The Seventh Plague Continued.
“Now the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nation’s fell. And great Babylon was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath.” Rev 16:19
AND THE GREAT CITY: — Babylon the Great with all of its supporting and component parts,
WAS SPLIT INTO THREE PARTS: The implication is that the three parts of the Rev 16:13 coalition falls apart, and as in most revolutions and/or anarchy, it will be “every man for himself” and every man’s hand against his neighbors (Ezek 38:21; Zech 14:12, 13).
AND THE CITIES OF THE NATIONS FELL: Although the Sinaitic MS makes this singular (city), it is likely that it should be plural. The “Great City” has already been mentioned. While it IS, in a sense, the “city of the nations,” there seems little reason to state its fall between its “split” and God’s wrath upon it. However, there IS reason to mention that the various capitals (“cities”) of the various nations fell. We see in the next verse that this loss of rule-ship (i.e., plunge into anarchy — Ezek 38:21-23) will result in the demise of small and great polities. It is Divine Justice that the “cities” (capitals – ruling entities) of the nations should fall. THESE have been the beasts, which have (with few exceptions) been the cause of mankind’s woes.
AND BABYLON THE GREAT (The Professing Church, the Church Nominal) WAS REMEMBERED BEFORE GOD: At this point she will wish she were forgotten by Him. In Rev 18:5 God “remembers” her in order to begin her judgment. In Rev 16:19 He remembers every grievance. All of these plagues are God’s wrath (Rev 15:1), but THIS plague is more:
TO GIVE HER THE CUP OF THE WINE OF HIS FIERCE WRATH: The Greek for “wrath” here is different from that in Rev 15:1. The good student will want to be aware that the harvest period has wrath and WRATH, trouble and TROUBLE, fire and FIRE, and a few other such contrasts, which allow us to see the PROGRESSION through this century with CLIMAX at its end. Cup can mean experience; wine can mean several things, including the RESULTS of doctrine. It is clear that Babylon will drink of something unpleasant. It is closely allied with the traditional cup of hemlock juice with which people were slain for their crimes. Babylon’s cup will not be enviable. It is full of the results of God’s extreme wrath.
“Then every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.” Rev 16:20
AND EVERY ISLAND FLED AWAY: Islands represent republics. Fleeing away may, indeed, represent their demise; or it may be that it represents their running from the problems — a flight which will be futile.
AND THE MOUNTAINS (Kingdoms, Nations) WERE NOT FOUND: — as mountains. Having lost their ruler-ship, they no longer function as mountains. They have been “cast into the midst of the sea” — anarchy will have swallowed up their polities.
“And great hail from heaven fell upon men, each hailstone about the weight of a talent. Men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, since that plague was exceedingly great.” Rev 16:21
AND HUGE HAILSTONES: (Water in the scriptures represents truth) Hail is hardened water — destructive truths.
ABOUT THE WEIGHT OF A TALENT: This phrase is difficult to interpret. There is no question that a talent is heavy (75-100 pounds!). The destructive force is evident. Strong’s #5007 (Greek. Dictionary) says that the word means “a balance”. This may imply that these truths are JUST RETRIBUTION for the errors of the past. This is very fitting since with this plague God’s righteous wrath is complete. Strong’s #5006 (from which this word is translated) means “talent-like.” Therefore, “hard truths like justice” seems one fitting interpretation.
The Old Testament makes a few references to one talent. They may or may not prove eventually to be helpful. (See 2 Sam. 12:30; 1 Kings 20:39; Zech. 5:7 KJV for examples.)
One particular reference, however, (Exod 25:39 or 37:24) may provide the best interpretation to Rev 16:21’s talent. The golden candlestick and its tools were made from one talent of gold. Since the plagues represent the truths which each of the church messengers presented, and since the candlestick represents all seven churches, and since the seventh messenger (and, therefore, the seventh plague) had a compilation of all of the truths of the entire age, it is likely that this hail weighing one talent represents the aggregate of the light of the age being used as a judgment against Babylon’s professing “Christians” (the Church Nominal).
CAME DOWN FROM HEAVEN: –likely meaning as a result of Divine decree
UPON MEN: Since “men” is frequently a symbol for professing Christians, this is probably the equivalent of the burning of the tares — an event, which makes “men” renounce their false professions. Hence:
AND MEN BLASPHEMED GOD: They have little choice. They have lost their faith; their world has fallen apart all around them, and they as yet have no knowledge of good things coming.
BECAUSE OF THE PLAGUE OF THE HAIL: (Specifically the truth that they themselves were never of the True Church, that they had been following a lie perpetrated by the Adversary and his cohorts, the “blind guides” of Christendom) How much actual truth men will learn in the final cataclysm is conjectural. Anarchy is not a good classroom for details. They will have learned enough to destroy their faith in everything. The thought implies that MEANS will still be operational for the spread of information (hail). This plague may be, in large part, televised or possibly through such media as the Internet (If still operable).
BECAUSE IT’S PLAGUE WAS EXTREMELY SEVERE: The implication is that few lies will escape attention. The world will, indeed, be an emptied vessel…”
“And then will the Master rise up and even as he did on the stormy sea of Galilee, and say: “Peace! Be still!” And, although the troublesome waves of the turbulent masses of mankind are mountain high, there will come a great calm. Hence… the great time of trouble will be shortened, i.e. come to an end that all flesh should not perish from the face of the earth. (Matt 24:21, 22)
Excerpts taken from the New Albany Notes on Revelation
To find out just how bad things will get for those who must endure the great time of trouble and the rise of the Beast which is to “COME AGAIN” we jump to the Book of Habakkuk and to another study entitled “A Dark Night Approaches”.