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Bible Commentaries

Vincent's Word Studies

Revelation 18

Verse 1

Was lightened. Compare Ezekiel 43:2.

Verse 2

Mightily with a strong voice [εν ισχυι φωνη μεγαλη] . Lit., in strength with a great voice. Omit megalh great, and read ijscura fwnh with a mighty voice. So Rev.

Babylon - is fallen. The Rev. improves on the A. V. by placing fallen in the emphatic position of the Greek : "Fallen, fallen is Babylon." Compare Isaiah 21:9.

Is become [εγενετο] . Lit., became.

Devils [δαιμονων] . Properly, demons, which Rev., strangely commits to the margin. See on Mark 1:34. See Isaiah 13:20-23.13.22; Isaiah 34:13-23.34.15. Also on Luke 11:24.

Hold [φυλακη] . See on 1 Peter 3:19, and Acts 5:21. Rev., in margin, prison.

Cage [φυλακη] . The word rendered above hold. Rev., hold. Some, however, explain it, not as a cage where they are kept, but as a place of safety to which they resort.

Bird [ορνεου] . Only in Revelation, here, Revelation 19:17, Revelation 19:21. Compare Jeremiah 1:39.

Verse 3

Have drunk [πεπωκεν ορ πεπωκαν] . Some, however, read peptwkan have fallen. So Rev.

Of the wine [εκ του οινου] . Thus if we read have drunk. If we adopt have fallen, ejk is instrumental, by. So Rev.

Of the wrath. The wine of fornication has turned to wrath against herself. Merchants [εμποροι] . The word originally means one on a journey by sea or land, especially for traffic. Hence a merchant as distinguished from kaphlov a retailer or huckster.

The abundance of her delicacies [της δυναμεως του στρηνους αυτης] . Lit., as Rev., the power of her luxury. Strhnov is akin to stereov firm, hard, stubborn (see on steadfast, 1 Peter 5:9). Hence over - strength, luxury, wantonness. Only here in the New Testament. The kindred verb strhniaw to live deliciously occurs ch. 18 7, 9.

Verse 4

Come out of her. Compare Jeremiah 51:6, Jeremiah 51:45; Isaiah 48:20; Isaiah 52:11; Numbers 16:26.

Have fellowship with [συγκοινωνησητε] . This compound verb is not of frequent occurrence in the New Testament. It is found only in Ephesians 5:11, Philippians 4:14, and here. On the kindred noun sugkoinwnov companion, see on ch. Revelation 1:9.

Verse 5

Have reached [ηκολουθησαν] . Lit., followed. But the best texts read ejkollhqhsan clave. Compare Jeremiah 51:9. For different applications of the verb see on Matthew 19:5; Luke 14:15; Acts 5:13. Compare the classical phrase for following up closely a fleeing foe, hoerere in terga hostium, to cleave to the backs of the enemy. See also Zechariah 14:5 (Sept.), "The valley of the mountains shall reach [εγκολληθησεται] unto Azal." The radical idea of the metaphor is that of following or reaching after so as to be joined to.

Verse 6

Double [διπλωσατε] . Only here in the New Testament. Compare Isaiah 40:2; Jeremiah 16:18; Zechariah 9:19. The Levitical law insisted on the double recompense. See Exodus 22:4, Exodus 22:7, Exodus 22:9.

Verse 7

Lived deliciously [εστρηνιασεν] . See on ver. 3.

Torment [βασανισμον] . Only in Revelation. On the kindred word, basanov torment, see on Matthew 4:23, Matthew 4:24.

I sit a queen and am no widow. See Isaiah 47:8; Zephaniah 2:15.

Verse 8

Therefore shall her plagues come, etc. See Isaiah 47:8, Isaiah 47:9.

Who judgeth [ο κρινων] . Read krinav judged.

Verse 11

Merchandise [γομον] . Only here, ver. 12, and Acts 21:3. From gemw to be full. Hence, literally, lading or cargo. So Rev., in margin. The main features of the following description are taken from that of the destruction of Tyre, Ezekiel 26:27.

Verse 12

Fine Linen [βυσσου] . See on Luke 16:19.

Purple [πορφυρας] . See on Luke 16:19.

Silk [σηρικου] . Properly an adjective, meaning pertaining to the Seres. From Shrev Seres, a people of India, perhaps of modern China. Before the time of Justinian, when silkworms were first brought to Constantinople, it was thought that the Seres gathered or combed the downy substance woven by the worms from the leaves of certain trees. Hence Virgil speaks of the Seres, how they comb (depectant) the fine fleeces from the leaves (" Georgics, " 2, 121).

