17:16"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 ten horns which you saw, and the BEAST, these

This is a reference back to verse 12. These are "evil" horns as they are on the BEAST. But there are "good" horns too (Revelation 5:6). So again we see the conflict between "good" and "evil" (Genesis 2:15-17). This conflict has kept all of us from the tree of life (Genesis 3:20-24 and Revelation 22:1-2,18-19). Since these horns are located on the head, where "thinking" takes place, this indicates that the four steps below are a CONSCIOUS effort.

  1. will HATE the HARLOT and

    The ten leaders will openly start showing contempt for the socioreligious consortium (harlot) now in control of the earth. However, because the BEAST wants everything, even this consortium must go. He, the BEAST, wants to control the entire earth himself. This implies that the ten leaders are puppet regimes.

    Throughout history, it is not unusual for political organizations to tolerate or even embrace religion when it deems it convenient or expedient. Yet underneath, one gets the sense that there is a mistrust between both parties. Hatred and envy work like that.

  2. will make her DESOLATE and NAKED, and

    After the hatred comes the conscious effort to deprive the consortium of its wealth. With the funding removed, the supporters will quickly leave, leaving the consortium NAKED. At this point the religious part of the consortium has nothing to offer, and the consortium loses its power to rule.

  3. will eat her FLESH and

    Just as the flesh is the outward appeal of our physical body, so, too, the appeal of the consortium disappears. The consortium is taken over (eaten) by the ten leaders and the BEAST.

    The FLESH here is used in similar manner as Micah (Micah 3:1-4) and David (Psalm 27:1-6) used this expression. It is the deliberate consuming of life sustaining organization.

  4. will burn her up with FIRE.

    This is consistent with the Old Testament punishment for Levitical harlotry (Leviticus 21:1-9). The socioreligious consortium will be totally eradicated. The ten leaders do not want this alliance to ever become viable again. Be aware however, that this is one of the ways a strong God executes judgment.