LAMENT FOR BABYLON

(Revelation 18:4-24)

Then, “I heard another voice from heaven, saying, “Come out of her, my people,…” – this is a direct allusion to Jeremiah 51:6, 9, 45 that dealt with the Jews returning from their exile in Babylon, and it’s just an allusion to that. It seems to be God or Christ is speaking here, “…so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues;” – another direct allusion to Jeremiah 51:9. “…for her sins have piled up as high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.” – “God remembering” in the Bible always means God’s judgment (cf. Rev. 16:19). “Pay her back even as she has paid, and give back to her double according to her deeds;” – this is the Biblical truth that ‘we reap what we sow’. This is also an allusion to Jeremiah 16:18 and 17:18. We see the same truth in Isaiah 40:2 and Exodus 22:4-9, she gets paid back, double full justice is what she’s going to have. Now in verse 7, “To the degree that she glorified herself and lived [j]sensuously, to the same degree give her torment and mourning; for she says in her heart,…” – you might want to see Zephaniah 2:15 about pride. Pride seems to be the fall of the evil one. It seems to be the fall of Tyre (cf. Ezek. 28), and Babylon (cf. Isaiah 14) which is the background of satan falling. “…’I sit as a queen and I am not a widow, and will never see mourning.'” – this seems to go back to Isaiah 47:7. And then verse 8 seems to be allusion to Isaiah 47:9 were it says, “For this reason in one day her plagues will come,…” – now down in verse 17 of this chapter, it says her doom will come in a single hour, meaning a very quick and very severe judgment. Now notice these plagues are Old Testament plagues we’ve seen so often back in Leviticus 26, and they are going to fall on her, “…for the Lord God who judges her is strong.” – this is a direct allusion again to Jeremiah 50:34.

There are three groups of people who are going to mourn for her. The kings of the earth are mentioned here in verse 9; the businessmen of the earth in verse 11 and ff; and the sea captains and seamen in verse 17. They’re going to mourn because their religion, their economic trade, and their wealth are destroyed. This is a very specific list of some of the international trade that Rome was involved in. These sea merchants is reminiscent of the city of Tyre because they were also a wealthy sea power, found in Ezekiel 26 and 27. Now if you will drop down to verse 18, “and were crying out as they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, ‘What city is like the great city?’” – this is a direct allusion to Ezekiel 27:32. “And they threw dust on their heads and were crying out, weeping and mourning,…” – that’s Ezekiel 27:30. So you can see the allusions from Old testament passages for the destruction of these proud cities over and over again. Now some say this, “Rejoice over her,…” goes back to Jeremiah 51:48. Others say this goes back to Deuteronomy 32:43, but i think that Jeremiah passage is better.

Now in verse 21 and following, the angel is going to hurl her into the sea. It’s an obvious allusion to Jeremiah 51:63-64. It refers to Tyre also in Ezekiel 26 & 27. We have these musicians will not be heard any longer, and that’s an Old Testament background. She’s going to be totally destroyed and she’s never going to rise again. Now notice down here in the very last it says, the reasons for her fall were: number one, “for your merchants plied their economic pride”; number two, “because all the nations were deceived by your sorcery.” (this is the idea of the evils of the drug trade); and number three, “And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints and of all who have been slain on the earth.” – she’s responsible for killing the people of God for pride, and for alluring all the other nations with the magic of, not only her idolatry but also of her wealth and pride. And so here we have a picture of Babylon the great city, the city of rebellious man organized apart from God. It’s true of Babylon, it’s true of Nineveh,it’s true of Jerusalem, it’s true of Rome, it’s true of New York, it’s true of Hong Kong, it’s true of Moscow, it’s true of men organizing themselves apart from God. There’s going to be an ultimate time for all of them when God’s going to destroy the intransigence of evil. Take courage all ye saints, God is in control of history. He will set all things straight. Hang in there!


The Biblical History of Babylon

Babylon has been the archetype of rebellious men organizing themselves apart from the will of God

The videos are taken from the Lion and Lamb Ministries