Wednesday, January 17, 2024

The Great City Burned (17.15–18)


And he said to me, ‘The waters that you saw, where the whore sits, are peoples and multitudes, and nations and languages. And the ten horns that you saw, and the wild animal, will hate the whore, and will make her desolate and naked, and they will eat her flesh, and they will burn her with fire, because God has put in their hearts to do his purpose, and to do one purpose, and they will give their kingdom to the wild animal until God’s words are complete. And the woman that you saw is the great city which has a kingdom over the earth’s kings.’


Following the common outline of the Nero Redux legend, the author has the wild animal—Nero restored to power after his apparent resurrection—turn against ‘Babylon’, the capital city Rome itself, ‘the great city which has a kingdom over the earth’s kings’. These client kings will fall under Nero’s command in his conquest of the capital city.



13.26 I myself will lift up your skirts over your face, and your shame will be seen.


3.5 ‘I am against you,’ says Yhwh of armies, ‘and will lift up your skirts over your face; and I will let nations look on your nakedness and kingdoms on your shame.’


16.34, 39, 41 So you were different from other women in your whorings […] I will deliver you into their hands, and they shall throw down your platform and break your lofty places; they shall strip you of your clothes and take your beautiful objects and leave you naked and bare. […] They shall burn your houses and execute judgments on you

23.10, 25–26, 29 These uncovered her nakedness; they seized her sons and her daughters; and they killed her with the sword. Judgement was executed upon her, and she became a byword among women. […] I will direct my indignation against you, in order that they may deal with you in fury. They shall cut off your nose and your ears, and your survivors shall fall by the sword. They shall seize your sons and your daughters, and your survivors shall be devoured by fire. They shall also strip you of your clothes and take away your fine jewels. […] and they shall deal with you in hatred, and take away all the fruit of your labour, and leave you naked and bare, and the nakedness of your whorings shall be exposed. Your lewdness and your whorings


38.24 About three months later Judah was told, ‘Your daughter-in-law Tamar has played the whore; moreover she is pregnant as a result of whoredom.’ And Judah said, ‘Bring her out, and let her be burned.’


21.9 When the daughter of a priest profanes herself through prostitution, she profanes her father; she shall be burned to death.

Sibylline Oracles

8.95–99 Woe to you, Italian land, great savage nation. You did not perceive whence you came, naked and unworthy to the light of the sun, so that you might go again naked to the same place and later come to judgment because you judge unjustly

8.143–144 For the empire of Rome, which then flourished, has perished, the ancient queen over the surrounding cities.

6 Ezra

15.51 You shall be weakened like a wretched woman who is beaten and wounded, so that you cannot receive your mighty lovers.

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