Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Revelation 18:21

Then a strong angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, "So will Babylon, the great city, be thrown down with violence, and will not be found any longer.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Thompson Chain Reference - Destruction;   Millstones;   The Topic Concordance - Judges;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Blasphemy;   Martyrdom;   Mills;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Angel;   Babylon;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - City;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Mill;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Vessels and Utensils;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Babylon;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Arts;   Mill-Stone ;   Millstone ;   Peter Epistles of;   Sea ;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Babylon the Great ;   Mill, Millstone;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Babel;   Babylon;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Angel;   Babylon;   Rome;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Angels;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Babylon in the New Testament:;   Mill;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down - This action is finely and forcibly expressed by the original words: Οὑτως ὁρμηματι βληθησεται Βαβυλων ἡ μεγαλη πολις . The millstone will in falling have not only an accelerated force from the law of gravitation, but that force will be greatly increased by the projectile force impressed upon it by the power of the destroying angel.

Shall be found no more at all - In her government, consequence, or influence. This is true of ancient Babylon; we are not certain even of the place where it stood. It is also true of Jerusalem; her government, consequence, and influence are gone. It is not true of Rome pagan; nor, as yet, of Rome papal: the latter still exists, and the former is most intimately blended with it; for in her religions service Rome papal has retained her language, and many of her heathen temples has she dedicated to saints real or reputed, and incorporated many of her superstitions and absurdities in a professedly Christian service. It is true also that many idols are now restored under the names of Christian saints!

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Revelation 18:21". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/revelation-18.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

And a mighty angel - See the notes on Revelation 18:1. This seems, however, to have been a different angel from the one mentioned in Revelation 18:1, though, like that, he is described as having great power.

Took up a stone like a great millstone - On the structure of mills among the ancients see the notes on Matthew 24:41.

And cast it into the sea - As an emblem of the utter ruin of the city; an indication that the city would be as completely destroyed as that stone was covered by the waters.

Saying, Thus with violence - With force, as the stone was thrown into the sea. The idea is, that it would not be by a gentle and natural decline, but by the application of foreign power. This accords with all the representations in this book, that violence will be employed to overthrow the papal power. See Revelation 17:16-17. The origin of this image is probably Jeremiah 51:63-64; “And it shall be, when thou hast made an end of reading this book, that thou shalt bind a stone to it, and cast it into the midst of Euphrates; and thou shalt say, Thus shall Babylon sink, and shall not rise from the evil that I will bring on her.”

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Revelation 18:21". "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 a mighty angel,.... Not Christ, nor one of the ministering spirits, but some man or set of men, perhaps the same with him in Revelation 18:1

took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea; just as Jeremiah took a stone and bound it to his book after he had read it, and cast it into the river Euphrates, as a sign and token of the destruction of old Babylon, Jeremiah 51:63

saying, thus with violence shall that great city be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all; which is expressive of the utter destruction of Rome, and of the violence, force, and power with which it will be destroyed, and of the suddenness and swiftness of its destruction, and of the irrecoverableness of its state and condition.

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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 18:21". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/revelation-18.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

13 And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast [it] into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.

(13) The third prediction, as I said {See (Revelation 18:1) } based on a sign, and the interpretation of it: the interpretation of it is in two sorts, first by a simple proposal of the thing itself, in this verse, and then by declaration of the events, in the verses following.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Revelation 18:21". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/revelation-18.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

aGreek, “one.”

millstone — Compare the judgment on the Egyptian hosts at the Red Sea, Exodus 15:5, Exodus 15:10; Nehemiah 9:11, and the foretold doom of Babylon, the world power, Jeremiah 51:63, Jeremiah 51:64.

with violenceGreek, “with impetus.” This verse shows that this prophecy is regarded as still to be fulfilled.

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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 18:21". "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

A strong angel (εις αγγελος ισχυροςheis aggelos ischuros). Here ειςheis = a, just an indefinite article, not “one” as a numeral.

