Revelation 18:13


King James Version (KJV)

And cinnamon, and odors, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men.

American King James Version (AKJV)

And cinnamon, and odors, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men.

American Standard Version (ASV)

and cinnamon, and spice, and incense, and ointment, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and cattle, and sheep; and merchandise of horses and chariots and slaves; and souls of men.

Basic English Translation (BBE)

And sweet-smelling plants, and perfumes, and wine, and oil, and well crushed grain, and cattle and sheep; and horses and carriages and servants; and souls of men.

Webster's Revision

And cinnamon, and odors, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men.

World English Bible

and cinnamon, incense, perfume, frankincense, wine, olive oil, fine flour, wheat, sheep, horses, chariots, and people's bodies and souls.

English Revised Version (ERV)

and cinnamon, and spice, and incense, and ointment, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and cattle, and sheep; and merchandise of horses and chariots and slaves; and souls of men.

Clarke's Revelation 18:13 Bible Commentary

And cinnamon - "By the sinamon is ment all maner of costly spyces, wherewith they bury their byshops and founders, lest they shoulde stinke when they translate them agayne to make them saintes for advauntage.

"By the smellynge odours, the swete herbes that they strewe abrode at theyr dedications and burials; besydes the damaske waters, bawmes, muskes, pomaunder, civet, and other curious confections they yet bestow upon theyr owne precious bodyes.

"The oyntments are such oyles as they mingle with rose water, aloes, and spike, with other mery conceits, wherwith they anoynt their holy savours and roods, to make them to sweat, and to smell sweete when they are borne abrod in procession upon their high feastfull dayes.

"Frankinsence occupye they ofte as a necessarie thinge in the sensyng of their idols, hallowinge of their paschal, conjuringe of their ploughes; besydes the blessing of their palmes, candles, ashes, and their dead men's graves, with requiescant in pace.

"With wine synge they theyr masses for money, they housell the people at Easter, they wash their aultar stones upon Maundy Thursday; they fast the holy imber dayes, besydes other banketinges all the whole years, to kepe theyr flesh chaste.

"With oyle smere they yonge infantes at baptisme and bishopping; they grease their massmongers, and gere them the mark of madian; they anele their cattell that starveth; and do many other feates els.

"Fyne floure is suche a merchandyse of theirs as far excedeth all other, and was first geven them by Pope Alexander the first, thinkinge Christes institution not sufficient, nor comly in using the common breade in that ministerie. For that ware hath brought them in their plentifull possessions, their lordshippes, fatte benifices, and prebendaries, with innumerable plesures els.

"Wheat have thei of their farms, whereof they make pardon bread and cakes, to draw people to devocion towardes them.

"Cattell receive they, offered unto their idols by the idiots of the countries, for recover of sondrye diseases; besides that they have of their tithes.

"Shepe have they, sometime of their owne pastures, sometime of begginge, sometime of bequestes for the dead, to cry them out of their feareful purgatorye, when they be asleepe at midnight.

"Great horses have they, for mortuaries, for offices, for favers, giftes, and rewardes, to be good lords unto them, that they may holde still their farmes, and to have saunder waspe their sonne and their heire a priest; or to admitte him unto a manerly benefice, that he may be called 'maister person,' and suche lyke.

"Charets have they also, or horse litters, of al manner of sorts, specially at Rome, with foote men runninge on both sides of them, to make roome for the holy fathers. Of whom some carye their owne precious bodyes, some theyr treasure, some the blessed sacramente, some holy reliques and ornamentes, some their whores, and some their bastardes. The bodyes of men must needes be judged to be at their pleasure, so long as Christen provinces be tributaries unto them, princes obediente, people subject, and their lawes at their commaundement to slea and to kyll. And to make this good, who hath not in England payd his Peter peny, sometime to acknowledge hymselfe a bondman of theirs, at the receit of his yerely howsell? Furthermore yet, besides their market muster of monkes, fryars, and priestes, they have certayne bondmen, of whom some they sell to the Venicians, some to the Genues, some to the Portingales, and some to the Turks, to row in their galleis. And laste of all, to make up their market, least any thing should escape theyr hands, these unmercifull bribers maketh marchaundise of the soules of men, to deprive Christe of his whole right, sending many unto hell, but not one unto heaven, (unlesse they maliciously murther them for the truths sake), and all for mony. After many other sortes els, abuse they these good creatures of God, whom the Holy Ghost heere nameth. Much were it to shew here by the cronicles severally of what Pope they have received authorytie, power, and charge, to utter these wares to advauntage, and how they came firste by the old idolatrous."

Several of the most reputable MSS. versions, and some of the fathers, after cinnamon, add και αμωμον, and amomum. What this shrub was is not easy to say, though mentioned and partially described by Pliny and Dioscorides. Some think it was a species of geranium; others, the rose of Jericho. It was an odoriferous plant supposed to be a native of Assyria; and is thus mentioned by Virgil, Eclog. iv., ver. 25: -

- Assyrium vulgo nascetur amomum.


