The great whore and the beast explained. “Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and talked with me, saying to me, ‘Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication.’’ Revelation 17: 5 goes on to say, “And on her forehead a name was written: “Mystery, Babylon the great, the mother of harlots and the abominations of the earth.” The parenthetical portion is inserted between these passages to show the contrast between mystical and literal Babylon. Both of which are under the 7th vial. It is an alien passage in subject matter and must be recognized as parenthetical in that it explains the mystery of the great whore and the beast that carries her (Rev 17: 1-18). The time of the fulfillment is in the middle of Daniel’s 70th week, as is clear from the fact that the 10 kings give their power to the beast, at this time and they turn on the great whore to destroy her, so that the beast worship of Rev 13: may be established (Rev 17: 8-17). The beast carries her, so she must be something separate from the beast itself. One is political; the other religious.
The beast has the 7  heads and 10 horns. He symbolizes something (v 11), and the heads symbolizes something else (v 12-17). To have a true understanding of the beast, one must think of him as being different from both the heads and horns. The 7 heads are 7 mountains and the 7 mountains are 7 kings or kingdoms coexistent with Israel from the beginning to the 8th kingdom (v 9-11), making the 8 kingdoms that will have persecuted Israel in the times of the Gentiles (Lk 21: 24; Rom 11: 25). Here, 5 of the 7 kingdoms that already passed. (Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, And Greece), and the one now is (the 6th, the old Roman Empire), and the other is not yet come (the 7th, made up of the 10 kingdoms that are yet to be formed inside the Roman Empire, Dan. 7: 23-24); and when he the 7th, or the Revised Roman Empire) cometh, he must continue a short space (3 1/2 years, Rev 12: 12-14). The beast that was (had existed on earth before John’s day) and is not (on earth in John’s day), even he is the 8th (8th kingdom, succeeding the 7 preceding kingdoms), and is of the 7 (of one of the 7, the 5th or Greece, that had fallen before John’s day and becomes the 8th after the 6th and 7th kingdoms), and goes into perdition Rev 17: 9-11). Let me remind you, this is were Satan seat is, and he ruled the earth from Greece, were he dwell Rev 2: 12-13. The ten horns or the ten toes are the same as ten kings or kingdoms. When they come to be during the great tribulation, the kings will rule for 3 1/2 years independent from the beast, or the Antichrist, or the 8th kingdoms which are the same. And the ten kings will give they power to the Antichrist the last 3 1/2 years of this age Rev 17: 10-17; 13: 5. This proves the 10 kings have not yet come. They are not here now, but will yet come and fight Jesus Christ at Armageddon. (Rev 17:  13-14; 19: 19-21; Dan. 2: 44-45; 7: 23-27; 8: 20-25; 11: 45; 12: 7).
In conclusion, we have the destruction of the great whore, the apostate religious system which dominates the 10 kingdoms, while Antichrist is coming to power over them (v 16-17). The woman in (v 18) is not a political power for she is not classed as one with the ten kings of the Revised Roman Empire. She only causes the kings and inhabitants of the earth to be drunk with the wine of her fornication (Rev 17: 2-4). May the Holy Spirit bless you with the right understanding of these passages, in Jesus Almighty name. Amen.