Revelation 18:18
And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like to this great city!
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
18:9-19 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.And cried ... - That is, as they had a deep interest in it, they would, on their own account, as well as hers, lift up the voice of lamentation.What city is like unto this great city? - In her destruction. What calamity has ever come upon a city like this? 18. when they saw—Greek, "horontes." But A, B, C, and Andreas read, Greek, "blepontes," "looking at." Greek, "blepo," is to use the eyes, to look: the act of seeing without thought of the object seen. Greek, "horao," refers to the thing seen or presented to the eyes [Tittmann].

smoke—so B, C. But A reads "place."

What city is like—Compare the similar beast as to the beast, Re 13:4: so closely do the harlot and beast approximate one another. Contrast the attribution of this praise to God, to whom alone it is due, by His servants (Ex 15:11). Martial says of Rome, "Nothing is equal to her;" and Athenæus, "She is the epitome of the world."

Ver. 18,19. We all know ship masters and sailors are persons that live by carrying merchants’ goods; and therefore, properly, the terms signify all such persons (of what rank and order soever) who get their livings by serving this mystical Babylon, whether silversmiths that make shrines for Diana, or clerks, or notaries, or any officers in that church, employed in gathering its revenues of annats and first-fruits, selling of offices, gathering of Peter-pence, drawing of pardons and indulgences, or dispensations, or such as in that synagogue hold any offices of profit. All who will be highly concerned in the ruin of the papacy, as that by the upholding of which they live, by reason of the great riches thus coming in, the whole rabble of their ecclesiastical hierarchy, with all their petty officers, seem to be here meant. And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning,.... See Gill on Revelation 18:9.

saying, what city is like unto this great city? as before for magnificence and grandeur, so now for sorrow, desolation, and ruin; nor was any city like it for power and authority, for pride and luxury, for idolatry and superstition, blasphemy and impenitence; the like the sailors say of Tyre, Ezekiel 27:30 from whence this and other expressions are borrowed in this lamentation.

And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city!
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
18. What city is like &c.] Ezekiel 27:32.Revelation 18:18. Τίς ὁμοία, what [city is] like) One city above all others in the world was deemed incomparable, viz. Rome. See Pauli Aringhi, Lib. ii. Rom. subterr. c. 1. Rome is spoken of by Martial, as the goddess of the lands and nations, to which NOTHING is EQUAL, and nothing second: and by Athenæus, as the epitome of the world.Verse 18. - And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying. The same description as in ver. 9 (which see). What city is like unto this great city! (cf. Ezekiel 27:32, "And lament over thee, saying, What city is like Tyrus, like the destroyed in the midst of the sea?").
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