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Revelation 18:9-24

Context

18:9 Then 1  the kings of the earth who committed immoral acts with her and lived in sensual luxury 2  with her will weep and wail for her when they see the smoke from the fire that burns her up. 3  18:10 They will stand a long way off because they are afraid of her torment, and will say,

“Woe, woe, O great city,

Babylon the powerful city!

For in a single hour your doom 4  has come!”

18:11 Then 5  the merchants of the earth will weep and mourn for her because no one buys their cargo 6  any longer – 18:12 cargo such as gold, silver, 7  precious stones, pearls, fine linen, purple cloth, silk, 8  scarlet cloth, 9  all sorts of things made of citron wood, 10  all sorts of objects made of ivory, all sorts of things made of expensive wood, bronze, iron and marble, 18:13 cinnamon, spice, 11  incense, perfumed ointment, 12  frankincense, 13  wine, olive oil and costly flour, 14  wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and four-wheeled carriages, 15  slaves and human lives. 16 

18:14 (The ripe fruit 17  you greatly desired 18 

has gone from you,

and all your luxury 19  and splendor 20 

have gone from you –

they will never ever be found again!) 21 

18:15 The merchants who sold 22  these things, who got rich from her, will stand a long way off because they are afraid of her torment. They will weep 23  and mourn, 18:16 saying,

“Woe, woe, O great city –

dressed in fine linen, purple and scarlet clothing, 24 

and adorned with gold, 25  precious stones, and pearls –

18:17 because in a single hour such great wealth has been destroyed!” 26 

And every ship’s captain, 27  and all who sail along the coast 28  – seamen, and all who 29  make their living from the sea, stood a long way off 18:18 and began to shout 30  when they saw the smoke from the fire that burned her up, 31  “Who is like the great city?” 18:19 And they threw dust on their heads and were shouting with weeping and mourning, 32 

“Woe, Woe, O great city –

in which all those who had ships on the sea got rich from her wealth –

because in a single hour she has been destroyed!” 33 

18:20 (Rejoice over her, O heaven,

and you saints and apostles and prophets,

for God has pronounced judgment 34  against her on your behalf!) 35 

18:21 Then 36  one powerful angel picked up a stone like a huge millstone, threw it into the sea, and said,

“With this kind of sudden violent force 37 

Babylon the great city will be thrown down 38 

and it will never be found again!

18:22 And the sound of the harpists, musicians,

flute players, and trumpeters

will never be heard in you 39  again.

No 40  craftsman 41  who practices any trade

will ever be found in you again;

the noise of a mill 42  will never be heard in you again.

18:23 Even the light from a lamp

will never shine in you again!

The voices of the bridegroom and his bride

will never be heard in you again.

For your merchants were the tycoons of the world,

because all the nations 43  were deceived by your magic spells! 44 

18:24 The 45  blood of the saints and prophets was found in her, 46 

along with the blood 47  of all those who had been killed on the earth.”

1 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the vision.

2 tn On the term ἐστρηνίασεν (estrhniasen) BDAG 949 s.v. στρηνιάω states, “live in luxury, live sensually Rv 18:7. W. πορνεύειν vs. 9.”

3 tn Grk “from the burning of her.” For the translation “the smoke from the fire that burns her up,” see L&N 14.63.

4 tn Or “judgment,” condemnation,” “punishment.” BDAG 569 s.v. κρίσις 1.a.β states, “The word oft. means judgment that goes against a person, condemnation, and the sentence that follows…ἡ κ. σου your judgment Rv 18:10.”

5 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the vision.

6 tn On γόμος (gomos) BDAG 205 s.v. states, “load, freightcargo of a ship…Ac 21:3. W. gen. of the owner Rv 18:11. W. gen. of content…γ. χρυσοῦ a cargo of gold vs. 12.”

7 tn Grk “and silver,” but καί (kai) has not been translated before most of these terms since English normally uses a coordinating conjunction only between the last two elements in a series of three or more

8 tn On this term BDAG 924-25 s.v. σιρικός states, “per. to silk from Ser, subst. τὸ σιρικόν silk cloth or garments w. other costly materials Rv 18:12.”

9 tn On the translation of κόκκινον (kokkinon) as “scarlet cloth” see L&N 6.170.

