After the vision of these things, I saw another angel coming down from heaven. This angel had great power, and his glory made the earth bright.
He shouted in a powerful voice: "Ruined, ruined is the great city of Babylon! She has become a home for demons and a prison for every evil spirit, and a prison for every unclean bird and unclean beast.
She has been ruined, because all the peoples of the earth have drunk the wine of the desire of her sexual sin. She has been ruined also because the kings of the earth have sinned sexually with her, and the merchants of the earth have grown rich from the great wealth of her luxury."
Then I heard another voice from heaven saying: "Come out of that city, my people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive the disasters that will come to her.
Her sins have piled up as high as the sky, and God has not forgotten the wrongs she has done.
Give that city the same as she gave to others. Pay her back twice as much as she did. Prepare wine for her that is twice as strong as the wine she prepared for others.
She gave herself much glory and rich living. Give her that much suffering and sadness. She says to herself, 'I am a queen sitting on my throne. I am not a widow; I will never be sad.'
So these disasters will come to her in one day: death, and crying, and great hunger, and she will be destroyed by fire, because the Lord God who judges her is powerful."
The kings of the earth who sinned sexually with her and shared her wealth will see the smoke from her burning. Then they will cry and be sad because of her death.
They will be afraid of her suffering and stand far away and say: "Terrible! How terrible for you, great city, powerful city of Babylon, because your punishment has come in one hour!"
And the merchants of the earth will cry and be sad about her, because now there is no one to buy their cargoes --
cargoes of gold, silver, jewels, pearls, fine linen, purple cloth, silk, red cloth; all kinds of citron wood and all kinds of things made from ivory, expensive wood, bronze, iron, and marble;
cinnamon, spice, incense, myrrh, frankincense, wine, olive oil, fine flour, wheat, cattle, sheep, horses, carriages, slaves, and human lives.
The merchants will say, "Babylon, the good things you wanted are gone from you. All your rich and fancy things have disappeared. You will never have them again."
The merchants who became rich from selling to her will be afraid of her suffering and will stand far away. They will cry and be sad
and say: "Terrible! How terrible for the great city! She was dressed in fine linen, purple and red cloth, and she was shining with gold, precious jewels, and pearls!
All these riches have been destroyed in one hour!" Every sea captain, every passenger, the sailors, and all those who earn their living from the sea stood far away from Babylon.
As they saw the smoke from her burning, they cried out loudly, "There was never a city like this great city!"
And they threw dust on their heads and cried out, weeping and being sad. They said: "Terrible! How terrible for the great city! All the people who had ships on the sea became rich because of her wealth! But she has been destroyed in one hour!
Be happy because of this, heaven! Be happy, God's holy people and apostles and prophets! God has punished her because of what she did to you."
Then a powerful angel picked up a large stone, like one used for grinding grain, and threw it into the sea. He said: "In the same way, the great city of Babylon will be thrown down, and it will never be found again.
The music of people playing harps and other instruments, flutes, and trumpets, will never be heard in you again. No workman doing any job will ever be found in you again. The sound of grinding grain will never be heard in you again.
The light of a lamp will never shine in you again, and the voices of a bridegroom and bride will never be heard in you again. Your merchants were the world's great people, and all the nations were tricked by your magic.
You are guilty of the death of the prophets and God's holy people and all who have been killed on earth."
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.