Wine of the Harlot’s Passion

All the nations, the angel says, have drunk the “wine of the passion of her fornication” (Revelation 18:3). What does this mean?

In Revelation, the wine that the harlot drinks is the blood of the saints. She is drunk on that wine-blood, totters, stumbles, and falls. Her passion for the blood of the saints leads to her fall.

But the nations drink is somewhat different. They too drink the same wine; Rome eventually gulps down martyr’s blood. But in Revelation 18, the imagery is sexual. The wine is not just blood but the wine of the harlot’s passion, and is connected with fornication. The harlot seduces the nations, intoxicating them with the wine of her passion, her passion for blood.

In short, Revelation 18:3 attributes Gentile enthusiasm for killing Christians to the seductions of the harlot Jerusalem. As in Acts, Jerusalem is the one trying to inflame Gentiles to slaughter the saints.


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