Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Revelation 18:1

After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illumined with his glory.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Angel (a Spirit);   Fellowship;   The Topic Concordance - Judges;   Partaking;   Plague;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Babylon;   Poetry of the Hebrews;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Government;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Antichrist;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Authority;   Revelation, the Book of;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Babylon the Great ;   Elephant;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Babel;   Babylon;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Authority in Religion;   Glory;   Number;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

The earth was lightened with his glory - This may refer to some extraordinary messenger of the everlasting Gospel, who, by his preaching and writings, should be the means of diffusing the light of truth and true religion over the earth.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Revelation 18:1". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/revelation-18.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

And after these things - After the vision referred to in the previous chapter.

I saw another angel come down from heaven - Different from the one that had last appeared, and therefore coming to make a new communication to him. It is not unusual in this book that different communications should be entrusted to different angels. Compare Revelation 14:6, Revelation 14:8-9, Revelation 14:15, Revelation 14:17-18.

Having great power - That is, he was one of the higher rank or order of angels.

And the earth was lightened with his glory - The usual representation respecting the heavenly beings. Compare Exodus 24:16; Matthew 17:2; Luke 2:9; Acts 9:3. This would, of course, add greatly to the magnificence of the scene.

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These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Revelation 18:1". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/revelation-18.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

REV:18

The relationship of this chapter to the preceding one is generally admitted, although there are several views with regard to the exact nature of that relationship. That the judgment of the great whore is still under consideration seems certain; but Criswell thought that Revelation 18 deals with the particular "judgment of God himself upon Babylon,"[1] as sharply distinguished from the judgment of Revelation 17, in which "the nations of earth, not by the intervention of heaven, but by something that mankind does, grow weary of her and destroy her."[2] As we see it, this is a distinction without a difference. "God puts into their hearts to do his mind" (Revelation 17:17); therefore, it is still God's judgment in both instances. The judgment of Jerusalem was nonetheless God's, because it was executed by Roman armies (Matthew 22:7); nor is the destruction of the harlot any less the judgment of God himself because it was effected by multiple kingdoms of the earth who finally had enough of her.

In the great judgment scene of Revelation 16:20, the final overthrow of "Babylon the great" was briefly mentioned; and both Revelation 17 and Revelation 18 are a double recapitulation of that same event, Revelation 17 being given over to the revelation of "Babylon's" identity, as indicated by the brief tie-in by another reference to her destruction in Revelation 17:17. Next, comes Revelation 18 with a particular close-up of conditions in Babylon on the eve of the final overthrow in the last judgment. One of the big expressions in this chapter is "one hour," that being the period of the ten kings (Revelation 17:12) who "burnt" the whore and ate her, not realizing in doing so that they also destroyed themselves. These are the mysteries cleared up in chapter 18. Thus it will be seen that the principal events here are what takes place against Apostate Christianity during the period of the ten kings and the eighth beast with whom they are surely identified and to whom they gave their mind and authority.

Ladd gave this analysis of Revelation 18:

After foretelling the destruction of Babylon by the beast (the ten kings) and his vassal kings, a long section on the same theme depicts in greater detail the destruction of the once proud city.[3]

Thus, both Revelation 17 and Revelation 18 are successive "close-ups" of the great judgment of Revelation 16:20. At the end of these (Revelation 18:21), the final judgment is again symbolized by the hurling of the mighty boulder into the sea, making both of these chapters another recapitulation ending in exactly the same place as the previous sections have ended; namely, in the final judgment of the last day. In our interpretation, the events of chapter 18 are future from our own times, because they belong to the period of the ten kings and the eighth beast which apparently have not yet been fully manifested upon earth. Still, there have been enough "partial" fulfillments to leave an element of uncertainty. Here is an outline of the chapter:

A CLOSE-UP OF BABYLON'S JUDGMENT

1. The announcement of her fall (Revelation 18:1-8).

2. Consequences of her fall for the world (Revelation 18:9-20).

3. The finality of her doom (Revelation 18:21-24).

THE IDENTITY OF THE HARLOT

Once more, it is incumbent upon us to explain our persistent identification of the harlot with Apostate Christianity, the great Roman Catholic Church itself being a conspicuous element of that apostasy, but by no means all of it. The extensive details in this chapter regarding business, commerce, merchandise, and trade have led some to make confident assertions limiting these references to pagan Rome, overlooking the fact, as Alford pointed out, that, "The difficulty of doing so is unsolved."[4] Whatever may be intended by these elaborate commercial symbols:

One thing cannot be denied: the muddy Tiber flowing through Rome could never carry the enormous maritime traffic portrayed here. Pagan Rome was never famous as a center of selling and exchanging merchandise.[5]

Despite all the insoluble problems of doing so, some scholars insist that the harlot is pagan Rome. "Babylon is a figure of the city of Rome."[6] "The great harlot symbolizes the city of Rome."[7] The destruction of the harlot is used here to picture "the destruction of the Babylon of the New Testament, Rome,"[8] etc. Nevertheless, we are certain that this view is incorrect and that the elaborate commercial symbols which in no sense can properly symbolize pagan Rome have a far more appropriate meaning.

There are some who cannot see anything here except Papal Rome as the harlot; and, as Smith said, "There is much here to support their view,"[9] but, as frequently noted in this commentary, we simply cannot thus limit it. Much more is involved than the Papacy, despite the undeniable truth that the Papacy must certainly be included in the meaning.

