away.
The period between God's intervention and the martyr's calling will be a little while longer ( cf. 6.11 ), a little longer in his perception. God is not indifferent to the martyr's calls. The time is to come when he finds the blood of all those who have been killed on earth (18.24), and wben he judges those who are responsible for spilling their blood.


Apokalipsa św. Jana, bestia, Nierządnica, Szatan


Popielewski, W. (2006). Rozgniewały się narody (Ap 11,18). Verbum Vitae, 10, 139–153.

Wojciech Popielewski
Instytut Nauk Biblijnych Katolickiego Uniwersytetu Lubelskiego Jana Pawła II


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