Revelation 18

The Fall of Babylon the Great

1 After this I saw another angel with great authority coming down from heaven, and the earth was illuminated by his splendor.
2 He cried in a mighty voice: It has fallen,[a] Babylon the Great has fallen![b] She has become a dwelling for demons, a haunt[c] for every unclean spirit, a haunt[d] for every unclean bird, and a haunt[e] for every unclean and despicable beast.[f] [g]
3 For all the nations have drunk[h] the wine of her sexual immorality, which brings wrath.[i] The kings of the earth have committed sexual immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have grown wealthy from her excessive luxury.
4 Then I heard another voice from heaven: Come out of her, My people, so that you will not share in her sins,[j] or receive any of her plagues.
5 For her sins are piled up[k] to heaven,[l] and God has remembered her crimes.
6 Pay her back the way she also paid,[m] and double it according to her works.[n] In the cup in which she mixed,[o] mix a double portion for her.
7 As much as she glorified herself and lived luxuriously, give her that much torment and grief. Because she says in her heart, 'I sit as queen; I am not a widow, and I will never see grief,'[p]
8 therefore her plagues will come in one day[q]- death, and grief, and famine. She will be burned up with fire, because the Lord God who judges her is mighty.

The World Mourns Babylon's Fall

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[r] 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,[s] iron, and marble;
13 cinnamon, spice,[t] [u] incense, myrrh,[v] and frankincense; wine, olive oil, fine wheat flour, and grain; cattle and sheep; horses and carriages; and human bodies and souls.[w] [x] [y]
14 The fruit you craved has left you. All your splendid and glamorous things are gone; they will never find them again.
15 The merchants of these things, who became rich from her, will stand far off in fear of her torment, weeping and mourning,
16 saying: Woe, woe, the great city, clothed in fine linen, purple, and scarlet, adorned with gold, precious stones, and pearls;
17 because in a single hour[z] such fabulous wealth was destroyed! And every shipmaster, seafarer, the sailors, and all who do business by sea, stood far off
18 as they watched the smoke from her burning and kept crying out: "Who is like the great city?"[aa]
19 They threw dust on their heads and kept crying out, weeping, and mourning:[ab] Woe, woe, the great city,[ac] where all those who have ships on the sea became rich from her wealth; because in a single hour[ad] she was destroyed.
20 Rejoice over her, heaven, and you saints, apostles, and prophets,[ae] because God has executed your judgment on her![af]

The Finality of Babylon's Fall

21 Then a mighty angel[ag] picked up a stone like a large millstone and threw it into the sea, saying: In this way, Babylon the great city will be thrown down violently[ah] and never be found again.[ai]
22 The sound of harpists, musicians, flutists, and trumpeters will never be heard in you again;[aj] no craftsman of any trade will ever be found in you again; the sound of a mill will never be heard in you again;
23 the light of a lamp will never shine in you again; and the voice of a groom and bride will never be heard in you again.[ak] [All this will happen] because your merchants were the nobility of the earth, because all the nations were deceived by your sorcery,[al]
24 and the blood of prophets and saints, and all those slaughtered on earth, was found in you.[am] [an]

Footnotes 40

  • [a]. Other mss omit It has fallen
  • [b]. Rv 14:8; Isaiah 21:9
  • [c]. Or prison
  • [d]. Or prison
  • [e]. Or prison
  • [f]. Other mss omit the words and a haunt for every unclean beast. The words and despicable then refer to the bird of the previous line.
  • [g]. Isaiah 13:20-22
  • [h]. Other mss read have collapsed; other mss read have fallen
  • [i]. Rv 14:8; 17:2
  • [j]. Isaiah 52:11; Jr 50:8; 51:6,9,45; 2 Co 6:17
  • [k]. Or sins have reached up
  • [l]. Jr 51:9
  • [m]. Jr 50:29
  • [n]. Isaiah 40:2; Jr 16:18; 17:18
  • [o]. Rv 14:8
  • [p]. Isaiah 47:7-8
  • [q]. Suddenly
  • [r]. Suddenly
  • [s]. Or bronze, or copper
  • [t]. Other mss omit spice
  • [u]. Or amomum, an aromatic plant
  • [v]. Or perfume
  • [w]. Or carriages; and slaves, namely, human beings
  • [x]. Slaves; "bodies" was the Gk way of referring to slaves; "souls of men" was the Hb way.
  • [y]. Gn 36:6; Nm 31:32-35; 1 Ch 5:21; Ezk 27:13
  • [z]. Suddenly
  • [aa]. Ezk 27:32
  • [ab]. Ezk 27:30
  • [ac]. Rv 18:10, 16
  • [ad]. Suddenly
  • [ae]. Rv 12:12
  • [af]. Or God pronounced on her the judgment she passed on you; see Rv 18:6
  • [ag]. Rv 5:2; 10:1
  • [ah]. Jr 51:59-64
  • [ai]. Rv 16:20; 18:11,14,22-23
  • [aj]. Isaiah 24:8
  • [ak]. Jr 25:10
  • [al]. Ancient sorcery or witchcraft often used spells and drugs. Here the term may be non-literal, that is, Babylon drugged the nations with her beauty and power.
  • [am]. Lit in her
  • [an]. Rv 6:10; 16:6

Revelation 18 Commentaries

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