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Bible Commentaries

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Revelation 18



Other Authors
Verse 1

Coming down out of heaven (καταβαινοντα εκ του ουρανουkatabainonta ek tou ouranou). Present active predicate participle. Not the angel of Revelation 17:1, Revelation 17:7, Revelation 17:15 (John‘s guide), but one announcing the doom of Babylon (Rome). As in Revelation 10:1; Revelation 20:1.

Was lightened (επωτιστηephōtisthē). First aorist passive of πωτιζωphōtizō old causative verb (from πωςphōs light), common in N.T. as in Revelation 18:1; Revelation 21:23; Revelation 22:5.

With his glory (εκ της δοχης αυτουek tēs doxēs autou). “By reason of (εκek as in Revelation 8:13; Revelation 16:10) his glory.” “So recently has he come from the Presence that in passing he flings a broad belt of light across the dark earth” (Swete).

Verse 2

Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great (επεσεν επεσεν αβυλων η μεγαληepesenπιπτωepesen Babulōn hē megalē). The very words of Revelation 14:8: “Did fall, did fall Babylon the great.” Prophetic aorists of εγενετοpiptō repeated like a solemn dirge of the damned.

Is become (κατοικητηριονegeneto). Prophetic aorist middle.

A habitation of devils (κατοικεωkatoikētērion). Late word (from πυλακη παντος πνευματος ακαταρτουkatoikeō to dwell), in N.T. only here and Ephesians 2:22. Devils should be demons, of course. So Isaiah prophesied of Babylon (Isaiah 13:21-22) and also Jeremiah (Jeremiah 50:39) and Zephaniah of Nineveh (Zephaniah 2:14). Both Babylon and Nineveh are ruins.

A hold of every unclean spirit (Πυλακηphulakē pantos pneumatos akathartou). πυλακη παντος ορνεου ακαταρτου και μεμισημενουPhulakē is garrison or watch-tower as in Habakkuk 2:1, rather than a prison (Revelation 20:7).

A hold of every unclean and hateful bird (Ορνεουphulakē pantos orneou akathartou kai memisēmenou). Orneou is old word for bird, in N.T. only Revelation 18:2; Revelation 19:17, Revelation 19:21. “The evil spirits, watching over fallen Rome like night-birds or harpies that wait for their prey, build their eyries in the broken towers which rise from the ashes of the city” (Swete). Long ago true of Babylon and Nineveh, some day to be true of Rome.

Verse 3

By (εκek). “As a result of.” Some MSS. omit “of the wine” (του οινουtou oinou). Cf. Revelation 14:10; Revelation 16:10.

Have fallen (πεπτωκανpeptōkan). Perfect active third personal of πιπτωpiptō for usual πεπτωκασιpeptōkasi Some MSS. read πεπωκανpepōkan (have drunk), from πινωpinō like the metaphor in Revelation 14:8, Revelation 14:10; Revelation 16:19; Revelation 17:2. See Revelation 17:2 for the same charge about the kings of the earth.

The merchants of the earth (οι εμποροι της γηςhoi emporoi tēs gēs). Old word for one on a journey for trade (from εν ποροςenεμποριονporos), like drummers, in N.T. only Matthew 13:45; Revelation 18:3, Revelation 18:11, Revelation 18:15, Revelation 18:23. Like εμπορευομαιemporion (John 2:16) and επλουτησανemporeuomai (James 4:13).

Waxed rich (πλουτεωeploutēsan). First ingressive aorist active indicative of του στρηνους αυτηςplouteō to be rich (cf. Revelation 3:17). Here alone in the N.T. do we catch a glimpse of the vast traffic between east and west that made Rome rich.

Of her wantonness (στρηνιαωtou strēnous autēs). Late word for arrogance, luxury, here alone in N.T. See strēniaō in Revelation 18:7, Revelation 18:9, to live wantonly.

