Revelation 14:8

14:8 A second angel followed the first, declaring: “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great city! She made all the nations drink of the wine of her immoral passion.”

Revelation 16:19

16:19 The great city was split into three parts and the cities of the nations 10  collapsed. 11  So 12  Babylon the great was remembered before God, and was given the cup 13  filled with the wine made of God’s furious wrath. 14 

Revelation 17:5

17:5 On 15  her forehead was written a name, a mystery: 16  “Babylon the Great, the Mother of prostitutes and of the detestable things of the earth.”

Revelation 18:2

18:2 He 17  shouted with a powerful voice:

“Fallen, fallen, is Babylon the great!

She 18  has become a lair for demons,

a haunt 19  for every unclean spirit,

a haunt for every unclean bird,

a haunt for every unclean and detested beast. 20 


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

tc There are several different variants comprising a textual problem involving “second” (δεύτερος, deuteros). First, several mss (A 1 2329 ÏK) read “another, a second angel” (ἄλλος δεύτερος ἄγγελος, allo" deutero" angelo"). Second, other mss (Ì47 א* 1006 1841 1854 pc) read just “another, a second” (ἄλλος δεύτερος). Third, the reading “another angel” (ἄλλος ἄγγελος) is supported by a few Greek mss and some versional evidence (69 pc ar vg). Fourth, several mss (א2 [C reads δεύτερον instead of δεύτερος] 051 1611 2053 2344 ÏA) support the reading “another, a second angel” (ἄλλος ἄγγελος δεύτερος). The reading that most likely gave rise to the others is the fourth. The first reading attempts to smooth out the grammar by placing the adjective in front of the noun. The second reading may have dropped out the “angel” on the basis of its similarity to “another” (ἄλλος). The third reading either intentionally or accidentally left out the word “second.” In any event, this is weakly attested and should not be given much consideration. (If, however, this reading had had good support, with “second” floating, and with “third” in the text in 14:9, one could possibly see δεύτερος as a motivated reading. But without sufficient support for the third reading, the one thing that is most certain is that δεύτερος was part of the original text here.) It is difficult to account for the rise of the other readings if “second” is not original. And the undisputed use of “third” (τρίτος, tritos) in 14:9 may be another indicator that the adjective “second” was in the original text. Finally, the fourth reading is the more difficult and therefore, in this case, to be accepted as the progenitor of the others.

tn Grk “And another angel, a second.”

tn The words “the first” are not in the Greek text, but are implied. Direct objects were frequently omitted in Greek when clear from the context.

tn For the translation of λέγω (legw) as “declare,” see BDAG 590 s.v. 2.e.

sn The fall of Babylon the great city is described in detail in Rev 18:2-24.

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

tn Grk “of the wine of the passion of the sexual immorality of her.” Here τῆς πορνείας (th" porneia") has been translated as an attributive genitive. In an ironic twist of fate, God will make Babylon drink her own mixture, but it will become the wine of his wrath in retribution for her immoral deeds (see the note on the word “wrath” in 16:19).

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

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

11 tn Grk “fell.”

12 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the implied result of Babylon’s misdeeds (see Rev 14:8).

13 tn Grk “the cup of the wine of the anger of the wrath of him.” The concatenation of four genitives has been rendered somewhat differently by various translations (see the note on the word “wrath”).

14 tn Following BDAG 461 s.v. θυμός 2, the combination of the genitives of θυμός (qumo") and ὀργή (orgh) in Rev 16:19 and 19:15 are taken to be a strengthening of the thought as in the OT and Qumran literature (Exod 32:12; Jer 32:37; Lam 2:3; CD 10:9). Thus in Rev 14:8 (to which the present passage alludes) and 18:3 there is irony: The wine of immoral behavior with which Babylon makes the nations drunk becomes the wine of God’s wrath for her.

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

16 tn Some translations consider the word μυστήριον (musthrion, “mystery”) a part of the name written (“Mystery Babylon the Great,” so KJV, NIV), but the gender of both ὄνομα (onoma, “name”) and μυστήριον are neuter, while the gender of “Babylon” is feminine. This strongly suggests that μυστήριον should be understood as an appositive to ὄνομα (“a name, i.e., a mystery”).

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

18 tn Or “It” (the subject is embedded in the verb in Greek; the verb only indicates that it is third person). Since the city has been personified as the great prostitute, the feminine pronoun was used in the translation.

19 tn Here BDAG 1067 s.v. φυλακή 3 states, “a place where guarding is done, prison…Of the nether world or its place of punishment (πνεῦμα 2 and 4c) 1 Pt 3:19 (BReicke, The Disobedient Spirits and Christian Baptism ’46, 116f). It is in a φ. in the latter sense that Satan will be rendered harmless during the millennium Rv 20:7. The fallen city of Babylon becomes a φυλακή haunt for all kinds of unclean spirits and birds 18:2ab.”

20 tc There are several problems in this verse. It seems that according to the ms evidence the first two phrases (i.e., “and a haunt for every unclean spirit, and a haunt for every unclean bird” [καὶ φυλακὴ παντὸς πνεύματος ἀκαθάρτου καὶ φυλακὴ παντὸς ὀρνέου ἀκαθάρτου, kai fulakh panto" pneumato" akaqartou kai fulakh panto" orneou akaqartou]) are to be regarded as authentic, though there are some ms discrepancies. The similar beginnings (καὶ φυλακὴ παντός) and endings (ἀκαθάρτου) of each phrase would easily account for some mss omitting one or the other phrase. The third phrase (“a haunt for every unclean animal” [καὶ φυλακὴ παντὸς θηρίου ἀκαθάρτου, kai fulakh panto" qhriou akaqartou]), however, is more problematic since it is missing in several important mss (א C 051 Ï). The passage as a whole, including the third phrase, seems to be an allusion to Isa 13:21 and 34:11. It seems reasonable, in such a case, to assume that since there is good ms evidence to support the third phrase (A 1611 2329 al), it probably dropped out of certain mss because of its similarity to the two preceding clauses. It is the presence of all three phrases in the original that most likely gave rise to the divergent ms evidence extant today.