723. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy. This symbolizes the Roman Catholic religion resting on the Word that the people profaned.
The woman symbolizes the Roman Catholic or Babel-like religion, for we are told in a following verse that "on her forehead a name was written: Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of the Whoredoms and Abominations of the Earth." That a woman symbolizes the church by virtue of its affection for truth may be seen in no. 434; here it is the Roman Catholic religion, which is impelled by the opposite affection. The scarlet beast symbolizes the Word, as will be seen presently; and its being full of names of blasphemy symbolizes the Word's being utterly profaned. For blasphemy symbolizes a denial of the Lord's Divinity in His humanity, and an adulteration of the Word (nos. 571, 582, 692, 715), thus its profanation. For someone who fails to acknowledge the Lord's Divinity in His humanity and falsifies the Word, but not intentionally, does indeed commit profanation, but lightly. But people who claim for themselves all the power of the Lord's Divine humanity, and for that reason deny His Divinity, and who apply everything in the Word to acquiring dominion for themselves over the sanctities of the church and heaven, and for that reason adulterate the Word - those people commit serious profanation.
It can be seen from this that the woman John saw sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy symbolizes the aforesaid religion resting on the Word that it profaned. The color scarlet symbolize the Word's truth from a celestial origin.
(Odkazy: Revelation 17:3)
 The idea that the scarlet beast symbolizes the Word as to celestial Divine truth appears at first as far-fetched and foreign, indeed as absurd, because it is called a beast. But that a beast in the spiritual sense symbolizes a natural affection, and that it is used to symbolize the Word, the church and mankind, may be seen in nos. 239, 405, 567 above; that the four living creatures, one of which was a lion, the second a calf, and the fourth an eagle, symbolize the Word, and in Ezekiel are also called beasts, nos. 239, 275, 286, 672; and that a horse, which is also a beast, symbolizes an understanding of the Word (no. 298).
People know that the Lamb symbolizes the Lord, that sheep symbolize the people in a church, and that a flock symbolizes the church itself.
We cite these points lest anyone be surprised that the scarlet beast symbolizes the Word.
Moreover, because the Roman Catholic religion founds its might and its grandeur on the Word, therefore John saw the woman sitting on the scarlet beast, as before she sat on many waters (verse 1), the waters symbolizing the Word's truths adulterated and profaned (no. 719 above).
That the beast here symbolizes the Word is clearly apparent from what is said about it in the verses of this chapter that follow. As in verse 8:
The beast that you saw was, and is not... And those who dwell on the earth will marvel..., when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.
In verse 11:
The beast that was, and is not, is itself the eighth (king), and is of the seven, and is going to destruction.
In verses 12, 13:
The ten horns... are ten kings..., (who) will give their power and authority to the beast.
In verse 17:
...God has put it into their hearts to... give their kingdom to the beast....
Statements like these could be made only in reference to the Word.
Napsal(a) New Christian Bible Study Staff
The head is the part of us that is highest, which means in a representative sense that it is what is closest to the Lord. Because of this the head represents what is inmost in us, the thing at the center of our being. In most cases this means intelligence and wisdom, since most of us are in state of life in which we are led by our thoughts and reason. In the case of the Lord, however, it often represents His perfect love. And in many cases the head is used to represent the whole person, because everything in us flows from what is inmost.