Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Revelation 16:19

The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. Babylon the great was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of His fierce wrath.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Anger;   Babylon;   Good and Evil;   Meteorology and Celestial Phenomena;   Wicked (People);   Wine;   Scofield Reference Index - Antichrist;   Gentiles;   Summary;   Times of the Gentiles;   Thompson Chain Reference - Babylon;   Cup;   Wrath;   Wrath-Anger;   The Topic Concordance - Day of the Lord;   Earthquakes;   Israel/jews;   War/weapons;   Wrath;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Babylon;   Earthquakes;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Babylon;   Earthquake;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Babylon;   Millennium;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Drink;   Mark of the Beast;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Order;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Babylon;   Cup;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Babylon, Mystical;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Babylon, History and Religion of;   Cup;   Image, Nebuchadnezzar's;   Revelation, the Book of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Anger (Wrath) of God;   Antichrist;   Babylon;   Cup;   Plagues of Egypt;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Numbers;   Peter Epistles of;   Sin (2);   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Babylon the Great ;   Cup;   Wrath;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Babylon;   Rome;   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Wine;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Babylon in the New Testament:;   Retribution;   Revelation of John:;   Wrath (Anger);  

Adam Clarke Commentary

The great city - Some say Jerusalem, others Rome pagan, others Rome papal.

The cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath - Alluding to the mode of putting certain criminals to death, by making them drink a cup of poison. See on Hebrews 2:9; (note).

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Revelation 16:19". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/revelation-16.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

And the great city was divided into three parts - The city of Babylon; or the mighty power that was represented by Babylon. See the notes on Revelation 14:8. The division mentioned here in three parts was manifestly with reference to its destruction - either that one part was smitten and the others remained for a time, or that one form of destruction came on one part, and another on the others. In Revelation 11:13 it is said, speaking of “the great city spiritually called Sodom and Egypt” - representing Rome, that “the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand” (see the notes on that place); here it is said that the whole city, in the calamities that came upon it, was divided into three portions, though it is evidently implied that, in these calamities, the whole city was sooner or later destroyed. Prof. Stuart (in loco) supposes that the number three is used here, as it is throughout the book, “in a symbolical way,” and that the meaning is, that “the city was severed and broken in pieces, so that the whole was reduced to a ruinous state.” He supposes that it refers to pagan Rome, or to the pagan Roman persecuting power. Others refer it to Jerusalem, and suppose that the allusion is to the divisions of the city, in the time of the siege, into Jewish, Samaritan, and Christian parties; others suppose that it refers to a division of the Roman empire under Honorius, Attalus, and Constantine; others to the fact, that when Jerusalem was besieged by Titus, it was divided into three factions; and others, that the number three is used to denote perfection, or the total ruin of the city. All that, it seems to me, can be said now on the point is:

(a)that it refers to papal Rome, or the papal power;

(b)that it relates to something yet future, and that it may not be possible to determine with precise accuracy what will occur;

(c)that it probably means that, in the time of the final ruin of that power, there will be a threefold judgment - either a different judgment in regard to some threefold manifestation of that power, or a succession of judgments, as if one part were smitten at a time. The certain and entire ruin of the power is predicted by this, but still it is not improbable that it will be by such divisions, or such successions of judgments, that it is proper to represent the city as divided into three portions.

And the cities of the nations fell - In alliance with it, or under the control of the central power. As the capital fell, the dependent cities fell also. Considered as relating to papal Rome, the meaning here is that what may be properly called “the cities of the nations” that were allied with it would share the same fate. The cities of numerous “nations” are now, and have been for ages, under the control of the papal power, or the spiritual Babylon; and the calamity that will smite the central power as such - that is, as a spiritual power - will reach and affect them all. Let the central power at Rome be destroyed; the papacy cease; the superstition with which Rome is regarded come to an end; the power of the priesthood in Italy be destroyed, and however widely the Roman dominion is spread now, it cannot be kept up. If it falls in Rome, there is not influence enough out of Rome to continue it in being - and in all its extended ramifications it will die as the body dies when the head is severed; as the power of provinces ceases when ruin comes upon the capital. This the prophecy leads us to suppose will be the final destiny of the papal power.

