Revelation 18:1
And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.
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(1) And after these things . . .—Or, better, After these things (omit “and”) I saw another angel coming down, having great power (or, authority—entrusted to him for the work against Babylon); and the earth was illumined by (literally, out of) his glory. The light which shines from the heavenly messenger shines like day upon the tawdry splendour of Babylon, and shows that what was admired was but worthless and corrupt. In his brief, but rousing call, he proclaims it to be so.

Revelation 18:1. And after these things — After the angel-interpreter had so far explained the meaning of the vision, and mystery of the woman, and of the beast with seven heads and ten horns which carried her; I saw another angel — Termed another, with respect to him mentioned Revelation 10:1; come down from heaven — To show the sure downfall of this antichristian power, which is here described in the same sublime figurative style as that in which Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel have foretold the fall of ancient Babylon and Tyre, the types and emblems of the spiritual Babylon; and, together with her punishment, the crimes which deserved it, her idolatry and wickedness; having great power, and the earth was lightened with his glory — In this description of the angel there seems to be an allusion to the vision of Ezekiel, (Ezekiel 43:2,) when he beheld the glory of the God of Israel, and the earth, it is said, shined with his glory. A bright and shining light, it seems, usually attended the appearance of angels; and it is likely the splendour of the appearance used to be greater in proportion as the angel appearing was more honourable. The sending an angel of superior rank alludes to the custom of courts in employing persons of dignity, according to the weight and importance of the commissions they were to execute. We may observe here, if such be the lustre of the servant, in lightening the earth with his glory, what images can display the majesty of the Lord, who has thousands of thousands of those glorious attendants ministering to him, and ten thousand times ten thousand standing before him!

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.And after these things - After the vision referred to in the previous chapter.

I saw another angel come down from heaven - Different from the one that had last appeared, and therefore coming to make a new communication to him. It is not unusual in this book that different communications should be entrusted to different angels. Compare Revelation 14:6, Revelation 14:8-9, Revelation 14:15, Revelation 14:17-18.

Having great power - That is, he was one of the higher rank or order of angels.

And the earth was lightened with his glory - The usual representation respecting the heavenly beings. Compare Exodus 24:16; Matthew 17:2; Luke 2:9; Acts 9:3. This would, of course, add greatly to the magnificence of the scene.


Re 18:1-24. Babylon's Fall: God's People Called Out of Her: The Kings and Merchants of the Earth Mourn, While the Saints Rejoice at Her Fall.

1. And—so Vulgate and Andreas. But A, B, Syriac, and Coptic omit "And."

power—Greek, "authority."


with—Greek, "owing to."Revelation 18:1-3 A mighty angel declareth the fall of Babylon.

Revelation 18:4-7 God’s people commanded to depart out of her.

Revelation 18:8 After judgment.

Revelation 18:9,10 The kings of the earth,

Revelation 18:11-16 and the merchants,

Revelation 18:17-19 and mariners, lament over her.

Revelation 18:20 The saints are excited to rejoice over her.

Revelation 18:21-24 A millstone cast into the sea denoteth her

irrecoverable fall.

It is a matter of no great moment, whether by this

angel we understand Christ, or a created angel; the description agreeth to Christ, and may agree to a created angel.

Having great power; to whom God had given power and authority to declare the ruin of Babylon.

And the earth was lightened with his glory; and he had communicated to him a great glory, suited to his splendour and greatness whose messenger he was.

