Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Revelation 18:19

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

They cast dust on their heads - They showed every sign of the sincerest grief. The lamentation over this great ruined city, Revelation 18:9-19, is exceedingly strong and well drawn. Here is no dissembled sorrow; all is real to the mourners, and affecting to the spectators.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

And they cast dust on their heads - A common sign of lamentation and mourning among the Orientals. See the notes on Job 2:12.

By reason of her costliness - The word rendered “costliness” - τιμιότητος timiotētos- means, properly, “preciousness, costliness”; their magnificence, costly merchandise. The luxury of a great city enriches many individuals, however much it may impoverish itself.

For in one hour is she made desolate - So it seemed to them. See the notes on Revelation 18:17.

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.