Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Revelation 18:10

standing at a distance because of the fear of her torment, saying, ‘Woe, woe, the great city, Babylon, the strong city! For in one hour your judgment has come.'
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Adultery;   Afflictions and Adversities;   Thompson Chain Reference - Torment;   The Topic Concordance - Judges;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Afflictions of the Wicked, the;   Commerce;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Babylon;   Poetry of the Hebrews;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - City;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Peter, First, Theology of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Babylon;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Debt, Debtor;   Mourning;   Numbers;   Peter Epistles of;   Torment;   Witness;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Babylon the Great ;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Babel;   Babylon;   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - City;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Babylon in the New Testament:;   Bed;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Standing afar off - Beholding her desolations with wonder and astonishment, utterly unable to afford her any kind of assistance.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Revelation 18:10". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/revelation-18.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Standing afar off for the fear of her torment - Not daring to approach, to attempt to rescue and save her. They who had so long contributed to the support of the papal power, and who had, in turn, been upheld by that, would not now even attempt to rescue her, but would stand by and see her destroyed, unable to render relief.

Alas, alas, that great city Babylon - The language of lamentation that so great and so mighty a city should fall.

For in one hour is thy judgment come - See the notes on Revelation 18:8. The general sentiment here is, that, in the final ruin of papal Rome, the kings and governments that had sustained her, and had been sustained by her, would see the source of their power taken away, but that they would not, or could not attempt her rescue. There have been not a few indications already that this will ultimately occur, and that the papal power will be left to fall, without any attempt, on the part of those governments which have been so long in alliance with it, to sustain or restore it.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Revelation 18:10". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/revelation-18.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Standing afar off for the fear of her torment,.... Lest they themselves should share in it, who have partook of her sins; either they will not be in a capacity to help her, or they will be dispirited, and will be in awe and dread of God's righteous judgments:

saying, alas! alas! that great city Babylon! that mighty city! it will aggravate their sorrow, when they reflect upon the former grandeur, magnificence, power, and authority, of the city and see of Rome, so often called in this book the great city; and so it is by other writers; the Jews call it so: they sayF3Zohar in Gen. fol. 74. 3. , when the Messiah comes,

"the kings of the world shall be gathered to קרתא רבתא, "the great city" of Rome; and the holy blessed God will cast upon them fire and hail, and great hail stones, (with which compare Revelation 16:21), and they shall perish from the world, except those kings that do not come there.'

It is common with the Jewish writers to call the Roman empire Edom; and Magdiel, one of the dukes of Edom, Genesis 36:43 who has his name from "greatness", is interpreted by one of their commentatorsF4Jarchi in Gen. xxxvi. 43. of Rome; the reason of which, another of them saysF5Abarbinel in Dan. fol. 42. 3. , is because Rome is become great above all kingdoms: the mount of Esau in Obadiah 1:21 is interpreted ית כרכא רבא, "that great city" of Esau, which is RomeF6Jarchi in Obadiah, ver. 21. , and the same epithet it has in the TalmudF7T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 21. 2. ; and Porphyry calls it την μεγαλην πολιν, "that great city", without making mention of its name, as here; so among the LatinsF8Servius in Virgil, Eclog. 6. p. 67. , "Magnoe spes altera" Romae:

for in one hour is thy judgment come: the Ethiopic version reads, "the hour of her judgment"; the time of her punishment fixed by God; but the sense is, that her vengeance was suddenly come upon her; this is the judgment of the great whore, which the angel proposed to show to John, Revelation 17:1.

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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.
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Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Revelation 18:10". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/revelation-18.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

God‘s judgments inspire fear even in the worldly, but it is of short duration, for the kings and great men soon attach themselves to the beast in its last and worst shape, as open Antichrist, claiming all that the harlot had claimed in blasphemous pretensions and more, and so making up to them for the loss of the harlot.

mightyRome in Greek means strength; though that derivation is doubtful.

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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 18:10". "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

Standing afar off (απο μακροτεν εστηκοτεςapo makrothen hestēkotes). Perfect active (intransitive) participle of ιστημιhistēmi Vivid picture of the terrible scene, fascinated by the lurid blaze (cf. Nero‘s delight in the burning of Rome in a.d. 64), and yet afraid to draw near. On απο μακροτενapo makrothen see Mark 5:6. There is a weird charm in a burning city. They feared the same fate (cf. Revelation 18:7 for βασανισμουbasanismou torment).