Took up (ηρενēren). First aorist active indicative of αιρωairō it were a great millstone (ως μυλινον μεγανhōs mulinon megan). Late adjective, in inscriptions, here only in N.T., made of millstone (μυλοςmulos Matthew 18:6; Revelation 18:22), while μυλικοςmulikos (Luke 17:2) means belonging to a mill. This is not a small millstone turned by women (Matthew 24:41), but one requiring an ass to turn it (Mark 9:42), and so “a great” one.

Cast (εβαλενebalen). Second aorist active of βαλλωballō to hurl.

With a mighty fall (ορμηματιhormēmati). Instrumental case (manner) of ορμημαhormēma a rush, old word from ορμαωhormaō to rush (Matthew 8:32), here only in N.T.

Shall be cast down (βλετησεταιblethēsetai). Future (first) passive of βαλλωballō the same verb (εβαλενebalen), effective punctiliar future. Like a boulder hurled into the sea.

Shall be found no more at all (ου μη ευρετηι ετιou mē heurethēi eti). Double negative with first aorist passive subjunctive of ευρισκωheuriskō See Revelation 9:6 for ου μηou mē with the active voice of ευρισκωheuriskō Already the old Babylon was a desert waste (Strabo, XVI. 1073).

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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 18:21". "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

A mighty angel ( εἷς ἄγγελος ἰσχυρὸς )

Lit., “one strong angel.”

A great millstone

See on Matthew 18:6.

With violence ( ὁρμήματι )

Lit. with an impulse or rush. Only here in the New Testament.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 18:21". "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 a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.

And a mighty angel took up a stone, and threw it into the sea — By a like emblem Jeremiah fore-showed the fall of the Chaldean Babylon, Jeremiah 51:63,64.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Revelation 18:21". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/revelation-18.html. 1765.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

A mighty angel; that is, another angel, who comes forward to present, in still different language, a view of the greatness and the certainty of the impending destruction.

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Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Revelation 18:21". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/revelation-18.html. 1878.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

21 And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.

Ver. 21. And a mighty angel] For further assurance a sign is added, and an allusion made to Jeremiah 51:63. And here it is easy to observe a notable gradation, an angel, a strong angel, taketh a stone, and a great stone, even a millstone, which he letteth not barely fall, but casteth, and with impetuous force thrusteth into the bottom of the sea, whence it cannot be buoyed up. Thus is set forth to the eye also the irreparable ruin of Rome.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Revelation 18:21". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/revelation-18.html. 1865-1868.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

Observe here, 1. Babylon's utter desolation represented by the type and sign of a millstone cast into the sea; like a millstone she had ground and oppressed the church of God, and now, like a millstone thrown into the sea, she sinks into the pit of destruction.

Almighty God, by this sign or symbol, signified to St. John that Babylon's ruin should be violent, irrecoverable, and irreparable; she falls never to rise more. The casting of a stone into the sea was anciently the emblem of everlasting forgetfulness.

Observe, 2. The amplification of Babylon's ruin particularized in several instances.

1. That nothing should evermore be found in her that belonged to pleasure or delight: no voice of harpers, musicians, or trumpeters.

2. Nothing which belonged to profit or trading, no artificers or craftsmen.

3. Nothing belonging to food, no noise of a millstone for grinding corn and making provision for bread.

4. Nothing to relieve against the darkness and terror of the night; as the light of a candle.

5. No means for the propagation of mankind by marriage; The voice of the bride and the bridegroom shall be heard no more.

All which expressions do imply extreme destruction and utter desolation: intimating, that Babylon shall be a place utterly abandoned and forsaken.

Observe, 3. A three-fold cause assigned for all this, to wit,

1. Damnable covetousness: Her merchants were the great ones of the earth. Her sinful way of merchandising, by dealing in spiritual commodities peculiar to Rome, seems to be here pointed at; her making merchandise of the souls of men, as we have it, Revelation 18:13.

2. Her bewitching idolatry, called here sorceries, whereby she enticed people to join with her in her superstitious worship.

