Revelation 18:20

20 “Rejoice over her, you heavens! Rejoice, you people of God! Rejoice, apostles and prophets! For God has judged her with the judgment she imposed on you.”

Revelation 18:20 in Other Translations

King James Version (KJV)
20 Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.
English Standard Version (ESV)
20 Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you saints and apostles and prophets, for God has given judgment for you against her!"
New Living Translation (NLT)
20 Rejoice over her fate, O heaven and people of God and apostles and prophets! For at last God has judged her for your sakes.
The Message Bible (MSG)
20 "O Heaven, celebrate! And join in, saints, apostles, and prophets! God has judged her; every wrong you suffered from her has been judged."
American Standard Version (ASV)
20 Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye saints, and ye apostles, and ye prophets; for God hath judged your judgment on her.
GOD'S WORD Translation (GW)
20 "Gloat over it, heaven, God's people, apostles, and prophets. God has condemned it for you."
Holman Christian Standard Bible (CSB)
20 Rejoice over her, heaven, and you saints, apostles, and prophets, because God has executed your judgment on her!
New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
20 Heaven, be glad for this! God's people, be glad! Apostles and prophets, be glad! God has judged her for the way she treated you.' "

Revelation 18:20 Meaning and Commentary

Revelation 18:20

Rejoice over her, thou heaven
This is said by the voice from heaven, ( Revelation 18:4 ) which having called upon the saints to come out of Babylon, and to take vengeance on her, now calls upon all good men to rejoice at her ruin, while others were weeping and wailing; not at that, simply considered, but as the justice of God is displayed therein: heaven may be literally understood, which sometimes is addressed when anything of very considerable note and moment is done or spoken of, whether it be something exceeding bad, as in ( Isaiah 1:2 ) ( Jeremiah 2:12 Jeremiah 2:13 ) or something exceeding great and good, as in ( Psalms 96:11-13 ) or else the inhabitants of heaven, either the angels, who as they rejoice at the good and happiness of the saints, so at the confusion and destruction of their enemies; and the Syriac version reads, "heavens and angels"; or else the souls of men departed, particularly the souls under the altar, that have been long crying for vengeance on account of the shedding of their blood, ( Revelation 6:9 ) who may be made acquainted with Rome's destruction; or rather the true church of Christ upon earth, which in this book often goes by the name of heaven, in opposition to the apostate church, called the earth, because its members, doctrines, and ordinances, are from heaven, and its happiness lies there:

and ye holy apostles and prophets;
the Alexandrian copy and Complutensian edition read, "and the saints, and the apostles, and prophets"; making three distinct sorts of persons, of which heaven, or the church, consists: by "saints" may be meant private members of churches, who are sanctified by the Spirit of God, and live holy lives and conversations; and by "apostles", not the twelve apostles, or persons in such an office as they were, but ordinary ministers of the word, who are sent forth to preach the Gospel, and will be upon the spot at the destruction of Babylon, and will be such as shall have preached and defended the pure apostolic doctrine; and by "prophets" are intended not the prophets of the Old Testament, nor such under the New who had the gift of foretelling things to come, but such who have a gift of interpreting the Scriptures and preaching the Gospel; the same with the two witnesses, who till this time will have prophesied in sackcloth, but shall now put it off, and put on the garments of praise and joy:

for God hath avenged you on her;
or "judged your judgment on her"; that is, has executed righteous judgment on her, for all the evils done by her to the saints in ages past, the predecessors of the persons here mentioned, as well as to themselves: vengeance belongs to the Lord, and he will avenge his elect sooner or later.

Revelation 18:20 In-Context

18 When they see the smoke of her burning, they will exclaim, ‘Was there ever a city like this great city?’
19 They will throw dust on their heads, and with weeping and mourning cry out: “ ‘Woe! Woe to you, great city, where all who had ships on the sea became rich through her wealth! In one hour she has been brought to ruin!’
20 “Rejoice over her, you heavens! Rejoice, you people of God! Rejoice, apostles and prophets! For God has judged her with the judgment she imposed on you.”
21 Then a mighty angel picked up a boulder the size of a large millstone and threw it into the sea, and said: “With such violence the great city of Babylon will be thrown down, never to be found again.
22 The music of harpists and musicians, pipers and trumpeters, will never be heard in you again. No worker of any trade will ever be found in you again. The sound of a millstone will never be heard in you again.

Cross References 2

  • 1. Jeremiah 51:48; S Revelation 12:12
  • 2. Revelation 19:2
Scripture quoted by permission.  Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®.  NIV®.  Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica.  All rights reserved worldwide.