Revelation of John 18The 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. The habitation of devils--every foul spirit--every unclean and hateful bird; the meaning is that Babylon is abandoned, as a place utterly desolated and uninhabited, to be the abode of these unclean beings. Compare what is said of ancient Babylon, Isa 13:21,22; Jer 50:39; and of Edom, Isa 34:11-15. From these passages the imagery is plainly taken. Bodies of men, as well as individuals, are responsible to God for their conduct; and when they have filled up the measure of their sins, and he comes out in judgment, no numbers, wealth, or power can withstand or ward off his wrath. Have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication; see note to chap Re 17:2. Babylon is represented as a rich, powerful, and luxurious harlot, enriching the nations by her commerce with them, while she corrupts them by her fornications. Compare Isa 47.1-15; Na 3:4. Come out of her, my people; separate yourselves from her, and have no fellowship with her errors and crimes. Compare Jer 51:6,45. To avoid communion with those who oppose the truth and persecute the people of God, is the only way to escape the ruin which awaits them. Have reached unto heaven; compare Jer 51:9. Reward her--as she rewarded you--fill to her double; Ps 137:8; Jer 50:15,29. Compare with these verses Isa 47:8,9. Burned with fire; expressive of the certainty, dreadfulness, and completeness of her ruin. 9-19. This description of the articles in which Babylon trafficked with the nations, and the lamentation of the kings and merchants of the earth over her fall, agrees in many respects with the prophecy of the overthrow of Tyre in Ezekiel, chaps Eze 26.1-27.35, which should be read in connection with it. We are not to insist on the particulars enumerated. The whole is a picture of her great wealth and the abundance of her resources. 10-19.Alas, alas; showing the vast interests which multitudes of the votaries of wealth, fashion, and pleasure had in her continuance, and their disappointment, sorrow, vexation, and despair at her downfall. Men who grow rich by wickedness exceedingly desire its continuance; and when their wicked patrons are cut off, they wail at the ceasing of their gains. Rejoice; all the good on earth and in heaven will exult when her power to injure ceases. Events which bring consternation to the wicked fill the righteous with joy; not because they delight in the misery of the wicked, but because God is holy, just, and good in all his judgments. Took up a stone--cast it into the sea; an allusion to Jer 51.63,64. The sound of a millstone; compare Jer 25:10. The orientals grind their meal daily in hand-mills. The cessation of the sound of the millstone is therefore a sign of utter desolation. All nations deceived--the blood of prophets--saints, and of all that were slain; deceitfulness and cruelty were among her grand characteristics; and for them and her other numerous sins she is visited with these awful judgments. The persecution of Christians by rulers or people, civil or ecclesiastical, even if in compliance with human laws, is never overlooked or forgotten by Jehovah. It is an aggravated sin, which in due time he will surely punish.
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