PLUS Resource: 6 Prayers for When You Are Fighting Anxiety

Revelation 18

SUMMARY.--The Fall of Babylon Decreed. The People of God Commanded to Come out of Her. The Kings of the Earth Lament Over Her Fall. The Merchants and Traffickers Also Lament. The Millstone Cast into the Sea.

      9-14. The kings . . . shall bewail her. There will be mourners. Those who have sinned with her, or profited by her will bewail her fall. 10. Standing afar off. The picture represents these mourners looking from a great distance, afraid to approach nearer. For in one hour is thy judgment come. It has come suddenly. 11. And the merchants of the earth shall weep. All who had made gain in any way from the sins or the luxury of Babylon shall mourn. There follows, then, an enumeration of the articles in which there was traffic. 13. Slaves and souls of men. The Greek reads, "the bodies and souls of men." The first seems to refer to the traffic in slaves, a common traffic until modern times and sanctioned by the Papacy. The latter expression seems to me to refer to a spiritual traffic. What is the whole system of masses for the dead, paid for out of the money drawn from mourning relatives, but a traffic in the souls of men? 14. The fruits. These things for which Babylon so lusted are all gone from her forever.

      15-19. The merchants of these things . . . shall stand afar off. The lamentation of the kings over the fall of the city has been given in verses 9-14 . The lamentation of the merchants is now given. They are also represented as standing afar off. With them join the shipmasters and mariners who have been engaged in her trade. These all mourn because their profits from her are brought to an end.

      20. Rejoice over her, thou heaven. While there are mourners, another company is called upon to rejoice. She had exalted herself against God. All who have been for God, and who have suffered from her, are called to rejoice.

      21-24. And a strong angel took up a millstone. See Jeremiah 51:61-64 . This symbolical act implies an utter destruction. In Jeremiah the stone is cast into the Euphrates. Now it is cast into the sea, because another Babylon is designed. 22. And the voice of harpers. It is this third angel who declares the silence and desolation of the city now. And the sound of the millstone. In the mills grinding food for the people. The mills were hand-mills, usually worked by women as a domestic duty. 23. For with thy sorcery were all the nations deceived. This accounts for the fact that all nations poured their treasures into her lap. 24. And in her was found the blood of the prophets. It is because she has slain the saints of the Most High that these judgments come upon her. As Jerusalem in the time of Christ filled up the measure of the sins of Israel (see Matthew 23:29 Matthew 23:35 Matthew 23:36 Luke 11:51 Luke 13:33 ), so the spiritual Babylon, the great persecutor, fills up the measure of the sins of the beast and false prophet, and is required to account for the blood of slaughtered prophets and saints of all ages.

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