Revelation 18:24 MEANING

Revelation 18:24
(24) And in her was found . . .--It is not by seductiveness only that her guilt is measured: her hands are defiled with blood: the blood of prophets, who had witnessed against her: of saints, whose holy lives were a protest against her sins, and so hateful to her; and "of all who have been slain on the earth." (Comp. Revelation 17:6, and Note there.) It is not meant that literally all the blood shed by violence had been shed by Rome, or any other single city of which Babylon is type: all that is meant is that Babylon, the world city, is founded on those principles, the logical outcome of which is violence, bloodshed, and hostility to the highest right: those who die by her hands, few or many, are the evidence that the whole tendency of her power is against holiness and truth. In the earthly view, we are guilty of the acts we do: in the heavenly view, we are guilty of all that the spirit and sin of our conduct tends to do. The spirit of transgression is seen in one act as well as in many, and as it is the attitude of the spirit that God looks upon, so in a single act may be gathered up the transgression of the whole law. (Comp. Revelation 17:6, and Note there; see also James 2:10). It is the fatal failure to perceive this which leads man to make light of sin, and to undervalue the Cross of Christ.

Verse 24. - And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth. At first sight it seems difficult to understand that these words are spoken not only of Babylon, but of the faithless portion of the Church, symbolized by the harlot. But we must remember

(1) that he who is guilty in respect of one commandment, is guilty of the whole Law;

(2) similar words are addressed by Jeremiah to Judah (Jeremiah 2:34): "Also in thy skirts is found the blood of the souls of the poor innocents" (see on Revelation 17:1). Auberlen remarks, "Wherever true, faithful Christians are neglected and oppressed by the rulers of the Church, from avowed or secret antipathy to God's truth; where a false theology and science robs youth of its faith; where a pastor neglects, and keeps at a distance, the true living Christians in his flock, on account of the signum crucis which they bear; wherever we refuse or are ashamed to bear the reproach of Jesus Christ, our heavenly Master, even as he bore it, there we commit murder against the saints of God." Here is concluded the pronouncement of the judgment of Babylon; which may be said to answer the prayer in Revelation 6:10; and which forms the conclusion of the revelation commencing at Revelation 17.

18:20-24 That which is matter of rejoicing to the servants of God on earth, is matter of rejoicing to the angels in heaven. The apostles, who are honoured and daily worshipped at Rome in an idolatrous manner, will rejoice in her fall. The fall of Babylon was an act of God's justice. And because it was a final ruin, this enemy should never molest them any more; of this they were assured by a sign. Let us take warning from the things which brought others to destruction, and let us set our affections on things above, when we consider the changeable nature of earthly things.And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints,.... Such as before mentioned, in Revelation 18:20 this is another reason of her destruction, besides her luxury and idolatry, namely, her shedding the blood of the saints, with which she is said to be drunk, and therefore blood is now given her to drink, Revelation 17:6 for she will now be found guilty of slaying the witnesses, who are meant by the prophets and saints, that have been from the beginning of the apostasy:

and of all that were slain upon the earth: not only of those that have been slain in the city of Rome, but of all those that have been slain throughout the empire; they being slain by her order, or with her consent, and she conniving at it, encouraging it, and therefore will be justly chargeable with it all; see Matthew 23:31 the Ethiopic version adds, "for the name of Christ".

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