Revelation 18:10

ESV They will stand far off, in fear of her torment, and say, “Alas! Alas! You great city, you mighty city, Babylon! For in a single hour your judgment has come.”
NIV Terrified at her torment, they will stand far off and cry: ''Woe! Woe to you, great city, you mighty city of Babylon! In one hour your doom has come!'
NASB standing at a distance because of the fear of her torment, saying, ‘Woe, woe, the great city, Babylon, the strong city! For in one hour your judgment has come.’
CSB They will stand far off in fear of her torment, saying, Woe, woe, the great city, Babylon, the mighty city! For in a single hour your judgment has come.
NLT They will stand at a distance, terrified by her great torment. They will cry out, 'How terrible, how terrible for you, O Babylon, you great city! In a single moment God’s judgment came on you.'
KJV Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.

What does Revelation 18:10 mean?

The nations' rulers will cower in fear of their lives and livelihoods when they observe smoke rising from Babylon. Whether directly or through modern media technology, the sudden destruction of this political-and-economic entity will be seen by one and all. These mourning kings and rulers of the earth (Revelation 18:9) will stand far off from the burning city, fearing her judgment may reach them if they get too close. From what they think is a safe distance, they lament her passing. They cry, "Alas! Alas!" and describe Babylon as a great and mighty city. Though they weren't sad to see "religious Babylon" fall, they will react with despair when their financial interests are at stake.

From a human perspective the rulers see Babylon as a prosperous, powerful city. From God's perspective, Babylon was extremely sinful, self-centered, proud, and idolatrous. Babylon's might could not withstand God's infinite might. The rulers marvel that such a mighty city fell to judgment in a single hour. Overconfidence is a common side-effect of prosperity (James 4:13–16). We may wonder why some godless nations seem to be so powerful, but we be assured that God is far more powerful. To Him, the nations are only a drop in the bucket (Isaiah 40:15). Someday God will consign to death all the nations that forget Him (Psalm 9:17).
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