Morris rejected the inadequacy of applying this chapter merely to pagan Rome, thus:

John is thinking not of the fall of one city or empire but of the collapse of civilization. Final judgment means the overthrow of all that opposes itself to God.[10]

This is correct as far as it goes, but it falls short of including the religious situation as it must be related to all this. In short, it leaves out the Papacy (as so many do); and without that nothing is explained.

Wilbur M. Smith believed that the fall here presented is that of the "Apostate Christianity, the world religion that has betrayed Christ, and is interlocked with pagan, godless governments."[11] This too is correct as far as it goes, but it leaves unexplained the inconceivable grief in which the very people who destroyed the Apostate Christianity greeted the actual accomplishment of it. To understand this is to understand the passage. True, the destruction of the harlot was the destruction of Apostate Christianity; but that is not all it was. Merely getting rid of all religion would have been greeted with howls of glee all over the world if that had been all that the destruction of the harlot meant. We shall attempt to show the larger picture of what actually is prophesied as happening.

The limited views already noted, that "the great world-city," "cities everywhere," "urban civilization," etc., are what is meant by the harlot, is absolutely contradicted by one thing, the hatred of the ten kings (Revelation 17:17) who are the symbols of great world governments. We cannot imagine, nor can anyone else, that there can ever come a time when the great governments of the earth will "hate" urban civilization, the great world city, or cities everywhere, which have always been, are now, and shall ever continue to be the very essence and foundation of world governments. Could any government hate and willfully destroy its tax base? We cannot believe that Revelation prophesies any such thing. Is it not clear that it is the religious thing which will at last incur the wrath and hatred of the kings? This is the undeniable fact that absolutely requires that the Papacy and related phenomena be included in the understanding of who the whore is, and all that was involved in her destruction.

The ten kings, who are the executioners of God's wrath upon the whore, will hate her, not the great populous cities of the world, either singly or collectively; but what they will overlook in their terminal assault upon the whore is that the whore herself is the principal element of stability in the whole civilized world, and that her fall will have fatal repercussions for themselves. Christendom, in a remarkable degree, is an edifice constructed by the harlot; and this is as good a place as any to take a look at the harlot's contribution to the world structure in which she is yet the principal glue that holds the whole thing together.

ADMIRATION OF THE HARLOT

John himself wondered at the harlot "with great admiration" (Revelation 17:6 KJV), and there are ample reasons for our own very great admiration of her. Some of these are:

1. The stern, basic moralities advocated and taught by the Apostate Church are the principal foundation of all commerce, business, industry, and trade. Nearly half a billion Roman Catholics are basically honest, virtuous, sober, truthful, and diligent, opposed to violence, murder, theft, abortion, etc. Without such virtues, which the Apostate Church has effectively promulgated, no business, industry, or civilization can endure. To be sure, the Apostate Church has allowed, or even sold the right of violation of these principles, nevertheless her achievement in enforcing them generally cannot be denied.

2. The art, music, architecture, and culture of our whole civilization are, in large measure, the achievement of the harlot. Volumes could be written about any one of these.

3. The stability and sanctity of marriage and the home, which is the basic building block of all civilized order, are due, more than to any other single agency of their advocacy, to the accomplishments of the harlot. What will happen to any society when such things are no longer effectively advocated and promulgated? The incredibly dark scenes of this chapter which confounded the "smart" kings who decided to get rid of religion, with the sudden and unexpected result, when they had done so, of their glee being turned into howling misery - these scenes depict exactly what happened!

4. It is the Roman Catholic Church which alone is the worldwide Christianity, imperfect and apostate though it is; and there is not a church of any name on earth today that does not in some degree stand indebted to her accomplishments, which have been providentially used for the protection of the truly faithful. Nevertheless, "the true followers of Christ" on earth today are a dwindling minority with reference to the whole of mankind; and when the Apostate Christianity is destroyed, as it will be, that minority will either go underground or perish, thus reducing what little impact they have upon "all people" even further toward the vanishing point.

Here then, in Revelation 18, is the mystery of the ten kings hating the whore. They are blind to the truth that when they "burn her with fire" and destroy her, they will at the same time kindle the fires of their own destruction, remove the keystone from the arch of world order, and reduce the vaunted civilization of which they are a part to utter chaos and disorder. The foolish dream of modern humanist fools who vainly believe that they can produce a good society apart from its roots in the religion of Christ is an idiot's nightmare. The fruits of a Christian world (imperfect as they are) will not be kept alive apart from their roots in the word of God. When "the kings" shall see what follows their removal of the whore, that is when the howling, the wailing, the cries, the mourning, and the casting of dust on their heads will take place. In America today, there are at the top intellectual level a horde of humanistic atheists who are paving the way for the "ten kings." "The 1955 Harvard Report on Education claimed that Western Civilization would never again utilize Christianity as the foundation of our social structure."[12] This report rejected Christianity without ever knowing what it really is. The harlot has herself long resorted to war and cruelty as instruments of policy; and this fact colored their distorted view. They just overlooked other qualities of the harlot's work.

"The mystery of iniquity" is in this (2 Thessalonians 2:7), and other theological questions of the utmost significance are also present.

