What does Revelation 18:23 mean?
ESV: and the light of a lamp will shine in you no more, and the voice of bridegroom and bride will be heard in you no more, for your merchants were the great ones of the earth, and all nations were deceived by your sorcery.
NIV: The light of a lamp will never shine in you again. The voice of bridegroom and bride will never be heard in you again. Your merchants were the world's important people. By your magic spell all the nations were led astray.
NASB: and the light of a lamp will never shine in you again; and the voice of the groom and bride will never be heard in you again; for your merchants were the powerful people of the earth, because all the nations were deceived by your witchcraft.
CSB: the light of a lamp will never shine in you again; and the voice of a groom and bride will never be heard in you again. All this will happen because your merchants were the nobility of the earth, because all the nations were deceived by your sorcery.
NLT: The light of a lamp will never shine in you again. The happy voices of brides and grooms will never be heard in you again. For your merchants were the greatest in the world, and you deceived the nations with your sorceries.
KJV: And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.
Verse Commentary:
Earlier verses depicted the doom of Babylon as a giant millstone being thrown into the ocean (Revelation 18:21). Its ruin in the end times will be total, sudden, and inescapable. These verses continue to emphasize the total destruction of this city by noting all of the activities which will cease.

By the time of the tribulation, the city—and possibly the associated government—of Babylon is seen worldwide as a bright, shining city. After its fall, the lights will go out. The lights will never come on again in Babylon.

Also, there will never be another wedding in Babylon. Although the city's merchants were known throughout the world for their successful enterprises, they will never again produce any goods or strike a deal. They will never swindle buyers again. Their "cash registers" will go silent and stay silent when God rains judgment upon their wicked city.

This verse implies that Babylon was a city of sorcery. The Greek word for "sorcery" is pharmakeia, from which we derive the word "pharmacy." Most likely, the "sorcery" of end-times Babylon will include drug production and trafficking. Substances such as illicit drugs control and enslave people, making them easier to manipulate. The beast's city of Babylon will likely be a bastion of drug addicts and dealers. All versions of "sorcery" will be ended when God destroys Babylon.
Verse Context:
Revelation 18:21–24 provides a description of Babylon—the political and economic center of the Antichrist—after its fall. Isaiah predicted Babylon's fall and wrote about its desolation after God overthrows it (Isaiah 13:19). Daniel 2:34–35 and Daniel 2:40–45 describe the collapse of the beast's empire at the return of Jesus Christ. Jesus referred to the end of the times of the Gentiles in Luke 21:24. The times of the Gentiles began with the destruction of Jerusalem by Babylonian forces and the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, and it will end with the destruction of Babylon.
Chapter Summary:
A glorious angel announces the fall of Babylon, here used to name a dwelling place for demons and the source of corrupt commercialism. Another angel summons believers to get out of Babylon and avoid being caught up in the judgment for her sins. God is ready to punish Babylon for extensive wickedness. He promises to burn the city with fire. The kings of the earth mourn Babylon's demise, and they keep a safe distance from her as she burns. Merchants, too, weep because no one can purchase cargo from her and profit from selling her goods. Like the kings, the merchants try to put distance between themselves and Babylon for fear of sharing her destructive fate. Their mourning is intense. They throw dust on their heads, weep, mourn, and lament how quickly she fell from prominence and prosperity to a wasteful state. A mighty angel announces Babylon's doom and desolation. The city that once included renowned merchants, deceived the nations, and martyred believers, is now shattered into silence and desolation.
Chapter Context:
Revelation 18:1–8 contains a glorious angel's pronouncement of doom on Babylon. This Babylon here appears to be a literal physical city, whereas the Babylon described in chapter 17 is a corrupt religious system. The Babylon of chapter 17 was associated with a political system but was not the political power. The Babylon of chapter 18 is the center of a demonic political, commercial, and economic system. The fall of Babylon parallels what happened to the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19:1–29). Religious Babylon falls in the middle of the tribulation to the delight of kings. Commercial Babylon falls at the end of the tribulation, and kings lament her fall.
Book Summary:
The word ''revelation'' means ''an unveiling or disclosure.'' This writing unveils future events such as the rapture, three series of judgments that will fall on the earth during the tribulation, the emergence of the Antichrist, the persecution of Israel and her amazing revival, as well as Jesus' second coming with His saints to the earth, the judgment of Satan and his followers, and finally, the eternal state. This content, combined with the original Greek term apokalypsis, is why we now refer to an end-of-the-world scenario as ''an apocalypse.''
Accessed 4/22/2024 3:53:49 PM
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