Exegetical look into Revelation 18:1-10

 

  • By his splendor/glory. ..perhaps referring that this angel is reflecting the glory of God or represents God with a mighty voice and eminence (Ex. 34:29-35; Psalm 104:2; Dan. 10:6; Ezek. 43:1-5; 1 Tim 6:16).
  • Fallen is Babylon the Great! “Babylon” was a codeword for early Jews and Christians, referring to Rome and its oppressions, evils, and tribulations. It comes from Isaiah’s and Jeremiah’s condemnation of Babylon then and how it became a symbol for evil and corruption. This refers to enmity with God and people’s participation in it, as well as the audacity of mocking God and embracing sin. This theme points to those who follow evil and wickedness and refuse responsibility as doomed. In the first century and in the Old Testament Prophets, this meant to sin and fall into seduction—a warning to those in the world and those who claim Christ as Lord. What lures you away from faith and what replaces faith? There have been many speculations of this over the years, but its meaning is clear from word meanings and context. Application of this can point to how Jesus scorned the Jewish leadership, Rome, apostasy in the Church, the evils such as gossip and manipulations in the local churches, as well as bad character of individual Christians who sought/seek to follow the world and not the Word (Is. 21:9; Jer. 51:7-8; Dan. 2:35, 4:30; 44; Rev. 13:1-18; 16:19; 17:1-5; 18:3; 18:2, 10, 21, also Ezra 4; and Matt. 23). See Revelation 14:6-13 studies for more information.
  • Fallen. A pronouncement and perhaps a taunt and lamentation too, in the style of Jeremiah, stating a fact before it actually happened (Is. 21:9; 34:9-15; Jer. 9:11; 49:33; 50:13; 51:8; Rev.11:8; 14:8). 
  • Home/dwelling place. A person’s residence, meaning (in context) that sin is at home where it is welcomed! Where will one place his or her trust and comfort? Will it be Good or Evil—God or the ways of the world (Jer. 50:39)?
  • Maddening wine/wine of sexual immorality. Refers to people who are “deranged,” that teach and/or cause people to sin by “seducing” them into sin. The result is the compromising of their faith and the substitution of fornication for faith. This can be obvious, head-on, evil sin such as murder and deliberate false teaching, or subtle, such as greed, manipulation, and/or slander. In any case, it is opposition to God without fear of Him or the consequences (Jer. 51:7; Rev. 2:20; 14:8).
  • Committed adultery. This refers to the “harlot,” which means “to betray God,” as in betraying Him with occult practices and monstrous evil or petty manipulations and causing others to stumble.
  • Grew rich from her excessive luxuries/delicacies. Here, it is a form of “insolence” and “wantonness,” meaning people are so addicted to extravagance they are having extreme disrespect and immorality toward God and what is good. 
  • Come out. Means a stern warning of sin and to get away from it now! Those who remain faithful will never be cut off. God is saying in fact, “Come out from it and be pure.” because as Christians, we carry the vessel of the LORD (Is. 48:20; 51:11; 52:11; Jer. 50:8; 51:6, 45; Zech 2:7; 1 Cor. 5:10; 2 Cor. 6:17). Some (and for very good reason) see this as a warning to Christians to flee Jerusalem before its destruction in 70 A.D. (Luke 21:20-23; Heb. 12:25-29).
  • Piled up/heaped to heaven. This is a sarcastic remark to those who sin in contrast to the Tower of Babel, in Gen 11. Also, the longer that God delays His judgment, the higher the offences will be, thus the delay may not always be mercy (Gen. 11:1-9; 15:16; 2 Kings 22:20; Jer. 51:9; Matt. 23:34-36; Heb, 8:6).
  • Pay her back double. God’s judgment and retribution is sufficient and fits the offence (Ex. 21:23-25; Neh. 4:4; Esther 9:25; Psalm 7:15-16; 35:8; 57:6; 75:8; Prov. 26:27; Is. 40:2; 51:22; Jer. 16:18; 17:18; 50:15; Rev. 14:9-10; 17:4).
  • Give her as much torture. John is quoting Isaiah 47:8-9, showing how arrogance will never give anyone true security! As the people said the Titanic was unsinkable and God Himself could not sink her, so people said the same of Rome. Their trust was in wealth and luxury—and that will get us nowhere (Is. 32:9; Jer. 48:11; 49:31; Ezek. 16:49; Amos 6:1).
  • A widow. Refers to the cost of war and the loss of good men on battlefields, gaining nothing but pride and its resulting destruction.
  • Consumed/burned up by fire. These judgments affect not just the participating parties, but also resound with an effect on the economy of everyone too. This is a warning to the faithful to be economical and wise, anticipate disaster, and so be prepared, as the early Christians exemplified when Rome marched on Jerusalem. John’s letter was the catalyst to the faithful who heeded his warning and thus escaped harm (Jer. 50:32; Dan. 5:30; Rev. 17:16).
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s