Revelation 18:15
The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing,
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(15-17) The merchants of these things . . .—The description is resumed. The merchants stand like the kings (see Revelation 18:10) afar off, because of the fear of her torment, saying, “Woe! woe! (or, alas! alas!) the great city, because in one hour so great wealth was desolated.” The words of this lamentation are parallel to the lament of the kings, the only difference is characteristic—they bewail the sudden decay of the wealth. On the fine linen and purple, comp. Revelation 18:12, and Luke 16:19.

Revelation 18:15-21. The merchants, ship-masters, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, weep and wail — For they can no longer import or export commodities for her, or convey strangers to and fro, for there is an end of all her gains, wealth, and glory. These lamentations are copied from the like lamentations over Tyre, (Ezekiel 26. and 27.,) and are equal to the most mournful strains of the Greek tragedians over Thebes or Troy. In all, they stand afar off — In a mixture of terror and grief, but absolutely incapable of giving her any relief, Revelation 18:10; Revelation 18:15; Revelation 18:17. In all, they cry, Alas! alas! Ουαι, ουαι, wo, wo, (Revelation 18:10; Revelation 18:16; Revelation 18:19,) for this is the third wo before mentioned, Revelation 8:13; Revelation 11:14. For, as the fall of the Othman empire is the end of the second wo, so the fall of Rome is the completion of the third wo. In all they lament the suddenness of her fall; for in one hour is her judgment come. At the same time, her destruction is matter of joy and triumph to the saints, apostles, and prophets; for it is added, Revelation 18:20, Rejoice over her, thou heaven — That is, all the inhabitants of heaven; και οι αγιοι, and ye saints; and among the saints, still more eminently, the apostles and prophets, for God hath avenged you on her — For it is to avenge the cause of his church and faithful servants, that God so severely punishes this persecuting city. And a mighty angel, &c. — And further, to confirm the irrecoverable ruin of this persecuting place, another mighty angel appeared in my vision, and took up a stone, like a great mill-stone, and cast it into the sea — Using the same emblem by which Jeremiah foreshowed the fall of the Chaldean Babylon; saying, Thus with violence shall that great city, this mystical Babylon, be thrown down — Shall sink never to rise again. Her utter desolation is further described in the two next verses, in phrases and expressions borrowed from the ancient prophets.

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.The merchants of these things - Who trafficked in these things, and who supplied the city with them, Revelation 18:11.

Which were made rich by her - By traffic with her.

Shall stand afar off - Revelation 18:10.

For fear of her torment - Struck with terror by her torment, so that they did not dare to approach her, Revelation 18:10.

15. of these things—of the things mentioned, Re 18:12, 13.


made rich by—Greek, "derived riches from her."

stand afar off for the fear—(Compare Re 18:10).

wailing—Greek, "mourning."

Not knowing how to help her, and fearing lest the buyers and sellers should he punished both alike; yet bewailing themselves that their trading is destroyed, and they are like to buy such pennyworths no more.

The merchants of these things,.... Before mentioned, who have traded in them for themselves and for Rome:

which were made rich by her, see Revelation 18:3

shall stand afar off for fear of her torment; as the kings of the earth before, Revelation 18:10 being conscious to themselves of their being partners in her crimes, and so might justly fear they should share in her punishment; and it may be, they will outwardly deny they are now of her religion, and will externally embrace the reformed religion; though they will be inwardly weeping and wailing for the destruction of Rome, and the loss of their merchandise and goodly things.

The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing,
Verse 15. - The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her (cf. ver. 11), shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment. The future tense is now used (see on ver. 9); cf. ver. 10, where the same thing is related of' the kings. Weeping and wailing (cf. ver. 9, where, however, we have κόψονται, "wail," instead of, as here, πενθοῦντες, "mourn:" cf. also ver. 11). Revelation 18:15
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