The Sinful City is Fallen

Revelation 17:1-20:3

171One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and spoke with me, saying,

ONE OF THE SEVEN ANGELS

Come here. I will show you the judgment of the great prostitute who sits on many waters, 2with whom the kings of the earth committed sexual immorality, and those who dwell in the earth were made drunken with the wine of her sexual immorality.

3He carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness. I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet-colored animal, full of blasphemous names, having seven heads and ten horns. 4The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of the sexual immorality of the earth. 5And on her forehead a name was written, “MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF THE PROSTITUTES AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” 6I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. When I saw her, I wondered with great amazement. 7The angel said to me,

ONE OF THE SEVEN ANGELS

Why do you wonder? I will tell you the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns. 8The beast that you saw was, and is not; and is about to come up out of the abyss and to go into destruction. Those who dwell on the earth and whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world will marvel when they see that the beast was, and is not, and shall be present.* 9Here is the mind that has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sits. 10They are seven kings. Five have fallen, the one is, the other has not yet come. When he comes, he must continue a little while. 11The beast that was, and is not, is himself also an eighth, and is of the seven; and he goes to destruction. 12The ten horns that you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority as kings, with the beast, for one hour. 13These have one mind, and they give their power and authority to the beast. 14These will war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings, and those who are with him are called, chosen, and faithful.

15He said to me,

ONE OF THE SEVEN ANGELS

The waters which you saw, where the prostitute sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and languages. 16The ten horns which you saw, and the beast, these will hate the prostitute, and will make her desolate, and will make her naked, and will eat her flesh, and will burn her utterly with fire. 17For God has put in their hearts to do what he has in mind, and to be of one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God should be accomplished. 18The woman whom you saw is the great city, which reigns over the kings of the earth.

181After these things, I saw another angel coming down out of the sky, having great authority. The earth was illuminated with his glory. 2He cried with a mighty voice, saying,

AN ANGEL WITH AUTHORITY

Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, and she has become a habitation of demons, a prison of every unclean spirit, and a prison of every unclean and hateful bird! 3For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her sexual immorality, the kings of the earth committed sexual immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth grew rich from the abundance of her luxury.

4I heard another voice from heaven, saying,

GOD

Come out of her, my people, that you have no participation in her sins, and that you don’t receive of her plagues, 5for her sins have reached to the sky, and God has remembered her iniquities. 6Return to her just as she returned, and repay her double as she did, and according to her works. In the cup which she mixed, mix to her double. 7However much she glorified herself, and grew wanton, so much give her of torment and mourning. For she says in her heart, ‘I sit a queen, and am no widow, and will in no way see mourning.’ 8Therefore in one day her plagues will come: death, mourning, and famine; and she will be utterly burned with fire; for the Lord God who has judged her is strong.

9The kings of the earth, who committed sexual immorality and lived wantonly with her, will weep and wail over her, when they look at the smoke of her burning, 10standing far away for the fear of her torment, saying,

THE WORLD’S RULERS

‘Woe, woe, the great city, Babylon, the strong city! For your judgment has come in one hour.’

11The merchants of the earth weep and mourn over her, for no one buys their merchandise any more; 12merchandise of gold, silver, precious stones, pearls, fine linen, purple, silk, scarlet, all expensive wood, every vessel of ivory, every vessel made of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble; 13and cinnamon, incense, perfume, frankincense, wine, olive oil, fine flour, wheat, sheep, horses, chariots, and people’s bodies and souls. 14The fruits which your soul lusted after have been lost to you, and all things that were dainty and sumptuous have perished from you, and you will find them no more at all. 15The merchants of these things, who were made rich by her, will stand far away for the fear of her torment, weeping and mourning; 16saying,

THE WORLD’S MERCHANTS

‘Woe, woe, the great city, she who was dressed in fine linen, purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls! 17For in an hour such great riches are made desolate.’

Every ship master, and everyone who sails anywhere, and mariners, and as many as gain their living by sea, stood far away, 18and cried out as they looked at the smoke of her burning, saying,

THE WORLD’S SHIPPERS

‘What is like the great city?’

