(Rev 18:8) Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.
Therefore shall her plagues come in one day:
This therefore is here to connect this verse to the previous verse which showed the woman saying “and [I] shall see no sorrow. “
So it’s contrasting her belief that she will not see any sorrow, or her perceived security with her husband the beast, with the actual fact that she will be judged in just one day. This is also why it is said later for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her, it is saying that even though she thinks that no harm can come to her or the beast, God will do it very easily.
The idea that her destruction comes suddenly is a consistent one. We see this explicitly mentioned in various ways, phrases like “One day” or “one hour” are used to describe the suddenness of its judgment. We know from the last bowl judgment that an earthquake will be involved in splitting the city into three parts, so this would seem support the idea of a very quick judgment.
death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire:
These things will all play some role in her destruction as well. I think that the destruction has at least two phases. First, whatever the “10 kings” do, It says in Rev 17:16 that they will “eat her flesh and burn her with fire” and second, whatever is done to her via the last bowl judgment with the earthquake and great hail.
Words like Fire and burning as well as ideas like people seeing the smoke of her burning are mentioned several times in relation to Mystery Babylon’s destruction so I feel that fire is the primary agent of destruction, or at least it is the result of the judgment.
(Rev 18:9) And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning,
And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her
I have already mentioned how this shows that although the kings of the earth commit the same religious fornication with her, it is the “AND lived deliciously” part that is the reason for they are mourning here. We will see the same lamenting coming from the merchants later who also are said to have lived “deliciously” with her.
when they shall see the smoke of her burning,
This phrase is more evidence that the 10 kings or 10 horns which the antichrist uses to burn Mystery Babylon are not necessarily the “kings of the earth” mentioned here. If they are the ones that burned her down, they probably would not be lamenting when they see her burning.
Standing afar off for the fear of her torment
This suggests that the cities destruction is not something people want to get too close to for some reason, It could be as simple as the fact that it is on fire but it could be something more significant we are not told.
saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.
The Kings note again the quickness of her destruction, in happens “One hour” they say. Again this is contrasting their previous view of its perceived might and sustainability with its lightning fast destruction. What they thought was strong was in actuality, quite weak. They differ here from the previous similar statement from the voice from heaven in that they do not add to it that “God is strong”, they only are astonished that this event has happened to Mystery Babylon.
(Rev 18:11) And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more:
Ok so here we see the merchants are also upset about this. We are told why they are upset as well, That is that “no man buyeth their merchandise any more”
Now in the next two verses we are going to spend a lot of time on the specific items that these merchants used to sell to the capital city of antichrist.
You should take note that these are not just any merchants.
Revelation 18:15 which we will see later tells us that the merchants are the merchants of “THESE things” that is the particular items that we are about to study in depth. They are not, as so many teach, all the merchants of the world, or symbolically representative of the world economy. I believe the primary reason we are told of the specific items that are sold to Mystery Babylon is so we can be absolutely sure of who she is and what she is doing during the time of her unfaithfulness.
So lets begin our study of these items.
(Rev 18:12) The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble,
So this is the first of two verses that contain items sold to Mystery Babylon
Let me first give you the overall picture of what I think we are going to see in these verses.
They are mostly items that are specific to the reinstituting of the sacrificial system and the rebuilding of the temple, as well as various items that are required for the maintenance of the temple system. There are other fascinating items too, for instance take a look at this first phrase.
gold, and silver, and precious stones,
Now we will see there are many uses for these items in the temple, and we could make all kinds of connections if we wanted to but I think we should be careful to make sure we are looking for an exact match, not just a general one. And I think this phrase does have a very interesting exact match.
These words only appear In the same verse three other times in the bible.
The first instance is in the kind of master list that David gives us of the things needed to build the temple. This is an important verse and we will see a lot of interesting things in it later on, But notice the items are not in the order we have in our verse, that is, “gold, and silver, and precious stones” They are simply included in the items.
