Introduction to Chapter 18
18 of Revelation is a continuation from the 16th chapter. In
Chapter 16 seven angels with seven bowls have 7 plagues poured out on the
earth. The plagues take place in the last quarter of the 7 year tribulation
this period of the bowl judgments, God’s wrath is being completed on the
earth. People, who received the mark of the beast, are in continuous pain,
water and food are scarce as a result of the plagues on the sea and fresh
water. The heat of the Sun is scorching the earth causing death and burning
in the earth. The inhabitants of the Earth blaspheme God’s name as a result
of his wrath.
Antichrist and the False prophet gather the armies of the east and the world
toward Jerusalem to wage war on God. As the armies of the Earth near
a tremendous earthquake, one unequaled in the history of the earth, destroys
the cities of the world. The capital city of the Beast “Babylon”
is in darkness and has been divided into three parts as a result of the
great earthquake. As the armies of the earth gather and the inhabitants
from the cities emerge from their rubble hail falls from the sky weighing
about 135 pounds each.
armies of the heaven are being readied for their entry into the Earth. The
wedding supper of the Lamb is just finishing, and Bride is ready to depart
with the Groom. But before they enter the Earth, remnants of Babylon the
Great will be obliterated from the Earth. In the 18th chapter we
see the final chapter on man’s monument to himself, destroyed before the
triumphant armies of Heaven. As the smoke from
the Great goes into the air, word quickly spreads to the gathering armies of
the Earth of the destruction of their capital city.
The fall of
1After these things I saw another angel coming down from
heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illuminated with his
glory. 2And he cried mightily with a loud voice,
saying, “Babylon the
great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a
prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird!
3For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her
fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and
the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her
luxury.” Revelation 18:1-3
had just witnessed the destruction of the woman riding the Beast, by the 10
horns (10 kings) who hate the woman. This was a parenthetical break from
the chronological flow of events. After 7th bowl is poured, the
greatest earthquake in history, John is shown the destruction of, “Babylon
the Great”, the capital city of the Earth.
This angel is different from the one who took John into the wilderness to
witness the destruction of the woman riding the Beast. The angel in chapter
17 was one of angels who held the bowl judgments. This angel is described
in awe inspiring terms.
This angel seems as a final herald to the inhabitants of the earth of the
coming judgment on Babylon. This angel’s appearance will be seen in the
physical world as he descends from Heaven. He is described as having great
…authority, jurisdiction, liberty, power, right, strength.) authority and
glory. The earth lights with his presence. With the kingdom of the Beast in
darkness the light from this angel will bring immediate focus of all eyes to
screaming, in power with a loud voice (megas
The angel will be known not only by his glorious appearance but his loud
the great… This
angel is announcing the final and complete destruction of
Babylon plays a prominent role in scripture from the time of flood
till the return of Christ. Some see the
Babylon mentioned in
Revelation as a veiled reference to the city of
The more literal reading of Babylon as the actual physical city fits the
literal understanding of scripture. And with the current situation in the
World, a literal
seems in the works.
Short History of
was created after Noah’s flood when mankind was one, mankind left the
mountains of Ararat and moved west, then east to the plains of
has been located to current day southern
where the city of Babylon is located.
Man at this point is under the leadership of Nimrod. Nimrod
built major cities and started building a tower. The tower was to prevent
mankind from being scattered by God. The rebellion behind building the
tower caused God scatter man according to their family tribal lineage. God
confused languages where people could only communicate with their close
family members with all others sounding like “Babel”. This caused man to
migrate to different parts of the earth with like speaking family members.
Therefore the tribes of the Earth were established. This tribal link with
the languages of the world can be found in words like mother and father.
way that linguists prove that languages are related to one another is by
using cognates. A cognate is a related word in another language. For
example, the English word mother has cognates in several other
Indo-European languages: Greek meter, Russian mate, German
mutter, Sanskrit matri, and Irish mathair. These words all
share a similar sound, and thousands of years ago they were likely all the
same word in the same language.
the whole earth had one language and one speech. 2And it
came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in
the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there. 3Then they said to one
another, “Come, let us make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They
had brick for stone, and they had asphalt for mortar. 4And they
said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is
in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered
abroad over the face of the whole earth.”
