ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Religion and Philosophy»
  • Christianity, the Bible & Jesus

Bible: What Does Revelation 18 Teach Us About Mystery "Babylon"?

Updated on September 15, 2016

An Economic Earthquake

sf-earthquake_21_600x450.jpg
sf-earthquake_21_600x450.jpg

Mystery Babylon

Which city do you think Mystery Babylon will be?

See results

Revelation 18: The Destruction of "Babylon"

The Fall of "Economic" Babylon

From his vantage point in the wilderness, John sees another angel, an authoritative one, descending from heaven, his glorious presence brightening the somber scene (v. 1).

This messenger twice proclaims the fall of Babylon, suggesting either that its economic collapse is vast or that the demise of this city resembles the destruction of the ancient capital (v. 2a).

Predictably, it had become a demonic stronghold; yet, it had strangely turned into a prison for “foul” spirits and a cage for unclean birds (v. 2b).

[Why would evil spirits and “unclean birds” find this place a prison?]

Three partners consort with Babylon in her spiritual unfaithfulness:

(1) “all the nations”;

(2) “the kings of the earth”; and

(3) “the merchants of the earth” (v. 3).

["Babylon" has become the world’s center of commercial enterprises, enriching multinational corporations through her trade.]

God to His People: "Leave the City"

Still another heavenly voice calls upon God’s people dwelling in the city to leave her in order to avoid experiencing sudden destruction (v. 4).

The inhabitants have sinned so greatly that God will finally take action (“remembered her iniquities”) [v. 5].

The voice requests that God punish the city twice as much as what her evil deeds call for, but then modifies its call, asking that He “give her torment and sorrow” to the same degree she has enjoyed a life of luxury and self-glorification.

Like ancient Babylon, the rebuilt city thinks herself a queen exempt from unhappiness (vv. 6-7; cf. Is. 47:7-8).

[Why should the voice ask God to punish Babylon twice as much as what she deserved? Cf. Isa. 40:2]

Plague

"Babylon": Literal or Figurative?

view quiz statistics

Plague, Disaster, and Destruction

The Plague

A twenty-four hour plague followed by a fiery judgment from the Lord will decimate the remaining inhabitants (v. 8).

[The voice defines the plagues as “death and mourning and famine.”

How does famine come in one day?

If this judgment occurs at the end of the tribulation, when did this famine begin?]

This same voice rehearses the separate reactions of “the kings of the earth” (vv. 9-10) and “the merchants of the earth” (vv. 11-19) to Babylon’s sudden destruction.

Fearing what they see, the first group of spiritually unfaithful world leaders stands at a distance and laments the city’s fiery judgment.

[Where would they stand to see this event occur? The desert?]

Likewise, the second band of business partners mourns loudly, because they have just lost a lucrative source of income; apparently, they have no comparable revenue replacement (v. 11).

Economic Disaster

The narrator lists twenty-nine products and services—from precious metals and stones, to luxurious fabrics, to furniture made of expensive materials, to spices and oils, meat and other foodstuffs, to transportation, to slaves—that will go unpurchased (vv. 12-13).

A total dearth of “fruit” and “rich and splendid” things will result from Babylon’s demise (v. 14).

The rich merchants will also keep their distance from the city out of fear, and they will cry about the great loss that happened “in one hour” (vv. 15-17a).

Other traders will join these merchants and the kings of the earth in their sorrow over the destruction of such an incomparable city (vv. 17b-18; cf. Ezek. 27).

This group also cries out “Alas, alas, that great city” and “in one hour” (v. 19; cf. v. 10, 16-17).

Finally, the voice inserts a call for heaven and its inhabitants (“holy prophets and prophets”) to rejoice, because God has wreaked His vengeance on the city for killing His saints (v. 20).

Babylon's Complete Destruction

The apostle next witnesses an angel tossing a gigantic stone into the sea, signifying the violence with which God will destroy Babylon (v. 21; cf. Jer. 51:63-64).

No music will be heard; no one will carry on everyday work; no light will shine anymore; no one will marry in this city again (vv. 22-23a).

Babylon’s great merchants deceived the whole world, and its leaders have been responsible for innumerable martyrdoms and murders (vv. 23b-24).

© 2013 glynch1

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)