New International Reader's Version

Revelation 18

Weeping When Babylon Falls

1After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven. He had great authority. His glory filled the earth with light. With a mighty voice he shouted,

“ ‘Fallen! Babylon the Great has fallen!’ (Isaiah 21:9)
    She has become a place where demons live.
She has become a den for every evil spirit.
    She has become a place where every ‘unclean’ bird is found.
    She has become a place where every ‘unclean’ and hated animal is found.
All the nations have drunk
    the strong wine of her terrible sins.
The kings of the earth took part in her evil ways.
    The traders of the world grew rich from her great wealth.”

Warning to Run From Babylon’s Judgment

Then I heard another voice from heaven. It said,

“ ‘Come out of her, my people.’ (Jeremiah 51:45)
    Then you will not take part in her sins.
    You will not suffer from any of her plagues.
Her sins are piled up to heaven.
    God has remembered her crimes.
Do to her as she has done to others.
    Pay her back double for what she has done.
    Pour her a double dose of what she has poured for others.
Give her as much pain and suffering
    as the glory and wealth she gave herself.
She brags to herself,
    ‘I rule on a throne like a queen.
I am not a widow.
    I will never mourn.’ (Isaiah 47:7,8)
But she will be plagued by death, sadness and hunger.
    In a single day she will suffer all these plagues.
She will be burned up by fire.
    That’s because the Lord God who judges her is mighty.

How Terrible When Babylon Falls!

“The kings of the earth who committed terrible sins with her will weep. They will mourn because they used to share her riches. They will see the smoke rising as she burns. 10 They will be terrified by her suffering. They will stand far away from her. And they will cry out,

“ ‘How terrible! How terrible it is for you, great city!
    How terrible for you, mighty city of Babylon!
In just one hour you have been destroyed!’

11 “The traders of the world will weep and mourn over her. No one buys what they sell anymore. 12 Here is what they had for sale.

Gold, silver, jewels, pearls.

Fine linen, purple, silk, bright red cloth.

Every kind of citron wood.

All sorts of things made out of ivory, valuable wood, bronze, iron, marble.

13 Cinnamon, spice, incense, myrrh, frankincense.

Wine, olive oil, fine flour, wheat.

Cattle, sheep, horses, carriages, and human beings sold as slaves.

14 “The merchants will say, ‘The pleasure you longed for has left you. All your riches and glory have disappeared forever.’ 15 The traders who sold these things became rich because of Babylon. When she suffers, they will stand far away. Her suffering will terrify them. They will weep and mourn. 16 They will cry out,

“ ‘How terrible! How terrible it is for you, great city,
    dressed in fine linen, purple and bright red!
    How terrible for you, great city, gleaming with gold, jewels and pearls!
17 In just one hour your great wealth has been destroyed!’

“Every sea captain and all who travel by ship will stand far away. So will the sailors and all who earn their living from the sea. 18 They will see the smoke rising as Babylon burns. They will ask, ‘Was there ever a city like this great city?’ 19 They will throw dust on their heads. They will weep and mourn. They will cry out,

“ ‘How terrible! How terrible it is for you, great city!
    All who had ships on the sea
    became rich because of her wealth!
In just one hour she has been destroyed!’

20 “You heavens, be glad for this!
    You people of God, be glad!
    You apostles and prophets, be glad!
God has judged her
    with the judgment she gave to you.”

Babylon’s Judgment Is Final

21 Then a mighty angel picked up a huge rock. It was the size of a large millstone. He threw it into the sea. Then he said,

“That is how
    the great city of Babylon will be thrown down.
    Never again will it be found.
22 The songs of musicians will never be heard in you again.
    Gone will be the music of harps, flutes and trumpets.
No worker of any kind
    will ever be found in you again.
The sound of a millstone
    will never be heard in you again.
23 The light of a lamp
    will never shine in you again.
The voices of brides and grooms
    will never be heard in you again.
Your traders were among the world’s most important people.
    By your magic spell all the nations were led astray.
24 You were guilty of the murder of prophets and God’s holy people.
    You were guilty of the blood of all who have been killed on the earth.”