Revelation 18

The end of Babylon

1 After these things happened, I saw another angel. He was coming down from heaven. He had great authority. He was beautiful and he shone brightly. He gave light to the whole world. 2 He shouted with a very loud voice:

‘God has destroyed Babylon!

It is no longer a great city!

She has become a place where demons live.

She is a home for every dirty spirit.

She is a home for every dirty bird.

She is a home for every dirty animal which people hate.

3 She has been like a prostitute who makes men become drunk.

Then she leads them to have sex in a wrong way.

Like this, she has caused people from every country to turn away from God.

It is like the kings who rule on the earth have had sex with that bad woman.

She has bought many expensive things from the people on earth who buy and sell things.

As a result, she has caused them to become rich.’

4 Then I heard another voice which spoke from heaven. It said:

‘My people, leave the city! Come out!

Do not do the bad things that the people of that city have done.

Then you will not receive any of the troubles that God sends to them.

5 They have done very many bad things.

Their sins have reached as high as heaven.

God knows about all the wrong things that they have done.’

6 ‘Yes, punish the people of that city.

Do to them the same things that they have done to others.

Punish them with twice the bad things that they themselves have done.

She caused people to drink many troubles from her cup.

Now make her drink twice as many troubles for herself!

7 She made herself to be great.

She made herself to be happy with many expensive things.

So now give her trouble and pain instead of her happiness.

She said to herself, “I rule people like a queen.

I do not live like a widow who is sad.

I will never have trouble. I will never be sad.”

8 Because she spoke like that,

she will receive many troubles in one single day.

Her people will become ill.

They will be sad.

They will have no food.

Fire will destroy the city,

The Lord God is powerful.

So he will punish her with these troubles.’

9 When all that happens, the kings on the earth will be very sad. They enjoyed the bad things that people did in that city. They had many expensive things so that they were happy. Now they will see the smoke from the fire that burns the city. As a result, they will cry and they will weep. 10 They will stand a long way from the city because they are afraid. They do not want to receive the same troubles themselves. They will say,

‘Bad trouble has come to you, Babylon!

Great city! Powerful city! It is very bad for you!

In one single hour God has destroyed you!’

11 The people on the earth who sell things will also be very sad. They will weep because nobody will buy their things any more. 12 They sold many expensive things like these:

  • Things made from gold and silver;
  • Valuable stones and pearls;
  • Special kinds of cloth which included expensive red cloth and purple cloth;
  • Things made from wood that has a nice smell;
  • Many different things that are made from ivory;
  • Many kinds of things that people had made from expensive wood, and from different metals and from stone;
  • 13 Different kinds of spice and incense, like myrrh and frankincense;
  • Wine, olive oil, expensive flour and wheat;
  • Cows and sheep;
  • Horses and their carts;
  • Human slaves.
  • 14 The people who sold these things will say to the city, ‘You have now lost all the good things that you wanted so much. You have lost all those expensive things that made you beautiful. You will never have them again.’

    15 Those people had become rich because of the city. But now they will stand a long way from the city because they are afraid. They do not want to receive the same troubles themselves. They will weep and they will be very sad. 16 They will say,

    ‘Bad trouble has come to you, Babylon!

    Great city! It is very bad for you!

    You wore beautiful clothes that were made from expensive cloth.

    You also wore bright things that made you look beautiful.

    You shone with gold, valuable stones and pearls.

    17 But in one single hour God has destroyed all those valuable things.’

    All the sailors and the people who travel on ships will also be sad. They include every ship's captain, and everyone who works on ships on the sea. They will stand a long way from the city. 18 They will see the smoke from the fire that burns the city. Then they will shout, ‘There is no other city like this great city!’ 19 They will throw dirt from the ground on their heads because they are so sad. They will weep and they will shout,

    ‘Bad trouble has come to you, Babylon!

    Great city! It is very bad for you!

    Everyone who had ships on the sea became rich because of you.

    You used your money to buy their expensive things.

    But in one single hour God has destroyed that city.’

    20 Yes, you who live in heaven, be happy!

    Be happy because God has punished Babylon!

    God's people and his apostles and his prophets, be happy!

    God has punished the city because of what she did to you.

    21 Then a powerful angel picked up a very big, heavy stone. He threw it into the sea. He said,

    ‘God will throw you down, Babylon!

    You are a great city, but God will throw you down like this stone.

    Nobody will ever see you again!

    22 Nobody will ever hear music in the city again.

    Nobody will sing there.

    Nobody will make music with harps, or with flutes, or with trumpets.

    There will never be workers who make things in the city.

    Nobody will ever hear the sound of people who make flour again.

    23 No light from people's lamps will ever shine in the city again.

    Nobody will ever hear the happy voices of a man and a woman when they marry.

    Your people who sold things were the most powerful people on the earth.

    You used your magic.

    You caused people from all countries to believe wrong things.

    24 Your people killed God's people and his prophets.

    Their blood is in your streets.

    The blood of everyone on earth that people have killed is also there.

    This shows that you are guilty of their death.’

    18:24God completely destroys the Devil's city, which John calls ‘Babylon’. Many people became rich and powerful because of that city. They thought that money and power were more important than God. But nobody who serves the Devil will be happy in the end. Nobody can be really happy unless they serve God.