Revelation 18:11 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Revelation 18:11, NIV: The merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her because no one buys their cargoes anymore--

Revelation 18:11, ESV: And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn for her, since no one buys their cargo anymore,

Revelation 18:11, KJV: And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more:

Revelation 18:11, NASB: 'And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn over her, because no one buys their cargo any more—

Revelation 18:11, NLT: The merchants of the world will weep and mourn for her, for there is no one left to buy their goods.

Revelation 18:11, CSB: The merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her, because no one buys their cargo any longer--

What does Revelation 18:11 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Chapter 17 discussed the fall of a "religious Babylon," while this passage uses the same name for an ungodly political and economic system. When the "city" of Babylon—either a literal single city or a reference to an entire nation—collapses in sudden judgment, it means catastrophe for the wealthy rulers of earth. Merchants around the world also mourn the fall of Babylon. What troubles them is the loss of a thriving market.

Now that Babylon is just a pile of ashes, no one remains to purchase their goods. They mourn the loss of money more than the loss of life. Crass materialism characterizes them. Their main concern is the bottom line. The apostle James addressed unscrupulous businessmen in his epistle. He wrote: "Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you…Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, are crying out against you, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. You have lived on the earth in luxury and in self-indulgence. You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered the righteous person" (James 5:1–6).

The objects of James' accusations typify the merchants in the tribulation. Whatever loss of life accompanies the fall of Babylon, these men are primarily grieved over their loss of business.