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Babylon destroyed





Revelation 18:8-19

8 Therefore her plagues will come in one day - death and mourning and famine. And she will be utterly burned with fire, for strong is the Lord God who judges her.

9 "The kings of the earth who committed fornication and lived luxuriously with her will weep and lament for her, when they see the smoke of her burning,

10 standing at a distance for fear of her torment, saying, 'Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! For in one hour your judgment has come.'

11 "And the merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her, for no one buys their merchandise anymore:

12 merchandise of gold and silver, precious stones and pearls, fine linen and purple, silk and scarlet, every kind of citron wood, every kind of object of ivory, every kind of object of most precious wood, bronze, iron, and marble;

13 and cinnamon and incense, fragrant oil and frankincense, wine and oil, fine flour and wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and chariots, and bodies and souls of men.

14 The fruit that your soul longed for has gone from you, and all the things which are rich and splendid have gone from you, and you shall find them no more at all.

15 The merchants of these things, who became rich by her, will stand at a distance for fear of her torment, weeping and wailing,

16 and saying, 'Alas, alas, that great city that was clothed in fine linen, purple, and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls!

17 For in one hour such great riches came to nothing.' Every shipmaster, all who travel by ship, sailors, and as many as trade on the sea, stood at a distance

18 and cried out when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, 'What is like this great city?'

19 "They threw dust on their heads and cried out, weeping and wailing, and saying, 'Alas, alas, that great city, in which all who had ships on the sea became rich by her wealth! For in one hour she is made desolate.'


Revelation 18:8 - Therefore her plagues will come in one day - death and mourning and famine. And she will be utterly burned with fire, for strong is the Lord God who judges her.

God will bring judgment of "torment and sorrow" on Babylon (Revelation 18:7) for glorifying herself above God and living luxuriously in the form of "plagues," or calamities that come on her in "one day." Revelation 18:19 narrows down the time of God's judgment to "one hour," and the following parallel passage describes Babylon's judgment as coming "suddenly" in "a moment, in one day":

Isaiah 47:9, 11 - But these two things shall come to you in a moment, in one day: The loss of children, and widowhood. They shall come upon you in their fullness because of the multitude of your sorceries, for the great abundance of your enchantments.... Therefore evil shall come upon you; you shall not know from where it arises. And trouble shall fall upon you; you will not be able to put it off. And desolation shall come upon you suddenly, which you shall not know.

This passage in Isaiah also describes two of the plagues: Death and famine. The plague of "death" is widowhood by the loss of children, or citizens, as discussed in Revelation 18:7. The plague of "famine" is the immediate scarcity of necessities of life caused by desolation of the land and ceasing of trade. The last plague of "mourning" will come on those who profited from Babylon - the kings of the earth, the merchants, and seamen, which we will discuss in later sections:

Revelation 18:9-11 - "The kings of the earth who committed fornication and lived luxuriously with her will weep and lament for her, when they see the smoke of her burning, standing at a distance for fear of her torment, saying, 'Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! For in one hour your judgment has come.' And the merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her, for no one buys their merchandise anymore...."
Revelation 18:17-19 - For in one hour such great riches came to nothing.' Every shipmaster, all who travel by ship, sailors, and as many as trade on the sea, stood at a distance and cried out when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, 'What is like this great city?' "They threw dust on their heads and cried out, weeping and wailing, and saying, 'Alas, alas, that great city, in which all who had ships on the sea became rich by her wealth! For in one hour she is made desolate.'"

These three plagues come on Babylon as a result of God utterly burning her with fire. God will completely destroy the city like Sodom and Gomorrah so that it cannot be found or ever inhabited again:

Revelation 18:21 - Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, "Thus with violence the great city Babylon shall be thrown down, and shall not be found anymore."
Isaiah 13:19-20 - And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldeans' pride, will be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. It will never be inhabited, nor will it be settled from generation to generation; nor will the Arabian pitch tents there, nor will the shepherds make their sheepfolds there.
Jeremiah 50:31-32, 35, 40 - "Behold, I am against you, O most haughty one!" says the Lord GOD of hosts; "For your day has come, the time that I will punish you. The most proud shall stumble and fall, and no one will raise him up; I will kindle a fire in his cities, and it will devour all around him.... A sword is against the Chaldeans," says the LORD, "Against the inhabitants of Babylon, and against her princes and her wise men.... As God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighbors," says the LORD, "So no one shall reside there, nor son of man dwell in it."
Jeremiah 51:58 - Thus says the LORD of hosts: "The broad walls of Babylon shall be utterly broken, and her high gates shall be burned with fire; the people will labor in vain, and the nations, because of the fire; and they shall be weary."

God's judgment is so great because He is strong, being mighty and able to mete out complete and perfect justice:

Job 36:5-6 - "Behold, God is mighty, but despises no one; He is mighty in strength of understanding. He does not preserve the life of the wicked, but gives justice to the oppressed."
Psalms 24:8 - Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.
Joel 2:11 - The LORD gives voice before His army, for His camp is very great; for strong is the One who executes His word. For the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; who can endure it?
Isaiah 9:6-7 - For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.
Jeremiah 50:33-34 - Thus says the LORD of hosts: "The children of Israel were oppressed, along with the children of Judah; all who took them captive have held them fast; they have refused to let them go. Their Redeemer is strong; the LORD of hosts is His name. He will thoroughly plead their case, that He may give rest to the land, and disquiet the inhabitants of Babylon."

God will show His great strength to the world when He utterly destroys the greatest and mightiest city on earth.


Revelation 18:9-10 - "The kings of the earth who committed fornication and lived luxuriously with her will weep and lament for her, when they see the smoke of her burning, standing at a distance for fear of her torment, saying, 'Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! For in one hour your judgment has come.'"