10 tn On the phrase πᾶν ξύλον θύϊνον (pan xulon quinon) L&N 3.63 states, “pertaining to being made or consisting of citron wood (that is, from a citron tree) – ‘of citron wood.’ καὶ πᾶν ξύλον θύϊνον καὶ πᾶν σκεῦος ἐλεφάντινον ‘and all kinds of things made of citron wood and all kinds of objects made of ivory’ Re 18:12. The citron tree belongs to the citrus family of plants, and it produces a pale yellow fruit somewhat larger than a lemon, the rind of which is often candied. In Re 18:12, however, the focus is upon the fine quality of the wood.”

11 tn On the term ἄμωμον (amwmon) L&N 5.23 states, “a generic term for any kind of spice, though often a specific reference to amomum, an Indian type of spice – ‘spice, amomum.’ κιννάμωμον καὶ ἄμωμον καὶ θυμιάματα ‘cinnamon and spice and incense’ Re 18:13. In most translations ἄμωμον is interpreted as spice in general.”

12 tn Or “myrrh,” a strong aromatic ointment often used to prepare a body for burial (L&N 6.205).

13 tn The Greek term λίβανος (libano") refers to the aromatic resin of a certain type of tree (L&N 6.212).

14 tn On σεμίδαλις (semidali") L&N 5.10 states, “a fine grade of wheat flour – ‘fine flour.’ οἶνον καὶ ἔλαιον καὶ σεμίδαλιν καὶ σῖτον ‘wine and oil and fine flour and wheat’ Re 18:13. In some languages ‘fine flour’ may be best expressed as ‘expensive flour.’ Such a rendering fits well the context of Re 18:13.”

15 tn Or “and wagons.” On the term ῥέδη (rJedh) see L&N 6.53: “a four-wheeled carriage or wagon used for travel or the transportation of loads – ‘carriage, wagon.’ The term ῥέδη occurs only in Re 18:13 in a list of products bought and sold by merchants.”

16 tn Grk “and bodies and souls of men.” This could be understood (1) as a hendiadys (two things mentioned = one thing meant), referring only to slave trade; (2) it could be referring to two somewhat different concepts: slavery (bodies) and the cheapness of human life – some of the items earlier in the list of merchandise were to be obtained only at great cost of human life; or (3) a somewhat related idea, that the trade is in not just physical bodies (slavery) but human souls (people whose lives are destroyed through this trade).

17 tn On ὀπώρα (opwra) L&N 3.34 states, “ἡ ὀπώρα σου τῆς ἐπιθυμίας τῆς ψυχῆς ‘the ripe fruit for which you longed’ Re 18:14. In this one occurrence of ὀπώρα in the NT, ‘ripe fruit’ is to be understood in a figurative sense of ‘good things.’”

18 tn Grk “you desired in your soul.”

19 tn On λιπαρός (liparo") BDAG 597 s.v. states, “luxury Rv 18:14.”

20 tn On τὰ λαμπρά (ta lampra) BDAG 585 s.v. λαμπρός 4 states, “splendor…in which a rich man takes delight (cp. Jos., Ant. 12, 220 δωρεὰς δοὺς λαμπράς) Rv 18:14.”

21 tn Verse 14 is set in parentheses because in it the city, Babylon, is addressed directly in second person.

sn This verse forms a parenthetical aside in the narrative.

22 tn Grk “the merchants [sellers] of these things.”

23 tn Grk “her torment, weeping.” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started in the translation by supplying the words “They will” here.

24 tn The word “clothing” is supplied to clarify that the words “purple” and “scarlet” refer to cloth or garments rather than colors.

25 tn Grk “gilded with gold” (an instance of semantic reinforcement, see L&N 49.29).

26 tn On ἠρημώθη (hrhmwqh) L&N 20.41 states, “to suffer destruction, with the implication of being deserted and abandoned – ‘to be destroyed, to suffer destruction, to suffer desolation.’ ἐρημόομαι: μιᾷ ὥρᾳ ἠρημώθη ὁ τοσοῦτος πλοῦτος ‘such great wealth has been destroyed within a single hour’ Re 18:17.”

