Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Revelation 18:23

and the light of a lamp will not shine in you any longer; and the voice of the bridegroom and bride will not be heard in you any longer; for your merchants were the great men of the earth, because all the nations were deceived by your sorcery.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Merchant;   Thompson Chain Reference - Deceivers;   Fortune Telling;   Israel;   Israel-The Jews;   Joy;   Magic;   Sorcery;   Truth-Falsehood;   The Topic Concordance - Judges;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Martyrdom;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Babylon;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - City;   Lamp;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Abortion;   Magic;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Gentiles;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Marriage;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Lamp Lampstand;   Night (2);   Sacraments;   Sorcery;   Trade and Commerce;   Virgin Virginity;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Babylon the Great ;   Divination;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Babel;   Babylon;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Marriage;   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Candle;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Marriage;   Trade;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

By thy sorceries - Political arts, state tricks, counterfeit miracles, and deceptive maneuvers of every kind. This may be spoken of many great cities of the world, which still continue to flourish!

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Revelation 18:23". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/revelation-18.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee - Another image of desolation, as if every light were put out, and there were total darkness.

And the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee - The merry and cheerful voice of the marriage procession in the streets (notes on Matthew 25:1-7), or the cheerful, glad voice of the newly-married couple in their own dwelling (notes on John 3:29).

For thy merchants were the great men of the earth - Those who dealt with thee were the rich, and among them were even nobles and princes; and now that they trade with thee no more there is occasion for lamentation and sorrow. The contrast is great between the time when distinguished foreigners crowded thy marts, and now, when none of any kind come to traffic with thee. The origin of this representation is probably the description of Tyre in Revelation 13:14), and no representation ever made accords more with facts as they have occurred. The word “sorceries” here refers to the various arts the tricks impostures, and false pretences by which this has been done. See the notes on Revelation 9:21.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Revelation 18:23". "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 the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee,.... Either for common use, or at feasts, or at marriages, which being kept at night, required candies, lamps, or torches; this shows that Babylon, or Rome, shall be deprived of everything, even of the least thing that is comfortable in life; see Jeremiah 25:10 this will be a just punishment upon her for her abuse of this blessing of life; so where wax candles in great numbers have been burning in the daytime, there will not be so much as a single candle to give light in the night; and where candles have been lighted up for the dead, there will not be one for the use of the living:

and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: there will be no marrying, nor giving in marriage; no procreation of children, or propagation of posterity, in this place; which denotes the utter extirpation of the inhabitants of it; the phrases are taken from Jeremiah 7:34 Jeremiah 25:10 and this will be in righteous retaliation for the prohibition of marriage; which God has instituted, and is honourable, 1 Timothy 4:2 the reasons of Babylon's destruction follow:

for thy merchants were the great men of the earth: in allusion to the merchants of Tyre, said to be princes, Isaiah 23:8 for by trading and dealing in the wares and merchandise of Rome, persons of mean extract, and of very low circumstances of life, have grown exceeding rich, and have equalled the princes of the earth; as for instance, Cardinal Wolsey here in England, a butcher's son at Ipswich; and on the other hand, the princes and great men of the earth have become Rome's merchants, and have thought it an high honour to get a cardinal's hat, as the Cardinals Albertus duke of Austria, Bourbon, Pool, and others, mentioned by Brightman:

for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived; meaning her false doctrines, traditions, idolatry, superstition, and will worship, with which, as another Jezebel, she has bewitched, allured, and deceived the nations of the empire, and the kings thereof, Revelation 18:3.

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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 18:23". "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

What a blessed contrast is Revelation 22:5, respecting the city of God: “They need no candle (just as Babylon shall no more have the light of a candle, but for a widely different reason), for the Lord God giveth them light.”

candle — Translate as Greek, “lamp.”

bridegroom  …  bride  …  no more  …  in thee — Contrast the heavenly city, with its Bridegroom, Bride, and blessed marriage supper (Revelation 19:7, Revelation 19:9; Revelation 21:2, Revelation 21:9; Isaiah 62:4, Isaiah 62:5).

thy merchants were — So most of the best authorities read. But A omits the Greek article before “merchants,” and then translates, “The great men of  …  were thy merchants.”

sorceriesGreek, “sorcery.”

