With a mighty voice he shouted: “Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great! She has become a home for demons and a haunt for every evil spirit, a haunt for every unclean and detestable bird. 3 For all the nations have drunk the maddening wine of her adulteries. The kings of the earth committed adultery with her, and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries.” (NIV)
Remember that Babylon the Great is just another name for the great prostitute, or as the King James Bible says, the Harlot of Babylon. Here we see her demise. This human agency or entity has become a haunt for every evil spirit which is symbolized here as unclean and detestable birds. Notice that all of the nations have drunk her maddening wine, which means that they have believed her deceptions and lies. They have fallen for her promises hook, line, and sinker. This, for the most part, also means the inhabitants of the whole world too.
Notice the reference to the merchants. This is an important keyword.
Then you increased your promiscuity to include Babylonia, a land of merchants, but even with this you were not satisfied. (NIV)
Here we see that Babylon is called the land of merchants.
The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, set forth an allegory and tell the house of Israel a parable. 3 Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: A great eagle with powerful wings, long feathers and full plumage of varied colors came to Lebanon. Taking hold of the top of a cedar, 4 he broke off its topmost shoot and carried it away to a land of merchants, where he planted it in a city of traders. (NIV)
In this parable we see the reference to the land of merchants, so we know that it is talking about Babylon.
Then the word of the Lord came to me: 12 “Say to this rebellious house, ‘Do you not know what these things mean?’ Say to them: ‘The king of Babylon went to Jerusalem and carried off her king and her nobles, bringing them back with him to Babylon. (NIV)
We have confirmation that the phrase land of merchants means Babylon.
Now, Babylon has been completely destroyed for almost three thousand years and yet Revelation tells us that this Babylon is being destroyed yet in our future. The literal city of Babylon was destroyed in antiquity but what made Babylon Babylon still exists. It is this Babylon behind the Babylon, spiritual Babylon if you will, that we must identify. It is a big clue this name land of merchants. This name is very easy to see and understand today. We wouldn’t really say it that way today, but if we think of this as the way of businessmen then it becomes much easier to see and understand. Everything about our society today is about money and the economy.
All of the nations of the world are coming into line with respect to this international economic community. If a nation won’t play ball then the other nations blackmail it by imposing economic sanctions. They all stick together and place an economic embargo around the offending nation.
It is said that the west lost the war with Vietnam, but did it? Vietnam, along with every other Asian nation is quickly transforming themselves into lands of merchants. Remember that the war with Vietnam was a war against communism. Communism can’t compete economically with capitalism. The communistic nations see the vast wealth that results from capitalism and they convert, inch by inch. Everyone wants some of that prosperity. This is all symbolically represented by the gold and riches which adorn the great prostitute. She promises all who will embrace her philosophy (that is commit spiritual adultery with her) great wealth and the world today has more money than ever before– by a large factor. She promises wealth and she delivers, but her promises are really only lies because her wealth is only temporary. The great prostitute, like any prostitute, can only promise worldly pleasure, but what of the consequences? God tells you the consequences. God sees through the prostitute’s temporary promises and he directs you in the way of passing through this world without getting yourself entangled in her tasty morsels and sparkly pretty things. My friend, are you a child that can be bought with a pretty toy that will be broke before long? Or, are you wise to the Harlot’s trinkets and desire for yourself the eternal life that God offers you? Ponder that Batman!
The light of a lamp will never shine in you again. The voice of bridegroom and bride will never be heard in you again. Your merchants were the world’s great men. By your magic spell all the nations were led astray. (NIV)
Who are the great men of today? Aren’t they the billionaire businessmen? Aren’t they the ones that really wield the real power in the world today? This question is an important question and will be looked into in a later post.