Woe, woe, the great city (ουαι ουαι η πολις η μεγαληouaiουαιouaiη ισχυραhē polis hē megalē). Only example in the Apocalypse of the nominative with μιαι ωραιouai except Revelation 18:16, Revelation 18:19, though in Luke 6:25 and common in lxx (Isa 5:7, 11, etc.). For the dative see Revelation 8:13, once so “strong” (μιαι ημεραιhē ischura)!

In one hour (μιαν ωρανmiāi hōrāi). Repeated in Revelation 18:16, Revelation 18:19, and like ποιαν ωρανmiāi hēmerāi (in one day) in Revelation 18:8. Some MSS. have here ο κριναςmian hōran like η κρισις σουpoian hōran (accusative of extent of time) in Revelation 3:3. See Revelation 18:8 (ho krinas) for hē krisis sou (thy judgment). This is the dirge of the kings.

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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 18:10". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/revelation-18.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.

Thou strong city — Rome was anciently termed by its inhabitants, Valentia, that is, strong. And the word Rome itself, in Greek, signifies strength. This name was given it by the Greek strangers.

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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.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Revelation 18:10". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/revelation-18.html. 1765.

Scofield's Reference Notes

Babylon

(See Scofield "Isaiah 13:1"), note 2.

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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 18:10". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/revelation-18.html. 1917.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

10 Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.

Ver. 10. Standing afar off] As fearing their own safety, they will not venture themselves for an old withered harlot, that is now (Lais-like) ready to be extinct in the last act of her uncleanness, λαις τελευτωσαπεθανε βινουμενη. (Athenaeus, xiii.)

For in one hour] God will make short work of it when once he begins, Romans 9:28. This should be an encouragement to Christian princes and states, to set upon the service. The pirates’ war was incredibili celeritate et temporis brevitate confectum, saith Austin, soon despatched; so shall this. Papists vaunt now of their temporal felicity, as a note of their Church, and make catalogues of the strange victories that the Catholics have had. Bellarmine brags, that vix unquam fuerunt haeretici superiores quando iusto proelio dimicatum est (tom. ii. lib. 4, cap. 14), the heretics scarcely ever had the day when it came to be tried in a just battle. But if all this had been true (as it is not), yet at last, in one hour shall their judgment come. See Revelation 18:19; Revelation 18:22. {See Trapp on "Revelation 18:19"} {See Trapp on "Revelation 18:22"}

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Revelation 18:10". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/revelation-18.html. 1865-1868.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Revelation 18:10. βαβυλὼν πόλις ἰσχυρά, Babylon the strong city) Illa civitas Valida, Tertull. de Cultu Fœm. c. 12. ῥώμη, strength. The earlier inhabitants had called it Valentia, the Greek settlers, Rome. You may also refer עצומים, the strong, Isaiah 53:12, to the name of Rome. The place, as expressing a mark, is much stronger in the writings of the prophets than of the philosophers. In like manner, chariots and axes ( πεπελεκισμένων, “beheaded with an axe”), peculiarly characteristic of the Romans, are specified, Revelation 18:13, ch. Revelation 20:4.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Revelation 18:10". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/revelation-18.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

As well as they loved her, they will not come nigh her in the time of her torments; the fire will be too hot for them, they will only stand aloof off, and pity her, that so great and brave a city should be so suddenly ruined; such a gay and splendid church, so politicly founded and put together, should be in a sudden so broken to pieces.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Revelation 18:10". 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

один час Ср. ст. 8, 16, 17.

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Revelation 18:10". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/revelation-18.html.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Woe, woe, the great city, Babylon, the strong city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.

Standing afar off ... They make no move to help Babylon; they do not wish to be involved; it has not yet dawned upon them that all things rest upon divine authority (even as inadequately taught and delivered by the harlot), and they still do not see that in burning her they have burned down their own kingdoms. They still seem to think that they shall escape the holocaust.

Woe, woe, the great city, the strong city ... "The imagery here is from Ezekiel 26-27."[46] Barclay quoted a number of Old Testament passages called the dirge songs of Tyre, Nineveh, Edom and Babylon;[47] but John's words here do not come from any of them. The terrible judgments of the Old Testament do, however, have one utility; they show that, "God looks upon worldly wickedness at any time according to the same principles with which he regarded Babylon and Tyre of old."[48] Regarding the terrible judgments here predicted, Eller commented that, "In spite of the propriety of evil's collapse, the event itself nevertheless carries overtones of tragedy."[49]

For in one hour is thy judgment come ... "Three times we are told that the desolation is to be accomplished in one hour, and we are reminded of the ten kings' reign with the monster."[50] This makes it certain that these events are prior to the actual judgment day; they are the last act, we might say, leading up to it. Of course, the judgment is already done (Revelation 18:1-3), and thus this is a playback showing some of the antecedent particulars connected with it. Beasley-Murray thought the kings of this passage were different from the "ten kings" (Revelation 17:16,17); but we view them as positively identical.