And great Babylon - See the notes on Revelation 14:8.

Came in remembrance before God - That is, for purposes of punishment. It had been, as it were, overlooked. It had been permitted to carry on its purposes, and to practice its abominations, unchecked, as if God did not see it. Now the time had come when all that it had done was to be remembered, and when the long-suspended judgment was to fall upon it.

To give unto her the cup of the wine, … - To punish; to destroy her. See the notes on Revelation 14:10.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Revelation 16:19". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/revelation-16.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and Babylon the great was remembered in the sight of God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.

And the great city was divided into three parts ... This is the first of three very important observations revealed in this verse, and they should not be confused.

1. The great city divided into three parts is clearly connected with the "Jerusalem-Sodom-Egypt" of Revelation 11:13, where was prophesied the collapse of the urban world. Many have missed this. Moffatt's view that the great earthquake "shatters Jerusalem into three parts and utterly destroys pagan cities"[65] is undoubtedly wrong. Moffatt failed to understand that the Jerusalem Sodom-Egypt of Revelation 11 is a figure of urban civilization, and the reference here can have no application at all to the literal Jerusalem. There is no prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem anywhere in Revelation. John of course knew Jesus' prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem; but when Revelation was written, the concern of the Christians regarded Rome, not Jerusalem. Incidentally, this is almost certain proof of the writing of Revelation before Jerusalem was destroyed.

2. "And the cities of the nations fell ..." This explains what was meant by the dividing of the city into three parts; it also illuminates the same figure of "a tenth of the city fell" in Revelation 11:13, where it was God's tithe of all wicked cities; here it is "a third," a very significant part, but not the majority that fell. Both figures regard urban civilization, and '"the breaking into three parts means its complete breakup."[66] "The cities of civilization, the achievement of man's demon-driven pride, will ... collapse?[67]

3. "And Babylon the great was remembered in the sight of God ..." "This is the society and the philosophy represented by the two beasts, which in due course will be called Babylon."[68] We consider this comment by Wilcock one of the most discerning encountered anywhere. The Babylon described here is not pagan Rome only, but "Babylon the Great," embracing also that image of pagan Rome that became in time apostate Christianity. Therefore, both the land-beast and the sea-beast (pagan Rome and apostate Christian Rome) are here meant. They are here spoken of as one, since one was an image of the other, and both operated from the same seven hills. The expression "Babylon the Great" is no doubt "the symbol of the whole satanic structure."[69] Again from Wilcock, "Bowl seven sweeps away time and history, and replaces them with eternity."[70] "Both the preceding and the succeeding verses here must be referred to the judgment day."[71]

To give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath ... This refers to the complete destruction of the city.[72] Such awful judgments should not blind us to the fact that, "If God were not to punish unrighteousness, the concept of a moral universe would have to be discarded."[73] Although some interpreters have held that, "The utmost limit of this prophetic passage was the end of the Roman world,"[74] many of the ablest expositors have been able to see the deeper meaning that, "The fall of pagan Rome is but one illustration of the overthrow of Babylon."[75] "Each age has its Babylon."[76] We reproduce here a summary of Lenski's wonderful comment on this as it applies to our own times:

How proudly the anti-Christian propaganda builds the Babylon of today! Godless science imagines that the structure cannot fall. Its walls are granite. The Scriptures are only childish stories, myths. How can Papal Rome ever fall? It is built on Peter and overshadows the world. The outmoded "thought patterns" of Scripture have long crumbled into dust, and the scientific religion of reason alone endures. Fall? The very idea is preposterous. But the word of the Lord says, "like the chaff which the wind driveth away" (Psalms 1:4); "the multitude of the strangers shall be as small dust; yea, it shall be at an instant suddenly (Isaiah 29:5); but the WORD OF THE LORD endureth forever."[77]

We will not debate the proposition that John himself knew the full scope and depth of his prophecy, for he probably did not know. To limit the book of Revelation to the human knowledge of the apostle John is to lose sight of it altogether as "the word of the Lord"; and this is where so many fail. The prophets of the Old Testament did not understand all that they were inspired to write, as was mentioned by the apostle Peter (1 Peter 1:10-12); and it is very likely that the same was true of the New Testament writers. We believe this prophecy to be of God through John, thus being significant and relevant to every moment of the entire Christian dispensation, first to last. See in my Commentary in 1Peter (pp. 172-175) for a discussion of the phenomena of the sacred writers not understanding what they wrote.