5But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower
which the sons of men had built. 6And the LORD said, “Indeed the
people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they
begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them.
7Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they
may not understand one another’s speech.” 8So the LORD scattered
them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased
building the city. 9Therefore its name is called
Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of all
the earth; and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of
all the earth. Genesis 11:1-9
was the first post-flood empire builder. In addition to building the city
of Babylon, he built other cities listed in Genesis 10. Many of these cities
would latter become empires such as Assyria. Assyria would then vie with
Babylon, Egypt, Hittite, Elam, and Urartu, for control of the lands of the
Middle East for the next 1500 years.
8Cush begot Nimrod; he began to be a mighty one on the
earth. 9He was a mighty hunter before the LORD; therefore it is
said, “Like Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD.” 10And the
beginning of his kingdom was
Babel, Erech, Accad, and
Calneh, in the land of Shinar. 11From that land he went to
Assyria and built Nineveh, Rehoboth Ir, Calah, 12and Resen
between Nineveh and Calah (that is the principal city). Genesis
Melchizedek or his forefathers came out this land of Old Babylon and settled
in the land of Moriah before Abraham. Later about 2100 BC, God would call
Abraham to the land of Moriah (Gen 12:1-7) and promise his descendents
possession of the land. During this time we see Abraham interacting with
both the Hittites and Egyptians. To the East, Assyria and Babylon struggled
for control of the lands of the Tigris and Euphrates.
the influence of
and God’s anger at the nation even while Joshua is entering the land about
1425 B.C. Achan one of the Israelites takes a garment from
Jericho, made in
Babylon, against the orders
given to Israel. As a result Achan causes Israel to be defeated by the
small city of Ai.
"When I saw among the spoils a beautiful Babylonian garment, two hundred
shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold weighing fifty shekels, I coveted
them and took them. And there they are, hidden in the earth in the midst of
my tent, with the silver under it." Joshua 7:21
BC Nabopolassar father of Nebuchadnezzar rebelled against Assyrian
domination of Babylon and re-established the Babylonian empire later to be
known as “Neo-Babylon”. In 605 BC, Nebuchadnezzar became the King of
Babylon. The first 4 chapters of Daniel revolve around Nebuchadnezzar
interaction with the descendents and God of Israel.
Nebuchadnezzar would reconstruct Babylon to its former glory. This
Neo-Babylon is the Babylon referred to in Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel.
“Neo-Babylon” would become a foreshadowing of the last
Babylon that will be the capital city of the Earth.
After the defeat of Babylon by Cyrus the Persian 539 BC (Daniel 5), Babylon
as a city continued to exist. Alexander the Great died in the city of
Babylon in 323 BC, while he was in the process of reconstructing the city to
its former glory. Babylon as a city is only a shadow of its former glory.
But if we take the scripture literally Babylon will be rebuilt and become
the greatest of all cities.
least in the second half of the tribulation it will become the seat of power
for Satan as he operates through the Antichrist.
several significant events are happening in the land formerly known as
Babylon. The world as of October 25, 2003 at the Madrid conference on
rebuilding Iraq has pledged 33 Billion dollars toward the effort. The
Madrid conference logo featured the “Tower of Babel” behind the speaker’s
podium. In addition to the world rebuilding the land of Babylon the new
currency features an old face from history. Hammurabi, one of the most well
known kings of Babylon
(1795-1750 BC), known for the written code of law, the “Code of Hammurabi”.
If the name of Iraq is changed to Babylon Christians should not be
city of Baghdad
the coming, “New Babylon” or is a new city to be constructed? At this time
we don’t know. Zechariah 5 tells of building a house for “Wickedness” in
the land of Shinar. But the house must be built first before “Wickedness” is
I said to the angel who talked with me, “Where are they carrying the
basket?” 11And he said to me, “To build a house for it in the
land of Shinar; when it is ready, the basket will be set
there on its base.” Zechariah 5:10-1
as a foreshadowing
of the past is a foreshadowing of the Babylon to come. The books of
Jeremiah, Joel, Isaiah and Ezekiel have direct references to “Neo-Babylon’s”
judgment but their ultimate fulfillment will be seen in the last days with
the last Babylon.
example 3 Jewish boys, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego in Daniel chapter 3
refuse to bow to the Image set up in the plain by Nebuchadnezzar; they are
then thrown into a fiery furnace and rescued by one who is like unto, “son
of the gods”. This is a foreshadowing of Israel’s future as the Antichrist
sets up an image and demands Israel along with the rest of the world worship
the Image. The world accepts Israel refuses and is put into a fiery trial
only to be rescued by the “Son of God”.
