Matthew Henry Complete

Commentary on The Revelation

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Chapter 18

We have here,

  1. An angel proclaiming the fall of Babylon (v. 1, 2).
  2. Assigning the reasons of her fall (v. 3).
  3. Giving warning to all who belonged to God to come out of her (v. 4, 5), and to assist in her destruction (v. 6-8).
  4. The great lamentation made for her by those who had been large sharers in her sinful pleasures and profits (v. 9–19).
  5. The great joy that there would be among others at the sight of her irrecoverable ruin (v. 20, etc.).

Verses 1-8 The downfall and destruction of Babylon form an event so fully determined in the counsels of God, and of such consequence to his interests and glory, that the visions and predictions concerning it are repeated.

Verses 9-24 Here we have,

I. A doleful lamentation made by Babylon’s friends for her fall; and here observe,

(1.) They stood afar off, they durst not come nigh her. Even Babylon’s friends will stand at a distance from her fall. Though they had been partakers with her in her sins, and in her sinful pleasures and profits, they were not willing to bear a share in her plagues.

(2.) They made a grievous outcry: Alas! alas! that great city, Babylon, that mighty city!

(3.) They wept, and cast dust upon their heads, v. 19. The pleasures of sin are but for a season, and they will end in dismal sorrow. All those who rejoice in the success of the church’s enemies will share with them in their downfall; and those who have most indulged themselves in pride and pleasure are the least able to bear calamities; their sorrows will be as excessive as their pleasure and jollity were before.

II. An account of the joy and triumph there was both in heaven and earth at the irrecoverable fall of Babylon: while her own people were bewailing her, the servants of God were called to rejoice over her, v. 20. Here observe,

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