[65] James Moffatt, op. cit., p. 449.

[66] Leon Morris, op. cit., p. 201.

[67] Michael Wilcock, op. cit., p. 150.

[68] Ibid., p. 141.

[69] Ibid., p. 150.

[70] Ibid.

[71] A. Plummer, op. cit., p. 397.

[72] J. W. Roberts, op. cit., p. 132.

[73] Robert H. Mounce, op. cit., p. 304.

[74] G. B. Caird, The Revelation of St. John the Divine (New York: Harper and Row, 1966), p. 209.

[75] W. Boyd Carpenter, op. cit., p. 610.

[76] Charles H. Roberson, op. cit., p. 125.

[77] R. C. H. Lenski, op. cit., p. 484.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
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Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Revelation 16:19". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/revelation-16.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And the great city was divided into three parts,.... By which is meant not Christendom, distinguished into Protestants, Papists, and neutrals, which has been long the case; nor the city of Jerusalem, as inhabited by Christians, Jews, and Turks; nor the city of Rome itself, the seat of the beast, which will have suffered under the fifth vial; but the whole Romish jurisdiction, which is the great city, that reigns over the kings of the earth, as it will now be; though some think the Turkish empire is meant, which they suppose was only afflicted under the preceding vial, but will now be divided into three parts, and afterwards into six, Ezekiel 39:1 and so come to ruin; and others are of opinion that it is included in this great city at least; and doubtless the remains of it are to be taken into this account, and probably are considered in the following clause; wherefore it is better to understand this of the Romish jurisdiction, so often called the great city in this book, Revelation 11:8 and its division into three parts is either in reference to the three heads of it, the dragon, beast, and false prophet, or to the three unclean spirits that come out of them, which will lead on to this ruin; though the allusion seems rather to be to the destruction of Jerusalem, Ezekiel 5:2 and denotes the utter ruin of the Romish antichrist, in all its branches and remains; a tenth part of this city will fall towards the close of the sixth trumpet, Revelation 11:13 and now all the other nine parts will fall, a threefold division will be made of the city, each division containing three parts: the JewsF5Zohar in Numb. fol. 86. 1. have a prophecy, that upon an appearance of a star at Rome, which they suppose will be when the Messiah comes, the three upper walls of that city will fall, and the great temple, or church (St. Peter's), will fall, and the governor of that city (the pope) will die:

and the cities of the nations fell; of the Pagans and Mahometaus; or as there will be an utter extirpation of the Papacy, so of Paganism and Mahometanism, in the several nations where they have obtained, and where there will be now any remains of them;

and great Babylon came in remembrance before God; not Constantinople, as Brightman thinks, because that Rome, the seat of the beast, is affected under the fifth vial, and the great city under this; but since no other is called Babylon in this book but the Romish antichristian state, it must be meant here; see Revelation 14:8 for many hundreds of years Babylon seemed to be forgotten by God, no notice being taken of her sins and iniquities in a judicial way; but now God will remember her sins, Revelation 18:5 and inflict deserved punishment upon her:

to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath; as a just retaliation for the wine of her fornication, with which she has intoxicated the kings and inhabitants of the earth; the wrath of God is sometimes signified in the Old Testament by a cup, a wine cup, a wine cup of fury, see Psalm 75:8 and here the exceeding greatness of his wrath is expressed by the phrases used, and intends the pouring out of all his vengeance, to the utter ruin of the Romish antichrist.

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Gill, John. "Commentary on Revelation 16:19". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/revelation-16.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

26 And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations 27 fell: and great 28 Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.

(26) The seat or standing place of Antichrist.

(27) Of all who cleave to Antichrist and fight against Christ.

(28) That harlot, of whom in the next chapter following. Now this phrase "to come into remembrance" is from the Hebrew language, borrowed from men, and attributed to God.