Now I have prepared with all my might for the house of my God the gold for things to be made of gold, and the silver for things of silver, and the brass for things of brass, the iron for things of iron, and wood for things of wood; onyx stones, and stones to be set, glistering stones, and of divers colours, and all manner of precious stones, and marble stones in abundance. – 1Ch 29:2
An that’s pretty significant but lets look at the other two instances of these items in the bible to see if there is a more significant connection.
The next instance of these items is talking about King Hezekiah of Israel’s great wealth. It here mentions he made treasuries of silver, gold, and precious stones.
And Hezekiah had exceeding much riches and honour: and he made himself treasuries for silver, and for gold, and for precious stones, and for spices, and for shields, and for all manner of pleasant jewels; – 2Ch 32:27
The phrase here is pretty close, like in the other one but it reverses silver and gold and it’s also talking about treasuries, It could be a match, but I don’t really think so, lets check the third and last instance of these words.
Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all. But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things. – Dan 11:37-38
Here we have an exact match with our phrase, and it is in my opinion not a coincidence that it is found not only in a verse that is all about the antichrist, but a verse also about the items that will be used in the antichrists fake religious service, I say fake because in verse 37 it say he will not regard any god, but then it say BUT his estate will honour a god with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, So it seems to me that he says one thing and does another, just like other politicians I suppose.
But the main point is that the first phrase listed for items that will be sold to the city of antichrist, just happen to be the exact same phrase as the items that the antichrist’s estate will offer to a god of forces during his reign. The only two times in the bible the exact phrase is used.
pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet
These items too seem to be a part of a set. If you remember from one of the earlier studies we looked in depth at the “fine linen, purple and scarlet” as one of the most used phrases in the book of Exodus, where it is told how to make the curtains and dividers of the tabernacle, as well as the veil, the priests clothing, and almost anything else made of cloth that was in service of the tabernacle They always used this phrase fine linen purple and scarlet. We also mentioned the notable lack of the word “blue” in this phrase which the bible makes clear is a symbol of their right relationship with him. (Num 15:38-41)
We have talked in this study about how in the old testament God speaks of Jerusalem as having dressed her with precious materials in her youth but then it describes how she goes astray after other gods and defiles the way God originally dressed her. I mention this because I think the word silk here in our verse is an interesting clue.
Silk is not mentioned in any of the earlier passages about the types of clothing Mystery Babylon wears; in fact this is the only time the word silk appears in the entire New Testament. And in the Old Testament it’s pretty rare too, appearing only 3 times. Each mention is important, and I think if we look at them it will confirm that we are on the right track with our interpretation.
The first one is from Proverbs 31, this is the famous proverb about a virtuous woman, It’s the great model for women of all ages, it says here that she wears silk.
The last two times it is mentions silk in the bible are in the same chapter, chapter 16 of Ezekiel, a chapter we have looked at many times in the course of our study. It is the picture of the city of Jerusalem from Gods eyes, where he talks about how in her youth he clothed her as a virtuous woman with silk, in this way a picture of the woman of Proverbs 31 .
I clothed thee also with broidered work, and shod thee with badgers’ skin, and I girded thee about with fine linen, and I covered thee with silk.. Eze 16:10
Thus wast thou decked with gold and silver; and thy raiment was of fine linen, and silk, and broidered work; thou didst eat fine flour, and honey, and oil: and thou wast exceeding beautiful, and thou didst prosper into a kingdom. – Eze 16:13
Now, a few verses later we see that she commits adultery, although notice that she retains her original clothing and simply uses it to help her attract men which symbolically represent false gods we are told later.
And thy renown went forth among the heathen for thy beauty: for it was perfect through my comeliness, which I had put upon thee, saith the Lord GOD. But thou didst trust in thine own beauty, and playedst the harlot because of thy renown, and pouredst out thy fornications on every one that passed by; his it was. – Eze 16:14-15
Later we see her using these garments that were given to her to further her worship of false gods on high places.
This mention of silk here, I believe completes the garments of Mystery Babylon which are both symbolic garments that show that she is the one that was decked by God Himself in her youth in other words Jerusalem, but also using the very same language to point back to 23 mentions in the book of Exodus of these specific items that have to do with the the service of the temple.
