18:1 And 1 after these things I saw another 2 angel come
down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was
lightened with his glory.
(1) The second passage (as I said before) (see Geneva "Re 17:1")
of the history of Babylon, is of the woeful fall and ruin
of that whore of Babylon. This historical prediction
concerning her, is threefold. The first a plain and simple
foretelling of her ruin, in three verses (Re 18:2-3).
The second a figurative prediction by the circumstances,
from there to (Re 18:4-20). The third, a confirmation
of the same by sign or wonder, to the end of the chapter
(2) Either Christ the eternal word of God the Father (as often
elsewhere) or a created angel, and one deputed to this
service, but thoroughly provided with greatness of power,
and with light of glory, as the ensign of power.
18:23 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying,
Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the
habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit,
and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.
(3) The prediction of her ruin, containing both the fall of
Babylon, in this verse, and the cause of it uttered by way
of allegory concerning her spiritual and carnal wickedness,
that is, her most great impiety and injustice, in
(Re 18:3). Her fall is first declared by the angel, and
then the greatness of it is shown here, by the events when he
says it shall be the seat and habitation of devils, of wild
beasts, and of cursed souls, as in (Isa 13:21) and often
18:44 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, 5 Come
out of her, my people, that ye 6 be not partakers of her
sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
(4) The second prediction, which is of the circumstances of the
ruin of Babylon: of these there are two types: one going
before it, as beforehand the godly are delivered, to the
ninth verse (Re 18:5-9): the other following on her ruin,
namely the lamentation of the wicked, and rejoicing of the
godly, to the twentieth verse (Re 18:10-20).
(5) Two circumstance going before the ruin, are commanded in
this place: one is that the godly depart out of Babylon:
as I mentioned in chapter twelve to have been done in time
past, before the destruction of Jerusalem: this charge is
given here and in the next verse. The other is, that every
one of them occupy themselves in their own place, in
executing the judgment of God, as it was commanded of the
Levites in (Ex 32:27) and that they sanctify their
hands to the Lord.
(6) Of this commandment there are two causes: to avoid the
contamination of sin and to shun the participation of those
punishments that belong to it.
18:5 For her sins have a reached unto heaven, and God hath
remembered her iniquities.
(a) He uses a word which signifies the following of sins
one after another, and rising one of another in such
sort, that they grow at length to such a heap, that
they come up even to heaven.
18:67 Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto
her double according to her works: in the cup which she
hath filled fill to her double.
(7) The provocation of the godly, and the commandment of
executing the judgment of God, stand on three causes which
are here expressed: the unjust wickedness of the whore of
Babylon, in this verse, her cursed pride opposing itself
against God, which is the fountain of all evil actions,
(Re 18:7) and her most just damnation by the sentence
of God, (Re 18:8).
18:7 How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously,
so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith b in
her heart, I sit a queen, and am c no widow, and shall
d see no sorrow.
(b) With herself.
(c) I am full of people and mighty.
(d) I shall taste of none.
18:8 Therefore shall her plagues come in e one day, death, and
mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with
fire: for strong [is] the Lord God who judgeth her.
(e) Shortly, and at one instant.
18:9 And 8 the kings of the earth, who have committed
fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail
her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of
(8) The circumstances following the fall of Babylon, or the
consequences of it (as I distinguished them in)
(see Geneva "Re 18:4") are two. Namely the lamentation of
the wicked to (Re 18:5-19) and the rejoicing of the godly
in (Re 18:20). This sorrowful lamentation, according to
those that lament, has three parts: the first of which is
the mourning of the kings and mighty men of the earth,
(Re 18:9-10): The second is, the lamentation of the
merchants that trade by land, to the sixteenth verse:
(Re 18:11-16). The third is, the wailing of those that
trade by sea, in (Re 18:16-18). In each of those the
cause and manner of their mourning is described in order,
according to the condition of those that mourn, with
observation of that which best agrees to them.
18:119 And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn
over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more:
(9) The lamentation of those that trade by land, as I
18:1410 And the f fruits that thy soul lusted after are
departed from thee, and all things which were dainty and
goodly are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no
more at all.
(10) An apostrophe, or turning of the speech by imitation, used
for more vehemence, as if those merchants, as mourners,
should in passionate speech speak to Babylon, though now
utterly fallen and overthrown; (Isa 13:9) and in many
(f) By this is meant that season which is before the fall
of the leaf, at which time fruit ripens, and the word
signifies such fruits as are longed for.
18:1711 For in one hour so great riches is come to nought.
And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and
sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off,
(11) The manner of mourning used by them that trade by sea.
18:20 Rejoice over her, 12 [thou] heaven, and [ye] holy
apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.
(12) The other consequence on the ruin of Babylon, is the
exultation or rejoicing of the godly in heaven and in
earth as was noted in this verse.
18:2113 And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great
millstone, and cast [it] into the sea, saying, Thus with
violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and
shall be found no more at all.
(13) The third prediction, as I said (see Geneva "Re 18:1")
based on a sign, and the interpretation of it: the
interpretation of it is in two sorts, first by a simple
proposal of the thing itself, in this verse, and then by
declaration of the events, in the verses following.
18:2214 And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of
pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in
thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft [he be], shall
be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone
shall be heard no more at all in thee;
(14) The events are two, and one of them opposite to the other
for amplification sake. There shall be no mirth nor joy at
all in Babylon, he says in this and the next verse,
(Re 18:23) but heavy and lamentable things, from the
bloody slaughters of the righteous and the vengeance of God
coming on it for this.
18:24 And in her was found the 15 blood of prophets, 16 and
of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.
(15) That is shed by bloody massacres, and calling for
(16) That is, proved and found out, as if God had appointed a
just inquiry concerning the impiety, unnaturalness and
injustice of these men.