NOTE: Appears chapters 17, 18, and 19 deal with the same issue, the ending of satan’s world kingdom referred to as Babylon. As an actual city, it would have been presided over by the Antichrist or beast. From chapter 19 he wasn’t in it when it was destroyed. Chapter 18 will describe the world reaction to the destruction.
Revelation 18:1-3 “…another angel…Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen…kings of the earth have committed fornication with her…”
Babylon’s destruction is told and the fact that she had become so despicable. Dwelling place of demons due to such horrific abominations. Rulers of the earth had become rich through dealing with her. Hard to see the distinction between those who profited from her and those who will wage war against her, but I’m sure will be clear then.
4 “…Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues”
Like the ark, God pulls out His own before the destruction starts. Certainly the followers of God would not be participating in Babylon’s abominations, but they may be there surreptitiously trying to win more souls for Christ who have not taken the mark. At this point it would probably be hard to find any if not completely impossible. At any rate, they are warned about the approaching destruction and are told to get out.
5 “…God has remembered her iniquities”
People think they are getting away with their sins, but God remembers. If they don’t repent, judgment will come. In this case, the time of repentance had passed. Judgment was surely coming.
8 “Therefore her plagues will come in one day…”
Wonder if this is a note of the speed at which the destruction actually comes or just a way of speaking of the surety of the action. The text will later mention how she was destroyed in an hour so it may very well be rather swift.
9-10 “…kings of the earth…will weep and lament for her…standing at a distance for fear of her torment…in one hour your judgment has come”
Those who profited by her will cry over their lost revenue. They won’t get near for fear of getting destroyed themselves. And they marvel at the speed at which the destruction occurred.
11 “…no one buys their merchandise anymore”
Sounds as though the city was the complete center of world commerce. Follows with the idea expressed earlier, that only those who had received the mark of the beast would be able to buy and sell. Now that she is gone, the restriction to only buy and sell from her representatives is released.
12-13 Description of all the goods which were exchanged, including people. Easy to see from current world problems that this won’t be such a surprise then. Human trafficking has seen such a growth in the last few years. Perhaps this will be the fulfillment of it.
17 “…Every shipmaster…”
Each group of people is mentioned, rulers, merchants, and shipmasters. All those who profited, all see her destruction and mourn for their lost revenue.
20 “Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you holy apostles and prophets, for God has avenged you on her!”
Contrast the mourning of those who profited from her abominations with the rejoicing of those who were her victims.
21 “…the great city Babylon shall be thrown down, and shall not be found anymore”
Total destruction, never to be built again. Babylon had been destroyed and rebuilt several times over the centuries, but now it will be destroyed to be rebuilt no more. Shows the finality of God’s judgment on sin and rebellion. It will finally be over. Sin will no longer be a controlling factor over the ways of man. It will still be there during the Millennial reign, but Christ will be ruling so no sin will go unpunished. And when the time is complete, it will be done away with forever.
23-24 “…your merchants were the great men of the earth, for by your sorcery all the nations were deceived…in her was found the blood of prophets and saints, and of all who were slain on the earth”
I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word. May it accomplish what He desires. Please feel free to comment or post questions. Thanks for reading!
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.