Keys to Revelation - Chapter 18
Written by: Capoccia, Tony Posted on: 05/12/2003
Category: Bible Studies
Keys to Revelation - Chapter 18
Taken from the HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION (C) 1978 by the New York
International Bible Society, used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.
BIBLE TEXT COMMENTARY
REV 18:1 After this I saw another [After this] - The revelation of
angel coming down from heaven. He chapter 17.
had great authority, and the earth
was illuminated by his splendor. [another angel] - Not the same angel
of chapter 17:1, but one that has a
a special purpose of announcing a
revelation of judgment.
[great authority] - This angel has
the authority of the Almighty God
to herald the pending judgment on
the evil world system that has as
its seat, the city of Rome.
[earth...illuminated] - The angel
came directly from the presence of
God and just like Moses, he too
reflects the Glory of God (see
EXO 34:29-35). But Moses saw a
veiled Glory because he was human,
however, this angel is a spirit and
could experience more of God's
So bright was the angel's reflective
light that the earth was illuminated
by it. It may very well be that all
Christians will someday, be able to
reflect the Glory of our Savior. In
fact, Revelation 21:23 reveals that
in the New Jerusalem, our final
home, all light will come from the
Glory of God and the Lamb, Jesus
REV 18:2 With a mighty voice he [mighty voice] - It is not only a
shouted: "Fallen! Fallen is Babylon voice that announces, but one that
the Great! She has become a home announces God's message, and in this
for demons and a haunt for every case, it is one of judgment.
evil spirit, a haunt for every
unclean and detestable bird. [Fallen! Fallen is Babylon] - The
evil world system is being judged
and the result is the collapse of
this antichristian world order that
was determined to defeat the purposes
of God throughout the generations of
[home for demons] - The city of Rome
is to receive the same fate as the
ancient city of Babylon (ISA 13:20-
22). Although the original Babylon
was once destroyed, the Babylonian
sinful and wicked lifestyle lived on
in societies around the globe, but
finds its utter demise in the final
and complete destruction of the city
of Rome and its World Empire.
In the ruins of Rome, not only will
birds roost, but demons and evil
spirits will make their home. This
is fitting, since mankind was so
proud of Rome and its influence over
the rest of the world. Now she lies
utterly desolate, her beauty is
replaced with the horrible ugliness
of demonic beings.
REV 18:3 For all the nations have see comments on REV 17:2
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."
REV 18:4 Then I heard another [another voice] - Most likely another
voice from heaven say: "Come out of angel that speaks on behalf of God.
her, my people, so that you will
not share in her sins, so that you [Come out] - An urgent call for God's
will not receive any of her people to separate from the judgment
plagues; about to fall on Babylon. One should
note that up until this point it has
been God's will to have His people in
the darkness of Babylon, in order to
be light to the those living in sin.
But the time of God's grace is ending
for the world as He begins to unfold
This calling out of God's people
most likely is the physical removal
from the city of Rome that God is
about to destroy. This idea is very
similar to the calling out of Lot and
his family from the city of Sodom in
REV 18:5 for her sins are piled up [sins...piled up] - God does remember
to heaven, and God has remembered sin, but only the sins of the unsaved
her crimes. person, of cities, nations, and the
world. However, when a person is
born again, God takes all of their
sins and charges them to the sinless
one Jesus Christ. Therefore, it is
impossible for God to remember the
sins of the redeemed since they have
been acquitted of every sin!
REV 18:6 Give back to her as she [her own cup] - In REV 17:4 we see
has given; pay her back double for her cup being a "golden cup...filled
what she has done. Mix her a double with abominable things and the filth
portion from her own cup. of her adulteries." Now this same
cup that she gave to the world is now
given to her, but now filled with a
double portion of judgment for her
REV 18:7 Give her as much torture [torture] - Rome has given to itself
and grief as the glory and luxury much luxury and pleasure while giving
she gave herself. In her heart she to God's people torture and grief for
boasts, 'I sit as queen; I am not a many generations. Now the wrath of
widow, and I will never mourn.' God will give to this wicked world
a double portion of torment and grief
as a fitting judgment.
[I sit as queen] - Rome and the whole
antichristian system believed that
they were apart from God and had no
accountability to anyone. They had
not known that they were always the
creatures that Christ had created
(see COL 1:15-16) and that all of
their sins were being held against
them for a coming day of judgment.