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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Revelation 16:19". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/revelation-16.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

the great city — the capital and seat of the apostate Church, spiritual Babylon (of which Rome is the representative, if one literal city be meant). The city in Revelation 11:8 (see on Revelation 11:8), is probably distinct, namely, Jerusalem under Antichrist (the beast, who is distinct from the harlot or apostate Church). In Revelation 11:13 only a tenth of Jerusalem falls whereas here the city (Babylon) “became (Greek) into three parts” by the earthquake.

cities of the nations — other great cities in league with spiritual Babylon.

great  …  came in remembranceGreek, “Babylon the great was remembered” (Revelation 18:5). It is now that the last call to escape from Babylon is given to God‘s people in her (Revelation 18:4).

fierceness — the boiling over outburst of His wrath (Greek, “{thumou orgees}”), compare Note, see on Revelation 14:10.

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This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 16:19". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/revelation-16.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Was divided into three parts (εγενετο εις τρια μερηegeneto eis tria merē). “Came into three parts” (γινομαιginomai again). In Revelation 11:3 a tenth part of the city fell. Babylon (Rome) is meant (Revelation 17:18).

Fell (επεσανepesan). Second aorist active indicative of πιπτωpiptō (αν̇an form in place of ον̇on).

Was remembered (εμνηστηemnēsthē). First aorist (prophetic) passive indicative of μιμνησκωmimnēskō Babylon (Rome) had not been overlooked. God was simply biding his time with Rome.

To give unto her (δουναι αυτηιdounai autēi). Second aorist active infinitive of διδωμιdidōmi epexegetic use as in Revelation 11:18; Revelation 16:9.

The cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath (το ποτηριον του οινου του τυμου της οργης αυτουto potērion tou oinou tou thumou tēs orgēs autou). “The cup of the wine of the wrath of his anger,” using both τυμοςthumos (boiling rage) and οργηorgē (settled anger). See both in Jeremiah 30:24.

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The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
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Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Revelation 16:19". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/revelation-16.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.

And the great city — Namely, Jerusalem, here opposed to the heathen cities in general, and in particular to Rome.

And the cities of the nations fell — Were utterly overthrown.

And Babylon was remembered before God — He did not forget the vengeance which was due to her, though the execution of it was delayed.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Revelation 16:19". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/revelation-16.html. 1765.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

Divided into three parts; that is, perhaps, broken up by the earthquake, and destroyed.

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Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Revelation 16:19". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/revelation-16.html. 1878.

Scofield's Reference Notes

Babylon

Summary: The Times of the Gentiles is that long period beginning with the Babylonian captivity of Judah, under Nebuchadnezzar, and to be brought to an end by the destruction of Gentile world-power by the "stone cut out without hands" Daniel 2:34; Daniel 2:35; Daniel 2:44 i.e., the coming of the Lord in glory Revelation 19:11; Revelation 19:21 until which time Jerusalem is politically subject to Gentile rule. Luke 21:24.

kings "Times of the Gentiles" Revelation 16:19; Luke 21:24.

Babylon (See Scofield "Isaiah 13:1")

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Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on Revelation 16:19". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/revelation-16.html. 1917.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

19 And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.

Ver. 19. And the great city] The whole Antichristian state.

Divided into three parts] By the earthquake disjected and dissipated. Or, divided into three parts, that is, into three factions, 1. Stiff Papists; 2. Converts; 3. Neuters.

And the cities of the nations] That came to aid Antichrist.

And great Babylon] Augustine and other ancients do call Rome the Western Babylon; and do so compare them, as that Abraham was born in the flourish of the first Babylon, Christ of the second. The Jesuits here, though they grant Rome to be Babylon, yet they would have it to be Rome heathen under the emperors, and not Rome Christian under the popes. But it must be Rome Christian, as it appears by a double departure: 1. Of Babylon from the Church, Revelation 17:3. Babylon is called a whore. 2. Of the Church from Babylon, Revelation 18:3. The temple of God is the seat of Antichrist, saith Paul, 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4.

The cup of wine] That wherein God delights, as a man would do to drink a cup of generous wine.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Revelation 16:19". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/revelation-16.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

The great city; Rome, afterwards called great Babylon in this verse.

Was divided into three parts; the pagan part, the evangelical part, and the antichristian part, (saith Dr. More), the three parties that made up the armies that fought in Armageddon: or else this is added as the effect of the great earthquake.