3. Her cruelty and bloodshed: In her was found the blood of prophets and of saints, and of all that were slain upon earth.

Quest. But how can the blood shed by others be laid to her charge?

Ans. 1. Because the doctrines which caused their blood to be shed were with her.

2. Because her jurisdiction gave commission to slay the saints which were slain in other kingdoms.

3. Because by the influence of her example at home, much blood had been shed abroad.

God will charge upon others, as he did upon Babylon, not only the sin which they have acted, but all the sin which they have been accessary to.

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Burkitt, William. "Commentary on Revelation 18:21". 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

And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea; for a sign or symbol of the irreparable ruin of Rome, signified by that great millstone which had ground to powder so many of God’s holy ones. By this sign God shows his prophet:

1. That Rome shall be ruined.

2. That it shall be done with violence.

3. That it shall be a total, utter ruin, from whence it shall never recover.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Revelation 18:21". 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

подобный большому жернову Жернова – большие, тяжелые камни для помола зерна. Эта метафора показывает неистовство Божьего гнева при падении Вавилона. Ср. Иер. 51:61-64; см. пояснение к Мф. 18:6.

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Revelation 18:21". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/revelation-18.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Took up a stone-cast it into the sea; an allusion to Jeremiah 51:63-64.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Revelation 18:21". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/revelation-18.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

And a strong angel took up a great stone as it were a great millstone and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with a mighty fall shall Babylon, the great city, be cast down, and shall be found no more at all.

A strong angel ... stone ... cast into the sea ... This is the final judgment of Babylon, the great city, the latter words showing that more than just pagan Rome is meant; this is the final day, the ultimate judgment of the great day of God at the Second Advent of Christ. The Biblical background of the figure is in Jeremiah 51:59-64:

Jeremiah instructed Seriah who was traveling to Babylon to take a scroll of Jeremiah's prophecy of the destruction of Babylon, and upon his arrival in Babylon to read it to the city, and then to throw this scroll, weighted with a stone, into the Euphrates river. As it sinks, he is to prophesy that thus shall Babylon sink to rise no more (paraphrase).

The significant thing is that the prophecy was literally and summarily fulfilled; the old Babylon sank into oblivion, and even the ancient site of it is today not certainly known. A similar finality of the overthrow of mystical Babylon is indicated by the employment of the same imagery here. The choice of the figure demands this conclusion; therefore, this is not merely a temporary judgment. The final end at the last judgment is indicated. The placement of the verbs in the Greek indicates "the final act of judgment."[64] This verse is a reiteration of Revelation 16:19,20.

And shall be found no more at all ... The ominous phrase "no more at all" occurs six times in this chapter, five times in these last verses, indicating the absolute finality of the judgment. It is impossible to limit the application of this merely to pagan Rome. "This judgment is sudden, complete and final."[65] Let those who deny that such a thing as this will take place show us the site of the old Babylon. Where is it? Earth knows not even the place. Exactly the same word of God that doomed the old one, doomed also the one in view here.

[64] R. C. H. Lenski, op. cit., p. 530.

[65] Frank L. Cox, op. cit., p. 109.

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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 18:21". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/revelation-18.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘And a strong angel took up a stone, as it were a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, “Thus with a mighty fall shall Babylon the great city be cast down and shall be found no more at all”.’

This is a further interesting example of how quickly the scene can move forwards and then backwards. We have seen the great city destroyed, now we see an angel forecasting its future destruction. We might have expected this to come earlier but John is not so much concerned with chronology as in painting each picture fully. The picture of the great stone crashing into the water symbolises the speed of Babylon’s destruction.

Compare with this scene how in Jeremiah 51:60-63 Jeremiah wrote about all the evil that would come on Babylon, and then gave it to Seraiah who was taken captive to Babylon with Zedekiah the king, and told him that when he had read it he should ‘bind a stone to it and cast it into the middle of the Euphrates, and you shall say, “Thus shall Babylon sink and shall not rise again because of the evil that I will bring on her”.’

