Revelation: Chapters 17 and 18, comparing religious and commercial Babylon


An angel with great power and emitting light from his glory is seen by John. As has been seen before, another angel from the throne of God appears, embodying some characteristic of God, in this case "light". His message is the same as in previous occasions in Revelation 14:1-20, Revelation 17:1-18, and Revelation 18:1-24, that "Babylon the Great has fallen". Revelation 18:1-24 is contrasted with Revelation 17:1-18 in the table below to provide better insight between the two characteristics. There are several interesting differences between these two characteristics of Babylon.

Event Religious Babylon
Revelation 17:1-18
Commercial Babylon
Revelation 18:1-24
Sequence of the fall Occurs in the first 3 1/2 years of the tribulation Comes into full fruition during the last 3 1/2 years of the tribulation
Who is speaking One of the angels that poured out one of the bowl judgments Another angel with great power
Name used Mystery Babylon the Great, Mother of Prostitutes, and Abominations of the Earth Babylon the Great
Destroyed by The ten kings make her desolate, naked, eat her flesh, and burn her with fire God Himself
Reaction by men They hate her The kings bewail and lament, the merchants weep and mourn, the shippers cried, weep, and wail
Reaction by the heavenly host God's will is fulfilled Rejoicing The 24 elders and 4 living creatures fall down and worship God