Recall from Revelation 18:3, the ten kings who rule over the world in the first half of the Tribulation commit spiritual fornication with the "great harlot" (Revelation 17:1-2), but then they kill her and give the beast their power to rule over the world (Revelation 17:16-17). The kings and the world will then worship the beast while continuing to revel in the material luxuries the city of Babylon has to offer. The city will further prosper after the harlot's base of worship becomes the center of the beast's kingdom (Revelation 17:18), because global commerce will be tied to worship of the beast (Revelation 13:16-17).

The kings of the earth who had vested interest in Babylon weep and lament over the city because the venue of their power and profit literally goes up in smoke, much like the way God judged the city Tyre in the Old Testament:

Ezekiel 27:32-35 - In their wailing for you they will take up a lamentation, and lament for you: 'What city is like Tyre, destroyed in the midst of the sea?' When your wares went out by sea, you satisfied many people; you enriched the kings of the earth with your many luxury goods and your merchandise. But you are broken by the seas in the depths of the waters; your merchandise and the entire company will fall in your midst. All the inhabitants of the isles will be astonished at you; their kings will be greatly afraid, and their countenance will be troubled.

James shows how lamenting and weeping are the antithesis of laughter and joy, and exudes a sense of deep grief and mourning:

James 4:9 - Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.

The kings of the earth cry out in their lament with: "Alas, alas!" This is the same Greek word also translated as "woe" that the prophets frequently used while they were denunciating someone or something, showing grief, affliction, anguish, deep distress, and lament over coming judgment, instead of protection and well-being from the Lord, as discussed in Revelation 8:13.

The kings of the earth become astounded that such a great, magnificent city could be utterly and suddenly destroyed, much like those who thought the mighty Titanic ship was unsinkable. But Babylon's destruction is so great, and the smoke and fire so hot, that the kings of the earth physically have to stand at a distance because they fear getting engulfed in the tormenting flame. These kings may survive the "torment" of Babylon's destruction, but soon they will suffer the eternal torment because they worshiped the beast:

Revelation 14:9-11 - Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, "If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name."

Revelation 18:11 - "And the merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her, for no one buys their merchandise anymore..."

Recall from Revelation 18:3 that the merchants of the earth are "great men" (Revelation 18:23) who influence the world's affairs through their wealth. Like the kings of the earth, the merchants also lament over the sudden loss of their vested interest in the great city of Babylon that profited them with power and wealth, much like the merchants of Tyre who lost all they had invested in the doomed city:

Ezekiel 27:1-4 - The word of the LORD came again to me, saying, "Now, son of man, take up a lamentation for Tyre, and say to Tyre, 'You who are situated at the entrance of the sea, merchant of the peoples on many coastlands, thus says the Lord GOD: "O Tyre, you have said, 'I am perfect in beauty.' Your borders are in the midst of the seas. Your builders have perfected your beauty."
Ezekiel 27:5-8 - They made all your planks of fir trees from Senir; they took a cedar from Lebanon to make you a mast. Of oaks from Bashan they made your oars; the company of Ashurites have inlaid your planks with ivory from the coasts of Cyprus. Fine embroidered linen from Egypt was what you spread for your sail; blue and purple from the coasts of Elishah was what covered you. "Inhabitants of Sidon and Arvad were your oarsmen; your wise men, O Tyre, were in you; they became your pilots."
Ezekiel 27:9-11 - Elders of Gebal and its wise men were in you to caulk your seams; all the ships of the sea and their oarsmen were in you to market your merchandise. "Those from Persia, Lydia, and Libya were in your army as men of war; they hung shield and helmet in you; they gave splendor to you." Men of Arvad with your army were on your walls all around, and the men of Gammad were in your towers; they hung their shields on your walls all around; they made your beauty perfect.

Like the kings of the earth, we know the merchants are worshippers of the beast, because their trade in the open market is through the mark of the beast:

Revelation 13:15-17 - He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

After God destroys Babylon, the merchant's venue for selling merchandise will be gone, which also removes the source of their covetousness and idolatry:

    "Not only was Babylon a great consumer of luxury goods, she also served as a center of trade. Commercialism is a key contributor to the materialism and godlessness which characterize the city at the end. Although material goods are not inherently evil, an abundance of material wealth often contributes to covetousness and idolatry. As people turn their attention increasingly towards making money and obtaining goods, they neglect the more important things of God."

    Source: SpiritandTruth.org

John Walvoord describes the merchants' relationship with Babylon as follows:

    "The combined picture is one of complete abandonment to the wealth of this world and complete disregard of the God who gave it."

    Source: Enduring Word

The Lord makes it clear that you cannot make an idol out of wealth (mammon) and also serve Him:

Luke 16:13 - "No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon."

So, by destroying Babylon, God will also destroy both the idols of commercialism and materialism.


Revelation 18:12-13 - ...merchandise of gold and silver, precious stones and pearls, fine linen and purple, silk and scarlet, every kind of citron wood, every kind of object of ivory, every kind of object of most precious wood, bronze, iron, and marble; and cinnamon and incense, fragrant oil and frankincense, wine and oil, fine flour and wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and chariots, and bodies and souls of men.

The Lord gives a detailed list of goods the merchants trade in the city of Babylon - the center of global commerce controlled and administered through the mark of the beast. The merchandise can be divided into seven categories, and is similar to the list of merchandise listed in the prophecy fulfilled in history of God's judgment against Tyre that closely parallels Babylon's future destruction, as discussed in the last few sections:


Merchandise Babylon (Revelation 18:12-13) Tyre (Ezekiel 27:12-24)
Precious metals and stones Gold and silver, precious stones and pearls All kinds of precious stones, and gold, silver, emeralds, corals, and rubies
Luxury textiles Fine linen and purple, silk and scarlet Purple clothes, in embroidered garments, in chests of multicolored apparel, in sturdy woven cords, fine linen, and white wool
Costly construction materials Every kind of citron wood, every kind of object of ivory, every kind of object of most precious wood, bronze, iron, and marble Wrought iron, iron, tin, lead, vessels of bronze, ivory tusks, and ebony
Spices and fragrances Cinnamon, incense, fragrant oil and frankincense Cassia, cane, and spices
Staple goods Wine, oil, fine flour and wheat Wheat, millet, honey, oil, balm, and wine
Livestock and transportation Cattle, sheep, horses and chariots Lambs, rams, goats, horses, steeds, mules, and saddlecloths for riding
Human trafficking* Bodies and souls of men Human lives

    *Human trafficking may include more than slavery for labor or sexual exploitation. It may include Nazi-like medical experimentation (source), organ extraction, research and use of tissue from aborted fetuses, or genetic research and experimentation - perhaps even cannibalism. The "souls of men" probably refers to spiritual slavery and eternal damnation for those who accept the mark of the beast.


