CHAPTER 18 | Verses 16-19

Verse 16: “And they said: ‘Woe, Woe is the great city who was covered with fine linen, purple and scarlet; and was decked out with gold, precious stone and pearls.”

When God’s consuming judgement happens, it comes, and it passes; but the torment of that judgement is eternal.


Verse 17: “For in one hour was her great wealth destroyed. And every (ship’s) captain and every traveler and the sailors and the workers in the sea stood at a distance.”

The sea speaks of instability (see 12v12); we are to build, by faith, on a sure foundation. In Luke 6v43-45 we are told to produce good fruit (i.e. good deeds), to apply God’s truth to our lives.

These individuals have no consistency or foundation in their lives. They need to repent and seek God’s mercy and forgiveness. But they have no remorse over what they have done.

Verse 18: “And they cried when they saw the smoke of her fire saying: ‘Who among the cities is like her, this great city?’”

They are full of remorse because of God’s judgement, but not in the sense that it brings about repentance in their lives. They are sorry that the righteousness and holiness of God are beginning to be manifest in this world. They are similar to Lot’s wife. The reason why she was punished is because, as she began to flee from Sodom, she looked back longingly, regretful that she was being forced to leave (Genesis 19v26). 

These people liked the instability of sin. They wanted to build upon their own foundations and not on the foundation of faithfulness.


Verse 19: “And they threw dust upon their foreheads and they yelled out, crying and lamenting, saying: ‘Woe, Woe is the great city wherein all who had ships in the sea became rich from her wealth, for in one hour she became desolate.’”

At a funeral good words, a eulogy, are spoken about the dead person. These people are sad and full of sorrow. They are depressed because what they had lived for has come to an end.


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