Revelation 18:19 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Revelation 18:19, NIV: They will throw dust on their heads, and with weeping and mourning cry out: ''Woe! Woe to you, great city, where all who had ships on the sea became rich through her wealth! In one hour she has been brought to ruin!'

Revelation 18:19, ESV: And they threw dust on their heads as they wept and mourned, crying out, “Alas, alas, for the great city where all who had ships at sea grew rich by her wealth! For in a single hour she has been laid waste.

Revelation 18:19, KJV: And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas, that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate.

Revelation 18:19, NASB: And they threw dust on their heads and were crying out, weeping and mourning, saying, ‘Woe, woe, the great city, in which all who had ships at sea became rich from her prosperity, for in one hour she has been laid waste!’

Revelation 18:19, NLT: And they will weep and throw dust on their heads to show their grief. And they will cry out, 'How terrible, how terrible for that great city! The shipowners became wealthy by transporting her great wealth on the seas. In a single moment it is all gone.'

Revelation 18:19, CSB: They threw dust on their heads and kept crying out, weeping, and mourning, Woe, woe, the great city, where all those who have ships on the sea became rich from her wealth; for in a single hour she was destroyed.

What does Revelation 18:19 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The kings, merchants, and seafarers of the world are grieving their loss of income due to the collapse of Babylon. Here, sailors continue their lament by throwing dust on their head, by weeping, and by mourning. Again they recall how Babylon was a great city that drew ships to her from around the world, and all who sold their goods to her got wealthy. But the end had come. The mourners are aghast that such a great city fell to ruin in just one hour. The shipping industry would not earn a single penny from Babylon in the future, and doubtless that prospect is what causes the shippers and crews such anguish.

When God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, Lot and his wife and daughters had to be physically dragged away from everything they owned (Genesis 19:15–16), As the cities melted away, the family hurried to escape to a safe place, but Lot's wife must have had Sodom in her heart, because she turned to look back on Sodom against the clear command not to do so (Genesis 19:17; 19:26). As a result, she became a pillar of salt. This might mean she hesitated, looked back, and was engulfed in the sulfur and fire God rained upon Sodom and Gomorrah.

All who mourn the collapse of Babylon miss severely what Babylon had meant to them financially. No mention is made that these mourning kings, merchants, or sailors mourn the loss of life in Babylon.