Revelation 18:14 - The fruit that your soul longed for has gone from you, and all the things which are rich and splendid have gone from you, and you shall find them no more at all.

"Fruit" is the return or reward of labor. The wicked bear rotten, or bad fruit because they do not abide in Christ. Believers bear the fruit of good works when they abide in Christ:

John 15:1-5, 16 - "I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.... You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you."
Ephesians 2:10 - For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

Jesus compares the difference in the fruit between the righteous and the wicked using imagery of good and bad trees:

Matthew 7:17-19, 33 - Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.... Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit.
Luke 6:43-44 - "For a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. For every tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush."

In similar wording, Micah's soul desired that his brethren would have produced the good fruit of righteousness, but instead they produced rotten fruit which Babylon's soul longed for. The picture of summer fruit of the wicked in Amos which is over-ripe, compared to the first-ripe fruit of righteousness Micah desired, shows Israel was over-ripe for judgment:

Micah 7:1-2 - Woe is me! For I am like those who gather summer fruits, like those who glean vintage grapes; there is no cluster to eat of the first-ripe fruit which my soul desires. The faithful man has perished from the earth, and there is no one upright among men. They all lie in wait for blood; every man hunts his brother with a net.
Amos 8:1-3 - Thus the Lord GOD showed me: Behold, a basket of summer fruit. And He said, "Amos, what do you see?" So I said, "A basket of summer fruit." Then the LORD said to me: "The end has come upon My people Israel; I will not pass by them anymore. And the songs of the temple shall be wailing in that day," says the Lord GOD - "Many dead bodies everywhere, they shall be thrown out in silence."

The "fruit" that the soul of Babylon longed for was bad fruit, as she lusted after all things "rich and splendid," which speaks of self-indulgence, being lovers of pleasure and self, instead of lovers of God, as discussed in Revelation 18:7:

2 Timothy 3:1-4 - But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God....

All who lust after the things of the world the way Babylon did instead of seeking the God who created them always follow the path of destruction:

1 John 2:15-17 - Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world - the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life - is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
1 Timothy 6:9-10 - But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
Proverbs 11:28-30 - He who trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like foliage. He who troubles his own house will inherit the wind, and the fool will be servant to the wise of heart. The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise.

Only God can fill the longing of the soul through the fruit that is produced by following His way and not our own:

Psalms 107:8-9 - Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men! For He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness.
Proverbs 1:29-33 - "Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the LORD, they would have none of my counsel and despised my every rebuke. Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way, and be filled to the full with their own fancies. For the turning away of the simple will slay them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them; but whoever listens to me will dwell safely, and will be secure, without fear of evil."

Babylon will find material riches of the city "no more at all," meaning that there will be no trace of the city left in existence, leaving no hope of rebuilding after God judges her, which is why the merchants who became rich by her will lament so greatly over her complete destruction.


Revelation 18:15-16 - The merchants of these things, who became rich by her, will stand at a distance for fear of her torment, weeping and wailing, and saying, 'Alas, alas, that great city that was clothed in fine linen, purple, and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls!'

The angel reiterates that the merchants will lament like the kings of the earth:

Revelation 18:9-11 - "The kings of the earth who committed fornication and lived luxuriously with her will weep and lament for her, when they see the smoke of her burning, standing at a distance for fear of her torment, saying, 'Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! For in one hour your judgment has come.' And the merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her, for no one buys their merchandise anymore...."

The merchants cry out in similar fashion to the kings of the earth in lament over Babylon's destruction: 'Alas, alas, that great city!' Recall that "alas" is the same word also translated as "woe" that the prophets frequently used while they were denunciating someone or something, showing grief, affliction, anguish, deep distress, and lament over coming judgment, instead of protection and well-being from the Lord, as discussed in Revelation 8:13. The merchants lament over the sudden loss of their vested interest in the great city of Babylon that profited them with power and wealth, because they have no power to save the great city:

Isaiah 47:1, 14-15 - "Come down and sit in the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon.... Behold, they shall be as stubble, the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame; it shall not be a coal to be warmed by, nor a fire to sit before! Thus shall they be to you with whom you have labored, your merchants from your youth; they shall wander each one to his quarter. No one shall save you."

Like the kings of the earth, the merchants become astounded that such a magnificent, beautiful city could be utterly destroyed. Recall that the smoke and fire of the burning city is so hot, that those who witness its destruction stand at a distance because they fear getting engulfed in the tormenting flame. The merchants who stand at a distance in fear may survive the "torment" of Babylon's destruction, but soon they will suffer the eternal torment because they worship the beast like the kings of the earth (Revelation 14:9-11), as discussed in Revelation 18:9-10.

The same exquisite precious metals, stones, and textiles that clothe the city Babylon also adorned the counterfeit religion of the "great harlot" who used God's design of worship in His holy temple and perverted it, as shown below and discussed in Revelation 17:4:


The Great HarlotTemple of the Lord
Blasphemous name on forehead"Holiness to the Lord" on a plate of gold worn on the forehead (Exodus 28:36-38)
Golden cup full of abominations and wine or filthiness of her fornication (forsaking God and rejecting His covenant)Golden cups used for wine in drink offerings, which represents the covenant Jesus made with His blood (Exodus 37:16, Numbers 28:14, Luke 22:20)
Adorned with gold and precious stones and pearlsThe Temple was adorned with gold and precious stones and marble (1 Chronicles 29:2)
Arrayed in purple and scarletThe tapestries of the temple and garments of the high priest were woven with purple, scarlet and blue thread (Exodus 26:31, 26:36, 28:8, 28:15, 39:29)


Revelation 18:17-19 - 'For in one hour such great riches came to nothing.' Every shipmaster, all who travel by ship, sailors, and as many as trade on the sea, stood at a distance and cried out when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, 'What is like this great city?' "They threw dust on their heads and cried out, weeping and wailing, and saying, 'Alas, alas, that great city, in which all who had ships on the sea became rich by her wealth! For in one hour she is made desolate.'"