So Babylon the Great is destroyed, none shall ever rise like her again. The earth is freed from her idolatry, uncleanness and occult practises. No great city will ever again dominate an empire. But only because the scarlet beast from the abyss has destroyed her in order to replace her with his own monotheistic religion inspired by Satan. The end will not be long.

Thus the building of a city (Genesis 4:17) and of the tower of Babel (Genesis 11) has been reversed, and as in the Garden of Eden we come back to a face to face confrontation between God and Satan with man caught in the middle.

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Revelation 18:21". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/revelation-18.html. 2013.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

The angelic act of throwing the millstone into the sea is symbolic of Babylon"s fate (cf. Jeremiah 51:63-64; Matthew 18:6). As it is impossible for that huge stone to rise to the surface, so the economic system that has driven this world virtually throughout its history will sink. It will never rise again (cf. Exodus 15:5; Nehemiah 9:11). Millstones in John"s day often measured four or five feet in diameter, were one foot thick, and weighed thousands of pounds (cf. Mark 9:42). [Note: Johnson, p568.] The strong angel (cf. Revelation 5:2; Revelation 10:1) also explained his symbolic action. Babylon"s destruction will be sudden, violent, and permanent.

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 18:21". "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 18:21. And a mighty angel took up a stone as a great millstone and cast it into the sea. A symbolic representation of the destruction of Babylon is to be given; and for this new vision a third angel appears, the first having appeared at chap. Revelation 17:1, the second at chap. Revelation 18:1. He is a ‘mighty’ angel, the third of this kind in the Apocalypse, the other two meeting us at chaps. Revelation 5:2 and Revelation 10:1. This angel acts after the manner described in Jeremiah 51:63-64, only that here, in order to bring out more impressively the nature of the judgment, the stone is heavy as ‘a great millstone.’ The destruction is sudden and complete. The city disappears like a stone cast into the sea (comp. Jeremiah 51:63-64).

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Revelation 18:21". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/revelation-18.html. 1879-90.

Gary Hampton Commentary on Selected Books

Here we have a symbolic representation of the harlot"s destruction. A great millstone would be the one turned by animals in contrast to one women turned by hand. A mighty angel (Compare Revelation 5:2; Revelation 10:1) casting such a stone into the sea would clearly demonstrate the finality of Babylon"s judgment. Once it had been cast into the sea, such a stone would not be seen again. This is very similar to Jeremiah 51:61-64. This is the second occurrance of the expression "no more at all." (verse 14) It will occur four times in the next two verses to verify the finality of this judgment.

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Hampton, Gary. "Commentary on Revelation 18:21". "Gary Hampton Commentary on Selected Books". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ghc/revelation-18.html. 2014.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

like = as it were.

into. App-104.

violence = furious rush. Greek. hormema. Only here. Revised Version reads "mighty fall". Compare Acts 14:5 (assault. Greek. horme).

that. = the.

no more at all. Six times here. App-105.

at all. Compare Jeremiah 51:64. Ezekiel 26:21.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Revelation 18:21". "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 a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.

A - `one.'

Millstone. Compare the judgment on Egypt at the Red Sea (Exodus 15:5; Exodus 15:10; Nehemiah 9:11), and the doom of Babylon, the world-power (Jeremiah 51:63-64).

With violence - `with impetus.' This prophecy is regarded as still to be fulfilled.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 18:21". "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

THE IRREMEDIABLE OVERTHROW OF BABYLON SYMBOLICALLY DECLARED.

