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Revelation 16-18 Common English Bible (CEB)

16 Then I heard a loud voice from the temple say to the seven angels, “Go and pour out the seven bowls of God’s anger on the earth.” So the first angel poured his bowl on the earth, and a nasty and terrible sore appeared on the people who had the beast’s mark and worshipped its image. The second angel poured his bowl into the sea, and the sea turned into blood, like the blood of a corpse, and every living thing in the sea died. The third angel poured his bowl into the rivers and springs of water, and they turned into blood. Then I heard the angel of the waters say,

“You are just, holy one, who is and was,
        because you have given these judgments.
They poured out the blood of saints and prophets,
        and you have given them blood to drink. They deserve it!”
And I heard the altar say,
        “Yes, Lord God Almighty, your judgments are true and just.”

The fourth angel poured his bowl on the sun, and it was allowed to burn people with fire. The people were burned by intense heat, and they cursed the name of the God who had power over these plagues. But they didn’t change their hearts and lives and give him glory. 10 The fifth angel poured his bowl over the beast’s throne, and darkness covered its kingdom. People bit their tongues because of their pain, 11 and they cursed the God of heaven because of their pains and sores; but they didn’t turn away from what they had done.

12 Then the sixth angel poured his bowl on the great river Euphrates. Its water was dried up so that the way was ready for the kings from the east. 13 Then I saw three unclean spirits, like frogs, come from the dragon’s mouth, the beast’s mouth, and the mouth of the false prophet. 14 These are demonic spirits that do signs. They go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them for battle on the great day of God the Almighty. (15 Look! I’m coming like a thief! Favored are those who stay awake and clothed so that they don’t go around naked and exposed to shame.) 16 The spirits gathered them at the place that is called in Hebrew, Harmagedon.[a]

17 Then the seventh angel poured his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out from the temple, from the throne, saying, “It is done!” 18 There were lightning strikes, voices, and thunder, and a great earthquake occurred. The earthquake was greater than any that have occurred since there have been people on earth. 19 The great city split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. God remembered Babylon the great so that he gave her the wine cup of his furious anger. 20 Every island fled, and the mountains disappeared. 21 Huge hailstones weighing about one hundred pounds came down from heaven on the people. They cursed God for the plague of hail, because the plague was so terrible.

Babylon and the beast

17 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls spoke with me. “Come, he said, I will show you the judgment upon the great prostitute, who is seated on deep waters. The kings of the earth have committed sexual immorality with her, and those who live on earth have become drunk with the wine of her whoring.”

Then he brought me in a Spirit-inspired trance to a desert. There I saw a woman seated on a scarlet beast that was covered with blasphemous names. It had seven heads and ten horns. The woman wore purple and scarlet clothing, and she glittered with gold and jewels and pearls. In her hand she held a gold cup full of the vile and impure things that came from her activity as a prostitute. A name—a mystery—was written on her forehead: “Babylon the great, the mother of prostitutes and the vile things of the earth.” I saw that the woman was drunk on the blood of the saints and the blood of Jesus’ witnesses. I was completely stunned when I saw her.

Then the angel said to me, “Why are you amazed? I will tell you the mystery of the woman and the seven-headed, ten-horned beast that carries her. The beast that you saw was and is not, and is about to come up out of the abyss and go to destruction. Those who live on earth, whose names haven’t been written in the scroll of life from the time the earth was made, will be amazed when they see the beast, because it was and is not and will again be present. This calls for an understanding mind. The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman is seated. They are also seven kings. 10 Five kings have fallen, the one is, and the other hasn’t yet come. When that king comes, he must remain for only a short time. 11 As for the beast that was and is not, it is itself an eighth king that belongs to the seven, and it is going to destruction. 12 The ten horns that you saw are ten kings, who haven’t yet received royal power. But they will receive royal authority for an hour, along with the beast. 13 These kings will be of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast. 14 They will make war on the Lamb, but the Lamb will emerge victorious, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings. Those with him are called, chosen, and faithful.”

