1 And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.
(καταβαινοντα εκ του ουρανου). Present active predicate participle. Not the angel of (John's guide), but one announcing the doom of Babylon (Rome). As in .
(εφωτισθη). First aorist passive of φωτιζω, old causative verb (from φως, light), common in N.T. as in .
(εκ της δοξης αυτου). "By reason of (εκ as in ) 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).
2 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.
(επεσεν, επεσεν Βαβυλων η μεγαλη). The very words of : "Did fall, did fall Babylon the great." Prophetic aorists of πιπτω repeated like a solemn dirge of the damned.
(εγενετο). Prophetic aorist middle.
(κατοικητηριον). Late word (from κατοικεω, to dwell), in N.T. only here and . Devils should be demons, of course. So Isaiah prophesied of Babylon () and also Jeremiah () and Zephaniah of Nineveh (). Both Babylon and Nineveh are ruins.
(φυλακη παντος πνευματος ακαθαρτου). Φυλακη is garrison or watch-tower as in , rather than a prison ().
(φυλακη παντος ορνεου ακαθαρτου κα μεμισημενου). Ορνεου is old word for bird, in N.T. only . "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.
3For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.
(εκ). "As a result of." Some MSS. omit "of the wine" (του οινου). Cf. .
(πεπτωκαν). Perfect active third personal of πιπτω for usual πεπτωκασ. Some MSS. read πεπωκαν (have drunk), from πινω like the metaphor in . See for the same charge about the kings of the earth.
(ο εμπορο της γης). Old word for one on a journey for trade (from εν, πορος), like drummers, in N.T. only . Like εμποριον () and εμπορευομα ().
(επλουτησαν). First ingressive aorist active indicative of πλουτεω, to be rich (cf. ). Here alone in the N.T. do we catch a glimpse of the vast traffic between east and west that made Rome rich.
(του στρηνους αυτης). Late word for arrogance, luxury, here alone in N.T. See στρηνιαω in verses , to live wantonly.
4And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
(εξελθατε, ο λαος μου, εξ αυτης). Second aorist (urgency) active imperative (-α form) of εξερχομα. Like , (about Babylon). See also the call of Abram (). the rescue of Lot (). In the N.T. see . Hο λαος is vocative with the form of the nominative.
(ινα μη συνκοινωνησητε ταις αμαρταις αυτης). Purpose clause with ινα μη and the first aorist active subjunctive of συνκοινωνεω, old compound (συν, together, κοινωνος, partner), in N.T. only here, . With associative instrumental case αμαρτιαις.
(κα εκ των πληγων αυτης ινα μη λαβητε). Another purpose clause dependent on the preceding, with ινα μη and the second aorist active subjunctive of λαμβανω, and with proleptic emphatic position of εκ των πληγων αυτης before ινα μη.
5For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.
(εκολληθησαν). First aorist passive (deponent) indicative of κολλαω, old verb (from κολλα, gluten, glue), to cleave to, to join one another in a mass "up to heaven" (αχρ του ουρανου). Cf. .
(εμνημονευσεν). First aorist (prophetic) active indicative of μνημονευω, here with the accusative (αδικηματα, iniquities) instead of the genitive ().
6Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double.
(αποδοτε ως απεδωκεν). Second aorist (effective) active imperative and first aorist (effective) active of αποδιδωμ, old and common verb for requital, to give back, the lex talionis which is in the O.T. (), and in the N.T. also (). Here the reference is to persecutions by Rome, particularly the martyrdom of the saints ().
(διπλωσατε τα διπλα). First aorist imperative of διπλοω, old verb (from διπλοος, double, ), here only in N.T. Διπλα is simply the neuter plural accusative (cognate) contract form for διπλοα (not διπλω). Requite here in double measure, a full requital (). The double recompense was according to the Levitical law.
(ω εκερασεν). First aorist active indicative of κεραννυμ. The relative ω is attracted to the locative case of its antecedent ποτηριω (cup), for which see .
(κερασατε αυτη διπλουν). First aorist active imperative of the same verb κεραννυμ, with the same idea of double punishment.
7How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.
