Revelation 18:9 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Revelation 18:9, NIV: When the kings of the earth who committed adultery with her and shared her luxury see the smoke of her burning, they will weep and mourn over her.

Revelation 18:9, ESV: And the kings of the earth, who committed sexual immorality and lived in luxury with her, will weep and wail over her when they see the smoke of her burning.

Revelation 18:9, KJV: And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning,

Revelation 18:9, NASB: 'And the kings of the earth, who committed acts of sexual immorality and lived luxuriously with her, will weep and mourn over her when they see the smoke of her burning,

Revelation 18:9, NLT: And the kings of the world who committed adultery with her and enjoyed her great luxury will mourn for her as they see the smoke rising from her charred remains.

Revelation 18:9, CSB: The kings of the earth who have committed sexual immorality and shared her sensual and excessive ways will weep and mourn over her when they see the smoke from her burning.

What does Revelation 18:9 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

According to this passage the kings of the earth weep and wail over Babylon's collapse. Unlike chapter 17, where "Babylon" was a reference to a form of false religion, this "Babylon" describes politics and economics. The reference to "kings of the earth" suggests rulers worldwide: kings, presidents, prime ministers, and dictators. So far as Revelation is concerned, the demise of "religious Babylon" wasn't mourned. Here, however, the fall of this economic or political superpower is a source of grief.

The term "sexual immorality" implies certain physical sins, but it's also a common metaphor in Scripture for the sin of idolatry. The actual city and culture of Babylon, historically, was deeply rooted in the worship of false gods. As it applies to the end times, this may refer to the idolatrous act of worshiping the beast. Revelation 13 relates that the False Prophet in Jerusalem set up an image for the beast and demanded everyone to worship the image.

These political rulers found it financially advantageous to cooperate with Babylon. Babylon's ruin would cause them to experience their own financial ruin. When the stock market in the United States of America crashed in 1929, wealthy investors lost their fortunes. Overwhelmed with their losses, many took their own lives. Perhaps, the fall of Babylon will produce even worse results. The earthly kings' tears flow profusely as they watch smoke rise from Babylon's burning. The drifting smoke might be seen directly in nearby cities, but modern technology can broadcast the disaster worldwide.