And after these things,.... The vision of the woman on the scarlet coloured beast, and the interpretation of both by the angel:

I saw another angel; not the Lord Jesus Christ, though the several things said of this angel agree with him; nor one of the ministering spirits, though the characters of him will also suit with one of them, but rather a minister of the Gospel, or a set of Gospel ministers, who will arise a little before the downfall of Babylon, in the spiritual reign of Christ; though not the same with the angel of fire, Revelation 14:18 as some have thought, because of his illustrious appearance, and the loudness of his voice; but the same with the angel, or third thundering voice in Revelation 14:6 for not only the times of both agree, but the selfsame words are expressed by one as by the other; and this angel is distinct from him that showed John the preceding vision, and gave him the interpretation of it, and from all the seven angels that had the vials, and is described as follows: and first by the place from whence he came, John saw him

come down from heaven; denoting the suddenness of his appearance and cry; he came down at once, and cried out immediately; the subject of his cry, the destruction of Babylon, being what will be at an unawares; and also the commission and authority of the ministers signified by him, who will have their warrant from heaven to say what they will deliver; so that this likewise expresses the truth of their message, since both that and they come from heaven:

having great power; to do great work, to declare the fall of Babylon the great: or "having great authority"; being sent from the King of kings, in his name, as his ambassador, to proclaim what shortly will come to pass; an event of the greatest importance to the glory of God, the interest of Christ, and the comfort of his people:

and the earth was lightened with his glory; see Ezekiel 43:2 by which is meant the glorious Gospel of Christ, the light of which will at this then be very great: these ministers will run to and fro the earth, and knowledge will be increased, and the earth will be filled with it: the Arabic version reads, "with the splendour of his countenance"; and the Ethiopic version, "with the splendour of his countenance, and his glory"; see Isaiah 60:1.

And {1} after these things I saw another {2} angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.

(1) The second passage (as I said before) see Geneva Re 17:1 of the history of Babylon, is of the woeful fall and ruin of that whore of Babylon. This historical prediction concerning her, is threefold. The first a plain and simple foretelling of her ruin, in three verses Re 18:2,3. The second a figurative prediction by the circumstances, from there to Re 18:4-20. The third, a confirmation of the same by sign or wonder, to the end of the chapter Re 18:21-24.

(2) Either Christ the eternal word of God the Father (as often elsewhere) or a created angel, and one deputed to this service, but thoroughly provided with greatness of power, and with light of glory, as the ensign of power.

Revelation 18:1-3. ἄλλον ἄγγ. καταβαίνοντα, κ.τ.λ. The ἄλλον distinguishes this angel—which can be neither Christ,[3914] nor the Holy Ghost,[3915] nor Luther[3916]—from the one mentioned last.[3917] Beng. improperly refers the ἌΛΛΟΝ also to ΚΑΤΑΒΑΊΝΟΝΤΑ, as though this angel, coming from heaven, were contrasted with the one mentioned in Revelation 10:1; but there, as here, the ΚΑΤΑΒ. is an attributive determination to the idea of the subject ἌΛΛ. ἌΓΓ.

. The visible sign of this great plenitude of power is described immediately afterwards: Κ. Ἡ Γῆ ἘΦΩΤΊΣΘΗ ἘΚ Τῆς ΔΌΞΗς ΑὐΤΟῦ, without any more specific statement as to in what way this ΔΌΞΑ has come to manifestation.[3918] But for the exceedingly important proclamation which is announced in Revelation 18:2 sqq., an exalted angel is prepared, who, with the brilliancy of his heavenly glory, shines forth over the whole earth (Revelation 18:2 : ἜΚΡ. ἘΝ ἸΣΧΥΡᾷ ΦΩΝῇ),[3919] and cries with such a mighty voice that his message resounds throughout the whole earth,[3920] as far as the dominion of the city that has incurred the judgment extends.

ἔπεσεν, cf. Revelation 14:8.

ἐγένετο κατακοιτήριον δαιμόνων

μεμισημένου. In the sense of Isaiah 13:22; Isaiah 34:14 sqq., and Bar 4:35, it is rendered clear, that the stately city shall be entirely desolated. On the φυλ. παντ. ὀρνέου, κ.τ.λ., cf. Jeremiah 50:39; Zephaniah 2:14; Psalm 102:7. Even in respect to the description (Revelation 18:2), the allegorical exposition has been attempted; even Ebrard understands the “birds” spiritually.