When every church on earth has lost its tax status and the Christian religion is outlawed everywhere as it already is in Russia, the situation will be the beginning of what Revelation 18 describes. All enterprise, business, commerce, industry, trade, etc., will be slowed down, thwarted and halted, because the basic morality upon which such enterprise rests will have been destroyed. Human rights will no longer exist. The basic ethics of the harlot are Christian in many particulars; and when she falls, the disaster will be sudden, complete, and final. The sacred virtues of the holy faith in Christ will be unable to prevail afterwards, except in a beleaguered remnant. The reason for this is that the harlot taught such basic virtues as hers, existing through her authority, and enforced through her power, and not as Christ's requirements. This was the fatal error. When she falls, as far as the world as a whole is concerned, all the hoops will be removed from the barrel of the world's morality and order.

For these, and a multitude of other considerations, we must, through our tears, see the harlot as Apostate Christianity, most conspicuously represented by that form of it known all over the world in every village and hamlet of it, and the sole historical figure large enough to fit the description of it; namely, the Papal system and its derivatives.

And what are those derivatives? Practically all of Protestantism is included in this. What church is free of the guilt? This writer has experienced in his own ministry bulls of excommunication, anathemas, and denunciations just as bitter as any ever issued by any Pope, and which came from little popes and agents of Diotrephes from within his own communion. Where is the church that does not have its synod, conference, presbyter, president, moderator, chairman, or some other substitute for a pope? And if these are not found, some college, publication, preacher, or other functionary is allowed to serve the same end. Christendom itself is apostate; and we freely confess that we do not know any patent solution of the problem. Freely admitting this still leaves us no escape from reading the harlot as the one most conspicuously identified as the historical church and its papal apparatus. If there is any solution of the apostasy, it must be allowed as the one proposed by Reuel Lemmons, distinguished editor of the Firm Foundation: "Let us be sure that those whom we convert are truly converted to Christ."[13]

When God used Rome to destroy apostate Israel (Jerusalem), as revealed in Matthew 22:7, the true Israel (the church) was also nearly annihilated at the same time; and from this we may suppose that when the new Israel turned harlot receives the wrath of God from the "ten kings," that the righteous remnant of the true faith will suffer their greatest test. We pray that in our understanding Roman Catholicism as the harlot, that this extended explanation and definition of it will also be considered. There is nothing narrow, sectional, denominational, or vindictive in this. It is a tragedy that reaches all the way to heaven, and the shadow of the apostasy, in one form or another, falls upon every Christian upon earth. For some, it is in the innovations with which they worship God; for others it is the totalitarian organization of their church; for some it is the perverted form of the baptism they receive; for many it is the secularization of their faith; for yet others it is the false idea that the church is the dispenser of salvation; for still others it is their acceptance of tradition instead of the word of God; and many have elevated a "priesthood" between themselves and the Lord, etc.

[1] W. A. Criswell, Expository Sermons on Revelation (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1962), IV, p. 16.

[2] Ibid.

[3] George Eldon Ladd, A Commentary on the Revelation of John (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1972), p. 235.

[4] Alford as quoted by Wilbur M. Smith, Wycliffe Bible Commentary, New Testament (Chicago: Moody Press, 1971), p. 1089.

[5] Ibid.

[6] J. W. Roberts, The Revelation of John (Austin, Texas: R. B. Sweet Company, 1974), p. 145.

[7] Albertus Pieters, Studies in the Revelation of St. John (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1954), p. 250.

[8] Ray Summers, Worthy is the Lamb (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1961), p. 193.

[9] Wilbur M. Smith, op. cit., p. 1089.

[10] Leon Morris, Tyndale New Testament Commentaries, Vol. 20, Revelation Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1969), p. 214.

[11] Wilbur M. Smith, op. cit., p. 1089.

[12] James D. Strauss, The Seer, the Saviour and the Saved (Joplin, Missouri: College Press, 1972), p. 225.

[13] Reuel Lemmons, Editorial, Firm Foundation (Austin, Texas: Firm Foundation Publishing House, 1978), Dec. 12,1978.

After these things, I saw another angel coming down out of heaven, having great authority; and the earth was lightened with his glory. (Revelation 18:1)

Another angel coming down out of heaven ... This angel does not mean that another vision is being introduced. "The Babylon of Revelation 18 is identical with the Babylon of Revelation 17 ... the theme of great Babylon's downfall is continued."[14]

Having great authority ... This together with the glorious appearance of the angels emphasizes the eternal truth of what would be revealed.

ENDNOTE:

[14] F. F. Bruce, A New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1969),p. 659.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Revelation 18:1". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/revelation-18.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And after these things,.... The vision of the woman on the scarlet coloured beast, and the interpretation of both by the angel:

