What does Revelation 18:6 mean?
ESV: Pay her back as she herself has paid back others, and repay her double for her deeds; mix a double portion for her in the cup she mixed.
NIV: Give back to her as she has given; pay her back double for what she has done. Pour her a double portion from her own cup.
NASB: Pay her back even as she has paid, and give back to her double according to her deeds; in the cup which she has mixed, mix twice as much for her.
CSB: Pay her back the way she also paid, and double it according to her works. In the cup in which she mixed, mix a double portion for her.
NLT: Do to her as she has done to others. Double her penalty for all her evil deeds. She brewed a cup of terror for others, so brew twice as much for her.
KJV: Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double.
NKJV: Render to her just as she rendered to you, and repay her double according to her works; in the cup which she has mixed, mix double for her.
Verse Commentary:
Romans 6:23 mentions the "wages of sin," meaning the expected outcome one "earns" from evil and immorality. God will give Babylon exactly what it deserves when He destroys it and all it stands for. This set of references to "Babylon" focuses on an ungodly political and economic entity. Similarly judged nations in the Bible had treated others viciously: swindled, stolen, plundered, and even murdered to accumulate wealth and fame, impoverishing multitudes to live in luxury (Exodus 1:8–14; Isaiah 1:9–17). Now God pays her back. He repays her double for her deeds. She must drink the full cup of God's wrath. John hears these words spoken by a voice from heaven.

Jeremiah predicted judgment on Babylon. He wrote in Jeremiah 51:25–26: "Behold, I am against you, O destroying mountain, declares the LORD, which destroys the whole earth; I will stretch out my hand against you, and roll you down from the crags, and make you a burnt mountain. No stone shall be taken from you for a corner and no stone for a foundation, but you shall be a perpetual waste, declares the LORD."
Verse 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.
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.''
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