The fall of political Babylon

Ancient Babylon reached its greatest glory during King Nebuchadnezzar (604-562 BC). The city was divided into two equal parts by the River Euphrates. It had 25 avenues, 150 feet wide, which ran across the city from north to south. The same number crossed them at right angles from … More

Political Babylon

The fall of political Babylon is announced in the beginning verses of chapter 18. This comes immediately after the destruction of the harlot (Religious Babylon) in chapter 17 which causes many to think that these are one and the same event. However, there are several things that point to the fact they are two different events, though described in similar terms. It seems that the fall of religious Babylon is followed later by the fall of commercial and political Babylon.

The woman of chapter 17 is made desolate, naked, and burned with fire by the beast with the ten horns, whereas the fall of Babylon in chapter 18 is accomplished directly by God at the end of the Tribulation (16:19-21). This chapter continues with the subject of God’s judgement on Babylon. It is proper to think of Babylon in chapter 17 as a vast religious system and now in chapter 18 as a huge interlocking commercial system. This chapter spells out the doom of so called civilization in its social and commercial aspects. Further destruction of Babylon is prophesied by “another angel coming down from heaven” (v. 1). This angel’s power and glory was such that the earth was illuminated by his splendor. Several commentaries suggest that this is Christ represented as Angel-Priest and Avenger.

“Another voice” (angel) from heaven is heard instructing the people of God to leave the city in order to be delivered from the coming catastrophe (v. 4). Death, mourning, famine and fire will come on the city in one day (v. 8).

Application

It would be very easy for me to become more wrapped up in what the world has to offer than in what the Bible has to say about the future. I must keep in mind that it is only the things done for Christ that will last.

Revelation 18:1-8 (English Standard Version)


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