Lament Over Babylon the Great

18 After these things I saw another angel descending from heaven, who had great authority, and the earth was illuminated by his splendor. And he cried out with a powerful voice, saying,

“Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great,
and it has become a dwelling place of demons
and a haunt of every unclean spirit
and a haunt of every unclean bird
and a haunt of every unclean and detested animal.
For all the nations have drunk[a]
from the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality,
and the kings of the earth have committed sexual immorality with her,
and the merchants of the earth have become rich
from the power of her sensuality.”

And I heard another voice from heaven saying,

“Come out from her, my people,
so that you will not participate in her sins,
and so that you will not receive her plagues,
because her sins have reached up to heaven,
and God has remembered her crimes.
Pay back to her as she herself also paid out,
and pay back double[b] according to her deeds;
in the cup that she mixed, mix double for her.
As much as she glorified herself and lived in luxury,
give to her so much torment and mourning,
because in her heart she said,
‘I sit as a queen, and am not a widow,
and I will never see mourning!’
Because of this her plagues will come in one day—
death and mourning and famine—
and she will be burned up with fire,
because the Lord God who passes judgment on her is powerful!”

And the kings of the earth will weep and mourn over her, those who committed sexual immorality and lived sensually with her, when they see the smoke of her burning, 10 standing far off[c] because of the fear of her torment, saying,

“Woe, woe, the great city,
    Babylon the powerful city,
because in one hour your judgment has come!”

11 And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn over her, because no one buys their cargo any more— 12 cargo of gold and silver and precious stones and pearls and fine linen and purple cloth and silk and scarlet cloth and all kinds of scented wood and all kinds of ivory goods and all kinds of goods of precious wood and bronze and iron and marble 13 and cinnamon and amomum[d] and incense and ointment and frankincense and wine and olive oil and fine wheat flour and wheat and domesticated animals and sheep and horses and carriages and slaves[e] and human lives.

14 “And the fruit your soul desires[f] has departed from you,
and all the luxury and the splendor has perished from you,
    and they will never find them any more.”

15 The merchants of these things, who became rich from them, will stand far off[g], weeping and mourning because of the fear of her torment, 16 saying,

“Woe, woe, the great city,
    dressed in fine linen and purple cloth and scarlet cloth,
    and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls,
17 because in one hour such great wealth has been laid waste!”

And every shipmaster and every seafarer[h] and sailors and all those who labor on the sea stood far off[i] 18 and began to cry out when they[j] saw the smoke of her burning, saying, “Who is like the great city?” 19 And they threw dust on their heads and were crying out, weeping and mourning, saying,

“Woe, woe, the great city,
    in which all those who had ships on the sea
        became rich from her prosperity,
because in one hour she has been laid waste!”
20 Rejoice over her, heaven
    and the saints and the apostles and the prophets,
because God has pronounced your judgment on her!”

21 And one powerful angel picked up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying,

“In this way Babylon the great city will be thrown down with violence,
    and will never be found again!
22 And the sound of harpists and musicians and flute players and trumpeters
    will never be heard in you again!
And every craftsman of every trade
    will never be found in you again!
And the sound of a mill
    will never be heard in you again!
23 And the light of a lamp
    will never shine in you again!
And the sound of a bridegroom and bride
    will never be heard in you again!
For your merchants were the most important people of the earth,
    because with your sorcery they deceived all the nations.
24 And in her was found the blood of prophets and saints
    and all those who had been slaughtered on the earth.


  1. Revelation 18:3 Some of the best manuscripts read “have fallen”
  2. Revelation 18:6 Literally “double twofold”
  3. Revelation 18:10 Literally “from afar”
  4. Revelation 18:13 Or “spice”; the term can refer to “spice” in general, or specifically to amomum, a spice from India
  5. Revelation 18:13 Literally “bodies”
  6. Revelation 18:14 Literally “your fruit of desire”
  7. Revelation 18:15 Literally “from afar”
  8. Revelation 18:17 Literally “everyone who sails to a place”
  9. Revelation 18:17 Literally “from afar”
  10. Revelation 18:18 Here “when” is supplied as a component of the participle (“saw”) which is understood as temporal