|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
18:1-8 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.
Verse 5. - For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. That is, the accumulation of sin is so great as to reach up to the heaven. Exactly the description of the judgment of Babylon given in Jeremiah 51:9, "Forsake her, and let us go every one into his own country; for her judgment reacheth unto heaven, and is lifted up even to the skies." The last part of the verse is a repetition of Revelation 16:19.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For her sins have reached unto heaven,.... Or "have followed unto heaven"; one after another, in one age after another, until they have been as it were heaped up together, and have reached the heavens; the phrase denotes the multitude of them, God's knowledge and notice of them, and the cry of them to him; see Genesis 18:20 the Alexandrian copy and Complutensian edition read, "have cleaved", or "glued", and so the Syriac and Arabic versions seem to have read; her sins were as it were soldered together, and stuck fast to her, and being joined and linked together, made a long chain, and reached to heaven, and cleaved to that, and cried for vengeance:
and God hath remembered her iniquities; and is about to punish her for them; for as forgiveness of sin is signified by a non-remembrance of it, so punishment of sin by a remembrance of it, and of the persons that commit it; see Revelation 16:19.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
5. her sins—as a great heap.
reached—Greek, "reached so far as to come into close contact with, and to cleave unto."
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