Silk was a costly article of luxury among the Romans, so that Tacitus relates that in the reign of Tiberius a law was passed against "men disgracing themselves with silken garments" (" Annals, "2, 33)." Two hundred years after the age of Pliny, "says Gibbon," the use of pure or even of mixed silks was confined to the female sex, till the opulent citizens of Rome and the provinces were insensibly familiarized with the example of Elagabalos, the first who, by this effeminate habit, had sullied the dignity of an emperor and a man. Aorelian complained that a pound of silk was sold at Rome for twelve ounces of gold "(" Decline and Fall," ch. 40). At the time of Justinian the Persians held a monopoly of this trade. Two missionary monks residing in China imparted to Justinian the project of introducing the eggs of the silkworm into Europe, and returning to China concealed the eggs in a hollow cane and so transported them.

Scarlet. See on Matthew 27:6.

Thyine wood [ξυλον θυινον] . Ony here in the New Testament. From quia or qua the citrus, a North - African tree, a native of Barbary, used as incense and for inlaying. Pliny speaks of a mania among the Romans for tables made of this wood. The most expensive of these were called orbes, circles, because they were massive plates of wood cut from the stem in its whole diameter. Pliny mentions plates four feet in diameter, and nearly six inches Thick;. The most costly were those taken from near the root, both because the tree was broadest there, and because the wood was dappled and speckled. Hence they were described by different epithets according as the markings resembled those of the tiger, the panther, or the peacock. Vessel [σκευος] . See on 1 Peter 3:7, and Acts 9:15. Also on goods, Matthew 12:29; Mark 3:27; and strake sail, Acts 27:17.

Of ivory [ελεφαντινον] . Only here in the New Testament. References to ivory are frequent in the Old Testament. The navy of Tarshish brought ivory to Solomon with apes and peacocks (1 Kings 10:22). His great throne was made of it (1 Kings 10:18). Ahab 's ivory palace (1 Kings 22:39) was probably a house with ivory panels. "Ivory palaces" are mentioned in Psalms 45:8, and "houses of ivory" in Amos 3:15. The Assyrians carried on a great trade in this article. On the obelisk in the British Museum the captives or tribute - bearers are represented as carrying tusks. The Egyptians early made use of it in decoration, bringing it mostly from Ethiopia, where, according to Pliny, ivory was so plentiful that the natives made of it door - posts and fences, and stalls for their cattle. In the early ages of Greece ivory was frequently employed for ornamental purposes, for the trappings of horses, the handles of kegs, and the bosses of shields. Homer represents an Asiatic woman staining ivory with purple to form trappings for horses, and describes the reins of chariot - horses as adorned with ivory. The statue of Jupiter by Phidias was of ivory and gold. In the "Odyssey" of Homer, Telemachus thus addresses his companion, the son of Nestor as they contemplate the splendor of Menelaus' palace :

"See, son of Nestor, my beloved friend, In all these echoing rooms the sheen of brass, Of gold, of amber and of ivory; Such is the palace of Olympian Jove." " Odyssey, " 4, 71 - 74.

Marble [μαρμαρου] . From marmairw to sparkle or glisten.

Verse 13

Cinnamon [κιναμωμον] . Mentioned as one of the ingredients of the holy oil for anointing (Exodus 30:23), and as a perfume for the bed (Proverbs 7:17).

And spice [και αμωμον] . These words are added by the best texts. A fragrant Indian plant, with seed in grape - like clusters, from which ointment was made. Preparations for the hair were made from it. Virgil, describing the coming golden age, says : "The Assyrian amomum shall spring up as a common plant" (" Eclogue "4, 25; Compare" Eclogue " 3, 89). Forbiger (Virgil) says that the best was raised in Armenia, a poorer quality in Media and Pontus.

Fine flour [σεμιδαλιν] . Only here in the New Testament.

Cattle [κτηνη] . See on Luke 10:34.

Merchandise of horses. Merchandise is not in the text. It resumes the construction of gomon merchandise with the genitive in ver. 12.

Chariots [ρεδων] . A Latin word though of Gallic origin, rheda. It had four wheels.

Verse 14

The fruits [η οπωρα] . Originally, the late summer or early autumn; then, generally, used of the ripe fruits of trees. Only here in the New Testament. Compare the compound fqinopwrina autumn (trees). See on whose fruit withereth, Jude 1:12, and compare Summer - fruits, Jeremiah 40:10.

That thy soul lusted after [της επιθυμιας της ψυχης σου] . Lit., of the desire of thy soul.

