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σε ήσαν οι μεγισαν νες της γης, ότι εν τη φαρμακεία σε
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αυτή αίμαία τροφητών και αγίων ευρέθη, και πάντων των έσφαγμένων επί tñs gas.
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66 the nations led a-
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Ver. 1. After these things.] The angel of the Vials having fulfilled the purpose for which he had taken the Prophet apart into the wilderness; to shew him “the harlot,” the mystical Babylon, whose fall had been denounced in ch. xiv. 8. xv. 19; the same scenery is renewed, which had attended the exhibition of the warnings and Vials. Heaven is again restored to view, and the angels descend to perform the parts allotted them. The prophecy now to be produced, is connected with ch. xiv. 8, where the same words are used by the angel, who proclaims the fall of Babylon. That which is there said in few
words, is now particularly described. It is a sequel also to the seventeenth chapter, in which the angel proposed to shew, not only Babylon, the great harlot, but also her judgment; which is now pronounced. It is connected also with the seventh Vial; for it is here, that “ Babylon is remembered,” as was promised under that Vial*; her plagues are come, and she is finally destroyed by fire, as, in ch. xvii, it was said she shall be. Ver. 2. An habitation of Dæmons. ]
Dæmons.] The mystical Babylon, like the ancient and literal one its type, is to be utterly destroyed. And when the utter destruction of a city is denounced in Scripture, the site of that city is commonly described as becoming the haunt and habitation of wild beasts, and of such loathsome reptiles, as are found in the forsaken ruins of a city. (See for examples, Isa. xiii. 20—22; xxxiv. 104-16. Jer. ix. 11; li. 37.) On one of these passages it is observed by Bishop Lowth, that Hebrew words expressive of such animals are translated in the Septuagint by the word Aaipovie, which is used here t.
Ver. 3. Because all the nations-&c.] The cause of her judgment and fall is assigned. She who, as á Church of Christ, should have been the teacher and preserver of pure Religion and morality, had become the seducer and corrupter of the nations and their kings; and had set the example of that insolent luxury, disposing to irreligion, which it was her duty to oppose I. It will be seen clearly from this verse, as well as from other passages of this chapter, that the great harlot of the seventeenth chapter, there called
* Ch. xvi. 19.
+ Bp. Lowth on Is. xxxiv. 14. See Schleusner or Parkburst in voc. spavos.
Babylon, and the Babylon whose judgment is here pronounced, are the same. The same intoxicating cup, the same nations and kings are repeated as the causes of the Divine judgments upon her.
“ As the destruction of Rome is here compared 66 to the destruction of Tyre, we easily see how pro
' per it was, to describe the sins of Rome, by figures “ taken from the sins of Tyre. The profit of trade “created a commerce between that city, then the “chief mart of the world, and all nations; so that
· Tyre spread her luxury and superstition, far and “ wide, with her trade. Rome, in like manner, corrupted distant and remote nations, by reward
ing her votaries with considerable wealth, encouraging their ambition and luxury; and thus, like
Tyre of old, she made her corruptions general, and 66 almost universal *."
“ If,” says Bishop Newton, “this fall of Baby"lon was effected by Totilas, king of the Ostro
' goths, as Grotius affirms, or by Alaric, king of " the Visigoths, as the Bishop of Meaux contends; “ how can Rome be said, ever since, to have been the “ habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul “spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful “ bird; unless they will allow the Popes and Cardi“nals to merit these appellations †?”
Ver. 4. Come out of her, my people.] The same commanding call is to be seen in Jer. li. 6, which is again repeated after the fall of the literal Babylon I. Of this injunction, great use was made by the Reformers. The sentence of retaliation is to be seen also in the ancient Prophets * To God alone, “ Ven•
* Lowman on the Revelation, p. 219. + Dissert. ou Propb. iii. 312.
1 2 Cor. vi. 17, 18.
geance belongeth ;” he is to reward according to their doings; yet man may be employed to execute vengeance: and the kings of the western world seem designed for this work t.
Ver. 7. I am seated as a Queen.] The same imagery is used in Isaiah xlvii; which prophecy contains the divine judgment on the literal Babylon.
Ver. 8. With fire shall she be utterly burned.] This sentence imports utter destruction : for, where fire has holden its complete course, no particles of the former mode of existence remain.
Ver. 9. The kings of the earth.] It is remarkable, that the kings are described, in chap. xvii, as the instruments of destruction to the spiritual Babylon; yet here they are represented as mourning her fall. The event will shew the completion of both prophecies. It is far from improbable, that they who from envy, and an avaricious desire of her spoils, delight to destroy Babylon, may afterwards lament the fall of her who supported their own power.—But we must not prophesy.
Ver. 10. Alas! alas !] The use of the Greek word sai, Bali, alas ! alas ! or woe! woe! in this passage, has suggested to some commentators, that under this part of the prophecy is contained the third woe, whose period and character are not clearly described. This notion has been entertained on a very false foundation. It has no other ground or colour of support, than these two adverbial interjections, which occur, as they must occur, in
passages. The three woes, coming under the Trumpets,
• Psalm cxxxvii. Jer. 1. 15-17, 29; .li. 24. 49. + Ch. xvii, 16.
are woes on the Christian Church; this, if it be a woe, is a woe upon its enemy and persecutor; over whose fall we are invited, by the angel, not to lament as for a woe, but to rejoice as on deliverance*. The third woe is announced, but is never described. It comes secretly. It may perhaps be seen, felt, and acknowledged, before the final fall of Antichrist; before the 1260 years are expired.
Ib. In one hour.] This is repeated three times in the course of this prophecy of the judgement on Babylon; and is generally understood to signity, that the desolation of Babylon shall come suddenly. But this does not agree with the present appearance of the event, as exhibited in history. Babylon seems to decline, and wear away gradually ; according to the prophecy of Daniel, ch. vii. 26. See Mr. Wintle's translation, agreeing with the Greek of the Septuagint, “to be wasted and destroyed unto the end." “ In one hour,” seems to mean, in one uninterrupted period of time, whether it be of longer or shorter continuance; it is not said in one moment, in one point of time.
Ver. 11. The merchants—&c.] The lamentation of the kings shews the extreme height of worldly power to which the mystical Babylon had arrived; the mourning of the merchants, her extreme wealth and luxury. As Babylon, of the ancient world, was her type for power and dominion, so was Tyre for mercantile richest. The enumeration of the articles of trade by which this Babylon is described as making an iniquitous profit, has something in it very peculiar and striking. It proceeds by a climax, or gradation, from
+ See Isa. xxiii. Ezek, xxvi. xxvii. xxviii.