Revelation 18:1

Revelation 18:1

The Kings of the earth make this lament. The Merchants make it (Rev. Rev. 18:16+) : and the Mariners make it (Rev. Rev. 18:19+). In the first, the verbs introducing it are in the Future tense (Rev. Rev. 18:9+): in the second, in the Present (Rev. Rev. 18:11+), and in the third, the Past tense (Rev. Rev. 18:17+). It is as though a moving scene is passing before the eyes, while the interpreting angel explains it.1

The last verse of chapter 17 closed it by giving the interpretation of the woman as being “that great city.” Though the woman is the first thing mentioned in that chapter, yet her interpretation is left till the end, so that the mention of the city may lead on to the account of its destruction, which is the subject of chapter 18.3

Chapter 18 contains the description of the previously announced “judgment” of the prostitute (Rev. Rev. 17:1+). It is important not to separate this chapter from the portrayal of the prostitute in chapter Rev. 17:1+, for there is no warrant for making the prostitute in chapter Rev. 17:1+ different from the city in chapter Rev. 18:1+ (cf. Rev. Rev. 17:18+).4


1 E. W. Bullinger, Commentary On Revelation (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1984, 1935), Rev. 18:10.

2 Charles Feinberg, The Prophecy of Ezekiel: The Glory of the Lord (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1969), 150.

3 Bullinger, Commentary On Revelation, Rev. 18:1.

4 Alan F. Johnson, Revelation: The Expositor’s Bible Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1966), Rev. 18:1.

5 Bullinger, Commentary On Revelation, Rev. 18:1.

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