Here we have some account of the downfall of Babylon, to be more fully described in the following chapter.
I. Here is a war begun between the beast and his followers, and the Lamb and his followers. The beast and his army, to an eye of sense, appear much stronger than the Lamb and his army: one would think an army with a lamb at the head of them could not stand before the great red dragon. But,
II. Here is a victory gained by the Lamb: The Lamb shall overcome. Christ must reign till all enemies be put under his feet; he will be sure to meet with many enemies, and much opposition, but he will also be sure to gain the victory.
III. Here is the ground or reason of the victory assigned; and this is taken, 1. From the character of the Lamb: He is King of kings and Lord of lords. He has, both by nature and by office, supreme dominion and power over all things; all the powers of earth and hell are subject to his check and control. 2. From the character of his followers: They are called, and chosen, and faithful. They are called out by commission to this warfare; they are chosen and fitted for it, and they will be faithful in it. Such an army, under such a commander, will at length carry all the world before them.
IV. The victory is justly aggrandized. 1. By the vast multitude who paid obedience and subjection to the beast and to the whore. She sat upon (that is, presided over) many waters; and these waters were so many multitudes of people, and nations, of all languages; yea, she reigned not only over kingdoms, but over the kings, and they were her tributaries and vassals, Rev. 17:15, 18. 2. By the powerful influence which God hereby showed he had over the minds of great men. Their hearts were in his hand, and he turned them as he pleased; for, (1.) It was of God, and to fulfil his will, that these kings agreed to give their kingdom unto the beast; they were judicially blinded and hardened to do so. And, (2.) It was of God that afterwards their hearts were turned against the whore, to hate her, and to make her desolate and naked, and to eat her flesh, and burn her with fire; they shall at length see their folly, and how they have been bewitched and enslaved by the papacy, and, out of a just resentment, shall not only fall off from Rome, but shall be made the instruments of God’s providence in her destruction.