City Babylon Destruction
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72. City Babylon Destruction
Revelation 18.21-24

"Then a mighty angel picked up a boulder the size of a large millstone and threw it into the sea, and said, 'With such violence the great city of Babylon will be thrown down, never to be found again. The music of harpists and musicians, pipers and trumpeters, will never be heard in you again. No worker of any trade will ever be found in you again. The sound of a millstone will never be heard in you again. The light of a lamp will never shine in you again. The voice of the 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. In her was found the blood of prophets and God's holy people, and of all who have been slaughtered on the earth." (Revelation 18.21-24)✞

Rome and Babylon

MartyrsThe picture here is of the final devastation of Ancient Rome, disguised as the city of Babylon. It begins with a symbolic action. A strong angel takes a massive boulder the size of a millstone and hurls it into the sea, which closes over it as if it had never been. So will Rome be obliterated. John is taking his picture from the destruction of the real ancient city of Babylon.

All Music Silenced

Strabo's MapA similar thing also occurs in Jeremiah 51.63-64a when he is told, "When you finish reading this scroll, tie a stone to it and throw it into the Euphrates. Then say, 'So will Babylon sink to rise no more because of the disaster I will bring on her. And her people will fall.'" In later days, Strabo (BC 63-23 AD), the Greek geographer who drew a map of the then known world between BC 7 and 18 AD, said that the ancient city of Babylon was so wholly obliterated that no one would ever have dared to say that the desert where she stood was once a great city.

No Rejoicing

EzekielNever again would there be any sound of rejoicing in Rome. Similarly, the doom of Ezekiel 26.13 against Tyre reads, "I will put an end to your noisy songs, and the music of your harps will be heard no more." The harpers and the minstrels play and sing on joyous occasions. The flute at festivals and funerals, the trumpet at games, and concerts and all music will be silenced. Never again will there be the sound of a craftsman plying his trade. Never again will the sound of domestic activity be heard in Babylon.

Women Grinding Grain

Woman Grinding GrainThe city of Rome will never again hear the sound of women grinding grain on circular millstones or the laughter of a bride. Grinding grain is carried out by the women at home. The grain mill has two millstones, one revolving on the top of the other. The bottom stone is stationary, and the top stone turns to grind the grain. The corn is placed into a hole in the uppermost millstone and emerges ground down as fine flour through the lower stone. The creak of the millstones will never again sound in ancient Rome.

Darkness and Silence Prevails

Afraid of the DarkNever again will there be the light of a lamp on the streets or in the houses. Never again will there be the sound of wedding rejoicing for even love will die. Jeremiah 25.10 uses the same word picture, "I will banish from them the sounds of joy and gladness, the voices of bride and bridegroom, the sound of millstones and the light of the lamp."

Silent Desolate City

MartyrsRome is to become a silent, desolate city. And this punishment is to come for specific defined reasons. It will come because she worships wealth, luxury, living wantonly, and finds no pleasure except material things. She leads people astray with her sorceries. Nahum 3.14 called Nineveh "alluring, the mistress of sorceries." Rome also flirts with evil powers to create a sinful world. She is guilty of bloodletting. "Woe to the city of bloodshed!" says Ezekiel 24.6 of Tyre. Within Rome, martyrs die, and persecution spreads out from there over all the earth.

"City Babylon Destruction"
by Ron Meacock © 2020

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