“And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast, full of blasphemous names, having seven heads and ten horns. And upon her forehead a name was written, a mystery, the Mother of Harlots. The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits, and they are seven kings. And the ten horns which you saw, and the beast, these will hate the harlot and will make her desolate and naked, and will eat her flesh and will burn her up with fire. And the woman whom you saw is the great city, which reigns over the kings of the earth.”
For many years, Pastors such as Oswald J. Smith have taught evangelical Christians that the woman who sits on seven mountains in the Book of Revelation symbolizes none other than the Roman Catholic Church.
Seems like a perfect fit. Ancient Rome was built on seven hills and present day Rome is the seat of papal authority and the center of Roman Catholicism. Nevertheless, let’s examine the evidence before jumping to any conclusions.
The Vatican actually sits on an eighth hill, northwest of the original seven hills and on the opposite side of the Tiber River.
Revelation 17:10 reveals that the seven mountains, on which the woman sits, symbolize seven kings. The last verse of that same chapter depicts the woman as the “great city” that reigns over the kings of the earth. Revelation 11:8 describes the “great city” as mystical Sodom and Egypt where also our Lord was crucified.
It is common knowledge that Christ was crucified at the Place of the Skull, called Golgotha by Jews and Calvary by Romans, which was located just outside the ancient wall that surrounded Jerusalem at the beginning of the Christian Era. Hence, there is no doubt that the great city, symbolized by the woman who is called the Mother of Harlots, represents the city of Jerusalem. For only the Holy City, which was the seat of God's authority on earth, could be perceived as the great city that reigns over all nations.
“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.”