As a side note, I noticed while doing a word search that the only times these phrases like “fine linen, purple and scarlet” appear in the same verse is the 23 times in Exodus referring to the items in the temple and the priests clothing. The other two times are interestingly in the book of Revelation talking about Mystery Babylon. I don’t think that is a coincidence.
This one is extremely interesting. This word Thyine is not found anywhere else in the bible, The wood itself is known to be a very expensive and rare wood used in the ancient word for building things like ornate furniture, doors of temples, musical instruments and idols.
As I said this exact word only appears here in the bible, but some like The Encyclopædia of Biblical literature, Volume 1
connect this wood to Algum wood, or sometimes called Almug wood which is found in the Old Testament a few times, although still very rarely.
All five instances of this word algum or almug trees in the Old testament are referring to the exact same instance. That is when Solomon was building the 1st temple in Jerusalem, and how he had the merchants bring all kinds of materials and wealth to Jerusalem. We will look in depth at this time toward the end of our study. But for now let’s notice the use of this particular wood.
And the servants also of Huram, and the servants of Solomon, which brought gold from Ophir, brought algum trees and precious stones. And the king made of the algum trees terraces to the house of the LORD, and to the king’s palace, and harps and psalteries for singers: and there were none such seen before in the land of Judah. – 2Ch 9:10-11
In 1Kings we see basically the exact same thing, but there it calls this wood “Almug” although it is clear its talking about the exact same thing as Kings and Chronicles often do.
So this wood is used for pillars of the temple, and for musical instruments we are told. And then we are told that it was so rare and precious that it was not seen in Israel since, So we know that it was imported.
If you only noticed one thing about this I would hope that it would be that the only time we see this wood used in the bible is in the context of it being imported to Jerusalem by merchants for use in the building of the temple, yes the king used the remainder for himself but its clear that the temple was its primary use.
vessels of ivory
Ivory is also a rare term in the Old Testament, but just like Thyine wood it shows up at this time of great wealth and building during Solomon’s reign.
Moreover the king made a great throne of ivory, and overlaid it with the best gold…. For the king had at sea a navy of Tharshish with the navy of Hiram: once in three years came the navy of Tharshish, bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks. So king Solomon exceeded all the kings of the earth for riches and for wisdom. – 1Ki 10:18-23
So again we see one of the few references to ivory in the old testament is talking about it being imported to Jerusalem by merchants, here merchants of Tharshish to service the king in his overabundant wealth, here it talks about a great throne being constructed out of Ivory.
There is another reference to King Ahab of Israel building an entire palace of Ivory during his reign, this is probably where we get the idea kings living in Ivory towers. But I think the connection to the merchants and Ivory and the buildup of Jerusalem and the throne of Ivory are all important clues, again we will look a little closer at this time of Solomon’s kingdom later on.
all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble,
I am going to take this phrase as a unit .
The only other time in scripture that these words appear in the same verse is 1Ch 29:2 , This is where King David who was prevented by God from building a temple himself, but nevertheless was allowed to gather materials for his son Solomon to build it after he died, lists the items he has acquired for Solomon to build the temple. As I read it notice that it is almost an exact match of the entire verse of Revelation 18:12, but we are reading it here to show that precious wood, brass, iron, and marble are all specifically mentioned.
Now I have prepared with all my might for the house of my God the gold for [things to be made] of gold, and the silver for [things] of silver, and the brass for [things] of brass, the iron for [things] of iron, and wood for [things] of wood; onyx stones, and [stones] to be set, glistering stones, and of divers colours, and all manner of precious stones, and marble stones in abundance. – 1Ch 29:2
It should be noted again that this is an extremely rare collection of words, and it should be significant when we find only one other verse in scripture that contains all of them, and it’s all about the temple service. I could see if this happened once or twice, but as we will see it continually occurs.
(Rev 18:13) And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men.
Here is the next list of items that the merchants sell to Mystery Babylon, the capital city of Antichrist in the end times.