I saw another angel; not the Lord Jesus Christ, though the several things said of this angel agree with him; nor one of the ministering spirits, though the characters of him will also suit with one of them, but rather a minister of the Gospel, or a set of Gospel ministers, who will arise a little before the downfall of Babylon, in the spiritual reign of Christ; though not the same with the angel of fire, Revelation 14:18 as some have thought, because of his illustrious appearance, and the loudness of his voice; but the same with the angel, or third thundering voice in Revelation 14:6 for not only the times of both agree, but the selfsame words are expressed by one as by the other; and this angel is distinct from him that showed John the preceding vision, and gave him the interpretation of it, and from all the seven angels that had the vials, and is described as follows: and first by the place from whence he came, John saw him

come down from heaven; denoting the suddenness of his appearance and cry; he came down at once, and cried out immediately; the subject of his cry, the destruction of Babylon, being what will be at an unawares; and also the commission and authority of the ministers signified by him, who will have their warrant from heaven to say what they will deliver; so that this likewise expresses the truth of their message, since both that and they come from heaven:

having great power; to do great work, to declare the fall of Babylon the great: or "having great authority"; being sent from the King of kings, in his name, as his ambassador, to proclaim what shortly will come to pass; an event of the greatest importance to the glory of God, the interest of Christ, and the comfort of his people:

and the earth was lightened with his glory; see Ezekiel 43:2 by which is meant the glorious Gospel of Christ, the light of which will at this then be very great: these ministers will run to and fro the earth, and knowledge will be increased, and the earth will be filled with it: the Arabic version reads, "with the splendour of his countenance"; and the Ethiopic version, "with the splendour of his countenance, and his glory"; see Isaiah 60:1.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Revelation 18:1". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/revelation-18.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

And 1 after these things I saw another 2 angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.

(1) The second passage (as I said before) {See (Revelation 17:1) } of the history of Babylon, is of the woeful fall and ruin of that whore of Babylon. This historical prediction concerning her, is threefold. The first a plain and simple foretelling of her ruin, in three verses (Revelation 18:2-3). The second a figurative prediction by the circumstances, from there to (Rev. 18:4-20). The third, a confirmation of the same by sign or wonder, to the end of the chapter (Revelation 18:21-24). {(2)} Either Christ the eternal word of God the Father (as often elsewhere) or a created angel, and one deputed to this service, but thoroughly provided with greatness of power, and with light of glory, as the ensign of power.
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Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Revelation 18:1". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/revelation-18.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Revelation 18:1-24. Babylon‘s fall: God‘s people called out of her: The kings and merchants of the earth mourn, while the saints rejoice at her fall.

And — so Vulgate and Andreas. But A, B, Syriac, and Coptic omit “And.”

powerGreek, “authority.”

lightened — “illumined.”

withGreek, “owing to.”

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
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 18:1". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/revelation-18.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Coming down out of heaven (καταβαινοντα εκ του ουρανουkatabainonta ek tou ouranou). Present active predicate participle. Not the angel of Revelation 17:1, Revelation 17:7, Revelation 17:15 (John‘s guide), but one announcing the doom of Babylon (Rome). As in Revelation 10:1; Revelation 20:1.

Was lightened (επωτιστηephōtisthē). First aorist passive of πωτιζωphōtizō old causative verb (from πωςphōs light), common in N.T. as in Revelation 18:1; Revelation 21:23; Revelation 22:5.

With his glory (εκ της δοχης αυτουek tēs doxēs autou). “By reason of (εκek as in Revelation 8:13; Revelation 16:10) his glory.” “So recently has he come from the Presence that in passing he flings a broad belt of light across the dark earth” (Swete).

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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)
Bibliographical Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Revelation 18:1". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/revelation-18.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

Was lightened

Compare Ezekiel 43:2.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 18:1". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/revelation-18.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

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

And I saw another angel coming down out of heaven — Termed another, with respect to him who "came down out of heaven," Revelation 10:1.

And the earth was enlightened with his glory — To make his coming more conspicuous. If such be the lustre of the servant, what images can display the majesty of the Lord, who has "thousand thousands" of those glorious attendants "ministering to him, and ten thousand times ten thousand standing before him?"

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Revelation 18:1". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/revelation-18.html. 1765.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

And after these things, &c. The visions described in this and in the following chapter are evidently intended to represent, by vivid images, the certain and terrible destruction of the great anti-Christian power represented by Babylon.

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Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Revelation 18:1". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/revelation-18.html. 1878.

Scofield's Reference Notes

angel

(See Scofield "Hebrews 1:4").

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These files are considered public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available in the Online Bible Software Library.
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Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on Revelation 18:1". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/revelation-18.html. 1917.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

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

Ver. 1. I saw another angel] Some excellent and worthy man (saith Mr Brightman), such a one as should come suddenly before he be looked for, as those things do that slip down from heaven.

Having great power] εξουσιαν, or authority; as having in hand a great business, viz. the denouncing of Rome’s utter ruin.

And the earth was lighted] He delivered himself clearly and expressly, so as that all men may well understand his meaning. Ribera the Jesuit gives this note upon this text, that the judgment of Rome’s desolation shall be (not kept secret, but) made manifest to all men.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Revelation 18:1". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/revelation-18.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Revelation 18:1.— In the former chapter, the angel interpreter has given us a key to the meaning of the prophesy, which describes this third and most lasting period, wherein the saints were to suffer for their faith and constancy; that they might expect a time of temptation and suffering; that they might be more careful through grace to confirm their faith and patience, and encourage each other to perseverance. This chapter represents another angel sent from heaven, to reveal the sure judgments of God on these enemies of the pure Christian religion; to foretel their sure destruction, and that in as eminent a manner as God ever appeared to punish Babylon and Tyre, the ancient enemies of true religion. This part of the prophesyis very fit and proper for the general design of it; to caution good Christians against the corruption of the times in which they live; and to give them consolation in all their sufferings through confidence in the protection of God, and through hope of deliverance in a proper time, and of a glorious reward in the end.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Revelation 18:1". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/revelation-18.html. 1801-1803.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

The destruction of spiritual Babylon hath in this prophecy been several times predicted and already foretold: now here an angel from heaven is employed to declare it shall certainly be performed.

