true and righteous are His judgments
The same attributes attributed to the Father here are attributed to the Lamb Who rides forth on the white horse Who is Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges [emphasis added] (Rev. Rev. 19:11+). See commentary on Revelation 19:11.
The judgments of God are accurately assessed (true), utterly just, even required (righteous). Righteous are You, O LORD, and upright are Your judgments (Ps. Ps. 119:137). At the pouring forth of the third bowl, the angel from the altar made the same declaration, true and righteous are Your judgments (Rev. Rev. 16:7+). When we consider the great upheaval and destruction which is the Tribulation, how quick we are to question Gods righteous punishment of sin! As the text reminds us time and time again, the severity of the judgments described in the book of Revelation are not evidence of Gods unfairness. Rather, their severity is a testimony to His righteousnessfor only He knows the full breadth and depth of the sin which He now judges. The judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb (Ps. Ps. 19:9-10). See commentary on Revelation 16:5 and Revelation 16:7.
He has judged
In the praise of the multitude is found the fulfillment of Gods reply to the cry of the martyrs of the fifth seal:
And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth? Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed. (Rev. Rev. 6:10-11+) [emphasis added]The cry of the martyrs reminds God that He is holy and true. His holiness requires judgment of sin. His true character guarantees He will deliver judgment. If He withheld judgment, He would be neither holy nor true.
the great harlot
The great harlot is τὴν πόρνην τὴν μεγάλην [tēn pornēn tēn megalēn] : the harlot, the great [one]. Although there have been many harlots upon the earth, this is a unique harlot among themthe mother of harlots (Rev. Rev. 17:5+). John was told by an angel that he would be shown the judgment of the great harlot (Rev. Rev. 17:1+). Her judgment is the subject of Revelation Rev. 17:1+ and Rev. 18:1+, and is not complete until the events of both chapters have transpired. The multitude declares the events of both chapters as a single judgment of the Harlot, which is the city. There is no intimation of two judgments, as if the Harlot was some other entity than the city itself. If the Harlot is taken as being something other than the city, then Scripture fails to record any heavenly exultation over the destruction of the city itself. This exultation over the great Harlot is in response to the destruction of the city. See The Great Harlot.
who corrupted the earth with her fornication
Corrupted is ἔθειρεν [etheiren] : she ruined: Ruin, destroy; . . . in morals and religion seduce, corrupt. mislead.1 She made all the nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication (Rev. Rev. 14:8+). See commentary on Revelation 14:8. She committed fornication both with the kings of the earth and its inhabitants (Rev. Rev. 17:1+). See commentary on Revelation 17:1. The entire earth was involved because of her influence: sitting on peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues (Rev. Rev. 17:15+).
He has avenged on her the blood of His servants shed by her
The servants of God include saints, prophets, and apostlesall those who fear and trust Him (Rev. Rev. 10:7+; Rev. 11:18+; Rev. 15:3+; Rev. 19:5+; Rev. 22:3+). The book of Revelation was given to His servants (Rev. Rev. 1:1+; Rev. 22:6+). It was Gods servants who were seduced to commit sexual immorality by Jezebel in the church at Thyatira (Rev. Rev. 2:20+). Those who serve God have been a prime target of persecution throughout history, but never more so than during the Tribulation. The Harlot was drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus (Rev. Rev. 17:6+). In her was found the blood of prophets and saints, and of all who were slain on the earth (Rev. Rev. 18:24+). See commentary on Revelation 18:24.
Since she rode upon the Beast with seven heads throughout history and sat upon all nations, she influenced those on the earth to persecute the saints. Her persecuting role found its climax in the Tribulation when she influenced the earth dwellers to execute multitudes of martyrs who had the testimony of Christ (Rev. Rev. 6:9+; Rev. 7:14+; Rev. 12:11+; Rev. 13:7+, Rev. 13:15+; Rev. 15:2+; Rev. 16:6+; Rev. 20:4+).
It is God Who shall avenge His servantsthey are not to avenge themselves (Mtt. Mat. 26:51-53). Yet Scripture records times when Gods judgment is carried out through human intermediaries. In the days of Jezebel, God anointed Jehu as king and avenged His servants at the hand of the king: Thus says the LORD God of Israel: I have anointed you king over the people of the LORD, over Israel. You shall strike down the house of Ahab your master, that I may avenge the blood of My servants the prophets, and the blood of all the servants of the LORD, at the hand of Jezebel (2K. 2K. 9:6-7). Similarly, Gods judgment against the Harlot was carried out by the Beast and his ten kings (Rev. Rev. 17:16+). See commentary on Revelation 17:16 and Revelation 18:20.