The expression φυλακὴ signifies that the desolated κατοικτήριον is one received involuntarily, a prison.[3921]

ὅτι, κ.τ.λ. Declaration of the guilt of sin as the foundation of the judgment.[3922]

καὶ οἱ ἔμποροι, κ.τ.λ. Not only is the sin of godless, gluttonous, and arrogant wantonness punished,[3923] but at the same time the contrast is marked between the complete desolation and the former wantonness which had within reach such means that the merchants of the whole earth were thereby enriched.[3924] The ἐκ τῆς δυνάμεως τ. στρήν. does not mean “because of the abundance of luxury,”[3925] also not “because of their great wantonness,”[3926] but refers to the wantonness exercised with respect to the vast resources of the state.[3927]

[3914] Calov., Hengstenb.

[3915] Coccejus, Vitr.

[3916] Nicolai, etc. Cf. Calov.

[3917] Revelation 17:1; Revelation 17:7; Revelation 17:15.

[3918] Cf. Revelation 10:1, Revelation 1:14 sqq.

[3919] Cf. Revelation 5:2.

[3920] Revelation 18:2 : ἔκρ. ἐν ἰσχυρᾷ φωνῇ. Cf. Revelation 5:2.

[3921] Revelation 2:10, Revelation 20:7; Beng., Hengstenb.

[3922] Cf. Revelation 14:8, Revelation 17:2.

[3923] Cf. Revelation 18:7; Revelation 18:9.

[3924] Cf. Revelation 18:11; Revelation 18:23.

[3925] Ewald.

[3926] De Wette, Hengstenb.

[3927] Cf. also Andr., Grot., Vitr.

Revelation 18:1-3 : an angelic proclamation of Babylon’s fate (cf. Revelation 14:8) in terms of Isaiah 13:19-22; Isaiah 34:14 (demons of the desert, the Mazzikin of Jewish demonology, familiar to Babylonian magic), Jeremiah 50:30; Jeremiah 51:37, Zephaniah 2:15, etc. “Be of good cheer, O Jerusalem … Miserable are the cities which thy children served, miserable is she who received thy sons. For as she rejoiced at thy fall and was glad at thy ruin, so shall she grieve at her own desolation. Yea I will take away her delight in her great crowds, and her vaunting shall turn to mourning. For fire from the Everlasting shall come upon her for a length of days, and for long shall she be inhabited by demons” (Bar 4:30-35). ἐκ κ.τ.λ. “by (cf. Revelation 18:19) the wealth of her wantonness” traders profited; i.e., by the enormous supplies which the capital required to satisfy her demands (στρῆνος, -ιάω from the New comedy and colloquial usage).—δόξα in Revelation 18:1 denotes the flashing brilliance which, according to the primitive collocation of life and light, accompanied the heavenly visitants to earth or the manifestation of a divine presence (Revelation 21:11; Revelation 21:23, Revelation 22:5); see the valuable paragraphs in Grill, pp. 259–271.

Her Glory and Sudden Plagues. Chap. 18 Revelation 18:1-81. another angel] See on Revelation 14:6.

great power] Apparently for destruction: see note on the use of the word in Revelation 9:19.

the earth was lightened with his glory] Ezekiel 43:2, translated rather more literally than in the LXX.

Verse 1. - And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven; after [omitting "and"]... coming down, etc. The usual form of introduction to a new vision (cf. Revelation 4:1; Revelation 7:1, etc.). The "mystery" of the beast and the harlot having been declared, the angel now describes the doom in store for them. The angel is from heaven, as carrying the news of the judgment which is sent from heaven (cf. Revelation 10:1; Revelation 19:6, 15, 17; Revelation 15:1, etc.). Having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. The great "authority" refers to the judgment which follows, which, however, is not acted out before the seer, but only described. The last clause records the visible manifestation of the great power (cf. the description in Ezekiel 43:2). Revelation 18:1Was lightened

Compare Ezekiel 43:2.

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