Verse 4

Come forth, my people, out of her (εχελτατε ο λαος μου εχ αυτηςexelthateαho laos mouεχερχομαιex autēs). Second aorist (urgency) active imperative (ο λαος̇a form) of ινα μη συνκοινωνησητε ταις αμαρταις αυτηςexerchomai Like Isaiah 48:20; Isaiah 52:11; Jeremiah 50:8; Jeremiah 51:6, (about Babylon). See also the call of Abram (Genesis 12:1). the rescue of Lot (Genesis 19:12.). In the N.T. see Mark 13:4; 2 Corinthians 6:14; Ephesians 5:11; 1 Timothy 5:11. ινα μηHosea laos is vocative with the form of the nominative.

That ye have no fellowship with her sins (συνκοινωνεωhina mē sunkoinōnēsēte tais hamartais autēs). Purpose clause with συνhina mē and the first aorist active subjunctive of κοινωνοςsunkoinōneō old compound (αμαρτιαιςsun together, και εκ των πληγων αυτης ινα μη λαβητεkoinōnos partner), in N.T. only here, Philemon 4:14; Ephesians 5:11. With associative instrumental case ινα μηhamartiais that ye receive not of her plagues (λαμβανωkai ek tōn plēgōn autēs hina mē labēte). Another purpose clause dependent on the preceding, with εκ των πληγων αυτηςhina mē and the second aorist active subjunctive of ινα μηlambanō and with proleptic emphatic position of ek tōn plēgōn autēs before hina mē f0).

Verse 5

Have reached (εκολλητησανekollēthēsan). First aorist passive (deponent) indicative of κολλαωkollaō old verb (from κολλαkolla gluten, glue), to cleave to, to join one another in a mass “up to heaven” (αχρι του ουρανουachri tou ouranou). Cf. Jeremiah 51:9; Zechariah 14:5.

Hath remembered (εμνημονευσενemnēmoneusen). First aorist (prophetic) active indicative of μνημονευωmnēmoneuō here with the accusative (αδικηματαadikēmata iniquities) instead of the genitive (Colossians 4:18).

Verse 6

Render as she rendered (αποδοτε ως απεδωκενapodote hōs apedōken). Second aorist (effective) active imperative and first aorist (effective) active of αποδιδωμιapodidōmi old and common verb for requital, to give back, the lex talionis which is in the O.T. (Jeremiah 50:15, Jeremiah 50:29; Jeremiah 51:24, Jeremiah 51:56; Psalm 137:8), and in the N.T. also (Matthew 7:2). Here the reference is to persecutions by Rome, particularly the martyrdom of the saints (Revelation 18:24; Revelation 19:2).

Double the double (διπλωσατε τα διπλαdiplōsate ta dipla). First aorist imperative of διπλοωdiploō old verb (from διπλοοςdiploos double, Matthew 23:15), here only in N.T. ΔιπλαDiplā is simply the neuter plural accusative (cognate) contract form for διπλοαdiploa (not διπλωdiplō). Requite here in double measure, a full requital (Exodus 22:4, Exodus 22:7, Exodus 22:9; Isaiah 40:2; Jeremiah 16:18; Jeremiah 17:18; Zechariah 9:12). The double recompense was according to the Levitical law.

Which she mingled (ωι εκερασενhōi ekerasen). First aorist active indicative of κεραννυμιkerannumi The relative ωιhōi is attracted to the locative case of its antecedent ποτηριωιpotēriōi (cup), for which see Revelation 14:8, Revelation 14:10; Revelation 17:4; Revelation 18:3.

Mingle unto her double (κερασατε αυτηι διπλουνkerasate autēi diploun). First aorist active imperative of the same verb κεραννυμιkerannumi with the same idea of double punishment.

Verse 7

How much soever (οσαhosa). Indefinite quantitative relative pronoun οσοςhosos in the accusative (cognate) neuter plural object of εδοχασενedoxasen (first aorist active indicative of δοχαζωdoxazō).

Herself (αυτηνhautēn). Reflexive pronoun, accusative also with εδοχασενedoxasen wanton (εστρηνιασενestrēniasen). First aorist (ingressive) active indicative of στρηνιαωstrēniaō (to live luxuriously), verb in late comedy instead of τρυπαωtruphaō (James 5:5), from στρηνοςstrēnos (Revelation 18:3), only here in N.T.

