Revelation | 1-6 | 7-1415 | 16:1-7 | 16:8-21 | 17 | 18 | 19:1-10 | 19:11-21 | 20:1-10 | 20:11-15 | 21:1-8 | 21:9-27 | 22:1-7 | 22:8-21 | PDF |


Join us as we study through Revelation verse by verse. Our Bible study guides contain discussion questions, verse by verse commentary, and applications which can help you or your small group get the most out of this book as you grow in understanding and obedience.

Revelation 18 Online Small Group Bible Study – The Fall of Babylon

Outline

I. The History and Meaning of Babylon (1-2)
II. The Allure of Babylon (3-16)
III. The Destruction of Babylon (17-24)

I. The History and Meaning of Babylon (1-2)

Discussion Questions

  • What did John see?
  • When will these things take place?
  • What is Babylon the great?
  • Is the description that it is a “dwelling place of demons” figurative or literal?
  • What does that teach us about the spiritual warfare we are involved in?
  • How should knowing Babylon will fall affect us today?

Cross-References

James 4:4 – You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

1 John 2:17 – And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

Verse by Verse Commentary

Revelation 18:1 Bible verse

1. The history and background of Babylon – This chapter is all about the fall of Babylon the great. To fully understand the significance of this, we need to go back and trace the history of this city and its meaning in the Bible.

It was started by Nimrod.

Genesis 10:8-10 – Cush fathered Nimrod; he was the first on earth to be a mighty man. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord. Therefore it is said, “Like Nimrod a mighty hunter before the Lord.” The beginning of his kingdom was Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.

The name “Nimrod” means “Let Us Revolt” or “Let Us Rebel.” And the city lived up to its founder’s name.

God commanded people to “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth” (Genesis 1:28)

But the people of Babel had a different idea.

Genesis 11:4 – Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.”

They made up their minds to do exactly the opposite of what God had commanded. In their rebellion, they wanted to gather together under one united banner of mankind and make a statement that they would not submit to God. They would do things their own way. They were independent. Man was boss, not God.

This was the first attempt at a one-world government. They built a Ziggurat (Tower) in defiance of worshiping God and setting up false religion.

Tower of Babel by Pieter Bruegel

Artist’s rendering of the Tower of Babel – Art by Pieter Bruegel – Art is in the public domain.

Thus Babylon represents the world system that sets itself up in opposition to God. That system includes man’s religious, political, and economic self-will. Babylon the religion was dealt with in Revelation 17. And Babylon the political and economic entity is dealt with here in Revelation 18.

Babylon is wicked, filled with demons and the influence of demons. Much like Jerusalem is the city of God, Babylon is the city of the devil.

Babylon is mentioned 260 times in the Bible. From the beginning, it has opposed God. It was also the empire that first came and conquered Jerusalem, taking its inhabitants as exiles away from the Promised Land.

Here in Revelation 18, we see the climax of this battle between two systems. Throughout the whole Bible and all of human history, Satan has been trying to use the world’s system to entice people to join his kingdom with the enticement of wealth, power, and sex.

So we see three things about Babylon historically.

A. It begins as the place of man’s rebellion through a united world effort which God judged by the confusion of languages.

B. It is the instrument that seeks to take away the land promised by God to His people, the Israelites.

https://bible.org/seriespage/23-babylon-seen-scripture-introduction-rev-17-18

C. It is a worldly system of politics and economics, which is influenced by Satan and sets itself up in opposition to God.

His goal for this system is to lure people away from God’s design for them, which is what he has tried to do from the beginning.

II. The Allure of Babylon (3-16)

Discussion Questions

  • What is the allure of Babylon?
  • What does “Babylon” offer?
  • Why is what Babylon offers so attractive to so many people?
  • How can you see this system working in the world today?
  • In light of this chapter, can/should a believer ever enjoy a luxury? Why or why not?
  • What is the danger of riches?
  • What is one area that you have been pressured to conform to the world’s way rather than God’s? What did you learn from this?
  • How will most