Revelation 18:12 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Revelation 18:12, NIV: cargoes of gold, silver, precious stones and pearls; fine linen, purple, silk and scarlet cloth; every sort of citron wood, and articles of every kind made of ivory, costly wood, bronze, iron and marble;

Revelation 18:12, ESV: cargo of gold, silver, jewels, pearls, fine linen, purple cloth, silk, scarlet cloth, all kinds of scented wood, all kinds of articles of ivory, all kinds of articles of costly wood, bronze, iron and marble,

Revelation 18:12, KJV: The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble,

Revelation 18:12, NASB: cargo of gold, silver, precious stones, and pearls; fine linen, purple, silk, and scarlet; every kind of citron wood, every article of ivory, and every article made from very valuable wood, bronze, iron, and marble;

Revelation 18:12, NLT: She bought great quantities of gold, silver, jewels, and pearls; fine linen, purple, silk, and scarlet cloth; things made of fragrant thyine wood, ivory goods, and objects made of expensive wood; and bronze, iron, and marble.

Revelation 18:12, CSB: cargo of gold, silver, jewels, and pearls; fine linen, purple, silk, and scarlet; all kinds of fragrant wood products; objects of ivory; objects of expensive wood, brass, iron, and marble;

What does Revelation 18:12 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

This passage is describing the fall of an economic and political superpower in the end times. This verse begins a list of what the merchants sold to the residents of Babylon. The items mentioned here are the most prized commodities of the ancient world—making them a symbolic image of anything valuable and commercial. Rather than being a woodenly literal list, the point made here is to emphasize the affluent lifestyle of the residents of Babylon. Only the wealthy could afford such goods. Likely, the affluent people of Babylon flaunted their wealth by showing off and stockpiling treasures. They likely adorned themselves with jewelry; wore expensive, colorful robes; and used flashy, choice materials in the construction and furnishing of their houses.

As an example, in Old Testament times ivory was employed by kings. Solomon's throne was made of ivory that ships of Tarshish brought to him (1 Kings 10:22). First Kings 22:39 references King Ahab's ivory palace. Psalm 45:8 and Amos 3:15 mention ivory palaces and houses of ivory. Ivory was also used to adorn horses' harnesses. The merchants who mourn the loss of trade with Babylon must have brought their widely-varied and expensive cargo from places across the entire globe.

The list of expensive goods will continue in the following verse.