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Revelation 18:2

Context
18:2 He 1  shouted with a powerful voice:

“Fallen, fallen, is Babylon the great!

She 2  has become a lair for demons,

a haunt 3  for every unclean spirit,

a haunt for every unclean bird,

a haunt for every unclean and detested beast. 4 

Revelation 18:10-21

Context
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 5  has come!”

18:11 Then 6  the merchants of the earth will weep and mourn for her because no one buys their cargo 7  any longer – 18:12 cargo such as gold, silver, 8  precious stones, pearls, fine linen, purple cloth, silk, 9  scarlet cloth, 10  all sorts of things made of citron wood, 11  all sorts of objects made of ivory, all sorts of things made of expensive wood, bronze, iron and marble, 18:13 cinnamon, spice, 12  incense, perfumed ointment, 13  frankincense, 14  wine, olive oil and costly flour, 15  wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and four-wheeled carriages, 16  slaves and human lives. 17 

18:14 (The ripe fruit 18  you greatly desired 19 

has gone from you,

and all your luxury 20  and splendor 21 

have gone from you –

they will never ever be found again!) 22 

18:15 The merchants who sold 23  these things, who got rich from her, will stand a long way off because they are afraid of her torment. They will weep 24  and mourn, 18:16 saying,

“Woe, woe, O great city –

dressed in fine linen, purple and scarlet clothing, 25 

and adorned with gold, 26  precious stones, and pearls –

18:17 because in a single hour such great wealth has been destroyed!” 27 

And every ship’s captain, 28  and all who sail along the coast 29  – seamen, and all who 30  make their living from the sea, stood a long way off 18:18 and began to shout 31  when they saw the smoke from the fire that burned her up, 32  “Who is like the great city?” 18:19 And they threw dust on their heads and were shouting with weeping and mourning, 33 

“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!” 34 

18:20 (Rejoice over her, O heaven,

and you saints and apostles and prophets,

for God has pronounced judgment 35  against her on your behalf!) 36 

18:21 Then 37  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 38 

Babylon the great city will be thrown down 39 

and it will never be found again!

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

2 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.

3 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.”

4 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.

5 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.”

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

7 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.”

8 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

9 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.”

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

11 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.”

12 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.”

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

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

15 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.”

16 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.”

17 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).

18 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.’”

19 tn Grk “you desired in your soul.”

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

21 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.”

22 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.

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

24 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.

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

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

27 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.”

28 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.”

29 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).”

30 tn Grk “and as many as.”

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

32 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.

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

34 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.”

35 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.”

36 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.

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

38 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.

39 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.



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