As discussed earlier, Babylon's complete destruction will come suddenly, in a moment, in one day, with the time narrowed down to one hour:

Isaiah 47:9, 11 - But these two things shall come to you in a moment, in one day: The loss of children, and widowhood. They shall come upon you in their fullness because of the multitude of your sorceries, for the great abundance of your enchantments.... Therefore evil shall come upon you; you shall not know from where it arises. And trouble shall fall upon you; you will not be able to put it off. And desolation shall come upon you suddenly, which you shall not know.
Revelation 18:8-10 - Therefore her plagues will come in one day - death and mourning and famine. And she will be utterly burned with fire, for strong is the Lord God who judges her. "The kings of the earth who committed fornication and lived luxuriously with her will weep and lament for her, when they see the smoke of her burning, standing at a distance for fear of her torment, saying, 'Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! For in one hour your judgment has come.'"

All seamen will carry Babylon's merchandise, showing it is the global center for commerce by the end of the Tribulation. These seamen become wealthy like the kings and merchants, and likewise lament over the sudden loss of their vested interest in the great city. In addition to crying "alas" showing grief, affliction, anguish, and deep distress, as discussed in Revelation 8:13, they throw dust on their heads like the seamen who lamented Tyre's destruction in the Old Testament:

Ezekiel 27:25-31 - "The ships of Tarshish were carriers of your merchandise. You were filled and very glorious in the midst of the seas. Your oarsmen brought you into many waters, but the east wind broke you in the midst of the seas. Your riches, wares, and merchandise, your mariners and pilots, your caulkers and merchandisers, all your men of war who are in you, and the entire company which is in your midst, will fall into the midst of the seas on the day of your ruin. The common-land will shake at the sound of the cry of your pilots. All who handle the oar, the mariners, all the pilots of the sea will come down from their ships and stand on the shore. They will make their voice heard because of you; they will cry bitterly and cast dust on their heads; they will roll about in ashes; they will shave themselves completely bald because of you, gird themselves with sackcloth, and weep for you with bitterness of heart and bitter wailing."

Throwing dust on the head is an ancient custom that outwardly shows inward grief and despair. The godly would sometimes throw dust on their head, sit in ashes, and wear sackcloth when they humbled themselves in repentance before God, but unbelievers also did it when they were in great mourning and anguish:

Esther 4:1-3 - When Mordecai learned all that had happened, he tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the midst of the city. He cried out with a loud and bitter cry. He went as far as the front of the king's gate, for no one might enter the king's gate clothed with sackcloth. And in every province where the king's command and decree arrived, there was great mourning among the Jews, with fasting, weeping, and wailing; and many lay in sackcloth and ashes.
Job 16:15-16 - "I have sewn sackcloth over my skin, and laid my head in the dust. My face is flushed from weeping, and on my eyelids is the shadow of death...."
Jeremiah 6:26 - O daughter of my people, dress in sackcloth and roll about in ashes! Make mourning as for an only son, most bitter lamentation; for the plunderer will suddenly come upon us.
Lamentations 2:10 - The elders of the daughter of Zion sit on the ground and keep silence; they throw dust on their heads and gird themselves with sackcloth. The virgins of Jerusalem bow their heads to the ground.
Daniel 9:3 - Then I set my face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes.
Jonah 3:6-8 - Then word came to the king of Nineveh; and he arose from his throne and laid aside his robe, covered himself with sackcloth and sat in ashes. And he caused it to be proclaimed and published throughout Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything; do not let them eat, or drink water. But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily to God; yes, let every one turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands.
Matthew 11:20-22 - Then He began to rebuke the cities in which most of His mighty works had been done, because they did not repent: "Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you."

The seamen ask in their lament: "What is like this great city?" Like the kings of the earth and the merchants, the seamen become astonished that such a magnificent city with no city comparable to it in greatness or riches could be so utterly destroyed that its massive riches come to nothing and that no one will ever be able to inhabit the city ever again because God will make it desolate forever:

Isaiah 13:19-20 - And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldeans' pride, will be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. It will never be inhabited, nor will it be settled from generation to generation; nor will the Arabian pitch tents there, nor will the shepherds make their sheepfolds there.
Jeremiah 51:8, 26, 29, 41, 62 - Babylon has suddenly fallen and been destroyed. Wail for her! Take balm for her pain; perhaps she may be healed.... They shall not take from you a stone for a corner nor a stone for a foundation, but you shall be desolate forever," says the LORD.... And the land will tremble and sorrow; for every purpose of the LORD shall be performed against Babylon, to make the land of Babylon a desolation without inhabitant.... "Oh, how Sheshach is taken! Oh, how the praise of the whole earth is seized! How Babylon has become desolate among the nations!" ...then you shall say, 'O LORD, You have spoken against this place to cut it off, so that none shall remain in it, neither man nor beast, but it shall be desolate forever.'

Incidentally, this passage shows that Babylon will be a port city with all the seamen of the world carrying her merchandise to trade in the capital of global commerce. Some object that Babylon is a literal city rebuilt on its ancient ruins, because the area of the ancient city is not that close to the coast of Persian Gulf, but Jeremiah says the city will "dwell by many waters":

Jeremiah 51:12-13 - Set up the standard on the walls of Babylon; make the guard strong, set up the watchmen, prepare the ambushes. For the LORD has both devised and done what He spoke against the inhabitants of Babylon. O you who dwell by many waters, abundant in treasures, your end has come, the measure of your covetousness.

