Revelation 18:1-10

Lament Over Fallen Babylon

1 After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven. He had great authority, and the earth was illuminated by his splendor.
2 With a mighty voice he shouted: “ ‘Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great!’[a]She has become a dwelling for demons and a haunt for every impure spirit, a haunt for every unclean bird, a haunt for every unclean and detestable animal.
3 For all the nations have drunk the maddening wine of her adulteries. The kings of the earth committed adultery with her, and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries.”

Warning to Escape Babylon’s Judgment

4 Then I heard another voice from heaven say: “ ‘Come out of her, my people,’[b]so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues;
5 for her sins are piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her crimes.
6 Give back to her as she has given; pay her back double for what she has done. Pour her a double portion from her own cup.
7 Give her as much torment and grief as the glory and luxury she gave herself. In her heart she boasts, ‘I sit enthroned as queen. I am not a widow;[c]I will never mourn.’
8 Therefore in one day her plagues will overtake her: death, mourning and famine. She will be consumed by fire, for mighty is the Lord God who judges her.

Threefold Woe Over Babylon’s Fall

9 “When the kings of the earth who committed adultery with her and shared her luxury see the smoke of her burning, they will weep and mourn over her.
10 Terrified at her torment, they will stand far off and cry: “ ‘Woe! Woe to you, great city, you mighty city of Babylon! In one hour your doom has come!’

Revelation 18:1 in Other Translations

KJV
1 And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.
ESV
1 After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was made bright with his glory.
NLT
1 After all this I saw another angel come down from heaven with great authority, and the earth grew bright with his splendor.
MSG
1 Following this I saw another Angel descend from Heaven. His authority was immense, his glory flooded earth with brightness,
CSB
1 After this I saw another angel with great authority coming down from heaven, and the earth was illuminated by his splendor.

Revelation 18:1-10 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO REVELATION 18

This chapter gives an account of the fall of Babylon, and of the lamentation of many, and of the joy of others, by reason of it; which account is published by several angels: the first that declares her fall is described by his original, descending from heaven; by the great power he had; by his resplendent glory, and by his mighty cry in publishing her destruction; which is illustrated by the desolate condition she will be in upon her fall; the reasons of which are given, became the nations and kings of the earth had committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth were enriched by her luxury, Re 18:1-3. Another voice is heard from heaven, calling upon the people of God, first to come out of her, lest partaking of her sins they should share in her plagues, seeing her iniquities had reached to heaven, and were remembered before God; and next to take full vengeance on her, because she had glorified herself, lived deliciously, and in great security, Re 18:4-7. And then follows a continuation of the account of her destruction, what her plagues would be, death, mourning, famine, and fire; and which would be sudden, in one hour, and certain, from the power and justice of God, Re 18:8. Next follow the lamentations of the kings, merchants, and masters of ships, because of her greatness, riches, and merchandise, which are all come to nothing, Re 18:9-19. And then the church; the saints, apostles, and prophets, are called upon to rejoice at the vengeance taken on her, Re 18:20 upon which a mighty angel appears, who by an action signifies the manner of her destruction, and the irrecoverableness of her state and condition, Re 18:21 and declares her utter ruin, by affirming that nothing that was either delightful or profitable, or necessary or comfortable, should any more be found in her; giving the reasons of it, because of her luxury, idolatry, and bloodshed, Re 18:22-24.

Revelation 18:1-10 In-Context

1 After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven. He had great authority, and the earth was illuminated by his splendor.
2 With a mighty voice he shouted: “ ‘Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great!’She has become a dwelling for demons and a haunt for every impure spirit, a haunt for every unclean bird, a haunt for every unclean and detestable animal.
3 For all the nations have drunk the maddening wine of her adulteries. The kings of the earth committed adultery with her, and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries.”
4 Then I heard another voice from heaven say: “ ‘Come out of her, my people,’so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues;
5 for her sins are piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her crimes.
6 Give back to her as she has given; pay her back double for what she has done. Pour her a double portion from her own cup.
7 Give her as much torment and grief as the glory and luxury she gave herself. In her heart she boasts, ‘I sit enthroned as queen. I am not a widow;I will never mourn.’
8 Therefore in one day her plagues will overtake her: death, mourning and famine. She will be consumed by fire, for mighty is the Lord God who judges her.
9 “When the kings of the earth who committed adultery with her and shared her luxury see the smoke of her burning, they will weep and mourn over her.
10 Terrified at her torment, they will stand far off and cry: “ ‘Woe! Woe to you, great city, you mighty city of Babylon! In one hour your doom has come!’
11 “The merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her because no one buys their cargoes anymore—
12 cargoes of gold, silver, precious stones and pearls; fine linen, purple, silk and scarlet cloth; every sort of citron wood, and articles of every kind made of ivory, costly wood, bronze, iron and marble;
13 cargoes of cinnamon and spice, of incense, myrrh and frankincense, of wine and olive oil, of fine flour and wheat; cattle and sheep; horses and carriages; and human beings sold as slaves.
14 “They will say, ‘The fruit you longed for is gone from you. All your luxury and splendor have vanished, never to be recovered.’

Cross References 28

  • 1. Revelation 17:1
  • 2. Revelation 10:1; Revelation 20:1
  • 3. Ezekiel 43:2
  • 4. S Revelation 14:8
  • 5. Revelation 16:13
  • 6. Isaiah 13:21,22; Isaiah 34:11,13-15; Jeremiah 50:39; Jeremiah 51:37; Zephaniah 2:14,15
  • 7. S Revelation 14:8
  • 8. Revelation 17:2
  • 9. ver 11,15,23; Ezekiel 27:9-25
  • 10. ver 7,9
  • 11. Isaiah 48:20; Jeremiah 50:8; Jeremiah 51:6,9,45; 2 Corinthians 6:17
  • 12. Genesis 19:15
  • 13. 2 Chronicles 28:9; Ezra 9:6; Jeremiah 51:9
  • 14. Revelation 16:19
  • 15. Psalms 137:8; Jeremiah 50:15,29
  • 16. Isaiah 40:2
  • 17. Revelation 14:10; Revelation 16:19; Revelation 17:4
  • 18. Ezekiel 28:2-8
  • 19. Psalms 10:6; Isaiah 47:7,8; Zephaniah 2:15
  • 20. ver 10; Isaiah 9:14; Isaiah 47:9; Jeremiah 50:31,32
  • 21. Revelation 17:16
  • 22. ver 3; Revelation 14:8; Revelation 17:2,4
  • 23. ver 3,7
  • 24. ver 18; Revelation 14:11; Revelation 19:3
  • 25. Jeremiah 51:8; Ezekiel 26:17,18
  • 26. ver 15,17
  • 27. ver 16,19
  • 28. ver 17; Revelation 17:12

Footnotes 3

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.