This angel is variously here described, 1. By the place from whence he came, namely, from heaven; signifying, that the destruction of Babylon was there surely decreed, and should most certainly be accomplished.

2. By the authority and power with which he came, in the name of, and by commission from, the great God, and having great power. A mighty angel is employed in this great and mighty work, to destroy Babylon, the mighty throne of antichrist.

3. By the effect of his appearance, the earth was lightened with his glory; denoting, that Babylon's destruction should be open and manifest, and matter of joy and glorious rejoicing both to heaven and earth.

Learn hence, That as the destruction of Babylon is the work and office of an angel, under God, so is it unto the angels matter of joy and triumph; especially to such of them as are employed as officers therein. I saw an angel come down from heaven, having great power, and the earth was lightened with his glory.

Observe, 2. The place against which the mighty angel doth denounce the vengeance of God, and that with an ingemination, or repetition of the threatening: Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen; where, by Babylon, all, both papists and protestants, do understand the city of Rome, though in different respects.

This is called mystical Babylon, in allusion to ancient Babylon, because of their resemblance,

1. In sin; namely, in pride and sedf-exaltation, in cruelty and oppression, in sorcery and witchcraft. Isaiah 51:7.

2. In punishment: the destruction of old Babylon was a sudden destruction, Isaiah 17:9 and a perpetual destruction. See Isaiah 13:20 compared with Revelation 11:10 and Revelation 18:8.

It is called Babylon the great, 1. Because of the greatness of its strength and glory; it was the strongest and most fortified place in the world. Cyrus besieged it thirteen years before he took it, and then by cutting channels, and drawing dry the river Erphrates.

2. In regard of her great power and dominion: literal Babylon said, and Are not my princes altogether kings? and mystical Babylon ruleth over all the kings of the earth.

Farther, it is here said, that Babylon the great is fallen, nay, it is ingeminated and repeated, is fallen, is fallen; implying,

1. The certainty of her ruin; it is a speech of faith, speaking of things to come as already past; God's punishments when threatened are as certain as if already inflicted.

2. It denotes the suddenness of her destruction, She is fallen, that is subito ruitura, she shall soon fall; as when Christ said of his suffering work, It is finished, he meant that it was very near finishing.

3. It denotes her utter ruin and destruction, is fallen, is fallen, never to rise more: the church shall never more be tormented by her, or troubled with her.

4. It denotes the joy and rejoicing which will be found in Sion, at Babylon's downfall and destruction: she is fallen, she is fallen; it is not only a speech of faith and trust, but of joy and triumph.

Learn hence, 1. That Rome or mystical Babylon, shall certainly fall, shall utterly fall, shall irrecoverably fall.

2. That the downfall of Babylon will be matter of great joy and triumph to the inhabitants of Sion, because she has been to the church of Christ an old and inveterate enemy, a cruel and bloody enemy, and shall be the last enemy. When Babylon is fallen, then shall all persecutions cease, Satan shall be bound, and the kingdoms of the world shall become the kingdoms of the Lord and his Christ. Let all that have an interest in God, be instant in prayer with him to hasten its time, that it may be in the history as it is here in the prophecy, that Babylon is fallen.

Observe lastly, what an heap of multiplied expressions the Holy Ghost is pleased to make use of, to set forth the utter ruin and final desolation of Babylon,--She is become the habitation of devils, the hold of every foul spirit, a cage of every unclean and hateful bird; that is, as devils and evil spirits are supposed to haunt desolate places, and birds which make hideous and dismal noises, do dwell in ruinous and ruined places: in like manner these expressions denote how entirely and absolutely God will bring about the destruction of Babylon, insomuch that the place which hath known her, shall know her no more, and her habitation shall be an eternal desolation, so that none that pass by shall say, This is Babylon.

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Burkitt, William. "Commentary on Revelation 18:1". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/revelation-18.html. 1700-1703.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

REVELATION CHAPTER 18

Revelation 18:1-3 A mighty angel declareth the fall of Babylon.

Revelation 18:4-7 God’s people commanded to depart out of her.

Revelation 18:8 After judgment.

Revelation 18:9,10 The kings of the earth,

Revelation 18:11-16 and the merchants,

Revelation 18:17-19 and mariners, lament over her.

Revelation 18:20 The saints are excited to rejoice over her.

Revelation 18:21-24 A millstone cast into the sea denoteth her

irrecoverable fall.

It is a matter of no great moment, whether by this

angel we understand Christ, or a created angel; the description agreeth to Christ, and may agree to a created angel.

Having great power; to whom God had given power and authority to declare the ruin of Babylon.

And the earth was lightened with his glory; and he had communicated to him a great glory, suited to his splendour and greatness whose messenger he was.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Revelation 18:1". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/revelation-18.html. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

земля осветилась от славы его Пятая чаша (16:10) повергнет мир во мрак. На фоне этого внезапное появление иного, сияющего Ангела (не такого, как в 17:1, 7, 15), конечно, сосредоточит внимание мира на нем и его послании о суде над Вавилоном (ср. 14:8).

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Revelation 18:1". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/revelation-18.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

The present chapter contains a vision of the fall of the mystic Babylon, expressed in magnificent imagery, taken mainly from the prophecies of the overthrow of Babylon and Tyre contained in the Old Testament.