Humbled for 7
years as an animal (Dan 4:25)
Rules for 7
years during Tribulation period.
One people, one
unifies many nations under Babylon.
One People, One
Nimrod is world
Antichrist is world ruler
captives of Antichrist
to Moriah (Jerusalem)
Babylon destroy Temple and Jerusalem
Antichrist attack Jerusalem and Temple (Zec 14:1-2)
built in rebellion
Image set up for
all to worship
Image set up for
all to worship
Judgments on Babylon
in Jeremiah 51 and Isaiah 13 & 14 are specifically linked to the last days
but can also be seen as partially fulfilled during the time of
25 “Behold, I am against you, O destroying mountain,
Who destroys all the earth,” says the LORD.
“And I will stretch out My hand against you,
Roll you down from the rocks,
And make you a burnt mountain.
26 They shall not take from you a stone for a corner
Nor a stone for a foundation,
But you shall be desolate forever,” says the LORD.
Babylon, the glory
The beauty of the Chaldeans’ pride,
Will be as when God overthrew
20 It will never be inhabited,
Nor will it be settled from generation to generation;
Nor will the Arabian pitch tents there,
Nor will the shepherds make their sheepfolds there.
of Babylon have been used in the construction of Baghdad and other
surrounding cities. Jeremiah can better be seen fulfilling a rebuilt last
days Babylon. The coming destruction of Babylon will be utter devastation
with no rebuilding in site.
“Last Babylon” is better seen being fulfilled in Isaiah 14 for several
reasons. Israel’s end-time restoration is linked with the judgment of
In this scene Israel will rule over her oppressors and will taunt the King
of Babylon, who descends into Hell. The King of Babylon is addressed as
Lucifer in the 12th verse. This is literally fulfilled at the
return of Christ when the King of Babylon, Satan is chained and cast into
the abyss for 1000 years. (Rev 20:1-3)
1For the LORD will have mercy on Jacob, and will
settle them in their own land. The strangers will be joined with them,
and they will cling to the house of Jacob. 2Then people will take
them and bring them to their place, and the house of Israel will possess
them for servants and maids in the land of the LORD; they will take them
captive whose captives they were, and rule over their oppressors.
3It shall come to pass in the day the LORD gives you
rest from your sorrow, and from your fear and the hard bondage in which you
were made to serve, 4that you will take up this proverb against
the king of
Babylon, and say:
“How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the
morning!How you are cut down to the ground,
You who weakened the nations! Isaiah 14:1-3,12
Babylon in Revelation 18 should be understood in the context of a final
kingdom on the Earth united against God and his people
To this Babylonian kingdom is the judgment in Revelation 18 being addressed.
all of Satan’s angels are expelled from heaven along with Satan, they take
up residence in man and rule with him in his satanic kingdom. The last
Babylon becomes the demonic headquarters of this satanic undertaking.
Satan is called the god of this age, who has blinded the minds of those who
do not believe. (2 Cor. 4:4) Satan tempted Jesus with the nations of the
earth if he would just worship him. (Luke 4:5-7) Through the proxy of the
Antichrist and his kingdom, all the nations of the earth will worship Satan
in the flesh and will therefore face the wrath of this relationship.
kings of the earth…The
kings the personal representatives of the nations will be seduced by the
demonic forces into union with the Beast.
third class in this indictment by the angel, speaks to the movers and
shakers of the world who were seduced by the great wealth offered by the
all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes,
and the pride of life I John 2:16
Call for separation from
4And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out
of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her
plagues. 5For her sins have reached to heaven, and
God has remembered her iniquities. Revelation 18:4-5
is Christ’s voice since the people are called, “My people”.