(οσα). Indefinite quantitative relative pronoun οσος in the accusative (cognate) neuter plural object of εδοξασεν (first aorist active indicative of δοξαζω).
(αυτην). Reflexive pronoun, accusative also with εδοξασεν.
(εστρηνιασεν). First aorist (ingressive) active indicative of στρηνιαω (to live luxuriously), verb in late comedy instead of τρυφαω (), from στρηνος (), only here in N.T.
(τοσουτον δοτε αυτη βασανισμον κα πενθος). Second aorist active imperative of διδωμ, to give. The correlative pronoun τοσουτον is masculine singular accusative, agreeing with βασανισμον, for which see , and is understood with the neuter word πενθος (mourning), in N.T. only in (kin to παθοσ, πενομα).
(καθημα βασιλισσα). Predicate nominative for the old form βασιλεια (βασιλις), as in . Babylon and Tyre had preceded Rome in such boasting ().
(κα χηρα ουκ ειμ). Feminine of the adjective χηρος (barren), old word ().
(πενθος ου μη ιδω). Confident boast of security with emphatic position of πενθος (see above) and double negative ου μη with the second aorist active subjunctive of οραω (defective verb).
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.
(δια τουτο). Because of her presumption added to her crimes.
(εν μια ημερα). Symbolical term for suddenness like μια ωρα, in one hour (). John has in mind still .
(ηξουσιν). Future active of ηκω. Her plagues are named (death, mourning, famine).
(κατακαυθησετα). Future passive of κατακαιω (perfective use of κατα).
(εν πυρ). "In fire," as in .
(ο κρινας αυτην). Articular first aorist active participle of κρινω referring to κυριος ο θεος (the Lord God). The doom of Babylon is certain because of the power of God.
9And 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,
(κλαυσουσιν). Future active of κλαιω, middle κλαυσοντα in Attic, as in .
(κα κοψοντα επ' αυτην). Future direct middle of κοπτω, old verb, to beat, to cut, middle to beat oneself (). For combination with κλαιω as here see . See for ο πορνευσαντες κα στρηνιασαντες).
(οταν βλεπωσιν). Indefinite temporal clause with οταν and the present active subjunctive of βλεπω.
(τον καπνον της πυρωσεως αυτης). Πυρωσις is an old word (from πυροω to burn), in N.T. only . See verse for other plagues on Rome, but fire seems to be the worst ().
10Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.
(απο μακροθεν εστηκοτες). Perfect active (intransitive) participle of ιστημ. 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 μακροθεν see . There is a weird charm in a burning city. They feared the same fate (cf. verse for βασανισμου, torment).
(ουαι, ουαι, η πολις η μεγαλη). Only example in the Apocalypse of the nominative with ουα except verses , though in and common in LXX (, etc.). For the dative see , once so "strong" (η ισχυρα)!
(μια ωρα). Repeated in verses , and like μια ημερα (in one day) in verse . Some MSS. have here μιαν ωραν, like ποιαν ωραν (accusative of extent of time) in . See verse (ο κρινας) for η κρισις σου (thy judgment). This is the dirge of the kings.
11And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more:
(ο εμπορο). As in . The dirge of the merchants follows the wail of the kings.
(κλαιουσιν κα πενθουσιν). Present active indicatives of κλαιω and πενθεω as in verses (for κλαιω), .
(οτ τον γομον αυτων ουδεις αγοραζε ουκετ). Reason enough for their sorrow over Rome's fall. Γομος is old word (from γεμω to be full) for a ship's cargo () and then any merchandise (). 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 . There are twenty-nine items singled out in verses of this merchandise or cargo (γομον), imports into the port of Rome. Only a few need any comment.
12The 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,
(βυσσινου). Genitive case after γομον, as are all the items to κοκκινου. Old adjective from βυσσος (linen, ), here a garment of linen, in N.T. only .
(πορφυρας). Fabric colored with purple dye (πορφυρεος, ), as in .
(σιρικου). So the uncials here. Το σηρικον (the silken fabric) occurs in Plutarch, Strabo, Arrian, Lucian, only here in N.T. Probably from the name of the Indian or Chinese people (ο Σηρες) from whom the fabric came after Alexander invaded India. Silk was a costly article among the Romans, and for women as a rule.
