Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Revelation 18:16

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Clothed in fine linen, and purple, etc. - The verb περιβαλλεσθαι, which we here translate clothed, signifies often to abound, be enriched, laden with, and is so used by the best Greek writers; see many examples in Kypke. These articles are not to be considered here as personal ornaments, but as articles of trade or merchandise, in which this city trafficked.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

And saying, Alas, alas … - notes on Revelation 18:10.

That was clothed in fine linen - In the previous description Revelation 18:12-13, these are mentioned as articles of traffic; here the city, under the image of a female, is represented as clothed in the most rich and frivolous of these articles.

And purple, and scarlet - See the notes on Revelation 17:3-4. Compare Revelation 18:12 of this chapter.

And decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls - notes on Revelation 17:4.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The mourners had shared Babylon's sensual pleasures, and gained by her wealth and trade. The kings of the earth, whom she flattered into idolatry, allowing them to be tyrannical over their subjects, while obedient to her; and the merchants, those who trafficked for her indulgences, pardons, and honours; these mourn. Babylon's friends partook her sinful pleasures and profits, but are not willing to share her plagues. The spirit of antichrist is a worldly spirit, and that sorrow is a mere worldly sorrow; they do not lament for the anger of God, but for the loss of outward comforts. The magnificence and riches of the ungodly will avail them nothing, but will render the vengeance harder to be borne. The spiritual merchandise is here alluded to, when not only slaves, but the souls of men, are mentioned as articles of commerce, to the destroying the souls of millions. Nor has this been peculiar to the Roman antichrist, and only her guilt. But let prosperous traders learn, with all their gains, to get the unsearchable riches of Christ; otherwise; even in this life, they may have to mourn that riches make to themselves wings and fly away, and that all the fruits their souls lusted after, are departed from them. Death, at any rate, will soon end their commerce, and all the riches of the ungodly will be exchanged, not only for the coffin and the worm, but for the fire that cannot be quenched.
Ellen G. White
The Great Controversy, 653

“Her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.... In the cup which she hath filled fill to her double. How 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. 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. And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, ... saying, Alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.” Revelation 18:5-10. GC 653.1

“The merchants of the earth,” that have “waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies,” “shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing, 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 in one hour so great riches is come to nought.” Revelation 18:11, 3, 15-17. GC 653.2

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