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The Seven Bowls -- Babylon is Fallen
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The promise of the angel in Chapter 17 to show St. John the "judgment of the great whore sitting on many waters" is being accomplished here. In Chapter 17 we see the cause leading the judgment on the woman.

We can distinguish four parts:

  1. The fall of Babylon is depicted (vv 1-3)
  2. God's people are exhorted to separate from Babylon before her judgment lest they suffer with her (vv 4-8).
  3. Those cooperating with Babylon will lament after her judgment (vv 9-19), and,
  4. The faithful will rejoice over her judgment once it is accomplished (vv 20-24)

Seen differently, the faithful are exhorted to leave Babylon before her judgment in five successive and different ways:

  1. They are told of the coming judgment and of the need to leave Babylon (vv 18:1-8)
  2. They are told that the kings of the Earth will lament her fall (18:9-10)
  3. They are told that the merchants will lament her fall (18:11-17a)
  4. They are told that the mariners will lament her fall (18:17b-19b)
  5. Finally, they are told they will rejoice over her fall and will give glory to God (18:20-19:6)


  • Why does the angel proclaim Babylon "fallen" (past tense) when the text indicates that it has not yet fell?
  • What is the relationship between liturgy and history?
  • How is this text applicable today? How are we to understand modern events in light of this text?
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