A splendid and important angel, one of Godís special servants, declared the news. The great city, Babylon, had fallen. In other words, its enemies had completely destroyed it.
What this world considered great, was in fact very weak. Its enemies had suddenly destroyed its great power. All the human effort to build it, and to make it strong, had in the end achieved nothing (Jeremiah 51:58). Its rulers and its people were unable to build even a city that would last. So their great city, once the greatest city in the world, was not really any greater than other cities.
Now nobody lives there. It was usual to refer to the desert as a place for evil spirits (compare Matthew 12:43). So, this great city is now a desert (Jeremiah 50:39; Jeremiah 51:37). Awful, unpleasant and unclean birds and animals are the only things that live there now (Isaiah 13:20-22).
The angelís declaration, ĎBabylon has fallení, appears first in Isaiah 21:9. God was declaring then what would happen in the future. The original city called Babylon did not achieve its greatest power until a century after Isaiah wrote those words.
In time, Babylon lost its power, but other cities and nations gained that power. They used it in the same evil way. They, like Babylon, achieved impressive things by their political and military strength, and by control of financial systems. They tried to satisfy their own selfish desires and they dealt with Godís people cruelly. Godís judgement will be against them, as it was against Babylon (Haggai 2:6-7).
In the Book of Revelation, an angel has already announced this judgement, before it happens (14:8). Now the judgement has happened, and the punishment of Babylon is complete (18:2).
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© 2016, Keith Simons.