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Revelation 19:3

ESV Once more they cried out, "Hallelujah! The smoke from her goes up forever and ever."
NIV And again they shouted: "Hallelujah! The smoke from her goes up for ever and ever."
NASB And a second time they said, 'Hallelujah! HER SMOKE RISES FOREVER AND EVER.'
CSB A second time they said, Hallelujah! Her smoke ascends forever and ever!
NLT And again their voices rang out: 'Praise the Lord! The smoke from that city ascends forever and ever!'
KJV And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up forever and ever.
NKJV Again they said, “Alleluia! Her smoke rises up forever and ever!”

What does Revelation 19:3 mean?

This verse reports that the heavenly multitude shouted another "hallelujah," which translates to "praise the Lord!" The residents of heaven declare that Babylon's smoke ascends "forever and ever." We should not interpret this declaration to mean the physical smoke from God's judgment on Babylon is eternal. The statement is a hyperbole: a figure of speech. The language simply indicates that God's destruction of Babylon was complete once and for all.

Babylon had marked God's people as fools, and she had indulged herself in luxuries, as though things would endure forever. But, like the destruction of Sodom when God burned the city to the ground, everything Babylon considered valuable went up in smoke. The things she considered so valuable and worthwhile ended up as piles of ashes.

Jesus warned, "Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions" (Luke 12:15). Jesus labeled as a fool, "the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God" (Luke 12:21). Babylon was foolish, and her foolishness led to her judgment.
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