(21) And a mighty angel . . .—The taking up of the stone and casting it into the waters is a symbol drawn from Jeremiah (Jeremiah 51). Jeremiah enjoined Seraiah to bind the prophetic roll to a great stone, and cast them together into the Euphrates. The meaning of the act was explained—“Thus shall Babylon sink and shall not rise,” &c. (Jeremiah 51:63-64). The great dead mass, sinking helplessly by the law of its own weight, signified a fall past recovery. So Pharaoh and his host sank like lead in the mighty waters. It is the doom Christ foreshadowed as awaiting those who caused His children to fall (Matthew 18:6). The mighty angel, strong to lift the ponderous stone, throws it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence (or, with a bound) shall Babylon, the great city, be thrown, and shall not be found any more. At one bound, without a single resting-stage in its downward career, without chance or power of recovery, the vast world-city would fall. She who sat as a queen upon many waters, sinks as a stone in the mighty waters. She will not be found any more. The words “any more,” or “no more,” are repeated in these verses no less than six times, like a funeral knell over the departed greatness which is described.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Revelation 18:21". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/revelation-18.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.
a mighty
Thus
Exodus 15:5; Nehemiah 9:11; Jeremiah 51:63,64
and shall
22; 12:8; 16:20; 20:11; Job 20:8; Psalms 37:36; Ezekiel 26:21; Daniel 11:19
Reciprocal: Joshua 6:21 - utterly;  2 Kings 21:13 - I will wipe;  Psalm 85:5 - draw;  Proverbs 24:16 - but;  Isaiah 10:34 - by a mighty one;  Isaiah 13:20 - GeneralIsaiah 14:23 - make;  Isaiah 21:9 - Babylon;  Isaiah 24:20 - and it;  Isaiah 25:12 - the fortress;  Isaiah 32:19 - the city shall be low;  Isaiah 34:11 - cormorant;  Isaiah 43:14 - For;  Isaiah 47:5 - silent;  Isaiah 47:9 - they shall come;  Isaiah 47:14 - there shall;  Isaiah 63:6 - I will bring;  Jeremiah 43:9 - great;  Jeremiah 49:18 - no man;  Jeremiah 49:33 - a dwelling;  Jeremiah 50:3 - which;  Jeremiah 50:12 - a wilderness;  Jeremiah 50:26 - destroy;  Jeremiah 50:39 - GeneralJeremiah 51:29 - every;  Jeremiah 51:37 - become;  Ezekiel 28:19 - thou shalt;  Ezekiel 30:21 - it shall not;  Daniel 4:30 - great;  Joel 3:2 - will plead;  Nahum 2:10 - empty;  Zechariah 6:8 - quieted;  Revelation 11:8 - the great;  Revelation 14:8 - because;  Revelation 16:10 - upon;  Revelation 16:19 - the great;  Revelation 17:5 - Babylon

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Revelation 18:21". "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

Mighty angel is said to indicate the size or weight of the stone that was to be handled. The stone was like great millstones which were heavy, and their weight was such that if they were thrown into the water they would most assuredly sink; nor would such an object float back up to the surface. That is doubtless why Jesus used it in his comparison of the irreparable fate of certain sinners ( Matthew 18:6). After this mighty angel had cast the stone into the sea he made his explanation of the symbol; it represented the casting down of Babylon. We know it does not mean literal Babylon for that city had not been in existence for centuries ( Isaiah 13:19-22). We know also it does not apply to the religious part of the corrupt institution (though it also was known as Babylon), for that apostate church is not to be destroyed until Jesus comes ( 2 Thessalonians 2:8). Hence this can apply only to the Babylon that was composed of church and state. When the stone that represented it was cast into the sea, the angel said that it shall be found no more at all. From the foregoing evidences we are given the divine assurance that there will never be another world-wide union of church and state.

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Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Revelation 18:21". E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/znt/revelation-18.html. 1952.

