Revelation 18:7
How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.
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(7) The thought of retribution is carried on in this verse. It should not read, “How much . . .,” but, In as many things as she glorified herself and luxuriated, so much give to her torment and grief; because in her heart she saith (comp. Psalm 49:11; Luke 14:30), I sit a queen, and am not a widow, and shall never see sorrow. The words are echoes of prophecies against old Babylon (Isaiah 47:7-9) and Tyre (Ezekiel 28:2).

Revelation 18:7-8. How much she hath glorified herself — By pride, and pomp, and arrogant boasting; and lived deliciously — In all kinds of elegance, luxury, and wantonness; so much torment and sorrow give her — Proportioning the punishment to the sin; for, or because, she saith in her heart — As did ancient Babylon, Isaiah 47:8-9; I sit — Her usual style. Hence those expressions, the chair, the see of Rome. She sat so many years as a queen, over many kings, “mistress of all churches; the supreme, the infallible, the only spouse of Christ; a church out of which there is no salvation:” and am no widow — But the spouse of Christ; and shall see no sorrow — From the death of my children, or any other calamity, for God himself will defend “the church.” Therefore — As both the natural and judicial consequence of this proud security; shall her plagues come in one day — All at once, in full extremity; death — The death of her children, with an incapacity of bearing more; mourning Πενθος, sorrow, or lamentation, instead of carnal pleasure and delights; and famine — In the room of luxurious plenty; the very things from which she imagined herself to be most safe; and she shall be utterly burned with fire — Even ancient Rome, which gloried in the name of the eternal city; for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her — Expressions these which, as Bishop Newton observes, “can imply no less than a total destruction by fire; but Rome hath never yet been totally destroyed by fire. The most that Alaric and Totilas did was burning some parts of the city: but if only some parts of the city were burned, it was not an event important enough to be ascribed to the Lord God particularly, and to be considered as a strong exertion of his judgment.”

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.How much she hath glorified herself - Been proud, boastful, arrogant. This was true of ancient Babylon, that she was proud and haughty; and it has been no less true of mystical Babylon - papal Rome.

And lived deliciously - By as much as she has lived in luxury and dissoluteness, so let her suffer now. The word used here and rendered "lived deliciously" - ἐστρηνίασεν estrēniasen - is derived from the noun - στρῆνος strēnos - which is used in Revelation 18:3, and rendered "delicacies." See the notes on that verse. It means properly, "to live strenuously, rudely," as in English, "to live hard"; and then to revel, to live in luxury, riot, dissoluteness. No one can doubt the propriety of this as descriptive of ancient Babylon, and as little can its propriety be doubted as applied to papal Rome.

So much torment and sorrow give her - Let her punishment correspond with her sins. This is expressing substantially the same idea which occurs in the previous verse.

For she saith in her heart - This is the estimate which she forms of herself.

I sit a queen - Indicative of pride, and of an asserted claim to rule.

And am no widow - Am not in the condition of a widow - a state of depression, sorrow, and mourning. All this indicates security and self-confidence, a description in every way applicable to papal Rome.

And shall see no sorrow - This is indicative of a state where there was nothing feared, notwithstanding all the indications which existed of approaching calamity. In this state we may expect to find papal Rome, even when its last judgments are about to come upon it; in this state it has usually been; in this state it is now, notwithstanding all the indications that are abroad in the world that its power is waning, and that the period of its fall approaches.

7. How much—that is in proportion as.

lived deliciously—luxuriously: see on [2733]Re 18:3, where the Greek is akin.

sorrow—Greek, "mourning," as for a dead husband.

I sit—so Vulgate. But A, B, and C prefix "that."

I … am no widow—for the world power is my husband and my supporter.

shall see no sorrow—Greek, "mourning." "I am seated (this long time) … I am no widow … I shall see no sorrow," marks her complete unconcerned security as to the past, present, and future [Bengel]. I shall never have to mourn as one bereft of her husband. As Babylon was queen of the East, so Rome has been queen of the West, and is called on Imperial coins "the eternal city." So Papal Rome is called by Ammian Marcellin [15.7]. "Babylon is a former Rome, and Rome a latter Babylon. Rome is a daughter of Babylon, and by her, as by her mother, God has been pleased to subdue the world under one sway" [Augustine]. As the Jew's restoration did not take place till Babylon's fall, so R. Kimchi on Obadiah, writes, "When Rome (Edom) shall be devastated, there shall be redemption to Israel." Romish idolatries have been the great stumbling-blocks to the Jews' acceptance of Christianity.

How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: this speaketh thus much; That whenever God’s time cometh for the ruin of the papacy, the condition of all that party shall appear as miserable as it appears now splendid and happy.

For she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow; and one great reason of this so great affliction, will be the pride, presumption, and security of that faction, much after the rate of old Babylon, Isaiah 47:8. Old Babylon thought itself impregnable; and new mystical Babylon thinks herself infallible and impregnable too; the only church, (if we will believe her), against whom the gates of hell shall not prevail.