Barnes's Revelation 18:13 Bible Commentary

And cinnamon - Cinnamon is the aromatic bark of the Laurus Cinnamomam, which grows in Arabia, India, and especially in the island of Ceylon. It was formerly, as it is now, a valuable article in the Oriental trade.

And odours - Aromatics employed in religious worship, and for making perfumes. Mr. Gibbon (vol. i. p. 34) mentions, among the articles of commerce and luxury, in the age of the Antonines, "a variety of aromatics that were consumed in religious worship and the pomp of funerals." It is unnecessary to say that the use of such odors has been always common at Rome.

And ointments - Unguents - as spikenard, etc. These were in common use among the ancients. See the Matthew 14:7 note; Mark 14:3 note.

And frankincense - See the notes on Matthew 2:11. It is unnecessary to say that incense has been always much used in public worship in Rome, and that it has been, therefore, a valuable article of commerce there.

And wine - An article of commerce and luxury in all ages.

And oil - That is, olive oil. This, in ancient times, and in Oriental countries particularly, was an important article of commerce.

And fine flour - The word here means the best and finest kind of flour.

And beasts, and sheep, and horses - Also important articles of merchandise.

And chariots - The word used here - ῥεδῶν redōn - means, properly a carriage with four wheels, or a carriage drawn by mules (Prof. Stuart). It was properly a traveling carriage. The word is of Gallic origin (Quinctil. 1:9; Cic. Mil. 10; Att. v. 17; 6:1. See Adam's Rom. Ant. p. 525). It was an article of luxury.

And slaves - The Greek here is σωμάτων sōmatōn - "of bodies." Prof. Stuart renders it "grooms," and supposes that it refers to a particular kind of slaves who were employed in taking care of horses and carriages. The word properly denotes body - an animal body - whether of the human body, living or dead, or the body of a beast; and then the external man - the person, the individual. In later usage, it comes to denote a slave (see Robinson, Lexicon), and in this sense it is used here. The traffic in slaves was common in ancient times, as it is now. We know that this traffic was carried on to a large extent in ancient Rome, the city which John probably had in his eye in this description. See Gibbon, Dec. and Fall, vol. 1, pp. 25, 26. Athenaeus, as quoted by Mr. Gibbon (p. 26), says that "he knew very many Romans who possessed, not for use, but for ostentation, ten, and even twenty thousand slaves." It should be said here, however, that although this refers evidently to traffic in slaves, it is not necessary to suppose that it would be literally characteristic of papal Rome. All this is symbolical, designed to exhibit the papacy under the image of a great city, with what was customary in such a city, or with what most naturally presented itself to the imagination of John as found in such a city; and it is no more necessary to suppose that the papacy would be engaged in the traffic of slaves, than in the traffic of cinnamon, or fine flour, or sheep and horses.

And souls of men - The word used and rendered "souls" - ψυχὰς psuchas - though commonly denoting the "soul" (properly the "breath" or "vital principle"), is also employed to denote the living thing - the animal - in which the soul or vital principle resides; and hence may denote a person or a man. Under this form it is used to denote a "servant" or "slave." See Robinson, Lexicon. Prof. Robinson supposes that the word here means "female slaves," in distinction from those designated by the previous word. Prof. Stuart (in loco) supposes that the previous word denotes a particular kind of slaves - those who had the care of horses - and that the word here is used in a generic sense, denoting slaves in general. This kind of traffic in the "persons" or souls of people is mentioned as characterizing ancient Tyre, in Ezekiel 27:13; "Javan, Tubal, and Meshech, they were thy merchants; they traded in the persons of men." It is not quite clear why, in the passage before us, this traffic is mentioned in two forms, as that of the bodies and the souls of people but it would seem most probable that the writer meant to designate all that would properly come under this traffic, whether male or female slaves were bought and sold; whether they were for servitude, or for the gladiatorial sports (see Wetstein, in loco); whatever might be the kind of servitude that they might be employed in, and whatever might be their condition in life. The use of the two words would include all that is implied in the traffic, for, in most important senses, it extends to the body and the soul. In slavery both are purchased; both are supposed, so far as he can avail himself of them, to become the property of the master.

Wesley's Revelation 18:13 Bible Commentary

18:13 Amomum - A shrub whose wood is a fine perfume. And beasts - Cows and oxen. And of chariots - a purely Latin word is here inserted in the Greek. This St. John undoubtedly used on purpose, in describing the luxury of Rome. And of bodies - A common term for slaves. And souls of men - For these also are continually bought and sold at Rome. And this of all others is the most gainful merchandise to the Roman traffickers.

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