Spiritual Meaning of REVELATION 17:18
AR 751. Verse 18. And the woman whom thou sawest is the great city, that hath a kingdom over the kings of the earth, signifies that the Roman Catholic religious persuasion as to doctrine reigns in the Christian world, and still also in some respects with the Reformed, although they are not under the papal dominion. That all these things are signified by these words, is because they make the conclusion; and thence they involve not only the things which are said concerning the Roman Catholics, but also those concerning the French nation, and those concerning the Protestants, thus that "the woman," who is "the great city," has a kingdom also over these. But how, shall be told. She does not have a kingdom over the Protestants, as she has over those who are attached to her religious persuasion; but only so far as they have in some part received her doctrinals. The doctrinals which they have received are these: That they approach God the Father, and not the Lord: that they do not acknowledge the Lord’s Human as Divine: that His passion of the cross is expiation, propitiation, and satisfaction to God the Father: concerning the imputation of the Lord‘s merit; some things concerning Baptism, concerning original sin, and concerning free-will; and with the Lutherans, that they accede nearly to transubstantiation. These doctrinals, the residue from papal Catholicism, and agreeing with it in part, are the things from which it is said, that "the woman," who is "the great city," "hath a kingdom over the kings of the earth." By "the woman" the Roman Catholic religious persuasion is signified, as above: by "the city" is signified doctrine (n. 194, 501, 502, 712): by "kingdom" the church is signified (n. 749); hence by "having a kingdom" is signified government: by "the kings of the earth" are signified the truths or falsities of the church (n. 20, 483, 664, 704, 720, 737, 704); hence also doctrinals: by "the earth" is signified the church (n. 285). From these things it is evident that by these words, "the woman whom thou sawest is the great city which hath a kingdom over the kings of the earth," is signified that the Roman Catholic religious persuasion reigns as to doctrine in the Christian world, and as to some part even with the Reformed, although they are not under the papal dominion.