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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

Chapter 18

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1After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven; he possessed great authority and the earth shone with his splendour. 2In a mighty voice he proclaimed, ‘Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling for demons, a haunt for every unclean spirit, for every unclean and loathsome bird. 3All the nations have drunk the wine of God's anger roused by her fornication; the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and merchants the world over have grown rich on her wealth and luxury.’

4I heard another voice from heaven saying: ‘Come out from her, my people, lest you have any part in her sins and you share in her plagues, 5for her sins are piled high as heaven, and God has not forgotten her crimes. 6Pay her back in her own coin, repay her twice over for her deeds! Give her a potion twice as strong as the one she mixed! 7Measure out torment and grief to match her pomp and luxury! “I am a queen on my throne!” she says to herself. “No widow's weeds for me, no mourning!” 8That is why plagues shall strike her in a single day, pestilence, bereavement, and famine, and she shall perish in flames; for mighty is the Lord God who has pronounced her doom!’

9The kings of the earth who committed fornication with her and wallowed in her luxury will weep and wail over her, as they see the smoke of her burning. 10In terror at her torment they will keep their distance and say, ‘Alas, alas for you great city, mighty city of Babylon! In a moment your doom has come upon you!’

11The merchants of the world will weep and mourn for her, because no one buys their cargoes any more, 12cargoes of gold and silver, precious stones and pearls, purple and scarlet cloth, silks and fine linens; all sorts of fragrant wood, and all kinds of objects made of ivory or of costly woods, bronze, iron, or marble; 13cinnamon and spice, incense, perfumes, and frankincense; wine, oil, flour and wheat, cattle and sheep, horses, chariots, slaves, and human lives. 14‘The harvest you longed for’, they will say, ‘is gone from you; all the glitter and glamour are lost, never to be found again!’ 15The traders in all these goods, who grew rich on her, will keep their distance in terror at her torment; weeping and mourning 16they will say: ‘Alas, alas for the great city that was clothed in fine linen and purple and scarlet, decked out with gold and precious stones and pearls! 17So much wealth laid waste in a moment!’

All the sea-captains and voyagers, the sailors and those who made a living on the sea, stayed at a distance; 18as they saw the smoke of her burning, they cried out, ‘Was there ever a city like the great city?’ 19They threw dust on their heads and, weeping and mourning, they cried aloud: ‘Alas, alas for the great city, where all who had ships at sea grew rich from her prosperity! In a single hour she has been laid waste!’

20But let heaven exult over her; exult, God's people, apostles and prophets, for he has imposed on her the sentence she passed on you!

21Then a mighty angel picked up a stone like a great millstone and hurled it into the sea, saying, ‘Thus shall Babylon, the great city, be sent hurtling down, never to be seen again! 22The sound of harpists and minstrels, flute-players and trumpeters, shall no more be heard in you; no more shall craftsmen of any trade be found in you, or the sound of the mill be heard in you; 23no more shall the light of the lamp appear in you, no more the voices of the bridegroom and bride be heard in you! Your traders were once the merchant princes of the world, and with your sorcery you deceived all the nations.’ 24The blood of the prophets and of God's people was found in her, the blood of all who had been slain on earth.

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