“And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off, And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city! And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas, that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate.” (Revelation 18:9-19).
Verses 9-19 show the reaction of the businessmen of this world who did business with Babylon. It is noteworthy that the city is a great seaport city where shipmasters and their ships come.
It is important to note that all the rivers and waters were turned to blood, according to chapter 16:3-7. We stated earlier that those events were centered in the Mediterranean Sea, or perhaps the Sea of Galilee. It is unlikely that these mariners would be concerned with the burning of the city of Babylon if the Persian Gulf had turned to blood and there was no water for them to drink. Their lament was over the destruction of the city, which was the source of their trade and finances. Babylon will, no doubt, become the financial center of the world in the near future. James says, “Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.”
“Then the angel that talked with me went forth, and said unto me, Lift up now thine eyes, and see what is this that goeth forth. And I said, What is it? And he said, This is an ephah that goeth forth. He said moreover, This is their resemblance through all the earth. And, behold, there was lifted up a talent of lead: and this is a woman that sitteth in the midst of the ephah. And he said, This is wickedness. And he cast it into the midst of the ephah; and he cast the weight of lead upon the mouth thereof. Then lifted I up mine eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came out two women, and the wind was in their wings; for they had wings like the wings of a stork: and they lifted up the ephah between the earth and the heaven. Then said I to the angel that talked with me, Whither do these bear the ephah? And he said unto me, To build it an house in the land of Shinar: and it shall be established, and set there upon her own base.” (Zechariah 5:5-11).
- One thing is certain: Babylon will be the center of activities in the East during the last days — in commerce, religion, and politics. It will be rebuilt and become the capital of the Antichrist. He will come from Syria which will take in Babylon in those days, for the Syrian division of the old Grecian empire included all the countries of Syria and Iraq. The coming of Antichrist from Syria and Babylon will be in perfect harmony with all scriptures. We see from Isa. 13-14; Jer. 50-51; Rev. 14:8; 16:17-21; 17:1-18; 18:1-24 that Babylon will play a great part in latter-day events, not only as the political capital of the kingdom of the Antichrist but as the headquarters for a religious system called Mystery Babylon. It will be a great commercial center of earth as pictured in Rev. 18. Antichrist will reign from Babylon during his rise to power over the ten kingdoms of Dan. 7:23-24; Rev. 17:12-17, as taught in Isa. 14. Then he will leave Babylon to make his capital in Jerusalem the last 3 1/2 years of Daniel’s 70th week, and will reign there during the 42 months of his power over all nations (Dan. 9:27; 11:40-45; Rev. 13:5; 17:12-17). This passage (Zech. 5:5-11) pictures the restoration of Babylon as the seat of wickedness in the last days. Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible:
“Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her. And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all. And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee; And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived. And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.” (Revelation 18:20-24).
Verses 20-24 describe the rejoicing of heaven over the destruction of Babylon. They are told to rejoice, for God had avenged all she had done to the holy apostles and prophets of God down through the centuries.
The final destruction of the city of Babylon is swift and dramatic. A mighty angel demonstrates this to John by taking a large stone, similar to a millstone, and casting it into the sea. It quickly sank to the bottom. The swiftness with which it sank, demonstrated how quickly Babylon will be destroyed. One final blow from God finishes her. (Jeremiah 51:1-26.)
The heavens rejoiced with singing and with harps. It is also possible that Babylon’s final destruction will be aided by the hordes that pass over the Euphrates when it is dried up. (See Revelation 16:12-16).
Babylon and her system have persecuted Israel from the beginning, long before Rome existed. God reassures His people that He has not forgotten them and that they will never be troubled by Babylon again. The only reminder of Babylon will be a smoking furnace, which will burn forever where she was located, “And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever” (Revelation 19:3).
Pastor Ken Blue was born in Boswell, Ark. In 1955 he accepted Christ as his Savior. He and his wife Joyce were married in 1955. They have 5 children. He graduated from Midwestern Baptist Bible College in 1969 and started the Open Door Baptist Church in Lynnwood, Wa. where he pastored for 39 years. Because of health issues (ALS) he was forced to resign as pastor. It is his desire to continue to be used of God to help pastors and believers through this ministry.