And great Babylon came in remembrance, &c.; God now took vengeance on the papacy, and all their adherents, though he had for twelve hundred and sixty years spared them, notwithstanding their idolatries and persecutions, and behaved himself toward them as if he had forgot them.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Revelation 16:19". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/revelation-16.html. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

город великий Ср. 11:13; 21:10; см. пояснение к Зах. 14:1-8. Иерусалим распадется на 3 части (Зах. 14:4). Это будет не наказанием, а усовершенствованием. Дополнительные запасы воды (Зах. 14:8) и топографические изменения (Зах. 14:4, 5) подготовят город занять центральное место в Тысячелетнем Царстве. Иерусалим – единственный город, который избежит наказания (ср. 1Пар. 23:25; Пс. 124:1, 2; Мих. 4:7) и даже станет более красивым (Пс. 47:3) благодаря его раскаянию (см. 11:13).

города языческие В отношении остальных городов мира намерение Бога совсем иное: они должны быть уничтожены.

Вавилон Столица империи антихриста получит особое излияние Божьего гнева, о чем свидетельствует и Ис. 13:6-13. Главы 17, 18 дают подробное описание этого разрушения.

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Revelation 16:19". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/revelation-16.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

The great city; Babylon.

The cities of the nations; these with Babylon represent the centres of the power and influence of Satan, the beast, false prophet, and all their anti-christian associates.

Great Babylon; see chap Revelation 17:5.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Revelation 16:19". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/revelation-16.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

A result of this unprecedented earthquake is the splitting of the great city into three parts. The "great city" could refer to Jerusalem ( Revelation 11:8). Some believe it refers to Rome. [Note: Mounce, p304.] Still others identify it with Babylon on the Euphrates ( Revelation 14:8; Revelation 17:18; Revelation 18:10; Revelation 18:21), to which this verse refers explicitly later. [Note: Ladd, p218.] Probably Jerusalem is in view. [Note: Moffatt, 5:449; Smith, A Revelation . . ., p237; Ford, p264; idem, "The Structure and Meaning of Revelation 16," Expository Times98:11 (August1987):327-31.] It contrasts with the cities of the nations, and the phrase "the great" described it before ( Revelation 11:8). Zechariah"s prophecy of topographical changes taking place around Jerusalem at this time argues for a geophysical rather that an ethnographic change ( Zechariah 14:4). [Note: Lee, 4:727, believed this would be a division into three groups of people.]

Evidently the earthquake will destroy virtually all the cities of the world. Babylon on the Euphrates is the most significant of these cities ( Revelation 14:8). It is the special object of God"s judgment, which the cup of wine that she receives symbolizes. Chapters17,18 describe the fall of Babylon in more detail.

"The fall of Babylon is the central teaching of the seventh bowl. It is an event already announced in Revelation 14:8 and prefigured in the harvest and vintage of Revelation 14:14-20.... Stages in Babylon"s downfall come in Revelation 17:16 and Revelation 18:8 ..., but her ultimate collapse is in Revelation 19:18-21" [Note: Thomas, Revelation 8-22, p276.]

The government of Iraq under Saddam Hussein was trying to rebuild Babylon. [Note: Charles H. Dyer, The Rise of Babylon, pp26-32.] Literal interpreters have differed on the question of whether someone will rebuild the whole city completely or not. Some believe Iraq will rebuild Babylon mainly in view of what the prophets predicted would happen to Babylon in Isaiah 13, 14, and in Jeremiah 50, 51. They say this has not yet taken place. [Note: E.g, Kenneth Allen, "The Rebuilding and Destruction of Babylon," Bibliotheca Sacra133:529 (January-March1976):19-27; Charles H. Dyer, "The Identity of Babylon in Revelation 17-18," Bibliotheca Sacra144:576 (October-December1987):440-49; Newell, pp253, 265, 268; Henry M. Morris, The Revelation Record, pp348-49; Thomas, Revelation 8-22, pp290, 307; and McGee, 5:1036. Cf18:2; Zechariah 5.] Others hold that Scripture does not require the rebuilding of Babylon since they believe God has fulfilled these prophecies. [Note: E.g, C. I. Scofield, ed, The Scofield Reference Bible, 1917 ed, pp1346-47; Pentecost, Things to . . ., pp368-69; and Homer Heater Jeremiah, "Do the Prophets Teach that Babylonia Will Be Rebuilt in the Eschaton?" Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society41:1 (March1998):23-43.] It seems to me that a literal city is in view in Revelation but that what the city has stood for throughout human history is also in view.