And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense
These first four items should be taken as a set. I believe each word was carefully chosen to make sure we were pointed back to the same chapter in the Old Testament, Exodus chapter 30.
Exodus chapter 30 is where we find instructions regarding temple service, and this is also where we find two specific recipes, one for the incense to be offered on the alter of incense and another recipe for holy anointing oil which was to consecrate priests and kings.
One interesting thing is that after each of these recipes are given we have this warning about making anything like it.
Whoever compounds any like it or whoever puts any of it on an outsider shall be cut off from his people.- Exo 30:33
Whoever makes any like it to use as perfume shall be cut off from his people.- Exo 30:38
So this should show us that these items are exclusively to be used in the service of the temple and its various duties.
Let’s look a little closer at the words in our passage and then at the recipes in Exodus 30.
Cinnamon is another rare word. This is the only time it is used in the New Testament in fact. And it is used only 3 times in the Old Testament.
Once in Exodus 30 as part of the recipe for the sacred anointing oil. There Is also a mention of cinnamon in Proverbs 7 as the adulterous woman who spices her bed while trying to seduce a man.
And in Song of Solomon where Solomon compares a woman to expensive spices including cinnamon
If this was the only connection that this list in Revelation 18 had to Exodus 30 (that is that cinnamon is a rare word in the bible and is a key ingredient in the holy anointing oil) I might consider this to be a coincidence, but as I mentioned I think the words in Revelation 18 were carefully chosen so that we would make this connection to Exodus 30 as I think you will shortly see.
This word odors appears 6 times in the new testament. 4 of those times in the book of Revelation. Each time it is referring specifically to incense on the alter of incense, the specific incense used in worshiping God in the temple.
In Exodus 30, the chapter I believe we are being pointed to this word appears more times than any other chapter, it appear there 7 times.
This word is used in the New Testament in a more general way to refer to the compounds of great value used as perfumes and anointing, sometimes they could be as costly as a year’s wages or more. This comes up in the New Testament several times.
However in the Old Testament this takes on a much more specific usage, in fact the corresponding Hebrew word according to the Septuagint is only used 3 times in the Old Testament. If you guessed that Exodus 30 was one of those times you would be right.
In the following passage it is translated as the word compound.
And thou shalt make it an oil of holy ointment, an ointment compound after the art of the apothecary: it shall be an holy anointing oil. And thou shalt anoint the tabernacle of the congregation therewith, and the ark of the testimony, And the table and all his vessels, and the candlestick and his vessels, and the altar of incense, And the altar of burnt offering with all his vessels, and the laver and his foot. And thou shalt sanctify them, that they may be most holy: whatsoever toucheth them shall be holy. And thou shalt anoint Aaron and his sons, and consecrate them, that they may minister unto me in the priest’s office. – Exo 30:25-30
Remember this was a compound that was specifically forbidden to use in any other way than the service of the temple.
The next word frankincense is only used twice in the NT, in this verse, and in Matthew when its referring to the gifts brought to Jesus by the Magi.
In the Old Testament, the first time this word appears is…. you guessed it Exodus 30 as a part of the recipe for the holy incense for temple service.
It is also used as a part of the sacrificial offerings, and I believe it serves as a kind of bridge to the next set of items.
wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep
These items I am sure are meant to go together as a set as they are the exact things needed for the daily offerings at the temple.
Everything we need to know here is found not in Exodus 30, but in the chapter before it, Exodus 29, I would say that this is probably even part of the Exodus 30 passages considering that the chapter breaks are a recent addition.
In Exodus 29 we find the following instructions for the daily offering, Compare Revelation 18:13 to this verse.
And with the one lamb a tenth deal of flour mingled with the fourth part of an hin of beaten oil; and the fourth part of an hin of wine for a drink offering. – Exo 29:40
So we see that lambs flour, oil, and wine, are all mentioned here! Again the same pattern the only time in scripture that these words appear in the same verse is in Revelation 18:13 and Exodus 29:40
This is quite simply a list the components of the daily offerings.
