Revelation chapter 18 brings together the prophecies (messages from God) from many other chapters of the Bible. Those prophecies include Isaiah chapters 13, 14, 21, 46 and 47; Jeremiah chapters 50 and 51; Ezekiel chapters 26, 27, and 28; and Habakkuk chapter 2.
Those passages are all about the final defeat of Babylon, or the defeat of another city called Tyre. Tyre controlled the trade over much of the Mediterranean sea; Babylon defeated it and took over its power (Ezekiel 26:7). Similarly, other nations later took over the power that Babylon had (Daniel 2:39-43); and these prophecies are therefore against them. Nobody has yet destroyed Babylon in the manner that the prophecies describe. Revelation chapters 17 and 18 say that it will happen immediately before the return of Christ.
There seems to be a link also, to the Bibleís first mention of Babylon or Babel, in Genesis 11:1-9. At that place, people tried by their own efforts to build a city that would reach heaven. They were trying to gain great power for themselves, but God stopped them. He confused their languages and he scattered them across the world.
Soon before Christís return, the people from across the world will join together again to oppose God (13:7-8; 16:14). Their efforts will fail. God will act against them and they will fight against each other (Zechariah 14:12-13).
There will be a city, in the future, that really does unite heaven and earth: the New Jerusalem (Revelation chapters 21 and 22). People will not build that city by their own efforts. God will provide it as a gift to his people, and there they will always live with him. As we read about the great city called Babylon, we should contrast it with the New Jerusalem.
Next part: Babylon has fallen! (Revelation 18:2)
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© 2016, Keith Simons.