So much give her of torment and mourning (τοσουτον δοτε αυτηι βασανισμον και πεντοςtosouton dote autēi basanismon kai penthos). Second aorist active imperative of διδωμιdidōmi to give. The correlative pronoun τοσουτονtosouton is masculine singular accusative, agreeing with βασανισμονbasanismon for which see Revelation 9:5; Revelation 14:11, and is understood with the neuter word πεντοςpenthos (mourning), in N.T. only in James 4:9; Revelation 18:7.; Revelation 21:4 (kin to πατοσ πενομαιpathosκατημαι βασιλισσαpenomai).

I sit a queen (βασιλειαkathēmai basilissa). Predicate nominative for the old form βασιλιςbasileia (και χηρα ουκ ειμιbasilis), as in Matthew 12:42. Babylon and Tyre had preceded Rome in such boasting (Isaiah 47:7-9; Ezekiel 27:3; Ezekiel 28:2; Zephaniah 2:15).

And am no widow (χηροςkai chēra ouk eimi). Feminine of the adjective πεντος ου μη ιδωchēros (barren), old word (Mark 12:40).

Shall in no wise see mourning (πεντοςpenthos ou mē idō). Confident boast of security with emphatic position of ου μηpenthos (see above) and double negative οραωou mē with the second aorist active subjunctive of horaō (defective verb).

Verse 8

Therefore (δια τουτοdia touto). Because of her presumption added to her crimes.

In one day (εν μιαι ημεραιen miāi hēmerāi). Symbolical term for suddenness like μιαι ωραιmiāi hōrāi in one hour (Revelation 18:10, Revelation 18:16, Revelation 18:19). John has in mind still Isaiah 47:7-9.

Shall come (ηχουσινhēxousin). Future active of ηκωhēkō Her plagues are named (death, mourning, famine).

She shall be utterly burned (κατακαυτησεταιkatakauthēsetai). Future passive of κατακαιωkatakaiō (perfective use of καταkata).

With fire (εν πυριen puri). “In fire,” as in Revelation 17:16.

Which judged her (ο κρινας αυτηνho krinas autēn). Articular first aorist active participle of κρινωkrinō referring to κυριος ο τεοςkurios ho theos (the Lord God). The doom of Babylon is certain because of the power of God.

Verse 9

Shall weep (κλαυσουσινklausousin). Future active of κλαιωklaiō middle κλαυσονταιklausontai in Attic, as in John 16:20.

And wail over her (και κοπσονται επ αυτηνkai kopsontai ep' autēn). Future direct middle of κοπτωkoptō old verb, to beat, to cut, middle to beat oneself (Revelation 1:7). For combination with κλαιωklaiō as here see Luke 8:52. See Revelation 17:2; Revelation 18:3, Revelation 18:7 for οι πορνευσαντες και στρηνιασαντεςhoi porneusantes kai strēniasantes).

When they look upon (οταν βλεπωσινhotan blepōsin). Indefinite temporal clause with οτανhotan and the present active subjunctive of βλεπωblepō smoke of her burning (τον καπνον της πυρωσεως αυτηςton kapnon tēs purōseōs autēs). ΠυρωσιςPurōsis is an old word (from πυροωpuroō to burn), in N.T. only 1 Peter 4:12; Revelation 18:9, Revelation 18:18. See Revelation 18:8 for other plagues on Rome, but fire seems to be the worst (Revelation 17:16; Revelation 18:8, Revelation 18:9, Revelation 18:17; Revelation 19:3).

Verse 10

Standing afar off (απο μακροτεν εστηκοτεςapo makrothen hestēkotes). Perfect active (intransitive) participle of ιστημιhistēmi Vivid picture of the terrible scene, fascinated by the lurid blaze (cf. Nero‘s delight in the burning of Rome in a.d. 64), and yet afraid to draw near. On απο μακροτενapo makrothen see Mark 5:6. There is a weird charm in a burning city. They feared the same fate (cf. Revelation 18:7 for βασανισμουbasanismou torment).

