Revelation 18:10

10 They stand far off in fear of her torment, saying: Woe, woe, the great city, Babylon, the mighty city! For in a single hour[a] your judgment has come.

Revelation 18:10 Meaning and Commentary

Revelation 18:10

Standing afar off for the fear of her torment
Lest they themselves should share in it, who have partook of her sins; either they will not be in a capacity to help her, or they will be dispirited, and will be in awe and dread of God's righteous judgments:

saying, alas! alas! that great city Babylon! that mighty city!
it will aggravate their sorrow, when they reflect upon the former grandeur, magnificence, power, and authority, of the city and see of Rome, so often called in this book the great city; and so it is by other writers; the Jews call it so: they say F3, when the Messiah comes,

``the kings of the world shall be gathered to (atbr atrq) , "the great city" of Rome; and the holy blessed God will cast upon them fire and hail, and great hail stones, (with which compare ( Revelation 16:21 ) ), and they shall perish from the world, except those kings that do not come there.''

It is common with the Jewish writers to call the Roman empire Edom; and Magdiel, one of the dukes of Edom, ( Genesis 36:43 ) who has his name from "greatness", is interpreted by one of their commentators F4 of Rome; the reason of which, another of them says F5, is because Rome is become great above all kingdoms: the mount of Esau in ( Obadiah 1:21 ) is interpreted (abr akrk ty) , "that great city" of Esau, which is Rome {f}, and the same epithet it has in the Talmud F7; and Porphyry calls it (thn megalhn polin) , "that great city", without making mention of its name, as here; so among the Latins F8, "Magnoe spes altera" Romae:

for in one hour is thy judgment come:
the Ethiopic version reads, "the hour of her judgment"; the time of her punishment fixed by God; but the sense is, that her vengeance was suddenly come upon her; this is the judgment of the great whore, which the angel proposed to show to John, ( Revelation 17:1 ) .


F3 Zohar in Gen. fol. 74. 3.
F4 Jarchi in Gen. xxxvi. 43.
F5 Abarbinel in Dan. fol. 42. 3.
F6 Jarchi in Obadiah, ver. 21.
F7 T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 21. 2.
F8 Servius in Virgil, Eclog. 6. p. 67.

Revelation 18:10 In-Context

8 therefore her plagues will come in one day- death, and grief, and famine. She will be burned up with fire, because the Lord God who judges her is mighty.
9 The kings of the earth who have committed sexual immorality and lived luxuriously with her will weep and mourn over her when they see the smoke of her burning.
10 They stand far off in fear of her torment, saying: Woe, woe, the great city, Babylon, the mighty city! For in a single hour your judgment has come.
11 The merchants of the earth will also weep and mourn over her, because no one buys their merchandise any longer-
12 merchandise of gold, silver, precious stones, and pearls; fine fabrics of linen, purple, silk, and scarlet; all kinds of fragrant wood products; objects of ivory; objects of expensive wood, brass, iron, and marble;

Footnotes 1

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