The Message

Revelation 18

Doom to the City of Darkness

11-8 Following this I saw another Angel descend from Heaven. His authority was immense, his glory flooded earth with brightness, his voice thunderous:

Ruined, ruined, Great Babylon, ruined!
    A ghost town for demons is all that’s left!
A garrison of carrion spirits,
    garrison of loathsome, carrion birds.
All nations drank the wild wine of her whoring;
    kings of the earth went whoring with her;
    entrepreneurs made millions exploiting her.

Just then I heard another shout out of Heaven:

Get out, my people, as fast as you can,
    so you don’t get mixed up in her sins,
    so you don’t get caught in her doom.
Her sins stink to high Heaven;
    God has remembered every evil she’s done.
Give her back what she’s given,
    double what she’s doubled in her works,
    double the recipe in the cup she mixed;
Bring her flaunting and wild ways
    to torment and tears.
Because she gloated, “I’m queen over all,
    and no widow, never a tear on my face,”
In one day, disasters will crush her—
    death, heartbreak, and famine—
Then she’ll be burned by fire, because God,
    the Strong God who judges her,
    has had enough.

9-10 “The kings of the earth will see the smoke of her burning, and they’ll cry and carry on, the kings who went night after night to her brothel. They’ll keep their distance for fear they’ll get burned, and they’ll cry their lament:

Doom, doom, the great city doomed!
    City of Babylon, strong city!
In one hour it’s over, your judgment come!

11-17 “The traders will cry and carry on because the bottom dropped out of business, no more market for their goods: gold, silver, precious gems, pearls; fabrics of fine linen, purple, silk, scarlet; perfumed wood and vessels of ivory, precious woods, bronze, iron, and marble; cinnamon and spice, incense, myrrh, and frankincense; wine and oil, flour and wheat; cattle, sheep, horses, and chariots. And slaves—their terrible traffic in human lives.

Everything you’ve lived for, gone!
    All delicate and delectable luxury, lost!
    Not a scrap, not a thread to be found!

“The traders who made millions off her kept their distance for fear of getting burned, and cried and carried on all the more:

Doom, doom, the great city doomed!
    Dressed in the latest fashions,
    adorned with the finest jewels,
    in one hour such wealth wiped out!

17-19 “All the ship captains and travelers by sea, sailors and toilers of the sea, stood off at a distance and cried their lament when they saw the smoke from her burning: ‘Oh, what a city! There was never a city like her!’ They threw dust on their heads and cried as if the world had come to an end:

Doom, doom, the great city doomed!
    All who owned ships or did business by sea
Got rich on her getting and spending.
    And now it’s over—wiped out in one hour!

20 “O Heaven, celebrate! And join in, saints, apostles, and prophets! God has judged her; every wrong you suffered from her has been judged.”

21-24 A strong Angel reached for a boulder—huge, like a millstone—and heaved it into the sea, saying,

Heaved and sunk, the great city Babylon,
    sunk in the sea, not a sign of her ever again.
Silent the music of harpists and singers—
    you’ll never hear flutes and trumpets again.
Artisans of every kind—gone;
    you’ll never see their likes again.
The voice of a millstone grinding falls dumb;
    you’ll never hear that sound again.
The light from lamps, never again;
    never again laughter of bride and groom.
Her traders robbed the whole earth blind,
    and by black-magic arts deceived the nations.
The only thing left of Babylon is blood—
    the blood of saints and prophets,
    the murdered and the martyred.

New American Standard Bible

Revelation 18

Babylon Is Fallen

1After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illumined with his glory. And he cried out with a mighty voice, saying, “[a]Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place of demons and a [b]prison of every unclean spirit, and a [c]prison of every unclean and hateful bird. For all the nations [d]have drunk of the wine of the [e]passion of her immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed acts of immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich by the [f]wealth of her [g]sensuality.”

I heard another voice from heaven, saying, “Come out of her, my people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues; for her sins have [h]piled up as high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. Pay her back even as she has paid, and [i]give back to her double according to her deeds; in the cup which she has mixed, mix twice as much for her. To the degree that she glorified herself and lived [j]sensuously, to the same degree give her torment and mourning; for she says in her heart, ‘I sit as a queen and I am not a widow, and will never see mourning.’ For this reason in one day her plagues will come, [k]pestilence and mourning and famine, and she will be burned up with fire; for the Lord God who judges her is strong.

Lament for Babylon

“And the kings of the earth, who committed acts of immorality and lived [l]sensuously with her, will weep and lament over her when they see the smoke of her burning, 10 standing at a distance because of the fear of her torment, saying, ‘Woe, woe, the great city, Babylon, the strong city! For in one hour your judgment has come.’

11 “And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn over her, because no one buys their cargoes any more— 12 cargoes of gold and silver and precious [m]stones and pearls and fine linen and purple and silk and scarlet, and every kind of citron wood and every article of ivory and every article made from very costly wood and [n]bronze and iron and marble, 13 and cinnamon and [o]spice and incense and perfume and frankincense and wine and olive oil and fine flour and wheat and cattle and sheep, and cargoes of horses and chariots and [p]slaves and [q]human lives. 14 The fruit [r]you long for has gone from you, and all things that were luxurious and splendid have passed away from you and men will no longer find them. 15 The merchants of these things, who became rich from her, will stand at a distance because of the fear of her torment, weeping and mourning, 16 saying, ‘Woe, woe, the great city, she who was clothed in fine linen and purple and scarlet, and [s]adorned with gold and precious [t]stones and pearls; 17 for in one hour such great wealth has been laid waste!’ And every shipmaster and every [u]passenger and sailor, and as many as make their living by the sea, stood at a distance, 18 and were crying out as they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, ‘What city is like the great city?’ 19 And they threw dust on their heads and were crying out, weeping and mourning, saying, ‘Woe, woe, the great city, in which all who had ships at sea became rich by her [v]wealth, for in one hour she has been laid waste!’ 20 Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you [w]saints and apostles and prophets, because God has [x]pronounced judgment for you against her.”

21 Then [y]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. 22 And the sound of harpists and musicians and flute-players and trumpeters will not be heard in you any longer; and no craftsman of any craft will be found in you any longer; and the sound of a mill will not be heard in you any longer; 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. 24 And in her was found the blood of prophets and of [z]saints and of all who have been slain on the earth.”

Footnotes

  1. Revelation 18:2 Lit Babylon...fell, fell
  2. Revelation 18:2 Or haunt
  3. Revelation 18:2 Or haunt
  4. Revelation 18:3 Two early ancient mss read have fallen by
  5. Revelation 18:3 Lit wrath
  6. Revelation 18:3 Lit power
  7. Revelation 18:3 Or luxury
  8. Revelation 18:5 Lit joined together
  9. Revelation 18:6 Lit double to her
  10. Revelation 18:7 Or luxuriously
  11. Revelation 18:8 Lit death
  12. Revelation 18:9 Or luxuriously
  13. Revelation 18:12 Lit stone
  14. Revelation 18:12 Or brass
  15. Revelation 18:13 Gr amomon
  16. Revelation 18:13 Lit bodies
  17. Revelation 18:13 Lit souls of people (Gr anthropoi)
  18. Revelation 18:14 Lit of your soul’s desire
  19. Revelation 18:16 Lit gilded
  20. Revelation 18:16 Lit stone and pearl
  21. Revelation 18:17 Lit one who sails to a place
  22. Revelation 18:19 Lit costliness
  23. Revelation 18:20 Or holy ones
  24. Revelation 18:20 Lit judged your judgment of her
  25. Revelation 18:21 Lit one
  26. Revelation 18:24 Or holy ones