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Thursday, December 7th, 2023
the First Week of Advent
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Bible Commentaries
Revelation 18

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

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Verses 1-24

Chapter 18

Now after these things I saw another angel ( Revelation 18:1 )

It may be one of the seven. It doesn't really declare or it could be outside of the seven. It is just another angel as far as we know.

coming down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lit up with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird ( Revelation 18:1-2 ).

So this whole satanic system that seems to be centered now in this time in this city of Babylon, which has become the commercial center of the world. The world banking and all of the commercial interests now become centered in this city, Babylon.

Now, what city this is or where this city is to be located is a matter of speculation. There are many Bible scholars who believe that the ancient city of Babylon will be chosen by the antichrist for his capital and will be rebuilt at a tremendous expense, as they put it up in a hurry. There are indications that this city will be built quite rapidly. That craftsmen from all over the world will be paid premium wages and thousands will descend upon this area with unlimited funds to build this awesome wonderful city that shall be the center of world banking and world commerce.

Now, we are told in the book of Daniel that when the antichrist establishes his reign that the craftsmen will prosper in his reign. In other words, he will inaugurate vast building kind of programs that will necessitate the use of hundreds of thousands of laboring men. And thus, people will be able to get jobs at tremendously high wages, premium wages. And they will prosper exceedingly under his reign. That is quite possible that the city of Babylon described here does not yet exist, but will be built by the antichrist for his capital and for the commercial center of the world. And as they bring the goods by ship and all into this city that there will be a time of tremendous economic prosperity.

After these things I saw another angel coming down, the earth is lighted with his glory. He cried, Babylon the Great is fallen, is fallen, become the habitations of devils, the hold of every foul spirit and a cage for every unclean and hateful bird. For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and 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. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. Reward her even as she rewarded you ( Revelation 18:1-6 ),

So again, here is the idea of the eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth, the fairness of the judgment of God.

and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double. How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously [or delicately, sumptuously, luxuriously], so much torment and sorrow give her: for she says in her heart, I sit as a queen, and I am no widow, and shall see no sorrow. Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God that judges her ( Revelation 18:6-8 ).

And so this city that has become the center of the world's riches, the center of world commerce, in one day is destroyed by God.

And on the earth the kings, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously [luxuriously] with her, shall bewail, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning, Standing afar off for the fear of her torment ( Revelation 18:9-10 ),

It sounds like it is destroyed by a nuclear blast of some kind, and there is heavy radiation, which causes them to fear to approach the city. In each case, they are standing afar off and they are afraid to approach it, which does sound like a lot of radioactivity around the destruction of this city. The fact that it is destroyed in just a moment's time, it sounds like a detonation of a nuclear device with heavy radiation following.

And so the king standing afar off, fearful to approach, wailing,

the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buys their merchandise any more: The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linens, purple, silk, scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner of vessels of most precious wood, of brass, iron, marble, cinnamon, odours, ointments, frankincense, wine, oil, fine flour, wheat, beasts, sheep ( Revelation 18:11-13 ),

I mean the whole gamut of commerce is into this and centered in this area.

And the fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee, and all the things that were dainty and goodly are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all. The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing ( Revelation 18:14-15 ),

So, the kings stand off for fear. The merchants stand far off for fear.

And saying, Alas, alas that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls! For in one hour so great riches is come to nothing ( Revelation 18:16-17 ).

All the wealth wiped out in just an hour's time.

And every shipmaster, and all the company of ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off, and cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city! And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas that great city, wherein were made rich all of us that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate ( Revelation 18:17-19 ).

All of the wealth that was brought in to build this city, all of the wealth that was centered in this city now destroyed. And the world is weeping, the kings, the merchants, the merchantmen who brought in the ships bringing the goods and the valuable costly items all weeping as they see her destruction.

In heaven there is a different scene.

Rejoice over her, thou heaven, ye holy apostles and prophets; for God has avenged you on her. And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone ( Revelation 18:20-21 ),

Now, a great millstone could easily be a rock as large as this pulpit, as wide as this pulpit and the hole would be in the middle. It would be round. I have seen millstones as large as this pulpit. They must weigh twelve, fifteen hundred pounds. Jesus said, "If a person deliberately destroyed the faith of a little child, it would be better for that person to have a millstone hung on his neck and thrown him into the sea, than to destroy the faith of a little child." I sometimes wonder about these teachers, humanists, who are seeking to destroy the faith of the children that come into their classrooms. Boy, I will tell you, I wouldn't want to stand in their shoes when they face the eternal living God.

The angel takes this great millstone and he,

casts it into the sea, and he says, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all ( Revelation 18:21 ).

It could be that God will cover the area where this city once lived with the oceans again. That in the kingdom age, the geographical area will be under the sea as the millstone fell to the bottom. It could be that when the cataclysmic changes take place upon the surface of the earth, that this area will be covered with water. It will never be found. It will never be brought into remembrance again.

And the voice of the harpers, the musicians, pipers, trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of the millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee; And the light of the candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries all of the nations deceived. And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the eaRuth ( Revelation 18:22-24 ).

And so, we see God's judgment as we centered in on the commercial system and the false religious systems.

Next week we finish the book of Revelation from chapter nineteen through twenty-two, next week, and we'll get out of this judgment scene and we are going to move into something far more exciting and glorious as we deal with the new heavens and the new earth that God has planned for His people and for His children.

Father, we thank you that You have called us, and You have chosen us and ordained us that we should be your disciples and that we should bring forth fruit, abiding fruit. Now Lord, may we commit ourselves unto Your Lordship, to that rule of Your Spirit over our lives. Make us like You, Lord, in all ways, pure as You are pure, righteous as You are righteous, Holy Lord, as You are holy. May we be a holy people walking before the Lord, circumspectly, in total reverence unto thee, O Lord, that we will be accounted worthy in that day to stand with You in Your kingdom and to share in the eternal glories that the Father has purposed to give unto you and to those who love You and walk with You. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen. "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Revelation 18". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/revelation-18.html. 2014.
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