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

Revelation 18:21. And a strong angel lifted up a stone as a great mill-stone, and threw it into the sea, and said, Thus with violence shall Babylon the great city be thrown, and be no more found. The symbolical action of the angel here is typified in Jeremiah 51 Jeremiah gives to Seraiah, who was going to Babylon, the commission to read his prophecy there. Jeremiah 51:63-64, "And when thou hast made an end of reading this book, thou shalt bind a stone to it, and cast it into the Euphrates. And say, Thus shall Babylon sink, and shall not rise from the evil that I will bring upon her, but shall vanish away." An allusion is made here also to Matthew 18:6, "But whoso shall offend one of these little ones, which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea;" and to the parallel passage in Mark 9:42.[Note: Mark has λί θος μυλικὸ ς instead of μύ λος, which in the New Testament occurs only in these two passages in the rare signification of a millstone. He also omits the somewhat difficult ὀ νικὸ ς, to which the μέ γας here corresponds, which from the fundamental passages must be coupled with μύ λον, and not with λί θον. But the ἔβαλεν εἰς τὴν θάλασσαν here comes nearer to Mark's βέβληται εἰς τὴν θάλασσαν, than to the words of Matthew.] The allusion to these passages admits of less doubt, as here in Revelation 18:20 it is mentioned immediately before, how Rome offends against the little ones that believe in Christ, and by its persecutions had tried to seduce them into apostacy. That word of our Lord, in which the doom of Rome was already announced, points back to the passage quoted from Jeremiah: it shall fare with him, as it once fared with Babylon, which so well understood how to offend against the little ones. In ch. Revelation 1:7 we have a quite similar reference to a declaration of our Lord preserved by St Matthew, and at the same time to its fundamental passage in the Old Testament. The declaration of Jeremiah, again, has reference to Exodus 15:4-5, comp. Nehemiah 9:11. In this last fundamental passage it is said of Pharaoh and his host, "he threw them into the sea, they sank down in the floods as a stone." In the place of the sea there Jeremiah substitutes the Euphrates. But in the declaration of our Lord the sea returns again; and on account of the immediate reference to his declaration, the sea is also found in the passage before us—although here Euphrates would have been quite suitable. The strength of the angel here has its pre-requisite in the greatness of the stone—comp. ch. Revelation 5:2. A great stone is taken, because such an one makes a great fall. With violence, with a heavy force, so that it may remain firmly settled at the bottom, and may no more be found.

Bengel: "This no more occurs here six times in rapid succession. Great glory before, great desolation afterwards." According to ch. Revelation 17:18, Rome is brought into view here only as "the great city," which has dominion over the kings of the earth—as the heathen mistress of the world. As such, it has completely, and without a trace, perished.

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Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on Revelation 18:21". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/revelation-18.html.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

d. Mournful picture of the silence by day, and the darkness by night, within the city home, Revelation 18:21-24.

And—In the present paragraph there is not a verb in the future tense, except one, shall be thrown down. This is future, because it is a quotation from Jeremiah 51:63-64, where a similar throwing of a stone into the sea illustrates the downfall of ancient Babylon. All the other verbs of the passage are in the (aorist) past tense.

No more at all—This solemn expression of perpetual ruin is seven times uttered in this paragraph; the symbol number of absolute divine completeness.

 

 

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Revelation 18:21". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/revelation-18.html. 1874-1909.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Revelation 18:21. Rome’s fall will be irrevocable and sudden and violent, as a powerful angel shows dramatically by seizing a huge boulder and flinging it into the sea. Cf. the analogous description of Babylon’s collapse in Sib. Or. ver. 158, 163, 174. The reiterated emphasis on Roman luxury is notable. Later literature, as Friedländer observes (Revelation 3:9-17), tended to a conventional exaggeration of the luxurious civilisation under the Empire; judged by modern standards, at any rate, it was not particularly extravagant. This denunciation of wealth and ease, however, is apposite in a source which reflects the age of Nero, since it was under Nero, rather than under Vespasian or Domitian, that Roman luxury during the first century of our era reached its zenith. The oracle breathes the scorn felt by simple provincials for the capital’s wanton splendour, and indeed for the sins of a pleasure-loving civilisation. But it is religious poetry, not a prose transcript of the contemporary commercial situation. Cf. Dill’s Roman Society, pp. 32 f., 66 f.

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Revelation 18:21". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/revelation-18.html. 1897-1910.