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  • As one can quite easily glimpse from its very text, the Book of Revelation was written in times of great persecution, so the sixth king must be the one in whose time a significant persecution against Christianity took place. Nero, the sixth Roman Emperor when counting from Caesar, seems to meet these two criteria.

  • Rome, the capital of the aforementioned Roman Empire, was a city (17:18) traditionally reckoned to have been established upon seven hills (17:9).

  • The seventh king, whose reign is explicitly described as lasting only a short while (17:10), seems like a rather transparent allusion to the year of the four emperors, when three kings followed in short succession; see also Daniel VII:8, 20, 24.

  • The eighth is then Vespasian, during whose reign Jerusalem and its Temple were leveled to the ground, making him a fitting candidate for the ominous title of Beast, ascribed to him in John's Apocalypse (17:11).

Lucian
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