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Bible Commentaries
Revelation 18

Knollys' Commentary on RevelationKnollys on Revelation

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Verse 1

Revelation 18:1

Revelation 18:1 And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.

This is the angel that poured forth the fifth vial upon the seat or throne of the beast. {Revelation 16:10} The school men tell us, there are three degrees of the holy angels. The first hierarchy are seraphims, cherubims, and thrones; the second hath dominions, virtues, and powers; the third hath principalities, arch angels and angels. But certainly there are orders and degrees among the holy angels, for the Holy Scripture mentioneth arch angels and angels. {1 Thessalonians 4:16; Judges 1:9; Ezekiel 10:1-8} Also cherubims and seraphims. {Isaiah 6:2-6} Likewise principalities, thrones, and dominions, {Colossians 1:16; Ephesians 1:21; Ephesians 3:10} so that there are degrees of angels. This angel, as he is great in power, so he excels in glory.

The earth was lightned with his glory,

who is here said to preach the everlasting gospel. {Revelation 14:6-7}

Verse 2

Revelation 18:2

Revelation 18:2 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.

By crying

mightily with a loud voice,

we may understand a most clear and open declaration of the utter ruin, and final destruction of Mystical Babylon, Rome papal;

saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen.

This declaration of Rome’s destruction, is borrowed from Isaiah 13:19-22; Isaiah 34:13-15, (Jeremiah 51:37 and Revelation 18:21). Rome material and mystical, shall be utterly ruined, papists and popery shall be destroyed root and branch.

And is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.

As it was with old Babylon, {Isaiah 13:19-22} And Babylon the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldee’s excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation: neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there, neither shall the shepherds make their fold there. But wild beasts, of the desert shall lie there, and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures, and owls shall dwell there, and satyrs shall dance there. And the wild beasts of the islands shall try in their desolate houses, and dragons in their pleasant palaces: and her time is near to come, and her days shall not be prolonged. So it shall be with mystery Babylon, Rome papal, burnt and destroyed. Their monasteries, abbies, priories, nunneries, and all their religious places, shall be made utterly desolate, and haunted with devils. {as Mr 5:2-5; Matthew 8:28}

Verse 3

Revelation 18:3

Revelation 18:3 For all 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.

All nations of the Roman papal dominion,

and all the kings of the earth,

who have given their power, strength, and kingdom, to the beast of the seventh head, the eighth king, the Pope of Rome, the Roman Church and clergy, her merchants that trade in the papal see of Rome, her prelates, and priests, who sell pardons, indulgences, dispensations; also slaves and souls of men. {as Revelation 18:11-13} Omnia sunt Rome venalia.

Verse 4

Revelation 18:4

Revelation 18:4 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.

This other

voice from heaven

is the voice of God, (as Jeremiah 50:8 and Jeremiah 51:6-9).

Come out of her my people.

They are God’s people either by election or vocation, whom God commands to come out of mystical Babylon, as 2 Corinthians 6:17-18.

That ye be not partakers of her sins;

viz. of her whoredoms, thefts, sorceries and murders. {Revelation 9:21}

And that ye receive not of her plagues,

viz. the vials of the last plagues. {Revelation 15:1; Revelation 14:9-11}

Verse 5

Revelation 18:5

Revelation 18:5 For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.

For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities;

that is, her sins of spiritual fornications, blasphemies, and bloody massacrees and persecutions. See Revelation 16:5-17 and See KNOLLYS: Revelation 16:17

Verse 6

Revelation 18:6

Revelation 18:6 Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double.

This reward is Gods righteous retaliation, {2 Thessalonians 1:5-6} and the answer of Sion’s Prayers. {Jeremiah 51:35-49}

Verse 7

Revelation 18:7

Revelation 18:7 How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.

How much she hath glorified her self, she saith, I sit a Queen.

She is Queen Regent, see Revelation 17:15-18. The Queen Mother, see Revelation 17:5 that great old scarlet whore, the Church of Rome; as old Babylon said, {Isaiah 47:1-9} etc. The remainder of this chapter is literal, and needs no exposition; it is so plain, that any intelligible person may run and read it. {Ezekiel 27:29-32} And all that handle the Oar, the mariners, and all the pilots of the sea, shall come down from their ships, they shall stand upon the land- And in their wailing they shall take up a lamentation for thee, and lament over thee, saying, What city is like Tyrus, like the destroyed in the midst of the sea. {Isaiah 34:8-10} For it is the day of the Lords vengeance, and the year of recompences for the controversies of Zion. And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch. It shall not be quenched night nor day, the smoke thereof shall go up for ever: from generation to generation it shall lie waste, none shall pass through it for ever and ever. {Psalms 58:11} So that a man shall say, verily there is a reward for the righteous: verily he is a God that judgeth in the earth. {Jeremiah 51:47-64} Therefore behold, the days come, that I will do judgment upon the graven images of Babylon, and her whole land shall be confounded, and all her slain shall fall in the midst of her. Then the heaven, and the earth, and all that is therein, shall sing for Babylon: for the spoilers shall come unto her from the north, saith the Lord. As Babylon hath caused the slain of Israel to fall: so at Babylon shall fall the slain of all the earth. -And it shall be when thou hast made an end of reading this book, that thou shalt bind a stone to it, and cast it into the midst of Euphrates: And thou shalt say, Thus shall Babylon sink, and shall not rise from the evil that I will bring upon her: and they shall be weary. Thus far are the words of Jeremiah. {Revelation 18:24} And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth. God reveals and revengeth her blood guiltiness, and calls all his saints in heaven and earth to rejoice. {Revelation 18:20}

Bibliographical Information
Knollys, Hanserd. "Commentary on Revelation 18". "Knollys' Commentary on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/hkc/revelation-18.html.
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