Revelation 18:8


King James Version (KJV)

Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judges her.

American King James Version (AKJV)

Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judges her.

American Standard Version (ASV)

Therefore in one day shall her plagues come, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire; for strong is the Lord God who judged her.

Basic English Translation (BBE)

For this reason in one day will her troubles come, death and sorrow and need of food; and she will be completely burned with fire; for strong is the Lord God who is her judge.

Webster's Revision

Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.

World English Bible

Therefore in one day her plagues will come: death, mourning, and famine; and she will be utterly burned with fire; for the Lord God who has judged her is strong.

English Revised Version (ERV)

Therefore in one day shall her plagues come, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire; for strong is the Lord God which judged her.

Clarke's Revelation 18:8 Bible Commentary

Therefore shall her plagues come - Death, by the sword of her adversaries; mourning on account of the slaughter; and famine, the fruits of the field being destroyed by the hostile bands.

Utterly burned with fire - Of what city is this spoken? Rome pagan has never been thus treated; Alaric and Totilas burnt only some parts with fire. Rome papal has not been thus treated; but this is true of Jerusalem, and yet Jerusalem is not generally thought to be intended.

Barnes's Revelation 18:8 Bible Commentary

Therefore - In consequence of her pride, arrogance, and luxury, and of the calamities that she has brought upon others.

Shall her plagues come in one day - They shall come in a time when she is living in ease and security; and they shall come at the same time - so that all these terrible judgments shall seem to be poured upon her at once.

Death - This expression, and those which follow, are designed to denote the same thing under different images. The general meaning is, that there would be utter and final destruction. It would be as if death should come and cut off the inhabitants.

And mourning - As there would be where many were cut off by death.

And famine - As if famine raged within the walls of a besieged city, or spread over a land,

And she shall be utterly burned with fire - As completely destroyed as if she were entirely burned up. The certain and complete destruction of that formidable anti-Christian power is predicted under a great variety of emphatic images. See Revelation 14:10-11; Revelation 16:17-21; Revelation 17:9, Revelation 17:16. Perhaps in this so frequent reference to a final destruction of that formidable anti-Christian power by fire, there may be more intended than merely a figurative representation of its final ruin. There is some degree of probability, at least, that Rome itself will be literally destroyed in this manner, and that it is in this way that God intends to put an end to the papal power, by destroying what has been so long the seat and the center of this authority. The extended prevalence of this belief, and the grounds for it, may be seen from the following remarks:

(1) It was an early opinion among the Jewish rabbies that Rome would be thus destroyed. Vitringa, on the Apocalypse, cites some opinions of this kind; the Jewish expectation being founded, as he says, on the passage in Isaiah 34:9, as Edom was supposed to mean Rome. "This chapter," says Kimchi, "points out the future destruction of Rome, here called Bozra, for Bozra was a great city of the Edomites." This is, indeed, worthless as a proof or an interpretation of Scripture, for it is a wholly unfounded interpretation; it is of value only as showing that somehow the Jews entertained this opinion.

(2) the same expectation was entertained among the early Christians. Thus Mr. Gibbon (vol. i. p. 263, ch. xv.), referring to the expectations of the glorious reign of the Messiah on the earth (compare the notes on Revelation 14:8), says, speaking of Rome as the mystic Babylon, and of its anticipated destruction: "A regular series was prepared (in the minds of Christians) of all the moral and physical evils which can afflict a flourishing nation; intestine discord, and the invasion of the fiercest barbarians from the unknown regions of the north; pestilence and famine, comets and eclipses, earthquakes and inundations. All these were only so many preparatory and alarming signs of the great catastrophe of Rome, when the country of the Scipios and Caesars should be consumed by a flame from heaven, and the city of the seven hills, with her palaces, her temples, and her triumphal arches, should be buried in a vast lake of fire and brimstone." So even Gregory the Great, one of the most illustrious of the Roman pontiffs, himself says, acknowledging his belief in the truth of the tradition: Roma a Gentilibus non exterminabitur; sed tempestatibus, coruscis turbinibus, ac terrae motu, in se marcescet (Dial. Isaiah 2:15).