Woe, woe, the great city (ουαι ουαι η πολις η μεγαληouaiουαιouaiη ισχυραhē polis hē megalē). Only example in the Apocalypse of the nominative with μιαι ωραιouai except Revelation 18:16, Revelation 18:19, though in Luke 6:25 and common in lxx (Isa 5:7, 11, etc.). For the dative see Revelation 8:13, once so “strong” (μιαι ημεραιhē ischura)!

In one hour (μιαν ωρανmiāi hōrāi). Repeated in Revelation 18:16, Revelation 18:19, and like ποιαν ωρανmiāi hēmerāi (in one day) in Revelation 18:8. Some MSS. have here ο κριναςmian hōran like η κρισις σουpoian hōran (accusative of extent of time) in Revelation 3:3. See Revelation 18:8 (ho krinas) for hē krisis sou (thy judgment). This is the dirge of the kings.

Verse 11

The merchants (οι εμποροιhoi emporoi). As in Revelation 18:3, Revelation 18:15, Revelation 18:23. The dirge of the merchants follows the wail of the kings.

Weep and mourn (κλαιουσιν και πεντουσινklaiousin kai penthousin). Present active indicatives of κλαιωklaiō and πεντεωpentheō as in Revelation 18:9 (for κλαιωklaiō), Revelation 18:15, and Revelation 18:19.

For no man buyeth their merchandise any more (οτι τον γομον αυτων ουδεις αγοραζει ουκετιhoti ton gomon autōn oudeis agorazei ouketi). Reason enough for their sorrow over Rome‘s fall. ΓομοςGomos is old word (from γεμωgemō to be full) for a ship‘s cargo (Acts 21:3) and then any merchandise (Revelation 18:11.). Galen, Pliny, Aristides tell of the vastness of the commerce and luxury of Rome, the world‘s chief market. Many of the items here are like those in the picture of the destruction of Tyre in Ezek 26; 27. There are twenty-nine items singled out in Revelation 18:12, Revelation 18:13 of this merchandise or cargo (γομονgomon), imports into the port of Rome. Only a few need any comment.

Verse 12

Of fine linen (βυσσινουbussinou). Genitive case after γομονgomon as are all the items to κοκκινουkokkinou Old adjective from βυσσοςbussos (linen, Luke 16:19), here a garment of linen, in N.T. only Revelation 18:12, Revelation 18:16; Revelation 19:8, Revelation 19:14.

Purple (πορπυραςporphuras). Fabric colored with purple dye (πορπυρεοςporphureos Revelation 17:4; Revelation 18:16), as in Mark 15:17, Mark 15:20; Luke 16:19.

Silk (σιρικουsirikou). So the uncials here. Το σηρικονTo sērikon (the silken fabric) occurs in Plutarch, Strabo, Arrian, Lucian, only here in N.T. Probably from the name of the Indian or Chinese people (οι Σηρεςhoi Sēres) from whom the fabric came after Alexander invaded India. Silk was a costly article among the Romans, and for women as a rule.

Scarlet (κοκκινουkokkinou). See Revelation 17:4; Revelation 18:16.

All thyine wood (παν χυλον τυινονpan xulon thuinon). Now accusative again without γομονgomon dependence. An odoriferous North African citrus tree, prized for the colouring of the wood for dining-tables, like a peacock‘s tail or the stripes of a tiger or panther. Here only in N.T.

Of ivory (ελεπαντινονelephantinon). Old adjective (from ελεπαςelephas elephant) agreeing with σκευοςskeuos (vessel), here only in N.T. Cf. Ahab‘s ivory palace (1 Kings 22:39).

Of marble (μαρμαρουmarmarou). Old word (from μαρμαιρωmarmairō to glisten), genitive after σκευοςskeuos (vessel), here only in N.T.

Verse 13

Cinnamon (κινναμωμονkinnamōmon). Old word transliterated into English, here only in N.T. Of Phoenician origin (Herodotus) as to name and possibly from South China.

Spice (αμωμονamōmon). A fragrant plant of India, αμομυμamomum for perfume.

Incense (τυμιαματαthumiamata). See Revelation 5:8; Revelation 8:3.

Ointment (μυρονmuron). See Matthew 26:7.

Frankincense (λιβανονlibanon). See Revelation 8:3.