(κοκκινου). See .
(παν ξυλον θυινον). Now accusative again without γομον 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.
(ελεφαντινον). Old adjective (from ελεφας elephant) agreeing with σκευος (vessel), here only in N.T. Cf. Ahab's ivory palace ().
(μαρμαρου). Old word (from μαρμαιρω, to glisten), genitive after σκευος (vessel), here only in N.T.
13And 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.
(κινναμωμον). Old word transliterated into English, here only in N.T. Of Phoenician origin (Herodotus) as to name and possibly from South China.
(αμωμον). A fragrant plant of India, αμομυμ, for perfume.
(θυμιαματα). See .
(μυρον). See .
(λιβανον). See .
(σεμιδαλιν). Old word for finest wheaten flour, here only in N.T.
(ιππων). Here then is a return to the construction of the genitive after γομον in verse , though not used here, an anomalous genitive construction (Charles).
(ρεδων). A Gallic word for a vehicle with four wheels, here only in N.T.
(σοματων). "Of bodies," treated as animals or implements, like the horses and the chariots (cf. rickshaw men in China). This use of σωμα for slave occurs in ; Tob 10:11 (σωματα κα κτηνη, slaves and cattle); II Macc. 8:11.
(ψυχας ανθρωπων). Deissmann (Bible Studies, p. 160) finds this use of σωμα for slave in the Egyptian Delta. Return to the accusative ψυχας. From . This addition is an explanation of the use of σωματα for slaves, "human live stock" (Swete), but slaves all the same. Perhaps κα here should be rendered "even," not "and": "bodies even souls of men." The slave merchant was called σωματεμπορος (body merchant).
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.
(η οπωρα). The ripe autumn fruit (). Here only in N.T. Of uncertain etymology (possibly οπος, sap, ωρα, hour, time for juicy sap). See for δενδρα φθινοπωρινος (autumn trees).
(σου της επιθυμιας της ψυχης). "Of the lusting of thy soul."
(απηλθεν απο σου). Prophetic aorist active indicative of απερχομα with repetition of απο.
(παντα τα λιπαρα κα τα λαμπρα). "All the dainty and the gorgeous things." Λιπαρος is from λιπος (grease) and so fat, about food (here only in N.T.), while λαμπρος is bright and shining (), about clothing.
(απωλετο απο σου). Prophetic second aorist middle indicative of απολλυμ (intransitive).
(ουκετ ου μη αυτα ευρησουσιν). Doubled double negative with future active, as emphatic a negation as the Greek can make.
15The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing,
(τουτων). Listed above in verses .
(ο πλουτησαντες απ' αυτης). "Those who grew rich (ingressive aorist active participle of πλουτεω, for which see verses ) from her."
(απο μακροθεν στησοντα). Future middle of ιστημ. Repeating the picture in verse . Again in verse . See verse for the two participles κλαιοντες κα πενθουντες.
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!
For the Woe see verses . For the next clause see with the addition here of βυσσινον ().
(οτ μια ωρα ηρημωθη ο τοσουτος πλουτος). The reason (οτ) for the "woe." First aorist passive indicative of ερημοω, for which verb see . This is the dirge of the merchants.
17 For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off,
(κυβερνητης). Old word (from κυβερναω, to steer), helmsman, sailing-master, in N.T. only here and . Subordinate to the ναυκληρος (supreme commander).
(ο επ τοπον πλεων). "The one sailing to a place." See , τους κατα την Ασιαν πλεοντας (those sailing down along Asia). Nestle suggests ποντον (sea) here for τοπον (place), but it makes sense as it is.
(ναυτα). Old word (from ναυς, ship), in N.T. only here and .
(την θαλασσαν εργαζοντα). "Work the sea." This idiom is as old as Hesiod for sailors, fishermen, etc. See verses .
18And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city!
(βλεποντες). Present active participle of βλεπω. See οταν βλεπωσιν in verse .
