Revelation (19 of 24) Babylon The Great City

18:1-24 Babylon The Great City

Memory Verse: Revelation 18:20

18:1-3 The Proclamation: “Babylon Is Fallen!”

  • 17:1-18 One of the seven angels who had one of seven vials talked with John, telling him to come so that he can show John the judgment of the great whore. After seeing the vision John was confused at the beautiful yet bloody scene. Therefore, the angel explained to John the mystery of the woman and the beast.
  • 18:1 After the last vision and explanation, John saw another angel come down from heaven who had great power and lightened the earth with his glory.
  • 18:2-3 This angel cried mightily with a strong voice announcing that Babylon the great is fallen. She has fallen because: (1) Babylon has become the habitation of devils, the hold of every foul spirit and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. All the demons that have been released on the earth have gather there. (2) All nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of Babylon’s fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. The world will be seduced by this city following her false religion and being deceived by her material riches.
    Babylon’s Fall Predicted: Revelation 14:8; Demons Released: 9:1-16, 12:4, 9

18:4-8 The Cry: “Vengeance Is Coming!”

  • 18:4-5 Then John hears another voice from heaven telling believers (my people) to come out of Babylon so that (1) they won’t partake in her sins, (2) they don’t receive her judgements (plagues), and (3) because her sins have reached to heaven and God has remembered her iniquities—therefore He is going to act.
  • 18:6-8 Then this voice ask God for vengeance on Babylon and that her punishment fits her crimes (reward Babylon even as she rewarded others, double unto her double according to her works, and in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double). The reason for these judgments is because she is conceited (glorified herself), extravagant (lived deliciously), and arrogant (she said in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow). Therefore, the mighty Lord God will judge (death, mourning, famine and to be utterly burned with fire) her in one day and she will receive the torment and sorrow that she is worthy of.
    Psalm 137:8

18:9-19 The Lamentations: “Judgment Has Come!”

  • 18:9-10 The First Group of Mourners: Kings – They will lament that such a mighty city was destroyed so quickly. When the kings of the earth (those who have committed fornication and lived in her extravagance) see the smoke of the city burning they will express great regret, grief and sorrow. They will watch the city burn standing afar off for the fear of her torment. They will say, “Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! For in one hour is thy judgment come.”
  • 18:11-17a The Second Group of Mourners: Merchants – They will lament that such a wealthy city was destroyed so quickly. When the merchants of the earth (those who were made rich by Babylon) see the city’s destruction they will also expressed great regret, grief and sorrow. They will weep and mourn over Babylon because no one can buy merchandise from there any more. They will stand afar off for the fear of her torment. They will say, “Alas, alas, that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, purple, scarlet, and decked with gold, precious stones, and pearls! For in one hour so great riches is come to nought.” The things they sold and that made Babylon so wealthy are listed in as the following items or categories: gold, silver, precious stones, pearls, fine linen, purple, silk, scarlet, all thyine wood, all manner vessels of ivory, all manner vessels of most precious wood, of brass, iron, marble, cinnamon, odours, ointments, frankincense, wine, oil, fine flour, wheat, beasts, sheep, horses, chariots, slaves, souls of men. The luxuries of the city are lost forever (The fruits that thy soul lusted after and all things which were dainty and goodly are departed from thee, thou shalt find them no more at all).
  • 18:17b-19 The Third Group of Mourners: Sea-Merchants – They will lament that such a great city was destroyed so quickly. When the sea-merchants (every shipmaster, all the company in ships, sailors, and as many as trade by sea) saw the smoke of the city burning they also expresses great regret, grief and sorrow (they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing). They stood afar off and said, “What city is like unto this great city!” and “Alas, alas, that great city, Wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! For in one hour is she made desolate.”

18:20 The Rejoicing: “Vengeance Has Come!”

  • 18:20 Even though three groups will be mourning that such a mighty, wealthy and great city was destroyed so quickly, there will be one group that is rejoicing! The host of heaven, the holy apostles and prophets will all be rejoicing because God has avenged them on the city! Righteousness and justices has triumphed.

18:21-24 The Conclusion: “Babylon Is No More!”

  • 18:21-23a Then John saw a mighty angel take up a stone like a great millstone (which is a heavy stone that is about four to five feet in diameter and a foot thick), and cast it into the sea, saying, “Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.” As quick as such a heavy stone thrown in the sea disappears and will never float to the top, so Babylon will in the same quickness be destroyed and never recover. Life as they know it will end and never return. Never again will there be music (the voice of harpers, musicians, of pipers, and trumpeters), work (craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be), cooking (the sound of a millstone), light (the light of a candle shining) or marriage (the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride).
  • 18:23b-24 Finally, the reason for the destruction is once again given in three reasons: (1) Because her merchants were the great men of the earth, (2) because by her sorceries were all nations deceived, and (3) because she killed the people of God (the blood of prophets, of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth).

Review Questions

  • What is the proclamation?
  • What is the cry?
  • What are the lamentations?
  • What is the rejoicing?
  • What is the conclusion?

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