Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Revelation 18:2

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen - This is a quotation from Isaiah 21:9; : And he said, Babylon is fallen, is fallen; and all the graven images of her gods he hath broken unto the ground. This is applied by some to Rome pagan; by others to Rome papal; and by others to Jerusalem.

Is become - the hold of every foul spirit - See the parallel passages in the margin. The figures here point out the most complete destruction. A city utterly sacked and ruined, never to be rebuilt.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

And he cried mightily - Literally, “he cried with a strong great voice.” See Revelation 10:3.

Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen - See the notes on Revelation 14:8. The proclamation here is substantially the same as in that place, and no doubt the same thing is referred to.

And is become the habitation of devils - Of demons - in allusion to the common opinion that the demons inhabited abandoned cities, old ruins, and deserts. See the notes on Matthew 12:43-45. The language here is taken from the description of Babylon in Isaiah 13:20-22; and for a full illustration of the meaning, see the notes on that passage.

And the hold of every foul spirit - φυλακὴ phulakēA watch-post, station, haunt of such spirits - That is, they, as it were, kept guard there; were stationed there; haunted the place.

And a cage of every unclean and hateful bird - That is, they would resort there, and abide there as in a cage. The word translated “cage” is the same which is rendered “hold” - φυλακὴ phulakēIn Isaiah 13:21, it is said, “and owls shall dwell there”; and in Isaiah 14:23, it is said that it would be a “possession for the bittern.” The idea is that of utter desolation; and the meaning here is, that spiritual Babylon - papal Rome Revelation 14:8 - will be reduced to a state of utter desolation resembling that of the real Babylon. It is not necessary to suppose this of the city of Rome itself - for that is not the object of the representation. It is the papacy, represented under the image of the city, and having its seat there. That is to be destroyed as utterly as was Babylon of old; that will become as odious, and loathsome, and detestable as the literal Babylon, the abode of monsters is.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The downfal and destruction of the mystical Babylon are determined in the counsels of God. Another angel comes from heaven. This seems to be Christ himself, coming to destroy his enemies, and to shed abroad the light of his gospel through all nations. The wickedness of this Babylon was very great; she had forsaken the true God, and set up idols, and had drawn all sorts of men into spiritual adultery, and by her wealth and luxury kept them in her interest. The spiritual merchandise, by which multitudes have wickedly lived in wealth, by the sins and follies of mankind, seems principally intended. Fair warning is given to all that expect mercy from God, that they should not only come out of this Babylon, but assist in her destruction. God may have a people even in Babylon. But God's people shall be called out of Babylon, and called effectually, while those that partake with wicked men in their sins, must receive of their plagues.
Ellen G. White
The Great Controversy, 611

The angel who unites in the proclamation of the third angel's message is to lighten the whole earth with his glory. A work of world-wide extent and unwonted power is here foretold. The advent movement of 1840-44 was a glorious manifestation of the power of God; the first angel's message was carried to every missionary station in the world, and in some countries there was the greatest religious interest which has been witnessed in any land since the Reformation of the sixteenth century; but these are to be exceeded by the mighty movement under the last warning of the third angel. GC 611.1

The work will be similar to that of the Day of Pentecost. As the “former rain” was given, in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at the opening of the gospel, to cause the upspringing of the precious seed, so the “latter rain” will be given at its close for the ripening of the harvest. “Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord: His going forth is prepared as the morning; and He shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.” Hosea 6:3. “Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God: for He hath given you the former rain moderately, and He will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain.” Joel 2:23. “In the last days, saith God, I will pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh.” “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Acts 2:17, 21. GC 611.2

The great work of the gospel is not to close with less manifestation of the power of God than marked its opening. The prophecies which were fulfilled in the outpouring of the former rain at the opening of the gospel are again to be fulfilled in the latter rain at its close. Here are “the times of refreshing” to which the apostle Peter looked forward when he said: “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; and He shall send Jesus.” Acts 3:19, 20. GC 611.3

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Ellen G. White
Selected Messages Book 3, 389.5

A world is to be warned, and when the third angel's message goes forth with a loud cry, minds will be fully prepared to make decisions for or against the truth. The great change is to be made by Satan and his evil angels, united with evil men who will fix their destiny by making void the law of God in the face of convincing evidence from His Word that it is unchangeable and eternal. 3SM 389.5

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Ellen G. White
Selected Messages Book 3, 390.1

Loud Cry of Third Angel's Message—The very time of which the prophet has written will come, and the mighty cry of the third angel will be heard in the earth, his glory will lighten the world, and the message will triumph, but those who do not walk in its light will not triumph with it.... 3SM 390.1

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Ellen G. White
Selected Messages Book 3, 405.3

The Revelator says, “I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen” (Revelation 18:1, 2). This is the same message that was given by the second angel—Babylon is fallen, “because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication” (chap 14:8). What is that wine? Her false doctrines. She has given to the world a false sabbath instead of the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, and has repeated the lie Satan first told to Eve in Eden—the natural immortality of the soul. Many kindred errors she has spread far and wide, “teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” 3SM 405.3

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