Fine flour (σεμιδαλινsemidalin). Old word for finest wheaten flour, here only in N.T.

Of horses (ιππωνhippōn). Here then is a return to the construction of the genitive after γομονgomon in Revelation 18:12, though not used here, an anomalous genitive construction (Charles).

Of chariots (ρεδωνredōn). A Gallic word for a vehicle with four wheels, here only in N.T.

Of slaves (σοματωνsomatōn). “Of bodies,” treated as animals or implements, like the horses and the chariots (cf. rickshaw men in China). This use of σωμαsōma for slave occurs in Genesis 34:29; Tob 10:11 (σωματα και κτηνηsōmata kai ktēnē slaves and cattle); 2 Macc. 8:11.

Souls of men (πσυχας αντρωπωνpsuchas anthrōpōn). Deissmann (Bible Studies, p. 160) finds this use of σωμαsōma for slave in the Egyptian Delta. Return to the accusative πσυχαςpsuchas From Numbers 31:35; 1 Chronicles 5:21; Ezekiel 27:13. This addition is an explanation of the use of σωματαsōmata for slaves, “human live stock” (Swete), but slaves all the same. Perhaps καιkai here should be rendered “even,” not “and”: “bodies even souls of men.” The slave merchant was called σωματεμποροςsōmatemporos (body merchant).

Verse 14

The fruits (η οπωραhē opōra). The ripe autumn fruit (Jeremiah 40:10, Jeremiah 40:12). Here only in N.T. Of uncertain etymology (possibly οποςopos sap, ωραhōra hour, time for juicy sap). See Judges 1:12 for δενδρα πτινοπωρινοςdendra phthinopōrinos (autumn trees).

Which thy soul lusteth after (σου της επιτυμιας της πσυχηςsou tēs epithumias tēs psuchēs). “Of the lusting of thy soul.”

Are gone from thee (απηλτεν απο σουapēlthen apo sou). Prophetic aorist active indicative of απερχομαιaperchomai with repetition of αποapo things that were dainty and sumptuous (παντα τα λιπαρα και τα λαμπραpanta ta lipara kai ta lampra). “All the dainty and the gorgeous things.” ΛιπαροςLiparos is from λιποςlipos (grease) and so fat, about food (here only in N.T.), while λαμπροςlampros is bright and shining (James 2:2.), about clothing.

Are perished from thee (απωλετο απο σουapōleto apo sou). Prophetic second aorist middle indicative of απολλυμιapollumi (intransitive).

Shall find them no more at all (ουκετι ου μη αυτα ευρησουσινouketi ou mē auta heurēsousin). Doubled double negative with future active, as emphatic a negation as the Greek can make.

Verse 15

Of these things (τουτωνtoutōn). Listed above in Revelation 18:12-14.

Who were made rich by her (οι πλουτησαντες απ αυτηςhoi ploutēsantes ap' autēs). “Those who grew rich (ingressive aorist active participle of πλουτεωplouteō for which see Revelation 18:3, Revelation 18:13) from her.”

Shall stand afar off (απο μακροτεν στησονταιapo makrothen stēsontai). Future middle of ιστημιhistēmi Repeating the picture in Revelation 18:10. Again in Revelation 18:17. See Revelation 18:11 for the two participles κλαιοντες και πεντουντεςklaiontes kai penthountes f0).

Verse 16

For the Woe see Revelation 18:10, and Revelation 18:19. For the next clause see Revelation 17:4 with the addition here of βυσσινονbussinon (Revelation 18:12).

For in one hour so great riches is made desolate (οτι μιαι ωραι ηρημωτη ο τοσουτος πλουτοςhoti miāi hōrāi ērēmōthē ho tosoutos ploutos). The reason (οτιhoti) for the “woe.” First aorist passive indicative of ερημοωerēmoō for which verb see Revelation 17:16; Revelation 18:19. This is the dirge of the merchants.

Verse 17

Shipmaster (κυβερνητηςkubernētēs). Old word (from κυβερναωkubernaō to steer), helmsman, sailing-master, in N.T. only here and Acts 27:11. Subordinate to the ναυκληροςnauklēros (supreme commander).