[I will never mourn] - So typical of
the attitude of the world today. They
think that they are in control of
their lives. That they can avoid all
problems by their insurance and other
protection programs. They think that
even death will simply bring eternal
sleep. Little do they realize that
every breath and heartbeat is given
to them by the precious Lord Savior
Jesus Christ. Death will bring much
mourning and torment, that will last
REV 18:8 Therefore in one day her [in one day] - In one 24-hour period
plagues will overtake her: death, these judgments will come, much
mourning and famine. She will be like the sudden judgment that came
consumed by fire, for mighty is the upon Belshazzar the very night he
Lord God who judges her. saw the "finger of God" on the wall
(DAN 5:30). It could be an attack
by a nuclear missile or simply fire
from heaven, either way, it will have
come by the will of God.
REV 18:9 "When the kings of the [weep and mourn] - The nations of the
earth who committed adultery with earth mourn the passing of the great
her and shared her luxury see the world system of Babylon, symbolized
smoke of her burning, they will by the burning of the capital city of
weep and mourn over her. Rome. Note they are not weeping over
their sins, but rather over the loss
of the capitol city of sin.
REV 18:10 Terrified at her [terrified at her torment] - They see
torment, they will stand far off the devastation and realize that this
and cry: "'Woe! Woe, O great city, "city of power" was wiped out so
O Babylon, city of power! In one quickly, giving evidence of a much
hour your doom has come!' greater power.
REV 18:11 "The merchants of the [no one buys] - These are merchants
earth will weep and mourn over her who really mourn over the lost trade
because no one buys their cargoes rather than the millions killed in
any more-- the devastation.
REV 18:12 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
REV 18:13 cargoes of cinnamon and [bodies and souls of men] - Could be
spice, of incense, myrrh and the prostitution of men and women in
frankincense, of wine and olive the last days, for surely this is the
oil, of fine flour and wheat; direction of this present world. It
cattle and sheep; horses and is also possible that in addition to
carriages; and bodies and souls of prostitution, that there is a return
men. of the slave markets.
REV 18:14 "They will say, 'The
fruit you longed for is gone from
you. All your riches and splendor
have vanished, never to be
REV 18:15 The merchants who sold [stand far off] - By satellite TV
these things and gained their they could stand "far off" and still
wealth from her will stand far off, see the destruction of Rome.
terrified at her torment. They will
weep and mourn
REV 18:16 and cry out: "'Woe! Woe,
O great city, dressed in fine
linen, purple and scarlet, and
glittering with gold, precious
stones and pearls!
REV 18:17 In one hour such great
wealth has been brought to ruin!'
"Every sea captain, and all who
travel by ship, the sailors, and
all who earn their living from the
sea, will stand far off.
REV 18:18 When they see the smoke [see the smoke] - So great is the
of her burning, they will exclaim, burning of this city that even from
'Was there ever a city like this such a distance these ships could
great city?' see the smoke and the glow of her
REV 18:19 They will throw dust on
their heads, and with weeping and
mourning cry out: "'Woe! Woe, O
great city, where all who had ships
on the sea became rich through her
wealth! In one hour she has been
brought to ruin!
REV 18:20 Rejoice over her, O [Rejoice over her] - While the world
heaven! Rejoice, saints and mourns over the destruction of the
apostles and prophets! God has capitol city of evil, the Christian
judged her for the way she treated is to rejoice! Surely, we have asked
you.'" God to judge this wickedness in each
generation and now God answers our
prayers. All of us agonize over the
abortions, adulteries, immoralities,
murder, thefts, and drug use of our
generation, however in this verse we
can find hope, for the day of justice
REV 18:21 Then a mighty angel [With such violence] - Speaks again
picked up a boulder the size of a of the suddenness and completeness
large millstone and threw it into of the judgment.
the sea, and said: "With such
violence the great city of Babylon
will be thrown down, never to be
REV 18:22 The music of harpists
and musicians, flute players and
trumpeters, will never be heard in
you again. No workman of any trade
will ever be found in you again.
The sound of a millstone will never
be heard in you again.
REV 18:23 The light of a lamp will
never shine in you again. The voice
of bridegroom and bride will never
be heard in you again. Your
merchants were the world's great
men. By your magic spell all the
nations were led astray.
REV 18:24 In her was found the [found the blood] - God holds Babylon
blood of prophets and of the and this city of sin responsible for
saints, and of all who have been the deaths of all the saints and the
killed on the earth." prophets. Rome is also judged guilty
for all the murders on the earth.
Truly this evil world system deserves
all of these judgments. This passage
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