Ancient Babylon sat near the Euphrates river. Commercial ships cannot easily navigate the river all the way to the area of ancient Babylon without parts of it being dredged. Cargo can be moved up the river from ships on barges, or on land by truck or train. But another possibility that fits better with Jeremiah's prophecy is that the geographic landscape might change in the Tribulation due to the massive tectonic shifting described in Revelation 6:12-14. With the area in the river valleys of the Tigris and Euphrates being near sea-level, a massive earthquake in the area could widen the river valleys and allow the Persian Gulf to move further inland toward the area of Babylon as demonstrated on the map below:

Possible change to Persian Gulf Coastline during the Tribulation

Map Source: Wikipedia

In any event, just because Babylon will be a seaport and today that doesn't seem possible or practical does not mean that it is not. We should take care not to dismiss prophecies as not being literal, or spiritualize Babylon as a different city, just because we cannot fathom Babylon as a seaport based on today's circumstances:

Revelation 18:20-24


Revelation 18:20 - "Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you holy apostles and prophets, for God has avenged you on her!"

The angel tells the inhabitants of Heaven to "rejoice" over Babylon like they did when Satan was cast out of Heaven in the middle of the Tribulation because he was the accuser of the brethren before the throne:

Revelation 12:10-12 - Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, "Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time."

The angel says Heaven should rejoice because God avenges His people through judgment on the city, because as we will discuss later, God holds Babylon accountable for shedding the blood of all His people:

Revelation 18:24 - "And in her was found the blood of prophets and saints, and of all who were slain on the earth."
Revelation 19:2 - "For true and righteous are His judgments, because He has judged the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication; and He has avenged on her the blood of His servants shed by her."

God promised back during the Exodus that He would avenge the blood of His people, and Christ reiterated His promise of avenging them during His ministry:

Deuteronomy 32:43 - "Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people; for He will avenge the blood of His servants, and render vengeance to His adversaries; He will provide atonement for His land and His people."
Luke 18:6-8 - Then the Lord said, "Hear what the unjust judge said. And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?"

Jeremiah shows that heaven and earth will rejoice over God's judgment on Babylon because of the evil she did against His chosen people:

Jeremiah 51:5-6, 11, 24 - "For Israel is not forsaken, nor Judah, by his God, the LORD of hosts, though their land was filled with sin against the Holy One of Israel." Flee from the midst of Babylon, and every one save his life! Do not be cut off in her iniquity, for this is the time of the LORD's vengeance; He shall recompense her.... Make the arrows bright! Gather the shields! The LORD has raised up the spirit of the kings of the Medes. For His plan is against Babylon to destroy it, because it is the vengeance of the LORD, the vengeance for His temple.... "And I will repay Babylon and all the inhabitants of Chaldea for all the evil they have done in Zion in your sight," says the LORD.
Jeremiah 51:35-36, 48-49 - "Let the violence done to me and my flesh be upon Babylon," the inhabitant of Zion will say; "and my blood be upon the inhabitants of Chaldea!" Jerusalem will say. Therefore thus says the LORD: "Behold, I will plead your case and take vengeance for you. I will dry up her sea and make her springs dry.... Then the heavens and the earth and all that is in them shall sing joyously over Babylon; for the plunderers shall come to her from the north," says the LORD. As Babylon has caused the slain of Israel to fall, so at Babylon the slain of all the earth shall fall.

Heaven includes all the saints, but the angel singles out the holy apostles and prophets when telling them to rejoice over God's judgment on Babylon. All through history the prophets were all severely persecuted and many martyred:

1 Kings 19:9-10 - And there he went into a cave, and spent the night in that place; and behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and He said to him, "What are you doing here, Elijah?" So he said, "I have been very zealous for the LORD God of hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life."
Nehemiah 9:26 - "Nevertheless they were disobedient and rebelled against You, cast Your law behind their backs and killed You prophets, who testified against them to turn them to Yourself; and they worked great provocations."
Jeremiah 15:15-18 - O LORD, You know; remember me and visit me, and take vengeance for me on my persecutors. In Your enduring patience, do not take me away. Know that for Your sake I have suffered rebuke. Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; for I am called by Your name, O LORD God of hosts. I did not sit in the assembly of the mockers, nor did I rejoice; I sat alone because of Your hand, for You have filled me with indignation. Why is my pain perpetual and my wound incurable, which refuses to be healed? Will You surely be to me like an unreliable stream, as waters that fail?
Acts 7:52-53 - "Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who foretold the coming of the Just One, of whom you now have become the betrayers and murderers, who have received the law by the direction of angels and have not kept it."

Two prophets in the Tribulation will also be martyred. Ironically, the earth will "rejoice" over their death right before judgment comes down on them when Heaven rejoices over the Lord's vengeance on those who shed the blood of His people:

Revelation 11:3, 7, 10 - "And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth...." When they finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them. And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth.

Christ's apostles were also severely persecuted and killed like the prophets:

1 Thessalonians 2:14-15 - For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God which are in Judea in Christ Jesus. For you also suffered the same things from your own countrymen, just as they did from the Judeans, who killed both the Lord Jesus and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they do not please God and are contrary to all men....
1 Corinthians 4:9-13 - For I think that God has displayed us, the apostles, last, as men condemned to death; for we have been made a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men. We are fools for Christ's sake, but you are wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are distinguished, but we are dishonored! To the present hour we both hunger and thirst, and we are poorly clothed, and beaten, and homeless. And we labor, working with our own hands. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure; being defamed, we entreat. We have been made as the filth of the world, the offscouring of all things until now.

God built His household of saints on the "foundation of the apostles and prophets," meaning He appointed them as leaders to preach God's Word that would lead to repentance and salvation of the people:

Ephesians 2:19-20 - Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone....

