1. This angel has great authority, given by God, just as the beast had been given great authority by Satan
The angel illuminates the whole world because it has been in the presence of God.
Exodus 34: 34 But whenever he entered the LORD's presence to speak with him, he removed the veil until he came out. And when he came out and told the Israelites what he had been commanded, 35 they saw that his face was radiant. Then Moses would put the veil back over his face until he went in to speak with the LORD.
2. The job of this angel is to announce the fall of Babylon.
We see this same type of pronouncement in Daniel referring to King Belshazzar.
After the destruction of the city, it will be empty of people. All that will remain will be evil and unclean spirits.
Isaiah 13: 19 Babylon, the jewel of kingdoms, the glory of the Babylonians' pride, will be overthrown by God like Sodom and Gomorrah. 20 She will never be inhabited or lived in through all generations; no Arab will pitch his tent there, no shepherd will rest his flocks there. 21 But desert creatures will lie there, jackals will fill her houses; there the owls will dwell, and there the wild goats will leap about. 22 Hyenas will howl in her strongholds, jackals in her luxurious palaces. Her time is at hand, and her days will not be prolonged.
3. God never does anything without a reason. The angel here tells us the reason for Babylon’s destruction. She made kings commit adultery, merchants placed riches and luxuries over people and God, and she herself was adulterous.
4. John now hears a second voice from heaven, this voice calls to the Saints or the children of God.
The voice calls the children of God out of the city before they are plagued by the same things that will happen to the city. This is another place where the chronology seems to be looking back. We have already had the reaping of the people of God in chapter 14. Also the city was actually destroyed with the 7th Bowl. So now we are being told that God will call out His children from the world before the Bowls occur so they do not pay the horrible final price the followers of Satan will and must pay.
“…her plagues…”= The 7 Bowls
There does come a time when the sins of a nation are so great, so many, that God will take action. This sounds a lot like the story of the tower of Babel found in Genesis 11.
In the 7th bowl God remembered Babylon the Great and gave her a cup filled with His wrath.
Now it is Babylon who must be repaid for her deeds. So therefore she will be repaid double her transgressions. The 7th bowl said her cup is full of Gods wine and wrath. Double all her crimes and sins and that is what will be in the cup that the 7th bowl has spoken of.
7. The contents of the 7th bowl are justified. They are in direct proportion to the amount of glory, luxury, and wealth that it received from Satan. For all Satan gave her, God gave her double of the opposite. This is the justice the Saints under the alter were crying for God to carry out.
This is not the first time Babylon has thought it was a queen and above all humanity and grief.
Isaiah 47: 5 "Sit in silence, go into darkness, Daughter of the Babylonians; no more will you be called queen of kingdoms. 6 I was angry with my people and desecrated my inheritance; I gave them into your hand, and you showed them no mercy. Even on the aged you laid a very heavy yoke. 7 You said, 'I will continue forever-- the eternal queen!' But you did not consider these things or reflect on what might happen. 8 "Now then, listen, you wanton creature, lounging in your security and saying to yourself, 'I am, and there is none besides me. I will never be a widow or suffer the loss of children.' 9 Both of these will overtake you in a moment, on a single day: loss of children and widowhood. They will come upon you in full measure, in spite of your many sorceries and all your potent spells. 10 You have trusted in your wickedness and have said, 'No one sees me.' Your wisdom and knowledge mislead you when you say to yourself, 'I am, and there is none besides me.' 11 Disaster will come upon you, and you will not know how to conjure it away. A calamity will fall upon you that you cannot ward off with a ransom; a catastrophe you cannot foresee will suddenly come upon you.
8. This is a reference to the 7 bowls. These three are in contrast to all that she was and said she had.
Death=I sit as a queen
Mourning=I am not a widow
Famine=rich from her excessive luxuries.
“…consumed by fire…” We have already seen this is the punishment for the daughter of a priest who turns to prostitution.
9. The kings shared in her luxuries and wealth but they stand far off while she is burning.
10. The kings are not mourning for her. They are mourning for themselves. Without her they have no place to sell and gather their riches and luxuries. They could care less about the city. This is what happens when relationships are built on riches and luxuries.
11. The merchants are no better than the kings. The only reason they are sad is because without Babylon they will make no money or have customers.
12-14. These are the very things they have used to make them rich. They long for the “fruit” of their luxuries and wealth.
The next time we see these things they will be part of the New Jerusalem.
15. Just like the kings the merchants are also standing far off. They also weep, but not for the city but for themselves and the riches and luxuries they have lost.
16. Rev. 17:4 gives this same description for how the woman was dressed. It is a reference to all the wealth and luxuries in Babylon.
17-19. All of those mourning, including the seaman in Rev. 18:19 mention in one hour she was ruined.
Rev. 17: 12 "The ten horns you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but who for one hour will receive authority as kings along with the beast.
Now we see that those who sailed the seas are also far off and mourning over their loss of wealth and places to find and enjoy luxuries.
20. This appears to be a direct appeal to the Saints under the altar. Those who have prospered off of the wickedness of Babylon, those who have been celebrating the persecution of the church and living high on the adulteries of Babylon are now weeping.
Those who have been crying out for Justice in heaven, those persecuted by the Beast, Prophet, and Anti-Christ, those who were martyred in the name of Jesus now rejoice in heaven for justice has been served. This is the only time the apostles are mentioned in the book of Revelation. However, remember all but one of them were martyred in the name of Jesus Christ.
21. This sounds very close to what Jeremiah was told to do with the scroll that he read about all the things that would happen to Babylon.
Jeremiah 51: 60 Jeremiah had written on a scroll about all the disasters that would come upon Babylon--all that had been recorded concerning Babylon. 61 He said to Seraiah, "When you get to Babylon, see that you read all these words aloud. 62 Then say, 'O LORD, you have said you will destroy this place, so that neither man nor animal will live in it; it will be desolate forever.' 63 When you finish reading this scroll, tie a stone to it and throw it into the Euphrates. 64 Then say, 'So will Babylon sink to rise no more because of the disaster I will bring upon her. And her people will fall.' " The words of Jeremiah end here.
There are six things that the word never is used to describe:
a. Babylon itself will never be found upon the earth again
b. Never be any Music of Harps, flutes, trumpets
c. Never will any workman of any trade be found
d. There will never be the sound of a millstone (These made a grinding noise while turning to grind wheat or barley)
e. Light of a lamp will never shine
f. The voice of a bridegroom or bride will never be heard ( No joy of new families or families starting a new future together)
We have already seen that much of what was destroyed in Babylon will reappear to adorn the New Jerusalem. Now we see that much of what will never happen in Babylon again will happen in the new Jerusalem.
The main one is the absence of light in Babylon and Jesus is the only light needed in heaven.
24. The death of all prophets, before or during the Tribulation, can be linked to the adulteries of Babylon, and or Satan and the false prophet. We are told that Babylon was drunk on the blood of the saints.
Jeremiah 51: 49 "Babylon must fall because of Israel's slain, just as the slain in all the earth have fallen because of Babylon.