Useful Bible Studies > Revelation Commentary > chapter 18

Babylon as queen and as widow

Revelation 18:7-8

Revelation 18:7-8 refers back to Isaiah chapter 47, especially Isaiah 47:8-9. That chapter is part of a series of chapters in Isaiah that contrast Babylon with Jerusalem.

Babylon, a city that ruled over many nations, considered itself to be like a queen among nations. It had a great wealth, impressive beauty, and immense power. It had achieved these things because of its selfish attitudes, which caused it to act with great cruelty. Many people and nations continue to behave like that, and Godís judgement will be against them too, for the same reasons.

Jerusalem is called Ďthe city of our Godí in Psalm 48:1. However, when Babylonís army destroyed it, its people suffered greatly. They compared Jerusalem then to a widow who wept bitterly (Lamentations 1:1-2). The loss of Jerusalemís people was like a widow whose children had died (Isaiah 51:17-20).

However, God would bring back Jerusalemís people from Babylon with great joy (Psalm 126; Isaiah 54:1-3). No longer would Jerusalem be like a widow; instead God will declare himself to be Jerusalemís husband (Isaiah 54:4-8). He will rebuild the city with great beauty, to be his always (Isaiah 54:9-12; compare the description of the New Jerusalem in Revelation chapter 21).

On the other hand, Babylonís punishment will be truly awful. Isaiah 47:11 describes a sudden, terrible punishment that nothing, either in this world or the spirit world, can prevent. Babylon then will become like a widow that has lost her children in a very terrible manner (Psalm 137:8-9). It can never recover, because that is Godís judgement against it.

Next part: Kings will weep because of Babylon (Revelation 18:9-10)


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© 2016, Keith Simons.