19They cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and mourning, saying,

THE WORLD’S SHIPPERS

‘Woe, woe, the great city, in which all who had their ships in the sea were made rich by reason of her great wealth!’

For she is made desolate in one hour.
20”Rejoice over her, O heaven, you saints, apostles, and prophets; for God has judged your judgment on her.” 21A mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and cast it into the sea, saying,

AN ANGEL WITH A BOULDER

Thus with violence will Babylon, the great city, be thrown down, and will be found no more at all. 22The voice of harpists, minstrels, flute players, and trumpeters will be heard no more at all in you. No craftsman, of whatever craft, will be found any more at all in you. The sound of a mill will be heard no more at all in you. 23The light of a lamp will shine no more at all in you. The voice of the bridegroom and of the bride will be heard no more at all in you; for your merchants were the princes of the earth; for with your sorcery all the nations were deceived. 24In her was found the blood of prophets and of saints, and of all who have been slain on the earth.

191After these things I heard something like a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying,

A VAST HEAVENLY CROWD

Hallelujah! Salvation, power, and glory belong to our God: 2for true and righteous are his judgments. For he has judged the great prostitute, who corrupted the earth with her sexual immorality, and he has avenged the blood of his servants at her hand.

3A second said,

A VAST HEAVENLY CROWD

Hallelujah! Her smoke goes up forever and ever.

4The twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sits on the throne, saying,

FOUR LIVING BEINGS & 24 ELDERS

Amen! Hallelujah!

5A voice came from the throne, saying,

GOD

Give praise to our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, the small and the great!

6I heard something like the voice of a great multitude, and like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of mighty thunders, saying,

A VAST HEAVENLY CROWD

Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns! 7Let us rejoice and be exceedingly glad, and let us give the glory to him. For the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his wife has made herself ready.

8It was given to her that she would array herself in bright, pure, fine linen: for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
9He said to me,

A GUIDING ANGEL

Write, ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’

He said to me,

A GUIDING ANGEL

These are true words of God.

10I fell down before his feet to worship him. He said to me,

A GUIDING ANGEL

Look! Don’t do it! I am a fellow bondservant with you and with your brothers who hold the testimony of Jesus. Worship God, for the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of Prophecy.

11I saw the heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it is called Faithful and True. In righteousness he judges and makes war. 12His eyes are a flame of fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has names written and a name written which no one knows but he himself. 13He is clothed in a garment sprinkled with blood. His name is called “The Word of God.” 14The armies which are in heaven followed him on white horses, clothed in white, pure, fine linen. 15Out of his mouth proceeds a sharp, double-edged sword, that with it he should strike the nations. He will rule them with an iron rod.* He treads the wine press of the fierceness of the wrath of God, the Almighty. 16He has on his garment and on his thigh a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”
17I saw an angel standing in the sun. He cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the sky,

AN ANGEL IN THE SUN

Come! Be gathered together to the great supper of God,* 18that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and slave, and small and great.

19I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him who sat on the horse, and against his army. 20The beast was taken, and with him the false prophet who worked the signs in his sight, with which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur. 21The rest were killed with the sword of him who sat on the horse, the sword which came out of his mouth. All the birds were filled with their flesh.
201I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. 2He seized the dragon, the old serpent, which is the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole inhabited earth, and bound him for a thousand years, 3and cast him into the abyss, and shut it, and sealed it over him, that he should deceive the nations no more, until the thousand years were finished. After this, he must be freed for a short time.

*Revelation 17:8 TR reads “yet is” instead of “shall be present”
*Revelation 19:15 Psalm 2:9
*Revelation 19:17 TR reads “supper of the great God” instead of “great supper of God”

COMPARISON, CONTRAST & REPETITION

  • To compare is to associate two or more similar persons, ideas, or situations. Can you see any comparisons made by the author of this passage? Why do you think that the author would have made this comparison?
  • To contrast is to put side by side two or more distinct persons, ideas, or situations. Can you see, describe any contrasts made by the author of this passage? Why do you think that the author would have made this contrast?
  • Take time to note any repeated words or concepts you have noted in this passage.
  • Please take time to tell a friend what God is teaching you through this reflection on the Bible.
World English Bible (WEB)
a Public Domain Modern English translation
of the Holy Bible.

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