God gave the apostles and prophets a greater responsibility than most to share His Word in some of the most difficult times and situations and draws attention to them here to acknowledge their sacrifice and service. The apostles and prophets are invited to rejoice and be exceedingly glad when the Lord vindicates them for the all the trouble they had to endure:

Matthew 5:11-12 - "Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you."

Asaph's prayer in his psalm below shows that God must avenge His servants to protect His name's sake among the nations:

Psalms 79:1-5 - A Psalm of Asaph. O God, the nations have come into Your inheritance; Your holy temple they have defiled; they have laid Jerusalem in heaps. The dead bodies of Your servants - they have given as food for the birds of the heavens, the flesh of Your saints to the beasts of the earth. Their blood they have shed like water all around Jerusalem, and there was no one to bury them. We have become a reproach to our neighbors, a scorn and derision to those who are around us. How long, LORD? Will You be angry forever? Will Your jealousy burn like fire?
Psalms 79:6-10 - Pour out Your wrath on the nations that do not know You, and on the kingdoms that do not call on Your name. For they have devoured Jacob, and laid waste his dwelling place. Oh, do not remember former iniquities against us! Let Your tender mercies come speedily to meet us, for we have been brought very low. Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of Your name; and deliver us, and provide atonement for our sins, for Your name's sake! Why should the nations say, "Where is their God?" Let there be known among the nations in our sight the avenging of the blood of Your servants which has been shed.

Revelation 18:21 - Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, "Thus with violence the great city Babylon shall be thrown down, and shall not be found anymore."

After God destroys Babylon with fire, an angel takes a great stone and throws it into the sea to demonstrate how the city will be violently submerged by water. Jeremiah told Seraiah to dramatize this judgment by tying stone to a book containing the prophecies against Babylon and throw it into the Euphrates River, where the city will sink and not be found anymore:

Jeremiah 51:42, 54-56 - The sea has come up over Babylon; she is covered with the multitude of its waves.... The sound of a cry comes from Babylon, and great destruction from the land of the Chaldeans, because the LORD is plundering Babylon and silencing her loud voice, though her waves roar like great waters, and the noise of their voice is uttered, because the plunderer comes against her, against Babylon, and her mighty men are taken. Every one of their bows is broken; for the LORD is the God of recompense, He will surely repay.
Jeremiah 51:60-64 - So Jeremiah wrote in a book all the evil that would come upon Babylon, all these words that are written against Babylon. And Jeremiah said to Seraiah, "When you arrive in Babylon and see it, and read all these words, then you shall say, 'O LORD, You have spoken against this place to cut it off, so that none shall remain in it, neither man nor beast, but it shall be desolate forever.' Now it shall be, when you have finished reading this book, that you shall tie a stone to it and throw it out into the Euphrates. Then you shall say, 'Thus Babylon shall sink and not rise from the catastrophe that I will bring upon her. And they shall be weary.'" Thus far are the words of Jeremiah.

God's proclamation against Babylon is more evidence that Babylon will be rebuilt in the same area as the ancient city near the Euphrates River, where it will meet its violent, ultimate demise and made desolate forever like the city Tyre whose judgment closely parallels Babylon's destruction, as we have discussed throughout chapter 18:

Ezekiel 26:18-21 - Now the coastlands tremble on the day of your fall; yes, the coastlands by the sea are troubled at your departure. "For thus says the Lord GOD: 'When I make you a desolate city, like cities that are not inhabited, when I bring the deep upon you, and great waters cover you, then I will bring you down with those who descend into the Pit, to the people of old, and I will make you dwell in the lowest part of the earth, in places desolate from antiquity, with those who go down to the Pit, so that you may never be inhabited; and I shall establish glory in the land of the living. I will make you a terror, and you shall be no more; though you are sought for, you will never be found again,' says the Lord GOD."

God is longsuffering (2 Peter 3:7-10), but when the time comes for Him to judge He does so with great wrath and violence:

Jeremiah 23:19-20 - Behold, a whirlwind of the LORD has gone forth in fury - a violent whirlwind! It will fall violently on the head of the wicked. The anger of the LORD will not turn back Until He has executed and performed the thoughts of His heart. In the latter days you will understand it perfectly.
Jeremiah 30:23-24 - Behold, the whirlwind of the LORD - Goes forth with fury, a continuing whirlwind; it will fall violently on the head of the wicked. The fierce anger of the LORD will not return until He has done it, and until He has performed the intents of His heart. In the latter days you will consider it.

The stone the angel throws into the sea is like a great millstone, which is a heavy stone used to grind grain. The Lord gives this same imagery in His warning to those who lead others into sin, particularly children:

Luke 17:1-2 - Then He said to the disciples, "It is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones."

Babylon is guilty of deceiving the nations into sin (Revelation 18:3, 23), and will suffer the same fate as those who lead children into sin. God holds leaders and nations responsible for causing others to sin, like the evil kings in Israel in the Old Testament, whose dynasties were continually replaced because they caused the people to sin in idolatry, provoking the Lord. The following example of a king who made Israel sin was Ahab, one of the most evil kings who ever ruled over Israel:

1 Kings 21:20-22 - So Ahab said to Elijah, "Have you found me, O my enemy?" And he answered, "I have found you, because you have sold yourself to do evil in the sight of the LORD: 'Behold, I will bring calamity on you. I will take away your posterity, and will cut off from Ahab every male in Israel, both bond and free. I will make your house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah, because of the provocation with which you have provoked Me to anger, and made Israel sin.'"
1 Kings 21:27-29 - So it was, when Ahab heard those words, that he tore his clothes and put sackcloth on his body, and fasted and lay in sackcloth, and went about mourning. And the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, "See how Ahab has humbled himself before Me? Because he has humbled himself before Me, I will not bring the calamity in his days. In the days of his son I will bring the calamity on his house."

Ahab repented, so God postponed removing Ahab's dynasty until the next generation (2 Kings 1:17), but the "great harlot" Babylon will not repent and God will not delay or diminish her judgment.

