I'm reading the prophetic book of Revelation and comparing it with Daniel for I heard they are talking about the same subject.
In chapters 17 to 18, it seems to be specific in symbolism for it points out that the woman, who is a whore, is a kingdom that sits on seven hills and that it consists of multitudes of people.
Well in cross-referencing and going to history to backtrack, Jeremiah points out that a woman in prophecy represents a church. "I have likened the daughter of Zion to a comely and delicate woman" (Jeremiah 6:2). So this other woman is called a whore in Revelation. She persecutes and blasphemes. This same woman blasphemes against God elsewhere in Revelation.
In searching history, I have seen that the Roman Catholic Church had indeed killed millions of God's saints. Yes, I will have to study this more but what insight can you give me?
I know your busy and all, but I am not just curious here. It seems to be a dire warning for all mankind, yes? Thank you, if you can shed some light here.
Many people do not actually study what the Bible says, but instead only search the Bible to prove what they have already decided. If we are to understand Revelation, we must first accept its own statements about its context.
First, Revelation says it is about things which will shortly take place:
"The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants--things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John" (Revelation 1:1).
"Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near" (Revelation 1:3).
"Then he said to me, "These words are faithful and true." And the Lord God of the holy prophets sent His angel to show His servants the things which must shortly take place" (Revelation 22:6).
"And he said to me, "Do not seal the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand" (Revelation 22:10).
Any understanding of Revelation that puts the bulk of its contents outside the first few centuries of the church is necessarily wrong since such would not be close or at hand.
The Roman Catholic Church is a popular target for applying the prophecies of Revelation. It is a big target and easily hit with many charges. But since Catholicism gradually evolved and most put the start of Catholicism to 606 A.D. with the naming of the first Pope, this is isn't close to the time of Christians in John's day. Also, the harlot in Revelation is killed, but the Catholic church continues. Again this doesn't match something that was going to take place shortly.
There is a reason people can find similarities. The history of mankind tends to repeat itself. "Is there anything of which it may be said, "See, this is new"? It has already been in ancient times before us. There is no remembrance of former things, Nor will there be any remembrance of things that are to come By those who will come after" (Ecclesiastes 1:10-11). The problems faced by Christians in John's time are similar to problems Christians have repeatedly faced throughout history.
Your reference does not demonstrate that a woman represents the church. In Jeremiah, God used a woman to represent Israel -- a nation. And you find that imagery used a lot. For example, the nation of Israel and Judah are referred to as sisters (see Ezekiel 16:45-48). Even if you found a prophecy where the church is represented by a woman, it would not prove that every reference to a woman in prophetic writing is necessarily a church.
Harlotry in the Old Testament is often connected with idolatry by the prophets. That is because there is a covenant relationship between God and His people, just as there is a covenant between a husband and wife in marriage. When God's people start worshipping idols, that is harlotry in God's sight -- the violation of the covenant. "Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the LORD" (Jeremiah 31:33).
Several cities were called harlots in the Old Testament. Nineveh was called a harlot of conquests (Nahum 3:1, 4). Tyre was a harlot of commerce (Isaiah 23:15-17). Babylon was a harlot of worldly pleasures (Isaiah 47:5-15). And Jerusalem was charged with being a harlot of religion (Isaiah 1:21). The harlot of Revelation is in the vein of Babylon, she is seducing people through lusts (Revelation 17:2) and wealth (Revelation 17:4). We are also told that she produces and nurtures abominations in the world (Revelation 17:5). What we see is that the harlot of Revelation combines the worse of all the prior harlot cities.
The harlot holds a rich cup (Revelation 17:4), but it is filled with filth. We are told that she is drunk on the blood of martyrs (Revelation 17:6; see also Isaiah 29:9; Habakkuk 2:5).
She sits on many waters (Revelation 17:1), so we are talking about at seaport town. It is also a reference that she rules over many people of different nationalities (Revelation 17:15). This does bring to mind Daniel's prophecy of the Roman Empire in Daniel 2:42-43, Rome's might (the iron) was its ability to conquer, but its weakness as that it couldn't mold the conquered nations into a single whole (iron mixed with clay).
She sprawls on a beast that lays on seven hills (Revelation 17:9), which recalls the name of Rome as the city on seven hills. And that is who John is referring to in Revelation: Rome, a city of idolatry that persecuted and killed Christians in its pursuit of worldly pleasures.