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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 18:23". "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

Of a lamp (λυχνουluchnou). Old word (Matthew 5:15), again in Revelation 22:5.

Shall shine no more at all (ου μη πανηιou mē phanēi). Fifth instance in these verses of ου μηou mē with the aorist subjunctive, here the active of παινωphainō as in Revelation 8:12. It is not known whether Rome had street lights or not.

The voice of the bridegroom and of the bride (πωνη νυμπιου και νυμπηςphōnē numphiou kai numphēs). See John 3:29; Jeremiah 7:34; Jeremiah 16:9. “Even the occasional flash of the torches carried by bridal processions (Matthew 25:1.) is seen no more” (Swete). The sixth instance of ου μηou mē in Revelation 18:21-23, occurs with ακουστηιakousthēi (third instance of ακουστηιakousthēi two in Revelation 18:22).

Were the princes of the earth (ησαν οι μεγιστανες της γηςēsan hoi megistānes tēs gēs). For μεγιστανmegistān see Revelation 6:15; Mark 6:21. “Thy merchants were the grandees” once, but now these merchant princes are gone.

With thy sorcery (εν τηι παρμακιαι σουen tēi pharmakiāi sou). ΕνEn (instrumental use) and the locative case of παρμακιαpharmakia old word (from παρμακευωpharmakeuō to prepare drugs, from παρμακονpharmakon sorcery, Revelation 9:21), in N.T. only here and Galatians 5:20 for sorcery and magical arts. If one is puzzled over the connection between medicine and sorcery as illustrated by this word (our pharmacy), he has only to recall quackery today in medicine (patent medicines and cure-alls), witch-doctors, professional faith-healers, medicine-men in Africa. True medical science has had a hard fight to shake off chicanery and charlatanry.

Were deceived (επλανητησανeplanēthēsan). First aorist passive indicative of πλαναωplanaō These charlatans always find plenty of victims. See Mark 12:24.

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The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
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Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Revelation 18:23". "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

Bridegroom - bride

Compare Jeremiah 25:10.

Great men ( μεγιστᾶνες )

Rev., princes. See on Revelation 6:15.

By thy sorceries ( ἐν τῇ φαρμακείᾳ σου )

See on Revelation 9:21. Rev., more literally, with thy sorcery.

Were deceived ( ἐπλανήθησαν )

Or led astray. See on Mark 12:24.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 18:23". "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 the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.

For thy merchants were the great men of the earth — A circumstance which was in itself indifferent, and yet led them into pride, luxury, and numberless other sins.

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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 18:23". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/revelation-18.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

23 And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.

Ver. 23. And the light of a candle] The candle of the wicked shall be put out, they that here love darkness better than light shall hereafter be thrust into σκοτος εξωτερον, outer darkness, where they shall never see the light again till they see all the world on a light fire.

For thy merchants were the great men] The pope creates his cardinals by these words, Estote fratres nostri et principes mundi, Be ye brethren to us, and princes of the world. They hold themselves the king’s companions.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Revelation 18:23". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/revelation-18.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

See Poole on "Revelation 18:22"

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Revelation 18:23". 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 the light of a lamp shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the princes of the earth; for with thy sorcery were all the nations deceived.

The light of a lamp ... the voice of the bridegroom ... of the bride ... shall be heard no more at all in thee ... The marriage business has always been a big thing with churches; and thus there would seem to be in this litany of the doomed and destroyed city a religious coloring, even in the catalogue of her eternal silence.

Thy merchants were the princes of the earth ... "Princes of the Church" they are sometimes called, an incongruous title for followers of a crucified Saviour who had nowhere to lay his head. That something like this is meant appears in the fact that this is stated as a "reason why" of the fall.

With thy sorcery were all the nations deceived ... This is another "reason why" of the fall. Truth was forsaken and deception practiced.

