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Home » Daily Readings, New Testament Writers

The Fall of Babylon

Submitted by on Thursday, 25 November 2010No Comment
  • Reading I:  Revelation 18:1-2,21-23; 19:1-3,9a
  • Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 145:2-3,10-11
  • Gospel Reading: Luke 21:20-28

What was already announced by an angel in 14:8 is now enacted as a dirge in 18:1-24 with responses from heaven in 19:1-10. Babylon the Whore has been described in chapter 17 as a woman seated on seven hills. The description is that of Rome and its seven hills (see this page). But in the symbolism of John’s Revelation, Babylon can stand for any city or civilization that is closed to God and puts itself against His people.

The dirge describes Babylon the Whore as fallen. Below is an outline of the chapter

  • Voice of the Mighty Angel announcing Babylon’s Fall (1-3)
  • Another voice calls for God’s people to depart and for double repayment for her sins (4-8)
  • The lament of the kings of earth (9-10)
  • The lament of merchants (11-20)
  • An angel enacts the fall of Babylon with a millstone thrown into the sea (21-24)

In verse 24, one finds the climactic description of Babylon: "In her was found the blood of the prophets and holy ones, all who have been slain on the earth."

Following the dirge is the response from heaven. Here is the outline of chapter 19:1-14

  • The voice of the multitudes and the elders (1-4)
  • the Victory Song (5-8)
  • Conclusion: "Blessed are those who have been invited to the banquet of the Lamb" (9-10)

The responses declare the triumph of God’s justice.

More here: Babylon the Whore

Revelation 18:1-2,21-23; 19:1-3,9
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
181And after these things, I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power: and the earth was enlightened with his glory.
2And he cried out with a strong voice, saying: Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen; and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every unclean spirit, and the hold of every unclean and hateful bird:
21And a mighty angel took up a stone, as it were a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying: With such violence as this shall Babylon, that great city, be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.
22And the voice of harpers, and of musicians, and of them that play on the pipe, and on the trumpet, shall no more be heard at all in thee; and no craftsman of any art whatsoever shall be found any more at all in thee; and the sound of the mill shall be heard no more at all in thee;
23And the light of the lamp shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth, for all nations have been deceived by thy enchantments.
191After these things I heard as it were the voice of much people in heaven, saying: Alleluia. Salvation, and glory, and power is to our God.
2For true and just are his judgments, who hath judged the great harlot which corrupted the earth with her fornication, and hath revenged the blood of his servants, at her hands.
3And again they said: Alleluia. And her smoke ascendeth for ever and ever.
9And he said to me: Write: Blessed are they that are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith to me: These words of God are true.
Psalm 145:2-3,10-11
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
2Every day I will bless thee: and I will praise thy name for ever; yea, for ever and ever.
3Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised: and of his greatness there is no end.
10Let all thy works, O lord, praise thee: and let thy saints bless thee.
11They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom: and shall tell of thy power:
Luke 21:20-28
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
20And when you shall see Jerusalem compassed about with an army; then know that the desolation thereof is at hand.
21Then let those who are in Judea, flee to the mountains; and those who are in the midst thereof, depart out: and those who are in the countries, not enter into it.
22For these are the days of vengeance, that all things may be fulfilled, that are written.
23But woe to them that are with child, and give suck in those days; for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people.
24And they shall fall by the edge of the sword; and shall be led away captives into all nations; and Jerusalem shall be trodden down by the Gentiles; till the times of the nations be fulfilled.
25And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, by reason of the confusion of the roaring of the sea and of the waves;
26Men withering away for fear, and expectation of what shall come upon the whole world. For the powers of heaven shall be moved;
27And then they shall see the Son of man coming in a cloud, with great power and majesty.
28But when these things begin to come to pass, look up, and lift up your heads, because your redemption is at hand.

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