(3) whatever may be thought of these opinions and expectations, there is "some" foundation for the opinion in the nature of the case:

(a) The region is adapted to this. "It is not Aetna, the Lipari volcanic islands, Vesuvius, that alone offer visible indications of the physical adaptedness of Italy for such a catastrophe. The great Apennine mountain-chain is mainly volcanic in its character, and the country of Rome more especially is as strikingly so almost as that of Sodom itself." Thus the mineralogist Ferber, in his "Tour in Italy," says: "The road from Rome to Ostia is all volcanic ashes until within two miles of Ostia." "From Rome to Tivoli I went on fields and hills of volcanic ashes or tufa." "A volcanic hill in an amphitheatrical form includes a part of the plain over Albano, and a flat country of volcanic ashes and hills to Rome. The ground about Rome is generally of that nature," pp. 189, 191, 200, 234.

(b) Mr. Gibbon, with his usual accuracy, as if commenting on the Apocalypse, has referred to the physical adaptedness of the soil of Rome for such an overthrow. Speaking of the anticipation of the end of the world among the early Christians, he says: "In the opinion of a general conflagration, the faith of the Christian very happily coincided with the tradition of the East, the philosophy of the Stoics, and the analogy of nature; 'and even the country, which, from religious motives, had been chosen for the origin and principal scene of the conflagration, was the best adapted for that purpose by natural and physical causes;' by its deep caverns, beds of sulphur, and numerous volcanoes, of which those of Aetna, of Vesuvius, and of Lipari, exhibit a very imperfect representation," vol. i. p. 263, ch. xv. As to the general state of Italy, in reference to volcanoes, the reader may consult, with advantage, Lyell's Geology, book ii. ch. 9-12. See also Murray's Encyclopaedia of Geography, book ii. ch. 2. Of the country around Rome it is said in that work, among other things: "The country around Rome, and also the hills on which it is built, is composed of tertiary marls, clays, and sandstones, and intermixed with a preponderating quantity of granular and lithoidal volcanic tufas. The many lakes around Rome are formed by craters of ancient volcanoes." "On the road to Rome is the Lake of Vico, formerly the Lacus Cimini, which has all the appearance of a crater."

The following extract from a recent traveler will still further confirm this representation: "I behold everywhere - in Rome, near Rome, and through the whole region from Rome to Naples - most astounding proof, not merely of the possibility, but the probability, that the whole region of central Italy will one day be destroyed by such a catastrophe (by earthquakes or volcanoes). The soil of Rome is tufa, with a volcanic subterranean action going on. At Naples the boiling sulphur is to be seen bubbling near the surface of the earth. When I drew a stick along the ground, the sulphurous smoke followed the indentation; and it would never surprise me to hear of the utter destruction of the southern peninsula of Italy. The entire country and district is volcanic. It is saturated with beds of sulphur and the substrata of destruction. It seems as certainly prepared for the flames, as the wood and coal on the hearth are prepared for the taper which shall kindle the fire to consume them. The divine hand alone seems to me to hold the element of fire in check by a miracle as great as what protected the cities of the plain, until the righteous Lot had made his escape to the mountains" (Townsend's Tour in Italy in 1850).

For strong is the Lord God who judgeth her - That is, God has ample power to bring all these calamities upon her.

Wesley's Revelation 18:8 Bible Commentary

18:8 Therefore - as both the natural and judicial consequence of this proud security Shall her plagues come - The death of her children, with an incapacity of bearing more. Sorrow - of every kind. And famine - In the room of luxurious plenty: the very things from which she imagined herself to be most safe. For strong is the Lord God who judgeth her - Against whom therefore all her strength, great as it is, will not avail.

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