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 16:19". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/revelation-16.html. 2012.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Revelation 16:19. And the great city was divided into three parts. In these words we have the third particular of the seven. The sentence of Daniel 5:28 may be in the Seer’s mind, ‘Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.’ If this reference be correct, it will confirm the view (1) that Cyrus is the type from which ‘the kings from the sunrising’ mentioned in Revelation 16:12 is taken; and (2) that these kings are messengers of Christ, and deliverers of His Church as Cyrus was. The city is divided into ‘three’ parts, not so much from any thought of the three unclean spirits as from the idea of St. John that a whole consists of three parts (but comp. also Ezekiel 5:1-5; Ezekiel 5:12). The meaning is that the city was broken up and overthrown. The question of the identification of this ‘great city’ is more difficult. It is commonly understood to be Babylon, the emblem and centre of the world power. But in chap. Revelation 11:8 mention has already been made of Jerusalem as ‘the great city,’ and it is not easy to see how we can now interpret the name in a different manner. Besides this, Jerusalem was thought of in chap. Revelation 11:8 as the city of ‘the Jews’ rather than as the metropolis of God’s kingdom,—the idea of the place where Jesus was crucified being afterwards extended by the mention of Sodom and Egypt (comp. on chaps. Revelation 11:8 and Revelation 18:24). The ‘great city’ would therefore seem to be Jerusalem viewed in a less extensive sense than in chap. 11, as the principle and essence of what St. John in his Gospel calls ‘the world.’

The cities of the nations fell. This is the fourth particular of the seven. The reference may be to Micah 5:11; Micah 5:14. There, no doubt, it is the cities of Israel in which, rather than in Himself, the people had trusted that God promises in mercy to take away. But what is a merciful chastisement to Israel is a judgment on ‘the nations,’ and the destroying of their only refuge. Every city they had built for themselves ‘falls,’ and they are left houseless and defenceless.

And Babylon the great came up, etc. We have now the fifth particular of the seven. ‘Babylon the great’ is not essentially distinct from ‘the great city’ of the first clause of the verse, yet it is not exactly the same. We have already seen that the latter is degenerate Jerusalem viewed in a less extensive sense than in chap. 11. Now it is viewed in its widest meaning, as embracing not only the essence and principle of ‘the world’ once exhibited among ‘the Jews,’ but that principle as it appears in the Gentile not less than in the Jew. As in chap. Revelation 11:8 ‘the great city’ expanded until it embraced Sodom and Egypt, so here in like manner it expands into ‘Babylon the great.’ As such it must drink of the cup of God’s anger blazing out in His wrath.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Revelation 16:19". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/revelation-16.html. 1879-90.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Great Babylon came in remembrance before God. The time of God's punishing the wicked world is approaching: for by a third interpretation, Babylon may signify metaphorically all the wicked in general. (Witham)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Revelation 16:19". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/revelation-16.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

was divided. Literally became.

great Babylon. Compare Daniel 4:30.

came, &c. Literally was remembered.

fierceness. Greek. thumos (wrath, in Revelation 16:1).

wrath. Greek. orge. Figure of speech Pleonasm. App-6.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Revelation 16:19". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/revelation-16.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.

The great city - capital of the apostate church, spiritual Babylon (of which Rome is the representative). The city, in Revelation 11:8 (note), is distinct-namely, Jerusalem under Antichrist (the beast, distinct from the harlot, or apostate church). Compare Zechariah 13:8-9, as to Jerusalem, "two parts shall die, but the third shall be left." In Revelation 11:13, only a tenth falls of Jerusalem; whereas here the city (Babylon) 'became into three parts' by the earthquake. Panslavism, Panteutonism, and Pan latinism are the three divisions into which Christendom tends, the precursory sign of Babylon's fall. Cities of the nations - other great cities in league with spiritual Babylon.

