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Chapter Eighteen

Commentary by Tom Brown


18 After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven. He had great authority, and the earth was illuminated by his splendor.


2 With a mighty voice he shouted:

"Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great!

She has become a home for demons

and a haunt for every evil a spirit,

a haunt for every unclean and detestable bird.

"Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great! This chapter is going to amplify 17:16, about the nations turning against the whore. In the past, nations worked well with the Roman Church, but as the Roman Church slowly but surely abandoned the apostolic doctrine, the nations feel betrayed (cheated on like one engaged to a spouse) and now refuse to go along with everything the Roman Church ask. One example is the French revolution, which has been called the revolt of the Catholic Kings. And today, most nations want a complete separation of church and state.

3 For all the nations have drunk

the maddening wine of her adulteries.

The kings of the earth committed adultery with her,

and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries."

The kings of the earth committed adultery with her. So long as it suited the nation’s interest they persecuted God’s true followers with the urging of the Apostate church.


4 Then I heard another voice from heaven say:

"Come out of her, my people,

so that you will not share in her sins,

so that you will not receive any of her plagues;

Come out of her, my people. This is additional proof that the whore of Babylon could not be the pagan religion of the Roman Empire in John’s day since Christians were not part of the pagan religion. It is obvious to John that one day God’s people would be within the Roman Church, and he calls them to come out. Never in church history, until the protestant reformation was this call necessary, but now is the call clear. As a Roman Catholic you have to consider very carefully how the Catholic church has apostatized from her original engagement to Christ.  They now teach tradition is equal to the Word of God; they have exalted the clergy by giving them a special priesthood whereby forgiveness of sins can only come through them; they encourage worship (veneration) of the saints and demand complete obedience to the man-made dogmas of the Pope; they forbid priest to marry which encourages a large portion of gay men to join the priesthood. The list could go longer, but these heresies and incorrect practices are enough to show an open-minded Catholic that it is time to “come out of her, my people.”

5 for her sins are piled up to heaven,

and God has remembered her crimes.

her crimes. If the matter was only differences of religious opinion then the Roman Church would not be so guilty, but they actually “killed” true followers of Christ.

6 Give back to her as she has given;

pay her back double for what she has done.

Mix her a double portion from her own cup.


7 Give her as much torture and grief

as the glory and luxury she gave herself.

In her heart she boasts,

'I sit as queen; I am not a widow,

and I will never mourn.'

'I sit as queen; I am not a widow’. This was the famous phrase of Nimrod’s wife/mother, Semiramis I. Since Babylon was originally built by Nimrod (Gen 10:9-10), he uses the infamous statement from his wife/mother to tie the whore of Babylon to Nimrod. It is worthy side note that the Roman Catholic Church calls Mary the “queen of heaven”—another proof that this whore is the Catholic Church. The famous Madonna portrait of her holding the child Jesus actually originated with the monuments of Semiramis holding her son/husband Nimrod in her arms. 

8 Therefore in one day her plagues will overtake her:

death, mourning and famine.

She will be consumed by fire,

for mighty is the Lord God who judges her.


9 "When the kings of the earth who committed adultery with her and shared her luxury see the smoke of her burning, they will weep and mourn over her.

they will weep and mourn over her. Though the kings were the instruments to bring her down (17:16), they still feel affection for her much like a jilted lover feels for the one who cheated. 

10 Terrified at her torment, they will stand far off and cry:

"'Woe! Woe, O great city,

O Babylon, city of power!

In one hour your doom has come!'

they will stand far off. The nations have tried to back away from their allegiance to her.

11 "The merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her because no one buys their cargoes any more—

merchants of the earth. There is a financial byproduct of the nations bringing her down. Merchants are not the one bringing the whore down; they are bystanders to her fall.

12 cargoes of gold, silver, precious stones and pearls; fine linen, purple, silk and scarlet cloth; every sort of citron wood, and articles of every kind made of ivory, costly wood, bronze, iron and marble;


13 cargoes of cinnamon and spice, of incense, myrrh and frankincense, of wine and olive oil, of fine flour and wheat; cattle and sheep; horses and carriages; and bodies and souls of men.


14 "They will say, 'The fruit you longed for is gone from you. All your riches and splendor have vanished, never to be recovered.'


15 The merchants who sold these things and gained their wealth from her will stand far off, terrified at her torment. They will weep and mourn

The merchants…will stand far off. Eventually even those not part of the nations will back away from her.

16 and cry out:

"'Woe! Woe, O great city,

dressed in fine linen, purple and scarlet,

and glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls!


17 In one hour such great wealth has been brought to ruin!'

"Every sea captain, and all who travel by ship, the sailors, and all who earn their living from the sea, will stand far off.


18 When they see the smoke of her burning, they will exclaim, 'Was there ever a city like this great city?'


19 They will throw dust on their heads, and with weeping and mourning cry out:

"'Woe! Woe, O great city,

where all who had ships on the sea

became rich through her wealth!

In one hour she has been brought to ruin!


20 Rejoice over her, O heaven!

Rejoice, saints and apostles and prophets!

God has judged her for the way she treated you.'"

God has judged her for the way she treated you. The judgment does not come so much from the way she treated the nations, but the way she treated the true followers of Christ.

21 Then a mighty angel picked up a boulder the size of a large millstone and threw it into the sea, and said:

"With such violence

the great city of Babylon will be thrown down,

never to be found again.

boulder the size of a large millstone and threw it into the sea. A description of the fall of nations. Usually nations are described as a “mountain thrown into the see” but this Babylon is not a powerful as regular nations, so she is described as a “bolder” instead. This was also the phrase Jesus used to describe anyone who causes small children to stumble (Matt 18:6).  This whore has hurt the faith of little children.

22 The music of harpists and musicians, flute players and trumpeters,

will never be heard in you again.

No workman of any trade

will ever be found in you again.

The sound of a millstone

will never be heard in you again.


23 The light of a lamp

will never shine in you again.

The voice of bridegroom and bride

will never be heard in you again.

Your merchants were the world's great men.

By your magic spell all the nations were led astray.

The voice of bridegroom and bride will never be heard in you again. A description of her past faithfulness and now a reminder of her infidelity to Christ.

 24 In her was found the blood of prophets and of the saints,

and of all who have been killed on the earth."

and of all who have been killed on the earth. She is both guilty of killing the saints and sinners alike. Not all who died from the Catholic Inquisition were true Christians, some were indeed heretics, but killing them was a crime to God anyways.

Previous  Chapter Nineteen

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