[46] James D. Strauss, op. cit., p. 222.

[47] William Barclay, op. cit., p. 150.

[48] J. R. Dummelow, Commentary on the Holy Bible (New York: Macmillan Company, 1937), p. 1087.

[49] Vernard Eller, The Most Revealing Book of the Bible (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1974), p. 171.

[50] G. B. Caird, op. cit., p. 225.

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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 18:10". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/revelation-18.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Babylon will fall quickly, in "one hour" ( Revelation 18:10, cf. Revelation 18:19; Jeremiah 51:8; Ezekiel 27). These kings mourn because they have lost their power suddenly. These rulers must be different from the10 kings who destroy the city ( Revelation 17:16). These woes are an exclamation of sorrow; the earlier ones in the book are announcements of doom ( Revelation 8:13; Revelation 12:12). [Note: Lee, 4:770; Robertson, 6:440.] Doubling the woes increases the perception of the strength of the sorrow (cf. Revelation 18:6). This city was strong, but its Judge is stronger.

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 18:10". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/revelation-18.html. 2012.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Alas! Alas! St. Augustine informs us, that the people of the eastern provinces, and the remotest cities, mourned in a public manner on this occasion. (De Civ. Dei. lib. 1, chap. xxxiii.)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Revelation 18:10". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/revelation-18.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

off. Greek. apo. App-104.

that = the.

mighty. See Revelation 18:8.

judgment. App-177. These "kings of the earth" are those of Revelation 17:2. The ten kings are never seen by John apart from the beast, and the "kings of the earth" are always seen in connection with Babylon.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Revelation 18:10". "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

Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.

God's judgments inspire fear in the worldly, but of short duration; for kings and great men soon join the beast, in its last, worst shape, as open Antichrist, claiming all the harlot claimed in blasphemous pretensions, and more: so making up to them for the loss of the harlot. Mighty. Rome, in Greek, means strength.

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 18:10". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/revelation-18.html. 1871-8.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.
afar
Numbers 16:34
Alas
16,19; Jeremiah 30:7; Joel 1:15; Amos 5:16
that great
14:8; Isaiah 21:9
for
8,17,19; Jeremiah 51:8,9
Reciprocal: Joshua 5:1 - heard;  2 Samuel 10:19 - feared;  2 Kings 6:5 - master;  Job 6:21 - ye see;  Job 34:26 - in;  Psalm 64:8 - all that;  Psalm 73:19 - How;  Isaiah 9:14 - in one day;  Isaiah 13:6 - Howl ye;  Isaiah 13:14 - they shall;  Isaiah 47:11 - thou shalt not be;  Jeremiah 48:39 - How is it;  Jeremiah 49:21 - earth;  Jeremiah 49:25 - GeneralJeremiah 50:27 - their day;  Jeremiah 51:25 - and will;  Jeremiah 51:30 - The mighty;  Jeremiah 51:41 - the praise;  Ezekiel 6:11 - Alas;  Ezekiel 26:17 - How art;  Ezekiel 27:35 - their kings;  Ezekiel 28:19 - they;  Ezekiel 30:2 - Howl;  Ezekiel 30:4 - pain;  Ezekiel 32:9 - vex;  Ezekiel 32:10 - and they;  Daniel 4:30 - great;  Obadiah 1:5 - how;  Micah 7:17 - they shall be;  Nahum 3:7 - that all;  Zephaniah 2:15 - how is;  Revelation 11:8 - the great;  Revelation 14:7 - hour;  Revelation 16:19 - the great;  Revelation 17:5 - Babylon;  Revelation 18:2 - Babylon;  Revelation 18:18 - What;  Revelation 19:2 - judged

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Revelation 18:10". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/revelation-18.html.

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

The symbols are changed from a woman to a city. But it means the same thing for the mother of harlots had her seat where she carried on her adulterous practices in the city of Babylon. Of course to see her "red light district" going up in smoke means the end of her trade. One hour is used here to mean the same period as one day in verse8.

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Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Revelation 18:10". E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/znt/revelation-18.html. 1952.