Never Again

NEVER TO BE FOUND, HEARD OR SHINE AGAINThen a mighty angel picked up a boulder the size of a large millstone and threw it into the sea, and said: “With such violence the great city of Babylon will be thrown down, never to be found again. The music of harpists and musicians, flute players and trumpeters, will never be heard in you again. No workman of any trade will ever be found in you again. The sound of a millstone will never be heard in you again. The light of a lamp will never shine in you again. The voice of bridegroom and bride will never be heard in you again. (Revelation 18:21-23a)

The casting of the millstone into the sea indicates the suddenness of God’s judgment on the empire of the Beast. Some Bible students see in this millstone the return of Christ, as pictured in Daniel 2:34–35, 44–45 (“the rock was cut out, but not by human hands…it will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will endure forever”).(1)

It also symbolizes the completeness of the judgement.(2) In Jeremiah 51:63–64, the prophet is commanded to hurl a stone into the Euphrates and declare that Babylon would likewise “sink to rise no more.” The stone referenced here is the kind of millstone that was turned by a beast to mill grain. It is so heavy that it could not be retrieved from the sea (Mark 9:42).

The eerie silence that follows in Babylon also means that the devastation is complete.(3) All her mighty works of industry, craftsmanship, political power, and artistic skill are brought to nothing (see also Jeremiah 25:9–11). She has played the harlot and worshiped the beast rather than devoting her skills and energies to God and to the Lamb.(4) Note the repeated “never again” statements in Revelation 18. When God declares no more, there is nothing man can do to change it.(5)

Up Next – Justification of Judgement.

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References

  1. Wiersbe, W. W. (1992). Wiersbe’s expository outlines on the New Testament (p. 849). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
  2. Barry, J. D., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Mangum, D., & Whitehead, M. M. (2012). Faithlife Study Bible (Re 18:21). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.
  3. Keener, C. S. (1993). The IVP Bible background commentary: New Testament (Re 18:21–22). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
  4. Dockery, D. S., Butler, T. C., Church, C. L., Scott, L. L., Ellis Smith, M. A., White, J. E., & Holman Bible Publishers (Nashville, T. . (1992). Holman Bible Handbook (p. 802). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  5. Wiersbe, W. W. (1992). Wiersbe’s expository outlines on the New Testament (p. 849). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

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