Another angel; coming to herald the fall of Babylon. The glory in which he appears represents the bright and glorious displays of Christ’s power connected with her overthrow.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Revelation 18:1". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/revelation-18.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

CONTENTS

The Fall of Babylon. God's People come out from her. The Kings, and great Men, and Merchants, wail for her. The Saints of God rejoice over her.

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 a very blessed and refreshing Chapter, in which we arrive at the close of the history, in that part of it, which concerns the destruction of the whore; here called Babylon. The date of this Chapter, must be under the fifth vial, and in correspondence also to the sixth trumpet, both which we are still under, though, as I before remarked, in the few general observations on the vials, that they are certainly not so distinct in their ministry, as that one hath fully exhausted all which belonged to it, before the succeeding one came to be poured out, for, frequently, through the whole that is already past, we find from their history, one runs into another, See Chapter 16 Commentary, on verse 1.(Revelation 16:1)

The several parts of this Chapter refresh the Church of God, with their blessed informations. The long prayed-for time is here come. She that deluged the earth with the blood of the saints, is now brought to her account. The Holy Ghost describes the different effects wrought upon the minds of men, in the view of her ruin. Those of states and empires, as well as the shipmasters and merchants, who profited by her delusion on the world, lament her downfall, which involves in it their own. While the Church of God, in not only that part of it yet upon earth, but the Holy Apostles and Prophets now in heaven, join in the triumphant song. Who this Messenger is, whom John saw corning down from the Church, to give the glorious tidings is not said. A very blessed account of his greatness is given, for it is said, that he lightened the earth with his glory, that is, I apprehend, not the glories of his person, but the glory of his intelligence. It could not be Christ I should suppose, because Christ is the judge of the whore, and He that will come under the seventh vial, to punish in Person, the devil, and the beast, and the false prophet together, Revelation 16:15-17.

I admire the grace of the Lord towards John, and the Church through him, that it seems to have been immediately after the vision the Lord hath favored him with, in the preceding Chapter of the whore's prosperity and pride, that this of her judgment immediately followed. So sweetly doth the Lord time his mercies to his people, that the lifting up their souls with joy, shall speedily succeed their exercises of sorrow.

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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Revelation 18:1". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/revelation-18.html. 1828.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘After these things I saw another angel coming down out of Heaven, having great authority, and the earth was lightened with his glory.’

Another great angel is seen as involved with the fulfilling of God’s final purposes. Note that none of these angels are ever named apart from Michael, who is named because he is the angel prince of Israel (Revelation 12:7). While prominent, they maintain an anonymous position for they seek no glory for themselves. They are all equally God’s servants and none will seek to obtain prominence over another. (How different we are today). So effective is the presence of this angel that earth itself indirectly perceives his presence by a ‘lighting up’ with his glory.

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Revelation 18:1". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/revelation-18.html. 2013.

Foy E. Wallace's Commentary on the Book of Revelation

(1) The angel's announcement--18: l-3.

This is another instance of a proleptic utterance by an angel, as the following verses of the chapter outline the successive stages of the fall and the desolation of the Babylon--Jerusalem.

The proclamation of doom was delivered by an angel having great power, a power commensurate with the magnitude of the proclamation and which signified the authority to pronounce a final doom. As a result of the proclamation the earth (land of Judea) was lightened with glory, as the heavens are aglow with lightenings attending the thunders. This was symbolic of the awe and terror of the appalling events impending.

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Wallace, Foy E. "Commentary on Revelation 18:1". "Foy E. Wallace's Commentary on the Book of Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/foy/revelation-18.html. 1966.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

John next saw another scene on earth (Gr. Meta tauta eidon, "After these things I saw," cf. Revelation 4:1). Another angel of the same kind as in Revelation 17:1 (i.e, one who descends from heaven to fulfill a special mission; cf. Revelation 10:1; Revelation 20:1) announced the next scene that John saw in his vision. This angel possessed great authority and glory, probably indicative of the importance of the judgment he announced. His description has led some interpreters to conclude that he is Jesus Christ. [Note: E.g, M. Robert Mulholland, Revelation, Holy Living in an Unholy World, p284; and Chilton, The Days ..., pp445-46.] However his clear identification as an angel and the function he performs seem to mark him as an angel (cf. Revelation 14:8). [Note: Dsterdieck, p442; Beckwith, p712.] Evidently his task required great authority. [Note: Wilcock, p166.] His great glory, with which he illuminated the earth, probably suggests that he had just come from God"s presence (cf. Exodus 34:29-35; Ezekiel 43:2).

