In Revelation 17:10, John receives an explanation of the seven heads of a beast he has seen:

They are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; but when he does come, he must remain for only a little while.

This has strong echoes of John 4:18, 25 with Jesus is speaking to a Samaritan woman at a well:

"The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true."

The woman said, "I know that Messiah" (called Christ) "is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us."

I take the well scene as bearing the marriage motif from the Pentateuch where well scenes lead to the marriages of Rebekah, Rachel, and Zipporah - the implication being that Jesus, the coming one, is the true (seventh) husband in the scene (cf John 3:29). But what is the implication of the allusion here in Revelation 17:10? How does the woman at the well story contribute to the meaning of the seven heads/hills/kings?

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    Strong echoes? Allusion? These two passages happen to have the same numbers, but the similarity stops there. The contexts in the two passages are very different.
    – colboynik
    Commented Sep 26, 2019 at 1:45
  • @Jack The similarity hardly stops at the numbers. It's not just 5-1-1; it is five that were, one that is, and one that is to come. And I'm not even sure the contexts are very different since the great prostitute of Rev 17:1 is quite clearly the mirror contrast with the bride of the Lamb in 21:9 - putting us in a context with marriage themes pertaining to the Christ just as in John 4.
    – Soldarnal
    Commented Sep 26, 2019 at 16:25
  • @NigelJ My question includes the quote of John 4:25 for who is to come. This post spells it out a lot more who is the seventh husband in the scene.
    – Soldarnal
    Commented Sep 29, 2019 at 2:00
  • @Soldarnal I see the connection with Jacob/Rachel. I cannot see any connection with Revelation 17:10, I'm afraid.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Sep 29, 2019 at 19:43
  • @Soldarnal - A careful reading of the texts in their contexts and proper exegesis, not eisegesis, will show that NO allusion, NO connection there is at all. These private interpretations have made the prophecies a laughingstock to the world. All things are permissible/lawful, but all things are not profitable/building up. I suggest "takedown, and I have to -1 vote.
    – Sam
    Commented Jan 10, 2022 at 4:15

3 Answers 3


While this analysis of Revelation 17 does not mention the Samaritan woman, it does show the Jerusalem is "married" to Rome (during the 2nd Temple period), and the overall effect of the passage is alluding to John 4:


I was leery at first because the woman at the well was a Samaritan, but that is explained in this part of the article:

The fact that Jerusalem and Rome are having an adulterous affair in Revelation 17 is made more certain by the uncanny similarities between Revelation 17 and Ezekiel 23. In Ezekiel 23 Jerusalem and Samaria are sisters in a marriage covenant with God. However, these sisters defile the sanctity of their marriage by prostituting themselves like the whore of Babylon with their male lovers; Egypt, Assyria and Babylon. Did you catch that? Jerusalem had already been accused of being the whore of Babylon in Ezekiel 23 referring to her adulterous affair with ancient Babylon. Jerusalem is given this same label again in Revelation 17.

A fascinating find, @Soldernal; kudos.


You are absolutely correct. I suppose there is a connection between these verses, even more when we take into consideration the style of the Gospel of John, and the fact that he was the one who also wrote Revelation.

I supppose it has to do with Jerusalem, and her Husband (Her King). Essentially, that was supposed to be Jesus, and we know that years after this encounter between Jesus and this woman, the jews chose the Caesar as their king. Until that time, Rome was not Jerusalem's husband (That's where this mystery may take us)

That's the mystery of babylon, the harlot, the one with the blood of the prophets. It's not Rome, obviously. It's the city that refuses to accept it's own husband. But that's going too far in another direction... let's talk about this 5 husbands.

On both passages, 5 husbands had died already, 1 was still not the husband. We know that in revelation, one is yet to come (the antichrist), who will resurrect, and pretend to be the the Christ, copying Jesus (false christ).

Nonetheless, dennis answer is wrong. Jerusalem lovers were the: Egyptians / Assyrins / Babylonians / Persians / Greek / Romans / (samaritan woman and revelation) The Beast / The Beast Ressurected (8th king is the same, but who will now destroy the woman)

The Samaritan Woman is a shadown of the Bride/Harlot.

You are correct. I suppose it's not an allusion, but a hint, to better understand Revelation. The gospel of John is full of these.

  • Welcome to Bible Hermeneutics SE and thank you for your contribution. When you get a chance, please take the tour to understand how the site works and how it is different than others.
    – agarza
    Commented Jan 9, 2022 at 21:23
  • Welcome @vitorherold to BH Comm. - A careful reading of the texts in their contexts and proper exegesis, not eisegesis, will show that NO allusion, NO connection there is at all. These kinds of private interpretations have made the prophecies a laughingstock to the world. All things are permissible/lawful, but all things are not profitable/building up. I have to recommend "close."
    – Sam
    Commented Jan 10, 2022 at 4:12
  • Thanks @Sam, but I do have to disagree with you. It's not eisegesis, but rather a cross reference of a type/shadow. Revelation is full of these references. For ex: 1 John 2:18: "Antichrist SHALL come, even now there are MANY Antichrists", directly correlated to Rev. 17. Another ex: 1 Kings 10:14 and the 666 talents of gold. Without Rev. 13, 666 talents of Gold would have little meaning. But we know there is. So I would agree with your worries if we were talking about doctrine. But we are not. Escathology is, to this day, obscured to men, and as time passes we just may find more connections. Commented Jan 10, 2022 at 23:56
  • Also... I suppose you find these passages unrelated, probably because of your understanding of Rev. 17. I believe you hold the position that the harlot is a Corrupt Religious System, the Catholic Church, or Rome. Which I, of course, disagree. I think it represents Jerusalem. Nonetheless... you just copied the coment you made to @Soldarnal, which makes me believe that you barely read my answer. Commented Jan 11, 2022 at 0:01
  • @vitorherold - Yours were in my review queues. As Peter warns, Bible students must not take any text, out of its proper contexts and intention, for private interpretations. We must go through the Biblical Hermeneutics processes to avoid Hermeneutic Fallacies - i.e., Allegoizing, Typologizing, Gener confusion, False combination (of different passages), and False supposition, to name a few, which do injustice to the Divine inspired Scripture - the written Word of God. By the way, my view of Rev 17:1 is not of the Roman church as you assume. Blessings!
    – Sam
    Commented Jan 11, 2022 at 6:43

Re: "Allusion between REVELATION 17:10 and JOHN 4:18 & 25 " was the question. Answer: "And there are seven kings: five are fallen, one is, and the other is not yet come: and when he cometh, he must continue a short space." We must remember here that the Angel is explaining to John the visions he had previously seen in symbols,and is now speaking to John in plain language.So casting our mind back to John's day that is AD96, this verse confirms that the seven heads were rulers,or types of government.The seven types of government during the period of Imperial Pagan Rome were :Kings,Consuls,Dictators,Decemvirs,Military Tribunes,Emperors,Despotic Emperors.In John's day five of those types of government mentioned had passed into history, and Rome was headed by Emperors,the sixth head.So we see another identification mark, the sixth was the "and one is". Then it says : "and the other is not yet come".The one to come was the Despotic emperors, which the Revelation says would continue a short space. John 4:28 & 25 have absolutely nothing to do with REVELATION 17:10.

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