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24: The Fall of Babylon (Rev 17:1-18:24)
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 24: The Fall of Babylon (Rev 17:1-18:24)

The Basics


In 14:8 and 16:19, we saw the pronouncement of the fall of Babylon in connection to God’s acts of judgment and vindication.  Now in chapters 17 and 18, the vision focuses on the iniquities and destruction of Babylon, the mother of harlots. God’s final judgments on the world is also a judgment on the great city Babylon. Just as she was drunk with the blood of saints and martyrs, now God will make her drink the wine of His fierce wrath.

Key Verse

“These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful” (17:14).

“And I heard another voice from heaven saying, ‘Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues’” (18:4).

“Therefore her plagues will come in one day--death and mourning and famine. And she will be utterly burned with fire, for strong is the Lord God who judges her” (18:8).

Did You Know…?

1.         Seven mountains (17:9): “It is perhaps significant that Rome began as a network of seven hill settlements on the left bank of the Tiber. Her designation as the city on seven hills is commonplace among Roman writers (e.g., Virgil, Martial, Cicero).” 13/1943

2.         Purple (18:12): “An expensive dye since it must be extracted a drop at a time from the murex shellfish.” 13/1944

3.         Citron wood (18:12): “An expensive dark wood from north Africa—used for inlay work in costly furniture.” 13/1944

4.         Cinnamon (18:13): “The tree grows about 9 m. (30 ft.) high with clusters of yellow and white flowers. Its very fragrant bark yields a golden yellow oil, which was used as one ingredient of the anointing oil (Ex. 30:23) and as perfume (Prov. 7:17).” 5/242

5.         Incense (18:13): “from the latin ‘to burn,’ ‘a mixture of gums or spices and the like, used for the purpose of producing a perfume when burned;’ or the perfume itself of the spices, etc., burned in worship.” 6/265

6.         Frankincense (18:13): “…a large, pink-flowering tree, producing a white gum that hardens quickly and is very aromatic when burned. This was used in ceremonial offerings (Ex. 30:34; Lev. 2:1), as an article of luxury (Song 3:6), and as a gift for the Christ child (Matt. 2:11).” 5/243

7.         Bodies and souls of men (18:13): “Slavery as well as any other exploitation of persons.” 1/1932

8.         Throw dust on their heads (18:19): “An act of sorrow and dismay (see Eze 27:30).” 13/1945













Key Words/Phrases

General Analysis

1.   Which verses in chapter 17 indicate that the woman who sits on the beast is the great city Babylon of chapter 18?

Segment Analysis


1.         Describe the woman in terms of the following:

1a.       Her adornment

1b.       Her influence

1c.       Her wickedness

2.         What does it mean that the woman sits on many waters (1)?


3.         How is the woman related to the beast?

4a.       What are the origin, history, and future of the beast?

4b.       Is the scarlet beast the same as the sea beast of chapter 13?

4c.       Who will marvel at the beast? Why?

4d.       What type of entity is the beast, according to the angel’s explanation?

4e.       Explain the phrase “that was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit” (8) by comparing it with 12:7-12 and Jn 12:31,32.

5.         What traits characterize the followers of the Lamb? Do these traits describe your relationship to the Lamb?

6a.       How will God bring about the woman’s end?

7.         From your study so far, what do you think the woman might represent in history and in today’s world? How will she be destroyed?


8.         Describe the great city of Babylon in terms of the following:

8a.       Her wealth

8b.       Her power

8c.       Her arrogance

9.         Why will God judge her?

10a.     Which verses suggest that the Babylon here is most likely not referring to a particular city or nation?

10b.     From your study of the chapter so far, what do you think is the meaning of Babylon? Compare this chapter with OT prophecies about the fall of Babylon in Isa ch. 13, 47 and Jer ch. 51. How does the historical Babylon help us understand the spiritual Babylon in Revelation?

10c.     What is the “fornication” that she commits with the kings of the earth?

10d.     Looking at the world today, do you see the sinfulness that resembles the iniquity of Babylon?

11.       What does it mean that Babylon “has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird”? (cf. Isa 13:19-22; 34:11; Jer 50:39).

12.       How should we “come out of” Babylon (4)?


13.       What expressions are used to depict the swiftness of Babylon’s destruction?

14a.     Who are the three groups of people that will mourn for Babylon?

14b.     Why does Babylon’s fall cause such bitter weeping and lament? What will be the consequence for those today who have become rich because of Babylon?

14c.     In what ways do the people of today “purchase merchandise” from Babylon? Are you also part of this merchant trading?

15.       What is the repeated phrase in 21-23 that indicates the tragic end of Babylon?

16a.     How does the phrase, “by your sorcery all the nations were deceived” tell us about the dreams that the people of the world pursue?

16b.     Have you ever lost something in your life that you valued highly? What lessons did you learn from the loss?

17.       What do verses 20 and 24 tell us about what Babylon has done to God’s people?

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Publisher: True Jesus Church