Great Babylon came in remembrance - `Babylon the great was remembered' (Revelation 18:5). Now the last call to escape from Babylon is given to God's people in her (Revelation 18:4).

Fierceness - the boiling over of His wrath [ thumou (Greek #2372) orgees (Greek #3709)] (note, Revelation 14:10).

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 16:19". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/revelation-16.html. 1871-8.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.
the great
14:8; 17:18; 18:2,10,16-19,21
great
17:5; Daniel 4:30
in
14:8-10; 18:5; Isaiah 49:26; 51:17-23; Jeremiah 25:15,16,26
Reciprocal: Genesis 8:1 - God remembered;  Psalm 60:3 - to drink;  Psalm 74:18 - Remember;  Psalm 75:8 - For in;  Isaiah 47:3 - I will take;  Isaiah 59:18 - fury;  Isaiah 63:6 - make;  Jeremiah 27:7 - until;  Jeremiah 44:21 - did;  Jeremiah 48:26 - ye him;  Jeremiah 51:6 - for this;  Ezekiel 21:23 - call;  Ezekiel 23:32 - drink;  Ezekiel 24:9 - Woe;  Ezekiel 29:16 - bringeth;  Hosea 8:13 - now;  Hosea 9:7 - days of visitation;  Zechariah 12:2 - a cup;  Zechariah 13:8 - two;  Matthew 12:25 - Every kingdom;  Romans 2:8 - indignation;  Revelation 11:8 - the great;  Revelation 11:13 - and the tenth;  Revelation 14:10 - drink;  Revelation 15:1 - is filled;  Revelation 18:6 - the cup

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Revelation 16:19". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/revelation-16.html.

Walter Scott's Commentary on Revelation

Revelation 16:19. — The disastrous effects of the mighty earthquake are next briefly and tersely stated. "The great city{*Rome (Revelation 17:18) is thus dethroned from its sovereignty over the kings of the earth. Rome, the empire which then is the vast civil and political organisation of earth, is "the great city." Rome represents the civil, and Babylon the religious organisation of that day; both established by Satan.} was (divided) into three parts." That is, the vast and consolidated power of Rome, from its centre in the seven-hilled city on the Tiber on to its utmost extremities, is broken up into a tripartite division, while its utter ruin follows in due course. The break-up and dismemberment of the empire in its political and social organisation is what is signified. Satan's gigantic confederation is smashed.

19. — "The cities of the nations fell." The seats and centres of Gentile commerce — the political world apart from and outside the Roman earth — are involved in the general ruin, which overtakes all human combinations. From the building of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9) till the day and hour of the seventh Vial human progress in civilisation, in religion, in social and political government, in the arts, in science, in literature, has been the aim. Here we witness judgment on all that men have built up in these and other spheres of life, from the days of Cain (Genesis 3:1-24), when the world system without God was inaugurated, and from Babel (Genesis 11:1-32), when human combination, secular and religious, took its rise. What a blow to the pride and ambition of man!

DOWNFALL OF BABYLON.

19. — But the chief subject of judgment is now singled out — one more hateful to God than all others. "Great Babylon{*The literal Jerusalem is grandly described in Isaiah 60:1-22; the mystical Jerusalem is the subject of Revelation 21:9 — 22: 5. The literal Babylon is fully described in Jeremiah 51:1-64; the mystical Babylon occupies chapters 17 and 18 of the Apocalypse. In all respects Babylon is the contrast to the former, both in its historical and spiritual character.} was remembered before God to give her the cup of the wine of the fury of His wrath." Babylon is a name and word of ominous signification. It is the full-blown development of all antichristian elements, of all that is opposed to God. It is the concentration of all mere human religion. The city and tower which men built on the plains of Shinar — the former the civil centre, and the latter the religious centre of gathering apart from God have in the days of the Apocalypse attained the zenith of greatness. Popery is not Babylon, pure and simple, but is part of it. In guilt Babylon towers over all, and hence its judgment is commensurate with its sin. Undoubtedly it is the mystical Babylon that is referred to, and not the great Euphratean city which was doomed to eternal destruction (Jeremiah 51:62-64). It is the false church, the corruptress of the earth, the mother or source of all that is religiously vile. The very name of Christ which she bears, and the assumption of being His body and bride, intensifies her guilt. Her title, "great Babylon," points to her vast assumption of religious power. The anger of God burns fiercely on this awful counterfeit and travesty of what should have stood for Him in grace, in holiness, and in testimony to the truth.

