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December 23: Revelation 18

December 23: Revelation 18

The Destruction of Babylon

18 After these things, I saw another angel coming from the heavenly realm with great authority, and the earth was flooded with the brilliance of his splendor. 2 He shouted out with a thunderous voice:

“Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great!
   She has become a demonic dwelling place,
   a prison for every unclean spirit, unclean bird,
   and every unclean, detestable beast.[a]
3 All the nations have drunk[b]
   of the wine of her immoral passion,
   and the kings of the earth
   have committed fornication[c] with her,
   and merchants of the earth have grown wealthy
   because of her power and luxury.”

4 Then I heard another voice from heaven saying:

“My people, come out from her
   so that you don’t participate in her sins
   and have no share with her in her plagues,
5 because her sins are heaped as high as heaven[d]
   and God has remembered her vileness.[e]
6 So repay to her double the same treatment
   that she has treated others with—
   pay her back double for all her deeds
   and make her drink twice the brew she gave to others![f]
7 With the same measure she exalted herself
   and lived luxuriously,
   give her that measure of torment and grief,
   because she said in her heart,
   ‘I am no widow; I rule as a queen!
   I will never experience grief.’
8 Therefore, her plagues will fall on her in one day—
   disease, famine and mourning.
   She will be burned with fire.
   For mighty is the Lord God who judges her!”

9 The kings of the earth who fornicated with her and lived in luxury with her will weep and wail over her when they see the smoke of the fire that burns her up. 10 And they will stand far off, in fear of her torment, saying:

“Oh no! You who were once
   the great and powerful city Babylon,
   now in one hour your complete devastation has come!”

11 The earth’s merchants weep and mourn for her because no one buys their merchandise[g] anymore: 12 their gold, silver, jewels, and pearls, their fine linen, purple cloth, silk, and scarlet cloth, all kinds of things made from expensive wood,[h] ivory, bronze, iron, and marble, 13 quantities of the finest cinnamon, spice, incense, frankincense, and myrrh, wine, olive oil, wheat, and the finest flour, sheep, cattle, horses, and their four-wheeled carriages, and the trafficking of the bodies and souls of people. 14 And they will say:

The splendid delicacies[i] for which your soul craved have departed from you. All your elegance and splendor have disappeared, never to be seen again.

15 Those who sold these things and grew wealthy through their business with her will stand far off, terrified over her torment. They will weep and mourn, saying:

16 “How horrible!
   The great city that once clothed herself
   with fine linen and purple and scarlet cloth
   glittering with gold, with jewels and with pearls—
17 in one brief moment such vast wealth is now laid waste!”

Every ship’s captain and his crew, every seafarer and mariner, watched from far away 18 and cried out as they saw her go up in flames:

“What city was ever like the great city Babylon?”
19 As a sign of their dismay, they threw dust on their heads
   and shouted with sobs and grief:
   “How horrible, so horrible, O great city Babylon!
   For in one moment you suffered such destruction—
   you who once made the merchants on the sea
   so very wealthy.
20 Rejoice over her, O heaven
   You apostles and prophets and holy believers, rejoice!
   For on your behalf
   God pronounced the judgment against her
   that she wanted to bring upon you!

21 Then a mighty angel took up a stone, like a huge millstone, and threw it into the sea, saying:

“With this kind of sudden violence, the great city Babylon
   will be thrown down and exist no more.
22 The music of harps, minstrels, flutes, and trumpets[j]
   will never grace your city again.
   No artisan of any trade will ever be found in you again,
   and the noise of factories[k] falls silent.
23 The light of a lamp will never shine in you again,
   Nor will the joyous laughter of a wedding[l] be heard in you.
   Your merchants were once the tycoons of the world,
   But you deceived all the nations by your sorcery.[m]
24 For the bloodstains of the holy believers and the prophets
   and all who were slaughtered were all over you!”[n]