Dainty [λιπαρα] . From lipov grease. Hence, literally, fat. Only here in the New Testament. Homer uses it once in the sense of oily or shiny with oil, as the skin anointed after a bath. "Their heads and their fair faces shining" (" Odyssey, "14, 332). So Aristophanes (" Plutus," 616), and of oily, unctuous dishes (" Frogs, "163). Of the oily smoothness of a calm sea, as by Theocritus. The phrase liparoi podev shining feet, i e., smooth, without wrinkle, is frequent in Homer. Thus, of Agamemnon rising from his bed." Beneath his shining feet he bound the fair sandals "(" Iliad," 2, 44). Also of the condition of life; rich, comfortable : so Homer, of a prosperous old age, "Odyssey," 11, 136. Of things, bright, fresh. Of soil, fruitful. The city of Athens was called liparai, a favorite epithet. Aristophanes plays upon the two senses bright and greasy, saying that if any one flatteringly calls Athens bright, he attaches to it the honor of sardines - oiliness (" Acharnians, " 638, 9).

Goodly [λαμπρα] . A too indefinite rendering. Better, Rev., sumptuous. See on Luke 23:11; James 2:2. Mostly in the New Testament of clothing. See on ch. Revelation 14:6.

Verse 16

Decked [κεχρυσωμενη] . See on ch. Revelation 17:4.

Verse 17

Shipmaster [κυβερνητης] . From kubernaw to govern. Strictly, steersman. Only here and Acts 27:11.

All the company in ships [πας επι των πλοιων ο ομιλος] . The best texts substitute oJ ejpi topon plewn, that saileth anywhere, lit., saileth to a place. So Rev.

Trade by sea [την θαλασσαν εργαζονται] . Lit., work the sea, like the Latin mare exercent, live by seafaring. Rev., gain their living by sea.

Verse 19

Cast dust on their heads. Compare Ezekiel 27:30. See on Luke 10:13.

Verse 20

Hath avenged you on her [εκρινεν το κριμα υμων εξ αυτης] . Rev., more literally, hath judged your judgment on her or from her. The idea is that of exacting judgment from [εξ] . Compare the compound verb ejkdikeiv avenge, or exact vengeance from (ch. 6 10). The meaning is either, that judgment which is your due, or what she hath judged concerning you.

Verse 21

A mighty angel [εις αγγελος ισχυρος] . Lit., "one strong angel." A great millstone. See on Matthew 18:6.

With violence [ορμηματι] . Lit. with an impulse or rush. Only here in the New Testament.

Verse 22

Harpers. See on ch. Revelation 14:2.

Musicians [μουσικων] Only here in the New Testament. There seems to be no special reason for changing the rendering to minstrels, as Rev. The term music had a much wider signification among the Greeks than that which we attach to it. "The primitive education at Athens consisted of two branches : gymnastics for the body, music for the mind. Music comprehended from the beginning everything appertaining to the province of the nine Muses; not merely learning the use of the lyre or how to bear part in a chorus, but also the hearing, learning, and repeating of poetical compositions, as wel as the practice of exact and elegant pronunciation - which latter accomplishment, in a language like the Greek, with long words, measured syllables, and great diversity of accentuation between one word and another, must have been far more difficult to acquire than it is in any modern European language. As the range of ideas enlarged, so the words music and musical teachers acquired an expanded meanings so as to comprehend matter of instruction at once ampler and more diversified. During the middle of the fifth century B. C. at Athens, there came thus to be found among the musical teachers men of the most distinguished abilities and eminence, masters of all the learning and accomplishments of the age, teaching what was known of Astronomy, Geography, and Physics, and capable of holding dialectical discussions with their pupils upon all the various problems then afloat among intellectual men" (Grote, "History of Greece," 6, ch. 67).

Pipers [αυλητων] . Rev., flute - players. Only here and Matthew 9:23. The female flute - players, usually dissolute characters, were indispensable attendants at the Greek banquets. Plato makes Eryximachus in "the Symposium," say : "I move that the flute - girl who has just made her appearance, be told to go away and play to herself, or, if she likes, to the women who are within. Today let us have conversation instead" (" Symposium, "176). Again, Socrates says :" The talk about the poets seems to me like a commonplace entertainment to which a vulgar company have recourse; who, because they are not able to converse and amuse one another, while they are drinking, with the sound of their own voices and conversation, by reason of their stupidity, raise the price of flute - girls in the market, hiring for a great sum the voice of a flute instead of their own breath, to be the medium of intercourse among them "(Protagoras," 347). Compare Isaiah 24:8; Ezekiel 26:13.

Millstone. Compare Jeremiah 25:10; Matthew 24:41.

Verse 23

Bridegroom - bride. Compare Jeremiah 25:10.

Great men [μεγιστανες] . Rev., princes. See on ch. Revelation 6:15.

By thy sorceries [εν τη φαρμακεια σου] . See on ch. Revelation 9:21. Rev., more literally, with thy sorcery.

Were deceived [επλανηθησαν] . Or led astray. See on Mark 12:24.

Copyright Statement
The text of this work is public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 18". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/vnt/revelation-18.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.