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Bible Commentaries

Charles Box's Commentaries on Selected Books of the Bible
Revelation 18

 

 

Other Authors
Introduction

God Remembered Babylon's Iniquities
- Revelation Eighteen -

We have already heard the message that "Babylon the Great" had fallen. Now we will see the fall of that great and wicked nation. This rich merchant-city is reduced to desolation. The destruction and desolation came as a result of rebellion against the Creator. The picture of the fall of Babylon was that of utter destruction.

God called his people out of Rome so that they would neither partake of the sins or the plagues of destruction. Rome"s plagues would come upon her suddenly. This great desolation came upon Rome because her crimes and transgressions were piled up as high as heaven. God remembered her wickedness and now called them up for settlement. The afflictions and calamities came upon Rome in a single day because "mighty is the Lord God Who judges her."

There was much lamentation over the fall of Babylon. The lamentation came, not from God"s people, but from those that had been corrupted by Rome or that had benefited from her. Those that wept were: (1) the rulers and leaders of the earth who had joined in her immorality and luxury, (2) the businessmen wept over her because no one would buy their goods any more, and (3) the ship captains, pilots, and navigators wept because their means of being made rich was taken away. There were no goods to transport.

While many lamented the fall of Rome God called on others to rejoice. God"s people were to celebrate the fall of this wicked nation. The apostles and prophets were to rejoice because God had avenged their blood upon her. The destruction of that wicked nation was both great and final. "And never again shall the light of a lamp shine in you, and the voice of bridegroom and bride shall never be heard in you again; for your businessmen were the great and prominent men of the earth, and by your magic spells and poisonous charm all nations were led astray (seduced and deluded)."


Verses 1-8

An angel proclaiming the fall of Babylon - Revelation 18:1-8 : The appearance of the angel shows that something great is about to happen. This angel possesses great authority, radiance and splendor. His announcement is almost unbelievable. Satan"s strongest city is about to be destroyed. The angel shouted with a mighty voice, "Mighty Babylon is fallen!" Babylon became the dwelling place for demons, and loathsome spirits. She became an abode for every filthy and detestable bird. This wicked city will now pay for the sins of unchastity, spiritual fornication and worldliness. Sadly, Rome had led many others to join in her sins and now they altogether feel the wrath of God!

There was another voice from heaven that spoke to call God"s people out of Babylon. The righteous were called out so that they would not share in her sins, nor participate in her plagues. It is now "pay day" and Rome must pay for her transgressions. These transgressions were piled up as high as heaven. God has always called upon His people to "get out of Babylon." Rome will be repaid for what she has done to others.

One of the problems of Rome was "pride." She glorified herself and reveled in her wantonness. She boasted "I am not a widow." She said, "I sit as a queen on the throne." Rome felt that she was so great that she would never see suffering or experience sorrow. Rome lived in luxury but she will now suffer double punishment. In one day she will face the plagues of pestilence, anguish, sorrow, and famine. The mighty God shall utterly consume her.


Verses 9-16

A great lamentation by kings and merchants - Revelation 18:9-16 : The rulers and leaders of the earth that had joined Rome in her worldliness wept and lamented. They wept because they had enjoyed the sinful things of Rome. There were also tears because if this could happen to "Great Babylon" it could certainly happen to them. They are especially distributed by the sudden destruction of this evil power. In one single hour Rome"s doom overtook her!

The businessmen of the earth also grieve over Rome. They can no longer sell their goods. They had the finest of goods and nothing to do with them. They dealt in fine cloths, jewelry, instruments of war, horses and cattle, the most expensive building material, all kinds of spices, the most delicious food, slaves and even the souls of men for their horrible pleasure. The dealers in these things were weeping and grieving because theidr luxuries, dainties, and elegance were lost, never again to be recovered or experienced! The lament was great for that "Great City."


Verses 17-19

A great lamentation by shipmasters and sailors - Revelation 18:17-19 : In a single hour the power of Rome would be lost and all her vast wealth wiped out. All ship captains, pilots, and navigators and all that live by seafaring also lamented the downfall of Rome. She had made them rich, but now they mourn because they have no more cargo to deliver. As the seafaring men watch what happened to Rome they could only lament, "What city could be compared to the great city!"

Their lamentation was so great that they threw dust on their heads, wept, and grieved. In one single hour God"s wrath waxed hot against Rome and she was destroyed. Those that had been made rich through her extravagance grieved. Wealthy Rome has been destroyed and has become a desert! We again see that without Christ there is great loss.


Verses 20-24

Great joy at the sight of Babylon"s ruin -- Revelation 18:20-24 : The righteous were affected very differently by the fall of Rome. God"s people were to celebrate the fact that He had executed vengeance upon Rome. The message from God was "Babylon the great city will be hurled down to destruction and shall never again be found." God told His people, "Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her." (Revelation 18:20) Man must never take personal vengeance. However, we can rest assured that God will avenge His persecuted people.

"No more at all" is the sad description given of Rome. There would be no more music. All joy was gone. Economic life would come to a standstill. The millstone would not produce food. There would be no light, and no marriages. What a sad overthrow of the nation that had led astray, seduced and deluded all nations of the earth. Rome"s fall was great because she had been filled with pride, had practiced sorcery and killed the children of God. "And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints, and of all those who have been slain (slaughtered) on earth." (Revelation 18:24)

 


Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition available at BibleSupport.com. Public Domain.

Bibliography Information
Box, Charles. "Commentary on Revelation 18:4". "Charles Box's Commentaries on Selected books of the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/box/revelation-18.html. 2014.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, December 10th, 2019
the Second Week of Advent
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