BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 23, Day 4: Revelation 18:9-20

Summary of passage:  All those who sinned will weep and mourn over Babylon as it is judged and see its smoke from the fire.  They weep not out of repentance but because their livelihood is up in smoke.  They will be terrified.  But the saints will rejoice for her downfall because of how Babylon treated them.

Questions:

8a)  The kings of the earth mourn because they shared in Babylon’s luxury and idolatry (adultery) and have now lost it.  The merchants of the earth because no one will buy their cargoes anymore.  All those who earn their living from the sea (sea captains, and sailors) mourn because they will no longer be able to gain riches anymore.

Side Note:  This lament is modeled off of Ezekiel’s lament over Tyre in Ezekiel 27.  15 of the 29 luxuries are also mentioned in Ezekiel 27.

b)  We just had similar questions.  True treasure is found and stored up in heaven.  If your treasure is in heaven, you are doing God’s work, not yours.  You care for others, not yourself.  Your heart is either God’s or it’s not.  What treasure you work for is a strong indication of who has possession of your heart.

9)  Because God has fulfilled His promise to judge those who hurt His people.  It is a righteous resolution we (believers) rejoice in–not the actual suffering itself.

10)  Personal Question.  My answer:  All.  Specifically, crimes against children, abuse, neglect, hunger, etc.

Conclusions:  Focus on Lesson 23 seems to be things of this world versus things of heaven.  Day 2 we were asked do things of this world or God most occupy our time.  Note:  the kings, merchants, and sailors are described as “of the earth”.  It tells you right there what their problem is.  Lesson 22 Day 2 we were asked about attractions of the world.  Lesson 22 Day 3 we were asked about glittering things of this world.

Question 10 is a filler.  We all hope all evil to end.  Period.  And it will only happen upon Jesus’ return.  That is “His timing”.

For an in-depth analysis, study the fall of Tyre and you will see the fall of the future Babylon.  God is amazing in giving us exactly what we need to know.  Much, much to explore in a greater historical context for those interested!

End Notes:  In Chapter 17 we see the ruin of Babylon but many do not realize its repercussions until now when Babylon burns.  The items listed in verses 12 & 13 are just a sample of the luxuries of the day.  They are all standing at a distance because the fire is so intense.

Note cargoes of “bodies and souls of men.”  No doubt this refers to the slave trade which thrived in Ancient Rome.  In fact, most people were slaves of some sort.  This can be applied to the slave trade of the 1700’s and 1800’s as well as well as the continued traffic in humans today.

We saw the same 3 groups wail at the fall of Tyre in Ezekiel 27:29-36.

Throwing dust on your head was an act of sorrow and dismay also from Ezekiel 27:30.

Some commentators say it is this fire, which is all-encompassing and on a giant scale, which will alert the Antichrist to Christ’s coming and be the impetus to him gathering his armies in Revelation 19.

Historical Note on Tyre:  A rich merchant city on the coast of modern-day Lebanon, Tyre controlled trade for the Mediterranean in ancient times.  It produced the purple dye only royalty wore in Rome.  However, their pride and wealth took over their hearts and they considered themselves virtual gods (Ezekiel 28:2,6).  They rejoiced in Jerusalem’s downfall, seeing an opportunity to increase its trade even more (Ezekiel 26:2).  So God sentences them.  Nebuchadnezzar began its punishment but Alexander the Great finished off the city.  Tyre became a bare rock, nothing.  Prophecy is in Ezekiel 26 & 28.  Lament is Ezekiel 27.

Another fun fact:  According to legend, Carthage, Rome’s nemesis throughout much of its history (think Hannibal and his elephants) until its final defeat by Scipio in 146 BC was founded by Queen Dido who fled Tyre after the murder of her husband.

Tyre exists today but is nowhere near the import it once held.

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