Useful Bible Studies > Revelation Commentary > chapter 18

Kings will weep because of Babylon

Revelation 18:9-10

The Book of Revelation contrasts two great cities. The New Jerusalem on the new earth is like a bride, whose arrival is like a great wedding (21:2). It will last always; its peace will never end.

On the other hand, Babylon belongs very much to this world. A great city like that shows how much people can achieve by their own selfish efforts. The Book of Revelation describes it as a prostitute (a woman who offers herself for sex with many men). Its complete defeat is certain; its loss is like an awful funeral.

John describes that funeral in Revelation 18:9-20. People from across the world cry bitterly; they are completely without hope.

People weep, of course, for different reasons. At about the same time, Israelís people will express their sad feelings too (Zechariah 12:10-14). There is real hope for them, however, because they are turning back to God (Zechariah 13:1).

Nobody is turning to God at Babylonís funeral, however. The rulers of the nations have the first place in the sad procession, although they dare not go near. They have personal responsibility for this awful loss. Once, they desired more than anything else what Babylon offered to them. Babylon tempted them, and they joined with Babylon in its evil deeds.

However, the rulers were also responsible for Babylonís complete defeat. They handed over their power to the antichrist, Christís great enemy (17:12-18). So the terrible act of cruelty that destroyed Babylon was their act, too.

Still, they regret deeply the loss of Babylon. They do not mention its wealth, or luxury, or beauty. Instead, they remember its greatness and its strength. That was what impressed them most about Babylon. They never imagined that such a strong city would suffer a terrible judgement like that so suddenly. Now they are afraid of what will happen to them.

Next part: Traders will weep because of Babylon (Revelation 18:11)


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© 2016, Keith Simons.