Come out of her…
The call is additional demonstration of God’s mercy on his own people. God
is warning his people, giving them an opportunity of escape before his
complete destruction of
What were God’s people doing in Babylon? This voice could be at the start of
the second half of the tribulation, warning the people of God to leave, or
it may be for those in hiding, who as a result of the darkness that
overtakes the kingdom of the Beast will have a chance for escape before the
final wrath falls. This call is repeated in Jeremiah and Isaiah 48:20, Zech
45 “My people, go out of the midst of her!
And let everyone deliver himself from the fierce anger of the
LORD. Jeremiah 51:45
will be compensated for her sins. There comes a day when God’s mercy ends
and his judgment begins. People often mistake God’s mercy for
9The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as
some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not
willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. 2
The Charge against
to her just as she rendered to you, and repay her double
according to her works; in the cup which she has mixed, mix double for her.
7In the measure that she glorified herself and lived luxuriously,
in the same measure give her torment and sorrow; for she says in her heart,
‘I sit as queen, and am no widow, and will not see sorrow.’ 8Therefore
her plagues will come in one day—death and mourning and famine. And she will
be utterly burned with fire, for strong is the Lord God who judges
her. Revelation 18:6-8,
Render to her…The
Babylon will be based on her actions. She will be rewarded with
According to her works…
Babylon’s lack of mercy and persecution of the saints will be God’s
justification in his utter destruction of the city and the eternal judgment
of its demonic and human inhabitants.
was the downfall of Satan and will be the downfall of his kingdom. This
final city will be the realization of man’s self glory.
the same measure…Torment
and sorrow will be reciprocal to her self glorification and luxury.
plagues … The
complete judgment on
will not be elongated but immediate and final.
will be… The
city will be incinerated when God judges her.
Lament of the Kings of the
9“The kings of the earth who committed fornication and
lived luxuriously with her will weep and lament for her, when they see the
smoke of her burning, 10standing at a distance for fear of her
torment, saying, ‘Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! For
in one hour your judgment has come.’ Revelation 18:9-10
kings of the earth….Before
the return of Christ with the armies of heaven, how long is not sure, the
city will be destroyed. There will be enough time for the rulers of the
earth to realize what has just happened. In one sudden event the city will
Fear of her torment…
Her judgment will be a visual display of the very soon coming judgment on
the kings of the Earth. Satellite or radio messages will show the kings of
the Earth what just happened to their capital city. The kings of the Earth
along with Antichrist will be heading toward
with the delusion of somehow battling the creator of the universe.
Lament of the Merchants of
the merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her, for no one buys
their merchandise anymore: 12merchandise of gold and silver,
precious stones and pearls, fine linen and purple, silk and scarlet, every
kind of citron wood, every kind of object of ivory, every kind of object of
most precious wood, bronze, iron, and marble; 13and cinnamon and
incense, fragrant oil and frankincense, wine and oil, fine flour and wheat,
cattle and sheep, horses and chariots, and bodies and souls of men. 14The
fruit that your soul longed for has gone from you, and all the things which
are rich and splendid have gone from you, and you shall find
them no more at all. 15The merchants of these things, who became
rich by her, will stand at a distance for fear of her torment, weeping and
wailing, 16and saying, ‘Alas, alas, that great city that was
clothed in fine linen, purple, and scarlet, and adorned with gold and
precious stones and pearls! 17For in one hour such great riches
came to nothing.’ Every shipmaster, all who travel by ship, sailors, and as
many as trade on the sea, stood at a distance 18and cried out
when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, ‘What is like this great
city?’ 19“They threw dust on their heads and cried out,
weeping and wailing, and saying, ‘Alas, alas, that great city, in which all
who had ships on the sea became rich by her wealth! For in one hour she is
made desolate.’ Revelation 18:11-19
merchants of the earth….(Gr.
one on a journey,
whether by sea or by land, especially for trade)
The word for merchant is used 4 times in Revelation 18 and once in
Matthew 13:45. The
picture is more of a wholesaler or shipper. The merchant shippers, the
large corporations that profited from their relationship with Babylon will
mourn. The mourning comes not from sin but lack of profit and loss. The
list of goods represents a range of trading in the global economy. World
commerce will be an important part of the end-times, gluing nations and
systems together. Governments are now negotiating deals for the
mega-corporations, with kings of the earth and the merchants of the earth
becoming partners. This global economy will only escalate in the
end-of-days. This will leave little room for those in the world who will
have to choose between their careers and the Lord.
