Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Revelation 18:18

and were crying out as they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, ‘What city is like the great city?'
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
The Topic Concordance - Judges;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Commerce;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Poetry of the Hebrews;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - City;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Babylon;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Debt, Debtor;   Mourning;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Babylon the Great ;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Babel;   Babylon;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Babylon in the New Testament:;   Ships and Boats;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

What city is like unto this great city! - Viz. in magnitude, power, and luxury.

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

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

And cried … - That is, as they had a deep interest in it, they would, on their own account, as well as hers, lift up the voice of lamentation.

d What city is like unto this great city? - In her destruction. What calamity has ever come upon a city like this?

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

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning,.... See Gill on Revelation 18:9.

saying, what city is like unto this great city? as before for magnificence and grandeur, so now for sorrow, desolation, and ruin; nor was any city like it for power and authority, for pride and luxury, for idolatry and superstition, blasphemy and impenitence; the like the sailors say of Tyre, Ezekiel 27:30 from whence this and other expressions are borrowed in this lamentation.

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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 18:18". "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

when they sawGreek, “{(horontes}.” But A, B, C, and Andreas read, Greek, “{(blepontes},” “looking at.” Greek, “{(blepo},” is to use the eyes, to look: the act of seeing without thought of the object seen. Greek, “{(horao},” refers to the thing seen or presented to the eyes [Tittmann].

smoke — so B, C. But A reads “place.”

What city is like — Co)mpare the similar beast as to the beast, Revelation 13:4: so closely do the harlot and beast approximate one another. Contrast the attributi)on of this praise to God, to whom alone it is due, by His servants ({Exo_15:11}). Martial says of Rome, “Nothing is equal to her;” and Athenaeu)s, “She is the epitome of the world.”

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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.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 18:18". "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

As they looked (βλεποντεςblepontes). Present active participle of βλεπωblepō See οταν βλεπωσινhotan blepōsin in Revelation 18:10.

What city is like the great city? (τις ομοια τηι πολει τηι μεγαληιtis homoia tēi polei tēi megalēi̱). No πολιςpolis with τιςtis but implied. Associative instrumental case, as usual, with ομοιαhomoia “The eternal city” is eternal no longer.

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

John Trapp Complete Commentary

18 And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city!

Ver. 18. What city is like unto this] q.d. Who would have ever thought we should ever have seen this dismal day of Rome’s destruction? It was wont to be said, Roma cladibus animosior, Rome is unconquerable. The pope wrote once to the Turk that threatened him,

" Niteris incassum Petri submergere navem;

Fluctuat, at nunquam mergitur ills ratis."

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Revelation 18:18". 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 18:18. τίς ὁμοία, what [city is] like) One city above all others in the world was deemed incomparable, viz. Rome. See Pauli Aringhi, Lib. ii. Rom. subterr. c. 1. Rome is spoken of by Martial, as the goddess of the lands and nations, to which NOTHING is EQUAL, and nothing second: and by Athenæus, as the epitome of the world.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Revelation 18:18". 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

Ver. 18,19. We all know ship masters and sailors are persons that live by carrying merchants’ goods; and therefore, properly, the terms signify all such persons (of what rank and order soever) who get their livings by serving this mystical Babylon, whether silversmiths that make shrines for Diana, or clerks, or notaries, or any officers in that church, employed in gathering its revenues of annats and first-fruits, selling of offices, gathering of Peter-pence, drawing of pardons and indulgences, or dispensations, or such as in that synagogue hold any offices of profit. All who will be highly concerned in the ruin of the papacy, as that by the upholding of which they live, by reason of the great riches thus coming in, the whole rabble of their ecclesiastical hierarchy, with all their petty officers, seem to be here meant.

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

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

and cried out as they looked upon the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like the great city?

And cried as they looked upon the smoke of her burning ... The repetition of "smoke of her burning" is of interest. It does not seem that the kings, merchants, etc., were much concerned about the "burning" of the harlot, but the smoke of it, indicating that it was the subsequent consequences of her destruction which confounded them. No! They did not care at all about the harlot being burned, but they certainly got the message from the smoke!

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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 18:18". "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

They also lament because of the collapse of this great commercial empire. Their question echoes the one about Tyre in Ezekiel 27:32. [Note: Lee, 4:774; Wall, p217.] The implied answer is that no city can match Babylon in its material greatness.

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

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

when, &c. = as they looked upon (the texts read App-133.)

unto. Omit.

this = the.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Revelation 18:18". "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 cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city!

When they saw - [ horoutees (Greek #3708); but 'Aleph (') A B C, Andreas, blepontes (Greek #991), 'looking at;' blepoo (Greek #991) is to use the eyes, to look: the act of seeing, without thought of the object seen: horaoo (Greek #3708) refers to the thing seen or presented to the eye (Tittmann)].

Smoke. So B C but A, Vulgate, 'place.'

What city is like? Compare the similar boast as to the beast, Revelation 13:4 : so closely do the harlot and beast approximate. Contrast its attribution to God, to whom alone it is due, by His servants (Exodus 15:11). Martial says of Rome, 'Nothing is equal to her;' Athenaeus, 'She is the world's epitome.'

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

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city!
when
9
What
10; 13:4; Isaiah 23:8,9; Jeremiah 51:37; Ezekiel 27:30-32
Reciprocal: Genesis 19:28 - GeneralExodus 11:6 - GeneralDeuteronomy 13:15 - destroying it utterly;  Job 6:21 - ye see;  Isaiah 34:10 - the smoke;  Ezekiel 27:32 - What city;  Ezekiel 31:15 - I caused a;  Hosea 11:8 - Admah;  Joel 2:30 - pillars;  Revelation 11:8 - the great;  Revelation 14:8 - Babylon;  Revelation 14:11 - smoke;  Revelation 19:3 - And her

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Revelation 18:18". "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

What city is like means a general statement of her greatness as of the past, for now she is very low and worthless since she is belng destroyed by fire.

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

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

18.Saw the smoke of her burning—Too distant to see the flame.

 

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