The imagery of Babylon's final demise by a great stone is also shown in Nebuchadnezzar's dream of the statue which represents empires of the world who persecuted Israel. The last kingdom represented by iron and clay feet is the revived Roman empire centered in Babylon, and will be replaced by Christ's earthy kingdom represented by the stone that is like a mountain:

Daniel 2:31-35 - "You, O king, were watching; and behold, a great image! This great image, whose splendor was excellent, stood before you; and its form was awesome. This image's head was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. You watched while a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed together, and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; the wind carried them away so that no trace of them was found. And the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth."

Revelation 18:22-23 - The sound of harpists, musicians, flutists, and trumpeters shall not be heard in you anymore. No craftsman of any craft shall be found in you anymore, and the sound of a millstone shall not be heard in you anymore. The light of a lamp shall not shine in you anymore, and the voice of bridegroom and bride shall not be heard in you anymore. For your merchants were the great men of the earth, for by your sorcery all the nations were deceived.

To emphasize how absolute Babylon's desolation is, the angel goes on to list activities common to a thriving normal society. It makes sense that Babylon's destruction happens right before Jesus returns, because it will bring the global economy to a grinding halt, but Jesus said that there would be a sense of normalcy with harvesting and preparing food, eating, drinking, and marrying continuing up until He returns:

Matthew 24:38-41 - For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left.

God gave a prophecy against Judah with similar imagery, where He intended to exile His people from the land because of their idolatry. These passages show how Judah's society turned upside down, and the land became desolate after God evicted them from the land:

Jeremiah 7:30-31, 34 - "For the children of Judah have done evil in My sight," says the LORD. "They have set their abominations in the house which is called by My name, to pollute it. And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, nor did it come into My heart.... Then I will cause to cease from the cities of Judah and from the streets of Jerusalem the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride. For the land shall be desolate."
Jeremiah 16:9-13 - For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: "Behold, I will cause to cease from this place, before your eyes and in your days, the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride. And it shall be, when you show this people all these words, and they say to you, 'Why has the LORD pronounced all this great disaster against us? Or what is our iniquity? Or what is our sin that we have committed against the LORD our God?' then you shall say to them, 'Because your fathers have forsaken Me,' says the LORD; 'they have walked after other gods and have served them and worshiped them, and have forsaken Me and not kept My law. And you have done worse than your fathers, for behold, each one follows the dictates of his own evil heart, so that no one listens to Me. Therefore I will cast you out of this land into a land that you do not know, neither you nor your fathers; and there you shall serve other gods day and night, where I will not show you favor.'"

God used Babylon to judge Judah, but they went beyond what God commissioned them to do, so eventually God will make Babylon a perpetual desolation and will permanently restore Israel as a combined kingdom:

Jeremiah 25:5-9 - "They said, 'Repent now everyone of his evil way and his evil doings, and dwell in the land that the LORD has given to you and your fathers forever and ever. Do not go after other gods to serve them and worship them, and do not provoke Me to anger with the works of your hands; and I will not harm you.' Yet you have not listened to Me," says the LORD, "that you might provoke Me to anger with the works of your hands to your own hurt." Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts: 'Because you have not heard My words, behold, I will send and take all the families of the north,' says the LORD, 'and Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, My servant, and will bring them against this land, against its inhabitants, and against these nations all around, and will utterly destroy them, and make them an astonishment, a hissing, and perpetual desolations.'
Jeremiah 25:10-12 - Moreover I will take from them the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstones and the light of the lamp. And this whole land shall be a desolation and an astonishment, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. 'Then it will come to pass, when seventy years are completed, that I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation, the land of the Chaldeans, for their iniquity,' says the LORD; 'and I will make it a perpetual desolation.'
Jeremiah 33:6-9 - 'Behold, I will bring it health and healing; I will heal them and reveal to them the abundance of peace and truth. And I will cause the captives of Judah and the captives of Israel to return, and will rebuild those places as at the first. I will cleanse them from all their iniquity by which they have sinned against Me, and I will pardon all their iniquities by which they have sinned and by which they have transgressed against Me. Then it shall be to Me a name of joy, a praise, and an honor before all nations of the earth, who shall hear all the good that I do to them; they shall fear and tremble for all the goodness and all the prosperity that I provide for it.'
Jeremiah 33:10-12 - "Thus says the LORD: 'Again there shall be heard in this place - of which you say, "It is desolate, without man and without beast" - in the cities of Judah, in the streets of Jerusalem that are desolate, without man and without inhabitant and without beast, the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voice of those who will say: "Praise the LORD of hosts, for the LORD is good, for His mercy endures forever" - and of those who will bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the LORD. For I will cause the captives of the land to return as at the first,' says the LORD. "Thus says the LORD of hosts: 'In this place which is desolate, without man and without beast, and in all its cities, there shall again be a dwelling place of shepherds causing their flocks to lie down.'"

In this last passage in Jeremiah 33:10-12, we see that societies thrive when the people worship the Lord. But Satan always tries to counterfeit true worship and deceive people into worshiping false gods, which always leads to destruction because it is against or absent of God:


True worship of God Counterfeit idol worship
All types of musical instruments use to worship the Lord (2 Samuel 6:5,
1 Chronicles 13:8, 15:16-28, 25:6,
2 Chronicles 5:13
).
King Nebuchadnezzar made the people worship a golden image at the sound of a symphony of all types of musical instruments (Daniel 3:5-15).
Craftsman build the temple
(1 Chronicles 28:21, 2 Chronicles 2:13, 4:16, Jeremiah 10:8-9).
Craftsman built idols (Deuteronomy 27:15,
1 Chronicles 28:21
).
Grain was harvested and ground with millstones into fine flour for grain offerings (Leviticus 2). The people made cakes with flour as an offering to the "queen of heaven" (Jeremiah 7:18, 44:17-25).
Lamp was continually lit in the temple (Leviticus 24:1-2), which represents Christ (John 1:5-9) and the Holy Spirit (Revelation 4:5). Darkness is absence of light, so darkness is absence of God since He is light (John 1:7-9, Revelation 22:5). Anyone who does not believe in Christ abides in darkness (John 12:46). Fornicators and idolaters are of darkness not of light (2 Corinthians 6:14-16, Ephesians 5:5-11).
Bridegroom and Bride - Marriage is sanctioned by God and represents Christ and the Church (Ephesians 5:22-33). Idolatry is spiritual harlotry which mocks God's pattern of marriage and His relationship with His people (Jeremiah 3, Hosea 2).

