Revelation 18:10
Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.
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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.Standing afar off for the fear of her torment - Not daring to approach, to attempt to rescue and save her. They who had so long contributed to the support of the papal power, and who had, in turn, been upheld by that, would not now even attempt to rescue her, but would stand by and see her destroyed, unable to render relief.

Alas, alas, that great city Babylon - The language of lamentation that so great and so mighty a city should fall.

For in one hour is thy judgment come - See the notes on Revelation 18:8. The general sentiment here is, that, in the final ruin of papal Rome, the kings and governments that had sustained her, and had been sustained by her, would see the source of their power taken away, but that they would not, or could not attempt her rescue. There have been not a few indications already that this will ultimately occur, and that the papal power will be left to fall, without any attempt, on the part of those governments which have been so long in alliance with it, to sustain or restore it.

10. God's judgments inspire fear even in the worldly, but it is of short duration, for the kings and great men soon attach themselves to the beast in its last and worst shape, as open Antichrist, claiming all that the harlot had claimed in blasphemous pretensions and more, and so making up to them for the loss of the harlot.

mighty—Rome in Greek means strength; though that derivation is doubtful.

As well as they loved her, they will not come nigh her in the time of her torments; the fire will be too hot for them, they will only stand aloof off, and pity her, that so great and brave a city should be so suddenly ruined; such a gay and splendid church, so politicly founded and put together, should be in a sudden so broken to pieces.

Standing afar off for the fear of her torment,.... Lest they themselves should share in it, who have partook of her sins; either they will not be in a capacity to help her, or they will be dispirited, and will be in awe and dread of God's righteous judgments:

saying, alas! alas! that great city Babylon! that mighty city! it will aggravate their sorrow, when they reflect upon the former grandeur, magnificence, power, and authority, of the city and see of Rome, so often called in this book the great city; and so it is by other writers; the Jews call it so: they say (c), when the Messiah comes,

"the kings of the world shall be gathered to , "the great city" of Rome; and the holy blessed God will cast upon them fire and hail, and great hail stones, (with which compare Revelation 16:21), and they shall perish from the world, except those kings that do not come there.''

It is common with the Jewish writers to call the Roman empire Edom; and Magdiel, one of the dukes of Edom, Genesis 36:43 who has his name from "greatness", is interpreted by one of their commentators (d) of Rome; the reason of which, another of them says (e), is because Rome is become great above all kingdoms: the mount of Esau in Obadiah 1:21 is interpreted , "that great city" of Esau, which is Rome (f), and the same epithet it has in the Talmud (g); and Porphyry calls it , "that great city", without making mention of its name, as here; so among the Latins (h), "Magnoe spes altera" Romae:

for in one hour is thy judgment come: the Ethiopic version reads, "the hour of her judgment"; the time of her punishment fixed by God; but the sense is, that her vengeance was suddenly come upon her; this is the judgment of the great whore, which the angel proposed to show to John, Revelation 17:1.

(c) Zohar in Gen. fol. 74. 3.((d) Jarchi in Genesis 36.43. (e) Abarbinel in Dan. fol. 42. 3.((f) Jarchi in Obadiah, ver. 21. (g) T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 21. 2.((h) Servius in Virgil, Eclog. 6. p. 67.

Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.
10. for the fear] i.e. because of their fear. Their regret for her destruction is sincere, but does not make them forget themselves.

Alas, alas] The interjection is the same as is elsewhere rendered “Woe.” So in Revelation 18:16.

Revelation 18:10. Βαβυλὼν ἡ πόλις ἡ ἰσχυρά, Babylon the strong city) Illa civitas Valida, Tertull. de Cultu Fœm. c. 12. Ῥώμη, strength. The earlier inhabitants had called it Valentia, the Greek settlers, Rome. You may also refer עצומים, the strong, Isaiah 53:12, to the name of Rome. The place, as expressing a mark, is much stronger in the writings of the prophets than of the philosophers. In like manner, chariots and axes (πεπελεκισμένων, “beheaded with an axe”), peculiarly characteristic of the Romans, are specified, Revelation 18:13, ch. Revelation 20:4.

Verse 10. - Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying. Unconsciously acting upon the command in ver. 4, "Come out of her .... that ye receive not of her plagues." Alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come; Woe, woe, the great city (cf. the previous declaration of woe in Revelation 8:13). In one hour (cf. ver. 8). Some writers understand the "one hour" to refer to the space of time during which the kings rule (see Revelation 17:12); but a comparison with ver. 8 leads to the conclusion that the meaning is "suddenly;" the contrast in a short time between the two positions of Babylon enhancing the fearfulness of the visitation. Revelation 18:10
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