It should not be missed that this daily offering is an exceedingly important aspect of the end time scenario, as it is when the daily offering ceases (by the antichrists sitting in the temple and declaring himself to be God) that the 3.5 year countdown begins. Daniel says this about it:
And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. – Dan 12:11
So we know that the daily sacrifice will be instituted again in the time of the antichrist.
But there is something missing.
Wheat and beasts are mentioned as well. In Revelation 18:13 it contrasts wheat with flour so there is probably a distinction between them and it contrasts sheep with the general term for beasts as well.
Back in Exodus 29 we find why this distinction is used.
And this is the thing that thou shalt do unto them to hallow them, to minister unto me in the priest’s office: Take one young bullock, and two rams without blemish, And unleavened bread, and cakes unleavened tempered with oil, and wafers unleavened anointed with oil: of wheaten flour shalt thou make them. Exo 29:1-2
The first verses of this chapter, which is about the daily offerings, start with the necessary preparation in order to make these daily offerings. They had to first consecrate the priests and the alter, one bullock and two rams or beasts were needed as well as wheat flour, this is the only time wheat is mentioned in conjunction with sacrifice in this chapter.
So wheat and beasts are added to the list in Revelation 18:13 as an indispensable part of the preparation for daily offerings. So this set of items (wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep) represents a shopping list for everything you will need if you plan on making daily offerings in the temple.
horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men.
This last phrase I think begins a new class of items sold to Mystery Babylon by the merchants.
This is an interesting one too, I think before we can fully understand its significance we need to take a little detour and look at the life of King Solomon during the time of his building the temple.
In 1Kings 10 it tells of Solomon’s rule, widely considered to be the most prosperous time in Israel’s history, you will hear that silver was considered nothing in those days, because there was so much gold . But there is an interesting parallel between everything we have seen so far and this time in Solomon’s life.
We will see that it is a time where all the world is in service to Solomon, but it doesn’t seem end well for him personally in fact the next chapter after this says the following of him:
For it was so, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned his heart after other gods; and his heart was not loyal to the LORD his God, as was the heart of his father David. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. – 1Ki 11:4-5
It then talks about how he starts to build houses for these gods and it utterly devoted to them, we are not told whether Solomon repented of this or not. I think he probably did, but I have no biblical support for that.
But the interesting section that I want to show you is just before these verses about him following other gods. We will start with a verse that I think represents a marker, to show when things started to go wrong for Solomon, It says:
1Ki 10:14 The weight of gold that came to Solomon yearly was six hundred and sixty-six talents of gold,
Now, 666 is a pretty interesting number, this is the only other time in the bible it occurs besides the passage in the book of Revelation. Im not claiming that this has any real significance as to the mark of the beast, or is a clue or anything, I only think it’s interesting that if you read between this verse and the verses about him going after other gods you have as section of scripture that I think is one of the most overlooked types (or prophetic foreshadows) of the antichrist, and the time when he will reign in Jerusalem and when these merchants will grow rich of the opulence of the capital city of antichrist.
