Revelation 18:13 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Revelation 18:13, NIV: cargoes of cinnamon and spice, of incense, myrrh and frankincense, of wine and olive oil, of fine flour and wheat; cattle and sheep; horses and carriages; and human beings sold as slaves.

Revelation 18:13, ESV: cinnamon, spice, incense, myrrh, frankincense, wine, oil, fine flour, wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and chariots, and slaves, that is, human souls.

Revelation 18:13, KJV: And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men.

Revelation 18:13, NASB: cinnamon, spice, incense, perfume, frankincense, wine, olive oil, fine flour, wheat, cattle, sheep, and cargo of horses, carriages, slaves, and human lives.

Revelation 18:13, NLT: She also bought cinnamon, spice, incense, myrrh, frankincense, wine, olive oil, fine flour, wheat, cattle, sheep, horses, chariots, and bodies--that is, human slaves.

Revelation 18:13, CSB: cinnamon, spice, incense, myrrh, and frankincense; wine, olive oil, fine flour, and grain; cattle and sheep; horses and carriages; and slaves--human lives.

What does Revelation 18:13 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

This continues a list of commodities from the prior verse. The point of this catalog is to show how rich and powerful Babylon was prior to her fall. Items such as these were the measure of great wealth in the ancient world.

Proverbs 7:17 mentions cinnamon as a perfume for the bed. This spice was also used as an ingredient in the holy oil that was used by the Old Testament priests for anointing (Exodus 30:23). Spice was derived from a plant that grew mainly in India and Armenia. It was used as a preparation for the hair. Myrrh and frankincense, used for medicinal and embalming purposes, were among the gifts the wise men brought to Jesus. Wine was a beverage, and oil had many purposes ranging from medicinal to lighting and food. Fine flour and wheat were used in cooking and baking. Cattle and sheep were livestock provisions, and horses and chariots provided transportation for the wealthy.

An especially disturbing inclusion on this list is that of slaves. The merchants engaged in human trafficking and thereby showed they totally disregarded human beings as God's creation (Exodus 21:16). Modern people often falsely assume slavery is a thing of the past. Sadly, people across the world, and in all cultures, are still kidnapped and forced into labor, sex trades, or other abuses even today. While this list is mostly symbolic, many of the items included could still be considered valuable during the end times, and it's not difficult to imagine a wicked, corrupt culture engaging in widespread human trafficking.