Revelation 18:11–17a (ESV)
The Fall of Babylon
11And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn for her, since no one buys their cargo anymore, 12cargo of gold, silver, jewels, pearls, fine linen, purple cloth,
silk, scarlet cloth, all kinds of scented wood, all kinds of articles of ivory, all kinds of articles of costly wood, bronze, iron and marble, 13cinnamon, spice, incense, myrrh, frankincense, wine, oil, fine flour,
wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and chariots, and slaves, that is, human souls.
14 “The fruit for which your soul longed
has gone from you,
and all your delicacies and your splendors
are lost to you,
never to be found again!”
15The merchants of these wares, who gained wealth from her, will stand far off, in fear of her
torment, weeping and mourning aloud,
16 “Alas, alas, for the great city
that was clothed
in fine linen,
in purple and scarlet,
adorned with gold,
with jewels, and with pearls!
17 For in a single hour all this wealth has been laid waste.”
The merchants profited off of evil desire and intent. Now, that is gone. The Lutheran Study Bible states that today’s reading “Reinforces the sentiment first expressed in v 9 that Babylon’s trading partners do not regret
the excesses they have committed, but rather are sad that their racket has been broken up.” They had even profited off of trading people. Verse 3 states slaves, that is, human souls. Literally, “bodies, even souls of people.”
God’s original intent for mankind is horribly perverted whenever people are reduced to commodities. Culmination of the merchandise list. The slave trade so flourished in first-century Rome that there was at least one slave for every three free men.”
I pray: O Lord, help me to serve you in all things, especially in how I do business with others. Let it be God pleasing and to serve you and others with love.