15 Then he said to me, “The waters that you saw, where the prostitute is seated, are peoples, crowds, nations, and languages. 16 As for the ten horns that you saw, they and the beast will hate the prostitute. They will destroy her and strip her bare. They will devour her flesh and burn her with fire 17 because God moved them to carry out his purposes. That is why they will be of one mind and give their royal power to the beast, until God’s words have been accomplished. 18 The woman whom you saw is the great city that rules over the kings of the earth.”

Babylon’s fall

18 After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven. He had great authority, and the earth was filled with light because of his glory. He called out with a loud voice, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a home for demons and a lair for every unclean spirit. She is a lair for every unclean bird, and a lair for every unclean and disgusting beast because all the nations have fallen[b] due to the wine of her lustful passion. The kings of the earth committed sexual immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth became rich from the power of her loose and extravagant ways.”

Then I heard another voice from heaven say, “Come out of her, my people, so that you don’t take part in her sins and don’t receive any of her plagues. Her sins have piled up as high as heaven, and God remembered her unjust acts. Give her what she has given to others. Give her back twice as much for what she has done. In the cup that she has poured, pour her twice as much. To the extent that she glorified herself and indulged her loose and extravagant ways, give her pain and grief. In her heart she says, ‘I sit like a queen! I’m not a widow. I’ll never see grief.’ This is why her plagues will come in a single day—deadly disease, grief, and hunger. She will be consumed by fire because the Lord God who judges her is powerful.

“The kings of the earth, who committed sexual immorality with her and shared her loose and extravagant ways, will weep and mourn over her when they see the smoke from her burning. 10 They will stand a long way off because they are afraid of the pain she suffers, and they will say, ‘Oh, the horror! Babylon, you great city, you powerful city! In a single hour your judgment has come.’

11 “The merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her, for no one buys their cargoes anymore— 12 cargoes of gold, silver, jewels, and pearls; fine linen, purple, silk, and scarlet; all those things made of scented wood, ivory, fine wood, bronze, iron, and marble; 13 cinnamon, incense, fragrant ointment, and frankincense; wine, oil, fine flour, and wheat; cattle, sheep, horses, and carriages; and slaves, even human lives. 14 ‘The fruit your whole being craved has gone from you. All your glitter and glamour are lost to you, never ever to be found again.’

15 “The merchants who sold these things, and got so rich by her, will stand a long way off because they fear the pain she suffers. They will weep and mourn, and say, 16 ‘Oh, the horror! The great city that wore fine linen, purple, and scarlet, who glittered with gold, jewels, and pearls— 17 in just one hour such great wealth was destroyed.’

“Every sea captain, every seafarer, sailors, and all who make their living on the sea stood a long way off. 18 They cried out as they saw the smoke from her burning and said, ‘What city was ever like the great city?’ 19 They threw dust on their heads, and they cried out, weeping and mourning. They said, ‘Oh, the horror! The great city, where all who have ships at sea became so rich by her prosperity—in just one hour she was destroyed. 20 Rejoice over her, heaven—you saints, apostles, and prophets—because God has condemned her as she condemned you.’”

21 Then a powerful angel picked up a stone that was like a huge millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, “With such violent force the great city of Babylon will be thrown down, and it won’t be found anymore. 22 The sound of harpists and musicians, of pipers and trumpeters, will never be heard among you again. No craftsman of any kind will ever be found among you again. The sound of the hand mill will never be heard among you again. 23 The light of a lamp will never shine among you again. The sound of a bridegroom and bride will never be heard among you again because your merchants ran the world, because all the nations were deceived by the spell you cast, and because 24 the blood of prophets, of saints, and of all who have been slaughtered on the earth was found among you.”[c]

Footnotes:

  1. Revelation 16:16 Or Armageddon
  2. Revelation 18:3 Critical editions of the Gk New Testament read have drunk.
  3. Revelation 18:24 Or her
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

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