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 18:1". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/revelation-18.html. 2012.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Revelation 18:1. Another angel appears having great authority; and the earth was lightened with his glory. These last words are in all probability taken from Ezekiel 43:2, ‘and the earth shined with his glory.’ They illustrate the greatness of his mission, and the manner in which the whole ‘earth’ shall be struck with its glorious accomplishment. As in chap. Revelation 7:2 this angel has a closer than ordinary connection with the Lord Himself.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Revelation 18:1". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/revelation-18.html. 1879-90.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Revelation 18:1. And after these things — After the angel-interpreter had so far explained the meaning of the vision, and mystery of the woman, and of the beast with seven heads and ten horns which carried her; I saw another angel — Termed another, with respect to him mentioned Revelation 10:1; come down from heaven — To show the sure downfall of this antichristian power, which is here described in the same sublime figurative style as that in which Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel have foretold the fall of ancient Babylon and Tyre, the types and emblems of the spiritual Babylon; and, together with her punishment, the crimes which deserved it, her idolatry and wickedness; having great power, and the earth was lightened with his glory — In this description of the angel there seems to be an allusion to the vision of Ezekiel, (Ezekiel 43:2,) when he beheld the glory of the God of Israel, and the earth, it is said, shined with his glory. A bright and shining light, it seems, usually attended the appearance of angels; and it is likely the splendour of the appearance used to be greater in proportion as the angel appearing was more honourable. The sending an angel of superior rank alludes to the custom of courts in employing persons of dignity, according to the weight and importance of the commissions they were to execute. We may observe here, if such be the lustre of the servant, in lightening the earth with his glory, what images can display the majesty of the Lord, who has thousands of thousands of those glorious attendants ministering to him, and ten thousand times ten thousand standing before him!

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Revelation 18:1". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/revelation-18.html. 1857.

Gary Hampton Commentary on Selected Books

After the vision of chapter 17, John saw another angel with great authority to carry out his mission. The brightness surrounding him shows his greatness and the greatness of his task.

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Hampton, Gary. "Commentary on Revelation 18:1". "Gary Hampton Commentary on Selected Books". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ghc/revelation-18.html. 2014.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

And. Omit.

after, &c. See Revelation 1:19.

saw. App-133.

another. App-124. Not the speaker of Rev 17, but one invested with great authority and glory.

come = coming.

heaven. See Revelation 3:12.

power. App-172.

earth. App-129.

lightened. Greek. photizo. Compare App-130.

with. Same as "from", above.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Revelation 18:1". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/revelation-18.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

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

And. So Vulgate, Andreas; but 'Aleph (') A B, Syriac, Coptic, omit "and."

Power - `authority.'

Lightened - `illumined.'

With - `owing to.'

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 18:1". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/revelation-18.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(1) And after these things . . .—Or, better, After these things (omit “and”) I saw another angel coming down, having great power (or, authority—entrusted to him for the work against Babylon); and the earth was illumined by (literally, out of) his glory. The light which shines from the heavenly messenger shines like day upon the tawdry splendour of Babylon, and shows that what was admired was but worthless and corrupt. In his brief, but rousing call, he proclaims it to be so.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Revelation 18:1". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/revelation-18.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.
I saw
17:1
and the
21:23; Isaiah 60:1-3; Ezekiel 43:2; Luke 17:24; 2 Thessalonians 2:8
Reciprocal: Psalm 77:18 - lightnings;  Jeremiah 25:12 - that I;  Jeremiah 25:26 - drink;  Jeremiah 50:1 - against Babylon;  Ezekiel 1:13 - GeneralMicah 1:13 - she;  Matthew 28:3 - countenance;  Luke 2:9 - and the;  John 12:29 - An angel;  Acts 12:7 - and a;  2 Timothy 1:10 - and hath;  Revelation 19:1 - after;  Revelation 20:1 - I saw

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Revelation 18:1". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/revelation-18.html.

Walter Scott's Commentary on Revelation

THE FALL OF BABYLON: LAMENTATION ON EARTHTRIUMPH IN HEAVEN.

THE ANGEL AND HIS CRY.

Revelation 18:1-2. — "After these things I saw another angel descending out of the Heaven, having great authority: and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried with a strong voice, saying, Great Babylon has fallen, has fallen." Although the subject of Babylon is resumed in this chapter, yet it forms a distinct and subsequent revelation contained in vision. The phrase "after these things" (cp. Revelation 4:1; Revelation 7:1; Revelation 7:9) notes a new commencement, and introduces a new set of circumstances; it also serves to direct attention to the distinctive unity of the subject or subjects so prefaced. In this point of view the chapter is an interesting one. Babylon, of course, is in the forefront of both chapters 17 and 18, and we may also add in the first three verses of the following one. Here the Beast is not once named, nor the ten kings, so active in the destruction of Babylon. In this chapter the human agents disappear, and the ruin of that awful system of corruption is traced to God as the source. Babylon, neither as a woman in relation to the Beast nor as a whore in relation to Christendom, is mentioned in the vision — one as distinctive as that in the previous chapter. The fall of Babylon (Revelation 17:16) in its civil relations does not exhaust the judgment of God upon that organised system of evil (Revelation 18:4, last clause). But of this more anon.

1. — "Another angel," in contrast to the Vial angels (Revelation 17:1; Revelation 21:9). "Descending out of the Heaven" intimates the heavenly character of the action, and the deep interest there taken in the character and fate of Babylon. "Having great authority." There are orders and degrees amongst the angelic hosts.{*See remarks on Revelation 8:2.} Some are more distinguished than others in service and in position. All are characterised by might (2 Thessalonians 1:7; 2 Peter 2:11), but on some is conferred special power to act for God in certain circumstances; others, again, have a defined authority within a circumscribed area, but universal authority is never ascribed to an angelic being. The Lord Jesus Christ as Man and Son is the appointed Heir of all things (Matthew 28:18; Matthew 11:27; Hebrews 1:2). As Creator, His claim to universal dominion is not a conferred one, but is sovereign and independent (Colossians 1:16), founded on the rights and glory of His Person as God.

