And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.…
I. THE DESCRIPTION OF BABYLON.
1. Its corrupt character. As before the prophets were "false" and the spirits were "unclean," and stood opposed to God; so now harlotry, fornication, drunkenness, blasphemy, abominations, luxury, persecuting, violence, sorcery, submission to the beast, warring against the Lamb, are the terms employed to describe or indicate the excessive foulness and corruption of the faithless city. This is "the woman" having in her hand "a golden cup full of abominations, even the unclean things of her fornication." This the "Babylon the great," which is become "a habitation of devils, a hold of every unclean spirit and a hold of every unclean and hateful bird."
2. Virulent antagonism to the good, even to the loftiest ideals of goodness. "War against the Lamb"; "blasphemed the God of heaven"; "gather together unto the war of the great day of God"; "poured out the blood of saints and prophets"; in such terms is the antipathy to all righteousness declared.
3. Occasion of all evil, seen in the corruption of life, the deceitfulness of iniquity, the loss of the blessings of righteousness, degradation in sin, to which the "peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues" are reduced "where the harlot sitteth"; and the judgments and consequent sufferings in which they are involved.
4. The widespread, universal character of the desolation caused. In every aspect this vision is "great and marvellous." It is "Babylon the great." The harlot "sitteth upon many waters," which waters are "peoples and multitudes, and nations and tongues." "And the woman is the great city which reigneth over the kings of the earth"; "by the wine of the wrath of her fornication all the nations are fallen." "What city is like the great city," with whose "sorcery were all nations deceived"? "In her was found the blood of all that have been slain upon the earth." This is the universal kingdom of evil, whose "sins reached unto heaven." This great kingdom shall come to an end. Such is the ever-recurring promise of this book.
II. ITS DESTRUCTION IS COMPLETE. The "harlot" is made "desolate and naked"; hated by all over whom she sat as a queen; they shall "eat her flesh, and burn her utterly with fire." "Woe, woe!" is pronounced against the great city, Babylon; "for in one hour is thy judgment come." "Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great." "In one day shall her plagues come, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire; for strong is the Lord God which judgeth her." "The Lamb shall overcome," and thus shall they also overcome that are with Him. "And a strong angel took up a stone as it were a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with a mighty fall shall Babylon, the great city, be east down, and shall be found no more at all." Then shall the kings of the earth that committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth who were made rich by her, and every shipmaster and mariner, and all that were made rich by her, weep and mourn and lament; while to heaven a sweet song of joy and thankfulness shall rise from them who with the Lamb have overcome — who are called, and chosen, and faithful.
Parallel VersesKJV: And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.