That saileth any whither (ο επι τοπον πλεωνho epi topon pleōn). “The one sailing to a place.” See Acts 27:2, τους κατα την Ασιαν πλεονταςtous kata tēn Asian pleontas (those sailing down along Asia). Nestle suggests ποντονponton (sea) here for τοπονtopon (place), but it makes sense as it is.

Mariners (ναυταιnautai). Old word (from ναυςnaus ship), in N.T. only here and Acts 27:27, Acts 27:30.

Gain their living by the sea (την ταλασσαν εργαζονταιtēn thalassan ergazontai). “Work the sea.” This idiom is as old as Hesiod for sailors, fishermen, etc. See Revelation 18:10, Revelation 18:15.

Verse 18

As they looked (βλεποντεςblepontes). Present active participle of βλεπωblepō See οταν βλεπωσινhotan blepōsin in Revelation 18:10.

What city is like the great city? (τις ομοια τηι πολει τηι μεγαληιtis homoia tēi polei tēi megalēi̱). No πολιςpolis with τιςtis but implied. Associative instrumental case, as usual, with ομοιαhomoia “The eternal city” is eternal no longer.

Verse 19

They cast dust (εβαλον χουνebalon choun). Second aorist active of βαλλωballō ΧουςChous is old word (from χεωcheō to pour) for heap of earth, dust, in N.T. only here and Mark 6:11. Cf. Ezekiel 27:30; Luke 10:13. This is the dirge of the sea-folk (cf. Revelation 18:10, and Revelation 18:16).

By reason of her costliness (εκ της τιμιοτητος αυτηςek tēs timiotētos autēs). Occasionally in later literary Greek, though here only in N.T. and not in lxx. The same use of τιμηtimē appears in 1 Peter 2:7. Common in the papyri as a title like “Your Honor” (Moulton and Milligan‘s Vocabulary).

Verse 20

Rejoice over her (Ευπραινου επ αυτηιEuphrainou ep' autēi). Present middle imperative of ευπραινωeuphrainō for which verb see Revelation 11:10, used there of the joy of the wicked over the death of the two witnesses, just the opposite picture to this. “The song of doom” (Charles) here seems to be voiced by John himself.

God hath judged your judgment (εκρινεν ο τεος το κριμαekrinen ho theos to krima). First aorist (prophetic) active of κρινωkrinō and cognate accusative κριμαkrima here a case for trial (Exodus 18:22; 1 Corinthians 6:7), not a sentence as in Revelation 17:1. God has approved the case of heaven.

Verse 21

A strong angel (εις αγγελος ισχυροςheis aggelos ischuros). Here ειςheis = a, just an indefinite article, not “one” as a numeral.

Took up (ηρενēren). First aorist active indicative of αιρωairō it were a great millstone (ως μυλινον μεγανhōs mulinon megan). Late adjective, in inscriptions, here only in N.T., made of millstone (μυλοςmulos Matthew 18:6; Revelation 18:22), while μυλικοςmulikos (Luke 17:2) means belonging to a mill. This is not a small millstone turned by women (Matthew 24:41), but one requiring an ass to turn it (Mark 9:42), and so “a great” one.

Cast (εβαλενebalen). Second aorist active of βαλλωballō to hurl.

With a mighty fall (ορμηματιhormēmati). Instrumental case (manner) of ορμημαhormēma a rush, old word from ορμαωhormaō to rush (Matthew 8:32), here only in N.T.

Shall be cast down (βλετησεταιblethēsetai). Future (first) passive of βαλλωballō the same verb (εβαλενebalen), effective punctiliar future. Like a boulder hurled into the sea.

Shall be found no more at all (ου μη ευρετηι ετιou mē heurethēi eti). Double negative with first aorist passive subjunctive of ευρισκωheuriskō See Revelation 9:6 for ου μηou mē with the active voice of ευρισκωheuriskō Already the old Babylon was a desert waste (Strabo, XVI. 1073).

Verse 22

The voice (πωνηphōnē). Cf. Ezekiel 26:13. Or “sound” as in 1 Corinthians 14:8 with σαλπιγχsalpigx (trumpet). For this song of judgment see Jeremiah 25:10.