The angel in our text has "great authority," and is probably the angel to whom the judgment of Babylon is committed. Here he announces its fall, but as a preliminary to further and more awful dealing. The angel has ample authority conferred upon him to deal thoroughly with the subject on hand, namely, the most iniquitous religious system on earth. "The earth was lightened with his glory." This is a testimony that God is in the scene, that it is He Who is acting in judgment. The fall of Babylon was a public event — the smoke of her burning (v. 18) as it darkened the heavens proclaimed this far and near; but the earth lightened, not by the reflection of the sun, but by the glory of the descending angel, witnessed to the fact that, whoever the actors and agents might be, yet God, as the Righteous Judge, judges Babylon. Probably the angel here referred to is none other than Christ, the same as in Revelation 8:3 and Revelation 10:1. Christ, the Angel-Priest, on behalf of His suffering remnant (Revelation 8:1-13). Christ, the Angel-Redeemer, taking possession of His inheritance (Revelation 10:1-11). Christ, the Angel-Avenger of His people, taking vengeance on Babylon (Revelation 18:1-24).

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Scott, Walter. "Commentary on Revelation 18:1". "Walter Scott's Commentary on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sor/revelation-18.html.

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

The angel had great power which is from EXOUSIA, the leading meaning of which is "authority." The possession of that qualification is explained by the fact that he came down from heaven which is the seat of all authority. It is understandable also why his glory would light up the earth, for everything that pertains to that celestial region is glorious.

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Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Revelation 18:1". E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/znt/revelation-18.html. 1952.

Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation

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; Jude 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}

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Knollys, Hanserd. "Commentary on Revelation 18:1". "Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hkc/revelation-18.html.

Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms

Babylon Fallen

First in Revelation 18:1-3, Christ the conqueror of Babylon proclaims her downfall.

Revelation 18:1. And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, who had great power, and the earth was enlightened with his glory. That the other angel is no other than Christ, we are led to conclude in the first instance from ch. Revelation 10:1, "And I saw another angel come down from heaven, who was clothed with a cloud and the rainbow upon his head, and his countenance as the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire." The manifestly intentional agreement in expression with that passage points to the identity of the person. Farther, that the angel had great power, and made the earth light with his glory, has no proper connection with the end immediately in view. No application is made here of the power and the glory. The angel does not act, he only speaks; he proclaims the victory already accomplished over Babylon. The great power and glory, therefore, can only be intended to shew, that the announcer of the victory over Home was, at the same time, the author of it. But then any inferior angel could never be regarded as the one, who was to execute this great work. This may at once, however, be understood of Christ. ‘All that the Father does, the Son does likewise. In ch. Revelation 17:17, Revelation 19:1, the downfal of Rome is carried up to God; and as he does every thing for Christ, so he also does it through Christ. It is Christ against whom, in ch. Revelation 17:14, the ten kings war after Rome, and who overcomes them. He, the King of all kings and the Lord of all lords, must also show himself to be such in the destruction of that Babylon, which had risen up against him and his kingdom. Finally, it is to Christ that the words themselves point, "the earth was enlightened with his glory," to which those in ch. Revelation 10:1, "his countenance was like the sun," correspond. Glory is a prerogative of God the Father, and of his only begotten Son (comp. John 1:14, John 2:11, John 12:41, John 17:24; Revelation 1:16; Revelation 10:1; Revelation 21:23; where, as here, the illumination is represented as going forth from the glory). He also, by whose glory the whole earth was illuminated, can be no other than the Lord of the earth. But this is only Christ (comp. at ch. Revelation 10:2). All doubt, however, is removed by the fundamental passage, Ezekiel 43:2, where it is said of Jehovah, "the earth was enlightened by his glory" (comp. also Habakkuk 3:3, "and the earth is full of his praise," Psalms 50:1, Psalms 94:1).

This, therefore, is the result: Christ as Rome's conqueror proclaims here the victory. In point of fact, that which he proclaims, who has great power and enlightens the earth with his glory, was still future. So much the more then should the express mention of his power and glory have served to comfort believers. It furnished a ground of security to them for believing, that what John as their representative had seen in vision, should at the proper time in the reality be brought in with irresistible power. Before this glory the glory of Rome must grow pale. In regard to the great power of Christ, see Matthew 28:18.

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Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on Revelation 18:1". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/revelation-18.html.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

4. Song of triumph over the accomplished destruction of Babylon, Revelation 18:1-24.

1.And—After the full completion of the account both of Babylon’s fall and the harlot’s destiny, our seer finds the moment for giving the triumphal rejoicing upon the victory separately over each. This entire chapter is occupied with the triumph over the capital; nearly half of the next chapter over the harlot.

The fact that most of the verbs after Revelation 18:3 are in the future has beguiled the commentators into the idea that “the great city” is not demolished in chapter 16. Thus Alford says, “The seer does not see the act of destruction,” which is in itself antecedently a very improbable supposition, and contradicted by the whole narrative of that chapter, as our notes, perhaps, have shown. These interpreters overlook the dramatic character of this paean; the frequent preterites that remind us that the event is really past; the numerous instances in which the future tense really describes the long future desolation and woe consequent upon the past downfall; and that in a large share of the chapter the futures are uttered from the standpoint of the ancient prophets, and are simply the triumphant applications of the maledictions upon old Tyre and Babylon to Babylon the new.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Revelation 18:1". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/revelation-18.html. 1874-1909.