God Has Pronounced Your Judgement

The beast comes on the scene with ten leaders that give their power and authority over. They destroy the harlot, false religion, and throw off the sovereignty she and the great city Babylon have over them. Many who had been made rich by her lament, but there is a voice from heaven, “God has pronounced your judgement on her”. The voice of the blood of the prophets and saints and many that had been slaughtered has been answered.

These Will Make War

Revelation 17:9–18
The seven kings in Revelation 17:9-10 seem to represent kingdoms, “five have fallen, one is, the other is not yet come” which looks forward to one more after the fall of the Roman Empire. So after this short rule, the seventh, In Revelation 17:11 comes the beast as the eighth. Then, in Revelation 17:12-13 “ten kings … one opinion … and they will give their power and authority to the beast”. and “these will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them” in Revelation 17:14.

But first, they must throw off, as it says in Revelation 17:18 her “sovereignty over the kings of the earth”. This is why they turn on her. Kings who ruled on the earth were to be under God’s authority and to be confirmed by God’s priests. Even though she had become the harlot, this false religion continued to exercise sovereignty as if blessed by God. Maybe because of Revelation 17:15, “where the prostitute is seated, are peoples and crowds and nations and languages” and she still held influence over these people. Now, the beast, and these kings have cast off all religious influence, all restraint to pursue their ends.

Then Revelation 17:16 uses an an old testament reference, “In the Old Testament, that (devouring flesh) is the action of a most savage and powerful enemy. It is the complaint of the psalmist that the wicked devour his flesh (Psalm 27:2). The wicked in Israel, with their grasping oppression, eat the flesh of the people of God (Micah 3:3). This is a picture of terrible vengeance. They will burn her in the fire. This is the punishment for the most wicked sin (Leviticus 20:14), and above all the punishment for the daughter of a priest who has been guilty of sexual immorality (Leviticus 21:9)”1.

Fallen is Babylon the Great

Revelation 18:1–8
In Revelation 18:1 we see “another angel descending from heaven, who had great authority” and in Revelation 18:2-3 we hear him declaring “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great”. Then in Revelation 18:5-8 “another voice from heaven saying, Come out from her my people …”. These things happening to her are “because the Lord God who passes judgement on her is powerful!”. It seems odd that this warning would need to be given to God’s people, except that her influence has become so pervasive, even the elect find themselves shoulder to shoulder, or as Jesus said in Matthew 13:24-30, wheat among tares.

Woe, The Great City

Revelation 18:9–18
Revelation 17:18 says, “the woman is the great city”. Her destruction is also the destruction of the city and global commerce with it. “The kings of the earth” in Revelation 18:9, I think the other kings, not the beast and his ten that are seeking to reign with “one opinion”, but because the global commercial economy supported by her has failed, the rest of the leaders of the world lament. Now the Merchants join the lament in Revelation 18:11-16 and “every shipmaster and every seafarer and sailor” join the lament in Revelation 18:17-18.

Rejoice Over Her

Revelation 18:19–24
The lament of those that had been made rich by her continues in Revelation 18:19. And then we hear a different voice in Revelation 18:120-24 saying “Rejoice over her, heaven and the saints and the prophets because God has pronounced your judgement on her!” This is quite a statement. Jesus said, in

John 20:23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them. If you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

In Revelation 18:21 “Babylon the great city will be thrown down with violence, and will never be found again!” because in

Revelation 18:24 And in her was found the blood of the prophets and saints and all those that had been slaughtered in the earth.

Study Verses

  • Revelation 17:9–18
  • Revelation 18:9–18
  • Revelation 18:19–24

Today’s Reading

  • Revelation 17:9-18
  • Revelation 18:1-24


  • 1. Barclay, W. (2004). Revelation of John (Vol. 2, p. 168). Louisville, KY; London: Westminster John Knox Press.