27 tn On κυβερνήτης (kubernhth") BDAG 574 s.v. 1 states, “one who is responsible for the management of a ship, shipmaster, lit. Rv 18:17.”

28 tn Or perhaps, “everyone who sails as a passenger.” On πλέων (plewn) BDAG 825 s.v. πλέω states, “πᾶς ὁ ἐπὶ τόπον πλέων everyone who sails to a place = seafarer, sea travelerRv 18:17. The vv.ll.…have led to various interpretations. Some render: everyone who sails along the coast…See EbNestle, Einführung in das Griech. NT 1909, 182; AFridrichsen, K. Hum. Vetensk.-Samf. i Upps. Årsb. ’43, 31 note ὁ ἐπίτοπον πλέων=one who sails occasionally, a passenger. – S. also IHeikel, StKr 106, ’34/’35, 317).”

29 tn Grk “and as many as.”

30 tn Here the imperfect ἔκραζον (ekrazon) has been translated ingressively.

31 tn Grk “from the burning of her, saying.” For the translation “the smoke from the fire that burned her up,” see L&N 14.63. Here the participle λέγοντες (legontes, “saying”) has not been translated because it is redundant in contemporary English.

32 tn Grk “with weeping and mourning, saying.” Here the participle λέγοντες (legontes) has not been translated because it is redundant in contemporary English.

33 tn On ἡρημώθη (Jhrhmwqh) L&N 20.41 states, “to suffer destruction, with the implication of being deserted and abandoned – ‘to be destroyed, to suffer destruction, to suffer desolation.’ ἐρημόομαι: μιᾷ ὥρᾳ ἠρημώθη ὁ τοσοῦτος πλοῦτος ‘such great wealth has been destroyed within a single hour’ Re 18:17.”

34 tn On the phrase “pronounced judgment” BDAG 567 s.v. κρίμα 4.b states, “The OT is the source of the expr. κρίνειν τὸ κρ. (cp. Zech 7:9; 8:16; Ezk 44:24) ἔκρινεν ὁ θεὸς τὸ κρίμα ὑμῶν ἐξ αὐτῆς God has pronounced judgment for you against her or God has pronounced on her the judgment she wished to impose on you (HHoltzmann, Hdb. 1893 ad loc.) Rv 18:20.”

35 tn Grk “God has judged a judgment of you of her.” Verse 20 is set in parentheses because in it the saints, etc. are addressed directly in the second person.

sn This verse forms a parenthetical aside in the narrative.

36 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence within the narrative.

37 tn On ὅρμημα ({ormhma) BDAG 724 s.v. states, “violent rush, onset ὁρμήματι βληθήσεται Βαβυλών Babylon will be thrown down with violence Rv 18:21.” L&N 68.82 refers to the suddenness of the force or violence.

38 sn Thrown down is a play on both the words and the action. The angel’s action with the stone illustrates the kind of sudden violent force with which the city will be overthrown.

39 tn The shift to a second person pronoun here corresponds to the Greek text.

40 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.

41 tn On this term BDAG 1001 s.v. τεχνίτης states, “craftsperson, artisan, designer…Of a silversmith Ac 19:24, 25 v.l., 38….Of a potter 2 Cl 8:2 (metaph., cp. Ath. 15:2). πᾶς τεχνίτης πάσης τέχνης Rv 18:22.”

42 tn This is a different Greek word (μύλος, mulos) from the one for the millstone in v. 21 (μύλινος, mulinos). See L&N 7.68.

43 tn Or “all the Gentiles” (the same Greek word may be translated “Gentiles” or “nations”).

44 tn On the term φαρμακεία (farmakeia, “magic spells”) see L&N 53.100: “the use of magic, often involving drugs and the casting of spells upon people – ‘to practice magic, to cast spells upon, to engage in sorcery, magic, sorcery.’ φαρμακεία: ἐν τῇ φαρμακείᾳ σου ἐπλανήθησαν πάντα τὰ ἔθνη ‘with your magic spells you deceived all the peoples (of the world)’ Re 18:23.”

45 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.

46 tn The shift in pronouns from second to third person corresponds to the Greek text.

47 tn Grk “and of all.” The phrase “along with the blood” has been repeated from the previous clause for stylistic reasons.



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