Even though much of Revelation 17 repeats scenes that have been described earlier, it is not strictly repetition. Why is John carried into the wilderness, of all places, in order to understand the mystery of the woman sitting on the beast? And why is he so amazed when he sees her, even appalled? And what about the following detail: “they are also seven kings, of whom five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come, and when he comes…” David Aune lists no less than nine different ways of counting the seven kings, and that within just one paradigm for how to count them. Have interpreters been barking up the wrong tree? Is it possible to walk away with what is truly important in this chapter even if we are unable to give definitive answers to all the details? It is my firm belief that it is.
Blessings, Sigve T.