Souls of Men
Bodies and souls of men….
In the time of John, slaves were a common commodity in Roman society. In
the end days trafficking in both the dead and living will is a viable
enterprise. Even in our own day industries are harvesting fetus material to
be used in cosmetics and medical research. Future human and animal cloning,
genetic experimentation is creating new world of commercial
enterprise. One could only imagine the traffic in body parts of executed
Christians. And with the lack of food as a result of the Seal, Trumpet and
Bowl judgments cannibalism might not be far off. Human slavery of
Christians occurs today in Muslim Sudan without many complaints by nations
of the world.
Rejoice in Heaven
over her, O heaven, and you holy apostles and prophets, for God
has avenged you on her!”
Babylon was responsible for persecution of the believers throughout history
but especially in the end of days. More people are killed for Christ then
any time in the history of the world during the end-of-days. The heavens,
with the saints, along with the prophets and apostles dwelling there
celebrate the destruction of
the demonic stronghold.
has avenged… In
Revelation6:9,7:9-17,13:9,15:2 we see the results of the work of Satan and
his kingdom. The death of millions and millions of saints in the last days
will be paid in kind to Satan and his representatives as God unleashes his
wrath on the earth.
The utter destruction of
a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the
sea, saying, “Thus with violence the great city
shall be thrown down, and shall not be found anymore. 22The sound
of harpists, musicians, flutists, and trumpeters shall not be heard in you
anymore. No craftsman of any craft shall be found in you anymore, and the
sound of a millstone shall not be heard in you anymore. 23The
light of a lamp shall not shine in you anymore, and the voice of bridegroom
and bride shall not be heard in you anymore. For your merchants were the
great men of the earth, for by your sorcery all the nations were deceived.
24And in her was found the blood of prophets and saints, and of
all who were slain on the earth.” Revelation 18:21-24
This angel is in contrast to the first angel in the 18th chapter
announcing the coming judgment on
judgment will involve violent burning fire that will erase Babylon presence
from the earth in one hour.
be found anymore…Here
the Greek is very emphatic, there shall be no trace of Babylon’s existence
after its final judgment. This reading is more along the lines indicated
above in the complete destruction of Babylon in Jeremiah and Isaiah. In
order to fulfill both Old and New Testament prophesies regarding Babylon the
Ishtar gate would have to be non-existent.
will be a big part of the Babylonian kingdom. Music was also part of Satan
nature and he uses this ability to deceive those on earth. Today the
merchants on the earth traffic in souls using music to deceive the minds of
The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes
Was prepared for you on the day you were created.
merchants of the Earth will headquarter their business in rebuilt Babylon.
The merchants are described as (Gr…megistanes
….the grandees, magnates, nobles, chief men).
Great men of the earth
these merchants will move
the kings and citizens of the earth to accepting the Beast. Another tool
Satan and Babylon will use is sorcery (Gr…pharmakeia
…the use or the
administering of drugs)
the source of the word for pharmacy. Drugs will be
another weapon used to bring the nations into submission.
who were slain….With
Babylon becoming the home and cage of demons, the forces behind the murder
of the saints and all slain since the beginning starting from Cain till the
end of time.
with the armies of the Earth gathering in
the cities of the collapsed, all except
Jerusalem, word comes of the destruction of
Babylon the Great. The
kings and merchants of the earth mourn as they are attempting to wage war on
the Lamb in Israel. Through Israel God will judge the nations. Jesus will
return to redeem Israel from the armies of the world.
Portion of Jacob is not like them, For He is the Maker of all
things; And Israel
is the tribe of His inheritance.
LORD of hosts is His name. “You are My battle-ax and
weapons of war: For with you I will break the nation in pieces;
you I will destroy kingdoms; Jeremiah 51:19-20