Babylon used sorcery, or witchcraft (Revelation 9:21) to deceive the nations and amassed her power through the merchants who influence and help direct global affairs, as discussed in Revelation 18:3. Neither Babylon's counsels of sorcery or merchants will be able to save her or bring her back, as Isaiah explains in detail in the passages below:

Isaiah 47:7-9 - And you said, 'I shall be a lady forever,' so that you did not take these things to heart, nor remember the latter end of them. "Therefore hear this now, you who are given to pleasures, who dwell securely, who say in your heart, 'I am, and there is no one else besides me; I shall not sit as a widow, nor shall I know the loss of children'; but these two things shall come to you in a moment, in one day: The loss of children, and widowhood. They shall come upon you in their fullness because of the multitude of your sorceries, for the great abundance of your enchantments."
Isaiah 47:10-12 - "For you have trusted in your wickedness; you have said, 'No one sees me'; your wisdom and your knowledge have warped you; and you have said in your heart, 'I am, and there is no one else besides me.'" Therefore evil shall come upon you; you shall not know from where it arises. And trouble shall fall upon you; you will not be able to put it off. And desolation shall come upon you suddenly, which you shall not know. "Stand now with your enchantments and the multitude of your sorceries, in which you have labored from your youth - Perhaps you will be able to profit, perhaps you will prevail."
Isaiah 47:13-15 - You are wearied in the multitude of your counsels; let now the astrologers, the stargazers, and the monthly prognosticators stand up and save you from what shall come upon you. Behold, they shall be as stubble, the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame; it shall not be a coal to be warmed by, nor a fire to sit before! Thus shall they be to you with whom you have labored, your merchants from your youth; they shall wander each one to his quarter. No one shall save you.

Revelation 18:24 - "And in her was found the blood of prophets and saints, and of all who were slain on the earth."

Recall from Revelation 18:20, God will destroy the city Babylon to avenge all of His servants that have been slain from the beginning of time, including His holy apostles and prophets:

Revelation 18:20 - "Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you holy apostles and prophets, for God has avenged you on her...!"

As discussed in Revelation 17:6, the city Babylon was not even in existence at the beginning of time when Cain killed God's first servant Abel. Nevertheless, God will hold Babylon accountable for the blood of all His servants, the way He held Israel accountable who actually killed God's holy apostles and prophets:

Matthew 23:29-36 - "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, and say, 'If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.' "Therefore you are witnesses against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers' guilt. Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell? Therefore, indeed, I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes: some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city, that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. Assuredly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.""
Luke 11:47-51 - Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets, and your fathers killed them. In fact, you bear witness that you approve the deeds of your fathers; for they indeed killed them, and you build their tombs. Therefore the wisdom of God also said, 'I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they will kill and persecute,' that the blood of all the prophets which was shed from the foundation of the world may be required of this generation, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah who perished between the altar and the temple. Yes, I say to you, it shall be required of this generation.

God will hold Babylon accountable because the murder of Abel eventually led to a global rebellion that was first realized at Babel. This rebellion against God spread to the nations through false religions that later infiltrated Israel leading directly to their killing the prophets and the holy apostles.

In Babylon God "found the blood" of all His saints which shows that the evidence speaks for itself in her offense, as when Judah transgressed against God:

Jeremiah 2:34-35 - Also on your skirts is found the blood of the lives of the poor innocents. I have not found it by secret search, but plainly on all these things. Yet you say, 'Because I am innocent, surely His anger shall turn from me.' Behold, I will plead My case against you, because you say, 'I have not sinned.'

Not only will Babylon murder God's saints, she will become drunk with their blood. As discussed in Revelation 17:6, the "great harlot" starts killing saints, which becomes a demonic addiction to the point of spiritual drunkenness, like Hitler who tried to commit irrational, senseless genocide against the Jews during the Holocaust:

Revelation 17:6 - I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement.

As discussed in Revelation 17:1, the "great harlot" rules over the inhabitants of the earth and apparently compels her worshippers to kill God's saints for her, as the third Bowl judgment is punishment on the earth dwellers who shed the blood of the saints:

Revelation 16:4-7 - Then the third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs of water, and they became blood. And I heard the angel of the waters saying: "You are righteous, O Lord, the One who is and who was and who is to be, because You have judged these things. For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and You have given them blood to drink. For it is their just due." And I heard another from the altar saying, "Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgments."

An angel from the altar praises the Lord for His justice on those who shed the blood of His saints and prophets. This is the justice the martyred saints have waited for since the fifth Seal judgment near the beginning of the Tribulation:

Revelation 6:9-11 - When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. And they cried with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.

Recall that God's judgment on Babylon for His martyred saints happens in two steps - first by destroying the harlot religion in the middle of the Tribulation and finally by destroying the city itself at the end of the Tribulation:

Revelation 17:16-17 - And the ten horns which you saw on the beast, these will hate the harlot, make her desolate and naked, eat her flesh and burn her with fire. For God has put it into their hearts to fulfill His purpose, to be of one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled.
Revelation 18:20 - "Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you holy apostles and prophets, for God has avenged you on her!"

As we will see in the next chapter, God's vengeance for the blood shed of His servants will be completely satisfied after His final judgment of Babylon, when He destroys the city:

Revelation 19:2 - "For true and righteous are His judgments, because He has judged the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication; and He has avenged on her the blood of His servants shed by her."
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Revelation Flow Chart:

Revelation Flow Chart

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