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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 18:23". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/revelation-18.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

light. App-130.

candle = lamp.

shine. See App-106.

the, the. Omit.

sorceries = sorcery. See Revelation 9:21.

nations = the nations.

deceived. App-128. Compare Isaiah 47:9.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Revelation 18:23". "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 the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.

A blessed contrast is Revelation 22:5, "They need no candle (Babylon shall no more have even the light of candle);

... for the Lord God giveth them light."

Candle - `lamp.'

Bridegroom ... bride ... no more ... in thee. Contrast the heavenly city, with Bridegroom, Bride and marriage supper (Isaiah 62:4-5; Revelation 19:7; Revelation 19:9; Revelation 21:2; Revelation 21:9).

Thy merchants were. So 'Aleph (') B C but A omits the Greek article before "merchants:" 'the great men of, etc., were thy merchants.'

Sorceries - `sorcery.'

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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 18:23". "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

(23) For thy merchants were the great . . .—The judgment does not fall because the merchants were great: it is the sorcery of the next clause which is the true cause of her fall: the merchants are those who traded with her, as well as those who dwelt in her: by “her sorceries” we must understand her artful policy, her attractiveness, and the seductions by which she drew into the meshes of her worldliness and sin the nations around. “In thy sorcery were all the nations led astray” (Revelation 13:14).

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Revelation 18:23". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/revelation-18.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.
the light
22:5; Job 21:17; Proverbs 4:18,19; 24:20
the voice
22
thy merchants
3,11-19; Isaiah 23:8; Ezekiel 27:24,25,33,34
for
3,9; 12:9; 13:13-16; 17:2,5; 21:8; 22:15; 2 Kings 9:22; Isaiah 47:9; Nahum 3:4; Acts 8:11
Reciprocal: Job 3:7 - solitary;  Job 18:6 - candle;  Psalm 119:118 - their deceit;  Proverbs 7:12 - GeneralIsaiah 23:1 - for it is;  Isaiah 23:4 - I travail;  Isaiah 44:20 - a deceived;  Jeremiah 7:34 - to cease;  Jeremiah 16:9 - I will;  Jeremiah 25:10 - voice of mirth;  Jeremiah 27:9 - hearken;  Jeremiah 33:11 - voice of joy;  Jeremiah 48:33 - joy;  Jeremiah 51:7 - the nations;  Jeremiah 51:55 - destroyed;  Ezekiel 26:13 - GeneralHosea 2:11 - cause;  2 Thessalonians 2:9 - is;  1 Timothy 4:1 - seducing;  2 Timothy 3:13 - evil;  James 3:6 - a world;  Revelation 9:21 - their sorceries;  Revelation 13:14 - deceiveth;  Revelation 16:10 - upon;  Revelation 19:2 - judged

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Revelation 18:23". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/revelation-18.html.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

23.No lamp shall illuminate the wedding chamber.

For—The double for assigns reason for different things. First for implies how great the desolation; for Babylon’s merchants were once princes; the second for implies the justice of the downfall; for she was the world’s corruptress.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Revelation 18:23". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/revelation-18.html. 1874-1909.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Revelation 18:23. Contrast the of 24 with the of Revelation 18:14 which in its canonical position is an erratic boulder. , primarily in the figurative O.T. sense already noticed (harlotry and magic spells, as in Yasna ix. 32). But a literal allusion is not to be excluded, in view of the antipathy felt by pious Jews and early Christians to magic and sorcery. As Rome represented the existing authorities under whose aegis these black arts managed to flourish, and as they were generally bound up with religion, it would not be unnatural to charge the Empire with promoting sorcery (Weinel 10).— . “Commerce, as having regard to purely worldly interests, is called harlotry” [Cheyne on Isaiah 23:17]. Sorcery, witchcraft, “fornication,” and the persecution of the righteous, are all manifestations of the lawlessness practised by Beliar working in men and kings (Asc. Isa. ii. 4, 5).

 

 

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Bibliographical Information
Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Revelation 18:23". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/revelation-18.html. 1897-1910.