(τις ομοια τη πολε τη μεγαληι;). No πολις with τις, but implied. Associative instrumental case, as usual, with ομοια. "The eternal city" is eternal no longer.
19 And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas, that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate.
(εβαλον χουν). Second aorist active of βαλλω. Χους is old word (from χεω to pour) for heap of earth, dust, in N.T. only here and . Cf. . This is the dirge of the sea-folk (cf. verses ).
(εκ της τιμιοτητος αυτης). Occasionally in later literary Greek, though here only in N.T. and not in LXX. The same use of τιμη appears in . Common in the papyri as a title like "Your Honor" (Moulton and Milligan's Vocabulary).
20 Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.
(Ευφραινου επ' αυτη). Present middle imperative of ευφραινω, for which verb see , 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.
(εκρινεν ο θεος το κριμα). First aorist (prophetic) active of κρινω and cognate accusative κριμα, here a case for trial (), not a sentence as in . God has approved the case of heaven.
21 And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.
(εις αγγελος ισχυρος). Here εις = a, just an indefinite article, not "one" as a numeral.
(ηρεν). First aorist active indicative of αιρω.
(ως μυλινον μεγαν). Late adjective, in inscriptions, here only in N.T., made of millstone (μυλος, ), while μυλικος () means belonging to a mill. This is not a small millstone turned by women (), but one requiring an ass to turn it (), and so "a great" one.
(εβαλεν). Second aorist active of βαλλω, to hurl.
(ορμηματ). Instrumental case (manner) of ορμημα, a rush, old word from ορμαω, to rush (), here only in N.T.
(βλεθησετα). Future (first) passive of βαλλω, the same verb (εβαλεν), effective punctiliar future. Like a boulder hurled into the sea.
(ου μη ευρεθη ετ). Double negative with first aorist passive subjunctive of ευρισκω. See for ου μη with the active voice of ευρισκω. Already the old Babylon was a desert waste (Strabo, XVI. 1073).
22And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee;
(φωνη). Cf. . Or "sound" as in with σαλπιγξ (trumpet). For this song of judgment see .
(κιθαρωιδων). Old word (from κιθαρα, harp, and ωιδος, singer) as in .
(μουσικων). Old word (from μουσα, music), here only in N.T., one playing on musical instruments.
(αυλητων). Old word (from αυλεω, to play on a flute, , αυλος, flute, ), in N.T. only here and .
(σαλπιστων). Late form for the earlier σαλπιγκτης (from σαλπιζω), here only in N.T.
(ου μη ακουσθη). First aorist passive subjunctive of ακουω with the double negative as below, with φωνη μυλου (sound of the millstone), and as in verse with ου με ευρεθη and again with πας τεχνιτης (craftsman). This old word is from τεχνη, art, as here in some MSS. ("of whatsoever craft," πασης τεχνης). Τεχνιτης occurs also in this sense in ; and in of God as the Architect. There is power in this four-fold sonorous repetition of ου μη and the subjunctive with two more examples in verse .
23And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.
(λυχνου). Old word (), again in .
(ου μη φανη). Fifth instance in these verses of ου μη with the aorist subjunctive, here the active of φαινω as in . It is not known whether Rome had street lights or not.
(φωνη νυμφιου κα νυμφης). See . "Even the occasional flash of the torches carried by bridal processions () is seen no more" (Swete). The sixth instance of ου μη, in verses , occurs with ακουσθη (third instance of ακουσθη, two in verse ).
(ησαν ο μεγιστανες της γης). For μεγισταν see . "Thy merchants were the grandees" once, but now these merchant princes are gone.
(εν τη φαρμακια σου). Εν (instrumental use) and the locative case of φαρμακια, old word (from φαρμακευω, to prepare drugs, from φαρμακον, sorcery, ), in N.T. only here and 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.
(επλανηθησαν). First aorist passive indicative of πλαναω. These charlatans always find plenty of victims. See .
24 And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.
(εν αυτη). In Rome.
(ευρεθη). First aorist passive indicative of ευρισκω. See 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.
(παντων των εσφαγμενων). Perfect passive articular participle genitive plural of σφαζω, the verb used of the Lamb slain (). Cf. about Jerusalem.