How much she hath glorified herself,.... And acted the proud and haughty part in exalting herself above all emperors, kings, and princes, above all kingdoms and states, and also above all churches, assuming arrogant titles, and even blasphemous names; see Revelation 13:1

and lived deliciously: in a very luxuriant manner, as the popes, cardinals, archbishops, bishops, priests, monks, and friars have done; some being clothed in purple and scarlet, and in gold and silver, and all living upon the fat of the land, and in rioting and drunkenness, in chambering and wantonness:

so much torment and sorrow give her: by pulling down her pride, which goes before a fall, than which nothing could more torment and afflict her; by stripping her of her fine clothes and rich apparel; and by taking away her fat benefices from her, which will cut her to the heart; and by burning her with fire, which will be very excruciating:

for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen; a lady of kingdoms, as in Isaiah 47:5 to which the reference is; having a temporal power and authority over the kings of the earth, and a spiritual jurisdiction over all churches, apostate ones, being the mother of harlots; and her "sitting" as such, as it well agrees with the whore on many waters, and the woman on the scarlet coloured beast and seven mountains, who are all the same, and is very suitable to antichrist, who pretends to sit in Peter's chair, and does sit in the temple of God, as if he was God; so it is expressive of her empire and government over nations and churches, and of the continuance of it, as she imagines, see Isaiah 46:7 and so the Ethiopic version renders it, "I shall reign always": to which she adds,

and am no widow; nor never shall be, as she flatters herself, see Isaiah 47:8. Were she the true spouse of Christ, as she boasts herself, she indeed would be no widow, for Christ is an everlasting and never dying husband; but she is the whore of the kings of the earth, and though she fancies she shall be no widow, that is, bereft of people and power, see Lamentations 1:1 because she now sits on many waters, people, multitudes, and nations and tongues; yet ere long, like old Babylon, she will have no men in her, but will be inhabited by devils, foul spirits, and hateful birds:

and shall see no sorrow; through loss of children, power, and authority; see Isaiah 47:8 but in this also she will be mistaken; her children will be killed with death, as is threatened to Jezebel, Revelation 2:23 and her plagues shall come upon her at once: now these words may be considered either as spoken by her when in the height of her power and glory, as she was about three or four hundred years ago; or just before her destruction, which seems to be the case, and looks as if she would regain her power, and be in her former state before her utter ruin; See Gill on Revelation 11:2.

How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith {b} in her heart, I sit a queen, and am {c} no widow, and shall {d} see no sorrow.

(b) With herself.

(c) I am full of people and mighty.

(d) I shall taste of none.

Revelation 18:7. It is probably at this point that the passage drifts over from the conception of a voice heard (Revelation 18:4) to that of direct utterance on the part of the prophet; unless we are to suppose that the voice speaks till the close of Revelation 18:20 (a similar instance in ch. 11). Imperial Rome is imperious and insolent; haughty self-confidence is the sin of the second Babylon as of the first (see Isaiah 47:5; Isaiah 47:7-8, imitated in this passage). Cf. (bef. 80 A.D.) Sibyll. ver. 173, where the impious and doomed city is upbraided for vaunting “I am by myself, and none shall overthrow me”. A similar charge of arrogance was brought by Ezekiel against the prince of Tyre (Ezekiel 28:2 f., cf. Eze 28:26, 27 throughout with the present passage), and by the Jewish author of Apoc. Bar. xii. 3 against Rome. To the Semitic as to the Hellenic conscience, the fall of a haughty spirit always afforded moral relief. Nothing so shocked the ancient conscience as overweening presumption in a state or an individual, which was certain ultimately to draw down upon itself the crashing anger of heaven.

7. for she saith in her heart &c.] Isaiah 47:7-8 : in Revelation 18:8 we have a reminiscence of the next verse of Isaiah, but less verbally close.

Revelation 18:7. Κάθημαιοὐκ εἰμὶοὐ μὴ ἴδω) κάθημαι, from ἧμαι· ἧμαι, a present, has the force of a perfect, from ἓω, as στήκω from στάω, and ἥκω from the same ἓω. Therefore Babylon displays the most unconcerned security as respects the past, the present, and the future time. She calls herself Queen: and Bossuet is in error, when he thinks that a corrupt church only, and not also a royal city, is sought by us in Rome. Both are had in view. See ch. Revelation 17:5; Revelation 17:18.

Verse 7. - How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her. (For "lived deliciously," see on "delicacies," ver. 3.) The words are a re-echo and expansion of those in ver. 6 (cf. Luke 16:25). For she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow; because she saith, etc.; and contact with the succeeding verse. The prophetical writers still supply the imagery (cf. Isaiah 47:8, "I shall not sit as a widow;" see also Lamentations 1:1). Revelation 18:7Lived deliciously (ἐστρηνίασεν)

See on Revelation 18:3.

Torment (βασανισμὸν)

Only in Revelation. On the kindred word, βάσανος torment, see on Matthew 4:23, Matthew 4:24.

I sit a queen and am no widow

See Isaiah 47:8; Zephaniah 2:15.

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