The weight of gold that came to Solomon yearly was six hundred and sixty-six talents of gold, besides that from the traveling merchants, from the income of traders, from all the kings of Arabia, and from the governors of the country. And King Solomon made two hundred large shields of hammered gold; six hundred shekels of gold went into each shield. He also made three hundred shields of hammered gold; three minas of gold went into each shield. The king put them in the House of the Forest of Lebanon. Moreover the king made a great throne of ivory, and overlaid it with pure gold. … nothing like this had been made for any other kingdom. All King Solomon’s drinking vessels were gold, and all the vessels of the House of the Forest of Lebanon were pure gold. Not one was silver, for this was accounted as nothing in the days of Solomon. For the king had merchant ships at sea with the fleet of Hiram. Once every three years the merchant ships came bringing gold, silver, ivory, apes, and monkeys. So King Solomon surpassed all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom. Now all the earth sought the presence of Solomon to hear his wisdom, which God had put in his heart. Each man brought his present: articles of silver and gold, garments, armor, spices, horses, and mules, at a set rate year by year. And Solomon gathered chariots and horsemen; he had one thousand four hundred chariots and twelve thousand horsemen, whom he stationed in the chariot cities and with the king at Jerusalem. The king made silver as common in Jerusalem as stones, and he made cedar trees as abundant as the sycamores which are in the lowland. Also Solomon had horses imported from Egypt and Keveh; the king’s merchants bought them in Keveh at the current price. Now a chariot that was imported from Egypt cost six hundred shekels of silver, and a horse one hundred and fifty; and thus, through their agents, they exported them to all the kings of the Hittites and the kings of Syria. – 1Ki 10:14-29
If you look carefully at those verses you can see a lot of parallels, but of note to us right now is horses. In that list it was obvious that Solomon was multiplying horses, but did you know that this act was in direct violation of the Law that God had set for kings, which we find in Deut 17:16
But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way. – Deu 17:16
We also notice the chariots mentioned here, he had so many that he had chariot cities. One interesting note about the chariots back in our verse Revelation 18:13
Is that the word for chariots there is extremely rare, In fact there is no other time in the Old Testament or New Testament that this is used. No references in the LXX or anywhere else. There are plenty of mentions of chariots in the bible of course, but none of them are like this word. I will read you the definition from a standard lexicon.
Of Latin origin; a rheda, that is, four wheeled carriage (wagon for riding): – chariot.
That’s right, this kind of chariot has four wheels, I don’t have much to say about that except that I find the bible fascinating.
slaves, and souls of men.
This last section I think may be unnecessarily confusing especially this last part “souls of men”
This same phrase is used in the Old Testament to refer to slaves, not surprisingly we find it in a passage about merchants. It says:
Javan, Tubal, and Meshech, they were thy merchants: they traded the persons of men and vessels of brass in thy market. – Eze 27:13
The word “persons” there is the Hebrew word nephesh which is translated souls 475 times in the Old Testament, but it is used in a variety of ways which you can see from this lexicon entry. I think that here in the Old Testament is the correct way to understand the idea of souls of men, that is in terms of slaves, Im sure the translators of Revelation simply rendered the word nephesh in its literal sense, that is “souls of men” even though it clearly has a much broader use in scripture.
But wait, if that is true that causes a bit of a conflict in Revelation 18:13.
Because we already have a word translated as “slaves”, So am I saying that this verse should read they were selling “slaves and slaves?”
Let’s look at the first word they have rendered as slaves.
This word is soma in the Greek it is used 146 times in the New Testament, and it never means slaves other than this one time, the other 145 times it is rendered as bodies, either dead bodies or alive bodies, its basically used the exact same way we use the word “body” in English.
So I think that this verse could have better been translated as “bodies and slaves.”
I am not exactly sure how this will manifest during the antichrists reign, Im sure I could have dug up more interesting connections here, but at the very least if we just take it at its face value and when you consider that The antichrist will preside over the biggest genocide in history, you can start to make some guesses as to how this slavery could play out, To give an example of how much people will agree with this genocide remember Jesus’ words in the Olivet discourse:
Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death. – Mar 13:12
So with such disregard for human life among the world at this time I don’t know why we should expect them to care if these people that they clearly hate and think they are doing the world a favor by killing were used even as slaves.
(Rev 18:14) And the fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee, and all things which were dainty and goodly are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all.
All the delicious living that was described as being a part of the city of Mystery Babylon will cease when Judgment comes to it.
(Rev 18:15) The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing,
The merchants of these things,
We have already mentioned that this seems to refute the idea that these merchants are a general term for the world economy or “Economic Babylon” as is often said by those that would seek to spiritualize the above passages.
Revelation commentary notes:
1. The merchants…mourning = echoes the situation of the kings above. Their reaction is the same as the kings.
2. Woe, woe, the great city = indicates that the lament of the merchants is the same as the kings.
(Rev 18:16) And saying, Alas, alas, that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls!
And saying, Alas, alas:
This is what the merchants will say when they watch her burn from afar off.
clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls!
This is the same description given of the harlot in Revelation 17:4
They note again her clothing. It is fitting that the merchants refer to her by the items that they sold to her.