The details of Babylon's judgment, her relation to the apostate civil power, and many particulars are unfolded in the two chapters which follow; while her utter doom, celebrated in Heaven in triumphant strains of gladness, is the subject of Revelation 19:1-4.

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Scott, Walter. "Commentary on Revelation 16:19". "Walter Scott's Commentary on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sor/revelation-16.html.

E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament

The great city means the institution composed of the union of church and state, as it is used here and some other places, not merely church or state singly. It is in that sense that the name Babylon is used in this verse, because the literal city of Babylon had been destroyed centuries before ( Isaiah 13:19-22), and the apostate church of Rome as a religious institution is not to be destroyed until Jesus comes again ( 2 Thessalonians 2:8). But Babylon as the union of church and state was dissolved by the Reformation never to be restored. Divided into three parts.This partial destruction has been indicated a number of times and has been explained to mean that God does not completely extinguish every institution He condemns. Came in remembrance before God means he remembered the evils that city had done to His people. Give unto her the cap, etc, is the same figurative sense of wine that has been commented upon in Revelation 14:19-20.

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Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Revelation 16:19". E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/znt/revelation-16.html. 1952.

D.S. Clark's Commentary on Revelation

V:19. And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell, (the Sinaitic manuscript has city, in the singular as if referring to Rome alone, yet the plural is perfectly consistent with the view we maintain, for the empire had many cities) and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath."

Now it ought to be perfectly plain to what end all this intricate story has been leading, namely to the overthrow of Rome, here called Babylon, because she was the second great persecutor of the Christian church.

Plain as this is now, it will be still more evident when we pass in examination the two chapters of this section which are to follow. The last two verses of this chapter need no special comment; they are just vividly descriptive statements or rather symbols of the great judgment that has fallen. But the saddest note that is struck is that men blasphemed God because of their judgments, instead of repenting; which shows what incorrigible sinners they were.

We are thus brought, at the end of this chapter, to the judgment on Rome, here called Babylon; the enemy of God and the persecutor of his people. We have seen how Rome as the beast, and the agent of the dragon, the Devil, through the agency of the false prophet, persecuted the woman and her seed, which represented the church, and how God has brought her to judgment for it.

The next two chapters will bring out some more details and make increasingly clear the identity of the characters that have moved in these scenes. In the meantime we are to remember that the spiritual lessons are just as applicable to us today as they were to old Rome. If she could not sin with impunity neither can we. If her opposition to God met with terrible and awful retribution in the fire and brimstone whose smoke ascendeth forever and ever, we may be sure that all sin, unrepented and unforgiven, will meet with retribution, and that the wages of sin is death.

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Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

19.Divided, by the earthquake, into three parts—Laid into three separate heaps. Of course so great an earthquake would leave no structure standing. The three, the divine number, intimates that it was the divine work. Babylon falls not so much by man as by God. And note that it is not said that the destruction was divinely limited to a third part, but that the divine destruction rested on all the parts. The great battle is a trifle to the great earthquake.

Cities of the nations fell—All the antichristian capitals, among all nations, fell by the same earthquake. And yet by the run of the commentators it is held that Babylon itself does not fall—is only menaced and partially damaged. In view of the awful menaces and dread preparation narrated, all aimed at Babylon, we have the ludicrous result that Babylon is the only city among the nations that does not fall!

Remembrance’ to give’ cup’ wrath—Here we catch a gleam of the battle. This can mean nothing less than that Jehovah here and now accomplished the destruction to the utmost. The words Revelation 18:1-2; Revelation 18:8-23, are a picture of her consequent condition.

Every island fled—Neither Megiddo nor Rome has any sea islands in sight. The picture is, that the continents were shaken by the earthquake, the islands were frightened away, and the mountains were leveled to the plain, or became invisible— were not found—to the eye of the seer amid the smoke and confusion of the earthquake, battle, and downfall.

 

 

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Revelation 16:19". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/revelation-16.html. 1874-1909.