18 I saw another angel come from heaven. This one had great power, and the earth was bright because of his glory. 2 The angel shouted,
“Fallen! Powerful Babylon has fallen and is now the home of demons. It is the den of every filthy spirit and of all unclean birds, and every dirty and hated animal. 3 Babylon’s evil and immoral wine has made all nations drunk. Every king on earth has slept with her, and every merchant on earth is rich because of her evil desires.”
4 Then I heard another voice from heaven shout, “My people, you must escape from Babylon. Don’t take part in her sins and share her punishment. 5 Her sins are piled as high as heaven. God has remembered the evil she has done. 6 Treat her as she has treated others. Make her pay double for what she has done. Make her drink twice as much of what she mixed for others. 7 That woman honored herself with a life of luxury. Reward her now with suffering and pain.
“Deep in her heart Babylon said, ‘I am the queen! Never will I be a widow or know what it means to be sad.' 8 And so, in a single day she will suffer the pain of sorrow, hunger, and death. Fire will destroy her dead body, because her judge is the powerful Lord God.”
9 Every king on earth who slept with her and shared in her luxury will mourn. They will weep, when they see the smoke from that fire. 10 Her sufferings will frighten them, and they will stand at a distance and say,
“Pity that great and powerful city! Pity Babylon! In a single hour her judgment has come.”
11 Every merchant on earth will mourn, because there is no one to buy their goods. 12 There won’t be anyone to buy their gold, silver, jewels, pearls, fine linen, purple cloth, silk, scarlet cloth, sweet-smelling wood, fancy carvings of ivory and wood, as well as things made of bronze, iron, or marble. 13 No one will buy their cinnamon, spices, incense, myrrh, frankincense,[a] wine, olive oil, fine flour, wheat, cattle, sheep, horses, chariots, slaves, and other humans.
14 Babylon, the things your heart desired have all escaped from you. Every luxury and all your glory will be lost forever. You will never get them back.
15 The merchants had become rich because of her. But when they saw her sufferings, they were terrified. They stood at a distance, crying and mourning. 16 Then they shouted,
“Pity the great city of Babylon! She dressed in fine linen and wore purple and scarlet cloth. She had jewelry made of gold and precious stones and pearls. 17 Yet in a single hour her riches disappeared.”
Every ship captain and passenger and sailor stood at a distance, together with everyone who does business by traveling on the sea. 18 When they saw the smoke from her fire, they shouted, “This was the greatest city ever!”
19 They cried loudly, and in their sorrow they threw dust on their heads, as they said,
“Pity the great city of Babylon! Everyone who sailed the seas became rich from her treasures. But in a single hour the city was destroyed. 20 The heavens should be happy with God’s people and apostles and prophets. God has punished her for them.”
21 A powerful angel then picked up a huge stone and threw it into the sea. The angel said,
“This is how the great city of Babylon will be thrown down, never to rise again. 22 The music of harps and singers and of flutes and trumpets will no longer be heard. No workers will ever set up shop in that city, and the sound of grinding grain will be silenced forever. 23 Lamps will no longer shine anywhere in Babylon, and couples will never again say wedding vows there. Her merchants ruled the earth, and by her witchcraft she fooled all nations. 24 On the streets of Babylon is found the blood of God’s people and of his prophets, and everyone else.”
18.13myrrh, frankincense: Myrrh was a valuable sweet-smelling powder often used in perfume. Frankincense was a valuable powder that was burned to make a sweet smell.
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