Of harpers (κιταρωιδωνkitharōidōn). Old word (from κιταραkithara harp, and ωιδοςōidos singer) as in Revelation 14:2.

Of minstrels (μουσικωνmousikōn). Old word (from μουσαmousa music), here only in N.T., one playing on musical instruments.

Of flute-players (αυλητωνaulētōn). Old word (from αυλεωauleō to play on a flute, Matthew 11:17, αυλοςaulos flute, 1 Corinthians 14:7), in N.T. only here and Matthew 9:23.

Of trumpeters (σαλπιστωνsalpistōn). Late form for the earlier σαλπιγκτηςsalpigktēs (from σαλπιζωsalpizō), here only in N.T.

Shall be heard no more at all (ου μη ακουστηιou mē akousthēi). First aorist passive subjunctive of ακουωakouō with the double negative as below, with πωνη μυλουphōnē mulou (sound of the millstone), and as in Revelation 18:21 with ου με ευρετηιou me heurethēi and again with πας τεχνιτηςpās technitēs (craftsman). This old word is from τεχνηtechnē art, as here in some MSS. (“of whatsoever craft,” πασης τεχνηςpasēs technēs). ΤεχνιτηςTechnitēs occurs also in this sense in Acts 19:24, Acts 19:38; and in Hebrews 11:10 of God as the Architect. There is power in this four-fold sonorous repetition of ου μηou mē and the subjunctive with two more examples in Revelation 18:23.

Verse 23

Of a lamp (λυχνουluchnou). Old word (Matthew 5:15), again in Revelation 22:5.

Shall shine no more at all (ου μη πανηιou mē phanēi). Fifth instance in these verses of ου μηou mē with the aorist subjunctive, here the active of παινωphainō as in Revelation 8:12. It is not known whether Rome had street lights or not.

The voice of the bridegroom and of the bride (πωνη νυμπιου και νυμπηςphōnē numphiou kai numphēs). See John 3:29; Jeremiah 7:34; Jeremiah 16:9. “Even the occasional flash of the torches carried by bridal processions (Matthew 25:1.) is seen no more” (Swete). The sixth instance of ου μηou mē in Revelation 18:21-23, occurs with ακουστηιakousthēi (third instance of ακουστηιakousthēi two in Revelation 18:22).

Were the princes of the earth (ησαν οι μεγιστανες της γηςēsan hoi megistānes tēs gēs). For μεγιστανmegistān see Revelation 6:15; Mark 6:21. “Thy merchants were the grandees” once, but now these merchant princes are gone.

With thy sorcery (εν τηι παρμακιαι σουen tēi pharmakiāi sou). ΕνEn (instrumental use) and the locative case of παρμακιαpharmakia old word (from παρμακευωpharmakeuō to prepare drugs, from παρμακονpharmakon sorcery, Revelation 9:21), in N.T. only here and Galatians 5:20 for sorcery and magical arts. If one is puzzled over the connection between medicine and sorcery as illustrated by this word (our pharmacy), he has only to recall quackery today in medicine (patent medicines and cure-alls), witch-doctors, professional faith-healers, medicine-men in Africa. True medical science has had a hard fight to shake off chicanery and charlatanry.

Were deceived (επλανητησανeplanēthēsan). First aorist passive indicative of πλαναωplanaō These charlatans always find plenty of victims. See Mark 12:24.

Verse 24

In her (εν αυτηιen autēi). In Rome.

Was found (ευρετηheurethē). First aorist passive indicative of ευρισκωheuriskō See Revelation 16:6; Revelation 17:6 for the blood already shed by Rome. Rome “butchered to make a Roman holiday” (Dill, Roman Society, p. 242) not merely gladiators, but prophets and saints from Nero‘s massacre a.d. 64 to Domitian and beyond.

Of all that have been slain (παντων των εσπαγμενωνpantōn tōn esphagmenōn). Perfect passive articular participle genitive plural of σπαζωsphazō the verb used of the Lamb slain (Revelation 5:9, Revelation 5:12; Revelation 13:8). Cf. Matthew 23:35 about Jerusalem.


Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

Bibliography Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Revelation 18:4". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

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